Motorola Moto G 4G review: Going fast

Going fast

GSMArena team, 31 August 2014.

Display

The Motorola Moto G 4G comes with a 4.5" 720p display, which is one of its most potent weapons in the fight for survival in the overcrowded midrange. Having a pixel density of 326ppi, the IPS LCD matches a the retina-grade screens by Apple and is by far the sharpest display in the price range.

Moto G 4G

It's not just the pixel count either - the Moto G 4G screen is really bright, even brighter than Moto G's, and impresses with very good contrast and nice color rendering. Viewing angles are also quite good, with everything remaining legible even when you go to extremes. There is some color shift, but even so the display is way better than we've come to expect in this price bracket.

Our only gripe is the white balance, which is a bit on the cold side, but that's nitpicking really.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Motorola Moto G 0.35 315 906 0.57 550 967
Motorola Moto G 4G 0.42 387 916 0.7 651 929
Motorola Moto E 0.27 278 1024 0.49 522 1062
Sony Xperia M2 0.33 325 989 0.64 643 1000
Nokia Lumia 630 0.24 184 764 0.71 508 771
LG G2 mini 0.12 91 752 0.52 398 748
HTC One mini 2 0.19 220 1141 0.42 501 1196
Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini 0 166 0 396
Sony Xperia T3 - - - 0.82 790 963


The screen glass isn't too reflective either, which means the Motorola Moto G 4G's display does pretty well in direct sunlight. An admirable overall performance indeed.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life test

The Moto G 4G features a 2,070 mAh battery, but Motorola didn't quite any specific times. The original Moto G scored an endurance rating of 54 hours, which was an OK result and we expected similar performance - perhaps even a slight drop, considering the added LTE radio.

As it turned out, the latest Android build and its optimizations helped the Moto G 4G do better than the Moto G. The score of 64 hours means the Moto G 4G will last for well over two full days if you do an hour each of calling, video watching and web browsing a day. Note that the Moto G is already running on the same software version and its battery performance may've improved as well.

Moto G 4G

We also should give the Motorola Moto G 4G a few extra points here as it's notably brighter than most of its competitors at the 50% setting, which we use for our battery test.

For a more detailed breakdown of the Motorola Moto G 4G battery performance check out our blogpost.

Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating.

Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

Connectivity

The highlight of the Moto G 4G is definitely is LTE Cat.4 support (up to 150Mbps). Depending on the market and carrier, the Moto G 4G is available in the following combinations of supported frequency bands:

  • Quad-band GSM (across all models)
  • 3G: 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 (XT1039 - Europe)
  • LTE: 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 (XT1039 - Europe)
  • 3G: 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 (AT&T, T-Mobile)
  • 3G: 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 (XT1045 - US unlocked)
  • LTE: 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900 (XT1045 - US unlocked)

The rest of the connectivity features available across all models include single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n and Wi-Fi hotspot. There is also support for Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS. There's an FM radio with RDS as well.

There is a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data connections. Media transfer mode is supported for accessing the phone's built-in memory and microSD card over a USB connection. The Moto G 4G also supports USB Host.

The microUSB port doesn't have any TV-out support, but if own a compatible HDTV, you can share your phone's screen wirelessly via the Miracast protocol.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Nice

  • Tuione

I have been using this phone since Feb 2015. For the price I paid (NZD$230), I am very happy with this phone.. Best display in this price range, really loud speakers which gives good quality sound. Fast update to Android 5.1.2 in NZ. Everything else...

  • AnonD-50641

Had been using it for almost a year. With every tuning possible. This phone can only achieve SOT 3 hrs max with just only 25% Brightness (brighter than most rivals).