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Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) review

8.2/10 AVG.
RATING



8.2/10
Informr score
The Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) currently has an Informr score of 8.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 43 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Excellent battery life
  • Decent camera performance in good lighting
  • Smooth performance
  • Customizable in Moto Maker service
  • IPx7 rated

What's bad

  • No optical image stabilization leads to blurry photos
  • Lots of digital noise in low-light situations
  • Mediocre viewing angles and sunlight legibility

Motorola proved with the Moto G 2 that budget phones could offer excellent hardware at a low cost. The company continues this tradition with the Moto G 3. At half the cost of premium smartphones, the Moto G 3 offers plenty of bonus features even flagship phones don't offer such as an IPx7 rating, which means it can be submerged in water for up to half an hour. As with the Moto X range, users can fully customize their phone with the Motorola's Moto Maker service. The phone itself features an all-plastic trim with curved corners and a curved rear. Instead of the soft-touch back of its predecessor, Motorola went for textured plastic for the Moto G 3 giving critics more of a grip. Despite the positives, Tech Radar describes it as a "chunky, largely plastic phone" though they add it is "perfectly fine." Other experts agree with this assessment and add that although it certainly feels cheap due to the plastic body it has a solid build quality.

The one thing Motorola did not upgrade for the Moto G 3 is the screen. It sports the same 5-inch, 720p display as its predecessor, leading to a relatively low pixel density of 294ppi. Still, critics were fairly satisfied with the screen overall as it provides accurate and bright colors. With that said they found overall viewing angles and sunlight legibility fairly average with Greenbot adding, "The display has a propensity to be a bit too bright at night, which can contribute to some serious eye strain."

The Moto G offers two different setups: 8GB of internal storage with 1GB of RAM or 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. Naturally the one with the higher storage and RAM ends up costing more than the base version. Both models come with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and mid-level graphics processer. In general, reviewers describe the performance of both models as "zippy" though they did find the 16GB version to be slightly faster in comparison. The biggest selling point of the Moto G 3 isn't its performance, it is the battery life. The 2,470mAh battery provided experts with a full day of battery life with moderate usage and around 2 days of very light use. While the back cover of the phone is removable, the battery itself is not.

Another big upgrade for the Moto G 3 is the 13-MP main camera. When compared to camera on the Moto G 2, critics saw a marked improvement in picture quality. In good lighting situations they were able to capture images with good detail and vibrant colors, especially in HDR mode. It does not come with optical image stabilization so they unfortunately ended up taking a lot of slightly blurry photos. The problem became especially obvious when they took low light pictures. Not only did they have problems with the focus, the noticed pictures also had a lot of digital noise. Besides the main camera, it also upgraded the front camera to 5MP.

Overall, reviewers still consider the Moto G 3 the best smartphone for its price. Android Authority states, "The many positives of this handset definitely outweigh…the shortcomings in the display and camera." Wired adds, "The Moto G punches above its weight in almost every way…It's the clearest indication yet of the great things to come from truly affordable phones."


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.4 GHz
Screen Size
5"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


APC

The third generation Moto G is proof that you don’t need to drop a tonne of money to get yourself a decent phone. It doesn’t have the fastest processor, the sharpest display or the best camera, but it does punch above its weight in all areas.

- <a href="/authors/jenneth-orantia">Jenne, APC
What Mobile

Budget handsets rarely have the consistent experience which the Moto G offers. You’ll struggle to find a device at this price-point with a better camera, while the battery life is more than enough for most users. Motorola’s continued use of a near-stock Android experience keeps things ru...

- Thomas Wellburn, What Mobile
Brighthand

It’s amazing how much you can get for so little these days. The third generation Moto G, which provides users with the second-most-recent version of Android, a 5-inch display, great battery life, Motorola’s useful (but unobtrusive if you don’t want it!) software suite, and even som...

- Grant Hatchimonji, Brighthand
Techly

While there’s small points that can leave you wanting more – camera, battery charge-speed, only an okay screen – and you may or may not like the thick design, the Moto G is super phone for a comparatively low price. While the RRP is $369, we’ve seen it under $300 at even just...

- Tristan Rayner, Techly
Digital Trends

If you’re looking for a good smartphone, you don’t need the latest and greatest, and you’ve got $200 burning a hole in your pocket – look no further than the Moto G. The customization options, high-res camera, and long-lasting battery take it to another level that most budget...

- Malarie Gokey, Digital Trends


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Quick view

Screen Size
5"

The Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen)'s screen size is 5 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.4 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 Quad core 1.4 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2470mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2470 mAh battery. Motorola's performance ratings are 1440 minutes, 541 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Moto G (3rd Gen) Specs

Overview
Release date July 29, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
900/2100 MHz
LTE:
2100/800/900/1800 /2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card size
Micro-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 Quad core 1.4 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.41 W/kg
Body: 1.1 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2470 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 605 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 541 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1440 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 33.3 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.2 x 7.2 x 1.2 cm (5.6 x 2.8 x 0.5 in)
Weight 155 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 294 pixels
Size 5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
4x digital
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, Burst mode, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
4x digital
Additional Front Camera Info
Burst mode, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Motorola Moto G (2015), Moto G3

Variation:

Internal Flash Memory: 8
RAM: 1 GB
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) Reviews
Where to buy Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen)
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