Today, Motorola announced the successor to their Moto G, which has been their most successful phone in recent memory. It’s still called the Moto G, but this is the 2015 model which brings some long-needed updates to keep the Moto G fresh. These changes are far-reaching, and range from the SoC to the camera and design. In order to understand the new Moto G at a high level I’ve attached the specs below for those interested.

  Moto G (2014) Moto G (2015)
SoC Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHZ A7 Snapdragon 410 1.4 GHz A53
RAM 1GB 1/2GB
NAND 8GB NAND + microSD 8/16GB NAND + microSD
Display 5” 720p
IPS
5” 720p
IPS
Network 2G / 3G 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 4 LTE)
Dimensions 141.5 x 70.7 x 11mm, 149g 142.1 x 72.4 x 6.1-11.6mm, 155g
Camera 8MP Rear Facing (Sony IMX179)   f/2.4, 1.4 micron 1/3.06" sensor 13MP Rear Facing (Sony IMX214)   f/2.0, 1.1 micron 1/3.06" sensor
2MP Front Facing 5MP Front Facing
Battery 2070 mAh (7.87 Whr) 2470 mAh (9.39 Whr)
OS Android 4.4 (At Launch) Android 5.1 (At Launch)
Connectivity 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n +
BT 4.0,
USB2.0, GPS/GNSS
2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n +
BT 4.0,
USB2.0, GPS/GNSS
SIM MicroSIM MicroSIM
Launch Price $179 (1GB/8GB) $179 (1GB/8GB)
$219 (2GB/16GB)

Although specs are important, one of the most immediate changes to the Moto G this year is the new design. Instead of the all-plastic design that we were accustomed to with the previous two Moto Gs, the new Moto G has a new, grippier plastic back cover. The generally refreshed design helps a lot with distinguishing this model from previous years, and generally helps to increase the value proposition associated with the smartphone. Outside of design, there are a few key changes at a high level such as the camera, SoC, more RAM on the 16GB SKU, and water resistance. The battery is also bigger, at 2470 mAh compared to 2070 mAh of the last generation.

When it comes to the camera, it seems that this unit is directly shared with the Nexus 6’s camera, although it doesn’t seem to have the more expensive voice coil motor that is needed to enable OIS. There’s also a 5MP FFC, which should is a big step up from the 2MP FFC of the previous generation. The SoC moves from the Snapdragon 400 of previous generations to the Snapdragon 410, which means a move to the Cortex A53 on the CPU side. Given just how much higher the IPC is for the Cortex A53, general computing performance should improve here much like we saw with the Moto E moving to A53. The move from 1GB to 2GB of RAM is also a huge boon for multitasking performance, although this is only available on the more expensive 16GB variant. The 8GB variant will remain with 1 GB of RAM. The addition of IPx7 water resistance should also help greatly against water damage, as this means that the Moto G 2015 should be able to spend 30 minutes under a meter of still water without damage, although I still wouldn’t recommend trying to test that functionality.

The new Moto G is available online today from Motorola, Best Buy, and Amazon. The 8GB variant will start at 179.99 USD, and the 16GB variant will be available from Motorola’s website. The new Moto G will also support Motomaker, which allows for extensive color and material customization of a new smartphone.

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  • nwarawa - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    Seriously considering z3 compact myself. The new z4 compact coming out supposedly uses an 810... Not sure if I trust that SoC in a "compact" phone... Reply
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    So true. Reply
  • ummduh - Monday, August 3, 2015 - link

    Well, I'm 5' 5", generally have to special order size small gloves because nobody carries anything smaller than Large anymore, and I don't have any of those problems. Reply
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    Exactly!

    I love the look of the MotoX Play, but it's just too big!

    They should have kept it around the size of the 2013 X (perfect size), or just a small bit larger (but smaller than the Nexus 5).
    720p display (1080p battery hog), S618, current cameras, big battery, waterproof.

    'Play' would have made sense; something compact you can take with you anywhere!
    Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link

    It is the Lenovo effect what you see over here.
    They become the follower, not the trend setter like what they used to be when they came up with Moto G.
    Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, August 13, 2015 - link

    Yeah, I know what you mean! I'd really like to replace my X with a new Moto as the camera still sucks, but otherwise the phone works fine. I love the look and feature set of the new 2015 X and even the G. But the size of the X is bothering me. I'm a 6' male without giant hands, but still big. I like the phone to fit in my pocket and sit down with easily.

    So I'm debating the G as a replacement as it has a decent camera, but lacks many features I want. But I also like being able to buy a few different back covers. Stereo speakers were part of the 2014 G feature set, which is now gone. :( With the new G, I think its still thicker and slightly bulkier than the 2013 X...

    Should have kept the same specs as last year's X with a 5.2" screen and I'd feel better about that.
    Should have made:
    X 5.2" screen / same spec.
    XL 5.8" screen / same spec. $50 more in price.
    XS 4.7" screen / a few less features, $50 less. Like front flash and keep 1280x720.
    G as is, but with stereo speakers.
    E as is, but add a bloody flash.

    Not sure how I feel about the IPS, is the display quality better?
    Reply
  • Taracta - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    The 2014 Moto G did not have LTE. This was the major problem with it, especially since the Moto E had LTE! Reply
  • JoshHo - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    Apologies, the issue has been resolved. I definitely made the change but for some reason or another it didn't take before publishing. Reply
  • adityarjun - Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - link

    All of three of them seem to miss their marks by a bit. They forget that they are also competing with the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus, especially in Asian markets which is their focus.

    The moto g3 need the S615, all else is good enough. Maybe a more compact body too.

    The moto x play need the S618/S620 and maybe a 5.2in screen and 3 gb ram.

    And with a body as large as the moto x style they should have gone for a slight underclocked, 1.8GHz S810 v2.1 like OnePlus2 with 4gb ram.

    The moto x play will be directly competing with the higher variant of OnePlus2. The specs of the moto g 3 are already available in Xiaomi and Lenovo phones for a much lower price.

    To the author: Please do a moto g 3 review and include other phones in this price range like Xiaomi and Lenovo.

    Weirdly enough, believe it or not, i just ordered 2 of these phones for my mom and brother. Despite similar specs at a lower price point available in the form of Xiaomi and Lenovo phones, I can't seem to bring myself to even consider those phones. And to think that Lenovo actually owns Motorola.

    Maybe a review, or even a subjective comparison against those phones in the moto g 3 review might change my mind.
    Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link

    If you like Google UI, this is the only phone to go with cheap price.
    I despise Xiaomi's UI with passion.

    I agree with you, they went wrong with Moto G, 2GB with SD61x is the only version to go.
    My MotoG (1st gen) is lagging because of RAM but 40-50% performance increase isn't really worth to spend the money.
    Reply

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