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First Impressions of the Moto G from a Nexus 5 Owner

February 14, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Here at Android Headlines, we’re all running something different. We have Samsung fans, HTC fans, Moto X diehards and then there’s me, that Nexus 5 guy everyone loves to hate. I reviewed the Nexus 5 and then I decided to keep it, I love it. It’s not the best phone out there, and I wish the display wasn’t quite so washed out when you cranked the display and the speaker is pretty poor, but it’s the best device for me. Better yet, the Nexus 5 cost me just £299 here in the UK. Motorola’s super-affordable Moto G is available from anywhere as low as £110 for the 8GB version. So, how do I – a Nexus 5 users – feel about a device that costs basically a third of what I paid for my Nexus?

We’ll be reviewing the Moto G in due course – we realize we’re late to the party, sorry! – but for now, these are my personal first impressions of the device. Upon opening the box and getting things set up, I was pleasantly surprised at the overall build quality. I was shocked at how heavy the device is compared to my Nexus 5, but it felt solid and the same minimal front-panel design is here, with no logos in my face (which I absolutely love) and setting everything up was a breeze. The overall packaging and such is incredibly minimal, very barebones in fact, but then again this isn’t an expensive device. I think we can all say we’d like to pay a little less for our phones without fancy packaging.

On to speed and again, I was shocked. For a device with a 1.2 Ghz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 (which is a Cortex A7 CPU designed for power-efficiency, not performance) the Moto G is a speedy little guy. Compared to my Nexus 5 in some rough, unscientific tests, the Moto G held its own in real world testing. The Nexus 5 definitely feels more immediate, with smoother scrolling and much better touch response but, then again it would with a 2.3 Ghz Snapdragon 800 under the hood. Motorola meant what they said when they said they had adjusted all of the software under the hood that they could. With Android 4.4 KitKat on here, the Moto G is a fast phone, especially one that sells for just $179 on Amazon. You can’t expect too much from a device that costs as little as this, completely devoid of a contract and unlocked. What expectations you would normally have for a device like this though, are blown out of the water and Motorola have done a great job with this.

The display is really good as well, great viewing angles and at 4.5-inches with a resolution of 1280 x 720 text looks crisp and the display doesn’t feel cramped at all. I would say that it has a slightly blue tinge to the display, but that’s more than likely my eyes as I tend to enjoy displays with a warmer tone to them and my monitor is calibrated that way. So, don’t read too much into that. It’s perfectly bright enough and colors popped without being obnoxious. So far, Motorola’s Moto G has impressed me, and I look forward to spending more time with it for the full review we’ll be posting soon.