Moto G Faceoff: Stock VS. Google Play Edition

Ever since Google announced an agreement to acquire Motorola, we have seen that just about every Moto phone has been running essentially the stock version of Android under their hoods.  By that, I mean that they are not loaded with all the bells and whistles that say Samsung includes in their phones.  In fact, beyond Motorola's few and mild software tweaks, they barely include any bloatware on the phones whatsoever, which is especially important considering that there is no expandable memory on these devices. On the Google Play Edition (GPE) of the Moto G, you are going to get the full stock Android experience, which many people prefer over the mild tweaks that Motorola added.  In general English, this means no bloatware at all, and you can start customizing with little worries right out of the box.  The GPE Moto G does have one major benefit over its stock counterpart... it will almost definitely receive updates faster, if only by a little bit.  However, the stock version, if recent events serve as a projection, will not be left far behind.  The stock Moto G is already running Android 4.4 KitKat, which is more than most other smartphones nowadays can say.

The most major difference is in mobile band support.  The GPE Moto G does not support the 1700 MHz band, which means that those of us on T-Mobile using their 3G coverage will not receive any on this phone.  This does not mean that the phone does not go faster than 3G.  The GPE Moto G supports UMTS/HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps on (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz).  All this means is that if you rely heavily on T-Mobile's 3G connection for your data needs, stay away from the GPE Moto G.  The stock Moto G does not have this problem, as  it supports UMTS/HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps (850, 1700 (AWS), 1900 MHz), which will cover T-Mobile consumers wonderfully.

All in all, the only differences in the two phones are band support and mild software differences.  If you are a tried and true Google die-hard and you don't need T-Mobile's 3G, then by all means go for the GPE.  The hardware and price of the Moto G and the GPE Moto G are exactly the same ($179 for 8GB of internal storage, or $199 for 16GB), and they are both only available in the US.  What do you think?  Will you be picking up the GPE Moto G or sticking with the stock?  Is the lack of T-Mobile 3G coverage a deal-breaker?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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About the Author
I am a student at the University of Toledo studying Information Systems, Electronic Commerce, and Instrumental Music with a trumpet specialization. I am fascinated with all aspects of mobile technology, especially the vast possibilities offered via Android. I am currently sporting a Nexus 5 (which is a VAST upgrade from my old Samsung Epic 4G Touch), a Galaxy Note 10.1 2012 Edition, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.