Motorola Moto G (2015) review [hands-on]

Motorola has announced the Moto G 2015. The company’s event today confirmed all the rumors that have been circulated in recent days, but now we know what this device is capable of. Find out all the details in our hands-on Moto G 2015 review below.


  • ✓Improved battery
  • ✓Moto Maker customization
  • ✓IPX7 Certification
  • ✓Native 4G


  • ✕HD screen

Motorola Moto G (2015) release date and price

The Moto G (3rd gen) price starts at US$179 or £179 for the 1 GB RAM version with 8 GB of internal memory. The price increases by US$40 or £30 for the 2 GB RAM version with 16 GB internal memory. Both versions can be customized at Motorola’s Moto Maker store.

Motorola Moto G (2015) design and build quality

Motorola went for ergonomics and robustness with the construction of this mid-range device. The Moto G 2015 has traces of previous Motorola models, with fewer straight lines and a sporty look. On the front there is a 5 MP camera positioned in the top right corner of the device next to a proximity sensor, and the latest Moto G retains the stereo speaker setup of its predecessor.

Motorola Moto G 2015 screen viewing angle
Moto G 2015 front elevation. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Moto G (2015) design is very similar to the Moto G 2014, with the physical buttons positioned in the same places. The main visual innovations of new device can be found on its back.

Motorola Moto G 2015 volume buttons
Moto G 2015 from the side. / © ANDROIDPIT

The rear of the Moto G 2015 has a rubbery texture, created by small, triangular indents. The material used is a soft touch polycarbonate, resulting in a ergonomic and sturdy grip when handling the device.

Motorola Moto G 2015 back
Moto G 2015 from behind. / © ANDROIDPIT

The aluminum band built into the back of the handset houses the 13 MP camera sensor, with dual LED flash, and the classic Motorola logo.

Motorola Moto G (2015) display

Unfortunately, the Moto G 2015 display did not receive the upgrade we anticipated. The screen remains in HD resolution at 1,280 x 720 pixels (294 ppi). The device has an LCD panel with IPS technology, with good brightness and well-balanced colors. It has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to avoid scratches and scrapes.

Motorola Moto G 2015 appdrawer
Moto G 2015 display is the same as last year’s model, disappointingly. / © ANDROIDPIT

Motorola Moto G (2015) special features

The Moto G 2015 has a SIM card with a dual-function chip packing a smart mode, which enables the use of 3G or 4G mobile data. The SIM chip automatically works in 2G frequency, eliminating the need for users to change it manually. In addition to this functionality, the app that manages the SIM chip is able to suggest the best carrier at any given moment.

IPX7 certification

The Moto G 2015 can be submerged in up to 1 m of freshwater for 30 minutes. For this, the back cover must be securely closed. However, the phone doesn’t work underwater. Furthermore, the protection does not make it resistant to dust.

Moto Maker

The Moto G (3rd gen) is available in a whole host of eye-catching designs thanks to Motorola’s Moto Maker store. You can even engrave a short personal message on the rear of the phone for an additional five bucks.

Motorola Moto G (2015) software

Motorola has no problem keeping devices up to date. Thus, you can expect Moto G 2015 software to be updated on a regular basis. It packs the latest Android version, in this case Lollipop 5.1.1. Motorola kept the almost-stock look, with some minor optimizations. The Moto G 2015 has features already present in the Moto E 2015, such as shaking to activate the camera from the lock screen, plus intelligent notifications.

Based on its release date, the Moto G (2015) the device would be in line to receive the Android M update.

Motorola Moto G 2015 lollipop
The Moto G comes with Android Lollipop, but it should receive Android M shortly after release. / ©  ANDROIDPIT

Motorola Moto G (2015) performance

So what about Moto G 2015 performance? This device packs a Snapdragon 410 quad-core 1.4 GHz processor with 64-bit support. There are two variants of the Moto G 2014, with an 8 GB version with 1 GB of RAM and one with 16 GB and 2 GB of RAM. Obviously, the more memory the better, but this device should manage multi-tasking faster than last year’s model.

In my tests during the launch event, I noticed that the performance of the Moto G 2015 was quite good. However, the device I used did not come with any pre-installed apps, which makes the software even more optimized. We will update our impressions soon as we get a test device.

Motorola Moto G 2015 quick settings
The Moto G 2015 quick-settings menu. / © ANDROIDPIT

Motorola Moto G (2015) camera

The Moto G 2015 camera has a 13 MP rear camera sensor, up from last year’s 8 MP shooter. It captures images with good color ratios and white balance. The maximum image size is 4,128 x 3,096 pixels, and the sensor is manufactured by Sony. The LED flash comes in a dual-tone version.

This means the LED lights at two different tones to compensate for the ambient light in the surrounding environment. Instead of a yellowish tint in photos shot with flash, this new LED delivers a balance between warm light (incandescent) and cold (fluorescent).

Motorola Moto G (2015) battery

The Moto G 2015 battery has a capacity of 2,470 mAh which, according to Motorola, is capable of delivering up to 24 hours of battery life with moderate use. The Moto G 4G (2014) had a different capacity to the non-LTE model, getting a dump from 2,070 mAh to 2,390 mAh.

The new phone has a 64-bit processor and a variant with more RAM, so an investment in a bigger battery is necessary. We will perform more accurate tests with the Moto G 2015 battery and will update this review with all the details.

Motorola Moto G 2015 removable back
The Moto G (2015) has a removable back cover, but the battery cannot be swapped out. / © AndroidPIT

Motorola Moto G (2015) technical specifications

    • Type:
    • Phone
    • Model:
    • XT1543
    • Manufacturer:
    • Motorola
    • Dimensions:
    • 142.1 x 72.4 x 11.6 mm
    • Weight:
    • 155 g
    • Battery size:
    • 2470 mAh
    • Screen size:
    • 5 in
    • Display technology:
    • Sorry, not yet available!
    • Screen:
    • 1280 x 720 pixels (294 ppi)
    • Front camera:
    • 5 megapixels
    • Rear camera:
    • 13 megapixels
    • Flashlight:
    • LED
    • Android version:
    • 5.1 – Lollipop
    • RAM:
    • 1024 MB
    • Internal storage:
    • 8 GB
    • Removable storage:
    • microSD
    • Chipset:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
    • Number of cores:
    • 4
    • Max. clock speed:
    • 1.4 GHz
    • Connectivity:
    • HSPA, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0

Early Verdict

The new Moto G 2015 is a good upgrade, but not essential for owners of the 2014 version. The water resistance feature is not a must-have and 4G is still not a priority for some prospective buyers.

The most-awaited upgrade to the phone’s screen resolution did not come this year, but on the other hand, the camera received a better sensor, capable of capturing images with better clarity and exposure. The software experience remains the same by-and-large, but the introduction of Moto Maker options add some extra value to it beyond its predecessor.

In and of itself, this strikes us as a great value phone for US$179, but we’ll have to wait for the full review to find out for sure.

So, what did you think of the new Moto G 2015?

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