Motorola Moto G vs Google Play Edition: Unboxing & Review

by birtanpublished on May 27, 2021

Hey is Mike here the Detroit Borg with two videos in one so we're going to cover both versions of the Moto G the google play edition which just came out this week and the Moto G which launched in November both of these are the same devices but the Google Play edition is running stock Android now this may not be such a big deal because the Moto G pretty much ran stock Android remember that Motorola is a Google company and the Moto G had a few features or has a few features but otherwise runs the stock Android experience there isn't a heavy skinned over so the Google Play edition of the Moto G joins quite a few

Other devices including the GS for the HTC One the Sony's Z ultra the LG G pad 8.3 though as of course we have the other Nexus devices including the Nexus 5 the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 7 but this is the cheapest stock Android device you can buy from Google right now at 179 so this gets you in the door it's quite the value for what you get now remember these are both 3G phones there is no LTE here now it's important to remember that the Google Play edition is the global GSM version so it doesn't work with all t-mobile fans while the version I have here the one sold in the US by Motorola

Does support all t-mobile bands now t-mobile will work on this phone but some bands aren't supported so keep that in mind you may want to look at this instead of your t-mobile customer now in terms of specs these are identical they both have the same 4.5 inch LCD IPS display with 720p resolution good for 329 pixels per inch we have the same 1.2 gigahertz Snapdragon 400 processor we have one gig of ram and we have a 2070 milliamp hour battery so we have the same specs same camera 5 megapixel rear fighting camera the same hardware design everything like that it's just the

Software is different alright so let's go ahead and start on boxing he's starting off with the motorola moto g so as you can see motorola Google company now this comes in this black back panel but these are swappable so you can remove these and add your own color this is different than the Moto X which you can customize more heavily so you can customize the front color so you can either get white or black for the Moto G you basically get black and the options you change the back panel now you can't change the back panel with the Moto X you have to pretty much set it in when

You customize your order also then want to access things like customize button colors and the camera in color and I sort of think so there's a lot more customisation options and the interesting thing here as you can see that the emoji isn't too much smaller in size of the Moto X this is a 4.7 inch screen versus the Moto G's 4.5 inch screen so that's a quick look at the Moto G let's take a quick look at our accessories and as you can see this is a budget phone and there is not a whole lot in here so we basically have a standard microUSB charging cable no

Power adapter so you can supply your own or just use your computer to charge your phone and we have some basic paperwork in here so we have our guides we're removing the back panel moto G let's get started a quick guide it shows you how to operate some of the features here and then we have it in different languages and the basic safety and warranty guide all right so let's go and peel the front plastic off and actually can't get my fingernail under this little tab here so I have to use a razor blade there we go alright so that is the Moto G let's set that aside for just a moment while we

Take a look at the Google Play version so you can see the packaging is pretty much identical I'm going to slice this tab here lift up and there we go same packaging as well motorola Google company tip the silver so there we go we have the same design black back panel with that math finish and again you can swap these back panels out so if we take a look at the accessories we have the same microUSB charging cable and that's about it our pamphlet should be a little bit different here so let's take a look so again we have that pamphlet for removing

The back panel emoji let's get started so this is a little different here so you can see they've updated some of the pictures and that sort of thing for the stock Android experience and we have it in different languages and the same safety and warranty guide information all right so let's go ahead and peel this plastic off and it's the same story here can't quite get my fingernail under that alright so let's take a tour around the hardware and as you can see I can't really tell the difference between the two of them right now that's because externally they are identical as well as

Internally they have the same specs the only difference is the software so let's just grab one of them it doesn't matter here so we have a 5 megapixel or the focusing camera which can record video at 720p at 30 frames per second so you do not have 1080p in this case we have our loudspeaker right next to it an LED flash we have at Motorola tempo which we're familiar with from the Moto X on the side you have these metallic buttons I'm not sure if they're plastic or metal but they feel pretty nice very similar to the Moto X top you have your headphone jack

Along with a noise cancellation microphone now toward the top we'll find a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera good for 720p video we also have a notification LED light right next to the earpiece we also have hidden in there a proximity sensor as well as an ambient light sensor now toward the bottom you'll find another microphone this is your mouthpiece as well as the micro USB charging port and this also acts as your thumbnail port for popping off the back panel so let's go ahead and do that so you can take a look to see what's under there just pop this off there you go so

You have a kind of flimsy back panel which is rigid of course once it's connected to the phone you won't find any NFC antennas in here because this one is not equipped with it so we have this non removable battery pack in fact they do warn you not to remove this so don't try and pry this out of here and along the other side you'll find your micro SIM trays so I have to do not sim tray but SIM slot all I have to do is insert your SIM right there pretty simple as you can see you have your camera module which is right next to the speaker grille right there and to

Reinstall the panel pretty simple just snap it into place goes on pretty securely alright so let's go ahead and boot these phones up at the same time as you can see they do have different boot animations so we have that standard motor roller animation which actually changes with the seasons sometimes you have a holiday theme I think this time we have sort of a summer theme now before I talk about the Google Play edition I just want to talk about how the moji differs from the Moto X now the Moto X was pretty much a stock Android

Device with a few Motorola features added in it's very close to stock anyway and has some very useful features which the Moto G lacks now one of them is this quick glance feature for your notification system so I have to do is pick up your phone it flashes your notifications on the screen and you can quickly take a look at them so for example if I tap and hold it gives me my notifications and I can unlock it or address that notification so that's one of my favorite features of the Moto X unfortunately the Moto G doesn't do it and then make sense because the moji has

An LCD screen and if it did this it would drain the battery pretty quickly another feature of the Moto G lacks is the quick capture feature which basically allows you to twist your wrist to activate the camera really quickly so you don't have to unlock your device at all it just launches your camera another very useful feature now this also lacks the ability to command Google now from a lock state release emoji does so for example with the Moto X I can say okay Google now what's the weather like tomorrow tomorrow's forecast for Rochester is 25 degrees with a chance of

Snow showers now in terms of the user interface you can see they're pretty much identical we have the same app drawer we do have some different apps and I'll explore that in just a minute we have the of course we have a recent apps launcher which again is also identical you can swipe them out of the way to close them or launch them if you go to home takes you to the home button you have your back button if you go to your drop down shade you have your quick access toggles for your quick settings and as you can see they're pretty much identical and your notification shade is

Also almost identical and we do now if we go to the settings we can take a look at the version of Android we're running and we should be running the same thing we if we look at our Settings panel you can see that they're pretty much identical you do see Motorola privacy and Motorola device ID which are motorola features if we go to about phone you'll see Android 4.4.2 with our KitKat logo now in terms of apps both devices have the same suite of Google Apps so we have the complete suite of Google Apps on both of them the only thing the Moto G offers is the FM

Radio just kind of nice so I have to do is connect a set of headphones to access the FM radio there's a few other things here such as Motorola assist which I went over in more detail in my moto X review but basically it's a contextual II aware app that changes the device's behavior depending on what you're doing so for example if you're sleeping you can or if it you can set configure this for sleeping though basically it turns off notifications for certain times of day you can you can also change exactly how that behaves whether you want to

Receive calls from certain people or somebody calls twice you also have meeting mode and that sort of thing now what I don't see here is driving mode for the Moto G so I'm not sure if that's missing entirely or I have to enable something both driving mode is something that's available on the Moto X and basically it's GPS aware so if you're driving it knows it and it changes the device's behavior for reading out texts and that sort of thing now in terms of other apps we have here we have Motorola migrate which allows you to migrate from one device to another so you can migrate

Your content from another Android device to this pretty easily now the moji also includes this Translate app which is a Google app and that's just not included here but you can download that separately so you can translate spoken word written word or images of text and then will translate it for you so for example let's go to German because we know German so you can change your languages here so I can go from English to German and I can speak it where do you live I can quickly switch between languages so the other person can speak to you so you can say the alt bist du

How old are you you can also write here so somebody could in theory write for you and basically translate the text to German so hello is hallo in German now the Google Play edition is using hangouts while we have a dedicated SMS app for the Motorola phone now in terms of our camera app this is also where things really differ here so we have the standard Android camera app which is pretty familiar terra-tory here so we have our still mode so we can tap anywhere on the scene to focus you can also pinch in and out to zoom in and snap your photo not going to get into

Too much detail here you have your settings for your settings can also tap and hold anywhere on the screen to get to your settings there you go you can also drill down and you can switch between your video mode or your panorama mode what you're not seeing here is fullest fear mode so it looks like this phone is not capable of that mode for whatever reason maybe it doesn't have the processing hardware or sensors to do it now the camera app on the motorola version is quite a bit different so you can tap anywhere on the scene it automatically

Takes the photo and if you want to tap the focus you actually have to go to your settings in order to get to your settings you swipe from anywhere on the left side of the screen so this gives you this little control wheel for getting to settings so the first one you see here is a control focus and exposure which you can turn on so when I do that I now get this little box here which I can move around to focus on my scene and now I can tap anywhere on the scene and it takes the photo so you can see a lot of people don't like that I don't like that tends to be a little obnoxious

Because it's a layer of settings I have to get through to get to a commonly used feature so I prefer not to have that so I usually keep it off you also can change your flash mode you can enable HDR you have slo-mo mode and you also have panorama again no full of sphere mode as you can see they light up in the Scion color when they're active you also have geolocation you can change the aspect ratio of your image and you also have all those audio so you can turn off your audio sounds so as you can see lots of features here from that control panel now in order to start

Recording video you don't go to a video mode you just hit this recording icon up here and starts recording video for you and you can pinch in and out while you're shooting video as well and when you're shooting your video you can tap anywhere on the scene to to take a photo and if you swipe in from the left you can see that the control panel does turn off while you're recording video now in terms of this display I'm really impressed here again this is an LCD IPS display has excellent contrast ratio so if you look at the black areas of the screen you can see even with the Android

Control bar here you can see it almost disappears into the black bezel the phone then this is with the screen at maximum brightness if you look at the white areas of the phone you can see it's a pretty clean bright white color looks really sharp if you look at the text you can see just how pin-sharp it is even at the highest resolution here so you can see we're looking at the full verge website the even the smallest text is pin-sharp this has a very similar pixel density to the iPhone so 326 or 329 pixels per inch depending on what spec sheet you're

Looking at again very similar to the iPhone so it looks really good now in terms of performance KitKat 4.4 runs great on low-end hardware and because it's not a skinned version of Android it's pretty clean and simple so there is not a lot of resource demands on the hardware so even though we have low end hardware this version of Android is really clean and simple that actually goes not just for the Google Play edition that's also true of the standard motor role Edition because it doesn't have a lot of software features built into the skin they've placed on here

There's basically no skin so it runs just as well as the Google Play edition so I have no complaints here I'm definitely impress overall by the performance of both phones in terms of performance you can see the Moto G is pretty low here so scored only 338 on the single core score again this is a 1.2 gigahertz quad-core processor so that's pretty low you can see the multi-core score is not too far from the multi-core score on the Moto X which in itself doesn't do too well compared to something like the Nexus 5 and of course the iPhone 5s so these are much better

Performing devices overall the Moto G is definitely on the low end alright so let's go ahead and do a size comparison between the Moto G and popular phones like the iPhone 5s now the interesting thing with the iPhone 5s here is although it has a lot smaller screen four inches versus 4.5 inches you can see that the Google Play edition in particular actually uses part of that screen for the Android control so almost looks like the screen is about the same size or even smaller than the iPhone screen so that's something to keep in mind now the iPhone is much more compact

Much lighter weight much thinner so if we compare them side-by-side you can see just how much thinner that iPhone is by comparison but of course off-contract this iPhone 64 gigs costed about $900 this off-contract cost less than $200 so keep that in mind and of course we also have the superb Nexus 5 which I really like as well so you can see it's quite a bit larger gives you a much larger screen we have our GS 4 Google Play edition again larger similar size to the Nexus 5 we have our HTC one beautiful Hardware smaller screen 4.7 inches still bigger

Than the than the Moto G but as you can see they're both LCD IPS displays this is 1080p vs. 720p and then we have the Moto X one of my favorite Android phones of 2013 because of those features which unfortunately the Moto G loses so there you go that's the Moto X and that is 4.7 inches with a 720p display and then we have the obscenely large Z ultra which I also reviewed as you can see it's more tablet than phone at this point so in conclusion the Moto G is a superb value there is no denying that fact you get a beautiful display and you get stock Android you get the latest version of

Android when most phones this cheap are usually running really bad hardware with old versions of Android so really there isn't a lot of phones like this out there this is one of a kind now generally speaking I find it pretty difficult to recommend one over the other they're very similar there's not a huge difference in terms of their feature set and the user experience so really I think it's up to you and the availability of these devices now ultimately I would prefer the Google Play edition just because it is absolutely clean Android and that's

Something I value so that would be the version I would get and because I'm an AT&T customer I don't have to worry about the band restrictions so that is it for this video I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you again in the next one alright guys Mike here the Detroit Board testing out the front-facing camera on the Moto G again this is 720p video so unfortunately no 1080p video here but gives you an idea of the microphone performance as well as that front-facing camera so it's pretty standard stuff nothing remarkable alright so this is Chloe this is Zoe of course we got to

Get them in a Detroit Borg video so this is the main camera this is the rear fine camp rear firing camera not frying camera this is a five megapixel camera with 720p video again no 1080p even on the main camera which may be a restriction to the processing power of this device so I can pinch in and out as you can see this digital zoom doesn't very very good job there but it does a pretty decent job again a fairly standard camera for a phone that's running on hardware that's maybe two years old there you go Zoe & Chloe

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