Phones Tech reviews

Moto G3: Motorola’s Affordable Android Contender Gets A Dash Of Swagger!

Written by Maanasi

Winning the top position in a race is something, and retaining that position for long is a different thing altogether! That was on top of my mind when I got my hands on the latest incarnation of Motorola’s budget Android contender, aka the Moto G3! The company saved itself from the risk of extinction riding on runway successes of the Moto G and X, a couple of years back. The 2nd generation Moto G, aka the Moto G2 did not have many improvements, though it continued the successful run of its predecessor. I tested the Moto G 3 -the refresh in the lineup, to see if it carries forward the legacy or not. Moto G3 faces fierce competition from the Chinese rivals and other heavyweights, but it holds its grounds amazingly well.

http://www.androidorigin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Moto-G-3rd-Gen-Briefly-Appears-on-Flipkart.jpeg

Image Credit: www.androidorigin.com

Moderate but effective hardware boost

From the first generation Moto G, Motorola managed to balance the price to performance factor with finesse and the results were mostly satisfactory. In the third incarnation of Moto G, the company carries forward the trend of minor but useful enhancements. The hardware gets a boost that may sound small on paper, but the performance enhancement is commendable. I’m coming on that later.

So, in the Moto G3 you get a 5-inch HD 720p display, with the familiar Corning Gorilla glass 3 cover. There are 2 RAM choices, 1 and 2GB. To get the best blend of price vs performance, go for the 2GB variant with eyes closed! I tested the 2GB version and it handled pretty much everything smoothly.

Good, not great display

If you have handled Android heavyweights like Google Nexus 6 or Motorola’s own Droid Turbo, the screen of Moto G3 will not seem extraordinary. It sports a modest pixel density of 294 ppi. That is not to say the display is bad-far from it. I streamed the trailer of Ant-Man, and the colours popped out and there was hardly any pixilation! Motorola has fixed the backlight bleeding issues seen in last year’s Moto G in this version. The display has good sunlight legibility though I had to crank up the brightness to the highest setting for that. Indoors, even 50% brightness is adequate. The viewing angles are also pretty good for a handset of this range. Moto G3 supports adaptive brightness which is handy for busy users.

Familiar design with focus on usability

The design of Moto G3 is subtly different from that of its predecessor and it still looks classy and sleek. The edges are made of hardened plastic that has a metallic look and the back gets soft-touch replaceable cover, allowing nice grip. Motorola introduces, for the first time, it’s much touted Moto Maker service for personalizing the Moto G. It still falls short of the extensive Moto Maker treatment enjoyed by Moto X users. It is still nice to see the company is offering so much at this price! You will have plenty of fun choosing front color, cases and back cover and getting an accent piece for the rear camera. The nice thing is Moto G 3’s rubberized back is water repellent.

Waterproofing, the killer feature

With rivals like Asus, Xiaomi and Huawei breathing down the neck, Motorola could not sit content with modest hardware and design changes! It tucked in a killer feature in the Moto G3- that is water resistance! So far, this feature restricted to some mid to high end handsets like some of the Sony Xperia models but Motorola has done it. The Moto G3 complies with IPX7 certification. Well, you cannot really take it for a deep sea dive, but accidental fall in the bucket or using it in the rain is absolutely cakewalk! I did dip the phone in a bucket of water with back cover sealed properly and after taking out- it worked just fine.

Near stock Android: a bliss!

Unlike the rivals, Motorola has resisted from loading its own overlay atop stock Android since the unveiling of 1st generation Moto G. I have always felt the stock Android experience is way better than the overlays, and the Moto G3 proves the theory once again. It ships with Android 5.1 Lollipop. There are a few Motorola apps and services-but you cannot call them bloatware. I find the Motorola services quite handy. Most users prefer the Moto Assist service.

Finally, a better camera

Truth be told, Motorola was never famous for making handsets with great imaging capabilities! The 1st generation Moto G was fitted with an average 5 MP sensor which got bumped to 8 MP in the 2nd generation device. In Moto G3 you get a 13 MP rear sensor –in fact the same unit used in the Nexus 6. I liked the fact it locked in auto focus pretty fast and produced accurate colours, mostly. The HDR mode does produce good results, but you will require a steady hand. Inclusion of an OIS feature would be like icing on the cake, but at this price, you cannot expect that frankly.  The low light images were noisy, but using the dual tone flash does redeem output a bit. The 1080p videos I captured were also reasonably good.

http://i0.wp.com/thetechhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Moto-G-3rd-Gen-Specifications-and-Complete-Review.jpg

Image Credit : i0.wp.com

Impressive performance

When you hear of a handset sporting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU, you don’t think of performance much, do you! I had the same feeling as well. However, the CPU has a 64 bit architecture and 4 cores running at a clock speed of 1.4 GHz. This, coupled with the Adreno 306 GPU and 2 GB RAM ensured the phone aces through all test smoothly. While it cannot match rivals like Lenovo K3 Note in benchmarks, real world performance is entirely different! Granted, it is not the gaming champion, but it is no slouch either. I played Asphalt 8 with maxed out settings without major issues.

Whopping battery life

This is where most Android flagships falter, you know. Motorola has wisely packed in a 2,470mAh battery in the 3rd generation Moto G. The results are quite perceptible. Even with heavy usage, I found the phone lasting for a day with some juice still left! I browsed the web, played games, chatted in WhatsApp and made quite a few calls throughout the day. Even in standby mode, the Moto G3 left me impressed. Motorola has hit the rivals hard in battery life and it does matter.

http://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/moto-g-3rd-gen-review-3.jpg

Image Credit: www.droid-life.com

The few misses

You will think with the Moto G 3 Motorola has fixed the deficits in its predecessors. Well, you are mostly right but the Moto G 3 has a few deficits too! These include lack of stereo speakers, NFC and omission of Quick Charge 2.0 technology of Qualcomm. However, I don’t find these shortcomings as deal breakers.

Summing it up

Motorola, I think, has succeeded in bringing a worthy contender to the earlier version of Moto G. The good things are intact and the changes are mostly useful. While hardware changes may not be drastic, you cannot overlook enhancements like a better camera, water resistance and double the amount of RAM. The additions like Moto Maker come as icing on the cake. Moto G 3 offers the best bang for the bucks in its category – unless you prefer to go entirely by the benchmarks.

Ratings:

Build and design: 7.5/10

Display: 7/10

Software: 8/10

Performance: 7.5/10

Camera: 7/10

Overall: 7.5/10

 

 

 

Moto G3: Motorola’s Affordable Android Contender Gets A Dash Of Swagger!http://mystictreasuretrove.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Moto-G-3rd-Gen-Briefly-Appears-on-Flipkart1.jpeghttp://mystictreasuretrove.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Moto-G-3rd-Gen-Briefly-Appears-on-Flipkart1-150x150.jpeg Maanasi PhonesTech reviews
Winning the top position in a race is something, and retaining that position for long is a different thing altogether! That was on top of my mind when I got my hands on the latest incarnation of Motorola’s budget Android contender, aka the Moto G3! The company saved itself...
Winning the top position in a race is something, and retaining that position for long is a different thing altogether! That was on top of my mind when I got my hands on the latest incarnation of Motorola’s budget Android contender, aka the Moto G3! The company saved itself from the risk of extinction riding on runway successes of the Moto G and X, a couple of years back. The 2<sup>nd</sup> generation Moto G, aka the Moto G2 did not have many improvements, though it continued the successful run of its predecessor. I tested the Moto G 3 -the refresh in the lineup, to see if it carries forward the legacy or not. Moto G3 faces fierce competition from the Chinese rivals and other heavyweights, but it holds its grounds amazingly well. <strong>Moderate but effective hardware boost</strong> From the first generation Moto G, Motorola managed to balance the price to performance factor with finesse and the results were mostly satisfactory. In the third incarnation of Moto G, the company carries forward the trend of minor but useful enhancements. The hardware gets a boost that may sound small on paper, but the performance enhancement is commendable. I’m coming on that later. So, in the Moto G3 you get a 5-inch HD 720p display, with the familiar Corning Gorilla glass 3 cover. There are 2 RAM choices, 1 and 2GB. To get the best blend of price vs performance, go for the 2GB variant with eyes closed! I tested the 2GB version and it handled pretty much everything smoothly. <strong>Good, not great display</strong> If you have handled Android heavyweights like Google Nexus 6 or Motorola’s own Droid Turbo, the screen of Moto G3 will not seem extraordinary. It sports a modest pixel density of 294 ppi. That is not to say the display is bad-far from it. I streamed the trailer of Ant-Man, and the colours popped out and there was hardly any pixilation! Motorola has fixed the backlight bleeding issues seen in last year’s Moto G in this version. The display has good sunlight legibility though I had to crank up the brightness to the highest setting for that. Indoors, even 50% brightness is adequate. The viewing angles are also pretty good for a handset of this range. Moto G3 supports adaptive brightness which is handy for busy users. <strong>Familiar design with focus on usability</strong> The design of Moto G3 is subtly different from that of its predecessor and it still looks classy and sleek. The edges are made of hardened plastic that has a metallic look and the back gets soft-touch replaceable cover, allowing nice grip. Motorola introduces, for the first time, it’s much touted Moto Maker service for personalizing the Moto G. It still falls short of the extensive Moto Maker treatment enjoyed by Moto X users. It is still nice to see the company is offering so much at this price! You will have plenty of fun choosing front color, cases and back cover and getting an accent piece for the rear camera. The nice thing is Moto G 3’s rubberized back is water repellent. <strong>Waterproofing, the killer feature</strong> With rivals like Asus, Xiaomi and Huawei breathing down the neck, Motorola could not sit content with modest hardware and design changes! It tucked in a killer feature in the Moto G3- that is water resistance! So far, this feature restricted to some mid to high end handsets like some of the Sony Xperia models but Motorola has done it. The Moto G3 complies with IPX7 certification. Well, you cannot really take it for a deep sea dive, but accidental fall in the bucket or using it in the rain is absolutely cakewalk! I did dip the phone in a bucket of water with back cover sealed properly and after taking out- it worked just fine. <strong>Near stock Android: a bliss!</strong> Unlike the rivals, Motorola has resisted from loading its own overlay atop stock Android since the unveiling of 1st generation Moto G. I have always felt the stock Android experience is way better than the overlays, and the Moto G3 proves the theory once again. It ships with Android 5.1 Lollipop. There are a few Motorola apps and services-but you cannot call them bloatware. I find the Motorola services quite handy. Most users prefer the Moto Assist service. <strong>Finally, a better camera</strong> Truth be told, Motorola was never famous for making handsets with great imaging capabilities! The 1<sup>st</sup> generation Moto G was fitted with an average 5 MP sensor which got bumped to 8 MP in the 2<sup>nd</sup> generation device. In Moto G3 you get a 13 MP rear sensor –in fact the same unit used in the Nexus 6. I liked the fact it locked in auto focus pretty fast and produced accurate colours, mostly. The HDR mode does produce good results, but you will require a steady hand. Inclusion of an OIS feature would be like icing on the cake, but at this price, you cannot expect that frankly.  The low light images were noisy, but using the dual tone flash does redeem output a bit. The 1080p videos I captured were also reasonably good. <strong>Impressive performance</strong> When you hear of a handset sporting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU, you don’t think of performance much, do you! I had the same feeling as well. However, the CPU has a 64 bit architecture and 4 cores running at a clock speed of 1.4 GHz. This, coupled with the Adreno 306 GPU and 2 GB RAM ensured the phone aces through all test smoothly. While it cannot match rivals like Lenovo K3 Note in benchmarks, real world performance is entirely different! Granted, it is not the gaming champion, but it is no slouch either. I played Asphalt 8 with maxed out settings without major issues. <strong>Whopping battery life</strong> This is where most Android flagships falter, you know. Motorola has wisely packed in a 2,470mAh battery in the 3<sup>rd</sup> generation Moto G. The results are quite perceptible. Even with heavy usage, I found the phone lasting for a day with some juice still left! I browsed the web, played games, chatted in WhatsApp and made quite a few calls throughout the day. Even in standby mode, the Moto G3 left me impressed. Motorola has hit the rivals hard in battery life and it does matter. <strong>The few misses</strong> You will think with the Moto G 3 Motorola has fixed the deficits in its predecessors. Well, you are mostly right but the Moto G 3 has a few deficits too! These include lack of stereo speakers, NFC and omission of Quick Charge 2.0 technology of Qualcomm. However, I don’t find these shortcomings as deal breakers. <strong>Summing it up</strong> Motorola, I think, has succeeded in bringing a worthy contender to the earlier version of Moto G. The good things are intact and the changes are mostly useful. While hardware changes may not be drastic, you cannot overlook enhancements like a better camera, water resistance and double the amount of RAM. The additions like Moto Maker come as icing on the cake. Moto G 3 offers the best bang for the bucks in its category - unless you prefer to go entirely by the benchmarks. <u>Ratings:</u> Build and design: 7.5/10 Display: 7/10 Software: 8/10 Performance: 7.5/10 Camera: 7/10 Overall: 7.5/10      

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