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Motorola Moto G: An unlocked budget Android deal: First Look

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First Look: Motorola Moto G: An unlocked budget Android deal

3:04 /

For a rock bottom price, the unlocked Motorola Moto G serves up Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, a big 4.5-inch screen, and the promise of a future upgrade to Android KiKat.

Hi. This is Brian Bennett for CNET. And right now, we're taking a first look at the new Motorola Moto G for a ridiculously low price of $179. The unlocked Moto G puts all the power of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean right in your palm, but how good of a deal does the Moto G add up to? Let's take a closer look. The first thing you'll notice about the Moto G is its compact size. In fact, it shares an almost identical footprint to Motorola's current flagship, the Moto X. That makes the Moto G small enough to operate in one hand. It's quite a feat considering the phone's large 4.5-inch screen and despite its low price, the Moto G feels well-built. And like the Moto X, features a curve back that's comfortable to hold. Above the display is a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and notification light. On the bottom edge is a micro USB port to both charge the device and connect it to PCs. While the left edge is bare, the right side holds tiny keys for power and volume. Up top is the G's 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. Around back, you'll find the phone's 5-megapixel camera and LED flash. Along with a speaker that gets mighty loud. I also really like the circular dimple under the flash, which is positioned right where your index finger match real falls. The real lore of the Moto G is its Android 4.3 Jelly Bean software, which while not Google's latest iteration, Android 4.4 KitKat natively supports all of Android's modern bells and whistles. This includes Gmail, Google Plus, not to mention the vast library of apps, movies, books and music in the Google Playstore. You also get Google Now which tries to provide timely personal alerts for say how your commute home will take, reminders and directions to your next meeting and so on. The Moto G certainly has plenty of shortcomings though. First, the phone uses a 1.2 gigahertz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, which while not terrible slow is by no means blazingly fast. Also, the Moto G comes standard with 8 gigabytes of internal storage space and there's no expansion slot to add extra. You can buy a 16-gigabyte version of the G which cost $199. I'm not a fan of the stock backplate either, which unlike the Moto X smudges with finger prints easily. I suggest bringing four Motorola's add-on back shelves, which come in a variety of colors plus resist finger grease better. The 5-megapixel camera isn't particularly fast either and has a low resolution sensor compared to the 8 and 13-megapixel imaging systems, now standard on high-end smartphones. Additionally, the Moto G is 3G only and isn't capable of connecting to 4G LTE networks for fast wireless data. I'm Brian Bennett and you've just taken a first look at the Motorola Moto G. For more, be sure to check out our full review at CNET.com.

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