Motorola announces Moto G, a sleek and capable smartphone for only $179 (unlocked, no contract)

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Motorola has announced the Moto G, an entry-level alternative to its flagship Moto X smartphone. The Moto X was already considered affordable compared to other high-end devices on the market, but the Moto G takes that idea even further. Motorola says the Moto G is designed to deliver a premium experience for a third of the price of current high-end smartphones. That’s $179. Unlocked and without a contract. I’d say that’s a pretty good start.

To hit its price point, the Moto G is sacrificing the ability to keep up with top-of-the-line, high-end smartphones when it comes to spec numbers and benchmark results. But that might not even matter at this point, because Moto G isn’t for people who want the best of the best but rather people who want the best bang for the buck. The Moto G has a 329 ppi 4.5-inch 720p  display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera and the choice between 8GB or 16GB of storage. It will come with Android 4.3, but a guaranteed update to 4.4 KitKat will be coming early next year. Motorola also promises smooth performance, partly due to the lack of skins to “clutter and slow the experience.”

Like the Moto X, the Moto G will come with a number of customization options and colorful colors. It’s available this week in parts of Europe and Brazil, the next few weeks in Latin America, Europe, Canada and parts of Asia, and early January for the US, India, the Middle East and more Asian regions. In the US, it will cost $179 for the 8GB version and $199 for the 16GB version when ordered through Motorola.com. Both models will have no contract, no SIM lock and an unlockable bootloader and support 3G. The phone will also be available via carriers and retailers.

Moto G does not have a microSD expandable slot or 4G and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor isn’t as fast as its high-end siblings. However, the trade-off is the Moto G gets roughly 24-hours of battery life and its display bests the iPhone 5S in ppi (Moto G 329 ppi vs iPhone 5s 326 ppi). Plus, the processor may not be as fast as others — and 1GB of RAM is less than than the 2GB high-end Android smartphones have — but Moto G is said to work just fine (with little to no lag) for everyday use.

[via Motorola]

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