Motorola’s Moto G is a smartphone designed to redefine the low-to-mid range smartphone space. It has a 4.5 inch, 720p display, a quad-core processor, and now you can buy one in the United States for just $179.
That’s not the price when you sign up for a 2-year contract with a wireless carrier. That’s the total price. You could use the phone like a WiFi-only tablet if you wanted to, and never pay another penny.
Motorola had planned to launch the phone in the US by January, but the company is offering an unlocked, GSM model in the States ahead of schedule. There are US models designed to work with networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile, or you can buy a global GSM model which is optimized for UMTS and HSPA+ networks outside the US.
The Moto G has a 1280 x 720 pixel display, a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, and the entry-level model has 8GB of storage. Or you can pay $199 for a 16GB model. It’s probably worth paying the extra $20 for the extra storage space. Customers also get 50GB of cloud storage from Google Drive for free for 2 years.
It ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but Motorola plans to offer an Android 4.4 KitKat software update soon.
The phone has a 5MP rear camera and 1.3Mp front camera, a 2070mAh battery, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS, and support for shooting 720p video from the front or rear camera.
While there are certainly better phones on the market, most cost 2-3 times as much if you buy them without a wireless contract.
At this point the only way to get a Moto G in the US is to get a contract-free phone and bring it to your own carrier. If you use an MVNO such as Straight Talk or Solavei you could end up saving a lot of money on your monthly bill this way — and even T-Mobile offers cheaper plans for customers who bring their own phones. But if you’d prefer to spend less than $179 up front for your phone, it’s likely that wireless carriers will start offering their own Moto G deals soon.