Moto G second generation test

Last year, Motorola surprised a lot of people by offering the Moto G, a smartphone located between the entry and the mid-range and which nevertheless offered very satisfactory performance as we had seen in our test of its variation. 4G.

But while its successor has arrived, what is this new Moto G worth? Does the second generation live up to the first? The answer is undoubtedly positive, especially since progress has been made with the terminal camera, and this is real good news.

Moto G Second Generation Test

The Moto G box


You know the routine, before tackling the feeling, it's time to get everyone to agree with a quick tour of the technical specifications offered by the new generation Moto G which offers:

  • a 5.0-inch screen with 720p HD display (ie a resolution of 1280 × 720 pixels);
  • a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, i.e. a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz supported by an Adreno 305 GPU;
  • 1 GiB of RAM;
  • 8 GB of internal memory;
  • a microSD card slot for up to an additional 32 GB;
  • an 8-megapixel main camera;
  • a 2 megapixel front camera;
  • two SIM card ports;
  • dimensions of 141.5 × 70.7 × 11.0 mm;
  • a weight of 149 g;
  • a 2,070 mAh battery;
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Available in black and white and customizable with Moto Shells, this second generation of the Moto G is therefore larger and offers more functions than the first, for a price that remains of the same order of magnitude since it is 189 €. Note that the processor has remained unchanged, which can be a bit scary as to the performance of the beast, but you will see that it is not.

Moto G Second Generation Test 1

The complete contents of the Moto G box

On the box side, in addition to containing the Moto G, it offers the usual instructions in addition to the headphones that go well, and the adapter to recharge it. Motorola has taken the decision not to offer a sync cable with a computer, and if you don't have your own, you won't be able to plug your Moto G in anywhere other than a wall outlet, which is a bit of a shame.

Design and ergonomics

Before knowing if a smartphone is used well, knowing if it can be handled correctly is just as important. Maybe even more. In this game, Motorola persists in remaining among the best candidates with a Moto G that fits perfectly in one hand and above all that does not slip.

Moto G Second Generation Test 2

The Moto G holds well in hand

The back of the terminal is the same as that fitted to its ancestor and thus offers a soft-touch surface with a comfortable grip that is not difficult to find. Well, it attracts dust, but it's a detail that we can ignore.

Moto G Second Generation Test 3

The back of the Moto G is still so soft

At the level of this back, we stay in what we know, with the Motorola logo under the main camera and its LED flash. The sides of the device are not used much and it is on the right edge that we will find the power and volume buttons. The jack port and the micro USB port are respectively located on the upper and lower edges of the mobile.

Moto G Second Generation Test 4

The Moto G

Moto G Second Generation Test 5

The Moto G, from another angle

In short, we have nothing but an enlarged first generation Moto G. Good news for those who liked the look of that same first generation, but bad news for those who expected a little change. This is perhaps also a weakness of Motorola which remains in its comfort zone by not trying new designs.

User experience

The Moto G is very responsive and doesn't suffer from any slowdowns, which is quite a good thing. And this is not done at the expense of the quality of the display since the image is very good. Of course, with a pixel density like his one should not hope to be immersed either if you try out virtual reality headsets, but at the same time no smartphone can boast of it at the moment. Honor is therefore safe.

Moto G Second Generation Test 6

The screen of the Moto G has a beautiful rendering

As with its predecessor, you can have fun launching any game on the second generation Moto G, the latter will not flinch in the slightest. But at that point, it's a whole different question: autonomy.

Because being able to do anything with your smartphone is good, but it still has to last more than five minutes. Here again, Motorola surprises us in a positive way: if its 2,070 mAh battery does not impress at first glance, the new Moto G does not fall asleep so easily.

You don't hit battery life records, of course, but you can be sure to keep it on all day long without paying too much attention. I was able to reach the 48 hours of battery life without too much trouble and without restricting myself too much, so keeping it for two days is playable if you do it right.


The camera is a delicate subject for Motorola since it was the main weak point of the Moto E and the first generation of the Moto G. With poorly performing sensors, we had pictures that were still good but nothing more.

The new generation of the Moto G comes with an 8-megapixel main sensor where we found only 5 before. And the difference is very much felt.

Indeed, the photos and videos taken with the new Moto G are much better than those that could be obtained with its predecessor. Looking very closely, it is of course not yet perfect, but still, for the Moto G category we were entitled to expect less.

You can find a few pictures taken with the new Moto G below, so you can get your own idea. The figure was taken with HDR mode, which makes life in dark environment a lot easier as you can see.

The Motorola ecosystem is growing

We had already spoken about it during our test of the first generation of the Moto G and especially during that of the Moto E : the Android overlay of Motorola is very weak and we thus have before us an operating system close to the one that the found on Nexus. Some will like it, some not, but the speed of the updates will surely make everyone agree.

Regardless, if that's the Google Now launcher you have by default on the new Moto G, there's not much new to report from the last time around.

We will therefore find Motorola Alert to warn your loved ones in the event of a problem, Motorola Assist to automate certain tasks on your mobile such as silencing, etc., or even Motorola Migrate to facilitate the transfer of data between our old and our new smartphone.

Moto G Second Generation Test 7

Motorola Assist, the personal assistant of the Moto G

But one addition should be noted all the same: Motorola Connect, an application that will allow you to link various connected objects to your smartphone, including the Moto 360 of course, which you can also find the test on Machineo .

Motorola Connect absolutely does not present itself as a replacement for the Android Wear companion app, but rather comes as a complement by allowing some small customizations like that of the dials, which will be the subject of an article on Machineo again.

Moto G Second Generation Test 8

Motorola Connect to play with the Motorola ecosystem

There is also another advantage to Motorola Connect: identifying trusted connected objects, those that can be linked to your smartphone and that can be identified as belonging to you. The interest? Unlock the Moto G automatically when any of these objects are nearby.

Thus, if you have connected your Moto 360 to your Moto G via Motorola Connect, wearing your watch on your wrist, you will no longer have to enter your code, pattern or anything else to unlock your smartphone: you press the power button and you have your hand on the home screen directly, without going through the unlock screen. Of course, you can deactivate this function at your leisure.


If you are looking for a smartphone that offers good performance without breaking the bank, the Moto G should be your thing. Rather pleasant to look at, it remains thick and it won't appeal to everyone. However, there is nothing to complain about when it comes to the performance of the beast which does as asked without flinching.

Nowadays, when you look for a smartphone, you also look at your camera: even if it means not to jump on a professional quality, you might as well group everything together. In other words, it was at this stage that the first Moto G could fail. With increased performance in terms of the sensor, this second Moto G replaces the ball in the center: of course we do not achieve the quality that Sony offers us with his Z3 for example, but the pictures are still very good.

In short, if we look at the quality / price ratio, Motorola once again signs a good performance with this new Moto G which deserves attention when we look for a new smartphone.

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