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back to article Best budget Android smartphone there is? Must be the Moto G

Regular readers of my phone reviews for El Reg will be well aware that I like cheap devices. On these very pages I have sung the praises of handsets such as Huawei’s Ascend G310 and ZTE’s Skate – aka the Orange Monte Carlo – after being impressed by the quality they offered for the money demanded. Motorola Moto G Moto G: …

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Why?

Why is the battery built in when the rear cover is removable?

Also the 8GB version should be ignored, for almost anyone that is going to be too little storage.

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Re: Why?

Why is 8GB not enough unless you want to load several boated games or thousands of tunes at the same time.

I have all my music in the cloud along with films and pictures ready to use when I want either from wifi or my three all you can eat data.

8GB is enough for most....

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Re: Why?

I'm currently looking for new phone for my non-music-playing non-gaming mother who takes pictures with her SLR rather than her phone and only wants a smartphone for the GPS and the maps. The 8GB version will do her just nicely.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

8GB is fine for most people.

Not everyone wants to try and store their entire digital life on their phone.

Embrace the cloud Luke....

Use something like Google Music, and you can have everything you have ever owned, hosted in the cloud, for free, all available for streaming whenever. For those foreign trips where 3G might now be around, you can "pin" a subset of music, typically playlists to be stored on the phone.

The same works for pictures in the Android gallery.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

The 8GB model will be 8GB - OS.

So you can expect a few GB at most. 3GB or so. A decent sized game will eat half of that up, then there's music and the odd video or two.

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Re: Why?

@Big_Ted - "Why is 8GB not enough unless you want to load several boated games or thousands of tunes at the same time."

Why the hell do you care? It's not enough for the guy, and unless you get a choice with a replaceable batter and an sd-card slot, it's just another freaking Android landfill phone.

I love Android. Can't stand the completely unnecessary pollution.

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Re: Why?

@AC 17:27 - from the article:

you are stuck with either 8GB or 16GB – around 5.5GB and 13.5GB, respectively, after the system has had its share.

Not 3...

@Andy Prough - if fuzz had actually said the 8Gb version was not enough for them then fair enough. Given that the actual comment was:

Also the 8GB version should be ignored, for almost anyone that is going to be too little storage

(emphasis mine) then I'd say the responses have been entirely appropriate.

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Re: Why?

> So you can expect a few GB at most. 3GB or so.

If you had read the article instead of leaping into unfounded speculation, you would had learnt:

"""8GB or 16GB – around 5.5GB and 13.5GB, respectively, after the system has had its share."""

Also:

"""Thankfully, the Moto G supports USB On-The-Go hosting out of the box."""

Just carry a 32Gb USB stick or seven, or a several terabyte USB 3.5inch disk.

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Re: Why?

that really is a shit trick. so this is better than my phone in every way except it doesn't have a micro SD card slot. so instead of paying fuck all for as many 32gb cards as I want, I have to pay an extra £50 for a one off "upgrade" to a piddly 16gb not enough to store half a days worth of music in flac.

goes to show they couldn't afford to make it a budget phone with feature parity to their other phones. after all what kind of loser would spend a months pay cheque on a high end phone when the low end phone is demonstrably the same thing but without an sd card slot?

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Anonymous Coward

Does it

Come with built obsolescence and malware loopholes?

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Re: Why?

@ Andy Prough

Boy whats eating you ?

Do you feel insulted or something or are you just a troll with nothing better o do, get over yourself and let people post for themselves. Oh and I can have an opinion myself without prattish posts like yours you know, so please feel free to head back under your bridge....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

Not everyone can afford the luxury of an unlimited connection for cloud storage. Also, not everyone in the world is fortunate to be always in a mobile signal area, much less a 'WiFi point'. For those, they may quite want a smartphone for watching their film collection or listening to their music collection, especially if it is their only owned computing device. Many in the third world, do not have a internet connected PC at home, relying on internet cafes for email & downloads, so a cheap smartphone aimed at Third World countries (which I read elsewhere the likes of Moto G is aimed at) with sufficient storage to hold their total collection of personal data, films, pics, music, is WHAT THEY WANT. Had Google not imposed the 'no expandable memory' rule on Moto, 8GB would have been acceptable, but as it is, I think many on PAYG, will end up burdened with unintended download charges from their carrier, which was probably part of the design.

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Re: Why?

>not enough to store half a days worth of music in flac.

If your FLACs come from losslessly compressed CDs, you're looking at around 350 MB per 74 minutes... if you're FLACs are from vinyl rips, Blu-Ray HD audio tracks or High Quality downlaods, you really should be looking at the LG G2 to get the most out of them, since it can decode 24bit 192Khz FLAC files natively.

Personally, most environments aren't conducive to listening to all the details in the music. If CD quality is enough for you, then I find a Sansa Clip (which takes microSD cards) adds little to the bulk of good headphones, and is a convenient size to wind earbuds around.

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Re: Why?

@Truth4u it's only a £25 differential, not £50, and with the 16Gb version being so cheap you could consider it a saving of £25 for people like my mum, who don't need the extra space.

You can get a USB OTG cable for a few quid and a micro SD-to-USB adaptor for not much more. So if you want to carry a load of songs or videos you can do it.

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Re: Why?

I had a Sansa Clip (well actually I bought it for my sister) it broke within 6 months. I thought it was a great little unit until that happened.

I've ordered the Moto G. It has some downsides over my current handset in that it's bigger with less storage but hopefully I'll get the benefit of a better screen and CPU, possibly better battery life. I can't pay even £25 for an extra 8GB of flash I just won't let myself overpay for flash storage by such an insane degree. When was an 8GB USB stick £25? Maybe in 2002.

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Re: Why?

The clip (that I never used) broke off mine after a few months, but I'm still happily using the device 4 years later...

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Re: Why?

I don't remember what happened to it but it wasn't playing songs. Maybe she broke it either way I'm not buying another unless it's clearly a new design.

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Re: Why?

1.5 GB for a mobile game???

why're these games so BIG? just how involved are these mobile games that players go through 1.5 GB worth of content on their dinky little screens??

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Re: Why?

Cloud? Then you'll be constantly eating data usage charges for swapping out various media files for others unless you stick to using wi-fi for that. I like to have 32 Gig of micro-SD card storage attached along with having teh luxury of on-the-go USB...

My next phone will be a Galaxy S4 in April (or S5 if that's out) unless the S3 mini in SIM-free form has a massive price reduction in the next few months

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Linux

Re: Why?

@Truth4u

You can thank Microsoft for this. Seriously.

The Nexus devices do not come with SD card slots NOT because Google wants everyone to use their cloud, although that's obviously somewhere in the mix, it's because they would have to include the dreaded FAT32 filesystem onboard and hence cough up to the losers who leech. If you notice, whenever you connect a Nexus device to a PC or whatever, its external software which does the file decoding - hence no extortion tax on that front, at least.

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Re: Why?

The 8GB version is Amazon's (UK) best selling smartphone. The 16GB version is number 3, behind SIII Mini.

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Re: Does it

> Come with built obsolescence

Yes, it does: the battery isn't replaceable.

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Re: Does it

It's not that it's not replaceable, it's that it's not replaceable outside of a Motorola approved service facility without voiding the warranty.

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Re: Why?

Replaceable battery is not a straightforward way to a week's worth of going outdoor with a dozen of pre-charged spare batteries in a backpack.

I used to think so and bought one extra battery (for my Milestone 2). What I got is (a) nonsensical charge percentage reporting, with numbers tending to drop, say, 40 to 20 in an instant, and importantly, (b) inability to attain a full charge, as I strongly suspect.

An external, separate powerful charger is probably the way to go.

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Cheapest I have found.....

The 8GB in and out of stock on Tesco Direct, just £99 for the 8GB version, costs just £2.04 to get unlock code from ebay......

I must say I agree with the article in all ways and would say this is a great phone for the money, especially as I had a code for £15 from Tesco so the price dropped to £84 ........

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Pint

Re: Cheapest I have found.....

Same here. I've lost count now of the number of people I know buying this for Christmas. The rest are Nexus 5's.

Starting to have trouble remembering what other phones there are apart from Android these days. Surely after the Christmas sales figures are out we'll just see the dregs scrapping around for what Google would consider the floor noise of their market share.

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Tesco £99

Picked up 2 8GB variants from Tesco for my boys for xmas (they wouldnt sell me the 16GB version on PAYG) and spent £4.08 unlocking them online.

For the price they offer exceptional value for money, couldnt find anything else in the price band to come remotely close.

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Re: Tesco £99

Where do the ROM updates come from? I think you have to flash a stock ROM to get updates from Motorola, whereas the Tesco one might re-lock the phone when it updates.

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Re: Tesco £99

The unlock is by imei code, so even if a firmware update were to re-lock it (which I have never had happen before) the same code will unlock it as the imei will not change.

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Re: Tesco £99

I got a 16GB from my local Tesco on the 5th for £129.00. It was showing as out of stock on the website, but I was in the vicinity of our local store, so gave it a shot. (Amazon wanted £160 for an out of stock 16GB)

The guy behind the counter insisted it would ONLY work on Tesco's network, but as stated above, I can confirm that 2 minutes and £2.04 spent on Fleabay gets it unlocked. Less than half an hour for the code by email. (Thanks again Simon :o) )

Lovely screen, battery life seems good, very nippy, and sounds OK plugged into my hi-fi and my car stereo. No bloatware! It's rootable, and other firmware is already available. I will be holding off, waiting to see what Cyanogen come up with. I might even wait 'til January for the KitKat upgrade...

Very happy with it so far.

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Got mine last week

Have to say I'm impressed, its certainly more of a functional phone than a pretty phone with the default black back - but that's what I want. It feels solid and its perfectly fast enough for anything I need. My old Galaxy S had some flex, and the odd squeak from the case - this doesn't, its hard to quantify but physically it feels reassuringly solid.

The battery might not be "removable" but I've read a couple of teardown reports and its certainly replaceable - the inner cover comes off with a few screws and there is only light glue holding it in place. I don't need to swap batteries during the day, but I do object to throwing away a device if the only fault is that the battery isn't holding charge.

Yes an SD slot would be nice, but with the 16GB model I cant honestly say I feel stuck for space (although I personally would find the 8GB model hard to live with)

The Motorola migrate app also worked pretty well, so for an average user the migration should be pretty painless.

Having used CM 9/10.1 for the last year stock android is what I'm used to - and frankly seems a lot nicer than the bloat overlays that other manufacturers put in. The oddest sensation I've got therefore is that it looks almost the same as my old phone, just fractionally bigger, a little heavier and a lot faster.

All in all it seems a really good handset.

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Best Value Phone

Bar None.

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I'm impressed

I haven't used Motorolla since I had a brick with a pull out areial and keypad flap back in the late 1990s. This may tempt me back.

This is serious tech for them money, which means either the others are selling at crazy inflated prices or the margins ont he moto are razor (RAZR?) thin/ it's a loss leader.

Either way, that's another for the list of potentials for replacements for my rapidly approcahing upgrade.

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>Thankfully, the Moto G supports USB On-The-Go hosting out of the box.

Thanks for mentioning that, since the Nexus 4 didn't support it. I'm assuming that the USB OTG cable isn't included? Or is it?

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Nope, you'll need to find your own microUSB - USB cable.

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Anonymous Coward

Who needs a cable?

This is nicer, though I haven't tested it with this phone:

http://www.meenova.com/

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Charger

Perhaps worth mentioning that it doesn't come with any charger, just a USB cable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Charger

Perhaps worth mentioning that it doesn't come with any charger, just a USB cable.

That's the idea behind the EU standardisation on microUSB for charging. You don't need to supply a charger with every phone since people will almost certainly already have one or if not can always by one seperately. Not needing to package a charger is also meant to reduce the size and weight of packaging which is meant to gain green brownie points for reduced transportation costs + saving resources/energy by not making another half dozen chargers for people who already have more than enough of them!

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Re: Charger

Good: I have too many old chargers from all sorts of things. The lack of a charger will save the environment and a few pounds. This is exactly why the EU mandated that all 'phones have the same USB connection.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Charger

"This is exactly why the EU mandated that all 'phones have the same USB connection."

It certainly is. And one day, the EU or the market (or maybe even the vendors) will pick up on the fact that Power over Ethernet can work the same miracle on powering routers switches etc as microUSB has for powering phones tablets etc.

But until then, let's have a different and incompatible wallwart for every little LANthing you buy, and in the UK, a 13A socket for each of them.

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Re: Charger

Power over Ethernet can work the same miracle on powering routers switches

Only in a very limited way. It is VERY UNWISE to have serious power dripping along your Ethernet cable. Not to mention inefficient (i.e. you are heating the cable). And you need a bigger power supply in the rack. And are limited as to the cabling length. And no plugging of random swicthes.

Meanwhile

Regulation making sense

Hell yeah for once.

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Holmes

Re: Charger

Standardisation is a good idea but aside from the petty inconvenience of it taking forever to charge e.g. a Galaxy S4 with a charger or computer that outputs 0.5A, there's one nagging doubt in the back of my mind... given a certain battery capacity is there an optimum current to charge it with? If I use a non-optimum current would the battery's overall life be reduced? Are we filling landfill with batteries (and mobiles, given how most people throw them away when the battery goes) that should have lasted longer?

In case it's not obvious, I am a software guy.

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Re: Charger

The battery charging wizardry is supposed to negotiate with the charger to decide on what is the best current to charge at. In general though ALL modern smartphones charge better and happier at a minimum of 1A you will find that most Smartphones while happy enough to charge at 0.5A can't actually charge and be used at the same time because the battery is being drained quicker than it can be charged when the screen is on. The nice thing about the negotiation wizardry is that I can provide my phone with access to more than it requires but it will only ever draw as much current as it requires. For instance I can quite happily plug my phone in to a 2A charger but it will generally sit drawing between 1.2 and 1.5A

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Re: Charger

Good. I'm swamped with the bloody things.

GJC

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Charger

"It is VERY UNWISE to have serious power dripping along your Ethernet cable. "

Absolutely. But 10W on a 4foot cable for a small SoHo switch/router or similar currently wall-wart powered device is too much for legacy USB and yet is hardly "serious power". C'mon.

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Facepalm

Re: Charger

I saw a German guy doing an unboxing on Youtube. The carrier had already unboxed it, put a charger in there and tried to reseal it!

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Happy

Re: Charger

"negotiating with the charger" in this case is a fancy way of saying it employs Ohm's law.

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Re: Charger

No charger in the box? What I am going to power my next Raspberry Pi with now!

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just read this and bought one

for Mother, for Xmas. Frickin bargain!!

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Nice

If I didn't like my phone so much (and I couldn't do without Here Maps and their downloadable maps) I'd definitely give this a whirl, sounds great for the price. My favourite dumb phone was the tiny Motorola Pebble, so only have good memories of the company - missed out on the "bad" phones ;-)

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