Contract Free: Moto G And Republic Wireless Review

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Introduction & Specifications

When we last checked in with Republic Wireless, we found that the service itself was as advertised (inexpensive and very good), but the asterisk was the handset--the Motorola Defy XT, a decidedly midrange smartphone that was the only handset you could use with the service. Worse, the price tag was a mite steep at $249.

Subsequently, however, Republic Wireless added two handsets to the lineup that changed the game with the Motorola Moto X and Moto G. Although neither are considered particularly high-end smartphones, we found the Moto X to be a well-made device with substantial performance capabilities, and when it landed at Republic Wireless for $299, the MVNO started looking more legitimate.

Still, $299 is a lot of scratch to drop up front, so Republic Wireless brought the significantly less expensive Moto G to the family, too. The Moto G costs you just $149; that’s $100 less than the Defy XT, and it’s a price point that can entice even the cheapest of skates to give the service a go.

The question we’re asking today is whether or not the Moto G’s performance can equal or exceed its value, particularly within Republic Wireless’ service, because a bargain is only a bargain if you’re getting something good out of it.

Motorola Moto G
Specifications & Features


Camera features:

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4.5 inches (1280x720)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (1.2GHz, quad-core)
Android 4.4 KitKat
5MP rear, 1.3MP front
720p HD @ 30fps
LED flash
4X digital zoom
Slow motion video
Burst mode
Auto HDR
Tap to Focus
Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings,
   Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand,
   Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
Micro USB
3.5 mm headset jack
Internal: 8GB
129.9 x 65.9 x 6-11.6mm (HxWxD)
2070 mAh
$149 (as configured), Find It At Amazon

The Moto G runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat and is just slightly smaller (4.5 inches) than its big brother the Moto X (4.7 inches), but it actually weighs a bit more as well. The Corning Gorilla Glass display offers a 1280x720 resolution, and there’s a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (1.2GHz) processor inside.

Our unit has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, although other Moto G models have up to 16GB. There’s no microSD slot for more storage if you run low, although you do get 50GB of free Google Drive storage for two years. (The 4G LTE version of the device does offer a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB.)

There’s a front 1.3MP camera for selfies and video chatting, and the 5MP rear camera offers LED flash, 4x digital zoom, slow-motion video, burst mode, HDR, panorama, and tap to focus. Both cameras can handle 720p HD video capture and playback at 30 fps.

Ports include only the 3.5mm headphone jack and the requisite micro USB port, and there’s 802.11b/g/n WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS and GLONASS.

One selling point of the Moto G is its all-day 2070 mAh battery, which Motorola promises can last for 24 hours under mixed usage.

Our Moto G came with a simple black shell, but you can order a more colorful one if you like, including yellow, red, fuchsia, and a couple of different shades of blue.

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