Motorola Moto G 2014 (second generation) full review

As expected, Motorola recently launched a 2014 edition of the Moto G smartphone but what's the difference compared to the original Moto G? Find out in our Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014) comparison review. Also see: Best budget smartphone 2014: Motorola Moto G vs Motorola Moto E comparison review

First things first, the new 2014 Moto G isn't actually called the Moto G2. It's still just called the Moto G but that's confusing so to make it easier, we're going to call it the G2 in this article. It's also worth noting that Motorola updated the original model with 4G and a microSD card slot (nothing else is different). We'll be referring to this as the Moto G 4G.

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): Price

The Moto G2 comes in at £145 for the 8 GB model which is only a little more than the Moto G 4G which you can pick up for £130. Meanwhile, the original Moto G can be yours for around £100 on a PAYG basis.

The pricing makes total sense but read on to see what you get for you money between the Moto G models.  

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): Design

There's little to say about design as the Moto G2 keeps the same look, feel and build quality of the original Moto G. It's just a bit bigger in overall size because of a larger screen. The 2014 model is actually a little thinner at 11 mm and only a few grams heavier at 149 g.

It still has a pebble-like shape and removable rear cover. Users can buy Moto Shells and Flip Covers in various colours. See also: The 34 best Android smartphones.

Moto G vs Moto G2

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): Screen and speakers

One of the most noticeable changes between the Moto G (and 4G model) and the Moto G2 is the lager screen. Motorola has decided to go from 4.5in to 5in but has kept the same resolution of 720p. This does mean, of course, a pixel density drop from 326- to 294ppi but it's not a massively noticeable difference.

The display is still IPS so offers good viewing angles and has vivid colours like before. Brightness is once again the issue with the Moto G2, not being the best around.

The larger size of the Moto G2 means that it has front facing stereo speaker so audio performance is greatly enhanced compared to the original.

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): Processor, memory and storage

There's a larger screen, but Motorola has kept many core specifications of the Moto G2 identical to its predecessor. It still uses a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor with 1 GB of RAM.

On the storage front, there's still a choice of 8- or 16 GB model and like the Moto G 4G, the Moto G2 has a microSD card which can take up to 32 GB. Remember that the original does not have expandable storage.

Moto G 4G

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): 4G, dual-SIMs

It's a little surprising that the Moto G2 doesn't come with 4G support. As we mentioned earlier, the original moto G was updated with both 4G LTE and a microSD card slot so it's the Moto G 4G you'll need to opt for if you require this feature.

A big difference for the Moto G2 is that it supports dual-SIM cards, which is admittedly a niche feature in the UK but some may find it handy.

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): Cameras

The mediocre 5 Mp found on the Moto G has been upgrade to an 8 Mp sensor on the Moto G with a bigger improvement in photos than videos since the new model is still restricted to 720p quality – strange considering 8 Mp is plenty to reach 1080p. Check out a thorough comparison in our Moto G2 review. At the front things are also better with a 2 Mp camera instead of 1.3 Mp.

Motorola Moto G2 camera

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): Software

Of course, things are essentially identical on the software front with Android 4.4 KitKat on both phones with a stock user interface. Motorola does add its own apps such as Migrate, Alert and Assist and the 2014 model being dual-SIM means there is additional functionality so you can decide when to use each SIM card.

Moto G vs Moto G2 (2014): Battery life    

With almost the same specs across both phones and the same battery inside, it's not surprising that we've found battery life to be the same on the Moto G and Moto G2. Most users will get a couple of days from either smartphone unless there is a heavy amount of usage.


Motorola Moto G 2014 (second generation): Specs

  • Android 4.4 KitKat OS
  • 5in display (720x1280), 294ppi
  • 1.2GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU
  • Adreno 305 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8/16GB internal storage
  • 8Mp rear camera with LED Flash
  • 2Mp front camera
  • Video recording at up to 720p
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • A-GPS
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
  • non-removable battery
  • 71x142x11mm
  • 149g