Moto G review (2014): still the best budget smartphone
Motorola's wallet-friendly formula hasn't changed much since last year's Moto G, but that's OK -- the company changed just enough to make the 2014 version one of the best budget smartphones out there.
- Camera is much better than the original's
- Near-stock Android 4.4.4 is a treat
- Feels snappy despite aging internals
- No LTE
- Screen isn't as crisp as last year's model
Last year's Moto G took us all by surprise. Sure, we knew Motorola wanted to reinvent the cheap smartphone experience, but the very first device in the company's cost crusade was even better than we expected. Let's be honest, though: The G's greatest asset was its small, small price tag. For $180 off-contract, it became awfully easy to forgive the thing for not being the quickest, the prettiest or the smartest. Still, it was one of those gadgets that wound up being more than just "good enough"; between the price and performance, the Moto G was one of the best cheap smartphones you could own, period.
Here we are less than a year later, and we've got a sequel to play with (one with the same name, no less). If you took a quick peek at what it brings to the table, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Motorola wanted to play it safe the second time around -- the new Moto G isn't a game changer, and it doesn't have to be. Does this year's model clear the "good enough" bar once again? And just how far will $180 take you this year?