Motorola returned to the handset business, late last year after a brief hiatus -- and the Moto G was the low key message that announced its Second Coming: a phone that put all the razzmatazz of its earlier Razr days behind it and settled for what we in India would call paisa vasool or value for money. The MotoG is a good phone with those with upwardly mobile aspirations who want to graduate from a feature phone to a big brand smart phone without having to pay a stiff upgrade price.
It is generally recognized in India that Rs 10,000 is a sort of lakshman rekha beyond which many millions of phone users cannot afford to look no matter how attractive the product. Currently available at many online stores At Rs 12,499 for the 8G version, the MotoG is just shy of this number but I'm guessing, prices will fall some more, now that the pricier Moto X has hit the shops.
The MotoG is well powered for its class of smartphone -- the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz quad core chip allows a level of multi processing that is usually demanded by more productivity-oriented smartphones. The Dual SIM and dual camera may not cause too many gasps these days -- but the 5 megapixel rear camera comes with Flash -- a rarity in many pricier makes( there is a 1.3 MP front camera).
The 720 p HD display is crisp and using my 5 MBPS Wifi network I got smooth video at best YouTube qualities.
The in-built storage is either 8 GB or 16 GB and the RAM is 1 GB but the absence of a micro SD slot for expansion is rather strange. One can run out of storage pretty fast with today's heavy video files.
As smart phones today go, the MotoG is surprisingly small and light and the Android 4.3 OS opens the door to a host of additional apps.
Indian phones are giving global brands a good run for their money with aggressively priced smartphones. But I think Motorola will find enthusiasm even in this end of the market with its global reputation for quality. MotoG won't let them down.
Anand Parthasarathy/ May 2 2014