Motorola reveals Moto G starting at an unbeatable $179

Credit: Motorola

We're big fans of the Moto X. It's our favorite Android smartphone (even more so than the HTC One and Nexus 5). Almost immediately after the launch of the Moto X, rumors for a smaller, cheaper version started popping up. Say hello to the Moto G, the Moto X's new baby brother.

First things first: The Moto G will cost $179 for an 8GB unlocked model (a 16GB model will also be available for $199). That's $170 cheaper than Google's new Nexus 5 priced at $349, and an incredible price for users looking to step up from a dumbphone. It will probably sell boatloads in emerging markets, too.

Pricing aside, Motorola did have to pare down some of the features in the Moto X to get it into the cheaper Moto G. The Moto G has a 4.5-inch (1280 x 270 resolution), Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB/16GB of internal storage, 5-megapixel rear camera/1.3-megapixel front camera and a non-replaceable 2070mAh battery. Noticeably missing is 4G LTE, which means the Moto G will only be able to pull data down at HSPA+ speeds; same as last year's Google Nexus 4.

Other features that didn't make the cut from the Moto X to the Moto G are the special enhancements Motorola added to stock Android 4.3 Jellybean: Active Notifications, Touchless Control and Quick Capture. The reason is twofold: 1) the Moto X has a co-processor that allows it to always listen for your voice command (Touchless Control), but the Moto G doesn't and 2) the Moto G's display is an LCD, not a Super AMOLED (Active Notifications).

Whereas Motorola pushed its Moto Maker online customizer with the Moto X, the Moto G will have no such experience. For the most part, the Moto G looks almost exactly like the Moto X. The big difference is he Moto G's rear is actually a swappable plate, which means you'll be able to buy different plates and covers to suit your changing style. Initial plates come in black, blue, red, purple, white and yellow.

The Moto G is launching today in Brazil and some European countries and should be available in Canada, Latin America and the rest of Europe in the next few weeks. However, folks living in the U.S. will have to wait until January to get a Moto G.

What do you think of the Moto G? Good? Bad? Great for your kid? Let us know in the comments.

Via Motorola

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