Motorola releases £135 quad-core HD smartphone for Christmas

We're loving this new Android price war

Motorola releases £135 quad-core HD smartphone for Christmas

It would appear that in the run up to Christmas, there's a race to release the cheapest devices that don't compromise on performance.

If we missed the memo, we're certainly not complaining and neither should you.

First we had Google releasing the high-end Nexus 5 for almost half the price of some of its competitors, as well as the latest Nexus 7 and Tesco's Hudl doing the same for tablets.

Now we've got the Google-owned Motorola going positively mental with its latest smartphone unveiling.

In a press conference that saw many attacks on other Android manufacturers, including Samsung and Sony, as well as the obligatory comparisons against Apple's iPhone, anyone would think that the Google-owned company was wanting to start a war by undercutting its rivals any which way.

And with the £135 SIM-free Moto G handset, which Motorola claims can do many things better than far more expensive rivals, it is bound to ruffle a few feathers. And that's all good. Probably.

The Moto G is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, with 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel camera, 2,070mAh battery, Android 4.3, and a promise of 4.4 KitKat in January.

The 4.5-inch screen, with a 720x1280 pixel resolution, is also best-in-class.

The only major omission, in a year that will end with every major operator having launched its own 4G service, is support for LTE.

If the standard 8GB model isn't enough, it isn't exactly going to break the bank to get the 16GB model for £159 instead. Given the lack of a memory card slot, it's going to be a worth the extra £24, trust us.

Retaining design features of the US-only Moto X, the phone has changeable rear covers (or shells as Motorola calls them), and a host of accessories that includes an active flip-cover and secondary bumpers to protect the front and side too.

A water repellant coating inside and out should also prevent damage from a little rain, but best keep it out of the pool as it isn't waterproof.

Motorola has also kept to the pure Android experience, but that doesn't mean there aren't some additional apps to make things a bit easier.

That includes apps like Motorola Migrate, to easily port data from an older phone; a camera with one-tap capture that takes multiple shots by simply holding your finger on the display; and Motorola Assist, that will automatically silence the phone when you're asleep or scheduled to be in a meeting.

Google is also giving all Moto G owners 65GB of free Google Drive storage, which seems rather generous on what's already a pretty killer package.

Of course, that rather depends on how good the phone actually is, so you might want to check back soon to see our verdict.

Jonathan Morris
Jonathan Morris
From starting out as a games tester for Mastertronic, Virgin and Sega in the late 1980s, it may seem odd to then ditch everything to write about mobile phones that, at the time, lasted 20 minutes between charges. He always had a hunch mobiles would become quite popular, but possibly didn't realise how powerful (and, ironically, returning to 20 minutes between charges). Jonathan's job is to continue advising on the best hardware to buy, in order to enjoy games that have advanced considerably since those long days and nights testing Double Dragon on the C64.