Moto G3 Detailed User Review
Updated: October 2015
Motorola started out the revolution of beast on a budget with the launch of their Moto G first generation. Soon, the competitors joined the same boat and started doing something similar, although none came close to what Motorola offered with their Moto G (atleast initially). And with that Motorola dominated the budget smartphone market by selling millions of units of the first iteration of Moto G.
But just like everything, soon the era of their dominance ended when Chinese manufacturer like Xiaomi entered their domain and started eating their share of the pie. And even though what Motorola claimed to be the cheapest device with the best specifications on paper, Xiaomi was able to offer something not only similar but also better in some department for the half of the retail price of the Moto G. Motorola tried, and did their best to comeback with their second iteration of the Moto G ( 2nd Generation ), but still Xiaomi dominated Motorola in terms of price to performance ratio.
So here we are in 2015, and Motorola yet again came out with their 3rd iteration of the Moto G also known Moto G3 (3rd Generation), which should be the definitive answer for their past defeats.
The Moto G3 (3rd Generation) comes with sharp 5-inch HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass, IPX7 water-resistant certification, new improved camera both on the front and back, of 5megapixel and 13 megapixel respectively. Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4Ghz. 1GB/2GB RAM and 8GB/16GB ROM. It also comes with a microSD card slot, which can take upto 32 GB of external microSD storage.
The most polarizing feature of the Moto G3 is the IPX7 certification or waterproofing. What that means is that you can practically dip your Moto G3 in water and still the phone will work just fine. Of course there are some terms and guidelines you have to follow to make sure that you don’t damage your device while putting it in water, but for most of the times in an average scenario there won’t be any problem.
The Moto G3 (3rd Generation) comes with the bare essentials of what you will need to get up and running. And Motorola always tries to cut down on the cost of the Moto G by very minimal packaging and less accessories or content that would just affect the end price of the product.
So the Moto G3 comes with a unique wall adapter with 2 USB ports for adding in another USB to MicroUSB cable and charging up both of the devices at the same time. It also comes with a USB to Micro USB cable, a pair of standard Motorola earbuds and a bunch of literature (manuals, warranty statement, safety guide and SAR information)
The Moto G3 (3rd Generation) comes with a 5-inches of 720x1280p HD IPS display, although this time around we would’ve loved to see a FullHD 1080×1920 display, but seems like Motorola struggled very hard to put all these specifications together in the first place.
Next to the display on top it has an earpiece, which sadly does not, works as a speaker and on the bottom of the display we have an actual speaker, which is a mono speaker but is a lot better than those backfiring speakers. The device is very much reminiscent to the pervious generation of the Moto G and also shares some design elements from it’s newly announced big brothers Moto X Pure, Style and Play.
It has a very subtle tapered design to the edges making it look nice and feel very comfortable in hand. The back is a rubberized grippy material that repels water like the similar poles of two magnets. The camera module is placed on a metal strip along with the dual LED flash, and this is the same design that we have seen from its newly released big brother Moto X. And also it carries the same Motorola dimple on the back, which is a Motorola trademark since the first iteration of Moto X.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the most controversial point of a smartphone, where it boils down to the taste of the end user, what they like and what they don’t. So the 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top middle and in my opinion it the best place for the 3.5mm headphone jack to reside. You have the MicroUSB port on the bottom and the power and volume rockers on the right. The power button is ridged making it feel much better while holding and using the phone.
As mentioned the Motorola Moto G3 (3rd Generation) comes with a 5-inches of 720x1280p HD display, even though all of it’s competitors are providing 1080p FullHD display at this price point. Motorola is slacking on the number of pixels and losing their customer with a poor display, which is outdated by all means.
But coming to one of the positives of having a 720p HD display is that it won’t drain the battery as much as a 1080p panel and also will take up less resources to power the display itself, even though the existing hardware is capable enough of handling a 1080p panel without any problem. In terms of protection the Moto G3 comes with the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection making it resistant to minor drops and scratches.
The Motorola Moto G3 (3rd Generation) does have a robust build, and overall it is built like a tank. The build of the Moto G itself is one of the reasons why the Moto G is still in the game, and why Motorola still manages to sell enough units regardless of other Chinese manufacturer dominating the same market.
The grippy rubber like material on the back makes the device feel really nice in hand and also resistant to scuffs, scratches and minor damages here and there. The entire phone is made out of plastic, which is a hardened polycarbonate plastic nonetheless, the device does not falls short in terms of build quality.
The Motorola Moto G3 comes with the latest version of Android i.e. Lollipop v5.1.1 and will be the first one right after the Nexus devices to get the latest Android updates as soon as Google rolls them out. The UI is unadulterated and is near stock experience with very few Motorola software add-ons and apps.
Motorola brings back some of the eye-catching features or gestures from the Moto X down to the Moto G3 (3rd Generation) like double twist to turn on the camera and double chop to turn on/off the flashlight. These gestures work even when you are on the lock screen or your screen is turned off.
And the best part is, these gestures works perfectly each and every time without fail. Overall the interface is smooth and is completely lag free and in day-to-day usage it works flawlessly.
Technically on paper the Moto G3 (3rd Generation) should perform exceptionally well compared to others. I am not sure about other’s experience with the Moto G3, but for me the Moto G3 was able to pull of each and every task very easily, and was easily able to not just only do the day-to-day task but also easily handle light to heavy games.
The Motorola Moto G3 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad-Core processor and is clocked at 1.4Ghz, Adreno 306 GPU. It also comes bundled with 1 or 2 GB of RAM depending on which model you pick and also comes in 2 different storage variants i.e.- 8 GB and 16 GB. As an added bonus it also comes with a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion upto 32 GB with a microSD card.
The camera on this Motorola Moto G3 is redesigned from ground up, and Motorola expects it to stand out of the crowd with its exceptional capability of taking good quality images. I personally like how quickly and efficiently it takes and HDR image, and for most of the time it’s absolutely perfect.
Here are some examples (We have reduced the image size, keeping the quality of images same, click to enlarge)
Indoors Normal Lighting
Indoors Normal Low Light
Depth of Field – Focus
Outdoors Normal Light
Front Camera –Selfie Camera – Normal
Front Camera –Selfie Camera – HDR
Images clicked indoors are quite standard and can’t really complain much about the quality, but while clicking images with the flash turned on, it makes the image look rather washed out and dull. Although while taking out the camera outdoors is just another story. The images clicked outdoors are sharp, and the overall color reproduction is quite on point, its not overly saturated and hence the image seems to be natural. The picture does retain lot of detail. Although if you are looking for something that can produce saturated and colorful images, then sadly the Moto G3 isn’t the right one for you.
Bottom line: The camera of the new Moto G3 is quite a lot improved and is much better than the previous iteration, although it is not exactly a definitive answer to it’s competitors but I can safely say that the camera is good enough to belong to a 2015 smartphone.
PRO’s And CON’s
- It is IPX7 certified, means it is totally resistant to water
- It has a robust build quality
- Comes with Pure Vanilla Android, and will get latest android update right after the Nexus device line-up
- Moto Software
- Moto Brand
- It’s still 720×1280 HD display, where we would’ve loved to see a 1080 x 1920 FullHD panel
- The price to the specifications ratio of the device is a little bit higher compared to other budget smartphones in the market, considering the Xiaomi Mi4 is available at almost the same and the value offered has no competition against the Moto G3.
The Moto G3 is definitely a worthy upgrade from the previous iteration of the Moto G’s that we have seen in the past. The overall camera performance has also been improved a lot, and can finally take some good quality images. And it may not be good or a definitive answer to its competitors but in real life usage it performs exceptionally well.
And I can safely recommend it to anyone out there who is looking forward to pickup the Moto G3 for him or her as a primary device, but you have to note that you can get some better value for the similar price point if you look into the Chinese smartphone market. Also, the IPX7 waterproofing is a sweet bonus.
You can pick up Moto G3 from Flipkart at Rs. 12,999
October 2015 Update: It’s been couple of months that we have been using it, and the review given above remains accurate. While the screen remains to be a let down, the camera works quite well andthe IPX 7 waterproofing is really good. We want to reiterate that the build of Moto G3 is top notch, and anyone who thinks they have to use the their phone in harsh conditions, Moto G3 may be the perfectly suited phone for you!
At 12,999, the price is slightly on the higher side, but like we said, it does have its own advantages.
Author Bio: Sudipto Chakraborty is a 18 year old is a techie at heart, does technology reviews and video blogging for a living. He loves Apple as much as sarcasm. Has a soft corner for well built premium devices. He also runs a gadget blog – TekhSquare.