Moto G 2014 Review
Moto G (2014) Review IBTimes UK

The Moto G was a real breakthrough in the budget smartphone market when it launched last year, bringing an experience comparable with much more expensive phones to a smartphone that cost in-or-around £100.

It became a huge success, and became the best-selling smartphone in the history of the storied Motorola brand. It helped Motorola come from nowhere in markets like India where it now holds position four in the market.

In the UK it went from having 0% of the smartphone market to between 5-6% in just one year - helped in the main by the Moto G.

Motorola is obviously keen to build on that success and says it has listened to customer feedback when designing the successor - which it simply calls the new Moto G - meaning it has made the screen bigger, added a microSD card and support for a dual-SIM set up.

Moto G (2014): Design

In terms of looks the phone looks quite similar to the original, though as the screen size has increased the phone's footprint has obviously increased with it.

Moto G 2014 Review
Moto G 2014 Review IBTimes UK

It is however, the same thickness (going fro 6mm to 11mm) and has the same curved back as the original Moto G. It is just 6g heavier and definitely doesn't feel any heavier despite the bigger size.

The phone uses a combination of matte finish on the rear and glossy finish on the front which isn't a great choice as the glossy finish makes it look cheap.

The front is available in black and white but the rear can be customised with a range of colourful covers.

Moto G (2014): Screen

The screen on the Moto G has gone from 4.5in to 5in but the resolution has stayed the same, meaning the pixel density has dropped from 329 pixels per inch (ppi) to 294ppi but in reality the difference is not that noticeable.

Moto G 2014 Review
Moto G 2014 Review IBTimes UK

The screen still represents a high-watermark for budget smartphones and the increased size is something customers have been calling for.

Moto G 2014: Processor, Speakers, Dual-SIM and microSD

Moto G 2014 Review
Dual-SIM and MicroSD setup on the 2014 Moto G IBTimes UK

Inside the Moto G is using the exact same Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip with 1GB of RAM. While this should be sufficient for most operations, pushing those extra pixels could see it struggle with more intense tasks like streaming HD video or graphics-heavy 3D games.

Again responding to customer feedback, the new Moto G has added a microSD card slot to augment the 8GB or 16GB of internal storage.

Moto G 2015
Front-facing speaker on Moto G (2014) IBTimes UK

Motorola has also added dual-SIM card slots and an intelligent calling feature which will learn which SIM it should use depending on who you are calling and when. Dual-SIM devices are popular in developing countries like India and Brazil, but have yet to take off in the UK or US.

The final update to the phone based on customer feedback is the addition of dual speakers at the front of the device, replacing the single speaker on the rear in the original model.

Initial testing proved that these are indeed loud, though that could just mean more people playing music loudly on the bus to the annoyance of everyone else.

Moto G 2014: Software

Motorola plays up the fact it gives customers a pure Android experience and it's no different here, with Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) on board.

Google Android 5.0.2 reportedly available to second-gen Moto G users in US: Check out now
Moto G 2014 Review IBTimes UK

Key however is the fact that Motorola has explicitly said this will be updated to Android L when that radical redesign rolls out from Google later this year - which means the budget Moto G will be among the very first phones to get the update.

Moto G 2014: Camera

The 5 megapixel camera on the original Moto G was rubbish. So Motorola has done something about it, boosting the sensor to 8 megapixels and adding a front-facing 2 megapixel camera that was just 1.3 megapixel on the original.

Whether or not this camera is much better than the original will only be discovered when we get a chance to test it fully.

Moto G 2014: Price and Release Date

The Moto G is available from Friday, 5 September and costs £145 for the 8GB model, which is £10 more than the original.

The replaceable Motorola Shells will be available from October.

Moto G 2014: First Impressions

It is hard to fault Motorola and the new Moto G.

The company has clearly listened to feedback and revamped the Moto G accordingly. The large 5in screen looks fantastic, the addition of a microSD card is great and the update to the camera is a welcome boost.

The design of the phone may still not appeal to all, and the processor may struggle, but simply knowing you be among the first to get the Android L update may be reason enough to upgrade.