There’s no debate that the Moto G (3rd Gen.) is a great budget phone. Less certain, however, is Republic Wireless’ adaptation of the phone, which will be the focus of this Republic Wireless Moto G (3rd Gen.) review.
Moto G (3rd Gen.) Tech Specs:
- 3G + 4G LTE Data
- 8GB or 16GB internal memory (up to 32GB memory w/ micro SD card, sold separately)
- 1GB RAM
- Android™ Lollipop® 5.1
- 13MP Auto-Focus Camera
- 5″ 720p HD Display
- Black or White
Honestly, in 2015 a 5″ 720p IPS LCD display is nothing to boast about. However, in my opinion, does 720p vs 1080p really matter on a 5″ screen? When it comes down to it, most people won’t even be able to tell that it’s only 720p. But ultimately, if you’re unsatisfied with 720p, you’re already looking at the wrong phone. Instead, check out the Moto X (2nd Gen.) with Republic Wireless.
I have yet to kill my Moto G (3rd Gen.), even when forgetting to charge it for a night or two. Motorola markets this phone’s 2,470mAh battery as an “All-day Battery.” However, even this is an understatement. For instance, I pulled my phone off the charger today at 6AM. 13 hours later at 7PM I am at 77% battery life. Here is a rundown of what I did today on my phone:
- Thirty minutes of talk time
- 45 minutes of browsing reddit
- 1 hour of biking/walking activity recorded in the background (with GPS and accelerometer)
- 10 minutes of YouTube
- 5 minutes of email
- about 20 texts
- 10 Snapchat stories watched
- Clock checks all day long
- 13 hours off charge
Total remaining battery: 77%
By no means was this a heavy use day, but for many phones, just being off charge for 13 hours would’ve drained their batteries more than this. The increased battery life of the Moto G (3rd Gen.) is certainly an appealing feature.
Storage and Memory
In general, the implementation of storage and memory is pretty awful. Before getting to the drawbacks, however, let’s start with the one positive feature. The Moto G (3rd Gen.) comes with a microSD card slot for expandable storage up to 32GB. (There are rumors of it actually being much higher than this. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve tried). For anyone going with the $10 a month no data plan, like me, having large amounts of storage is important for storing offline maps, games, podcasts, music, movies, etc.
But now let’s look at Republic Wireless’ poor implementation of an upgraded Moto G (3rd Gen.). When you buy an 8GB Moto G (3rd Gen.) from anyone, it will have 1GB or RAM. If you buy a 16GB Moto G (3rd Gen.) from anyone it comes with 2GB of RAM…unless you get it from Republic Wireless. The Republic Wireless 16GB Moto G (3rd Gen.) has the same amount of RAM as the 8GB version. Interestingly, you can’t even buy a 16GB Moto G (3rd Gen.) directly from Motorola with 1GB or RAM. However, sure enough, when my 16GB Moto G (3rd Gen.) came in, it had only 1GB or RAM. *facepalm*
Because the amount of RAM is the same for both the 8GB and 16GB model, the only difference between the two models is the extra 8GBs of storage. Yet somehow there is a $20 price difference between the two models, coming out to an extra $2.50 per GB of storage. This is where the microSD card slot becomes useful. I just bought a 32GB microSD card on sale for $9 on amazon. For my microSD card, the price per GB is just over $0.28. Sure, the internal storage is faster than expandable storage, but only at an extra $2.22 per GB.
Audio Quality (Ear Speaker and Front-Facing Speaker):
There are two main categories of audio on a phone. The first is the ear speaker–the one you use when on a phone call. Overall, there isn’t much to say about it; calls have been just fine. The ear speaker could be a little louder. However, by no means is it too quiet.
The second category of speakers is the loudspeaker–the front-facing speaker on the bottom of the phone on this model. At first glance, the Moto G (3rd Gen.) appears to have dual front-facing loudspeakers on the front like the phone’s predecessor, the Moto G (2nd Gen). Unfortunately, although the top speaker looks like a loudspeaker, it’s actually just the ear speaker. However, even with the single speaker, the audio can definitely be played loud enough to listen to something in a room full of people, while also remaining crisp and clear.
Although the Moto G series is still a budget phone, Motorola spared no expense with the 13-megapexel rear camera on the Moto G (3rd Gen.). This was increased from the 8-megapixel rear camera of its predecessor. The rear camera is phenomenal for a budget phone. In fact, according to Motorola, it’s the same camera sensor used in Google’s high-end phone, the Nexus 6. However, the Moto G (3rd Gen.) comes in at around half the price of the Nexus 6.
Unfortunately, the Moto G (3rd Gen.) is not the best at low light photos. Potos tend to get fuzzy and splotchy.
The front-facing camera on the Moto G (3rd Gen.) is pretty great too, coming in at 5-megapixels. This is an upgrade from the 2-megapixel front facing camera that its predecessor sported. You won’t be getting any photography gigs with it, but it’s good enough to take selfies on SnapChat.
Both Republic Wireless and Motorola seem to have done a good job keeping their presence on the phone’s software to a minimum. When you get the phone, it appears to be close to stock Android. Of course, Republic Wireless got their hands into the software to introduce features such as WiFi calling. Likewise, Motorola made a few alterations to add extra features such as the double chop motion to turn on the flashlight and the double twist motion to automatically quickly access the camera. However, aside from features like these, the phone is free of bloatware.
Unfortunately, unlike the older two phones in this series, Motorola dropped the notification LED feature on the Moto G (3rd Gen.). The lack of a notified LED is annoying as there’s no way to tell if you have a text, email, or missed call without picking up you phone.
While the lack of a notification LED is pretty lame, the Moto (3rd Gen.) is the first of its series to be IPX7 water resistant, meaning that it can handle exposure to rain or snow, showering, and submersion up to one meter for up to 30 minutes.
Overall, the Moto G (3rd Gen.) is a good budget phone–especially for individuals looking for a great camera, all-day battery life, water resistance, and near stock Android all at a budget. However, if only 1GB of RAM, a 720p display, or the lack to a notification LED is a dealbreaker, this is the wrong phone for you.
Have any burning questions about anything I overlooked in this Republic Wireless Moto G (3rd Gen.) review? Or have some tips for other people looking at getting this phone? Tell me about it in the comments below.