New Low-Priced Moto G Is Primed for International Stardom
For a long time now, cheap phones have been excellent. Many reasonably priced phones have the cameras, screen sizes, and battery life of last year’s flagships, as well as deal-sweeteners like expandable storage.
There’s even a new category of phone emerging: Step-down “budget flagships” such as the LG Nexus 5X, the Huawei Honor 5X, and of course, the insanely popular Moto G. The low-priced handset, little brother to the more powerful Moto X, is the best-selling Motorola-branded smartphone in history, and it’s Motorola’s best-selling phone not named the Razr.
Now there’s a budget-flagship inception, as the 2016 version of the Moto G will have step-up and step-down models of its own. Announced today, Lenovo (which bought Motorola in 2014) will trot out three versions of the Moto G this year. Pricing for the U.S. market hasn’t been announced yet—that’s one of the most interesting aspects of these new phones—but they’re all due this summer.
Moto G Plus.
There’s the standard-issue Moto G, with an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chip, 2GB RAM, a fast-charging 3000mAh battery, a 5.5-inch HD display, a microSD slot in addition to its 16GB or 32GB drive, and a 13-megapixel main camera. The sum of all those parts is a very similar phone to the Moto X from late 2014, albeit with a bigger screen and a longer-life battery.
Then there’s a step-up model, the logically named Moto G Plus. There’s no change with the battery, the processor, the screen, or the custom design options. However, it has a fingerprint reader and its higher-resolution 16-megapixel camera has phase-detection autofocus. The Plus configuration also boosts the RAM to 4GB and the internal storage capacity to 64GB.
Moto G Play.The lower-end Moto G Play is less compelling, with a lower-end processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and a 5-inch screen. It doesn’t have the custom backplate options, and it’s only available in a 16GB model with a microSD slot.
Prices haven’t been finalized, but last year’s 16GB Moto G started at around $200 for the unlocked base configuration. Expect the same for the new Moto G, even if it has a sharper screen, a longer-life battery, and more-powerful components.
While U.S. customers will have to wait for the new G phones, Lenovo is making the Moto G and Moto G Plus available in Brazil immediately, while the Moto G Plus will also be available in India today. Shrewd, as it plays right into the phone’s wheelhouse: Huge, growing smartphone markets.
Last year, the Moto G was the best-selling smartphone in Brazil. It was also very popular in India, which recently leapfrogged the U.S. as the world’s second-biggest smartphone market. The combined populations of Brazil and India are bigger than that of China.
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