Motorola’s Moto G

Moto G

This morning I visited the swanky offices of Google Toronto to watch the launch of a new Motorola handset, broadcast live from Brazil to select audiences in London, Mexico City and Toronto — along with the rest of the world via YouTube.

That handset is the Moto G. The ‘G’ stands for ‘global’.

It’s touted as delivering a premium smartphone experience for a third of the price. In some parts of the world it will be a revolutionary device. In the United States it will be at the very least a massive bargain. In Canada? Well, in Canada it’ll be locked to Telus…

Specs

Here’s a copy/paste from Moto’s press release, with marketing-speak removed and additional info corroborated from Android Central:

  • 4.5-inch edge-to-edge 720p display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB or 16GB of storage, with two free years of 50GB on Google Drive
  • 5 megapixel rear camera; 1.3 megapixel on the front
  • GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); UMTS (850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz); CDMA (850/1900 MHz). No LTE.
  • Android 4.3 Jellybean, guaranteed upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat in early 2014
  • 19 customization options, including interchangeable Motorola Shells and Flip Shells in seven colours, Grip Shells in five colours

Price

This is the amazing part. In the United States, you’ll be able to buy the Moto G directly from Motorola.com, SIM-unlocked, at these prices:

  • 8GB – $179 USD
  • 16GB – $199 USD

In some parts of the world the Moto G will even have dual SIM support. The direct quote from Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside was:

“In countries where it matters…”

Doesn’t it matter everywhere?

Availability

The Moto G will be available for purchase today in Brazil. The U.S. launch is scheduled for early January. Canada will get it sooner, in just a few weeks.

Sucks for Canada

And here’s where it gets depressing. In Canada the Moto G will be an exclusive to Telus and Koodo, and will be SIM-locked. The 8GB model will set you back $200 CAD.

First Impressions

The G feels in every way like a quality device, at least on par with the Moto X. I got to take one home with me — along with the mandatory Telus SIM card — and will be posting more about it tomorrow.

Final Thought

After the broadcast ended there were a few words by Motorola’s Canadian CEO, who spoke about Motorola delivering on Google’s mission “to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and usable”.

Had the Moto G been made available worldwide, with every device unlocked and supporting dual-SIMs, it would be a game-changer — and indeed it probably will be in the markets where these criteria are met.

As for Canada, at least you can change the back cover…