- No optical image stabilization leads to blurry photos
- Lots of digital noise in low-light situations
- Mediocre viewing angles and sunlight legibility
Motorola proved with the Moto G 2 that budget phones could offer excellent hardware at a low cost. The company continues this tradition with the Moto G 3. At half the cost of premium smartphones, the Moto G 3 offers plenty of bonus features even flagship phones don't offer such as an IPx7 rating, which means it can be submerged in water for up to half an hour. As with the Moto X range, users can fully customize their phone with the Motorola's Moto Maker service. The phone itself features an all-plastic trim with curved corners and a curved rear. Instead of the soft-touch back of its predecessor, Motorola went for textured plastic for the Moto G 3 giving critics more of a grip. Despite the positives, Tech Radar describes it as a "chunky, largely plastic phone" though they add it is "perfectly fine." Other experts agree with this assessment and add that although it certainly feels cheap due to the plastic body it has a solid build quality.
The one thing Motorola did not upgrade for the Moto G 3 is the screen. It sports the same 5-inch, 720p display as its predecessor, leading to a relatively low pixel density of 294ppi. Still, critics were fairly satisfied with the screen overall as it provides accurate and bright colors. With that said they found overall viewing angles and sunlight legibility fairly average with Greenbot adding, "The display has a propensity to be a bit too bright at night, which can contribute to some serious eye strain."
The Moto G offers two different setups: 8GB of internal storage with 1GB of RAM or 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. Naturally the one with the higher storage and RAM ends up costing more than the base version. Both models come with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and mid-level graphics processer. In general, reviewers describe the performance of both models as "zippy" though they did find the 16GB version to be slightly faster in comparison. The biggest selling point of the Moto G 3 isn't its performance, it is the battery life. The 2,470mAh battery provided experts with a full day of battery life with moderate usage and around 2 days of very light use. While the back cover of the phone is removable, the battery itself is not.
Another big upgrade for the Moto G 3 is the 13-MP main camera. When compared to camera on the Moto G 2, critics saw a marked improvement in picture quality. In good lighting situations they were able to capture images with good detail and vibrant colors, especially in HDR mode. It does not come with optical image stabilization so they unfortunately ended up taking a lot of slightly blurry photos. The problem became especially obvious when they took low light pictures. Not only did they have problems with the focus, the noticed pictures also had a lot of digital noise. Besides the main camera, it also upgraded the front camera to 5MP.
Overall, reviewers still consider the Moto G 3 the best smartphone for its price. Android Authority states, "The many positives of this handset definitely outweigh…the shortcomings in the display and camera." Wired adds, "The Moto G punches above its weight in almost every way…It's the clearest indication yet of the great things to come from truly affordable phones."