Moto G (3rd Gen) First Impressions

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I don’t usually do first impressions on technology reviews, but there’s been a lot of interest around the Moto G (3rd gen) that was announced by Motorola this past Tuesday alongside the Moto X Style and Moto X Play. As luck would have it, Motorola Canada was kind enough to ship an 8GB (with 1GB RAM) model our way and I’ve been using it as my main phone since Wednesday.

First off, the Moto G has a solid build quality. It has a nice weight to it, and the contoured back cover feels nice when held. The power button sits nicely where your thumb rests when held in your right hand with the volume buttons just below that. The back snaps on really snug and takes a bit of work to pry off to access the SIM and microSD card slots – which is a good thing considering the 3rd gen Moto G is also IPX7 water resistant.


As far as performance goes, the phone has handled everything I’ve tried so far including a few rounds of HearthstoneIngress, and day to day apps. The 5″ 720p screen is bright and coupled with the adaptive brightness I’ve had no issues with viewing the screen under various lighting conditions. The Moto G we received shipped with Android Lollipop 5.1.1 installed. I’ve only noticed a slight slow down in responsiveness when apps are updating from the Google Play store. I’m not sure at this point if the 16GB/2GB RAM version will be available in Canada as well but I’d suspect you wouldn’t notice the same slow down when apps are updating with more RAM.

The 8GB version might just be a bit light on storage space, with the OS installed you’re only left with 4.53GB of storage space for your apps, photos, and other data – but there is a microSD card slot so that may suit you just fine. I found that the phone filled up quickly and in order to install the apps I use on a daily basis I had to forego installing a couple of the larger games I have installed on my Nexus 5. Battery life has been pretty good as well, easily lasting me through the day with around 20% left by the end of it.

The Motorola camera app has a neat function called “control focus & exposure” which not only allows you to drag the focus point on your screen to where you want to set it but also allow you to drag a slider to over or underexpose the image you want to take. Other features include Auto HDR (which can be toggled), panorama mode, low light mode, and HD or SloMo (720p) video options, as well as the twist twice to launch camera or switch between the back 13MP and front 5MP cameras. I’ve taken a few quick shots with it so far and it seems to do better in full light than lower light, but I haven’t tested the low light mode yet.

Quick shot with the Moto G (3rd gen) in full sun.
100% unedited crop of above image.
100% crop of unedited image in lower light.

Given the sub-$200 price tag ($199CAD/$179USD MSRP), the Moto G (3rd gen) is looking like a decent budget phone with a few bonus features like water resistance. This was just a quick overview, I’m sure there’s a lot I didn’t cover so check back in a couple weeks for my full review on the latest budget device from Motorola!

Are you going to be picking up a Moto G (3rd gen)? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

Last Updated on November 27, 2018.


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