Motorola Moto G (continued):
Apps & OS:
This device is running Android KitKat so it comes with a bunch of great features baked right in. If you swipe down from the notifications tab, you can select what is essentially a quick settings screen. You can adjust screen brightness, see Wi-Fi, cell, battery, airplane mode, Bluetooth, and location status. Selecting any of these provides more info and/or customization, or you can select the Settings menu, too. If you swipe up on any screen you will get Google Now. From any screen you can say "OK Google" and you can do a voice search or start apps etc. Multitasking has also been improved allowing you to quickly jump between apps. It also prioritizes your contacts based on how frequently you contact each one. Overall the interface is very smooth and works quite well.
Motorola includes an app, Motorola Migrate, to make your transition to your new phone easier. This app allows you to quickly move your files from one device to another. Since the phone has limited space - the 8GB version has around 5.5GB free - the app also allows you to pick and choose which types of files to move so you can conserve that precious space.
Motorola Assist is also included. This app is pretty useful because it syncs with your calendar(s) to determine if you are in a meeting. If so, it allows you to completely silence the phone, allow it to vibrate, only allow your favorites to get through, or any call that comes in twice within 5 minutes. You can also set up an auto-reply via text. You can also set your sleep schedule, which gives you basically the same functionality.
An FM radio app is also included; it uses the headphones' wire as an antenna. The reception wasn't that great but I live in a fringe area anyway. But I guess in an emergency situation it is better than nothing.
Quickoffice is also included; allowing you to create and modify documents, spreadsheets, and presentations and save them locally or to your Google Drive.
A free 50GB Google Drive is also offered for two years which may come in handy with the fixed memory on the device. While it may not be as convenient compared to local storage, it does allow you to free up a significant amount of space.
The Republic Dashboard app gives you access to your number, plan info, current connection status, allows you to change your plan (twice per month), as well as change a few other settings like forwarding voicemail and managing handovers between cell and Wi-Fi. If you are having issues you can also get help either from Republic Wireless directly or from the community.
The display is incredible at this price point. It equals the pixel density of the iPhone5 at ¼ the price. But as with many devices it is a little difficult to see in bright sunshine. The other caveat to such screens is battery use. While I can get through a day with this phone, using an app like Waze for an hour will drain about 20% of your battery.
The speaker is good. Basically it does what you need it to do. It will get loud enough for you to hear with some background noise like in a moving vehicle; just don't expect a high fidelity experience. On some calls I noticed an echo but since it was not consistent, I think it may have been a Sprint cell issue. Playing music or videos tends to sound a bit bright but that is to be expected with such a small driver.
The cameras' max resolution is 5MP rear and 1.3MP front. There also is a 16:9 mode but this decreases resolution to 3.8MP. The camera has auto HDR, panorama mode and flash control. You can also use a 4x digital zoom, slow motion feature and a continuous burst mode. There is also a bracketing feature that allows you to select the area you would like to control the focus and exposure on. A small dimple on the back ensures my finger is not over the flash and just feels like a natural position. One stand out for me was the flash on this camera. Most times I find the flash useless if the object is too close because everything becomes overexposed. Surprisingly this camera does a great job of compensating for this and pictures had minimal, if any, glare. Basically it takes good pictures similar to other 5MP cameras in phones.