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Motorola Moto G2 vs Moto G: What's new?

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Motorola Moto G2
Motorola Moto G2

Meet the Moto G2

The Motorola Moto G was our favourite affordable phone of last year. And it’s still our top budget Android pick the best part of a year on.

Now the Motorola Moto G2 has been leaked, showing us what will succeed the Moto G later this year. But what’s new in the next-generation model? Let’s take a closer look.

Editor's Note: This comparison is based on unconfirmed, leaked information and is therefore subject to change and later updates

Moto G2 vs Moto G – Design and speakers tweakedBlue

The simple curvy black design of the standard Moto G2 looks like it will stay largely the same as it was in the Moto G. It’s a no-nonsense look that has a hint of tubby cuteness without looking too much like a distinctively entry-level phone.

While we’ve only seen the front of the Motorola Moto G2 to date, we expect that the curvy rear of the phone will stay much the same as last year. Why change what isn’t broken?

The most notable design difference is something Motorola experimented with in the Moto E – a front-loaded speaker. Silver bars signpost the call mic and main speaker in that cheaper phone, where the original Motorola Moto G has a more traditional rear speaker.

SEE ALSO: Android 4.4 tips and tricks
Moto G2 speakers

Motorola seems to be taking the front speaker experiment a step further in the Moto G2. Two large silver bars suggest we’ll get stereo front speakers next time, much like the HTC One M8. It also seems likely that the top-most one of these speakers will double as the call speaker, as it does in the M8.

Front speakers give much better sound dispersal for when you’re playing games, and it means you don’t have to turn the phone over for better sound quality when you put the phone on a surface. While we know nothing about the Moto G2’s sound quality yet, this seems like a great step forward.

Moto G2 vs Moto G – Has the processor been upgraded?Blue

The original leak of the Motorola Moto G2 caused people to announce that the new phone has an upgraded processor. However, the actual details we have suggest it could easily be exactly the same – a Snapdragon 400 CPU.

Motorola is apparently going to use a quad-core ARM v7 processor using an Adreno 305 CPU. It’s a description that fits the Snapdragon 400, used in the Moto G.

The Moto G2 doesn’t sound like it will have any of the other current Snapdragon-series processors either, as the Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 600 both have higher-end GPUs than the Adreno 305 expected to be used.

What we’d ideally like to see is the Moto G2 adopt the Snapdragon 410, the 64-bit equivalent of the Snapdragon 400. However, that’s also off the card if the early reports are true, as it has an Adreno 306 GPU, not an Adreno 305.

We can only come to one conclusion – the Motorola Moto G2 is highly likely to use the same generation/family of processor as the Moto G, the Snapdragon 400.

Is that a disaster? It all depends on how Android L functions with the Snapdragon 400 chipset. Android L is where we see the system go fully 64-bit, so it is a shame not to see the successor to the best budget Android embrace that change.

If performance stays as good as it is in the first-generation model, though, we won’t care too much.

Moto G2 vs Moto G – 8-megapixel camera instead of 5MPBlue

One of the other supposedly confirmed spec changes of the Motorola Moto G2 is an 8-megapixel main camera, replacing a 5-megapixel one. We’re glad to see the camera has been worked-on, as it was probably the weakest part of the original Moto G.

More megapixels is no guarantee of greater image quality, but the mere confirmation that Motorola has put some extra thought into the Moto G2’s camera is enough to convince us that it’ll be a solid improvement.

Issues with the Motor G camera include poor dynamic range, very limited detail and quite slow shooting. It’s outpaced by the EE Kestrel and Nokia Lumia 635 at the price.

Leaked photos show that, like the Moto G, the G2 will have a front-facing camera. And it seems virtually guaranteed that there will be a rear flash too.

Moto G2 vs Moto G – Same screen resolution, but same size too?Blue

Early information suggests the Motorola Moto G2 will have the same screen resolution as the Moto G  – 1,280 x 720 pixels. We did not expect to see any developments in this area, because Motorola is still far, far ahead of the competition in terms of increasing pixel density in a low-cost phone.

Phones newer than the Moto G, including the EE Kestrel, the Sony Xperia M2 and HTC Desire 310, all have much lower-resolution screens. Only the Alcatel One Touch Idol S offers a similar screen, and that’s not readily available to buy anymore.

Given the current Motorola line-up, it seems likely that Motorola may stick with a 4.5-inch screen size. The Motorola Moto E props up the lower end with a 4.3-inch screen while the Motorola Moto X is still on sale in the UK, and has a 4.7-inch display.

Motorola also seems keen on keeping its displays relatively conservative in size, in order to ensure good image sharpness. Valuing quality of experience over big eye-catching feature bullet points is one of the main reasons why we appreciate the Motorola Moto series as much as we do.

What is the Moto G2 all about then?

In adopting minor changes that fix some of the Motorola Moto G’s weaker points rather than attempting to introduce wholesale improvements across the board, Motorola looks like it's staying true to the aims of the series. It’s not about being flashy, it’s about getting the best experience you can for the money, with no grand gestures.

The screen and processor might end up bring exactly the same as last time, but new speakers and a new camera could let the Moto G2 become class-leading in all new areas. Motorola isn’t trying to blow the Moto G out of the water with the G2. It’s just trying to make it better.

Next, read our Moto G tips and tricks round-up

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