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motorola moto g

The days of budget smartphones offering a stripped back, average take on the more expensive devices on the market are over.

To be fair, it’s a process that has been ongoing for some time, aided by Google and LG’s decision to price 2012’s Nexus 4 so cheaply, along with Nokia’s ultra-cheap but feature laden Lumia 625, which has impressed critics since its release earlier this year.

But it’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that the new Moto G points to a time when smartphones will cost less than £100 SIM-free and still come packed with the kind of specs that until now have been associated with the likes of Samsung’s top-end Galaxy devices and Apple’s iPhone range.

Launched earlier this week, the Moto G costs just £135 for the entry-level 8GB model without a SIM card.

android kitkat packet

However, it comes with a quad-core processor, a 4.5-inch HD screen, a more than ample five megapixel camera and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which will be boosted to the latest Android 4.4 KitKat iteration in January.

For a phone that laden with tech loveliness to cost so little (contracts start at just £11 a month) shows that Motorola, and more importantly its owner, Google, wants to spark a new race in this hugely competitive end of the market.

Few manufacturers are going to be able to explain to consumers why their phones cost so much more when the specs they have offer only a minor jump on the Moto G.

There are issues that Motorola and Google face in ensuring a fast adoption of the device.

motorola moto g pad

Motorola remains something of an unknown quantity, its brand diluted after years of being also rans in the mobile space.

But surmount those and bring the Moto G to mainstream attention and the whole industry could be forced to change.

The Moto G rewrites the book on what a budget smartphone should be. And that means Samsung, HTC and LG, maybe even Apple, will have to respond.

Offering last year’s features in a trumped up package isn’t going to cut it any more.

With Android KitKat able to work on low-powered devices, we should be seeing an awful lot more of Google in the budget sector.

Motorola Logo hi res

That’s worrying for Apple and Microsoft, who simply can’t match the adoption numbers of Android.

Far more worrying, though, is that the Moto G is going to raise consumer expectations but potentially slash profits.

This is a race to the bottom that could see many manufacturers lose out massively.

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