It has been just less than a couple of years since Motorola launched the original Moto G, and now the third iteration of Motorola’s successful device is with us. I recently live-blogged the announcement event for the 3rd generation Moto G, the Moto X Play and Moto X Style. At the London event, I was given a review unit of the 16GB 2GB RAM 3rd gen Moto G, and after a few weeks of extensive usage as a primary device, here is my review.
There are two variants of the 3rd gen Moto G: an 8GB storage 1GB RAM version (starting at £179) and a 16GB storage 2GB RAM (starting at £209). Both variants are powered by the same chipset and are in the same water resistant body.
- 5” 720×1280 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors (67% screen to body ratio)
- Android 5.1.1
- 13 megapixel rear camera with dual tone flash
- 5 megapixel front facing camera
- 8GB or 16GB storage expandable via Micro SD (up to 32GB)
- 1GB RAM (8GB storage model) or 2GB RAM (16GB storage model)
- Micro SIM
- Quad-core CPU (Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 – 1.4GHz A53)
- GPU Adreno 306
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, FM Radio
- Water resistant construction (up to 1 metre for 30 minutes), IPX7 certified
In its 3rd iteration, the Moto G plays on the strengths of the previous generations and updates parts of the design in line with the higher tier Moto X Play and Moto X Style. The back is now a rubbery feeling silicon panel, which gives a reassuring grip and makes you feel less likely it will slip. In the middle of the back panel there is a metal insert which mounts the rear camera lens (f2.0 aperture) and the dual LED flash.
The front of the device is very very similar to the second generation Moto G, with front facing stereo speakers and relatively thin bezels around the 720×1280, 5” display.
All physical buttons on the 3rd generation Moto G are on the right side: a power button and the volume rocker.
The micro USB charging port is centrally positioned on the bottom edge and a 3.5mm audio socket similarly positioned at the top.
Motorola, now under Lenovo, have continued to ship a close-to-Google-Experience version of Android on the Moto G 3rd gen. There are minor changes to a few icons, a Motorola camera app with slide in control carousel and a Motorola Gallery app. A few other Motorola apps are in the OS, but nothing intrusive or big enough to be called bloatware.
If anything, the Moto app guides the user to making the most of some of the value add software/hardware features of the Moto G. Moto Display used to be a feature of the flagship Moto X less than two years ago. Now it is on the Moto G. The advantage may be minimal, as the screen of of the Moto G is an LCD one and so it all has to be lit up to be on, unlike the AMOLED panel on the Moto X.
One of my favourite things of the Moto G 3rd gen is the Actions, which are motion activated functions of the phone: perform a double karate chop with the phone and the torch turns on without you needing to unlock the screen. Double twist the Moto G, and the camera is opened.
The Moto G 3rd gen is a water resistant smartphone. It has IPX7 certification, which means it can be under fresh water up to 1 metre for up to 30 minutes. I’ll admit it, I’ve taken the device into the pool with me and taken some sample photos. The screen doesn’t work underwater, but no bad things came to my device while holding it under the surface. I think this will give the average user a bit of peace of mind when using the device in situations like when caught in rain, or near water. I have a feeling this device is going to be popular in Scotland…
The camera on the Moto G 3rd generation is a 13 megapixel one. At the launch event in London, I was lucky enough to have a chat with Peter Matsimanis, the technical lead behind the team who looks after the cameras on Motorola smartphones. Peter explained that the sensor on the Moto G 3rd gen is the same as the one in the Nexus 6 (without ring flash or optical image stabilisation). I’m really impressed with the camera performance on the Moto G 3rd gen, especially considering the price range of the device. In outdoor, well-lit conditions, the snaps are clear and with HDR set to Auto. This is a great point and shoot camera.
Video is good in optimal light conditions, and the HD recordings are clear.
For the first time in the Moto G iterations, Moto Maker is available for it. Moto Maker is Motorola’s device customisation service. You can visit their website, choose the colour of the front and the accents of your device, the colour of the back silicon panel and what to have engraved on the device. You will also be able to choose which memory configuration to choose (8GB storage/1GB RAM or 16GB storage/2GB RAM).
The Moto G 3rd gen is available in black and white SKUs from multiple retailers in the UK. Three UK have a network exclusive on the Moto Maker, but if you are happy to buy the affordable device outright, Motorola.co.uk allow you to personalise with Moto Maker.
I’ve been won over by the Moto G since the first iteration in late 2013. With the 3rd generation, Motorola have improved on the original formula, and brought water resistance and improved on the second gen’s bigger screen and body. I must say I really really like the Moto G 3rd generation. I like it so much I’m using it as one of my main devices and have even used one of my precious Google Play Music authorisations on it. The only thing I find myself wishing the Moto G 3rd gen had is an AMOLED screen, mostly so that Moto Display uses less battery power. Expandable memory, a great feeling device with reasonable battery life and a very recent Google-like version of Android are pushing all the right buttons with me: a bit like the onscreen ones…
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If you want some tunes in a nice relaxing bath or you want to swim around to your favourite tracks, this floating Bluetooth speaker is just your thing.
It costs £24.95 from Prezzybox and supplies 4 hours of music. The floater works with any Bluetooth device and will happily bob along on the surface of the water to blast out music as you enjoy a swim or a bubble bath. You’ll just need to ensure that you keep it within 10 metres of your smartphone of other playback device. The speaker itself kicks out 3W of power but you need to ensure that it’s not completely submerged. It measures 8.5 cm x 8.5 cm x 8 cm.
Not only that, but because it’s waterproof you can safely take it camping or anywhere else outside without it getting damaged in the summer downpours. Call this summer eh? Pah!
Head to the product page to rave while you bathe.
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Ahhhh, the British summer is here!
What does this mean? Day trips to the beach, ice cream and loads and loads of photos.
But, if you want to take your beloved smartphone with you, you’ll need some form of protection. Not from the sun, no, but from the rain and mud of course. What were you like thinking? The sand and the sea? Oh, well yes, that too.
Anyway you can put your superbly designed and highly priced smartphone in a big unsightly case, or you can leave it naked as God intended and then pop it the IPX8 waterproof pouch, which will protect your device from dust/sand and submerging in water for up to 30 mins.
- Fits a 5.5/5.7 inch screen perfectly
- Able to use the touch screen through the case.
- With the edges being sealed means button presses on the device edges a little tricky.
- There’ll always be a degradation in picture quality.
For want of a better description, the Inateck IPX8 Waterproof pouch has a clear front and back panel that allows you to continue to use your capacitive touch screen.
The pouch comes with a lanyard which allows you to wear your phone around your neck too. It’ll open at the top and, once your phone is slid inside, will lock and seal thanks to two locking levers.
Inateck state that the pouch will accommodate phones up to 5.7 inches, but I found that it fitted my OnePlus One almost perfectly. As you can see from the picture below the edges of the pouch are sealed together and this makes for operating the buttons on the side of the phone a little tricky. However, I have my OnePlus to double tap to wake and sleep, so I had no issues using it that way.
The touch screen was still as responsive, but I wouldn’t recommend taking or making a call whilst it’s in there as the person on the other end only hears a very muffled version of you.
I also took some pictures while my phone was still in the pouch and, as you can see, the results are really impressive.
Excuse the finger in the last shot. :)
The Inateck IPX8 Waterproof pouch is available from Amazon for £8.99 and is available in Black/White/Orange, I will certainly be buying one. if nothing else, it will keep my phone nice and dry when I ride my motorbike in our fantastic summer weather.
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Samsung's Galaxy S6 broke cover last month and today AT&T revealed its exclusive grip on the rugged device. The IP-68 rated dustproof and water and shock resistant handset packs a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display that touts a whopping 577 PPI to handle your swipes through Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop). Inside, a 64-bit Octa-core processor and 32GB of internal storage do the heaving lifting with 16-megapixel rear-facing and 5-megapixel front-facing cameras for photo duties. In addition to staying dry in depths of up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes, the S6 Active also packs in a beefy 3,500mAh battery. That's significantly larger than the battery inside the regular Galaxy S6. And yes, when it does run down, you can juice up with wireless charging accessories or make use of the Fast Charging option to charge to 50 percent in around half an hour.
Here's yet another case of "Japan gets all the nice things." Earlier today, local carrier au by KDDI announced its smartphone lineup for the summer, and the one that caught our attention was the new HTC J Butterfly (HTV31), which will no doubt be entering other markets as the Butterfly 3. With the centered 13-megapixel selfie camera and subtle front-side BoomSound stereo speakers, this new phone shares a similar face with the Desire Eye and the Desire 826; except its 5.2-inch screen has a much sharper Quad HD resolution. The familiar Duo Camera feature on the back (for bokeh plus filter effects) is here to stay, though for some bizarre reason, the secondary camera is placed below its 20.2-megapixel counterpart instead of above it, meaning you'll have to be more careful with where you place your index finger while holding the phone.
Via: Engadget Japanese
If you're looking for a phone with great specs that can be tossed around and survive a swim, Samsung's Galaxy S6 Active appears to be on the way. Both GSM Arena and trusted leaker @evleaks offered a glimpse of the forthcoming handset today, one that features an outer shell similar to last year's version. Like previous Active models, a trio of hardware buttons reside on the front, so don't expect the same fingerprint scanner found on both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. They do have to be waterproof, after all. Other than a look at both sides, details remain scarce besides save for word that the S6 Active packs a 3,500 mAh battery. If history is any indication, you can expect similar specs to the flagship while being both shock resistant and dustproof, as this handset will be built to withstand a bit more stress.
Mophie's cases are a popular choice for adding some extra minutes to your mobile device's battery life. While the company already had both charging and storage options for the iPhone 6, it how offers protection from water damage, too. The H2PROTM accessory not only packs in an additional 2,750 mAh battery, but it's waterproof as well. An IP-68 rated Otterbox-esque design also protects the handset from dirt and drops with easy access to those side-mounted controls and a mute switch. Worried about Touch ID? Mophie's scratch-resistant membrane that covers the screen will still allow you to leverage that feature. What's more, priority-charging tech makes sure your phone charges before the case when plugging in is unavoidable. If you're itchin' to snag one, the Mophie H2PROTM is available for pre-order now for $130 and it's schedule to ship later this month. Unfortunately, there's no word on an iPhone 6 Plus option just yet.
Some months ago I wrote up a review of this TouchAbility waterproof case. If I remember correctly I splashed it with water, got the hose-pipe on it and gave it some positive feedback.
However, it’s rare that reviewers get enough time to do a full-on test. Say, for example, I did a real-world test of the iPhone – I’d pretty much have to own it for several months to give you a full overview of how it works in my daily life. So, the hose-pipe test was good enough, but the TouchAbility case was still sat on a cupboard at home when I started packing for our holiday, and it was a real last-minute decision to throw it in the suitcase.
Luckily I did, as the case has rescued me from having a completely destroyed iPhone 5s which I’m reviewing at the moment. The iPhone 5s, which was loaned to me by the nice people at Vodafone, came out with me on holiday so that I could submerge myself into the iOS world and give it a proper full on test. I’ve used Android for so many years and, although I have an iPad, I’ve not used the iPhone itself as my daily driver for any real length of time.
As this phone doesn’t belong to me, I’ve been taking great care with it. I brought an Android phone to use when I went to the beach or sat near the pool. It worked well until, one day while swimming in the pool, I realised that my wallet was in my shorts. As I felt inside my pocket I suddenly became aware that it wasn’t my wallet, it was my Android phone. I’d been swimming for a good 30 minutes and, despite putting it in the baking 38 degree heat to dry (which it did quite quickly) it was a dead duck, showing just a white screen when I tried to power it up a few days later.
Out on the beach and around the pool, the iPhone started to become my one and only book-reader and camera. These are both risky areas to take phones, and I noticed at a local water park that some people had taken to using waterproof handsets like the Sony Xperia line. I decided to start using the TouchAbility waterproof case that I’d nearly forgotten about. Pretty instantly this proved its worth when we went for a long drive to a remote beach. I kept the phone with me just in case we got lost or had car trouble, and had put it in the case before setting out.
After a few hours at the beach I retrieved the phone to find that the case was absolutely covered in sand. Thanks to a few ice-lolly wrappers and sticking fizzy drinks, it also had a mixture of water, Fanta, Callipo ice-lolly wrappers and all sorts of other things. It was a state. The iPhone inside wasn’t. It was absolutely pristine when removed the phone later and, after a quick rinse of the case, it was ready to go again.
The case itself uses a rubbery plastic for the clear sections. It’s tricky to describe, but imagine those rain-covers for pushchairs and mix that in with some elastic and your there. It sticks to the screen of the phone, meaning that you can still use nearly all the functions. Sure, pressing the volume up / down keys in the side is a bit tricky and yes, if you have a phone with a power button on the side it’s not possible to turn it on. I managed to get to the top power key on the iPhone quite easily though thanks to the elasticity of the covering material.
The front and rear has the same look pretty much, although the rear has a frosted section and logo taking up half of it. Most cameras are at the top of phones, so you can still take shots and they’ll come out very well indeed thanks to the figure-hugging material.
To place your phone inside, just slide the bottom green lock, place your phone in, then close and slide the lock back on. It’ll ensure that the entire unit is sealed and held closed. There’s also a lanyard for attaching to your wrist or belt loop should you want to keep hold of the phone.
Back to my story though, and although I had started using the case on the iPhone I didn’t really want to test it more than the odd splash or drip. This is really as far as we pushed it in the earlier review, but one day in the pool it somehow ended up taking a dip into the deep end. All the way down, about 1.80m down. I dived down and used the floating lanyard to grab it, and this is when everything changed. It was fine. Absolutely fine. Not a drip of water, condensation or anything. The phone was fine, which should stop the guys at Vodafone invoicing me for a new one. Phew.
From then on I had a growing confidence in this particular case. Due to the rigid sides it was robust and, under water, I could still operate the screen. I recorded under water movies in the pool to help my son with his swimming technique, I took it to a water park, in the sea and even went paragliding with it (although I did have to smuggle it past the guy hooking me up, who told me that they wanted everything out of my pockets as things had got wet in the past). Here’s a video I shot in the pool just to prove it…
Honestly, some of the footage I filmed on my holiday would’ve never been possible without this case, as you have the confidence to take the phone anywhere. A simple trip to the beach ended up with me and the family paragliding and I took shots I’m going to keep forever up there.
The camera on the iPhone, as you’ll see in my upcoming review, is really rather fantastic. Great low-light shots, brilliant action images and great clear images throughout.
For £9.99 a case like this is a lot cheaper than an insurance claim too, because the excess is usually around £25 or so. It’s not just protecting your phone, it’s letting you capture moments that you wouldn’t have ever recorded without the protection. If you’re interested in getting one, head here.
Sony today have announced a new phone the M2 Aqua. No, this isn’t just a different colour version of the M2, but rather a waterproof version of the mid-range M2 handset.
Spec wise the new M2 Aqua is the same as the M2, a decent mid-range handset with a few small adjustments. Main specs are listed below:
- Quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor
- 1GB RAM
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat on launch
- 4.8″ screen 540 x 960 pixels
- 8 Megapixel camera with LED flash
- 1080p video recording with HDR video
- 8GB internal memory with microSD support for 32GB
The main difference between the two handsets is the Aqua uses an IPS panel, like that found in the Z2 rather than the TFT LCD panel in the original M2 which should ensure better viewing angles and a better display. Due to the waterproofing the phone is marginally bigger, 140 x 72 x 8.6 mm compared to 139.7 x 71.1 x 8.6 mm for the original so users won’t notice it but may find some tight cases may not fit. Speaking of the waterproofing, the M2 Aqua is IP 65 and 68 rated, with Sony declaring it as the “world’s highest level of waterproofing available in a smartphone”. The rating means the Aqua is impervious to dust, low pressure water jets and can be submerged in up to 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes.
The phone will be available in black and white colours with release in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific, for a mid-range price, at some point in the autumn.
Xperia™ M2 Aqua, the waterproof
• The world’s highest level of waterproofing available in a
smartphone2 at a price that suits everyone
• Snap incredible photos in and out of the water with a
stunning 8MP camera and Sony’s suite of creative Xperia
• Sony’s flagship experience in a premium design with
ultra-fast LTE and best-in-class processor performance for
better entertainment on the go
• World’s highest smartphone battery capacity in its category3
with long-lasting 2300mAh battery
• Best-in-class 4.8” qHD display, perfect for one-handed usage
19 August, 2014, London, UK – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony
Mobile”) today introduces XperiaTM M2 Aqua, the first smartphone to bring
Sony’s popular waterproof technology to a mid-range price-point.
Featuring Sony’s signature OmniBalance design and a fantastic 8MP
camera, Xperia M2 Aqua not only brings waterproof technology to a new
tier of smartphones, it improves on that technology, offering the highest
waterproof rating (IP65/68) in a smartphone2
“Xperia M2 Aqua is a significant milestone in our product portfolio as we
bring yet another of our signature technologies to a new category of
smartphones,” says Calum MacDougall, Director of Xperia Marketing at
Sony Mobile. “The popularity of Xperia M2 showed us that there was a huge
demand for premium Sony features at an affordable price-point. Following
consumer feedback, we’ve now taken this a step further by bringing our
waterproof expertise to a mid-range smartphone for the first time with
Xperia M2 Aqua. It is a smartphone that lets customers take the best of
Sony technology and entertainment with them wherever they go – come
rain or shine – and we are excited to bring it to market.”