Display on mobile devices is one area where we’ve seen considerable improvement. Pixel density has gone up, contrast ratios have improved, and the emphasis on low power in a platform gated by its battery size means there’s always innovation happening. In the case of the Moto G, what we’re after should really be a display that looks visually appealing without any of the egregious issues that plague most midrange devices – poor viewing angles, low resolution, low contrast, dim displays.

On paper, the Moto G has what would probably have been a flagship display for a mobile device a year or two ago, it’s a 4.5-inch LCD with 1280x720 resolution and 326 PPI pixel density. The comparison point is the Moto X with a 4.7 inch AMOLED panel of the same 720p resolution and 312 PPI pixel density.

I’m pretty impressed with how the Moto G’s display looks. Subjectively, viewing angles are good, there aren’t any of the issues I normally attribute to non-flagship devices either with low pixel density or contrast that fails to please. There’s no light leakage at all from any of the corners.

One unfortunate thing about the Moto G I was sampled however is the presence of two small bubbles in the cover glass. I initially thought these were dust, but inspection with a microscope reveals they are in fact inhomogeneities in the cover glass.

I’m not sure whether these kind of defects are within spec for the Moto G, but they’re distracting and visible on most solid colored UIs or views. I’ve never seen something like this on any handset I’ve reviewed to date.

Brightness (Black)

Brightness (White)

Contrast Ratio

The Moto G goes plenty bright, at just over 455 nits, and delivers contrast numbers that are pretty darn good for the price point at just shy of 1200. Normally black levels are out of control on the lower end devices, I’m not sure if the Moto G uses an IPS panel, but suspect it does.

Upon inspection I immediately noticed that the Moto G display was very, very blue. To measure color accuracy we turn to the same combination of measures that we have used for a while now.


CalMAN Display Performance - Grayscale Average dE 2000



CalMAN Display Performance - Saturations Average dE 2000



CalMAN Display Performance - Gretag Macbeth Average dE 2000

CalMAN Display Performance - White Point Average

My comparison points are unfortunately primarily high end devices, which makes the Moto G look comparatively poor. The Moto G display tuning is indeed very blue with a white point of nearly 9000K, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn this is a function of the backlight LEDs used or intrinsic properties of the panel.

Color calibration is something we’ve only just now started to see get taken seriously on the high end devices, if we can’t expect it to be a regular staple there, the midrange is obviously a lost cause. I wouldn’t fault the Moto G for not being very accurate, but it is something to be aware of as a sacrifice at this price point if you’re considering it over a high-end phone. On the flipside, the pixel density and contrast of the Moto G’s display seems excellent given the price, and I suspect the defects in my Moto G’s cover glass are specific to this unit.

Performance - Quad Core Cortex A7 Camera - Still and Video
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  • ESC2000 - Monday, December 23, 2013 - link

    I always appreciate the extensive numbers you guys collect to lend some objectivity to your conclusions rather than offering unsubstantiated impressions and opinions like all other reviews. That said it is interesting to me that people's responses to various displays are so individual-specific. Even though the Samsung phones don't seemto score well other than in black levels of course, I still prefer their displays over most of the other phones on which you gathered data. Overall it looks like the iPhone did the best (although it looks like in some categories - whiteness, grayscale - it regressed from the 5 to the 5s) but I've never liked the displays on iphones. It is hard to evaluate on the 5s because I dislike the color scheme of iOS 7, a strange mixture of pastels and bright red.
  • a1exh - Saturday, December 28, 2013 - link

    Nice review. But you missed that the Moto G doesn't have MHL (HDMI out over USB). This feature has been on all my phones for the last few years and is a must have when visiting relatives without a smart TV. I wonder why such an easy feature was omitted?
  • BallGum - Saturday, December 28, 2013 - link

    Does anyone expect an update to the Moto G sometime, with the new SnapDragon 410 SoC?
  • Gothmoth - Sunday, December 29, 2013 - link

    do you think writing "DELTA" all the time makes you look l33t3?

    you sound like a cheap wanaabe nerd repeating this "DELTA" over and over.

    otherwise the article is nice....
  • Davidjan - Sunday, January 19, 2014 - link

    Really cool! Nice gadget to add Moto G's storage- a tiny MicroSD reader: http://goo.gl/2iJ6gf
  • orenlevy - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    America ,iphone,nexus updates??? well i have xiaomi mi2s and every week there is ota update,
    hardware-beast, snapdragon 600 2G ram ,well updates with reach feature but android version change each year .but most kitkat updates already there for monthes, add cloud service includes apps & setting,gallery,logs,sms ect backup ,firewall ,antivirus, ftp server...2 paratiton each time the other update during system on! it is possible and it is hear for 300$ camera i have very nice shoot in darkness using night mode also video in club,i think the near feuture will be chinees company like that,service....updates....every week....
  • shmotog - Sunday, February 2, 2014 - link

    I did my video review on the black flip shell for moto g here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsnWYpOjDzk&fea...

    Also here http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/RALAUPNHK9K8U/ref=c...

    I also did a review on moto g itself here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP9dGAzfEso
  • jfelano - Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - link

    G stands for GOOGLE duh. Google just bought Motorola.
  • sephirotic - Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - link

    No micro SD? "This is a new tendency"? That's ridiculous. This phone is automatically excluded from my next smartphone possible-upgrade lists. No quad core, 720p or "ultra-cheap price"can compensate for that. There has been 50USD phones from 10 years ago that already had micro sd support. This is utterly unacceptable. If you don´t live in US or EU you can´t count on unreliable and limited internet to rely on cloud services. Even so, you can´t install all applications or produce most content relying on remote files. What's the point of a fast processor, good gpu and large screen if you can´t install anything in it or fill it with movies and music? Net surfing and google maps? You don´t need a quad core for that... Only casual users would not see all the drawbacks of being completely limited on local storage. Cloud storage is not "the future", maybe for the casual illiterate user, but for us, power-users and non-US/EU residents, is just a nightmare. I rather expend 30% more on a similar spec phone (even a dual core) with external storage than buying this. I don´t understand how this can appeal to the "masses". Maybe the US "masses", because the rest of the world doesn´t have decent unlimited internet to rely on clound services at all.
  • wolfram74 - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    The camera review does not speaks about speed, time to focus, lag etc. I didn't get the whole information needed about camera.

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