Motorola's Unlocked Moto G Smartphone Heads to U.S. Ahead of Schedule

Paul Lilly

Budget smartphone could be a hot holiday item

Motorola has a holiday surprise for the mobile crowd. The company announced that its unlocked and affordable Moto G smartphone is now available to purchase in GSM form from Motorola's website with no contract, no SIM lock, and an unlocked bootloader for $179 with 8GB of storage or $199 with 16GB of storage. Those are full retail prices - you own the device outright for less than the subsidized cost of most high-end smartphones.

Following the U.S. launch of the GSM version, Motorola said it will offer a CDMA handset in January. Both versions feature a 4.5-inch HD display, 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, and a 2070mAh battery that Motorola claims will last a full day.

The Moto G ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, though Motorola says it's "guaranteed" to get an Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade in the beginning of 2014. Furthermore, it's a clean build of Android -- no skins or funky customizations to slow down performance.

Bear in mind that the Moto G does not come with 4G LTE support or expandable storage. Some people will find those omissions to be deal killers, though overall, the Moto G is a good value for the money.

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