By Paul Gorski
The Moto G LTE is a great entry-level Android 4.4 KitKat smartphone and two local carriers sell the phone: U.S. Cellular and AT&T. Verizon appears to only carry the older, slower 3G model as a prepaid, no contract phone. I have been looking for a good entry-level smartphone for a friend, without a contract, and I believe the Moto G LTE is that phone.
I reported on the release of this phone back in August, but I had not looked at the pre-paid/no contract pricing for the phone. U.S. Cellular (USC) offers the Moto G LTE for a penny with a two-year contract, but I think the best deal is the no contract price of $49 from USC for the same phone. Most no contract or prepaid phones cost $150 or more, some even more than $500. U.S. Cellular will charge you a one-time $40 activation fee, but still, the phone costs less $100.
Moto G LTE has impressive specifications for an entry-level phone. The Moto G LTE features a sharp 4.5-inch display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 5MP camera, and ships with the newest version of Android, KitKat version 4.4. Android fans will appreciate that Motorola and USC do not add too many additional apps, so you get a nearly pure Android experience.
The Moto G LTE includes a somewhat paltry 8GB of onboard memory, but this updated Moto G model includes a microSD card slot that accommodates a 32GB memory expansion card. A 32GB expansion card can be purchased for $25 or so — a good upgrade for users taking many photos and videos. Previous Moto G models did not include the expansion slot or 4G LTE data connections. Confusing matters a bit more, Motorola offers a Moto G with a 5-inch screen and 3G data speeds. To be clear, the model I am discussing here is the Moto G with 4G LTE (4.5-inch screen).
USC offers a $50-per-month, no-contract plan that includes unlimited text and voice and 500 MB of data. 500 MB is not much data for people sharing a lot of photos or viewing videos or Netflix movies online. However, if you are a light data user, a few photos and emails, the $50 per month plan and this phone would be perfect for you. Of course, the Moto G LTE could easily handle video streaming and hundreds of photos, but I would then recommend a plan that includes more data.
If you want other opinions on the Moto G LTE, visit: http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Motorola-Moto-G-LTE_id8655 and http://www.cnet.com/products/motorola-moto-g-4g-lte/?_escaped_fragment_=#!. These sites rate the Moto G LTE very highly.
AT&T offers the Moto G LTE, too, but the price is not as enticing as U.S. Cellular’s offer. Read more about AT&T’s offer at: http://about.att.com/newsroom/moto_g_lte_speeds_into_att_stores_on_oct_10.html.
U.S. Cellular’s $49 no-contract price for the Moto G LTE is a web-only special. You will find the phone at U.S. Cellular’s website: http://www.uscellular.com/uscellular/cell-phones/showPhones.jsp?device-category=device-category-smartphone. U.S. Cellular is offering a great combination of phone price and non-contract monthly plan on the Moto G LTE right now, but I am fairly certain this is a limited-time offer. Check it out today.
Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple lle.
Posted Oct. 14, 2014