For those who are interested in an unlocked smartphone without a contract that doesn’t break the bank, look no further than the Moto G from Motorola. While the word “budget” could certainly be bandied about the phone itself doesn’t necessarily deserve this designation. The phone is not only sleek, but sturdy, and its remarkably similar in appearance to Motorola’s flagship Moto X. There are of course a number of differences between the two, but for those looking for a less expensive phone the price jumps out at you. The 8 gigabyte model will retail for $179, doubling the internal storage to 16 gigabytes will only cost you an additional $20.

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G specifications

These price tags do, however, come with a number of drawbacks despite the phone’s overall appeal. The G doesn’t support 4G/LTE which is, of course, presently the fastest wireless data available. The camera also leaves a bit to be desired. You also won’t be treated to a blisteringly fast processor. It has a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, whereas the Moto X has Motorola’s X8 “computing system,” new iPhones have Apple’s A7 chips, and Samsung competitors claim an octa-core chipset.

That said, the Moto G is perfectly capable of running multiple applications simultaneously without a noticeable lag in performance. The phone comes in at 5.5 ounces and allows for the customization of the back with multiple colors able to be swapped in and out at a whim.

Around its edges are the expected power button, volume control buttons, microUSB port and microphone. At the top, there’s a 3.5mm headset jack. The screen is an adequate 4.5-inch 720p LCD touchscreen display, with a pixel density of 329 pixels per inch. While it won’t win any awards for its display it presents users with a sufficiently bright and crisp display.

Moto G operating system

The phone runs Android, version 4.3 Jelly Bean, with the promise that the phone will be upgradable to 4.4 KitKat, the next version of the operating system. The battery life is surprisingly good, partly due to the lack of 4G/LTE data.

The Moto G offers a nice camera but it’s certainly no Lumia 1020, Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5.  It has a five-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera, and captures 720p video.

All and all, this is a great budget phone for those looking for just that.