Motorola has today announced the third generation of its affordable Moto G smartphone and as you would expect the new model comes with a range of improvements and new features. In the camera department the pixel count has been upped to 13MP and a new dual-LED flash has been implemented for better white balance in difficult lighting situations. The third generation Moto G also comes with a Hybrid Multilayer IR cut filter that, according to Motorola, helps remove flare when taking pictures of light sources that radiate high infrared light, for example candles. At F2.0 the aperture remains the same as on the previous model. 

The front camera has been upgraded as well. It now offers a 5MP resolution and 72 degree viewing angle. It also offers Motorola's Best Shot feature which captures multiple shots before and after you touch the screen, recognizing issues like blurred subjects or blinking eyes and recommends the best picture to keep. Unlike the new Moto X Style the Moto G does not come with a front flash but offers a flash-like function that briefly cranks up the brightness of the screen as you capture a front camera image to provide some extra light.

Like the other new Motorola models, Moto X Style and Moto X Play, the Moto G camera app has a new Night Mode that increases the ISO for a reduced risk of image blur and brighter exposures in very dark conditions. At the same time image resolution is reduced in order to average out noise and other artifacts.

The Android 5.1 operating system is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and users can choose from a 8 or 16GB versions with 1GB of RAM or a 16GB version with 2GB of RAM. A microSD slot allows for storage expansion by up to 32GB. Apart from the the more powerful internal components the new Moto G also comes with an IPX7-rated body which sounds like a great feature for those mobile photographers who like to take their device on hikes, bike rides or other outdoor activities. This means it can survive accidental drops in water of up to three feet for up to 30 minutes. The third generation of the Moto G will cost you $179.99 in the US for for the contract-free 8GB version with 1GB RAM. The 16GB version with 2GB of RAM will set you back $219.99. 

Key Specifications:

  • 13MP sensor
  • F2.0 aperture
  • 1080p video / 720p slow-motion
  • 5MP front camera with 72 degree angle of view
  • 5-inch 720p display
  • Android 5.1
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 1.4 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 8/16GB storage with 1GB RAM or 16GB storage with 2GB RAM
  • MicroSD support up to 32GB
  • IPX7-rated 
  • 2470 mAh battery

Preview samples

We've had a chance to play with the new model just before launch and have taken the opportunity to shoot a few image samples in varying light conditions. Looking at the images below the new Moto G captures very good detail in bright light and thanks to its fast aperture can keep the ISO down in indoor and low light conditions. It might not quite keep up with the latest top-end models but in its price-bracket it looks like one of the best options for mobile photographers to date. We are looking forward to a more comprehensive test of the new Motorola Moto G camera.

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