Along with the launch of the new Motorola Moto E, Motorola has also provided information about an update to the Motorola Moto G. In our review of the Moto G we felt it provided a very good experience relative to its price. The one thing the device was lacking was support for LTE. The Moto G only shipped with support for 21.1Mbps HSDPA. What is interesting is that the MSM8x26 in the Moto G is capable of dual cell HSPA+ (DC-HSPA) at 42Mbps and category 4 LTE but Motorola was unable to include it as the software support was unavailable in time for launch. 

It has been around six months since the launch of the Moto G and Motorola is finally deciding to offer up a model with LTE support. Motorola has not given any specifics about frequency support but the model available for pre-order on their North American website lists it as a US GSM model which means there is at least support for bands 2, 4, and 17 in the US market. In addition to LTE support, Motorola has also included a MicroSD slot on the device much like on the newly launched Moto E. It's interesting that Motorola is now including MicroSD support on their smartphones now that they are in the process of being sold to Lenovo.

The new Motorola Moto G with LTE is available for pre-order at $219 in the US for the 8GB model and will be available £149 in the UK by the beginning of June.

Source: Official Motorola Blog

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  • djw39 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Are they actually owned by Lenovo yet?
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    For some reason I remembered it being approved and on Moto Mobility's Wikipedia page the parent company was listed as Lenovo. However, Motorola's site still labels them as a Google owned company so it looks like I was mistaken. I think it's just waiting for regulatory approval at the moment. I've updated the paragraph to better reflect the current situation of Motorola's ownership.

    That being said, when I look at Google's track record with SD cards on their Android devices (I don't think any have had it since the Nexus One) I feel like the Moto E and Moto G LTE wouldn't have been outfitted with MicroSD support if Google didn't intend for the company to be sold to someone else.
  • kpkp - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Even for Google a smartphone with only 4GB nand would be silly.
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    I don't think it would have been outfitted with only 4GB of NAND. It's not like Google has ever tried to achieve large margins on their devices. I think they would have taken on the extra $3 per phone to ship it with at least 8GB.
  • kpkp - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    I do not know if Google is the one deciding the margins on Motorola phones, if they are supposed to be 2 separate companies?
    Anyways, in my view that just proves that selling Motorola to Lenovo might be the right thing, because SD cards are important for "emerging markets" where the cloud isn't always accessible or fast enough. On a 8GB phone you put some apps, some music and some GPS maps and your phone slows down, because NAND doesn't have enough breathing room.

    On that note will be interesting to see how will the E perform over time, with so little NAND.

    PS: I use a Nexus, so no, I am not in the SD card camp, but I understand how it is useful specially in the low-end and emerging markets.
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    I wouldn't disagree with you that SD cards can be important in emerging markets due to their affordability. I don't mind the inclusion of MicroSD on a device, although I'm not someone who cares enough to make it a deal breaker when a phone doesn't have MicroSD (as long as it has sufficient internal storage).
  • hrrmph - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    I've had a 128GB Micro-SD chip in a Samsung Note 2 for about a month. Yesterday I received a 2nd and 3rd Micro-SD chip. So I went ahead and upgraded my Blackberry Z10, and then put the other chip away for later use.

    The phone and phablet work fine with 128GB. When I get time, I'll try the 3rd chip in my GoPro 3 camera to see if that works any good.

    Micro-SD cards are the mobile equivalent of having room for an extra hard drive in your PC for bulk data. If you frequently upgrade your high-end PC with bigger and better hard drives and SSDs, then you might appreciate the high capacity and high speed versions of Micro-SD chips and their upgradability.

    So in at least one respect they are a high-end solution too. In fact, they seem more like an all-end solution.
  • Impulses - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    It's much more like adding a cheap HDD than adding an SSD to a desktop tho (in practical and performance terms, obviously the cards are flash), so I'd say it's a mid range/enthusiast solution at best. The premium/mainstream market moved to laptops long ago, and they care about expandable storage there about as much as they do on phones.
  • coder543 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    "What is interesting is that the MSM8x26 in the Moto G is capable of dual cell HSPA+ (DC-HSPA) at 42Mbps and category 4 LTE but Motorola was unable to include it as the software support was unavailable in time for launch."

    Wait, I'm confused. The HSPA+/LTE model is only different by software? Is there an update coming for us Moto G users of the past several months? At the very least, will it be possible for a custom ROM to enable support?
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    The Moto G with the MSM8926 (others like the dual SIM model use MSM8226) has a modem block that can do LTE cat4 and DC-HSPA but the software for it was slated for after Motorola was going to launch the Moto G so it launched with single cell HSDPA 21.1. It's not something that Motorola can roll out to previous Moto G phones.

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