The Moto G was launched in Brazil just 2 months ago and in Singapore just today, but Google has now decided to make it a Google Play Edition device. Both devices will sport the same hardware; the changes are merely software deep.
Instead of running Motorola’s slightly modified version of Android, the Google Play Edition device will run stock Android. What this means is that users will be able to get the latest Android update as soon as possible, as with other Google Play Edition devices so far, like the S4 GPE and the HTC One GPE, and enjoy the Vanilla Android experience. Simply put, the Moto G Google Play Edition is essentially a Moto G with stock Android slapped on it.
Both devices share the same spec sheet – a 1.2 GHz quad core Snapdragon 400 processor with an Adreno 305 GPU, 1GB of RAM, a 5 MP camera and a 2070 mAh battery. Although these specs are quite outdated in 2014, it can still perform relatively well and offers great value for money. It will retail on the Google Play Store for the same price as the standard Moto G – US$179 for 8GB and US$199 for 16GB.
Motorola has preserved many elements of stock Android in their version, but has added in some rather useful apps, like Motorola Assist, which allows the users to programme their phone conditionally. However, these apps are absent in the Google Play Edition device.
All the other apps have been replaced by the default Android apps, like the camera app and the dialler. The GPE device will run the same camera app as the other GPE and Nexus devices, but without the photosphere function, as it lacks a gyroscope. The dialler has also been replaced by the 4.4 dialler in the Nexus 5, with Google Caller ID. Other than these, the remaining apps function well and leaves up to their expectations.
As with the other GPE devices, the Moto G GPE will be sold on the Devices section of the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, this section of the Play Store is inaccessible in Singapore, so you are unable to purchase it directly from US. The other option is to wait for Singapore distributors to bring it into the country, like what Brightstar did with the standard Moto G.
So should you get the standard Moto G or the Moto G Google Play Edition? It really depends on the user as most changes are on the software level, and the preference might vary from person to person. But if you are the die-hard Android fan, go for the Google Play Edition device. At US$179, it is quite a bargain.