Motorola Moto G Turbo unboxing and first impressions: a beefed-up Moto G, from the inside out

“The latest offering from Motorola sits between the third-gen Moto G and Moto X Play”

Motorola re-entered the Indian smartphone market just last year, but it has already rewritten quite a few rules. In 2014, it had one device across every segment. This time however, it’s widening its portfolio of offerings. In the mid-budget segment between Rs 10,000 and 20,000, it has the third-gen Moto G as well as the Moto X Play, but now it’s adding another device in this range. Dubbed as the Moto G Turbo, the phone can best be explained as the cross between the latest Moto G (review) and Moto X Play (review), as it offers the specs of the latter in the body of the former, plus the durability factor.

The handset has just made its way to our test centre, and before we put it through its paces, let’s take a customary glance at its box contents, which will be followed by our initial impressions.

The Moto G Turbo comes hidden in a typical compact rectangular-shaped box. The front features the image of the device, while at the back, you’ll find its key specs. Opening the retail package brings up the smartphone itself, with its grey rear panel visible first since it’s kept top down. Underneath the tray holding the smartphone, you’ll find all the accessories neaty arranged.

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The Moto G Turbo supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charging technology, and unlike its pricier sibling, the Moto X Play, its box comes with a TurboPower adapter. Sadly, this means that the device doesn’t come with a micro-USB cable for data transfers. The retail box also include a pair of earphones as well as a couple of manuals.

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Now, let’s check out the device, which looks quite good in a white hue. The Moto G Turbo will also be available to purchase in a black option, and in that case, the back cover is also available in the same colour. The design language of the Moto G Turbo is exactly same as the Moto G (3rd-gen). Up front, the 5-inch display panel dominates the proceedings and is flanked by two metallic grilles at the top and bottom.

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While the phone is crafted from plastic, the edges are covered in a metallic strip. The power button and volume rocker can be found on the right, while the left spine remains devoid of any elements. The 3.5mm audio socket is available at the top, whereas the micro-USB port finds a place at the base.

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The back features a slight curve at the top and bottom, which help in better handling of the Moto G Turbo. Here, the metallic strip holding the camera module along with Motorola’s trademark imprint in a cavity will grab your attention. The back plate can be removed to access the dual-SIM card slots as well as the expansion slot, although the battery remains non-removable.

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While the Moto G Turbo looks similar to its namesake, it’s build quality isn’t. It feels more solid in hand, and can withstand dust as well as a dunk or two in the water with depth of up to a metre thanks to IP67 certification. In comparison, its sibling is IPx7 compatible and hence is only waterproof.

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The 5-inch display panel is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and features a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. While most devices in this price range rock full HD displays, the Moto G Turbo’s screen still manages to offer sharp text and good colour reproduction.

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The Moto G (3rd-gen) features the budget Qualcomm SoC – the Snapdragon 410. The Moto G Turbo though presents itself as a more powerful option as it’s powered by the Snapdragon 615 processor. The chipset offers two quad-core clusters running at 1.5GHz and 1.0GHz respectively. Combined with 2gigs of RAM, the hardware should be able to handle 3D games as well as multitasking. During our brief usage, we didn’t find any lags or stutters.

The performance will further be helped by Motorola’s almost-stock UI, running atop Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. There aren’t any preloaded apps, and the only additional features you’d find are aimed at improving the user experience. All these options are present under an app called Moto. These include the ability to display notifications on the black screen even when the phone is locked, and automation via Assist, among others.

Moto G Turbo screenshot (4) Moto G Turbo screenshot (1)

With the 16GB storage on board (approximately 11GB accessible to you), the smartphone should be able to handled your storage needs. However, you can also extend it further – up to 128GB, with the use of a microSD card.

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Cameras on the Moto G Turbo also remain the same as the Moto G (2015). A 13-meg sensor at the back, which is supplemented by dual-tone LED flash and a 5MP shooter at the front. The duo have impressed on the Moto G and we believe that the same would be the case with its sibling.

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The 4G smartphone also features the usual connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Fuelling the Moto G Turbo is a 2,470mAh unit, which should last a day of use. The good part is that unlike its sibling, the phone can be juiced up quickly thanks to the bundled TurboPower charger.

The specs on offer, combined with its price tag of Rs 14,499, make the Moto G Turbo sit squarely between the Moto G (3rd-gen) and Moto X Play. At this price, it’d be competing against the likes of Xiaomi Mi 4 (review | cheatsheet) and ASUS ZenFone 2 (review | FAQs). If you’re wondering whether it will be able to withstand the competition, keep your eyes peeled for our review.

Photos by Raj Rout

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