If you're looking for a budget phone this winter, you could do worse than the Moto G, the latest device from the recently merged Google and Motorola. Just made available Tuesday for $179, it's cheaper than the subsidized price you'll pay for lots of phones at carriers, but in fact it's quite a bit better than many of them.
With a 4.5-inch, 1280x720 screen, the Moto G outdoes the iPhone in screen sharpness, and the quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, while not quite leading the pack, is no slouch either. $179 gets you 8 GB of internal storage, but you can update that to 16 GB for just $20 more, which we would definitely recommend doing.
It's not all good news, of course: the Moto G's camera is a paltry 5 megapixels, and it's actually a bit bigger than the higher-end Moto X, though it has the same size screen. It runs Android 4.3 and not 4.4 "KitKat," although that's not entirely a bad thing.
And if our experience with the Moto X was any indication, the Moto G isn't going to have much of a "premium" feel to its body. No brushed aluminum or ceramic highlights for this budget device — shiny plastic is all you can expect. But at this price, who's complaining?
More specs and links to buy the device (in U.S. or Global versions) are at the Moto G page — you'll need to take it in to your carrier and get a micro SIM card installed on your own.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.