Having seen the retail packages of the Moto G and Moto E, the tiny box with just a microUSB cable inside is hardly a surprise. There're no headphones supplied and you don't even get an A/C adapter. Granted, at this point you probably have a few of those lying around, but if you don't you should add those to the bill.
As we said, the new Moto G 4G is absolutely identical to the original model. It stands at 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6mm, which makes it one of the more compact smartphones in its price range. It's not the slimmest package around and you can definitely feel the extra thickness around the waistline but at this size it's not too upsetting.
143g is perhaps too much for the size, though. It certainly contributes to the solid feel in hand, but it's a weight you need to put up with in daily use.
The styling of the Moto G 4G is clean and efficient, as if to make a point that it's a device you're going to use, not show off. Even the vanilla Moto X is quite understated - if you decide to skip the customization powers of the Moto Maker. Overall, unlike the Motorola smartphones of old, which tended to be overdesigned, this one bets on simplicity, combining traditional materials and clean (borderline boring) lines.
The result is good and even the fact that the Moto G 4G uses two different kinds of plastic for its front and back panels on our white version doesn't spoil the looks. It's clearly not what you'd call an attention-grabber, but that's hardly ever an option when shopping in this price range.
Decent build and acceptable looks are what counts in this bracket and the Moto G 4G over-delivers on both. It's certainly well put together and looks like it will have no trouble keeping it up in the long run. There's a protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 over the screen, while the back can easily be replaced if it gets damaged.
Speaking of replacing the back panel - that's only as far as the Moto G 4G will go in terms of customization. It's not nearly as impressive as the Moto Maker for the Motorola Moto X, but it's still an option. A swappable cover doesn't allow easy access to the battery though. Technically, it's a non-removable battery but you can actually replace it yourself in an emergency (though you would need the right tools).
As for the handling, despite its less than slender profile and considerable heft, the Motorola Moto G 4G fits nicely in the palm and is not a problem at all to operate single-handedly. The curved back with matte plastic has good grip too.
Above the Motorola Moto G 4G's display, the front-facing camera and a bunch of ambient light and proximity sensors are placed each side of an earpiece.
With the main controls on the actual screen, the space below the display is completely bare. The same goes for the left side of the Moto G.
The 3.5mm audio jack is centrally placed at the top, where it's joined by the secondary noise-cancelling microphone.
The mouthpiece is at the bottom, next to the microUSB port. The port has support for USB host support, so if you get yourself the extra adapter required, you can attach various peripherals like keyboards and mice as well as USB memory sticks. However it has no support for MHL or Slimport, meaning pairing with an HDTV isn't an option (unless the HDTV supports wireless streaming over the Miracast protocol).
On the right we see the only two hardware controls on the Moto G 4G. The power key sits slightly above the volume rocker and while both keys are a bit too thin for our liking, they make up for it with nicely solid press.
The 5MP camera lens has the loudspeaker on its side at the back of the smartphone, while the LED flash sits underneath it. A Motorola logo completes the tally.
Opening the back panel is a bit of a hassle, involving pushing you fingernail in the microUSB slot and pulling with a reasonable amount of force until you undo the stubs one by one. It does feel like the cover is about to break at times, but after several changes it's still in one piece, so the problem was perhaps mostly in our heads.
Underneath the cover you get access to the microSIM bed and the hot-swappable microSD card slot. The addition of a memory expansion slot (up to 32GB) is one of the two major upgrades to the original Moto G.
You're not supposed to try and replace the Moto G 4G's battery yourself but you can if it has to be done. All it takes is undoing a few screws to remove the inner cover and you are good to go - if you can live with losing your warranty. But we don't think that's a job easy enough to do on a daily basis.