Now, how does Verizon get away with this? Well, the Verizon Moto G is locked to Verizon. It is the only Moto G that requires prepaid service activation to be powered up fully – a possible violation of Android rules, out of box setup is not supposed to require carrier activation.
Of course, you only have to activate the prepaid phone for a day, then you can leave it in airplane mode forever. After that, it becomes a $50 iPod touch with built-in GPS.
And, really, stacking Moto G up against iPod touch is not a fair fight. Apple has basically abandoned iPod touch because of billions in subsidies in iPhone sales. Moto G is using a Snapdragon 400, and it only has trouble stacking up to iPod touch in the camera department.
Which, by the way, Google has finally fixed the all-cheap-Motos-have-bad-cameras-and-the-good-ones-do-too problem… a final gift to Motorola before handing the company off to Lenovo, I suppose. The Moto G is a capable cameraphone shooter for casual pictures, complete with an LED flash and an image sensor that is nothing to write home about… including in a bad way too.
In all, if you have even a passing interest in Android and don’t have a modern KitKat device, your wait is over. And if you’re still using an iPhone, go grab one of these and just try it out in Wi-Fi mode. I’ve already given two to iPhone zealots and it’s doing a good job of dispelling all the FUD that competitor(s) keeps pushing on Android.
Don’t expect this wave of Moto G deals to continue, however. A GSM Moto G is already much more expensive because it can easily be moved between carriers. Planning for the direction of Lenovo to take over at Motorola Mobility, the Moto G is also moving upmarket with Moto G 4G LTE on the GSM side. I expect CDMA carriers to replace Moto G with the newer Moto E over time at the $50 to $100 price point over the next few months.
Note that if you’re planning on parking the Verizon Moto G on Page Plus Cellular, with its $40/year backup phone pricing… that won’t work, as Verizon prepaid phones must sit out a six month wait before being used on Verizon MVNOs. You’re better off buying a Boost Mobile Moto G and flashing it with Verizon firmware… or buying one off of eBay that has had that done already. I did.