Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Feels Like a New Moto G

I factory reset my Moto G last night and set everything up from scratch. I'd not done this since I bought the phone 7 months ago. It took until past midnight, and I was short on sleep anyway!

However, battery life in the 48 hours since the reset has been much better, and the feel around the operating system is much quicker, along with only one app crashing where previously there would have been several. This is with the same set of apps and data as before the reset. To be complete in the detail here, that 7 months usage did include the update from Jelly Bean to KitKat. The conclusions are therefore:
  • Android now behaves like Windows, in that users who consume lots of software/apps/services will accumulate crud, which over time slow the device down and make random things (crashes, force closes) happen, and only a fresh install gets you back to the speed and stability you know the hardware is capable of.
  • Major version updates of the operating system should always be followed by a factory reset where possible.
  • Android's native backup and restore of apps and app data is still pathetic, and very rarely restores a complete set of apps or app data, if it starts at all. There’s very little control of how it happens, and no web portal to see the apps Google has linked to your account, such that you know the apps it will restore, and have a choice to prune the list. Android is far, far behind iOS in this area, which has had flawless back and restore for years.
  • The Moto G really is a brilliant device, especially given the context that this (albeit non-4G variant) 16GB model cost me £81 brand new from Tesco with ClubCard vouchers plus £3 for a SIM unlock.
None of this is news par se, but as one of those annoying folks who wants his phones to be "phone sized" (that's around 130mm x 65mm for me) it does justify my feeling that there isn't a better phone out there for me right now, over 7 months after the Moto G originally 

I've been tempted by a Moto X, the natural migration path in some ways from the Moto G, but as it is now a year old, a successor is likely around the corner. Given the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini and HTC One Mini 2 were both disappointing and overpriced, my hopes for a new phone-sized phone to purchase seem to rest on rumoured devices such as:
  • Sony Z2 Compact, where they'll hopefully have fixed the Z1 Compact's problems like the under-performing camera, the nasty factory-fitted screen protectors, and the chassis design that makes it feel larger than it is.
  • Moto X2, where they'll have a much better camera in than that on the Moto X, and release it in the UK promptly (versus 6-7 months delay on the Moto X after it launched in the US)
  • Some other thing that's a bit off piste and will surprise me into a purchase (a small Xiaomi device, a OnePlus One Mini, etc)
That list doesn't include anything too concrete, or even anything likely to be released in the near future. It's just as well this feels like new Moto G since the factory reset, as I seemingly won't be buying anything actually new any time soon...

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