Launching its first handset in India after a nearly two-year hiatus, Motorola today announced that the much-awaited Moto G is priced at Rs 12,499 for 8 GB version and Rs 13,999 for the 16 GB variant.

In the US, Moto G — with no contract, no SIM lock and an ‘unlockable bootloader’ — is priced at around $179 (about Rs 11,200) with 8 GB of storage and $199 (about Rs 12,400) for the 16 GB version.

After being acquired by Google in May 2012, Motorola Mobility stopped introducing new products in India. However, the firm continued with its operation in the Indian market.

The smartphone, which the firm claims will give the users a premium smartphone experience for a third of the price of the current high-end phones, will be available exclusively through e-commerce marketplace player Flipkart from tomorrow.

Elaborating on the strategy behind launching affordable smartphones, Motorola Mobility General Manager EMEA and Asia-Pacific, Magnus Ahlqvist said: “About 500 million people globally are looking at buying a new smartphone in 2014, which promises them an affordable price and good user experience.”

India is on the brink of explosive growth in e-commerce, which will take products to the farthest corners of the country and Motorola wants to be a part of this growth story, he added.

Speaking on the launch, Flipkart co-founder and CEO, Sachin Bansal said: “For the first time a global brand has tied up with an exclusive online partner in India. This exclusive partnership is also a continuation of our commitment to bring the best to our customers.”

The budget-friendly smartphone, which underscores Motorola’s plan to focus on emerging markets, was expected to have reached Indian shores by January 2014.

The Indian e-commerce market grew 88 per cent last year and at present stands at $16 billion and Flipkart with 1 crore registered users, over 10 lakh daily visitors and one million monthly shipments is the right platform for the launch of such an attention-grabbing phone, he added.

Moto G, which sports a 4.5-inch HD display, is powered by 1.2GHz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Adreno 305 graphics, 1 GB of RAM and has a dual SIM option.

The handset comes loaded with Android 4.3 Jellybean with a guaranteed upgrade to 4.4 KitKat in the close future.

Protected with Corning Gorilla glass, Moto G has a water repellent nano-coating inside and outside, which provides protection to the handset from light splashes of water.

Moto G has a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. On the features front, Moto G has a revamped Phone app, which prioritises contacts based talk time and call frequency. The Photos app allows viewing and editing of locally stored and Google+ images.

Google is also offering 50 GB of Google Drive storage free for two years with Moto G in addition to the standard 15 GB available to every Google account user.

Last month, Google announced Lenovo will buy Motorola Mobility for $2.91 billion ending the Internet giant’s unsuccessful run in the competitive handset business.

(This article was published on February 5, 2014)
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