motorola_moto_gMany consumers are skeptical of cheap phones – especially inexpensive Android devices.

The phones may appear underpowered. They may have a lackluster screen with colours as dull as a 1960s photograph, a camera as sharp as your vision after a night of drinking, and a processor as fast as Toronto’s Queen streetcar during rush hour.

The Motorola Moto G LTE, currently $224.99 without a contract, could trigger such fears. But it’s far from that.

Sure, the 4.5-inch screen is on the small side compared to the larger 5-inch plus screens available from many other Android competitors. But this 720p HD display looks sharp, reproducing vivid colours that pop from a relatively small handset.

The phone’s construction is plasticky yet smooth and easy to grasp. Some may desire a sharper-looking handset, but that’s not what you get in this price bracket.

Images captured by the Moto G’s 5 MP camera appear better than what you’d see produced by last year’s budget Android phones, just don’t expect this handset to excel in low-light situations, or when trying to capture fast motion.

There is, however, the option to store all your images (and music, movies, apps, etc.) on an expandable microSD memory chip. This has the potential to vastly improve the phone’s standard 8 GB on-board storage capacity.

Battery life appeared to be on average, lasting about a day-and-a-half of above average use.

Now on paper, a 1.2-Ghz quad-core processor isn’t the fastest mobile phone brains out there. However, it zipped along quite well when running everything from games to HD video and apps. If you’re looking for the highest frame rates in intense first-person shooters, spend more on a faster phone. But coupled with the Android KitKat operating system (4.4), the Moto G pleasantly surprised in the speed category.

The Motorola Moto G LTE isn’t the fastest phone out there. But you know what? At it’s current price point and with smooth, fluid performance, the value for money proposition is strong.

Rating: 4/5