Moto G Google Play edition replaces near-stock Android with stock Android

The Moto G is getting a Google Play edition, but it didn’t really need one in the first place.
Google

Google has just announced a Google Play edition of its Moto G smartphone, the budget-friendly Android phone introduced in the US last month. The new version starts at $179 for 8GB and $199 for 16GB. It comes unlocked, works on GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, and runs stock Nexus-style Android—all things that can also be said of the original Moto G.

The Google Play Edition program is normally the best way to get unlocked, third-party hardware that’s free of carrier and OEM add-ons—if you like HTC’s or Samsung’s hardware but don’t want to put up with their software, these phones are an alternative. As it is, a Moto G bought unlocked from Motorola already runs the latest version of Android, features very few of Motorola’s software customizations laid over top, and comes carrier-unlocked. A Google Play edition might get you a guarantee of quick updates that doesn’t necessarily come with the Motorola version, but in everyday use the software will be nearly identical.

In any case, the phone is now available from Google Play, where it joins the Samsung Galaxy S 4, HTC One, Sony Z1 Ultra, and LG G Pad 8.3. Even though both the Moto X and Moto G use very similar software, Google appears to be holding its Motorola division to the same rules as the other Android OEMs: only Google Play edition phones can actually be sold in Google Play.

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