Motorola’s Awfully Cheap, Unlocked Moto G Makes Its U.S. Debut

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Motorola may have designed its cheap Moto X with international markets in mind, but cost-conscious phone nerds in the United States now join in the fun too — the company has confirmed that it’ll sell both the GSM 8GB and 16GB versions of the device on its website starting today.

Sorry CDMA sticklers, your time hasn’t come just yet — Motorola says your version is still on-track for a January launch.

If we’re being honest, the Moto G is far from the fastest phone out there with its 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip, 1GB of RAM, and lack of LTE. Still, early impressions of the thing are generally pretty positive and our own Darrell Etherington is surprisingly smitten with the thing because of its hefty battery life (and for a few other reasons I haven’t managed to discern just yet).

No, it’s the price tag that’s most appealing. You may not know it, but Motorola has spent years courting developing markets and the company has high hopes that its cheap Moto G will be enough to tip the scales in its favor across the the globe.

Frankly, I’m curious to see how this little experiment plays out. The 8GB model will set you back $179 while the 16GB model will costs $199, which (as Motorola likes to point out) is more than reasonable for a pair of unlocked, contract-free phones. But those figures may not sound all too enticing in a country that seems to love its carrier subsidies and the low, on-contract phone prices they lead to. Seriously, just wander into a phone store in a few weeks and behold all the cheap goodies that can be yours with a credit check, a signature, and two years of your life. That’s the model we Americans are used to, and we’re only now starting to see carriers realize there are other (arguably better) ways to go.