With a bigger 5in screen and stereo speakers on the front, the second-generation Moto G is a worthy upgrade from the original smartphone. See also: full Moto G 2014 review.

Design-wise, the new model follows the original almost exactly. There’s no disguising the plastic finish: it looks and feels like a budget smartphone.

Buttons and ports are in the same places, and the back is removable to reveal not one but two SIM slots and a slot for adding up to 32GB of extra storage.

As well as white, it also comes in black and you’ll be able to buy coloured rear shells soon.

Motorola Moto G (2014) review: screen

The new Moto G isn’t much bigger overall, but the screen is noticeably larger. Resolution stays the same, but you don’t really notice the drop in pixel density.

It’s still a great screen with vivid colours and great viewing angles. Brightness is ok, but it’s far from the most dazzling we’ve seen.

Motorola Moto G (2014) review: hardware

As with resolution, there’s no upgrade in the processor department. That means performance is the same, which is to say it’s very good, especially at just £145 SIM-free.

You’ll also be able to buy a 16GB version if you need more storage than the 8GB model we have here – the 5.5GB usable storage is pretty stingy.

The bad news is that there’s no support for 4G, so if you need that and a phone which takes two SIM cards, the revised version of the original Moto G might be a better option.

Motorola Moto G (2014) review: cameras

The good news is that the mediocre cameras have been upgraded, with an 8Mp sensor at the rear, and 2Mp at the front. However, it’s disappointing that video is still limited to 720p rather than full-HD, and video quality is still below par.

Photos are much more usable, but make sure you choose the 4:3 option in the camera app if you want the full eight megapixels: you’ll get widescreen 6Mp photos otherwise.

The HDR mode makes a big difference to photo quality, and there’s also a panorama mode.

Motorola Moto G (2014) review: software

One of the benefits of buying a Moto G is that you get plain Android. Motorola has already guaranteed an upgrade from KitKat to Android L when it launches later this year.

You also get Motorola’s Assist app which can automatically detect when you’re driving and read out incoming text messages. Using Google Now you can even dictate a reply without touching the phone.

Managing the two SIMs is very easy, and there’s no need to restart the phone to switch between them. When you make a call, you’re asked if you want to remember the choice of SIM and use the same one for that number next time.

Motorola Moto G (2014) review: verdict

With a bigger screen, much better speakers and improved cameras, the new Moto G is a great budget smartphone.

It may not have 4G or a faster processor, but for many people these won’t matter at all. Performance is decent and you’ll easily get through a day before needing to recharge. We’ve even managed two days on a couple of occasions. All in all, this is a great-value Android phone.