By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Irvine, Calif. – No-contract brand Boost Mobile became the second service provider to offer Motorola’s low-cost Moto G 3G Android 4.3 smartphone, which Verizon also offers with no contract.
The launch marks the first time since 2011 that Boost is offering a Motorola phone.
Boost began offering the 8GB CDMA EV-DO Rev. A version of the phone today for $129 at BoostMobile.com. The service provider plans Jan. 20 availability through select wireless stores that sell only Boost Mobile service, and it plans Feb. 16 availability through national retailers, including Walmart, RadioShack, Target and Best Buy.
The phone, introduced last November, is also available direct from Motorola as an unlocked GSM/HSPA+21 model with no contract and unlockable bootloader. Motorola’s price is $179 for the 8GB version and $199 for the 16GB. Verizon’s price for the 3G CDMA version with 8GB is $99 without contract.
An upgrade to the latest Android OS, Android 4.4, is planned for February.
The phone was developed to appeal to U.S. consumers who want affordable no-contract phones, which aren’t carrier-subsidized, and to consumers in developing markets where carriers don’t subsidize phones.
Key features include a curved back, 4.5-inch 1280 by 720 HD display with 329 ppi, 2,070 mAh battery that delivers 24 hours of mixed usage, 5-megapixel image capture at 4:3 and 3.8-megapixel capture at 16:9, LED flash, 4x digital zoom, slow-motion video, burst mode, auto HDR, panorama mode, tap-to-focus capability, 1.3-megapixel front camera, 720p 30 fps HD video capture on front and back cameras, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.
The 5-ounce phone curves in back with a depth ranging from 0.24 inches to 0.46 inches. Interchangeable shells in different colors are available direct from Motorola.
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