Motorola released the Moto G last week in Brazil and parts of Europe on Nov. 13, and will release the budget-friendly smartphone in the U.K., Germany, Mexico and France in the next few weeks.

Motorola has said that the second wave of Moto G releases -- in the U.S. and parts of Southeast Asia -- will see the low-cost successor to the Moto X release with Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box. Motorola says the Moto G will see a January 2014 release date in the U.S., as the smartphone launches first around the world. This is in comparison to its predecessor, the higher-end Moto X, which was only released in the U.S.

The Moto G will cost $179 (USD) for 8GB of storage off-contract, $199 for 16GB and Motorola says some retail partners may even offer it for less. The Moto G will ship with removable back covers in lieu of the Moto Maker customization service that Motorola now offers for the Moto X through every carrier. Replacement Moto G back covers will be available in blue, red, teal, purple, yellow, white and black.

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While the Moto G’s back cover is removable, the battery is not replaceable and there is no microSD slot for expanding storage. The Moto G will feature an Android experience similar to the stock version seen in devices like the newly released Nexus 5 and the Moto X. Unlike the Moto X, however, the Moto G will not have support for the always-on voice gestures of touchless control.

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Like last year’s Nexus 4, the Moto G lacks support for high-speed LTE wireless service, instead opting for 2G, 3G and HSPA+ support. The Moto G also specs a 4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen at 720p HD resolution (720 x 1280 pixels) with 326 pixels-per-inch (ppi), matching the pixel density of the iPhone 5S. Covering the Moto G’s screen is the newest incarnation of Corning’s smartphone screen covering, Gorilla Glass 3.

The Moto G will run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (and later 4.4 KitKat) on the Snapdragon 400, a new quad-core processor from Qualcomm clocked at 1.2GHz. Moto G will run apps with 1GB of RAM and has a five-megapixel main camera, along with a 1.2-megapixel front-facing shooter. Moto G will also support FM radio and comes with 50GB of Google Drive cloud storage.

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