The new Moto G camera impresses indoors and out (gallery)

How good can the camera on a $179 phone actually be? Pretty good if that phone is the 2015 Moto, which uses the same 13 megapixel image sensor from the more expensive Nexus 6.

I've been using the new 2015 Moto G as my daily phone for several days and I'm very impressed with the overall experience you get for a starting price of $179 off-contract.

My full review will be online after a few more days of testing. However, I wanted to focus on one specific aspect: The camera. Why? Because some of the latest Motorola handsets have fallen short when it comes to image quality.

The 2015 Moto G doesn't have the best phone camera that I've ever tested. It is the best one I've tested at this price though. One of the smartest moves Motorola made for its budget-friendly handset is taking the 13 megapixel image sensor with f/2.0 aperture from the Nexus 6 -- last year's Google flagship phone, made by Motorola -- and using it for the Moto G.

Here's a sample of various indoor and outdoor images I've taken lately.

The camera in the Moto G compares well with images from the latest flagship phones, many of which cost at least $400 or more.

Can you get better pictures with those devices? Based on experience, I'd say yes, but it's close. And that's amazing when you consider the price of this device.

Note that all of the images I took were with the standard default settings. That means HDR mode was set to Auto. To demonstrate the feature and change the perceived focal length, I used manual focus and exposure mode, which is simple to use. No post-processing was performed on any of the images.

If a phone's camera is of primary importance to you, there's no need to shy away from the new Moto G. Is it for everyone though and does it have shortcomings? Stay tuned for the full review.