Unlocked Moto G now available to order in US, starts shipping December 2

Motorola(s goog) is getting a jump start on the holiday season by making its new Moto G smartphone available to order starting today. The unlocked phone costs $179 for an 8GB model and begins shipping on December 2.

In case you don’t remember the phone’s announcement a couple of weeks back, here’s a quick refresher: The Moto G features a 4.5-inch 720p display, a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm(s qcom) Snapdragon 400 processor and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It’s a fantastic deal for an unlocked device. Just keep in mind it doesn’t support LTE networks – the phone maxes out at HSPA+ 21, which is 3G.

Right now Motorola is only offering the GSM model of the phone in either 8GB or 16GB storage capacities (the 16GB models costs $199). And it is only available in black at the moment — the colored back panels and flip cases Motorola showed off a few weeks ago aren’t being shown yet on its site.

If you want to use the phone on a CDMA network, you’ll have to wait for the carrier-branded models to roll out in January. But when they do, I imagine they’ll be offered for free with a two-year contract.

The lack of LTE makes me think this phone’s primary market lies overseas. But if you live in the U.S. and don’t have a need for or access to LTE, the unlocked Moto G looks like it could make a great holiday gift.