Do we have a good one for you today – the new Motorola Moto X (Pure Edition/Style) goes up against its little sibling, the Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen). Yes, yes, we know that the Moto X should easily win this comparison, but we wanted to compare, one-on-one, these new Motorola smartphones and see just how the lower priced Moto G holds up to its big brother. Just how far apart these two devices are as Motorola keeps cramming more into their devices while keeping the pricing down and dirty.
Even though Motorola makes these two terrific smartphones, there are very few commonalities…but that is understandable at the price differences. They both have the ability to dispel water, which has become a Motorola standard that we applaud. Both devices us the IPS LCD display technology, but are different sizes and resolutions. Motorola chose a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor for the Moto X and Moto G, although they are vastly different in terms of speed and sophistication. In the camera area, the main shooters are vastly different, however, the 5MP front-facing cameras (FFC) are the same size.
All of the usual suspects are here – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 in the Moto G and 4.1 in the Moto X), GPS, a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer and both have a non-removable battery.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Motorola Moto X
The new Moto X – Pure Edition in the US and Style everywhere else – is a nice improvement over its predecessor. Once again, Motorola shows the other manufacturers how to cram great specifications into a flagship device at a very reasonable price. Is it the perfect smartphone…certainly not – it does lack a fingerprint sensor for payments and many will not like its larger 5.7-inch display. The Moto X is built on a solid metal frame and retains the comfortable curved backing making it a joy to hold. It is also fully customizable with Moto X and you can still grab that beautiful wood backing.
Motorola begged out of the AMOLED display this time around and went with an IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels with 515 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the merely HD display on the Moto G of 294 PPI. Both devices use a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but the Moto X uses the model 808 hexa-core with four cores running at 1.44GHz and two cores running at 1.8GHz. This goes up against the 410 quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz on the Moto G. The Moto X packs 3GB of RAM and choices of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, while the Moto X packs 1GB/8GB or 2GB/16GB – both models allow for a microSD card for expanding that internal memory.
The camera on the Moto X sounds like a real winner, but we will reserve judgment until we get our hands on one to actually test. It is a 21MP sensor with phase detection autofocus, an aperture of f/2.0 and dual-tone LED flash, but no OIS. It has a large 5MP FFC with the same f/2.0 aperture and a wide-angle lens for great group selfies or video chatting. This goes up against the 13MP main camera and 5MP FFC on the Moto G. The Moto X uses a 3000mAh battery versus the smaller 2470mAh battery in the Moto G – both are non-removable, both should last through an entire day and the Moto X can use Motorola's Turbo Charger for a very quick charge.
The Moto X Pure Edition includes front-facing stereo speakers with Smartboost for a great new sound. Motorola also includes the IP52 water repellency in the Moto X and is NFC capable. The Moto X is unlocked and can be used on all major US networks. Using the pure Android experience – currently 5.1.1 Lollipop – you will get the fastest updates possible with Motorola. The device measures 153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 and weighs in at 179 grams. Motorola has given it a starting price of $399.99 and it will be available this fall.
Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen)
The cheaper or lower cost brother of the Moto X, the Moto G (2015), continues to grow into a very capable smartphone. It does everything a daily driver should do (less NFC payments) and lasts all day doing it for a mere $179 – although we recommend spending the extra $40 for the 2GB/16GB model. It is not the best gaming phone out there, nor the best sounding device on the market, but where else can you get this performance, fast Android upgrades and all day battery life for this kind of money.
The Moto G (2015) comes with a 5.0-inch IPS LCD HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and about 294 PPI as opposed to the Moto X's 5.7-inch IPS LCD QHD display with 515 PPI. It comes with a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, which of course is no match for the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor in the Moto X. The Moto G comes in two variations – 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory or the highly recommended 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. The Moto X has 3GB or RAM and a choice of 16GB/32GB/64GB of internal memory – both devices have a microSD slot to expand the internal memory.
Motorola has really up the camera areas on their smartphones beginning with last year and are continuing that trend this year. The Moto G has a 13MP main camera very similar to the one found in the Nexus 6 with autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash and comes with a large 5MP FFC for selfies and video chatting. The Moto X's 21MP main camera will blow away the Moto G's, but that is to be expected – both have the 5MP FFC.
The Moto G really has no features not found on the Moto X, but does come with Lollipop 5.1.1 and a non-removable 2470mAh battery versus the 3000mAh in the Moto X, but our review has shown that the Moto G will easily get you through a long day of usage. It measures 142.1 x 72.4 x 11.6 mm and weighs in at 155 grams. The Moto G comes in black or white with options for different snap-on backs and limited Moto Maker customization. It will run you $179 for the 1GB/8GB model and $219 for the 2GB/16GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
Okay, this was a no brainer. We knew from the start that the Moto X was going to beat out the Moto G in the spec department, as well it should…the flagship Moto X is very close to the perfect everyday driver. It has a QHD display, a Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, options of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage AND a microSD to expand that storage another 128GB. Motorola threw in a 21MP main camera with phase detection autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash (still no OIS) and a 5MP FFC for great social media selfies and video chatting. You get yourself dual front facing stereo speakers with Smartboost for great sound, a large 3000mAh battery and fast battery charging. You can customize it like crazy with Moto Maker and you get all of this for only $399.99.
The Moto G (2015) is a terrific smartphone and you get a lot for your $179…although we would recommend that you buy the 2GB/16GB model for only $219. It has a solid built to it, decent sound from one speaker, good display, great main and FFC's for this price range, water resistance and ways to customize the device. Is it perfect? What smartphone is without its faults…even high-end devices? The Moto G is missing NFC, which means no Google Wallet or upcoming Android Pay. Motorola left out a Gyroscope and Magnetometer when they went from the 2nd generation to the new Moto G. Even with its faults, for the money you would be hard-pressed to find a better $220 smartphone.
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