Motorola has become somewhat of an expert at making low-cost smartphones that actually work. Two examples of that are the new Moto E and the second generation Moto G. This is a smartphone battle between the Moto E (2nd generation) and the Moto G (2nd generation), another edition of PhoneDog’s Dogfight.
Affordable smartphones have always been a sketchy thing. They’re usually cheaply made and run absolutely like crap with custom skins. But not these two—these two are well-thought of budget phones. One of these is $60 more expensive than the other but is it really worth the extra money? Well, let’s first dive in into the design and hardware.
The Moto G grew substantially over the first gen G. Now boasting a 5-inch IPS LCD display and dual front-facing speakers. It also feels much nicer on the hands this year. Specs have also been improved but the processor has remained the same—a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM. Also, it’s running the Adreno 305 GPU. However, we do get a larger battery now rated at 2070 mAh and a microSD card, which was a huge request for the first generation Moto G. The camera also gained 3MP but for some reason it still only has a 720p video.
Over to the Moto E, things have changed much more for the second generation. For starters, it grew to a 4.5-inch display size up from 4.3. Design-wise, it’s a much more premium feeling device compared to the first generation E and it also has these really nice ridges along the sides. One different structure on this model is the non-removable back. Now you can only swap out these bands with the original edges. Hardware-wise it’s a completely different picture. It’s now sporting a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, 1GB of RAM, and the Adreno 306 GPU. We also have a microSD card slot for expansion and a much larger 2390 mAh battery. The camera does remain the same at 5MP but new for this year is a brand new front-facing camera but it’s only rated at VGA, which means it’s only 0.3MP. Now camera aside, the internals of the E sound a lot more compelling than the Moto G as of right now.
But let’s take a look at the displays of both of these devices. On the Moto G, we have a 5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 that dials up its PPI to 294, which is a very respectable number for a phone that costs $180. On the Moto E, we have a 4.5-inch QHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 540 x 960. That dials its PPI in to 245. Yes, it’s a less sharp display and it’s not even HD but it does the job very well. But one thing I’ve noticed rather quickly is the yellow tint on the Moto E’s display. The Moto G’s display seems to have a much brighter, or as in a much more white and accurate display than the Moto E and this is the case in any brightness.
Now let’s switch gears to software and performance. Both of these phones are running the latest version of Android, which is 5.0.2 Lollipop. The only difference in software between these two are in the Moto customizations. The Moto E comes with Moto Assist, Actions and Display. The Moto G only comes with Moto Assist. Performance-wise, these two are pretty much at neck and neck in smoothness. They definitely have their stutters when you have a huge amount of things running. But for the most part, browsing the web, accessing applications like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram run very well on both of these devices.
But if you take a look at the benchmarks between these two, you’ll see a huge difference in favor of the Moto E. Both its single and multi-core scores are much higher than the Moto G scores. I’ve run this test multiple amount of times to confirm it and somehow it’s true. But everyday usability seems to be around the same.
If we were to pick a winner between these two, it would have to be the brand new Moto E. For only $120, it delivers great numbers, great performance, and now LTE here in the States. Yes, the display doesn’t look as great and it has fewer megapixels but both of these devices are sub-par to any of the latest flagships. But as affordable smartphones go, we have to go with the Moto E.