Are the mobile spec wars over? Probably not, as much as certain OEMs (I’m looking at you, HTC and Motorola), unable to keep up with the competition in regards to “cold numbers” and specs, would like to think.
Then again, at least one of the two hardware manufacturers singled out above is making efforts and even huge strides to shift the direction of the war. It’s still about specs and will be for time to come, but most importantly it’s about specs in relation to pricing. Value for money, if you will. Bang for buck.
And on that note, Motorola’s Moto G looks like a genuine game-changer on paper. It’s no Samsung Galaxy S4 “killer”, so it wouldn’t be fair to pit it against that beast, or Sony’s Xperia Z1, or HTC’s One, or LG’s G2, but looking a bit lower on the totem pole, it’s practically impossible to find a device the Moto G can’t take down in bang for buck.
Is it? Challenge accepted. Here’s how the Moto G measures against four contenders perceived as mid-rangers or upper mid-rangers nowadays:
Moto G vs. Moto X – specs and pricing comparison
Friendly encounter between two close relatives? Dream on, X. Now granted, as far as raw speed is concerned, the G has nothing on its “cousin”. But it’s to cost $200 with 16 GB storage, whereas a similar Moto X version is roughly 500 bucks outright.
Besides, the display resolution is identical on the two and, since the G is a little smaller, at 4.5 inches, the resulting pixel density is actually higher – 326 ppi vs. 312. What else? Oh, yeah, don’t think for a second G’s quad-core Snapdragon 200 CPU is a pushover, albeit it’s probably ever so slightly laggier than the custom-made dual-core processor inside the X.
Then there’s software, where the X and G are to be on even terms soon enough, courtesy of Android 4.4 KitKat updates. Meanwhile, battery life, multitasking and imaging are clearly superior on the Moto X, thanks to a 2,200 mAh cell, 2 GB RAM and 10 MP rear-facing snapper.
And the bigger guy has the upper hand in the design department as well, with extra customization options, slimmer waist and less bulk. Still, 300 clams extra? Forget about it!
Winner in bang for buck: Moto G hands down
Moto G vs. Nexus 5
Now this is one smackdown to look forward to. The performance gap between the G and N5 is clearly much, much larger than with the Moto X, plus the latest “pure Google phone” is incredibly cheap, starting at $350.
So does the G have the upper hand here? Well, yes and no. Believe it or not, Motorola’s biggest ace up the sleeve over parent company Google, despite the G not being up for grabs stateside yet, might be availability.
The elusive N5 is backordered via the Play Store and will likely remain that way for many months, so the best chance you got of scoring the bad boy is through T-Mobile or Sprint at $450. Only at $450, the Nexus is more than twice Moto G’s price and so the value for money clearly weakens.
Despite the 4.95-incher boasting a stupendous Full HD screen, packing quad-core Snapdragon 800 heat, 2 GB RAM, 8 MP main snapper with optical image stabilization and measuring 8.6 mm in thickness, all fantastic features the G really can’t match. Not even close.
Winner: Nexus 5… if you can find it
Moto G vs. Galaxy S4 mini
Charging north of $400 for a meager device like the Galaxy S4 mini was preposterous enough without the Moto G out and about, but right now Samsung risks an abundance of public ridicule if it doesn’t lower the pricing bar.
I mean, come on, GS4’s 4.3-inch 960 x 540 pix res screen is laughable when compared with G’s 720p 4.7-incher, Android 4.2 is passé and there are only 5 GB of user available storage on the Galaxy. Then there’s a dual-core Snapdragon 400 SoC that’s clocked higher than the quad-core on the G (1.7 vs. 1.2 GHz), but it’s just a dual-core. Plus, a minuscule 1,900 mAh battery.
At the other end of the spectrum, Samsung wins precious points with sleek design and thinness, as well as an extra 512 MB RAM, superior 8 MP camera and microSD support. Enough for at least an honorable tie? Not sans a 30% price cut or so.
Winner: Moto G by a mile
Moto G vs. HTC One mini
Shall I even start? There’s not much to choose between the One mini and S4 mini, so it’s pretty obvious HTC’s number one mid-end contender, also up for grabs for 400 bucks give or take, has no chance whatsoever of prevailing in a face-off against the Moto G.
In short, here’s why: dual-core Snapdragon 400 CPU clocked even lower than the S4 mini (1.4 GHz), the same 1 gig RAM as the G, teenie weenie non-removable 1,800 mAh cell and pre-loaded Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Sure, the One mini has its upsides, winning the design battle incontestably with sleek aluminum unibody and 9.3 mm waistline, boasting superior 342 ppi pixel density (even though some may argue G’s extra screen real estate is the true advantage) and touting booming, vibrant, crystal clear audio thanks to a pre-loaded Beats Audio system.
Yet on the whole, the G probably takes this duel with the most ease, since the One mini can’t put microSD in the win column, also packing a rather underwelming 4 “UltraPixel” cam.
Winner: Moto G by TKO
In lieu of the typical conclusions, as I really have nothing to add to emphasize the unbelievable value for money of the Moto G, I’d like to remind you the handheld is making its way to Europe and South America as we speak, with North America set to follow suit as early as next January. Huh, that’s certainly one way to make tech-savvy folks want the holidays to go by as fast as possible for a change.