When we talk about budget phones, the choices are clearly in abundance. However, when we narrow it down to a particular mobile platform and market, the choice becomes much easier. Two of the best budget phones right now are the Google Pixel 3A and the Moto G7.
Both handsets were launched at around the same time with the Moto G7 has the honor of arriving a couple of months earlier than the Pixel 3a. However, both smartphones are quite similar in terms of hardware as well as performance. This is what makes choosing between the two devices a difficult prospect. While it’s easy to discount the Moto G7 as just another budget smartphone, it has more in common with the Pixel 3a than you think. This being said, it will be hard to convert previous Pixel device owners who remain ever so loyal to Google’s products, especially its hardware. This can make for an interesting comparison, especially considering there’s very little to differentiate between the two. But if you look closely at each aspect, it’s not too difficult to narrow down to which one really takes the cake.
So without waiting any further, let’s have a look at both devices.
Pixel 3A vs. Moto G7 Best Budget Phone in 2020
Specs and Features
While Google was believed to limit itself to high-end Pixel phones, the notion was quickly changed when the Pixel 3a was announced in May this year. This phone brings high-end specs to the budget format while making some sacrifices in the process. Taking these aspects into account it’s safe to say that the phone has aged well. It comes with a 5.6-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 2220 x 1080 pixels. In place of Corning’s Gorilla Glass, Google is using the Asahi Dragontrail Glass on the Pixel 3a. As for software features, the OLED display also accommodates an always-on display.
The phone is 8.2mm thick, which is as good as it gets for smartphones today. Google uses a plastic body for the smartphone, which helps keep the weight down while somewhat compromising its appearance. Underneath the clear exterior is the octa-core Snapdragon 670 chipset, which certainly isn’t the best processor in the market today.
In terms of variants, there’s just one. The smartphone packs 64GB of non-expandable storage along with 4GB of RAM, so the Pixel 3a is decent in terms of everyday performance. In the camera department, the Pixel 3a packs a 12.2 MP rear camera sensor with an aperture size of f/1.8. There’s an 8MP f/2.0 camera on board as well, offering decent selfies and wide angle shots.
Audiophiles will be pleased to know that the handset comes with stereo speakers on board, although its performance isn’t particularly the best in the business. There’s a USB C port here for high-speed charging and data transfer, which has been the standard for over a year now. Google offers the Pixel 3a in Just Black, Clearly White, Purple-ish colors, with all variants packing a rear mounted fingerprint scanner. Despite being an early 2019 device, the Pixel 3a still packs the 3.5mm headphone jack, offering a great sigh of relief for owners of wired headphones. Rounding off the feature list is Android 9.0 Pie, with the promise of being the first to receive Android updates in the foreseeable future. Given that the Pixel 3a was launched only recently, we expect the phone to receive updates until at least 2021 or even beyond.
Google is using a 3,000 mAh battery here, which offers decent backup especially on long days. Charging up the phone is even easier thanks to support for 18W fast charging by default. The phone also supports USB Power Delivery 2.0.
Pricing and Availability
The Pixel 3a is available via multiple retailers right now, but the cheapest deal you can currently find is on Amazon. So you’re going to save a big amount if you get it via Amazon. However, it is important to note that prices are always varying, and there’s no guarantee that this price may stay in the future.
Specs and Features
The Moto G7 was launched with little fanfare, which was almost expected given Moto’s lukewarm performance in the mobile industry lately. While the company has churned out multiple low-cost smartphones, the promise of the new Moto after the Moto X was never really met. However, the company is having a revival since the past couple of years, and the latest addition to the company’s comeback is the Moto G7. This handset is a budget offering as you probably expected, but the feature set here is good enough to rival some pricier smartphones in the market today.
While the Moto G7 packs a bigger 6.2-inch display, it’s only an LCD panel and packs a marginally better resolution of 1080 x 2270. So this can be considered a major disadvantage over the Pixel 3a already, although most phones in the market today use LCD panels, so it’s not a big omission, especially on a budget device. For protection, the smartphone uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 here. The Moto G7 is only 8mm thick, which is a massive advantage considering the fact that the phone is significantly bigger than the Pixel 3a. The appearance of the Moto G7 is high-end, and that’s thanks to the glass back panel. The frame of the handset is made of plastic, which is understandable. Given the materials used, the Moto G7 is significantly heavier than the Pixel 3a. It weighs 172 grams while the Pixel 3a only weighs 147 grams.
In the camera department, the Moto G7 comes equipped with a dual-camera setup consisting of a 12MP standard sensor and a 5MP depth sensor for amazing bokeh shots. The handset is also featuring an 8MP front camera, which should offer performance on par with the Pixel 3a. However, the rear camera here is clearly better and designed for shutterbugs while the Pixel 3a offers a slightly underplayed performance, particularly in comparison with its bigger Pixel siblings.
Processing power is an area where the Moto G7 falls behind somewhat. The Pixel 3a uses the 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, the Moto G7 is using a more moderate 14m Snapdragon 632 chipset under the hood. Bear in mind that the difference will be hard to tell during everyday usage, and the disparity will only be apparent when you compare benchmark scores. The smartphone pretty much makes up for its lack of a faster CPU by offering microSD storage expansion. This is in addition to the 64GB of internal storage that comes by default. This aspect alone makes it a hot favorite among budget smartphones today. The Pixel 3a offers no storage expansion in comparison, limiting users to just the native storage, which can run out pretty quickly if you take pictures, videos and have plenty of natively stored media.
Moto has also spent some time on the audio attributes of the Moto G7. The phone speakers support Dolby Audio by default, while the company also offers a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired earbuds. For charging and data transfer, the Moto G7 relies on the current standard i.e. the reversible USB C port. Not only can this port charge faster, but also significantly speed up data transfer rates. Since the Pixel 3a also has these features, we can’t really consider it an advantage for the Moto G7. The device also comes with features like splash resistance, which significantly bolster the phone’s durability credentials. Thanks partly to the fact that Moto uses a relatively unadulterated version of Android, updates are quick to arrive on its devices. The Moto G7 runs Android 9.0 Pie by default, and should be in line to receive the next two major updates from Google, at least. Moto offers the G7 in two colors – Ceramic Black and Clear White although their availability may vary depending on retailer availability. Two other variants – Marine Blue and Deep Indigo are also listed online, but are seldom in stock.
Surprisingly, Moto has gone with a relatively moderate 3,000 mAh battery here. This means the smartphone may not really last longer than the Pixel 3a on a single charge. We also have to consider the fact that the Pixel 3a has an OLED display while this uses a standard LCD panel, which might further drive up battery consumption. However, Google has made great inroads with regards to battery performance with each major Android update, and one can safely say that users should be able to eke out at least a day of full use on 100% battery.
As far as charging is concerned, Moto offers a 15W fast charging adapter with the G7, which should significantly boost charging times. For comparison, the Pixel 3a uses a 3,000 mAh battery but offers a slightly faster 18W fast charger. Clearly, Moto still has some catching up to do in terms of fast charging tech.
Pricing and Availability
The Moto G7 is undoubtedly the more economical of the two. While its prices vary depending on a variety of factors, it can be bought on Amazon. The stocks for the handset are currently available, but that may change based on the demand for the handset. Be sure to have a closer look at the device. It is important to note that there are plenty of listings on Amazon for the G7 and some may be imported models with no warranty. Some retailers also offer the dual-SIM variant of the handset, which come with their own caveats.
As far as the best budget handset is concerned, the crown might be shifting more often than we can imagine. Given the sheer number of smartphones that are coming out each day, it can be impossible to keep track of them all. However, if we consider these two smartphones at the moment, it’s clear that you really can’t do better than either of them right now, especially at the price they’re selling for.
But if you were to pick between the two, I would personally choose the Moto G7. The larger display, coupled with the fact that it also costs less is definitely a big plus for me. Well, the impressive camera performance as well as the expandable storage will also be something that people look at closely. Keeping this in mind, almost anybody will be hard pressed to pick the Moto G7.
But what if you also factor display quality as well as the promise of constant software and security updates directly from Google? Well, the Pixel 3a is your best bet right now. While it may lack in appearance, camera quality as well as size, there are a variety of other factors in favor of the smartphone. First and foremost, it’s more comfortable in the hand, although the bezels are quite unimpressive, especially for a 2019 device. It’s clear that Moto has spent more time thinking about the appearance of its device whereas Google merely focused on the utility as well as the core features that users look for.
The only reason to pick the Pixel 3a over the Moto G7 would be the display quality. The difference between a standard LCD panel and an OLED display is quite stark, and this is primarily the reason why most flagships today come with OLED panels. It’s also worth noting that OLED panels are slightly more economical than LCD panels, in that they will use less battery than their LCD counterpart.
Both phones come with 4G LTE networks, so you should be able to access high-speed networks on compatible GSM networks in the U.S. So with this in mind, there’s barely anything to separate the two barring the features we’ve discussed above. The Pixel 3a and the Moto G7 are not quite targeting the same demographic as the Pixel 3a is a budget version of its “pure Android” hardware lineup. The Moto G7 is merely one among the long list of budget and mid-ranged devices churning out of Moto’s factories. However, if we consider hardware attributes alone, it’s really tough to beat the Moto G7.