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The Motorola Moto G vs. The Moto X

Do the extra power and customizability of the flagship model justify the higher price?

By Vlad Andrici for
The Motorola Moto G vs. The Moto X

Moto G

Credit: @MuscatMobiles via Twitter

Motorola hasn’t been one of the most active smartphone manufacturers, at least it wasn’t in the first half of 2013. In fact, the company didn’t release any relevant handsets during that period. After its transition to Google, some adjustments had to be made, and that took a while. Nevertheless, Motorola is now back on track. We have the Motorola Moto X sitting at the top of the pyramid, and three Droids that have been released in the U.S., exclusively through Verizon.

Something was missing from the picture, though: a mid-range smartphone. Thankfully, Motorola fixed this, and not too long ago it launched the Moto G. The aforementioned device is supposed to be the budget version of the Moto X, so we’ve thought that a comparison between the two should be something that would interest the Motorola enthusiasts out there.

Moto G vs. Moto X – Display

Although the Moto X hit the market as a flagship smartphone, its display isn’t one of the most impressive components, at least not in terms of screen resolution. The handset delivers a 4.7 inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 720 x 1280, resulting in a pixel density of 312 pixels per inch.

In contrast, the Moto G offers the same screen resolution, but the type of the display is LCD instead of AMOLED. Furthermore, Moto G’s panel is slightly smaller, measuring 4.5 inches in diagonal. As such, the handset actually offers a higher pixel density of 326 ppi. Of course, you won’t actually be able to tell the difference.

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Moto G vs. Moto X – Internal Hardware

Under the hood, the Motorola Moto X has the upper hand in most situations. The handset features a modified Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC that bears the name of Motorola X8, and delivers a dual-core processor clocked at 1.7 GHz, and an Adreno 320 graphics chip. There are also 2 GB of RAM on-board.

On the other hand, the Moto G packs a Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU with a frequency of 1.2 GHz, an Adreno 305 GPU and 1 GB of RAM.

The biggest difference between the two, however, is that because the Moto G lacks the X8 mobile computing system, the handset does not offer Touchless Control. This feature makes the Moto X rather unique, and allows the user to wake the phone at any given time and give commands using his or her voice. The X8 SoC has dedicated cores specifically designed to handle these tasks.

As far as storage goes, the Moto X arrives in 16 / 32 GB flavors, whereas the Moto G delivers either 8 or 16 GB of storage. Both smartphones lack microSD card slots.

Moto G vs. Moto X – Cameras, Connectivity and Other Details

In the multimedia department, the gap between these two smartphones continues to expand. While the Moto X packs a 10 MP main shooter with video recording capabilities of 1080p, the Moto G features a 5 MP camera with 720p recording capabilities. On the front panel, the Moto X maintains its superiority with a 2 MP camera, while the Moto G delivers a 1.3 MP sensor.

There are other details that need to be mentioned as well, such as the fact that the Moto X is LTE compatible and delivers NFC connectivity, whereas the Moto G lacks both. Yes, NFC is missing from the G, and that might be an issue with some of you out there who make use of NFC tags on a daily basis, but it’s certainly no deal breaker.

Moto G vs. Moto X – Software

As far as software goes, the Moto G has been launched with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box, but the good news is that Android 4.4 KitKat is on its way. According to official announcements, the device should receive version 4.4 by January. More so, the second wave of G units will hit the market with KitKat pre-installed.

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While this is good news indeed, Moto X enthusiasts can experience the Android 4.4 KitKat OS right now. The handset has been updated in certain regions and across various carriers, including Verizon.

Moto G vs. Moto X – Design

Before Moto X’s launch, Motorola has greatly emphasized on the handset’s wide range of customization options. While the Moto Maker website took form a bit later than expected, prospective customers can now customize the Moto X to a satisfying degree. Using the Moto Maker website, users are able to pick a front color, a back color, a flavor for the accents, a wallpaper, and they can also engrave their name (or any text fragment) on the back cover of the X.

While the Moto G does not take advantage of the Moto Maker, the handset can still be customized to a certain degree, through interchangeable back covers. Nonetheless, the Moto X still takes the cake.

Moto G vs. Moto X – Price

While the Moto G is a good device for its market segment, the Moto X remains the company’s top-tier smartphone. Is that an issue? Of course not, and given the Moto G’s price, we’re confident that the handset will be very successful, and perhaps even more sought-after than the X (which, according to reports, has sold well under expectations).

The Moto G is currently available for purchase in certain parts of the world, and is expected to go on sale in the U.S. sometime in January, at a price of $200, off-contract, for the 16 GB model. In contrast, the Moto X would normally set you back roughly $530, off-contract.

In conclusion, while the Moto X remains the more powerful and customizable handset, the Moto G makes up for the lack of certain features, by delivering a good bundle at a very accessible price. Which of these smartphones would best suit your needs?

Vlad Andrici is editor for and writes about technology issues. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.