Moto X vs Moto G: specifications fight for most budget-friendly

Chris Burns - Nov 11, 2013, 2:52pm CST
Moto X vs Moto G: specifications fight for most budget-friendly

This week the folks at Motorola have pushed the first cross-carrier availability of the customization-included Moto X, and following up rather quick they’ll push a machine called Moto G. UPDATE: Moto G launched – this battle is now updated with 100% accurate and official specifications! This slightly smaller device will be the “budget-friendly” Motorola device expected to have been launched when the Moto X was first teased, and here just before Motorola makes it all official themselves, we’ve got a bit of a comparison chart to make the differences between these devices clear.

With the Moto G, you’ve got an ever-so-slightly parred-down experience in the face of the Moto X. You’ll be able to see the bits and pieces that make the G a slightly less expensive handset than the Moto X while, for the common user, all the basics remain fully intact. This device also offers some benefits over its predecessor, one of these being interchangeable back covers.

While the Moto X works with a fully customizable configuration process with Moto Maker, the Moto G will work with a variety of back covers that can be changed out. In this way both devices work with their own unique customizable feature sets while they don’t necessarily step on one anothers toes. Likewise the display on the Moto G is smaller – 4.5 inches compared to the Moto X’s 4.7-inch display – making the same amount of pixels (720 x 1280) provide a sharper experience than the larger machine. That’s 316 pixels per inch on the Moto X while the Moto G brings 329PPI.

Both machines have Corning Gorilla Glass up front, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean under the hood (leaked and in the wild if not ready at launch), they’re both running the same software (effectively), and they’re both working with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Snapdragon 400 inside the Moto G runs at 1.2Ghz while the Snapdragon S4 Pro inside Moto X works at 1.7Ghz – in practice they’ll be really, really similar with the basic features they claim.


On the other hand, the Moto X does work with the Motorola 8X compute system while the Moto G does not – this means a lack of “hands-free” actions and the lot, offering up a much more “classic” experience. This compute system attaches additional processing architecture to whatever processor they’re working with, allowing low-powered tasks to work with very, very little pressure put on the device’s battery. This same compute system works in the 2013 family of DROID devices with Verizon: DROID Ultra, Maxx, and Mini.


The Moto X works with 16GB and 32GB internal storage sizes while the Moto G will start with a tiny 8GB or 16GB. While the Moto G works with 1.3MP and 5MP cameras, the Moto X works with 2MP and 10MP cameras. Both machines work with Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-fi, but the Moto G has no NFC and no attachment (initially) to 4G LTE. While the Moto X is sold by USA-based carriers and through, the Moto G will be sold internationally through a variety of carriers (for unknown subsidized prices at the moment) and for off-contract prices that far undercut the top-tier smartphones today.

“Miner argued that the average consumer “still prefers a subsidized device” right now, but that Google Ventures is hoping to change that. “We’ve made an investment in one company that we’re not going to make public right now” Miner revealed, “that is going to affect that space.”” – Google’s Rich Miner on tomorrow’s smartphones


The pricing on these two devices is radically different as well. While the Moto X is offered for $99.99 or $149.99, these prices are attached to 2-year contracts. It’s the off-contract pricing where the Moto G shines – in the USA you’ll see this smartphone’s pricing start at $179 off-contract. Meanwhile the Moto X can cost upwards of $579 for the 16GB version or $629 for the 32GB version off-contract. Now you’ll have to see if the spec changes really add up to several hundred dollars more in off-contract cost. What do you think?

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28 Responses to Moto X vs Moto G: specifications fight for most budget-friendly

  1. Best part of this phone? It’s made in the good ol’ USA. Sadly, majority of the inside parts are made elsewhere. When can we get a genuine Made in USA product? Come on Moto, I don’t mind paying extra for a total US made phone.

      • That’s fair.

        And it begs the question as to what “made” vs “assembled” means.

        In both the practical pragmatic sense, as well as abstract.

    • That won’t happen as long as there are countries and workers around the globe willing to do it for less pay and under less desirable conditions–and there are plenty of those to keep things the way they are now for a very long time.

  2. Budget is a pointed word to throw around w/ this phone. It is made of and w/ “budget” specs and materials but is definitely not a phone for people “on a budget” (at least those of us on VZW and grandfathered). This phone should not cost more than the new Nexus 5 at full retail. Piling in last year’s best internals into last year’s best externals and charging as much as a top tier phone (Moto X) when all of this year’s current top tier specs are shoved into a top tier casing and priced as a budget device (Nexus 5). How does that make any sense?

    • Moto X has a fully customizable made-in-the-USA outer casing (with optional wood coming), and the Nexus 5 is a dull piece of black/white plastic, and you still somehow claim the N5 casing is superior?

      • In truth both cases are very similar. The casing is probably the one place that the Moto X really has it over the N5. Not that the material quality is better, but the ergonomics definitely are. As for the wood, it is a great idea. I thought about it, but decided against waiting for it cause I feel like it will be easier to break from a slight fall as wood doesn’t give like plastic.

    • Shows what you know. The GPU which is used in all the games happens to be the same GPU that is in both the HTC One and Galaxy S4. Why do you think most of the reviews for the moto x have said it is fast with no slow downs.

      • My bad, I did forget about the gpu, but one spec does not make up for the rest. On paper, it is still categorized as a budget phone by those that made it. I’m not dumping on the the moto x, I have one and its awesome but I just did not like shelling out that much money. Especially when something that is not only labelled as Top-End, Flagship, etc. but also built as such, is priced significantly lower.

    • The problem with your rant is, the processor is not just a Snapdragon S4 Pro, its a part of a system, which was custom designed. And its not just that, lets see you have your device running in an always listening mode and last all day without charging. And if you want to bring up the Kit Kat argument, the Moto X screams on 4.4, I’m running one of the test builds, and with normal usage the battery will last well into the 30hr range. But all that comes for a price, namely a flagship phone price tag.

  3. You say that the Moto G won’t have 4G initially. Do you think it eventually will and still be able to keep the quad core processor?

  4. this phone’s poor specs should reflect $99 to $120 off contract…the Nexus 4 can top those specs and you can get it brand new on EBay for $250. moto g will NOT be the new “budget” phone.

  5. Do either of these devices have an FM radio? If not, do they physically lack an FM radio, or is it in the Bluetooth chip but the carriers don’t want to enable it in software? I heard that in many cases, the wireless chip has FM capability but it is not implemented because the carriers want you to use your data connection for that. Also is it true that the Moto X does not have a MicroSD card?

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