Moto G vs Nokia Lumia 635 Camera Comparison: Battle of the Budget Phones

Moto G vs Nokia Lumia 635 Camera Comparison: Battle of the Budget Phones

By Rich W Woods

We spend a lot of time talking about our iPhones, Moto Xs, OnePlus Ones, HTC One M8s, Nokia Lumia 930s, and our LG G3s with their 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 processors and 2 or 3 GB RAM. These phones have up to 20 MP rear cameras and up to 5 MP front cameras. Some of them take 4K video. Some of them support RAW photos. The LG G3 has a laser focused camera. The Moto X is always listening.

If you grew up in the 90s like I did, you will have a hard time reciting the specs of the OnePlus One without following it up with “arg arg arg more power” like Tim Allen used to do in Home Improvement.

We spend so much time with these super-powered phones that when a mid-range phone like the Moto G or the Nokia Lumia 635 comes our way, we just sort of say that they are great phones, but we pass them up because they certainly wouldn’t be able to meet our needs.

The fact is that these are actually really good phones. Take the bells and whistles out of the Moto X and you’re left with the Moto G. When the phone isn’t always listening, suddenly you’re fine with 1 GB RAM and a 1.2 GHz processor. Take the 20 MP sensor off of the Nokia Lumia 930, lower the display resolution a bit, and you’re left with the Nokia Lumia 635.

I don’t think that anybody is disputing that the best Android mid-range phone is the Moto G and the best mid-range Windows Phone is the Nokia Lumia 635. So let’s compare the two.

Moto G vs Nokia Lumia 635: Specs

Moto G Nokia Lumia 635
Processor 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400
Display 5″, 720p, 294 ppi, LCD 4.5″, 480p, 218 ppi, LCD
Storage 8/16 GB, Expandable to 32 GB 8 GB, Expandable to 128 GB
RAM 1 GB 512 MB
Camera 8 MP w/ Flash, 3264×2448, 2 MP Front 5 MP no Flash, 2592×1944, No Front
Video 720 at 30 fps 720p at 30 fps
OS Android Windows Phone 8.1
Price $179 $99 AT&T, $129 T-Mobile


Moto G vs Nokia Lumia 635: Camera

When I was originally planning this series of comparisons, I was planing to do it with the Nokia Lumia 530, which was just released in the United States on Sunday; however, the camera on the Lumia 530 can’t focus. After putting the photos side by side with the Nokia Lumia 635, it was clear that the Nokia Lumia 635 was the benchmark to use.

While I’ve compared the camera on the Nokia Lumia 635 to the Nokia Lumia 530 and the iPhone 6, I’ve compared the camera of the Moto G to the iPhone 6 and the Moto X. I will continue to do camera comparisons because, well, they’re fun and the pictures are pretty.

The Moto G uses an 8 MP camera with a flash and a 2 MP front camera. The Nokia Lumia 635 uses a 5 MP camera with no flash and no front facing camera.

Cameras are an interesting thing because it is impossible to tell how well they perform by looking at the specs. Just the other day, someone said to me “More megapixels means better picture, right? Everybody knows that.” This is just not true. Once the photo has a higher resolution that the monitor it is being viewed on, it doesn’t matter unless the user crops the photo. Use this as a reference: 720p – 1 MP, 1080p – 2.1 MP, 1440p – 4.1 MP, 4K – 8.3 MP. For a really good example on how megapixels don’t matter, check out the comparison of the OnePlus One and the Moto X. See how different they are while they both have 13 MP cameras. Better yet, look at the comparison of the HTC One M8 and the Moto X. The HTC One M8 uses 4.3 MP and the Moto X uses 13 MP and our readers voted the HTC One M8 to have the better camera.

Now for the elephant in the room. The Nokia Lumia 635 has no flash or front facing camera. If you take a lot of selfies, this is not the phone for you; however, if you take a lot of selfies, you’re probably vain to the point where you carry an iPhone just because it’s cool. As far as the flash goes, it is my opinion that a flash should never be used on a smart phone camera. Take a look.

As you can see, neither phone does particularly well at night. Also, you can see what happens when the flash is used in the Moto G. One thing that you will get from the Nokia Lumia 635 that you won’t get from the Moto G is manual settings. You have the option of playing with white balance, brightness, ISO, and shutter speed to try to get it to do better in low light.

You will notice that they are both different cameras. As you can see, the color balance in the Nokia Lumia 635 is much better. The Moto G is brighter but it is noisier. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Tell me what you think below.

Moto G vs Nokia Lumia 635: Video

Both the Moto G and the Nokia Lumia 635 record 720p video. This is a restriction of the Snapdragon 400 processor and not the camera sensor. After all, all that is needed for 1080p is a 2.1 MP sensor.

Moto G

Nokia Lumia 635

So tell me what you think at the bottom. Vote for which camera you think is better in the poll or leave a comment at the bottom.

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.