Moto G (3rd Gen) vs HTC Desire 626 Comparison

Moto G (3rd Gen) vs HTC Desire 626 Comparison

Everyone is raving about the new Moto G. Well, I’ve been raving about it as well. I’m in love with this phone. There’s another phone that retails for about the same price, the HTC Desire 626, which also just hit shelves.

HTC was kind enough to send me a Desire 626 to review. I purchased my Moto G. Thinking I would just review it and it would sit in a drawer for the rest of its life, I got the 8 GB model with 1 GB of RAM. When I realized just how much I enjoy the device, I wished I got the 16 GB model with 2 GB of RAM, for only $40 more. This is a good thing though, because it makes it easier to compare to lower end phones such as the HTC Desire 626 and the Moto E.

Both Motorola and HTC decided to use 13 MP rear cameras and 5 MP front cameras in their mid-tier devices. I think this will be the standard going forward.

Well, no. The HTC Desire 626 actually comes in a lot of flavors, and if you look for the specs online, it’s really hard. GSM Arena lists it as either having a quad core Snapdragon 410 processor or an octa core MediaTek processor, with a 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera, and 2 GB of RAM. I have the United States variant, which uses a quad core Snapdragon 210 processor, an 8 MP camera, and 1.5 GB of RAM.

Moto G vs HTC Desire 626: Specs

Moto G HTC Desire 626
CPU 1.4 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 410 1.1 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 210
GPU Adreno 306 Adreno 304
Display 5″, 720p, 294 ppi, IPS LCD 5″, 720p, 294 ppi, IPS LCD
Body 142.1×72.4×11.6 mm, 155 g 70.9×146.9×8.19 mm, 140 g
Camera 13 MP, 4128×3096, 5 MP Front 8 MP, 3264×2448, 5 MP Front
Video 1080p – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps 720p – 30 fps, Front 720p – 30 fps
Aperture f/2 ???
Storage 8/16 GB 16 GB
RAM 1/2 GB 1.5 GB
Battery 2470 mAh 2000 mAh
Price $179/$219 $179

You’ll notice that I left the rear camera aperture on the HTC Desire 626 as a question mark. The reason is because it’s not listed, anywhere. Even if I click on one of the photos on this page, the Moto G lists the aperture. The HTC Desire 626 does not.

I’ll tell you right now, the real weakness in the HTC Desire 626 is the processor. It’s a sad story, as there are versions of this phone floating around with 1.7 GHz octa core ARM Cortex-A53 processors, but the United States gets one with a 1.1 GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 processor.

Moto G vs HTC Desire 626: Rear Camera

Motorola really went all out on the camera on the Moto G. They used the same sensor that they use in the Nexus 6 and OnePlus uses in the OnePlus One. Unfortunately, they just can’t get low light performance just right. They should be able to with the specs of the camera. Just look at what OnePlus did with that sensor.

I really can’t speak much on the rear camera in the HTC Desire 626. I’ll reach out to HTC to find out more, but I don’t know the aperture, I don’t know the sensor size, and that’s really all there is.

Moto G HTC Desire 626

There’s one thing that always bothers me about Motorola cameras. They tend to be hard to focus. This is because they don’t have a tap to focus function. They have a sort of drag to focus, but you can’t tap the screen and wait for it to focus like you would with any other phone. Tapping the screen takes the picture.

So the Moto G photos are a bit out of focus. The camera takes a little getting used to and before I do another comparison, I’ll probably take another round of photos; however, we can still judge these cameras based on their color balance and accuracy, to which the HTC Desire 626 seems way off. Here’s an example.

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Moto G – HTC Desire 626

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Moto G vs HTC Desire 626: Front Camera

Both of these devices use 5 MP front cameras, which is always great. Seriously, it was just a year ago that even flagship phones used 2 MP front cameras and phones at this price range were 1 MP or even less.

Of course, there’s much more to it than resolution. There are plenty piece of crap cameras with high resolutions.

These two front cameras are very similar. The Moto G looks a lot better because HTC does a lot to smooth your face in a selfie, which is a feature that you can turn off.

Motorola also includes a flash feature. I thought it was really interesting. The screen lights up to produce sort of a pseudo-flash. It works pretty well.

Moto G (3rd Gen) with Flash
Moto G (3rd Gen) with Flash

Motorola isn’t the only company that offers a flash like this. LG does it too. By the way, that look on my face is me realizing that this is a feature.

Moto G vs HTC Desire 626: Benchmarks

I know, I say this every time. It’s a bit of a disclaimer. I’m not a fan of benchmarks. They so rarely provide any insight into real world usage. They are, however, the best tool we have for writing down the performance of a device.

The first is a battery test. Geekbench 3 has two settings. You can have the dim screen on or off. This is with the dim screen on.

Moto G HTC Desire 626

Moto G HTC Desire 626 Battery Dim

Battery life is about the same, which isn’t entirely surprising. They have the same resolution display, the Moto G has a larger battery, but the HTC Desire 626 has a lower powered processor.

Next, with the dim screen off.

Moto G HTC Desire 626 Battery Bright

As we can see, the HTC Desire 626 does a lot better with a brighter screen.

Next up, another Geekbench 3 test.

Moto G HTC Desire 626 Geekbench

As we can see, there’s a big difference between the Snapdragon 210 and the Snapdragon 410. You see that single core score? That’s the difference between ARM Cortex-A7 and ARM Cortex-A53.

Next up, AnTuTu.

Moto G HTC Desire 626 AnTuTu

As expected, the Moto G gets better AnTuTu scores.

Next up is graphics tests. I would expect the Moto G to do better due to the better GPU; however, an interesting thing occurred.

I use GFXBench to do the graphics tests. Normally, I use GFXBench 3.1, but that didn’t work on the Moto G. I thought that it could have been a network issue, but no matter how many times I tried it, it didn’t work. This would imply that the Moto G doesn’t support OpenGL ES 3.1, although that’s just not likely.

I went with GFXBench 3, which I hadn’t done in a while, but it worked.

Moto G HTC Desire 626 GFX 3 1

Moto G HTC Desire 626 GFX 3 2

Moto G HTC Desure 626 GFX 3 3

Interestingly, the devices seem about on par with each other.

I think the real winner here is the Moto G. Normally, when comparing two mid-range devices, there are pros and cons to each. After all, a mid-range usually specializes in one thing, which can be display, camera, power, etc. and cuts out the other things to shave the price tag.

These two devices have a similar display, similar cameras, similar RAM, etc., except with the Moto G you get Moto Maker, a better processor (much better) and more. The real weak spot of the HTC Desire 626 is the Snapdragon 210 processor. Something with a processor like that really belongs in the $100 price range.

Of course, there’s also Sense 7. If you’re a fan of Sense, there’s no replacement. The HTC Desire 626 has many of the features of the HTC One M9, such as “the boxes”, as the woman at Mobile World Congress called them. You can have your home screen show you certain apps when you’re at home, at work, or elsewhere.

What do I know. I’m just a man who owns a million phones.

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.