Moto G (3rd Gen) vs Moto E (2nd Gen) Comparison

Moto G (3rd Gen) vs Moto E (2nd Gen) Comparison

The new Moto G and the new Moto E are basically the same phones. Well, assuming you get the high end Moto E and the low end Moto G. They both use a Snapdragon 410 processor and 1 GB of RAM. Well, that’s about where the similarities end, but it’s fair to compare them. The Moto E costs $149 and the Moto G costs $179. Is the Moto G worth the additional $30?

The short answer is yes, but it’s really interesting. Motorola went all out with the cameras on the Moto G, so you get a much better camera than you do with the Moto E, including a flash on the rear camera. The phone is also a lot more pleasant to use. The Moto E tends to lag. The Moto G does not, despite having the same processor and RAM.

I should note at this point that, despite having the same processor, the Moto E is 1.2 GHz quad core and the Moto G is 1.4 GHz quad core.

Moto G vs Moto E: Specs

Moto G Moto E
CPU 1.4 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 410 1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 200 (3G), 1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 410 (LTE)
GPU Adreno 306 Adreno 302 (3G), Adreno 306 (LTE)
Display 5″, 720p, 294 ppi, IPS LCD 4.5″, 540×960, 245 ppi, IPS LCD
Body 142.1×72.4×11.6 mm, 155 g 129.9×66.8×12.3 mm, 145 g
Camera 13 MP, 4128×3096, 5 MP Front 5 MP, 2592х1944, 0.3 MP Front
Video 1080p – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps 720p – 30 fps, Front VGA
Aperture f/2 f/2.2
Storage 8/16 GB 8 GB
RAM 1/2 GB 1 GB
Battery 2470 mAh 2390 mAh
Price $179/$219 $119/$149

I find the way that Motorola handles their lower to mid tier phones interesting. Both the Moto E and the Moto G have lower and higher end models and there is a massive difference between the two.

For example, the Moto E comes in a 3G and an LTE model, right? The difference, in theory, would just be the speed of the cellular connection, right? No, the LTE model has a 64 bit processor with a much more powerful architecture, for just $30 more.

Then there’s the Moto G, which comes in an 8 GB model and a 16 GB model, but that’s not all. The 8 GB model comes with 1 GB of RAM and the 16 GB model comes with 2 GB of RAM, which is a massive difference in an Android phone.

From $119 to $219, Motorola provides quite a variety of quality devices.

Moto G vs Moto E: Rear Camera

As I mentioned, Motorola went all out with the camera on the Moto G. In fact, it uses the same 13 MP Sony IMX214 Exmor RS sensor as the Nexus 6 and the OnePlus One.

It also has a flash, something that goes without saying on modern smart phone cameras, but not necessarily on the low end. The Moto E does not have a flash on the 5 MP rear camera.

The resolution really isn’t going to make a difference. You can’t really tell the difference between 5 MP and 13 MP unless you have a super high resolution display, or if you zoom or crop the images.

The 13 MP sensor on the Moto G is just a better sensor. It has a larger sensor and a larger aperture.

One thing I want to note is Motorola’s terrible camera app. There is no tap to focus function. It’s sort of a drag to focus, which is a little tough to get used to. You’ll see that some of the images below are a bit out of focus. That’s why.

The Moto Camera app does have the ability to focus, but it takes a bit of getting used to. You can’t tap the screen and watch it focus on what you want it to focus on. You just kind of have to hope it will focus correctly when you take the picture.

Moto G Moto E

For the most part, the two cameras look similar. As expected, low light performance is better on the Moto G, but it’s still not as good as it is on other non-Motorola phones that use that sensor.

[image-comparator left=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_231711055.jpg” right=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_231657905.jpg” width=”100%” left_alt=”Moto G” right_alt=”Moto E” classes=”hover”][/image-comparator]

Moto G – Moto E

[image-comparator left=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_143444483.jpg” right=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_143436866.jpg” width=”100%” left_alt=”Moto G” right_alt=”Moto E” classes=”hover”][/image-comparator]

As I mentioned, the Moto G has a flash where the Moto E does not.

[image-comparator left=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_231436397.jpg” right=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_231507134.jpg” width=”100%” left_alt=”Moto G with Flash” right_alt=”Moto E” classes=”hover”][/image-comparator]

Moto G with Flash – Moto E

[image-comparator left=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_231716350.jpg” right=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_231657905.jpg” width=”100%” left_alt=”Moto G with Flash” right_alt=”Moto E” classes=”hover”][/image-comparator]

Moto G vs Moto E: Front Camera

The front camera on the Moto G is a massive improvement on last year’s 2 MP sensor at 5 MP. As I said, Motorola really went all out on the camera.

We always say that resolution doesn’t matter, but here it does. The Moto E is just 0.3 MP, so there’s not much that can be done with that.

As we can see, the Moto G front camera is miles ahead of the Moto E’s front camera. I think that the Moto E front camera is mainly there for things like Skype and Google Hangouts. It’s not a selfie camera. For a budget device, it’s a benefit to have a front camera at all.

Low light is also better on the Moto G camera.

[image-comparator left=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_232116291.jpg” right=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_232139370.jpg” width=”100%” left_alt=”Moto G” right_alt=”Moto E” classes=”hover”][/image-comparator]

Moto G – Moto E

The Moto G also has a software flash on the front camera, a feature that’s becoming more and more popular in front cameras. LG has used it for some time and Apple is using it in the new iPhone 6S. The display lights up to be used as a sort of pseudo-flash.

[image-comparator left=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_232101078.jpg” right=”http://fortheloveoftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_20150904_232139370.jpg” width=”100%” left_alt=”Moto G with Flash” right_alt=”Moto E” classes=”hover”][/image-comparator]

Moto G with Flash – Moto E

Moto G vs Moto E: Benchmarks

My normal disclaimer: I’m not a fan of benchmarks. They so rarely provide any insight into real world usage of a device; however, they are the best tool we have for writing down the performance of a device.

First, we’ll do battery tests. Geekbench 3 has two settings for battery tests, with the dim screen toggled on or off. First, with dim screen toggled on.

Moto G Moto E Battery Dim

 

As we can see, the Moto E gets slightly better battery life, which isn’t entirely surprising, as it has a lower resolution display and slightly lower powered processor. Next, with the dim screen toggled off.

Moto G Moto E Battery Bright

OK, so we have similar results to when the dim screen is toggled on.

Next, we have a Geekbench 3 test.

Moto G Moto E GeekBench

As expected, we have slightly better scores from the Moto G. Both the Moto E and the Moto G use quad core Snapdragon 410 processors, which are both 64 bit and both ARM Cortex-A53. The Moto E is 1.2 GHz per core and the Moto G is 1.4 GHz per core, so we’re not looking at anything surprising.

Next up, AnTuTu.

Moto G Moto E AnTuTu

Again, slightly better performance from the Moto G. Next week, we should have the Moto G model with 2 GB of RAM. We’ll see how that stands up as well.

To be honest, I expected a larger gap between the Moto G and the Moto E, despite the similar specs. It’s just that I notice a lag in the Moto E and I don’t notice it at all with the Moto G.

There’s also graphics tests. I use GFXBench for graphics tests. Interestingly enough, GFXBench 3.1 just craps out on both the Moto E and the Moto G. I don’t know if it’s because it doesn’t support OpenGL 3.1 or what, but it doesn’t work. Luckily, GFXBench 3 does work.

First, let’s look at what turns up when we use GFXBench 3.1.

Moto G Moto E GFX 3.1As we can see, a few tests run and then they crap out. I’ve run the tests over and over and this is what happens.

Next up, GFXBench 3.

Moto G Moto E GFX 3 1Moto G Moto E GFX 3 2Moto G Moto E GFX 3 3In most of these cases, the Moto E slightly outperforms the Moto G, which isn’t entirely surprising. They both have the exact same GPU, but the Moto E has a lower resolution display.

At the end of the day, these benchmarks don’t matter. The Moto E lags really badly. I don’t know if the Moto G will end up like this over time, but as it stands right now, the Moto G is certainly the preferable phone when it comes to performance, display, and camera. It’s certainly worth the extra $30.

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.