Nokia X vs Motorola Moto G: the weigh in

One straight from the bowels of Mountain View, the other from the snowy plains of Finland via Redmond - both running Android. Who wins? FIGHT!

Two big companies, acquired by bigger companies, just released what they think is the best budget phone for the emerging market.

Now that we know the ins and outs of the two candidates, let's see how they fair against one another and which one you should opt for?

READ MORE: Nokia X, X+, XL: hands-on review of Nokia's first Android smartphones

READ MORE: Motorola Moto G review

Build: World of Plastics

At this price range, the expected materials to build the phones are plastic (or polycarbonate if you are fussy like that). Even so, there are plastics, and there are plastics. Nokia chose to use the design that underpins their Asha line – so the monocoque polycarbonate used here is sturdy. When closed, the front glass and the back plate are seamless. The colours are so vibrant that they almost glow – which makes it awesome to pick it out among the me-too phones plaguing the market now. It does look a bit cheaper than expected though.

Nokia X vs Motorola Moto G:  the weigh in

Meanwhile, Motorola copied their Moto X design, but now with a removable back plate. This means users will be able to change the colour according to their mood. While it is chunkier than higher-class smartphones in the market, it doesn’t feel cheap to hold and feel. The build quality of the Moto G goes above and beyond its pricetag.

Winner: Moto G

Display: Someone spent more than the other

This is where money meets the road, and Motorola certainly spent extra here to make up for the rest of the phone. At 4.5in, the 720p display isn’t a shrinking violet – in fact, you can call it a plain jane with 4.5in becoming the defacto standard minimum size for a smartphone screen. At 326 pixels per inch (ppi), it is no Retina Display. Considering the price of the phone, it's amazing that Motorola found someone to produce such a quality screen at this price point.

Nokia on the other hand thinks that we are still in 2011. With a screen resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, you will not get the best HD viewing experience on an X. Even worse, the same resolution is being used in all three phones ( X, X+ and XL) and in two sizes (4in and 5in) so you can imagine how ‘good’ the screen will be. We can see all the pixels!

Winner: Moto G

Camera: Just good enough photography

While we're not asking a lot for something that is priced lower than a good pair of Nikes, we were disappointed with the camera modules on the Nokia and the Motorola devices.

Nokia X vs Motorola Moto G:  the weigh in

With only a 5MP sensor, the Moto G camera will not win awards for picture quality. It struggles to pick up fine details in even decent lighting conditions and doesn't come anywhere close to the formidable snappers of imaging champions such as the iPhone 5s, Lumia 1020 and G2. Low light performance is also, predictably, lacking.

Nokia also features a 5MP snapper on their XL model. The smaller X and X+ packs a mere 3MP camera on the back.

For sure, these cameras are definitely not going to be Pulitzer-winning image capturing devices. Against each other, it's a tie.

Winner: draw

More after the break...

Power: Four against two

By the virtue of processing power alone, the Moto G trumps the offerings from Nokia. With a quad-core Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, the Moto G runs anything and everything thrown at it with ease, with a small caveat that it only has 1GB of RAM.

On the other hand, with only dual-core processors plus 512MB of RAM (758MBs on the XL), the Nokias might barely run itself smoothly. If you add the Windows Phone-like skin on top of the Android OS, it spells disaster for potential butter smooth operations.

Winner: Moto G

OS: The future against the past

Moto G, being that it is (well, WAS) a Google company, is first in line apart from the Nexus devices to get the latest and greatest OS updates from Mountain View. Android KitKat 4.4 is available for the phone now. This also includes a full suite of Google-related apps – Gmail, Play Store and such.

Nokia had to be content with Android 4.1.2 in the X family. Not only is it running a dated Android version (which is optimised for mid to low end devices, such as the X series here), there is minimal Google support. That's right, there's no Google Play Store. Apps are installed either via Nokia’s own app store, or it has to be sideloaded into the phone.

Winner: Moto G


It seems clear from the start that the Moto G is destined to win this weigh in. What's not to like about the phone? It has a good price (RM698 for 8GB), good screen, decent processor and all in a nice looking package. It doesn’t have a great camera but hey – you can't really ask for everything.

The Nokia X family, however, is special because it’s the company’s first foray into the Droid universe, aimed for emerging countries (nope – not even the UK will get this phone). Also, it is their first generation, and we know how well first generation devices turn out, right?

READ MORE: Nokia gives Android a Microsoft-friendly skin with the Nokia X, X+ and XL


Your comparison is not accurate as you should compare Nokia XL [which will be retailed around RM500++] against the more expensive Moto G rather than the lowest entry phone of Nokia X. And also please put in the price factor as well as this is one of the important factor in which consumer at lower end market will be considered when buying a smart phone.  

There are features in which reviewer alway neglected, ie, the function of the phone itself --> to make and receive calls. Nokia makes good phone. Just one example, if you find youself still comfortable making call and talking comfortably in a very noisy enviroment, you are using Nokia. The call quality and sound is louder and clearer compared with others such as Iphone or Samsung.

In addition, there are preinstalled apps which as excellent to use such as Nokia Here Map and Her Drive Offline Navigation for free. I am a Lumia user and i found these two apps extremely useful compared with other "free" navigation apps available in store unless you want to folk out hundred bucks to buy a real navi apps such as Papago.

In addition, Nokia XL comes with a better camera, both rear[5 mp] and front[2 mp]. A better camera is good especially for family buyers as they use a lot for capturing life moments. 

So, RM500++ come with a good phone to make calls, good camera and  free full featured offline Navi Apps.. It is a steal for me.


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