Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 5.58.48 PM

Currently, Motorola seems to be the king of budget smartphones. With the launch of the Moto G ($179.99) and more recently the Moto E ($129.99), it seems like Motorola has a smartphone tier for just about anyone. Motorola’s Moto X has also dropped in price to $349.99 off contract and just barely graces the budget phone border.

The good news is, there are plenty of budget Motorola devices to choose from, but now you’ll have to make a decision. Which one is the best for you? Let’s find out in our Moto showdown.

There are clear advantages to each of Motorola’s Moto options. The Moto E only requires a small investment, but lacks serious specifications. The Moto G is the “happy medium,” bringing decent performance, but at half the price of the Moto X which is the best Moto you can buy at the moment. Starting off at the top of the food chain, the Moto X is a flagship device that flirts with high-end specs, but how much better can it be over its budget competition?

Check out our comparison video below:

Moto X specs:

  • 4.7-inch AMOLED display 720 x 1280 (316 PPI)
  • Motorola X8 dual-core 1.7GHz (Snapdragon S4 Pro) processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of storage (depending on model)
  • 2,200mAh battery

On the backside you’ll find a 10-megapixel camera capable of 1080p video along with an LED flash and speaker. The front is home to a 2-megapixel camera, earpiece, and the appropriate sensors. One thing that I can attest to is the amazing battery life the Moto X offers. It was one of the strong points in my use and along with that, you can customize your Moto X using Moto Maker. The downside is, you’ll be stuck with the storage variation that you choose as the Moto X doesn’t offer expandable storage.

Moto G specs:

  • 4.5-inch IPS display 720 x 1280 (329 PPI)
  • Qual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Adreno 305 GPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8/16GB of storage (depending on model)
  • 2,070mAh battery

With the Moto G you’re getting a decent device on a budget. Starting at just $179, the Moto G offers customization via removable backplates, a 5-megapixel camera rear camera (720p video), LED flash, a small speaker, and a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera. This device isn’t going to outperform the Moto X, but it’s a strong contender. Motorola also launched an LTE version that includes a Micro SD card slot for storage expansion.

Moto E specs:

  • 4.3-inch display 540 x 960 (256 PPI)
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor
  • Adreno 302 GPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of storage (Expandable via SD card slot)
  • 1,980mAh battery

Obviously, the Moto E takes the cake for cheapest smartphone. Don’t worry though, just because it’s inexpensive, doesn’t mean it’s bad. The Moto E has a 5-megapixel rear camera, but unfortunately, it lacks auto-focus capabilities. That’s right, no auto-focus or even an LED flash. Also, the Moto E only has 4GB of internal storage, but luckily you can add an additional 32GB via the Micro SD card slot. Surprisingly, the front-facing speaker on the Moto E is decent. It’s nothing in comparison to the HTC One M8, but I found it to be more than acceptable for consuming media.

Sure, you’re probably better off spending an additional $50 for the Moto G, but for light users, the Moto E will get the job done. I did notice several stutters while using the Moto E, but for the price it’s hard to complain.

Out of these three phones, there’s definitely a winner, but it also depends on how much you’re willing to spend. The Moto X is packed with tons of features that we didn’t get a chance to cover in this showdown, but without a doubt it’s the top-tier Moto smartphone. If you’re looking for the best budget Motorola option, you’ll probably be happy with the Moto G over the Moto E. Unless you’re a very light smartphone user, the Moto E is going to be a tough phone to deal with long-term, but then again, it’s only $129.99. Which Moto smartphone do you prefer?

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author