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Nexus 5 vs Moto G comparison review: Which value smartphone should you buy?

£135 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Motorola

We compare the value for money Nexus 5 and Moto G to help you decide which is the best smartphone for you.

Nexus 5 vs Moto G

Google's Nexus 5 is its flagship smartphone and Google-owned Motorola has launched the Moto G. Find out how these two budget smartphones differ in our Nexus 5 vs Moto G comparison review.

These smartphones are in different leagues so this review is not a case of finding a winner. The Nexus 5 is the better smartphone but since they both come at a price lower than you might expect, our aim is to help you decide between them. See also: The 14 best smartphones of 2013.

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Price

We're comparing these two phones because they both offer outstanding value for money. Each should or could cost much more than the do, but they sit in different price bands respectively.

The Nexus 5 starts at just £299 which is a surprisingly low price for a flagship smartphone. The Moto G doesn't have flagship hardware but could easily retail for the same amount as the Nexus 5, however, you can get it for just £135. See also: Nexus 5: Where to buy.

It's the choice of a flagship smartphone for a mid-range price, or a mid-range smartphone at a budget price. Read on to find out what you get for your money. (See also: Moto G vs Galaxy S3 smartphone comparison review.)

Moto G smartphone cases

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Design and build

Which smartphone you prefer the look of is up to you and while the Nexus 5 and Moto G offer good but not outstanding build quality, there are some differences.

As you might expect from the pricier device, the Nexus 5 is slimmer, lighter and has a more desirable feel. The Moto G is slightly on the chunky side but it still feels nice in the hand. Both have a simplistic design.

The Moto G has a removable back cover but this is only for access to the SIM-card slot rather than the battery. It also means you can put different colour covers and cases on so the phone is much more customisable than the Nexus 5.

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Screen

With a slightly bigger screen and a higher resolution, things are easier to do and look nicer on the Nexus 5. Its 4.95in 1080 x 1920 screen is excellent to say the least and won't disappoint.

Saying that, the Moto G's 4.5in screen punches way above its weight and is the best we've seen on a budget price smartphone. It's got a 720 x 1280 resolution which means a pixel density matching the iPhone 5S of 326ppi. You get a lot for your money here.

Nexus 5

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Processor    

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the Nexus 5 offers sterling performance. It's a setup found in much more expensive phones and is a force to be reckoned with.

The Moto G has a Snapdragon 400 chip which is also quad-core but clocked lower at 1.2GHz. Dropping below £150 in the smartphone market typically means awful performance and although the device isn't quite as nippy and smooth compared to the Nexus 5 but it's not far behind.

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Storage

Both of these phones are lacking any kind of memory card slot so buying the right model is important. The Moto G comes in 8- and 16GB options while the Nexus 5 has double at 16- and 32GB.

You're going to need to pay more for the Nexus 5 so whether it's worth it in terms of storage depends on your usage. If you're only going to download a few apps and take the odd photo then the Moto G will be sufficient. However, if you want to store lots of music and video on your phone then the Nexus 5 will better suit.

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Cameras

Take a lot of photos with your smartphone which you want to share online and print out the best? Well the Nexus 5 is probably worth the extra money.

The Moto G has a mid-range 5Mp which takes ok photos and video but they're nothing special, whereas the Nexus 5 has a decent 8Mp snapper which has optical image stabilisation and the ability to record Full HD video.

If you're more worried about the front camera for 'selfies' and video chat then the difference is much less between the two. Both are rated at 1.3Mp with the only variance is that the Nexus 5 can shoot 1080p compared to the Moto G's 720p.

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Connectivity

The Nexus 5 comes equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi with the latest 11.ac standard, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS, NFC, a microUSB port (SlimPort enabled), wireless charging and support for 4G LTE mobile networks. That's a nice well-rounded set of connectivity features and many of these aren't found on the Moto G.

To enable the price of the Moto G to be so low, the phone has more basic Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and is lacking NFC and 4G LTE support. Its microUSB port won't output video either.
It's another case of whether these features are important enough to you to spend the extra on the Nexus 5.

Nexus 5 white

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Software

Software is an area where the Nexus 5 and Moto G only differ slightly. The Nexus 5 has Google's vanilla Android experience and since Motorola is owned by Google, the Moto G has the same stock Android interface plus a handful of Motorola apps. See also: Android 4.4 KitKat release date, new features and device upgrades.

At the moment the Nexus 5 is on a newer version, 4.4 KitKat while the Moto G is behind on 4.3 Jelly Bean. However, Motorola has promised an update by January 2014 so it won't be long before it catches up.

Nexus 5 vs Moto G: Battery life

You're not going to get outstanding battery life from either the Nexus 5 or Moto G. Most users will find themselves charging every night while lighter users may get a second day of use.

Neither handset has a removable battery but the Nexus 5 does have wireless charging which is a cool and convenient feature.

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Moto G 4G Expert Verdict »


Motorola Moto G 8GB DVX/XT1032 reviews verified by Reevoo

Motorola Moto G 8GB DVX/XT1032Scores 8.6 out of 10 based on 16 reviews
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS
4.5in display (720x1280), 326 ppi
1.2GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU
Adreno 305 GPU
1GB RAM
8/16GB internal storage
5Mp rear camera with LED Flash
1.3Mp front camera
Video recording at up to 720p
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
A-GPS
GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
7.7Wh non-removable battery
66x130x11.6mm
143g

The Nexus 5 and Moto G are the best value for money smartphones around at the moment. Those wanting a smartphone to do basic things and aren't so bothered about specifications will do fine with the Moto G while more advanced users will benefit from the hardware on offer from the Nexus 5.


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