Nokia Lumia 630 vs Motorola Moto G: What's the difference?

There's a lot of activity in the budget handset sector. Things were rolling along rather sedately until Motorola fired the disruptive Moto G into the mix. Recent reports suggest the Moto G has gained 6 per cent market share in a few months.

Nokia is a company that produces great affordable devices and the latest is the Nokia Lumia 630, looking to bring a great Windows Phone experience at a reasonable price point.

These two phones are remarkably similar in specs, so what exactly is the difference between these budget beauties?

Design: Cover changing colour wonders

Both the Motorola Moto G and the Lumia 630 offers changeable covers, so you'll be able to swap things around to match your mood. The Moto G has more colour options, but both are certainly eye catching.

In terms of measurements, the Nokia Lumia 630 is 129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2mm and 134g; the Motorola Moto G is 129.9 x 65.9 x 6-11.6mm (curved back) and it weighs 143g.

In the hand, we think the Moto G has a slightly slicker design. Although thicker at the centre, the curve towards the edges makes the phone feel better in the hand than the squarer Lumia 630.

However, both handsets feel great for the price: there are plenty of budget devices that feel cheap, neither the Lumia 630 or the Moto G do.

Display: Moto G pulls out the big guns

Both handsets have a 4.5-inch display and both are protected with Corning Gorilla Glass.

But size isn't everything as there's a big difference between these displays as the Lumia 630 has a 854 x 480 pixel resolution, 214ppi. It's a nice looking IPS LCD display with plenty of colour and good viewing angles.

READ: Motorola Moto G review

The Moto G, however, plays its trump card here with a 1280 x 720 pixel display, 326ppi. It's also an IPS LCD panel, again with plenty of punch and great viewing angles, but a lot more detail.

The result is that the Moto G will offer render finer detail better and everything will look sharper and crisper, from websites to photos and apps.

Under the hood: Snapdragon time

In terms of hardware, both the Nokia Lumia 630 and the Motorola Moto G have a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset. For some time Android devices have had the advantage over Windows Phone, but we're starting to see more parity between these rival platforms.

The Moto G, however, has 1GB of RAM to the Lumia 630's 512MB.

It's not all about hardware however, as the optimisation of software will play a huge part in the experience and how quickly your phone responds to commands. As the Lumia 630 is so new, it's difficult to judge if that 512MB of RAM will be limiting.

Storage: Lumia 630 has the edge

Both devices also have 8GB of storage, which is a little on the low side (there is a 16GB Moto G), but the Lumia 630 has the advantage offering microSD card expansion up to 128GB, so you'll be able to carry heaps of music and movies with you.

READ: Nokia Lumia 630 first impressions

The Moto G offers 50GB of Google Drive cloud space for 2 years, the Lumia 630 has 7GB of OneDrive cloud storage.

Cameras

Again we find that the Moto G and the Lumia have a similar camera offering. Both have a 5-megapixel camera on the rear, autofocus, with LED flash and offer 720p video capture. The Moto G adds a 1.3-megapixel front camera to the mix, something that's absent from the Lumia 630.

However, the Lumia offers a lot of great features in Nokia Camera with plenty of additional apps to get the most from it. The camera app on the Moto G is rather basic.

As for performance, the Moto G is reasonable, but sadly, the Lumia 630 is brand new, and we've not had the chance to put it through its paces yet.

Software experience

Away from the hardware similarities, it's the software that sets these phones apart. They do have something in common: they both come with the latest version on their respective platforms, Windows Phone 8.1 with Nokia Cyan on the Lumia 630, and Android 4.4 KitKat on the Motorola Moto G.

Android is the more popular platform, but WP8.1 brings more features to make it more competitive: the new Action Centre rivals the notifications bar, and the new trace-entry keyboard means text entry is now lightening fast.

READ: What's new in Windows Phone 8.1?

The platform you choose will come down to personal preference. We think that Android is generally faster in operation, with a wider choice of apps, services and games, but Windows Phone is growing all the time and we love live tiles.

Again, as the Lumia 630 is so new, and the Windows Phone 8.1 software still in beta, it's too early to call which offers the better experience, although Windows Phone is playing catch-up to Android, with the larger ecosystem.

Price

With budget being a consideration, price is important. The Motorola Moto G offers great value for money at £135 SIM free. It's a lot of phone for the money and it's avaialble to buy widely right now.

The Nokia Lumia 630, however, won't be arriving until May 2014. It's priced at $159 (approx £95), although you'll need to add tax to that so could be as cheap as £114. It really needs to hit that price to stay competitive against the Motorola monster.

Summing up

There is a surprising similarity between the hardware offering of these two devices. At first glance the Motorola Moto G looks to offer a little more - the display being the biggest difference here. Although we don't have the confirmed pricing for the Lumia 630, unless it can undercut the Moto G, it might face a challenge in making its case in a pure specs comparison.

However, the decision here is likely to be based on the strength of each platform. Those looking for a Windows Phone will find that the Lumia 630 has plenty to offer, a great smartphone expereicne, whilst those looking for an affordable way into the world of Android will find that the Moto G is an excellent choice. The Moto G is already selling well, so the Lumia 630 has everything to play for.