Microsoft Nokia Lumia 530 vs Motorola Moto E: What’s the difference?

Budget before phone is suddenly not such a dirty word. With quad-core and respectable screens the market of affordable is also becoming far more functional. So much so that there is actually choice among the handsets at the lower end of the market now.

Microsoft and Motorola both outed their impressive handsets for their low-end pricing. But beyond operating systems what's the difference between the €85 (£67) Lumia 530 and the £89 Moto E?

Power

Getting the maximum amount of speed for your buck is usually high up the list when deciding which smartphone to buy. The Morotola Moto E has a slightly dated 1.2GHz dual-core processor but it is the Qualcomm Snapdagon 200 so you know it'll be fast yet power efficient.

The Microsoft Lumia 530 also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor but with a quad-core. This should make it faster and more power efficient. But it only has 512MB of RAM where the Moto E packs 1GB making them fairly similarly matched for speed.

Display

The Motorola Moto E has a 4.3-inch display with a 960 x 540 resolution giving it 256ppi. Not great for resolution but the colours are punchy and the screen is plenty bright enough for outdoor use.

The Microsoft Lumia 530 has a smaller 4-inch LCD display with a 854 x 480 resolution putting it at 246ppi. The slightly lower resolution will barely be noticeable especially with the Lumia colour profile offering vibrant tones.

Design

The Moto E is 12mm thick and weighs 142g. The buttons work better than most budget phones and the plastic case is strong but sits comfortably in the hand. The metal bars at the top and bottom add a premium feel in spite of the handset's budget-friendly price. Moto E back covers are interchangeable allowing for different colours to suit the user's mood.

Microsoft's Lumia 530 uses Nokia's design ethos meaning a single piece plastic design that should sit in the hand well. The design is very minimalist giving it a clean look which is available in multiple colours including green, orange white and dark grey.

Camera

This round is an even split as both cameras are 5-megapixels without a flash. They are both capable of FWVGA video at 30 frames per second. But there are no front-facing cameras so selfies fans might be let down here.

Operating systems

This will probably be a big factor for most people, it's a choice between Android 4.4 KitKat on the Moto E and Windows Phone 8.1 on the Lumia 530.

Android offers the myriad features of Google like voice search, Google Now and the Play Store's massive selection of apps.

Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest operating system from Microsoft which comes with a great homescreen Live Tile layout for at a glance use, a growing app store, the latest Cortana voice assistant and Word Flow keyboard.

If we're totally honest lots of people will go with Android as it's what they know. But with Microsoft planning an update this year that will synergise all its platforms we expect it to improve drastically soon. Android, on the other hand, has a poor track record of getting updates to lower-end handsets. So for the long-term the Windows Phone might be a better bet.

Other factors

Both handsets are 3G only with no 4G LTE available. The Moto E features a 1,920mAh battery with that less efficient core offering 24 hours use. The Lumia 530 has a smaller 1,430mAh battery but more efficient core and smaller screen so it too should offer at east 24 hours use.