(Pocket-lint) - Motorola has been busy - launching not one but three new smartphones at an event in London and New York. It has introduced a new contender to its budget Moto G range, as well as two additions to the Moto X line.

Both the Moto G and the Moto X were originally launched back in 2013. The Moto G has seen several models appear since the first 4.5-inch device, with an almost bi-annual update cycle, while the Moto X has been updated yearly with the two new handsets making up the third generation.

The Moto X has also been one of the most customisble phones to date, thanks to Moto Maker but the new Moto G now offers this too, blurring the lines a little between flagship and budget. We have put the new Moto G handsets up against the Moto X Play, which is the cheaper of the new Moto X devices.

Here we will be comparing the numbers and crunching the specs to see what the differences are and help you figure out which Moto device is right for you.

Similar design, both offering Moto Maker option

The new Moto G 2015 measures 142.1 x 72.4mm, features a curve between 6.1mm and 11.6mm and hits the scales at 155g. The Moto X Play is slightly larger but slimmer at 148 x 75mm, with a curve between 8.9mm and 10.9mm. It weighs 169g.

Both devices look similar in terms of design but the Moto X is the more premium looking handset, as you might expect given the price variation. The Moto G follows in the footsteps of its predecessors and the Moto X does the same.

The distinctive feature is the bar on the rear that houses the signature Motorola dimple and also encapsulates the camera and flash. This design feature is common to both the Moto X and the Moto G, tying these handsets together in a family.

As we mentioned previously, in the past the Moto X has been one of the most customisable handsets available thanks to Moto Maker, but the new Moto G has now been given this feature too. The addition of Moto Maker to the G means the X no longer has this as a unique feature but the finish options are more limited for the G, such as no leather back option.

The Moto X Play and Moto G are both water resistant.

The Moto X Play has a bigger and sharper display

The third-gen Moto G 2015 model comes with a 5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel resolution IPS display, which delivers a pixel density of 294ppi. It's not the sharpest display out there, given that the majority are Full HD and above, but this device starts at £159 so that needs to be considered.

The Moto G's display is the same as its predecessor, which we felt offered strong viewing angles, vibrant colours and ample brightness that was able to resist excessive reflections when we reviewed it. Unlike some more budget options, there's an adaptive brightness setting on the third-gen Moto G (2015) so the phone can adjust for ambient lighting conditions.

The new Moto X Play has a 5.5-inch display which is a slight bump up from the previous X. The resolution remains the same at 1920 x 1080 however. This means you can expect a sharper image experience to new Moto G as the pixel density on the Moto X Play works out to 403ppi compared to the 294ppi of the new Moto G, as well as 0.5-inches more display.

The Moto X Play has better cameras

The new Moto G has stepped things up quite a lot in terms of camera performance compared to its predecessor, introducing a 13-megapixel snapper on the rear with dual flash, coupled with a 5-megapixel snapper on the front.

It's not enough to take on the Moto X Play though, sporting a 21-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The front-facing camera on the Moto X may be the same as the Moto G in terms of megapixels but Motorola has introduced a front-facing flash to the Play handset.

A number of handsets have attempted to incorporate a front flash in the past and it's a decidedly tricky thing to do - because it tends to blowout the face of the person in front of it so it will be interesting to see how this device performs.

The Moto X Play will be faster and last longer

The new Moto G arrives with the 64-bit 1.4GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage. There is also a 8GB version available that will offer 1GB of RAM. Both models have microSD support.

The new Moto X features the 64-bit 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of internal storage. There is also microSD for storage expansion up to 128GB.

In terms of battery capacity, the new Moto G offers 2470mAh while the Moto X Play has a 3630mAh battery under the hood. In theory that should mean the Moto X Play will last longer, but it does have that larger Full HD display to power so it doesn't just come down to physical battery capacity.

Similar software experience

One of the great things about Motorola is that it offers a very close to raw Android experience when it comes down to the software. There are only a few Motorola-specific apps that have been added on top so you get a very clean experience.

The new Moto G and the new Moto X Play will run on the latest version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, but both will add Motorola's new Moto app (which allows you to use voice commands and more).

There will also be the previous Motorola-specific apps present, such as the camera app and Moto Migrate for transferring between devices but the experience on the new Moto G and new Moto X Play should be identical.


The new Moto G, or third generation Moto G doesn't match up to the Moto X Play in terms of specs, but it shouldn't be expected to as these two devices sit in slightly different markets.

The Moto G is just under £140 less than the Moto X Play and while its display could have done with moving up to Full HD, you still get Moto Maker, a more seamless design, a faster processor, bigger battery capacity and big camera improvements over the previous G device.

The Moto X Play also makes improvements over its predecessor and naturally it blows the G out of the water but as we said, it is an extra £140. The question is whether you want the a more flagship handset, or if you can settle for more budget specs and just as good a design in order to have more cash in your pocket.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.