Nokia X vs Moto G

Nokia has stiff competition in the budget Android space for its first entrant, so how does the Nokia X stack up against the current king, the Moto G?

In late 2013 Motorola knocked our socks off with the Moto G. What it delivered was a top of the line Android experience for not a lot of money. It changed the budget space for the better and set a new benchmark for how a cheap Android phone should be made. Solid hardware, excellent software, even better price.

Nokia is also well known for its more price-oriented devices. Indeed, we pitched the Moto G against the similarly priced Lumia 625 already, but now it's a straight up Android on Android fight. The Nokia X costs roughly the same as the Moto G (at current pricing), runs Android and is targeted towards the budget conscious smartphone buyer.

So which is best? There's only one way to find out.

The hardware

Nokia X vs Moto G

Both Nokia and Motorola can make good quality smartphones. Both are also big on customization and color, and so both the Nokia X and the Moto G can be had in a variety of colors, some louder than others. But, hardware really is the Moto G's strong point, and the Nokia X can't come close.

For while the Nokia X is extremely well built, durable and solid feeling, everything else about its hardware is lacking. It feels sturdier than the Moto G, but after that it's a Motorola whitewash. Screen, internals, camera, all go to the Moto G. The Snapdragon 400, 720p display and 5MP camera with flash are streets ahead of the Nokia X's lacklustre Snapdragon S4, 480x800 resolution display and 3MP fixed focus camera with no flash.

The Moto G also comes with 8GB of on-board storage as standard with a 16GB option. The Nokia X comes with 4GB built in but does have an optional microSD card slot which the Moto G does not. Important to note if you're into expandable storage.

The software

Nokia X vs Moto G

Both phones may run Android, but that's where any similarities end. The Moto G is running a clean, crisp, near Google fresh build of Android 4.4.2 KitKat while the Nokia X runs Nokia's own 'fork' of Android. And one based on an early version of Jelly Bean, at that. Nokia's software has a simplistic front to it reminiscent of Windows Phone.

But without Google Play the Nokia X is down on apps. The Nokia Store isn't so great right now, and while you can install the Amazon Appstore, there's just no substitute for the sheer might of the Google Play Store. You can only buy apps from Nokia, no music, no movies.

Both manufacturers have added their own touches to their respective phones. But again Motorola probably has the edge. The Migrate app along with Motorola Assist, Trusted Bluetooth and the pretty nice Motorola Camera app are all fine additions. Nokia has MixRadio and HERE Maps which are both excellent apps and services, as well as an overly spec'd up Camera app given the hardware.

But you just can't beat the power of Google's software and services when it comes to an Android phone.

The camera

Nokia X vs Moto G

Nokia is well known for making some of the very best smartphone cameras out there, but that doesn't follow them to the Nokia X. The Moto G won't exactly be shooting you any prize winners either, but for our money it still beats out the Nokia. Higher resolution images at 5MP to 3MP, but more importantly the Moto G has auto-focus and an LED flash. The Nokia X has neither of these things.

The camera isn't likely the highest priority for buyers of either phone, but if you're getting one you want to get the best you can. The Moto G's shooter improved a little with the KitKat update and definitely has the edge. Nokia has the more feature packed camera app, but Motorola's is still such a pleasure to use for capturing those quick snaps.


Nokia X vs Moto G

Nokia manages to claw back some brownie points when it comes to cost, since the 4-inch Nokia X we have here is priced around €89. The list price of the Moto G is higher than this, but it's also been the subject of some pretty impressive deals.

Value for money would still peg the Moto G as the better buy since you get so much more for your spend, but looking at how much you have to part with alone, Nokia has it beat.

The bottom line

Nokia X vs Moto G

If you're specifically looking for a cheap Android phone, the Moto G is still the one to buy. The compromises Motorola made to deliver the device and experience it did is still remarkable and makes it the undisputed king of the budget space.

The Nokia X isn't without some charm, but it's a more likely prospect to someone who doesn't really care too much what their phone is running, or just wants a cheap phone that will also go on Facebook and Twitter.


Reader comments

Nokia X vs Moto G


Somehow, the Nokia X is just wrong. Hopefully, Microsoft will not create a follow up. If they want to do Android, fine, but do it right.

Not to defend the Nokia abomination, but can't you simply install the Google Play store? I've done that on a few tablets that were missing the Play Store, and it was literally a 5 minute proposition. If that's the case, what's all the fuss? I mean, sure, Mom might not know how to do this, but it's a simple procedure.

I think the main point of the review is the experience right out of the box. Since the Nokia doesn't include the Play Store out of the box, it gets marked down.

But the Lumia series is getting back into a much higher price point. You can't really compare a $250 device to a $600 device and expect it to be remotely fair.

I know it's a long shot, but I would still love to see a high end Nokia (for example, the Lumia 1520 or Icon) running Android with proper Google Play certification.

I think pretty much everyone wants to see that, but there's just no way it'll happen at this point.

Posted from one of an unnecessarily large collection of Nexus devices because I'm That Guy

Well, pray for 2016 then. Nokia is now keeping a factory in Korea and they're hiring Android architects for their R&D division which remains with Nokia. Were never know what they might be cooking up ;)

I think the Noxia X is my least favorite smartphone of all time period. I would rather go back to using the OG Droid then even touch the abomination that is the Nokia X.

This article may draw the right conclusion, but its still disingenuous. The prices are not 'roughly the same' at all and I notice the issue is carefully dodged by not actually saying how much the Moto G SIM free is.. The Nokia X is actually far cheaper than the Moto G, as little as half the price in most of Europe.

Calling them roughly the same is like saying the N5 is roughly the same price as the Moto G because the percentage gap is about the same.

I'm not sure what prices you're seeing in Europe, but I can grab the Moto G (SIM-free) on for $179 US. A quick Google search says that €89 is about $123 US, so not a *huge* gap. And that's 4Gigs on the Nokia X vs 8Gigs on the Moto G.

Overall, from everything I've read about the Nokia X around the web, I'd bet the Moto G is still a better value unless, like the article says, price is the absolute primary determining factor in your decision.

You cant compare a US price with an EU one. Either the Nokia X will be cheaper in the US or the Moto X will be more in Europe, which it is.

89 EUR retail price in Europe can't be really translated into $123, as a start prices include all taxes in Europe, plus all electronics are more expensive here. The general rule for electronics is that 1 EUR = $1. So the price will be something close to $89 over there making it close to half the price of the Moto G.

the moto g has to be the most under whelming phone i have come across mrs has gone from old nokia n95 to a moto g and even she thinks its pretty dull.
strip google now and what have you got,a boring well made phone,thats it,there is nothing to excite anyone with aanything that moto g can do,my old htc hd2 can almost keep up with it on a lot of things,so it makes me wonder what the last 5 years evolution of android has been for,except to give goigle more control.
moto g,cheapish,well made,very dull.
the only way to make a g do much is to root it and put a better rom on it,if you can be bothered to.
roll on tizen is now boring,dull and tied up tighter than a ducks bum.

Well to be fair, the Moto g isn't their flagship phone. The Moto X is, so the g isn't going to give a good representation of android capabilities. It's their cheap budget phone so naturally it's not going to be spectacular.

Posted via Android Central App

Spoken like someone who really doesn't understand what they're talking about. The Moto G is impressive, for what it is: a well-made and decently powerful Android phone that's also *very* cheap. At $179 off contract and unlocked, the Moto G is a great option for people who aren't looking to drop $700 on a high-end device, or don't want to sign up for a 2 year post-paid cellular contract.

No, the Moto G is not the best phone ever. But it is just about the best "cheap" phone ever. As a rule, you get what you pay for. With the Moto G, at least you get just a *little* bit more.

Sturdiness can count for a lot in developing markets. A budget conscious first time smartphone buyer who who lives in a village would be drawn to the Nokia X if it feels sturdier and is cheaper than the Moto G. If it is stable and easy to use than the Nokia X has a shot.

This +1.
The first Nokia X I saw in the wild was in a village in Laos. Parents had purchased it for their eldest son.
Nokia has global market penetration and loyalty that Motorola can only dream of.
Most of the world is poor and most of those poor people want a Nokia as their first, second or third phone.

Posted via Android Central App

Lol this isn't even worth a comparison, the moto g is like a high end flagship when compared to the Nokia x

Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

I don't think these are meant to even compete. The Nokia X is purposely cheap and featureless because otherwise it would be competing with the budget Lumias. They wanted to place the X below the L520. So really, apart from build quality, no one should seriously expect the phone to be better thy than the Moto G.

Still, I want an Nokia X to needs around with its software.

I saw a Nokia X demo unit the other day. The screen actually has better black levels and less off axis washout than the Nexus 5! lol

AAAAND if you want a Moto G through Republic Wireless, save with this referral link:

(Not valid for custom Moto-X phones, BTW)

I loved my Defy XT and I'm anxiously awaiting my Moto G. I'll get cred if you use the link above, too. Enjoy, and get a Otterbox Commuter case they work very well!