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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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