System Performance

Like the 2015 Moto E, the Moto G uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 SoC. This is the first time Motorola has updated the SoC in the Moto G, with both the first and second generation models using the same 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 SoC. Because the Moto G shares an SoC with the Moto E one might think this means they are equal in speed. However, the SKU in the Moto G has a peak frequency of 1.4GHz rather than the 1.2GHz in the Moto E. This is somewhat confusing because both are named MSM8916, but it's not dissimilar to how Snapdragon 615 devices run at either 1.5GHz or 1.7GHz on the big cluster.

As far as clock speed goes, the Moto G is 17% faster than the Moto E. It's difficult to estimate how much improvement will be seen compared to the older Moto G models, as the core architecture moves from Cortex A7 to Cortex A53 which comes with its own improvements in IPC in addition to the higher clock speed. It's also important to note that we are testing the model of the Moto G with 2GB of RAM, and this is another factor that can increase performance when comparing to Motorola's 1GB devices. Ultimately, it's important not to assume how much faster the Moto G will be based purely on the CPU frequency, even though it can give some idea about performance relative to other devices with the same CPU but a lower frequency. In order to properly characterize the Moto G's performance relative to many other devices, we turn to our standard workflow of web based benchmarks, followed by PCMark and BaseMark OS II.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2013 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

The overall picture painted by our web browser tests is that the 2015 Moto G has a healthy lead over the Moto E's performance, and an even greater one over the older Snapdragon 400 based models of the Moto G. The level of performance is certainly good for a $219 device, but I do find myself wishing that Snapdragon 410 and 615 were produced on 28nm HPC or 28nm HPm in order to achieve even greater performance without an increase to power consumption.

PCMark - Web Browsing

PCMark - Video Playback

PCMark - Writing

PCMark - Photo Editing

PCMark - Work Performance Overall

In PCMark, which focuses heavily on replicating real world tasks like watching video and editing photos, the 2015 Moto G again has a strong showing. Overall performance actually sits about the HTC One M9, carried by high scores in the writing and video playback tests. Web browsing performance also improves significantly from the 2015 Moto E and the 2014 Moto G, which could either be the result of additional memory or further optimizations to the Android WebView.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

The Moto G doesn't perform as well in BaseMark OS II as it does in PCMark. While there's still good performance in the web and NAND memory sub-tests, performance lags in the system sub-test which stresses CPU and memory, and the graphics test score is very low due to how slow the Adreno 306 GPU is.

The Moto G's general performance is pretty good for a device of this price. There's a good level of improvement over the Moto E's performance, with the gap between the new Moto G and the 2014 model being even larger. The ASUS Zenfone 2 still has the best performance of a $200 smartphone, but it's something of an anomaly, and barring it the Moto G provides the best general performance that you'll see at this price point.

Introduction and Design GPU and NAND Performance
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  • boozed - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    I'm sorry that my joke wasn't more obviously a joke!

    You asked which non-existent phone you should buy. I don't even know whether Apple intends to produce an "iPhone 7 mini". Nobody knows how these hypothetical phones will compare, and you also provided no information regarding your requirements.
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    The simplicity of the interface and the support behind it are the most attractive features of the iPhone. This coming from someone who works in IT managing enterprise-scale infrastructure. A lot of my friends in IT that used to laugh at me over my iPhone have either slowly migrated or are too stubborn to give it a shot.

    Given the opportunity, I think almost any Android or WinMo diehard would switch to an iPhone if they just tried it for awhile. The pro's simply outweigh the con's and the only reason Android sells is because of general acceptance, low price or simply put, Apple hate.

    And I get it, Apple is an easy company to hate, but don't hate a superior product. Android is catching up, but it's still behind in key areas. The few things it does better than iOS really don't matter when you consider the gaping holes it has.

    Every old iPhone I've ever had, I gave away to a friend who had been using an Android device, usually a nice one like a Nexus or a Galaxy S III. And every single one of them still rocks that old iPhone.
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    Yeah, I know what you mean.
    Granted, phone to phone comparison, there probably isn't a single phone that can beat iPhone in all/most categories. Overall, iPhone is a good balanced phone that I would recommend to everyone(especially non-tech people, both of my parents uses iPhone).

    As for myself, I can't stand iPhone for more than 5 minutes. I've played with every generation of iPhone, and I am always impressed by it [for like 5 minutes]. I'm like, damn, this is such nice phone, and then, damn this is such BORING phone.

    So in conclusion, if you just want a phone that works, iPhone is on the top the recommend list. So, I wouldn't mind using iPhone as my daily driver if it's like for free. If i have to pay $400+ for my smart phone, then it better keep me interested for more than 5 minutes.

    Kind of like buying a car, I will just recommend and/or go for Toyata/Lexus, because I just want a car that works and I'm not a car junky.
    Reply
  • grant3 - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    " the only reason Android sells is because of general acceptance, low price or simply put, Apple hate."

    Low price is a pretty legitimate reason to prefer a device...

    This whole "the only reason people don't use iphone/macs/etc. is because they hate apple" is as a worthless, overdone meme, and should be trashcanned along with "the only reasons people buy iphone/macs/etc. is because they're sheeple who only care about image".

    FYI, the phone which receives the highest ratings for user satisfaction is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (beating out iphones). Maybe, just maybe, we can give credit to people for generally picking devices which suits them.
    Reply
  • Brianbeastsu - Sunday, August 23, 2015 - link

    I am also in a similar field and as far as contol is concerned the Iphone is definatly superior. THat being said I love the way the Iphones are built so after being a longtime android user made the switch to the Iphone 6 plus. For what I use it for the Iphone jsut couldnt hold a candle to android(Stock android, all nexus devices I dont know muich about the others out there like samsung or LG). I had Chrome force close on me more in the first 15 days with it then 5 years with android.

    ALl that being said, I know I am a unique user when I recently switched carriers and did a data use audit I was close to 40 gb a month(not a brag cuz its not cool haha just fact). When my mom, friends who dont like to tweak and tinker with technology ask me what tog et I alwasy explain that if you want something to make calls and is easy to use with no learning curve at all go with the iphone.

    Lastly you mention cost but forgot about why apples stuff sells in general...........Apple is OUT of their minds with their prices right now and sadly everyone keeps buying their stuff without even researching the market because its in large partr a fashion accessory....which is why beats headphones fits in their ecosystem so well.....marketing genius when you could buy Audio Technica 50x's for 11/4 of the price and 10x the quality.
    Reply
  • ajfink - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    Completely different price ranges. The Moto X Play and new Nexus 5 will have much higher performance, better screens, better cameras, a few more bells and whistles, but are obviously more expensive. Reply
  • cknobman - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    I'm getting the Moto X Pure. Was going to try and get a OnePlus 2 but the stupid invite system and wait has pissed me off.

    Moto X pure is going to be an awesome device for $400.
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    Moto x starts at $400 for 16GB, right?
    With no microSD card, 16GB will not work, what's the price for 32GB? $450 or $500?
    Reply
  • duynguyenle - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    Both the 2015 Moto X Play and Moto X Style has MicroSD card slot for up to 128GB cards Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Saturday, August 22, 2015 - link

    Based on the current leaked specs for the Nexus 5, I would without a doubt choose it over the Moto X Play. 5.2" 1080p display, ~3000mAh battery, front facing stereo speakers, USB type C... Google gets it. Reply

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