Skip to content

Motorola Moto G Pure vs. Moto G Power: Which Budget Smartphone is Best?

Flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S22, iPhone 14, and Motorola Razr 5G grab all the headlines with their blazing fast performance, stunning displays and elite cameras. However, not everyone can afford to drop $1,000 or more on a new phone.

Luckily, there are plenty of capable budget-friendly options like the Motorola Moto G Pure and Moto G Power. Both offer solid performance, decent cameras and long battery life at a fraction of the cost of today‘s flagships. But which one is right for you? Let‘s take a detailed look at how these two Motorola phones compare.

Moto G Pure vs Moto G Power: Key Specs

Before we dive into the details, here‘s a high-level overview of the key specs and features for each phone:

Moto G Pure

  • Release date: October 2021
  • Price: $159.99
  • Screen size: 6.5-inches
  • Display resolution: 1600 x 720 pixels
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G25
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Rear cameras: 13MP main + 2MP depth
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery capacity: 4000mAh
  • Battery life: Up to 2 days
  • Charging speed: 10W
  • Biometrics: Rear fingerprint scanner
  • Durability: Water repellent design
  • Android version: Android 11

Moto G Power (2022)

  • Release date: February 2022
  • Price: $199 (64GB), $249 (128GB)
  • Screen size: 6.5-inches
  • Display resolution: 1600 x 720 pixels
  • Refresh rate: 90Hz
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G37
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB
  • Rear cameras: 50MP main + 2MP macro + 2MP depth
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery capacity: 5000mAh
  • Battery life: Up to 3 days
  • Charging speed: 10W
  • Biometrics: Rear fingerprint scanner
  • Durability: IP52 splash resistance
  • Android version: Android 11

Now let‘s take a deeper look at how these two budget phones compare in areas like design, display quality, performance, camera capabilities and battery life.

Design and Build Quality

In terms of design, both the Moto G Pure and Moto G Power feature plastic bodies with a textured matte finish on the back. This gives them a nice in-hand feel and helps resist fingerprints.

The Moto G Pure comes in a single Deep Indigo color option. It measures 6.59 x 2.98 x 0.35 inches and weighs 6.63 ounces, making it easy to use one-handed. The back has a vertically aligned dual camera module in the upper left corner, with the Motorola logo that doubles as the fingerprint reader in the center.

The Moto G Power is slightly larger at 6.58 x 3.01 x 0.37 inches and heavier at 7.16 ounces. It‘s available in Ice Blue and Moonlight Gray color options. The triple camera setup is vertically aligned on the back left, with the fingerprint reader again built into the Motorola logo.

Both phones retain the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top edge. The bottom houses the USB-C charging port along with a speaker grille and microphone. Volume and power buttons are located on the right side for easy access.

In terms of durability, the Moto G Pure has a water-repellent design that can handle minor splashes. The Moto G Power ups the protection to IP52, meaning it can withstand spraying water from up to 15 degrees from vertical. So you don‘t have to worry as much about using it in the rain. But neither is fully waterproof so you‘ll still need to be careful around water.

When it comes to build quality, both phones feel solidly put together, especially considering their budget price points. The Moto G Power gets a slight edge for its tougher IP52 splash resistance. But overall, they are evenly matched when it comes to design and construction.

Display Comparison

Motorola equipped both the Moto G Pure and Moto G Power with large 6.5-inch LCD displays. Unfortunately, both screens have only HD+ resolution at 1600 x 720 pixels. This results in images, videos and games looking a bit pixelated compared to higher resolution 1080p displays.

On the Moto G Pure, the 6.5-inch 20:9 aspect ratio screen features a 60Hz standard refresh rate. The bezels are quite thick, especially on the chin, resulting in an 81% screen-to-body ratio. Max brightness tops out at 400 nits. Overall quality is decent for the price but the low resolution and pixelation are noticeable at times.

The Moto G Power steps things up slightly with a faster 90Hz display. The refresh rate isn‘t adaptive, so it‘s locked at 90Hz at all times rather than scaling based on what you‘re doing. But the faster refresh rate does help make scrolling and swiping feel a bit smoother. It also has a 79% screen-to-body ratio thanks to slimmer bezels.

Both displays work fine for casual use but the low resolution leaves something to be desired, especially if you‘re used to 1080p or higher displays. The Moto G Power provides a slightly better viewing experience with its faster 90Hz refresh rate. But vividness and brightness are similar between the two screens.

Performance and Hardware Comparison

Inside, the Moto G Pure is powered by a modest MediaTek Helio G25 chipset and just 3GB of RAM. Performance is relatively smooth for basic tasks like web browsing, messaging, social media and music playback. But the phone feels noticeably laggy at times when pushing it harder with demanding apps and games.

The base 32GB of internal storage is also very limiting. After accounting for the operating system and pre-installed apps, you‘re left with around just 11GB of usable space. Fortunately storage can be expanded via microSD card up to 512GB.

The Moto G Power steps up to a quicker MediaTek Helio G37 processor and 4GB of RAM. There‘s also more internal storage with 64GB on the base model and an upgraded 128GB option available. Overall performance is noticeably snappier thanks to the improved hardware. Apps open faster and switching between multiple apps feels smoother. Gaming performance is also better on the Moto G Power.

As far as connectivity, both phones include support for 4G LTE networks but lack 5G connectivity. They both work on all major US carriers including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 are included for wireless connections.

One area where the Moto G Pure and G Power are evenly matched is with their side mounted fingerprint readers. Both scanners are integrated into the Motorola logo on the back of the phone and provide fast and accurate biometrics. Face unlock is also available as a secondary biometric option if preferred.

Overall, the Moto G Power clearly pulls ahead in terms of performance and hardware. The faster Helio G37 chipset coupled with more RAM provides better real world speed along with more internal storage capacity options.

Camera Capabilities

On the imaging front, Motorola had to cut some corners to keep costs down on these budget phones. As a result, camera performance is just average on both models.

The Moto G Pure sports a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 13MP main shooter and 2MP depth sensor. Around front is a 5MP selfie cam.

In good lighting, the 13MP main camera captures decent looking shots with accurate colors and enough detail. Low light performance suffers with more visible noise and muddier looking images. The 2MP depth sensor does help provide more natural background blur to portrait shots. Video maxes out at 1080p resolution at 30fps.

The Moto G Power bumps the rear cameras up to a 50MP main sensor, 2MP macro and 2MP depth. The higher resolution 50MP sensor does enable capturing images with nicer detail and clarity in ideal conditions. There‘s also an 8MP front facing camera.

However, overall image quality remains very similar to the Moto G Pure. You still get inconsistent performance in low light situations along with issues like unnatural edge detection when using portrait mode. Video recording maxes out at 1080p 30fps just like on the Moto G Pure.

Both phones offer camera apps with features like portrait mode, night vision, panorama, timelapse and more. But image quality doesn‘t stack up compared to pricier phones with more advanced camera hardware and image processing. For social sharing and casual shots, the Moto G Pure and G Power cameras are usable. But shutterbugs will be left wanting more.

Battery Life and Charging

One area where budget phones can still excel is battery life. And Motorola delivered excellent endurance on both the Moto G Pure and G Power.

The Moto G Pure packs a 4,000 mAh battery which Motorola claims will last over two days per charge. In real world testing, it powered through a full day of active use with over 5 hours of screen time. With lighter use, stretching it to nearly two days is achievable.

Despite having a 5000 mAh battery, the Moto G Power actually delivered very similar battery results in testing. It can still make it through a full heavy use day and just over a day and half with lighter usage. Standby time is excellent on both phones, thanks to power efficient screens and processors.

When it is time to recharge, both phones support 10W wired charging. A full charge takes around 2 hours on the Moto G Pure and nearly 3 hours on the Moto G Power. Neither phone offers wireless charging support. But the great battery endurance means you can easily go a full day between plugging in.

For battery life, the Moto G Power technically has an advantage with its 5000 mAh capacity. But in real world usage, it ends up performing very close to the Moto G Pure. Both deliver excellent endurance from a charge making it through a full day no problem.

Software and Updates

The Moto G Pure and Moto G Power both ship with a clean build of Android 11 out of the box. Motorola only includes a handful of its own Moto apps for things like gestures and display settings. So the experience feels close to pure stock Android.

Motorola promises just one major OS update for these phones. That means the Moto G Pure and G Power will both get upgraded to Android 12 down the road. Security updates are also only guaranteed for two years. So software support is relatively limited.

The good news is that the close to stock software experience is smooth and responsive. Motorola‘s gestures like chopping to turn on the flashlight and twisting to launch the camera are genuinely useful as well. But the lack of long term updates is disappointing.

Since both phones run the same Android 11 software now and have similar update commitments, there‘s no real advantage between the two here.

Moto G Pure vs Moto G Power: Which Should You Buy?

So which of these budget Motorola phones reigns supreme? Here is a quick rundown of the key differences and our final verdict:

  • The Moto G Power has better performance thanks to its faster Helio G37 processor and extra RAM. It also offers more internal storage.
  • Display quality is very similar, but the Moto G Power screen runs at 90Hz vs 60Hz on the Moto G Pure.
  • Moto G Power has a slight camera advantage with higher resolution main sensor, but image quality differences are minor.
  • The Moto G Power battery is bigger at 5000 mAh but real world battery life is nearly equal.
  • Both have clean Android 11 software and promise just one major OS update.

Overall, the Moto G Power (2022) is the better buy over the Moto G Pure. The performance bump, higher resolution main camera and faster display make it the preferable option for just $40 more. Plus it gives you double the internal storage space.

That said, if you can find the Moto G Pure discounted under $120, it‘s still a decent option for an entry level smartphone. Just be aware of its performance limitations and meager 32GB of storage.

So in summary, the Moto G Power gives you better hardware and a better overall experience making it the best budget Motorola phone you can buy right now. But the Moto G Pure has its appeal for shoppers on a super tight budget. Either way, these wallet friendly Motorola phones deliver solid value and cover the smartphone basics at affordable prices.