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Motorola Moto G Pure vs Moto G 5G: An In-Depth Comparison for 2023

As one of the pioneers of mobile technology, Motorola has been making iconic phones for decades. The Moto G and Moto G 5G series continue that legacy by delivering a pure Android experience and excellent hardware at affordable prices.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the budget-friendly Moto G Pure against the higher-end Moto G 5G. After poring over their specs, performance, real-world usage, and more, we’ll help you decide which Motorola phone makes sense for you. Time to go hands-on!

Overview of the Iconic Moto G Series

First, let’s look back at Motorola’s mobile legacy. Their early innovations paved the way for today’s smartphones – quite literally.

In 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first ever mobile phone call on a prototype handset called the DynaTAC. And in 1983, Motorola introduced the first commercial mobile phone for consumers, the $4,000 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X “Brick Phone”.

Fast forward to 2013, when Motorola launched the Moto G series targeting budget-conscious buyers. The Moto G delivered an impressive Android experience and decent specs at an affordable price point. This made it arguably the first “budget flagship” phone, kicking off a new segment.

With each new generation, the Moto G series has stuck to its roots of providing excellent value. The Moto G Pure and Moto G 5G phones we’re comparing here continue that philosophy.

Now let’s see how these two popular models stack up!

Moto G Pure vs Moto G 5G: Key Specs and Features

Before we dive deep, here’s an at-a-glance look at the core hardware and features of both phones:

Moto G Pure Moto G 5G
Release Year 2021 2022
Dimensions 164.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm 167 x 76 x 9mm
Weight 179g 212g
Build Plastic Plastic
SIM Single Nano SIM Single Nano SIM
Display 6.5” LCD, 1600×720px 6.5” LCD, 1600×720px
Refresh Rate 60Hz 90Hz
Processor MediaTek Helio G25 MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G
Storage 32GB 128GB
MicroSD Slot Yes, up to 512GB Yes, up to 1TB
Rear Camera 13MP 50MP + 2MP depth
Front Camera 5MP 8MP
Video Recording 1080p 30fps 4K 30fps
Battery 4000 mAh 5000 mAh
Charging Speed 10W wired 15W wired, 5W wireless
Biometrics Face Unlock Side Fingerprint
Connectivity WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1
Networks GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G
Audio Single speaker, 3.5mm jack Dual speakers, 3.5mm jack
OS Android 11 Android 12
Launch Price $199 $399

With the specs laid out, let’s now do a deep dive on the key factors that matter most.

Detailed Performance Comparison: Speed and Power

Performance is essential for a smooth and responsive phone experience. Here the Moto G 5G’s newer Dimensity 700 chip provides a considerable upgrade over the budget Helio G25 in the Moto G Pure.

In benchmarks, the Dimensity 700 scores over 50% higher on both single and multi-core tests. It uses newer 5G-ready architecture that enhances efficiency.

Real world usage confirms the Moto G Pure feels quite basic and sluggish, while the Moto G 5G runs apps swiftly and can handle demanding games. The extra RAM on the Moto G 5G also allows more apps to stay ready in memory.

So if you’re looking for maximum speed in this price bracket, the Moto G 5G is certainly the way to go. Those happy with just basic performance can still get by fine with the Moto G Pure.

Camera Comparison: Budget vs Premium Shooters

One of the biggest differences between these two phones lies in the camera quality. Let’s break down the hardware and photo/video capabilities:

Rear camera system:

  • Moto G Pure: 13MP main lens, 2MP depth sensor
  • Moto G 5G: 50MP main lens with Quad Pixel technology for better low light shots, 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro lens

Front camera:

  • Moto G Pure: 5MP
  • Moto G 5G: 13MP

Video recording:

  • Moto G Pure: 1080p at 30fps
  • Moto G 5G: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps

Camera features:

  • Basic shooting modes on Moto G Pure like Portrait, Night mode
  • Extra modes on Moto G 5G including Pro mode, slow motion, timelapse, dual capture, cinemagraph

In real world testing, the Moto G Pure can take decent shots in good lighting but produces grainy low light images and average looking selfies.

The Moto G 5G really shines thanks to its far superior main sensor. It captures fantastic detail and color in both day and night-time shots. The 4K/60fps video is also smooth and stabilized. For camera quality, the Moto G 5G is the undisputed winner.

Comparing Displays: Budget LCD vs Smoother Screen

The displays on both these phones are similar at first glance:

  • 6.5” LCD panel
  • HD+ resolution (1600 x 720 pixels)
  • Teardrop notch

But the Moto G 5G display has a key advantage with its higher 90Hz refresh rate, versus 60Hz on the Moto G Pure.

The 90Hz screen makes everything look smoother and more fluid when scrolling webpages or flipping through menus. It also gives a competitive edge in mobile games.

The Moto G Pure display works fine for everyday viewing. But the Moto G 5G display is more modern and premium with its higher refresh rate. It may even spoil you with its fluidity!

Battery and Charging Comparison

Good battery life is crucial for any smartphone. Let’s see how these Moto G models compare:

Battery capacity

  • Moto G Pure: 4,000 mAh
  • Moto G 5G: 5,000 mAh

Charging speed

  • Moto G Pure: 10W wired
  • Moto G 5G: 15W wired, 5W wireless

Both batteries can easily provide over a day of use per charge. However, the Moto G 5G battery has 25% extra capacity. Combined with a more efficient processor, it outlasts the Moto G Pure on a single charge.

Charging speeds are 50% faster on the Moto G 5G as well, thanks to its 15W wired charging. And it even supports wireless charging, something the Moto G Pure lacks.

For battery benchmarks, the Moto G 5G again wins out. You’ll get longer runtime and quicker charging compared to the budget Moto G Pure.

Software and Updates

Motorola phones run a clean, stock version of Android. But these two phones are on slightly different versions:

  • Moto G Pure: Android 11
  • Moto G 5G: Android 12

Android 12 brings useful upgrades like more granular privacy controls, refreshed design, and better one-handed usability. And since it launched a year later, the Moto G 5G is likely to get more software support with future Android updates.

These aren’t huge differences. But the newer Android 12 software gives the Moto G 5G an edge, even if both phones currently offer the same smooth stock Android experience.

Network Connectivity: 4G LTE vs 5G

This is arguably the Moto G 5G’s real claim to fame: it supports super-fast 5G networks. The Moto G Pure is stuck on older 4G LTE.

5G brings massive speed increases compared to 4G, with typical real-world speeds measured between 200 Mbps to 1 Gbps. That’s up to 10x faster than 4G LTE networks!

Of course, 5G coverage is still spotty in many regions. But in areas with 5G, you’ll enjoy incredible download speeds and very low latency. It makes activities like HD video streaming and online gaming far more responsive.

If you want to future-proof your next phone for the 5G era, the Moto G 5G is the obvious pick. The Moto G Pure is already outdated with its 4G-only connectivity.

Bottom Line: Which Phone Should You Buy?

Here is a quick recap of how the Moto G Pure and Moto G 5G compared in this in-depth showdown:

  • Performance: Moto G 5G is significantly faster
  • Cameras: Moto G 5G has a vastly superior camera system
  • Display: Moto G 5G screen has a more fluid 90Hz refresh rate
  • Battery: Moto G 5G has longer battery life and quicker charging
  • Software: Moto G 5G runs newer Android 12
  • Connectivity: Moto G 5G supports next-gen 5G networks
  • Price: Moto G Pure is more affordable at just $199

Looking at the bigger picture, the Moto G 5G delivers a much more premium user experience across the board, with the exception of upfront cost. It outclasses the budget Moto G Pure in nearly every metric.

So if you‘re willing to spend around $399, the Moto G 5G should absolutely be your top choice in this price segment. You get incredible performance, versatile cameras, buttery-smooth scrolling, long battery life, and future-proof 5G – a complete package.

Of course, if you need a basic smartphone on a tight budget, the Moto G Pure makes for a decent option at just $199. You‘ll have to settle for middling performance and cameras. But it nails the basics and runs a clean build of Android.

To sum up, I‘d recommend the Moto G 5G to anyone looking for a well-rounded mid-range phone that feels like a premium flagship. But the Moto G Pure remains a solid budget purchase if you just need an affordable phone for essentials. Both options continue Motorola‘s legacy of bringing quality mobile tech to everyone!