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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  • shadarlo - Monday, August 24, 2015 - link

    While the G2 is a great phone that I've had since nearly the launch, I am VERY ready for a new phone. I just don't see too many in this generation worth buying.

    For $175 or so that the G2 can be had for on sales it definitely blows away the current mid-tier phones.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - link

    Except that managing iOS devices is a royal pain in the arse that requires bucketloads of money spent on software, hardware, and tech time. When a school district *needs* a full-time person (usually 2-3 if you want any kind of fast turn-around) doing nothing but managing iOS hardware and software, there's something wrong with the management tools. Apple Configurator is a joke. The MDM tools from various sources aren't much better. Any way you cut it, iOS device management is a time consuming money pit.

    Android management isn't much better, and the tools are very basic, but they are improving. The biggest problem is that what works for OEM X doesn't always work for OEM Y, and what works for Device A from OEM X doesn't always work for Device B from the same OEM. :( If you standardise on a single device from a single OEM, things aren't too bad.

    Have no experience with BB10 or WinPhone management.

    ChromeOS is really the only one that is easy to manage, even using the free tools from Google. As much as I dislike Chromebooks in general, the management tools are light-years ahead of anything available for the other mobile devices. (Unless you can afford 6-digit yearly licensing fees, in which case there's MDM software that comes close.)

    Even with the horrible management tools, dealing with Android devices is still much better than dealing with iOS devices. We tolerate them on our networks; but we do everything we can to discourage people from buying them.
  • RaLX - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    BTW, I would wait for the Nexus 5 before making any decision.
  • mmrezaie - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    Google usually messes the battery life so much. I bought the new moto e for the sole purpose of battery life, but it has some issues of its own.
  • Pissedoffyouth - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    No, installing crap like Greenify and things makes people whinge about battery life. Everyone who complains always runs these "battery saving 5000" apps and wonder why their phones are crap?
  • Solandri - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    The battery in my 2013 Nexus 5 began dying prematurely. It'd start off the day at 100%, get to 50% by around 3pm, then it'd go from 50% to dead in the next hour. Google eventually replaced it with a new phone under warranty. But as part of the troubleshooting process, they asked me to do a rundown test with the phone in safe mode. Safe mode disables all apps and services which weren't installed on the phone by default. All the default functions (phone, camera, etc) still work.

    The damn thing lasted just shy of 3 days even with a bad battery. It's made me seriously reconsider what apps I install on my phone.
  • eek2121 - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    Get an HTC One M8. Install CM12.1 on it. Even on stock I was getting 24 hours on a charge, and i'm a heavy user, browsing the internet for hours every day. Love this phone.
  • Devo2007 - Sunday, August 23, 2015 - link

    I've always wondered what effect Greenify, Amplify, etc really have on battery life. Sure, sometimes random wakelocks can impact battery life, but unless someone is specifically seeing something draining the battery if makes me wonder if these apps do more harm than good.
  • Devo2007 - Sunday, August 23, 2015 - link

    ... Of course, the moment I express concerns like this, I usually tend to get shot down pretty quickly as someone who has no idea what I'm talking about
  • mmrezaie - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    I meant for Nexus phones.

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