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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  • Pissedoffyouth - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    I was going to get this but got the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 instead. If you're in Europe, that smokes this phone in every way for cheaper. £125 for 5.5 1080p screen, SD615, 2GB RAM/16GB.

    only £4 for unlock code on ebay too.
  • kspirit - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    I love it when you guys post reviews this soon after the device comes out. <3
  • spbx - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    everyone forgot that this using vanilla android with fasr updates from motorola. I just hope that still remains even lenovo changed moto software dept.
  • EnzoFX - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    Yeah this is definitely a selling point to consider. Aside from the practicality of the device, the balances it strikes, those flip covers that are so functional and popular too haha, it's about the only thing in it's price range that promises an almost stock interface and prompt updates. It's like having Nexus device. This is why I consider Motorola. Shame about the display this time around though... wonder how bad it really is side-by-side.
  • Moto1 - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

  • Moto1 - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    No fast updates! I have FIRST gen and ZERO updates. F@#k Motorola
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Thursday, August 20, 2015 - link

    Unless you bought your phone non-carrier-locked, you're blaming the wrong entity. I'm not saying Motorola has been as expeditious as I would have liked, but if your phone is still on KitKat it's Cricket or whomever's fault.
  • hans_ober - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    Can you try charging it with a different (high amp) charger and report back? Most people aren't gonna use the charger included.
  • Brandon Chester - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    Actually it's likely that they will. Consumers buying these phones are not likely to have several chargers from previous devices laying around, and any that they do have would obviously be of a similar wattage because most OEMs ship these sub-5W with their non-flagship devices.
  • hans_ober - Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - link

    Ok you're right, but it would be really nice (and helpful) if you could update the review with a high amp charger, which would show an improvement one could gain from getting a better charger, since the phone is not the limiting factor.. Some other markets are shipping ~1A chargers.

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