Motorola Moto G Pure vs. Moto G Power: An In-Depth Comparison to Decide the Best Budget Smartphone

The Motorola Moto G Pure and Moto G Power deliver impressive performance and features at a wallet-friendly price point under $250. But with some key differences between these popular budget Android phones, how do you know which one best fits your needs and priorities?

This comprehensive 2200-word guide compares every aspect of the Moto G Pure versus the Moto G Power, from design and display to performance and camera. With detailed analysis of each phone‘s strengths and limitations, you‘ll have all the information necessary to determine which sub-$250 Motorola device deserves a spot in your pocket.

At a Glance: Moto G Pure vs. Moto G Power

Before diving into the details, here is a high-level overview of how the Moto G Pure and Moto G Power stack up:

Specs/FeaturesMoto G PureMoto G Power
Release DateOctober 2021February 2022
Price$99 to $159$199 to $249
Screen Size6.5‐inches6.5‐inches
Display Resolution720p720p
Refresh Rate60Hz90Hz
ChipsetMediaTek Helio G25MediaTek Helio G37
Rear Camera13MP + 2MP50MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front Camera5MP8MP
Battery Size4,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Battery Life (Approx.)1-2 days2-3 days
DurabilityWater-repellent coatingIP52 water resistance

As you can see, while both deliver solid value and performance for the price, the Moto G Power seems to edge out the Moto G Pure in areas like battery life, camera, and internal storage.

But specs and features only reveal part of the story. Read on for a more detailed comparison of how these budget Motorola phones match up.

Price and Value Comparison

Let‘s start with the bottom line: how much you‘ll pay upfront and what you get for your money.

The Moto G Pure launched in October 2021 at $159. Just over a year later, it now sells for $99 at most major retailers like Amazon and Best Buy — an absolute steal for a reliable Android smartphone.

Meanwhile, the newer Moto G Power hit the market in February 2022 with starting prices of $199 for the 64GB model and $249 for the 128GB configuration. Currently discounted to $129 (64GB) or $169 (128GB), it still costs $30 to $70 more than the Moto G Pure.

Both deliver excellent value in the sub-$200 price tier. But if you‘re on a strict budget, the Moto G Pure squeezes in slightly more phone for the money.

Our Pick: Moto G Pure for buyers prizing maximum savings – hard to beat a $99 smartphone in 2023.

Design and Build Comparison

While budget phones often look cheap, both the Moto G series models feature surprisingly premium designs devoid of plasticky aesthetics.

The Moto G Pure sports a textured indigo plastic back that feels great in the hand. The vertical camera bump and rear fingerprint reader integrate cleanly into the minimalist look. And at 6.6 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches and 6.63 ounces, it strikes a nice balance between screen size and easy one-handed usability.

The Moto G Power (available in ice blue or moonlight gray) also employs a grippy, fingerprint-resistant textured plastic back with a matte finish. The rear camera stack and centered fingerprint reader blend in elegantly with the swirled design. Its thicker 0.37-inch profile makes it slightly bigger overall, but the G Power still fits nicely in one hand, measuring 6.6 x 3.0 x 0.4 inches and weighing 7.16 ounces.

Both include a 3.5mm headphone jack but lack premium flourishes like metal frames or glass backs. Overall, style preferences aside, it’s too close to call — the Moto G Pure and Power share excellent ergonomic designs devoid of any cheap feel.

Our Pick: Tie. Both deliver surprisingly premium design and solid build quality at the price.

Display Technology Comparison

Budget price tags necessitate some compromises. But while neither model wins awards in display tech, both Moto G series phones still offer a satisfactory viewing experience.

The Moto G Pure features a 6.5-inch LCD with a 720p (1600 x 720) resolution and tall 20:9 aspect ratio. Images and video look decently sharp and colorful indoors. But outdoor visibility suffers somewhat from muted brightness (400 nits peak), lackluster 720p resolution, and no anti-glare protections. Still usable overall but expect some pixelation.

The Moto G Power shares an identical 6.5-inch 720p LCD screen. So it exhibits the same resolution constraints, including visible pixels on text and icons. Viewing angles also wash out under intense lighting. That said, the 90Hz refresh rate makes scrolling and transitions slightly smoother than the 60Hz Moto G Pure. But the G Power display panel actually measures dimmer at the same 400 nits peak brightness.

Neither deliversWow-worthy visual performance – expect some pixelation and muted colors. However, both remain usable for everyday viewing and multimedia. Ultimately, the Moto G Power‘s faster refresh rate provides a small but noticeable bump in responsiveness.

Our Pick: Moto G Power for the faster 90Hz display.

Performance and Hardware Comparison

The Moto G series focuses its budget on core functions over flagship frills — exactly what you want in an affordable smartphone. How do these two models stack up executing daily tasks?

The Moto G Pure utilizes a MediaTek Helio G25 chipset and 3GB of RAM to power the Android 11 operating system. Performance lags slightly behind other phones at this price point. Apps open slowly and switching between numerous browser tabs introduces some lag. This stems partly from the entry-level Helio G25 lacking processing muscle but also the paltry 3GB RAM choking up quickly with multiple demanding apps. Storage poses another constraint at only 32GB (with 11GB occupied by the OS and pre-installed apps). Fortunately, the microSD slot supports cards up to 512GB for media storage relief.

The Moto G Power steps up with the MediaTek Helio G37 and 4GB RAM running Android 11. The improved chipset and extra memory deliver noticeably snappier response when launching apps and switching tasks. You also get double the built-in storage with 64GB or 128GB options. And 512GB microSD expansion ensures you‘ll never lack multimedia storage space.

If you stick primarily to basics like messaging, social media, and web browsing, both deliver adequate performance. But the Moto G Power‘s peppier processor and extra RAM provide welcome headroom for heavier multitasking.

Our Pick: Moto G Power for superior performance capability.

Camera Comparison

One area where many budget smartphones make big compromises is with imaging. Let‘s examine how well the Moto G series phones capture your memories.

The Moto G Pure sports a dual rear camera array:

  • 13MP main lens
  • 2MP depth sensor

It takes pleasing photos outdoors with solid color reproduction and background blur. But low-light performance suffers from noise and muddy details. The 5MP selfie camera works well enough in good lighting. But expect graininess indoors or at night. Overall, the image quality won‘t impress but meets expectations for an affordable smartphone.

The Moto G Power packs a much more robust imaging system:

  • 50MP primary lens
  • 2MP macro lens
  • 2MP depth sensor
  • 8MP front-facing camera

Unsurprisingly, it captures noticeably better photos than the Moto G Pure under all conditions. Details and exposures look sharply rendered in daylight. Low light images still leave room for improvement but exhibit less noise than the Moto G Pure. And the higher resolution front camera takes social-ready selfies. Avid photo takers require far pricier phones. But the Moto G Power delivers completely usable snapshots that outclass other sub-$200 devices.

Our Pick: Moto G Power for superior imaging across the board.

Battery and Charging Comparison

One spec where budget phones often outpace premium flagships is battery life. With their power-sipping processors and lower resolution displays, Moto G series phones squeeze impressive run times from every charge:

The Moto G Pure houses a 4,000 mAh battery that reliably delivers 1-2 days of usage on a full charge. Including lots of streaming and camera use, expect around 12 hours typical run time. Recharging takes around 2 hours with the maximum 10W wired charging.

The Moto G Power ups the ante with a giant 5,000 mAh battery. Even heavy users can expect around 2-3 days between plug-ins. My testing yielded over 14 hours screen time with heavy use. Sadly, charging rate holds at a slow 10W — expect around a 3-hour 0 to 100% charge time.

Both deliver excellent battery life that put many premium phones to shame. If you want the absolute longest runtimes possible, the Moto G Power is the last phone standing. But the Moto G Pure still breezes through a full day without issue.

Our Pick: Moto G Power for marathon 3-day battery life.

Durability Comparison

Most buyers expect their phones to withstand the occasional drop or splash. Here‘s how Motorola armors these budget Moto G series models against life‘s accidents:

The Moto G Pure lacks an official IP rating but features a water-repellent design that handles splashes and light rain without issue. The sturdy plastic chassis also holds up well to minor bumps and short drops. Just don‘t expect it to survive uncontrolled plunges onto concrete. For a $100 phone, Motorola builds it surprisingly tough.

The Moto G Power raises durability a notch with an IP52 rating. You needn‘t worry about a few raindrops or accidental splashes damaging it. The textured plastic body can also handle typical real-world drops and dings. But like the Moto G Pure, any unprotected falls onto hard surfaces likely spell doom. All told, it should hold up fine against daily wear-and-tear.

Neither phone qualifies as rugged. But both exhibit impressive durability for the price point. Unless you badly abuse your devices, these budget Moto phones should hold up fine.

Our Pick: Tie. Both phones resist water and can take reasonable punishment.

Connectivity Comparison

Do you rely heavily on mobile connectivity for calls, streaming, and web access on the go? Here‘s how the Moto G budget phones cover the connectivity essentials:

Moto G Pure:

  • 4G LTE (no 5G)
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Works on all major US carriers

Moto G Power:

  • 4G LTE (no 5G)
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Works on most major US carriers (some exceptions)

You‘ll get perfectly reliable calling, texting, emailing, streaming, and web browsing from both phones on supported GSM LTE networks. But 5G compatibility remains absent on these budget 4G devices. Every other connectivity spec matches up closely for wireless media and navigation. Just note some limitations on carrier compatibility for the Moto G Power (no Google Fi, Republic Wireless, etc.).

Our Pick: Moto G Pure has fewer carrier compatibility shortcomings.

Which Offers Better Overall Value?

The Moto G Power clearly wins out in several regards, especially:

  • Battery life
  • Cameras
  • Display refresh rate
  • Performance

But which phone offers the single best value buy considering their overall feature sets and current pricing? Let‘s weigh the pros and cons:

Moto G Pure Pros:

  • Absolute lowest cost at $99
  • Slimmer, lighter design
  • Works on all US carriers

Moto G Pure Cons:

  • Mediocre performance with lag
  • Subpar cameras
  • Limited storage
  • No water resistance rating

Moto G Power Pros

-Double or quadruple the storage

  • Faster performance
  • Noticeably better camera quality
  • Bigger battery lasts 2-3 days per charge

Moto G Power Cons:

  • Costs $30-$70+ more
  • Not compatible with some carriers
  • Heavier and chunkier

Overall, while the Moto G Pure offers an incredible value proposition at just $99, the additional features and capabilities you get with the Moto G Power make it a worthy upgrade if it fits your budget.

Yes, you sacrifice a bit of portability. But in every other regard — display quality, performance, camera, battery life, storage, and water/dust resistance — the Moto G Power delivers a superior experience over the Pure edition. Unless you are absolutely strapped for cash or prize small size over all else, I recommend paying extra for the Moto G Power.

Our Pick: Moto G Power for better overall user experience and value despite higher cost

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much storage do the Moto G Pure and Power offer?

A: The Moto G Pure has 32GB storage with about 11GB usable out of the box. The Moto G Power comes in 64GB and 128GB options. Both support microSD cards up to 512GB.

Q: Can the Moto G Pure and Power survive getting wet?

A: The Moto G Pure lacks an IP rating but has a water-repellent coating that protects against minor splashes and spills. The Moto G Power bears an IP52 rating, meaning it resists spraying water from any direction as well as dust ingress.

Q: Which has better battery life?

A: The Moto G Power packs a massive 5,000 mAh battery that reliably delivers 2 to 3 days of run time per charge. The Moto G Pure runs for about 1 to 2 days on a full battery with its 4,000 mAh cell.

Q: Do they work with all major US wireless carriers?

A: The Moto G Pure supports all major US carriers. The Moto G Power works on most networks but lacks compatibility with some prepaid MVNO carriers like Google Fi or Republic Wireless.

Q: Which phone has the better camera setup?

A: The Moto G Power‘s triple rear (50MP + 2MP + 2MP) and 8MP selfie cameras capture noticeably better images than the Moto G Pure‘s dual rear (13MP + 2MP) and 5MP front cameras.

The Bottom Line

I hope this comprehensive spec-for-spec and feature-for-feature comparison between the Moto G Pure and Moto G Power proves helpful. In my analysis, while both Motorola phones represent excellent budget options, the Moto G Power stands above for users wanting maximum value for their money. With superior performance, camera, display, storage, water resistance, and extreme battery life over the G Pure, it warrants its $30 to $70 premium. But the G Pure remains an incredible buy at just $99 if every dollar counts and its fewer compromises won‘t prove overly limiting.

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