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  5. Nokia Lumia 635 vs Motorola Moto G: cheap 4G smartphone head-to-head review

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Motorola Moto G: cheap 4G smartphone head-to-head review

Nokia Lumia 635 vs Motorola Moto G: cheap 4G smartphone head-to-head review

4G may still be a relatively new technology, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Both these handsets are 4G-capable, but can be had for £150.

They’re 4G versions of the Lumia 630 and original Moto G, so they don’t offer anything radically new.

Nevertheless, £150 for 4G speeds is an absolute steal. But which is the better buy? Let’s find out.

First impressions

4g face off review 2

Both handsets would be considered small by today’s standards, but 4.5 inches is big enough for us. Both are nice and bright, and come in a range of colours.

They both run the latest versions of their respective operating systems, both have 5-megapixel cameras, and both pack 4G connectivity.

They both support microSD cards for expanding the storage (though the Lumia 635 takes cards up to 128GB, while the Moto G’s maximum card size is 32GB). Even the price is the same: £150 each.

On paper, there’s really not much to choose from between these two handsets. This round is a dead heat.

Nokia Lumia 635: 9/10

Motorola Moto G: 9/10


nokia lumia 630 review 3

To look at, both handsets are identical to their non-4G versions, which is no bad thing.

The Lumia 635 comes in the same range of hues: orange, green, or black. The green is our personal favourite – it’s so bright it looks radioactive. The plastic back is nice and shiny and pleasant to the touch, very much like the iPhone 5C’s.

But unlike the 5C’s, it pops off so you can swap it for another. This also gives you access to the slots for the SIM card and microSD card, and the interchangeable battery.

The Moto G also has an interchangeable back, but it’s a lot harder to tear off than the Lumia 635’s.

motorola moto g review 5

Its back comes in more colour options, too: chalk, violet, spearmint, raspberry, royal blue, turquoise, lemon lime, and cherry.

Take off the back, and you have access to the SIM and microSD card slots, but the battery isn’t swappable.

The matte back is a bit less slippery than the Lumia 635’s, though it’s not as pleasing to the touch.

The Motorola logo is recessed in a dimple, which is a handy place to rest your index fingertip when you’re using the device.

The Moto G also has a more rounded design – while the Lumia 635 has curved corners, it’s very much a rectangle.

Nokia Lumia 635: 8/10

Motorola Moto G: 7/10


nokia lumia 635 review

Apart form the added 4G, the Lumia 635 packs the same skill set as the Lumia 630. So you get a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 854x480 pixels, a 5-megapixel camera, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 4.0.

Inside is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB of RAM, which isn’t exactly spectacular. 8GB of storage comes on board, and it can take microSD cards up to 128GB.

The Moto G has the same-size screen, but with a higher resolution of 1,280x720 pixels. It also has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but with 1GB of RAM.

motorola moto g review 6

8GB of storage is standard (there’s no 16GB 4G model), but it only takes microSD cards up to 32GB.

It’s another close round, but for the higher-resolution screen and more RAM, the Moto G edges it.

Nokia Lumia 635: 7/10

Motorola Moto G: 8/10


nokia lumia 630 detail

Both handsets come running the latest versions of their respective operating systems – Windows Phone 8.1 on the Lumia 635, and Android KitKat on the Moto G. This is pretty amazing considering both phones are so affordable.

Windows Phone 8.1 is very easy on the eye, thanks to its tile-based UI. The tiles update live as well, so you don’t need to open certain apps to glean the relevant info – you can see the weather at a glance, for example. Which is a nice time-saving feature.

Windows Phone’s app store may be better stocked than it used to be, but apps still tend to launch on iOS and Android first. If you opt for a Windows Phone handset, be prepared to wait.

Windows Phone 8.1 also has some new features, such as a notifications menu that you access by dragging down from the top of the screen.

This has been standard on iOS and Android for a while though.

motorola moto g review 3

Android KitKat has some tricks of its own. Such as the ability to call a local business right from the phone book – just type the name, and its number will show, as if you had it on record all along.

Google Now comes as standard, which gives you information relevant to where you are. Go on a city break, for example, and it’ll recommend restaurants and places to see. And it has voice control – say your search terms, and it’ll scour the web.

Microsoft has a personal assistant called Cortana in the works, but it’s missing from the Lumia 635. That, and the smaller choice of apps costs it the round.

Nokia Lumia 635: 8/10

Motorola Moto G: 9/10

Ease of use

nokia lumia 635 side on

Both operating systems are a doddle to use, so which you find easier really depends on what you’re used to.

Both handsets run fine, though the Moto G is a little nipper at opening apps and running games. (That’ll be thanks to the extra RAM.)

The Lumia 635 has the better camera – Google and Mototola’s last few on-mobile snappers have left a lot to be desired, and the Moto G is no different.

The Moto G’s shots lack detail, and have a lot of noise (i.e. graininess) in low light. It’s far from the quickest shooter we’ve tested, too, being slow to launch, with a shutter that takes an age.

motorola moto g review 2

The 635’s camera, however, gives bright results – despite the lack of flash – with plenty of contrast. It also gives you full control over proper camera settings like white balance and ISO.

The Lumia 635 doesn’t have a front-facing camera, while the Moto G packs a 1.2-megapixel one. Results aren’t fantastic from it, as you’d expect. But it’s a boon just having it.

Nokia Lumia 635: 8/10

Motorola Moto G: 9/10


Nokia Lumia 635

  • 4.5-inch, 854x480-pixel screen, with 221ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB memory, microSD cards up to 128GB
  • 129.5x66.7x9.2mm
  • 134g
  • 5-megapixel rear camera, 720p videos
  • USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD card slot
  • Interchangeable battery
  • 4G

Motorola Moto G

  • 4.5-inch, 1,280x720-pixel screen, with 329ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB memory, microSD cards up to 32GB
  • 129.9x65.9x6-11.6mm
  • 143g
  • 5-megapixel camera, 720p video, 1.2-megapixel front-facer
  • USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD card slot
  • Non-changeable battery
  • 4G

Nokia Lumia 635 overall mark: 8/10

Motorola Moto G overall mark: 9/10

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