Comparing Republic Wireless smartphones:
my old Moto G (1st gen) vs new Moto E (2nd gen) vs new Moto G (3rd gen)

vs.

vs.

my 2014 Moto G (1st gen)

 

new 2015 Moto E (2nd gen)

 

new 2015 Moto G (3rd gen)

 

August 13, 2016 UPDATE: The Republic Wireless phone models reviewed below (the Moto G 1st and 3rd generation and Moto E 1st and 2nd generation) are no longer made by Motorola and Republic Wireless no longer sells them, but Republic still offers Republic 2.0 phone service plans for them and still support the phones. Please read my updated Republic Wireless review for the new phones and new plans that Republic Wireless now offers.

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We bought three Republic Wireless Moto G (1st generation) smartphones in 2014, and they've served us well for over a year now (and continue to work flawlessly). We love them, and I have always recommended the Moto G as the best value-oriented Republic Wireless smart phone. Although the Moto G was only $149, it has the power and functions of much more expensive smart phones. For most people, I think the Moto G smartphone is just fine. However, Motorola doesn't make the first generation Moto G any more, and thus Republic Wireless no longer sells it. Now Republic sells the Moto E (2nd generation) smart phone for $129 and the new Moto G (3rd generation) smart phone for $199. So what do I think of these new phones? Are either or both of them a worthy successor to the old Moto G (1st Gen)? Are either of them the new value-oriented smart phone I would recommend? I compare the three phones' specifications and features below...

Note: This comparison is for the 2nd Generation Moto E that Republic Wireless introduced in July 2015. It is NOT the 1st Generation Moto E that Republic previously sold. The 1st Generation Moto E is also no longer made or available. In addition, although the  Moto E (1 gen) was a great deal for $99, it was missing several of the features found in both the old Moto G (gen 1) and the new Moto E (gen 2). So just remember, this article is discussing the 2nd Generation Moto E smart phone at Republic Wireless. I also compare the new 3rd generation Moto G specifications. Republic Wireless also has the higher-end Moto X (2nd Gen), but I don't list its specifications here. This post is to compare the Moto E vs the Moto G (and how both of these new Motorola smart phones compare to my older trusty 1st generation Moto G smart phone.

price

$149 $129 $199 ($229 for 16GB version)
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

available

April 2014 to July 2015 (discontinued) introduced July 2015 (available) introduced October 27, 2015 (available)
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

display size / type

4.5" diagonal / HD 4.5" diagonal / qHD 5" diagonal 720p HD
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

resolution (pixels)

720x1280 pixels (~326 ppi) 540x960 pixels (~245 ppi) 720x1280 pixels (~294 ppi)
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

screen

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

phone width / height / weight

5.11x2.59x0.43", 5.04oz 5.11x2.63x0.48", 5.11oz 5.59″ x 2.85″ x 0.48″, 5.47oz
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

memory

8GB or 16GB internal, no removable 8GB internal plus add up to 32GB removable 8GB internal plus add up to 32GB removable
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

battery

2070mAh lithium-ion 2390mAh lithium-ion 2470mAh lithium-ion
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

processor / RAM

Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 306 with 400MHz GPU Capacity, 1GB RAM Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) processor with 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 306 with 400MHz GPU Capacity, 1GB RAM
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

main camera

5MP 5MP 13MP
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

camera flash

LED flash none CCT dual-LED flash
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

"selfie"  front-facing camera

1.3MP VGA (0.3MP, 640x480) 5MP
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

OS

Android KitKat 4.4.4 Android Lollipop 5.1 Android Lollipop 5.1
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

data speed

WiFi, 3G WiFi, 3G, 4G LTE WiFi, 3G, 4G LTE
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

water protection

water repellent nano coating water repellent nano coating waterproof to 3ft deep for 30 minutes!
Moto G (1st Gen) Moto E (2nd Gen) Moto G (3rd Gen)

From reviewing and comparing the above specifications, I would be quite happy with the new Moto E, but even happier with the new Moto G. Honestly, the new Moto E (2nd Gen) for $129 probably does everything I need, since I mainly talk and text, and check email and sports scores online. However, if I had an extra $70 to get the new Moto G (3rd Gen) for $199, I would probably get it. The new Moto G has a bigger, higher resolution screen and a better camera with a flash. It's not that I need that, but I think I would want that. The new Moto G (3rd Gen) is also waterproof, which just seems extremely cool. But you really can't go wrong with either phone, and both phones are improvements on the already awesome original Moto G (1st generation) smart phone. If you're getting a smart phone for your kid, the $129 Moto E seems like an excellent choice for a kid's first phone since kids are known to break or lose things, and replacing a $129 phone is much less painful than a more expensive phone.

COMPARING MY OLD MOTO G (1st gen) TO THE NEW MOTO E (2nd gen)

PROS: new Moto E (2nd Gen) vs old original Moto G (1st Gen)
* even better price, only $129 (it's amazing that a decent smart phone can be so affordable).
* expandable memory - add up to 32GB with an external SD memory card
* higher battery capacity for even better battery life
* support for 4G LTE cellular data (if you use cellular data)
* faster processor
* new most current Lollipop Android operating system

CONS: new Moto E (2nd Gen) vs old Moto G (1st Gen)
* somewhat lower screen resolution (I don't know if I'd really notice or care, and it will help improve battery life so might be a plus)
* no camera flash (I don't think this is that big of  a deal as I never use mine, but would be nice to have).
* lower resolution front-facing "selfie" camera - the Moto E (2nd Gen) selfie camera is only VGA (640x480) resolution. I don't take selfies so this wouldn't effect me. At least the Moto E (Gen 2) has a selfie camera, as the Moto E (1st Gen) did not. The regular 5MP cameras on the Moto E and Moto G appear to be the same, and are adequate but probably not the best smart phone cameras available. We are quite satisfied with the Moto G camera (see this cool picture taken with one of our Moto Gs), though when we need a camera we usually like to use our Nikon COOLPIX digital camera.

PHONE SIZE - new Moto E (2nd Gen) vs old Moto G (1st Gen):
The Moto G and Moto E are essentially the same size, which I like. The Moto G has a screen that is plenty big for me, while the phone is small enough to still fit in my pocket. I don't want a bigger phone, so I'm glad that Motorola stuck with this size for the new Moto E (2nd gen).

PRICE - new Moto E (2nd Gen) vs old Moto G (1st Gen):
I think the price on both is amazing. The Moto G when it came out at $149 really redefined what a decent smart phone had to cost (by substantially lowering the price). While most things go up in price (inflation), its awesome that the new Moto E is actually even less expensive at only $129. I'd much rather pay $129 than $600 for a smart phone. If you loose or break your smartphone, you can replace it for $129 instead of $600. I worry a lot less having an inexpensive phone instead of an expensive phone. The price of the Moto E simply rocks!

WATER RESISTANCE:
A seemingly little known fact about the original Moto G (gen 1) is that it has a nano-coating on the electronics that makes the phone surprisingly "waterproof" (I purposely put waterproof in quotes). The Moto E has this same water-resistance nano-coating. Motorola conservatively only states that the phones are "water resistant", but if you search on youtube you'll see that people have dunked both phones in water (for up to 30 minutes for the Moto G) and the phones have survived. Motorola never certified the phones as waterproof and I wouldn't recommend you test them yourselves by dunking them in water, but its nice to know if you get your phone wet or drop it in the toilet, you'll (most likely) be ok. I would not take the phone swimming or put it in the washing machine. But knowing that the phones are highly water-resistant and even to quite a degree "waterproof" is a huge plus! My wife lost a phone because a very small amount of soda spilled on it. She had her flip phone in her purse. She put an "empty" Coke can in the purse because there wasn't a trash nearby. Unfortunately, the can had just a little bit of soda left in it which unluckily ran out and onto the flip phone and shorted it out, and phone never worked again. My daughter's friend had an Apple iPhone in her back pocket. She went to the bathroom and used the toilet, and when she was done and was pulling up her pants, her iPhone fell out of her back pocket and into the toilet (I didn't think this really happens, but it did). She grabbed the iPhone out of the toilet right away but it was too late. The iPhone never worked again. In both these cases, the small amount of slipped soda and the temporary dunk in a toilet, I'm pretty sure the Moto G and the Moto E with their water-resistance nano-coating would have survived.

BATTERY LIFE:
I'm quite happy with the battery life on my 1st generation Moto G. I'm a light user, and am on wifi most of the time, which helps conserve battery charge. I also leave location (GPS) off, which also conserves battery. I typically get 3-5 days before recharging the phone. I think even heavy users report that the Moto G battery lasts through the day for them, so they only have to recharge the phone at night. The Moto E should have even better battery life. It has a 2390mAh battery (15% bigger than the Moto G) and has a slightly lower resolution screen that will use a bit less power.

COMPARING THE NEW MOTO G (3rd gen) SMART PHONE
TO THE NEW MOTO E (2nd gen) & OLD ORIGINAL MOTO G (1st gen)

The new Moto E (2nd gen) is a great budget smart phone, and at $129 is an incredible value. So what does spending $70 more ($199) get you?

Screen size: The new Moto G (3rd gen) has a slightly larger screen (5" diagonal vs 4.5" diagonal) compared to both the original Moto G and the new Moto E. This also means the phone is obviously a little bigger. I liked the size of the original Moto G (4.5" diagonal screen) but the larger screen and display is nice. The Moto G has a higher resolution screen compared to the Moto E.

Battery: The new Moto G has an even bigger battery (2470mAh lithium-ion) than the new Moto E (2390mAh lithium-ion) and the original Moto G (2070mAh lithium-ion). I'm very happy with the original Moto G battery which often lasts me 4 or 5 days (I'm a light user). I think the new batteries should last even longer and are a big plus for both the new Moto G and Moto E.

Removable Memory Card Slot: Both the new Moto E and new Moto G have a removable microSD memory card slot so you can add up to 32GB of extra memory. This is a huge plus.

Camera: The Moto E has a decent main camera but no flash, and has a low resolution selfie camera. The new Moto G (3rd gen) has a high-end 13MP main camera with a dual-LED flash and a 5MP selfie camera. If you like to take (good) pictures and video with your smart phone, you should go with the new Moto G.

Waterproof: The old Moto G and new Moto E are described as "water resistant", but based on youtube tests, are really essentially water proof when dunked in a bowl of water or toilet for a few minutes. The new Moto G (3rd gen) is actually certified as water proof, and can withstand being dunked under 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. Because we have killed a phone by spilling a little soda on it and know a person who killed a phone by accidentally dropping it in a toilet (it really happens, and surprisingly often), having a certified water proof phone is a HUGE plus!

CONCLUSION:
We are extremely happy with our Republic Wireless Moto G (1st gen) smartphones. The new Moto E (2nd gen) smartphone looks just as good if not better, and the new Moto G (3rd gen) smartphone looks even better. My son will soon be old enough and will need his own phone this coming year. At this point, my plan is to get him a Moto E (2nd Gen) smart phone. Or, if my wife gets her way, we will get my wife a new Moto G (3rd gen) phone, and my son will get her original Moto G as a hand-me-down. If you're on a budget, the Republic Wireless Moto E is a great smartphone. If you can spend a little more, the Republic Wireless Moto G is an amazing smartphone. Whichever one you choose, I don't think you can go wrong.

read my original full Republic Wireless review

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Comments / Questions / Feedback:

Comment by Dale Clark on Thursday, November 19, 2015
Was thinking of upgrading my wife's Sprint flip phone ($39 per month) to a Mot. G (3rd Gen) using, initially, the $10 plan. My wife is not tech oriented and in fact has never even used texting. Would this be a good decision?

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Hi Dale. Yes. I would recommend your wife give Republic Wireless a try. My wife and I were both on flip phones with T-Mobile before we switched to Republic Wireless, and I had never texted before (my wife texted a little, but hated doing it on the flip phone keyboard). My wife is not tech-oriented either. But the great thing is, you don't have to be tech-oriented to use the Moto G smart phone. They are easy to use. Just touch the phone symbol to make a call, or the message symbol to send a message. As I said, I never texted before, but have no problem doing it now on the Moto G. I don't even use the keyboard to type, I just touch the microphone symbol and talk into the phone and it writes my text for me. Amazing!
Also, your wife is already on the Sprint network, which is the same network Republic Wireless uses, so you already know how good your cell coverage would be, plus you'll have wifi coverage where ever you have wifi.
Finally, Republic Wireless has a 30 day full money back guarantee. You can do what we did. Get the Republic Wireless phone (which will come with its own new phone number) but keep your old Sprint service and number active (don't close or cancel it yet). Try the Republic phone and service for a few weeks, and make sure you like it. Assuming you do, then you can port (change) your existing Sprint number over to Republic, which should also then close out your old Sprint service. I know my wife loves her Moto G (Gen 1) smart phone, and the Moto G (Gen 3) is even better. And we both love the incredible savings. So yes, I'd give it a try. Thanks for your comment and question!

Comment by adrenaline on Saturday, December 24, 2016
Note that Republic Wireless no longer sells SIM cards for Moto E 2nd Gen (or any 2.0 plan using phone). Therefore, if you purchase one second hand, BE SURE the clean and functional SIM comes with it.

Reply by Steve (Cranial Borborygmus)
Thanks for pointing this out. I didn't know that Republic is not selling replacement SIMs for their older (Sprint-based) 2.0 plans any more. If this true, it's good to know. I would agree that if you are buying a used Republic Wireless 2.0 phone (like the Moto E or Moto G1/G3, you want to make sure it comes with a working sim card still installed in the phone so that you can activate it, and of course, you need to make sure it actually was a phone for Republic Wireless and not a different carrier since the Republic phones have a custom ROM. Definitely confirm the phone is for Republic Wireless and has a working RW SIM before you buy it!

 

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