Is there a new king of affordable handsets? BLU Life One X vs Moto G (2015)

by: Team AADecember 10, 2015
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There has never been a better time to purchase a budget-friendly smartphone than right now.

As it turns out, all four major mobile service providers in the United States have almost completely done away with the standard two-year service agreements, this is giving customers more reason to go for inexpensive handsets. And that’s great, too, because low-cost smartphones are getting really good. No, seriously.

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to do anything on your smartphone that was worth doing – playing video games, streaming music, web browsing, etc. – you almost had to purchase a flagship smartphone. Now that’s changing. There are nearly hundreds of great low-budget smartphones available on the market these days.

Related: Best cheap Android phones

Another interesting trend when it comes to budget phones is screen size, with the majority of options packing 5.5-inch or even larger displays. For some, that’s the perfect size, but it’s not so great for those looking for a device that is easier to use with just one hand.

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (23)

Thankfully, for those that prefer a budget-friendly device that is a bit more compact, there are still some solid options out there. Today we are going to be taking a look at two smartphones that fall in the 5 to 5.2-inch screen size range – the BLU Life One X and the Motorola Moto G (2015).

While the Moto G series has long been considered the “king of affordable handsets”, BLU’s latest phone was officially announced today, packing a pretty powerful punch, a sleek design, and an even cheaper price tag than the Moto G.

So has BLU’s new budget darling stolen the crown from Motorola? Let’s jump in and find out.

Specifications

 BLU Life One XMotorola Moto G (2015)
Display5.2-inch LCD display
1920 x 1080 resolution, 424ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
5.0-inch IPS LCD display
1280 x 720 resolution, 294ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Processor1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT67531.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
GPUMali T720 GPUAdreno 306
RAM2GB1, 2GB (depending on storage option)
Storage16GB8, 16GB
MicroSDYes, up to 64GBYes, up to 32GB
Dual SIMYesYes
Networks3G: 850/1700/1900/2100
4G: 2/4/7/12/17
Up to 150Mbps
GSM (XT1540)
LTE (2, 4, 5, 7, 17)
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 1700/AWS, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
US Cellular, Virgin Mobile (XT1548)
LTE (2, 4, 5, 12, 17, 25, 26)
CDMA (800, 850, 1900 MHz)
TD-LTE (41 TD2500)
SoftwareAndroid 5.1 LollipopAndroid 5.1.1 Lollipop
Camera13MP rear-facing camera, Phase Data Autofocus
5MP front-facing camera, LED flash
13MP rear-facing camera, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
5MP front-facing camera, auto-HDR
Battery2900mAh, non-removable2470mAh, non-removable
Dimensions186.8 x 72.8 x 8.4mm142.1 x 72.4 x 11.6mm, 155g
Price$149 ($99 for limited time)$179

Design

Moto X Pure Edition-15

From a design perspective, the 2015 Moto G is almost identical to the previous two generations. Up front sits a single loudspeaker underneath the 5.0-inch 720p display. The whole front is also covered by Gorilla Glass 3. Motorola has also introduced the Moto G to Moto Maker this year, which means the back plate and colors you choose will depend entirely on whether or not you decide to customize the phone online.

The standard back plate is made of a nice rubbery material that’s quite grippy, but not so much so that it will get stuck in your pocket when trying to take it out. And although the device is made to look similar to the Moto X Style (aka Pure Edition) don’t be fooled – the metallic accent that surrounds the device is cheap and plasticky, which makes the device feel more affordable than premium.

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (28)

In contrast, the Life One X is made from a high-quality aluminum that feels great in the hand, largely due to the sand blasted matte finish that makes for an interesting texture. On the front sits a slightly curved 1080p panel covered in Gorilla Glass 3 for an extra layer of protection. Around back the device has a leather pattern that’s coated in a smooth paint layer. The result of this is a grippy, premium feel in the hand that we don’t typically see on smartphones in this price range.

Needless to say, if you care at all about “premium looks”, the new BLU Life One X is the champion here. While the Moto G looks fairly good for a “budget device”, the Life One X is a premium-feeling handset that would fool you into thinking it cost at least double its retail price.

Display

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (22)

On the display front, the Moto G has a 5.0-inch LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3 and a 1280 x 720 resolution. While the 720p resolution is pretty decent for a screen this size, these days even budget-level handsets are starting to make the leap to 1080p, so it’s a bit disappointing to see that Motorola hasn’t caught up with the times.

On the other hand, the Life One X not only has a slightly bigger 5.2-inch LCD display, it also has a resolution of 1920 x 1080,putting this 1080p display above its budget-friendly competitor.

Processing power and hardware

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (31)

Starting off with the BLU Life One X, one of the headline features of this device is the 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor backed by 2 gigabytes of RAM. While we haven’t put the One X through our full review process just yet, in our time with the device we’ve found that this processing package is more than capable when it comes to general day to day tasks, multi-tasking, and gaming. It also has the advantage of a 2,900 mAh battery, which is pretty large for a phone of the size/budget.

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (33)

The Moto G offers a very different processing package from BLU’s offering, with a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 and 1/2GB of RAM, depending on whether you pick the model with 8 or 16GB of on-board storage. Regardless of which model you choose, you’ll get the same 2470mAh battery, which is a little smaller than we’d like to see.

The MediaTek-powered BLU Life One X outperforms the Moto G in every benchmarking test you throw at it

The 410 is a good processor, and it’s proven itself in many other handsets. We didn’t really experience too many performance hiccups in our full review o the device, but we reviewed the higher-end model that runs $219 and comes with 2GB RAM. The lower-end model can be found for a bit cheaper at around $180, but we can’t help but feel that 1GB RAM is just too little for a modern smartphone and so expect a somewhat less impressive experience if you plan to opt for that model.

Okay, but which chip is the better one? While Qualcomm has a reputation for being one of the best chip makers in the industry, MediaTek has really upped the ante over the last year or so. The end result is that the MediaTek-powered BLU Life One X actually outperforms the Moto G in every benchmarking test you throw at it — as you can see for yourself below.

In AnTuTu, the BLU Life One X scored an overall ranking of 31,367 vs the 22,767 for the Moto G.

antutu-blu-vs-moto

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Geekbench 3 pained a similar picture with the Life One X achieving a single-core score of 629 and multi-core score of 2842, vs the Moto G’s 524 and 1580 scores respectively.

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Turning to Vellamo, the Chrome browser experience was put to the test, and as you can see, the BLU Life One X had a score of 2669, versus 2042 for the Moto G.

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

While we already knew the BLU Life One X had a bigger battery than the Moto G, that doesn’t always equate to better battery life. Thankfully for BLU, in this case it does. According to the Geekbench 3 battery test metric, the BLU Life One X had a battery runtime of 8:48:20 and a battery score of 3598, vs 7:00:40 and a score of 2804 for the Moto G.

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Lastly, both BaseMark OS II and GFX testing were ran, showing a similar story of better performance from the BLU Life One X when compared to the Moto G.

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

Left: BLU Life One X / Right: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen)

While benchmark tests don’t always tell the full story, it is a great indicator for general performance and we have to admit we are pretty impressed by what BLU managed to achieve with its latest entry-level handset.

Camera

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (12)

Both the Moto G and the BLU Life One X have pretty solid cameras, especially given the affordable nature of these devices.

Starting off with BLU’s Life One X, it comes with a 13MP rear-facing camera with an added Blue Optical Filter that will give your photos a nice finishing touch. It also comes with handy features such as Phase Detection Autofocus, Panorama, Picture-in-Picture mode, and face beautification, which is definitely a nice touch. The camera app on the BLU device is quite simple and intuitive. The shutter button, video button and gallery shortcuts are found on the right side of the app, and you can adjust your camera’s settings on the left side.

Additionally, the Life One X comes with a 5MP front-facing camera which has a wide-angle lens, making it easier to fit everyone in a single photo. Also, for low-light situations, it has a front-facing flash.

The Moto G (2015) comes with a 13MP rear-facing camera as well. And interestingly enough, this is the same Sony IMX214 sensor found in Google’s 2014 flagship Nexus 6. The Nexus 6 had optical image stabilization, however, and the Moto G does not, which can be a big problem at times.

In daylight, the camera produces colors that are vibrant and captures an impressive amount of detail. In particular, HDR mode makes a big difference to images and while some other phones do very little in HDR mode, the Moto G does a really good job in lighting up shadows. Sadly, as the sun drops so does the camera performance. Daylight images have very little noise but a lack of light results in focal problems and digital noise.

Motorola’s camera app is far from the best out there. It’s simple, almost to a fault. Switching modes can be particularly difficult if you’re in a hurry. And now that the camera is pretty good this time around, we would have liked to see more granular controls over specific aspects of the camera, such as white balance and shutter speed.

Software

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (10)

The BLU Life One X runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with BLU’s Carefree launcher on top. The Carefree launcher is an OEM skin that we really like – it brings some nice Material Design tweaks to the user interface, as well as a bevy of smart gestures, custom applications, and more. Plus, BLU has previously said that it’s making timely software updates a priority, so hopefully that means an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow is in the cards.

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (18)

Motorola’s Moto G (2015) is in a very similar boat. It’s running Android 5.1 Lollipop and has a very stock-like nature to it. There are a few handy Motorola applications thrown into the mix that really help with the overall experience, too. Unfortunately Motorola hasn’t been incredibly upfront about pushing out timely software updates as of late, so some folks are nervous that they won’t be able to see Marshmallow for some time.

Pricing and final thoughts

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Going down the list, the Moto G proves itself to be an excellent budget-friendly smartphone. That said, the BLU Life One X manages to best it in several key areas: design, display, and even the processing package.

Of course, the Moto G has some pretty big strengths of its own and remains an excellent choice for fans of the brand. Some solid extras found with the Moto G include waterproofing and Moto Maker customization.

Ultimately, for those in the market for a truly affordable handset, the real winner comes down to pricing. In that metric, the BLU Life One X wins out with a price tag of just $149. Meanwhile, the Moto G starts out at $179, but the model with same storage/RAM actually is priced at $219 — making it $70 more than BLU’s latest contender. As if the pricing difference wasn’t already big enough, BLU is also doing an introductory sale from 12/10 to 12/12, ending at midnight EST where the phone will be offered for $50 off, bringing it down to just $99! That’s a heck of a deal to say the least.

You really can’t go wrong with either of these handsets, though we can’t help but feel like BLU’s new Life One X has raised the bar when it comes to sub-$200 handsets. And at the sale price, the BLU Life One X is really a no-brainer.

Get the Life One X on Amazon now

Also check out: Battle of the flagship killers: Pure XL, Nexus 5x, OP2, and Moto X Style

  • Kunal Narang

    Blu LIFE One X is the new budget king, hands down! Absolutely right!

  • Luis Millán

    MediaTek… no aftermarket third party development in case BLU puts the device out to pasture in regards to updates, or anything else for that matter…

    The price is massively compelling, but if it means i’ll end up with hardware stuck in a single OS version, with bugs that’ll never get resolved completely and in a timely matter, i’ll skip it, hands down; no amount of savings is worth the hassle of an unsupported device down the road…

    • John Petersen

      Really? At $99, just buy a new model every year, and you’ll still come out ahead.

      • alex

        I don’t like this trend towards a throw-away society.

        • David Wilson

          Then why are you looking at new phones in the first place?

          • Michael Carr

            Maybe to replace one that’s (nearly) on its deathbed?

        • Name goes here

          So you’d rather all phones were more expensive?

    • EasyCare

      They’re promising Marshmallow later for this phone, so it’s some sort of, for the lack of better word, sustainable.

      Also, custom ROMs are none of manufacturer’s business. That’s not the way they think you use your phone.

    • pug_ster

      Mediatek is getting its act together and its products are getting better and already getting into Qualcomm’s market share. Besides, this phone shares the same design as 2 other phones like Micromax Canvas 5 and Wiko Fever. Chances they are going to get software updates.

  • androidDude0923

    Sigh…when r they gonna come out with more unique name “One X” Mmmm…where have i heard that before.

  • Sam Assad

    $100 for a full HD display , dual sim, good photos, mid level performance, premium build is worth it. If it were to receive marshmallow this would be the best value in Android.

    • Vincent Jack

      Blu has apparently said it’ll be updated to Marshmallow

      • Sam Assad

        Can we have faith in this? Do they have a track record of following through? Tbh, I know nothing about blu and software updates.

        • Jason

          No. Blu promised Lollipop updates by the end of July for 10 phones they released earlier this year. Most did not receive and update including the flagship Blu Vivo Air.

    • Fotis bran

      Blu have said that they will bring marshmallow before the end of Q1

  • EnergeticLoveMachine

    So the Blu basically walks over the MotoG… I’d say that at least the consumer can depend on Motorola for updates but we all know that isn’t true. Just ordered a Blu to replace my daughter’s Moto E 2015. Blu is heading in a positive direction regarding updates where as Motorola’s update reputation has taken a nosedive.

    • alex

      At least the consumer can depend on Motorola for updates? Many Moto E owners will beg to differ.

      • Supra

        Maybe you’ve not been paying attention in the last week, but the 2nd gen will get Marshmallow.

        • Ryan B

          You are correct, BUT, if you live in the US or China you will not be receiving Marshmallow.

      • Vito R.

        Did you read his entire comment?

        “at least the consumer can depend on Motorola for updates but we all know that isn’t true.”

        Also, I bought a Blu Life One in July when they were released. It came with KitKat (almost a year after Lollipop) and it promised a Lollipop update in “July” and I just got it – in December. I would not count on Blu for updates…

    • winterwonderland808

      That’s funny my daughter got a Moto E 2015 in August and I just ordered the BLU Life One X for Christmas. I saved $70 with the BLU phone because she wanted 2GB of RAM.

  • Armaan Modi

    TeamAA,EVER HEARD OF XIAOMI?

    • vasai_boy

      Xiaomi does not sell for $99

      • Aadil

        Xiaomi Redmi 2 does for $78

    • Arturo Raygoza

      I just googled it to window shop, couldn’t find where to buy. Not on amazon

      • Armaan Modi

        Where do you live?Try chinese websites if you want to buy a Xiaomi phone.

        • Arturo Raygoza

          US, which Chinese site?

    • Kacper Kaczmarek

      THIS. Redmi Note 2 is the best affordable smartphone

      • Armaan Modi

        Yeah.Also Redmi Note 3 and Mi4C.

    • pug_ster

      Yeah, that’s if Xiaomi officially sells phones in the US. If they come here, they have to sell a phone that have to beat the likes of Blu, especially in its $99 price at these specs.

      • Armaan Modi

        But this article is meant for everyone,right?

  • buchacho

    Any other vendors selling at this price?

  • netanil

    186.8mm length? (Amazon has the same size listed too)
    That cannot be right. That’s HUGE.

    Heck, the 6s Plus is “only” 158mmm and shamu, the Nexus 6, is 159mm. And even the big 6″ screen Blu Pure XL is 164mm.
    And looking at the pictures in comparison with the G, the One X doesn’t look that much taller. Something’s up.

    • netanil

      Okay, just talked to Blu to see what’s up with the size. They say Amazon frequently gets the specs wrong and they did this time as well.
      Here are the correct dimensions: 149.5 x 73.6 x 8.6mm 141g
      They are also calling it the 2016 version.

  • Will

    R.I.P OnePlus X

  • Chris Kiederer

    The one thing I couldn’t help but notice is that the BLU doesn’t support LTE. That’s a problem, especially for someone on the Verizon network.

    • Lloyd Braun

      This phone won’t work on Verizon anyway moron.

  • Shayne Waggy

    Is there any place i can get the BLU Life One X in the Uk?

  • One thing that is listed in the specs but the article did not touch on any further is a serious lack of LTE in the Blu. The Moto G will work on any network in the U.S. and will give you full LTE support across them all. The Blu Life One X doesn’t even come close to that. Sure, the better screen and larger battery along with the low price is compelling but I am not willing to trust MediaTek yet. They have screwed users over way too many times to just take their word at this point. They need to prove that they are turning over a new leaf before I will purchase a phone with one of their SOC’s in it. When you also consider the lack of LTE and just downright limited antenna’s, This phone is just not the better phone at this point of time…..at least not in the U.S.

    • Gary Martin

      The BLU Life One X has all of the LTE band for the top two GSM networks T-mobile is supported by LTE band 2/4/12 and At&t 7/17

      • Then why according to their own literature is the max data speed of the device 150kbps? That falls way within hspa+ which has a max speed of 168kbps. Not within LTE. If they really do offer true LTE and not just 4G (there is a difference), then they need to get their act together as far as their literature and press statements are concerned.

        • Lloyd Braun

          You’re looking at last year’s model…..

          • Actually I was looking at a photo of the data sheet that was attached to an article on one of the other Android sites (possibly Android Central, Phandroid or Android Police). If those are the specs for the prior model then they must have mistakenly attached a photo of the wrong data sheet and I apologize for my confusion over it.

  • Vito R.

    This seems more like an ad than a review… The tag at the bottom of the post says “Sponsored” but that’s not mentioned anywhere else in the post – what gives?

    • David Wilson

      good catch. I wonder what’s up with that?

      • Vito R.

        Needless to say, I bought it. It’s a pretty solid device for $99. Less so for $150, but probably still best value if you don’t take software support into account.

  • Deni M.

    Well, I like both of these phonee, but I’d like to introduce my Huawei G Play Mini, too. My Huawei phone is nearly the same as these devices, so I like the Idea of more than one budget king

  • Relyon Tech

    This is absolutely nonsense. You cannot compare a newly released phone to an old one. The Blu Life One X was released this month (December), while the Moto G (3rd Gen) hit stores in July. So it is expected that the newer phone will outperform the old. Like who didn’t know that. If the Moto G was released in November, then I could say it’s okay to compare.

    • David Wilson

      This is a consumer oriented article. If the consumer is deciding to buy the Mot G 2015 or the life One X, “I need a new phone, which one should I buy?,” it really doesn’t matter to them when each one was released. In other words, they are not going to say “Oh well the Blu might be the better value for me, but I have to take pity on the G because it’s been out longer, so I’ll buy that instead in reflection of this handicap.”

      By your line of reasoning maybe we should still be calling the Samsung Exhibit 2009 (pricking random phone of the past here) the “king of the budget phones”

  • Franco

    Lets put it this way. Blu makes good nice phones that are affordable but if there is one thing they suck at its A. making promises and B. Providing timely software OS updates. I am the founder to BLU Development team on G+ and OP of some of the threads for roms in XDA and I dropped blu years ago since they lack to cooperate with developers. Part of me wants to give blu another chance but I think ill stick to Moto this time.

  • kRize Shad Ryshad

    While my moto G 3 is running marshmallow officially at the moment, how long will it take for blu to update it’s device, (I know ppl who have been waiting for lollipop for almost a year and blu is very slow with software updates. this device is only on 5.1) and how many future os updates will this device get? Comparing this to the Motorola G 3, you can’t be serious, but I guess this would be a great deal for someone who knows nothing about phones

    • Lloyd Braun

      kill yourself moto scum shill

  • Bob

    I really like it. The problem I have with BLU is they have way to many devices, and it’s hard to tell which ones are current generation, and which ones are better than others.

  • JPReisender

    Specs are one thing, reliability and support are another, and one I consider very important. Which of the two will function properly longer, and if there is a problem, which company will actually provide help?

  • sunny

    How many thousands of reviews have you guys done. If you start the comparison of, say BLU, on the left side and MOTO on the right side, can you not maintain all photos, tables, specs, metrics on the same sides all the way through the article?!?! Is that so hard??

    • Lloyd Braun

      noticed that too!!

  • Mista_Mr

    Why do most of BLU phones lack lte??? That is just a killer for me!

  • daltonrenaldo

    Great review comparison, very well done. :)