Galaxy S5 pitted against Moto E with surprising results, highlights the advantage of stock Android

May 20, 2014
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Priced at an extremely aggressive $130, there’s no denying that the Moto E is easily one of the best sub-$150 unlocked Android phones you’ll find no matter where you look. Of course, such a low price point means the specs aren’t going to wow those of us that prefer high-end or even midrange devices, but there is at least one ace up Motorola’s sleeve that allows the Moto E to perform much more fluidly than many devices priced well above it: stock Android.

Whether you’re a firm member of the Pure Android camp or not, it’s hard to deny that a clean stock (or near-stock) installation of Android is less bloated and therefore speedier than customized Android ROMs like you’ll find with Sense and TouchWiz. But how much of a difference can stock really make? If a new “versus” video can be believed, quite a bit.

The GS5 is a Goliath and the Moto E is nothing more than a mild-mannered David, but the results of their 'battle' are a bit surprising.

As you can see, the video pits the Moto E against one of the most powerful handsets in the Android world, the Samsung Galaxy S5. Considering the S5 rocks a Snapdragon 801 CPU versus the dual-core Snapdragon 200 of the Moto E, you’d think that this was less than a a fair fight.

While it’s true that the GS5 is a Goliath and the Moto E is nothing more than a mild-mannered David, the video’s creator Tom Rich did his best to launch several tasks simultaneously to give us a brief look at how software performance compares. The results are a bit surprising.

During his brief trials, the Moto E came off the lock screen slightly quicker, booted up apps like Google+ slightly quicker and loaded up its gallery app much more quickly than Samsung’s Touchwiz-based alternative. The ‘tests’ above are far from scientific and aren’t at all definitive proof that the Moto E runs tasks more smoothly than the GS5, but that doesn’t make them any less interesting.

A better test would have probably involved two phones running a clean installation with the same media (movies/music) added, and perhaps even testing the exact same apps. Still, the takeaway is that, while the GS5 can run high-end apps and games that the Moto E only dreams of running, actual software performance with TouchWiz isn’t necessarily as smooth as it could be.

Of course, this nothing new to anyone, as the debate centering the laggy performance of TouchWiz goes back a very long ways. On the flipside, many TouchWiz fans say that these minor glitches in performance aren’t really that noticeable in day-to-day use and that the positive apps and features added by Samsung are well worth the minor sacrifice.

What’s your take, does this video illustrate that Samsung needs to do a better job of optimizing Touchwiz? Conversely do you feel that the complaints surrounding “TouchWiz lag” are greatly exaggerated and that videos like these prove nothing?

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