LG L70 vs Moto G 2014: are cheap smartphones worthwhile?

The LG L70 and the Moto G are two of the cheapest smartphones you can get which also come with good reviews from thousands of users. Naturally, the Moto G is the more famous out of the two, and will probably end up with better grades at the end of this comparison, but we can’t say for sure until we compare them. The LG L70 and the Moto G are pretty old handsets with mid-range specs and amazingly low prices. I’ve had some experience with both, and my honest opinion is that if you aren’t a gaming freak and don’t run 200 apps on your phone, either will do as a good alternative to an expensive flagship device.

Statistics this year point out that flagships don’t seem to be as popular as they used to be. These statistics aren’t talking about the interest towards these flagships, rather the number of flagships bought up by users. Indeed, there have been less and less flagships sold since 2012. The main cause behind this that these phones are very expensive, and if you want to buy them for cheap, you’re going to have to get an expensive two-year contract and end up paying more than the retail price of the phone (much more). That in turn drives smartphone users to get unlocked phones, for less. That’s why companies like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei have gained so much momentum in the past year. It seems logical, doesn’t it?

With these new statistics in mind, we though we would give you a fresh comparison between two good, cheap and powerful phones from the mid-range market: the LG L70 and the Moto G 2014. We’ve already compared the LG L70 to the original Moto G from 2013, so we though upgrading that comparison a bit would be fun to do. We chose the LG L70 because so far, we’ve found it to be one of the best mid-range smartphones aside from what Motorola offers in emerging markets.

Design and Display 

The LG L70 comes in a lightweight, sturdy plastic chassis with a rough back panel that feels soft to the touch. The grippy back panel and squared-off edges don’t make it easy to slip out of your hand, which is always a good trait. The back panel and battery are easily removable and the microSD card slot as well as SIM slot are easy to get access to. The removable battery is one of the best things about this device, because it does end up without battery after a day of intensive use, so switching that part out seems like a good idea. The LG L70 comes with pretty thin bezels and a screen of the perfect size for the average hand, so that you can do one-handed mode easily.

The Moto G comes with the same type of sturdy plastic chassis, but it does look shinier and a bit more durable. Compared to the original Moto G, the 2014 edition improves a lot in design, making the bezels slimmer and the overall look of the device much more attractive. On the other hand, the Moto G 2014 is bigger and a bit harder to maneuver than its predecessor, which might not sit well with some users. Still, considering its cheap price and great features, I don’t think many would consider the negligible difference a deal-breaker. It’s a bit bulkier than the LG L70 though, and it doesn’t have a removable battery, which is kind of sad.

The LG L70 display isn’t the best you can get out there, but for the price and features within, it does the job just fine. Videos look great and you won’t see too much pixelation outside of intensive games. You can’t really run Asphalt 8 on the handset, but you can run most of the popular games without a problem. The screen is a 4.5 inch IPS LCD panel with a 480*800 resolution that adds up to a pretty disappointing 207 ppi pixel density. From my experience with the LG L70, unless you bring the phone really close to your eyes, you won’t notice the pixelation. Aside from the resolution, the device also comes with Gorilla Glass 2 and holds out pretty nicely. I’ve used my LG L70 for almost a year and I haven’t one scratch on it. Mind you, I only used a case for two months.

The Moto G 2014 is definitely getting the upper hand in the display department, as it comes with a larger 5 inch display with a better 720*1280 resolution that adds up to 294 ppi pixel density. The protection on the handset is also upgraded, as it features Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The viewing angles and brightness is definitely superior to those on the LG L70, which is pretty neat seeing as it’s one of the cheapest mid-range handsets on the market right now.

Hardware and camera 

The LG L70 doesn’t have too much to offer, but its performance is pretty good, even with most Google apps, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Feedly, Instagram and Pushbullet installed. The limited internal storage space is really annoying though, as it fills up fast if you don’t move your apps to the SD card. Fact of the matter is that most apps, especially if you have a carrier-version, can’t be moved to the SD card, which means that they keep hogging up valuable space. That’s a big minus for the LG L70. The handset comes with a modest Snapdragon 200 CPU cloecked at 1.2 GHz, backed by  GB RAM and only 4 GB internal storage. Since you have a microSD card slot at your disposition, storage won’t be a problem if you’re not the 100 app type. If you are, I wouldn’t recommend this phone, as I’ve struggled a lot to sweep apps I don’t use that much in order to make room for new ones. Android 4.4.2 KitKat is the OS out of the box, but the handset will be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop eventually, as per rumors.

The Moto G 2014 offers a slightly better performance with less sluggish interference, even though Optimus UI doesn’t do much on the LG L70. Still, the Moto G is closer to stock than any other mid-range phone out there. It has double the internal storage, which makes juggling between apps much easier, so it would be the better choice for those who use a lot of different applications for social media, cloud storage, gaming, office work and so on. It comes with a better Snapdragon 400 CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage. The same microSD card slot is present, so storing media will not be a problem. The best part about the Moto G 2014 is that it already has Android 5.0 Lollipop available.

The camera on both these phones leaves a lot of room for improvement, but mid-rangers aren’t meant for photography any way. The LG L70 fails in front of the competition yet again, as it comes with a 5 MP shooter on the front, with an LED flash in the base model, but you can get an 8 MP camera on the dual-SIM model, which is neat. You get a VGA front camera, which is pretty disappointing, indeed. The photos the LG L70 takes are pretty ok if you’ve good lighting conditions, but if you need to use flash, overexposure is imminent and the photos come out grainy as hell. If you want a phone with a good camera, the LG L70 is not for you.

The Moto G doesn’t shine in the camera department either, but it does have a better 8 MP camera with an LED flash, and it actually takes better shots than the LG L70. It also struggles in low-light conditions, but you won’t have as much trouble with it as with the competitor. The front camera is also a tad better, as it is a 2 MP shooter which takes decent selfies. Selfies on the Moto G are much better than on the LG L70, so if you want a decent camera for a low price, you’d better go with the Moto G 2014. Fact of the matter is, neither of these phones have great cameras, so you’re going to have to look at flagships to get a good camera experience. Or buy a camera.

Battery and Price

The battery life on the LG L70 is decent. It’s not out of this world, but for a light user, it’s perfect. I managed to get three days of use with my unit, but I didn’t use the phone for much else than just browsing a bit over Wi-Fi, just half an hour of Google Maps on 3G, a bit of social media and a long-distance phone call with my mom. Still, when I needed it, the phone was still there for me, without having to carry a charger around. The battery saving mode also helped, as well as not forgetting to turn the brightness down. The screen does get pretty bright and crisp at full brightness settings, which is good, but it eats up a lot of battery. Three days of light use translates into a day and a half of mixed use and about a day of heavy use, which is not bad for a 2100 mAh battery.

The Moto G 2014 comes with a slightly smaller battery measuring 2070 mAh. The battery life on this handset isn’t as good as it is on the LG L70, but it is better than many other mid-range smartphones out there. The bigger, higher-resolution display does drain the battery a good deal, so there’s the culprit. Draining the battery can be avoided if you pay attention to brightness settings and data usage. Otherwise, the Moto G 2014 will get about the same on-screen time as the LG L70, so we’re going to call this a tie.

The LG L70 and Moto G 2014 are two of the cheapest handsets that are worthy of your money, but one is cheaper than the other. Can you guess which one? If you guessed Moto G 2014, you were wrong. The LG L70 can be had for as low as $130, which is a great price in my opinion for an unlocked phone. Even though the Moto G 2014 isn’t miles ahead of the LG L70, it still costs double that, retailing for around $270 unlocked. To be fair, the Moto G 2014 is the better investment because it comes with a bigger screen and better performance, but if you are content with a bit less, the LG L70 is the cheaper variant you can get your hands on. Which would you want to buy?