Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: don't look back

Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: don't look back

A few weeks ago, Lenovo released the Moto G5 and, in keeping with the company's tradition, the conventional variant has been accompanied by an extra model, the Moto G5 Plus. The fourth generation was the first to bring this option to the market, which offers a few more interesting features for users. This year, however, the handsets are very similar, but things change a bit when you take a closer look at both Moto G4 Plus and Moto G5 Plus.

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Moto G5 Plus vs Moto G4 Plus: design and build quality

The look of both is quite different, from the general lines through to the materials that have been used. The Moto G4 Plus is not as thick, is made largely from aluminum for much of its rear and has a contour with slightly straighter lines. In reality, however, the Moto G4 Plus appears to be the least thick, which may be because the device has larger dimensions.

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The Moto G5 Plus. / © ANDROIDPIT

The G5 Plus looks sleeker and a bit more modern, while the G4 Plus goes for the basics with a silicone back lining and polycarbonate edges. In my opinion, the model of the previous generation was better to handle, having a flatter surface and also using materials that were more comfortable to the touch.

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Rear finish. / © ANDROIDPIT

The design of a product is something which is very subjective. Many people love the look of the new Moto G, while others can't stand it. Personally, I don't think either device is a particular beauty - but that's my own personal taste. That said, if I had to choose one of them based on their design, I would definitely opt for the Moto G5 Plus.

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Moto G4 Plus next to the Moto G5 Plus. / © ANDROIDPIT

The newer model brings some specific refinements to the design, but they make all the difference to those users who value a more consistent look. The start button has been fully optimized in the Moto G5 Plus, and better integrates into its glass front and is in tune with the visual lines of the device.

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Biometric sensors. / © ANDROIDPIT

Of course, the physical button of the Moto G5 Plus needed more space so that users can get the most out of the touch navigation functions, which is a new feature for the Moto G series. It would be very difficult to use the square button on the Moto G4 Plus for this same purpose.

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The base of the Moto G4 Plus and Moto G5 Plus. / © ANDROIDPIT

The new model has also hedged its bets by placing the headphone jack in a new position. For the Moto G4 Plus, the jack was placed on the top of the device. Now, thankfully, this has been moved to the bottom on the Moto G5 Plus. Basically, this is the best place you can put the headphone jack, as this way you can ensure that your cords won't hang over the screen of your smartphone.

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Headphone jack and SIM card slot. / © ANDROIDPIT

Moto G5 Plus vs Moto G4 Plus: display

Many users have been complaining that there has a been a bit of downsizing with the new Moto G. This is because the screen of the Moto G4 Plus measures in at 5.5 inches, whereas the Moto G5 Plus has been reduced to 5.2 inches, generating a difference of 0.3 inches. That said, Lenovo has kept to the Full HD resolution, so the difference here is barely even noticeable.

In reality, users will barely even notice this change, mainly because you most likely won't be using G4 Plus and G5 Plus at the same time and drawing comparisons. Nor should I say that the reduction in the size of the screen's aspect ratio has brought any added bonuses to the new model in terms of sharpness. This is another subtle point we would generally tend to overlook in our everyday use. 

moto g4 moto g5 plus comparativo seis  Full HD screen. / © ANDROIDPIT

Talking about everyday use, the Moto G5 Plus does brings some advantages with its screen compared to its predecessor. When the physical button is turned on, the virtual buttons move off the screen, allowing more information to be displayed on the screen, even when playing games, videos or when you are on the web. You can see how effective this can be, but it only really benefits those who actually use the button (and I wasn't one of those users).

Regarding the panel, the Moto G4 Plus does appear to be more yellowish, but still has balanced colors. The Moto G5 Plus screen is very similar in color, but has more of a bluish tone. The brightness is also slightly higher in the newer model, but as both devices have IPS panels, there are only a few differences that are really worth highlighting.

Moto G5 Plus vs Moto G4 Plus: software

Okay, both devices come with Nougat, so there's no need for them for fight it out. Motorola has indicated that both devices will also receive Android O, as the company has confirmed that the Moto G4 Plus will receive two versions of Android (N and O). The same should also be in the cards for Moto G5 Plus.

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Moto G4 Plus interface next to the Moto G5 Plus. / © ANDROIDPIT

There is not that much to talk about when it comes to the software on these devices. As usual, Android runs without much interference from the manufacturer. The differences lie in visual elements of the launcher, the new weather widget and features that are in the Moto app that, in the case of the Moto G5 Plus, come with extra options for setting up the new physical start button.

Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: performance and battery

Only a few aspects have been modified in the hardware of the Moto G5 Plus. Lenovo has maintained the same 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB storage. The biggest change here was in the processor upgrade, which went from the Snapdragon 617 octa-core with 1.5 GHz to the Snapdragon 625 with 2 GHz.

The chipsets are very different in their structures, since the most recent one is more energy efficient and has better graphics. The Moto G5 Plus does indeed have better optimized graphics for those slightly more demanding games, but the everyday performance is similar on both devices.

You can perform similar activities on both the Moto G4 Plus and G5 Plus, but the next-generation model will deliver better results when you are multitasking or upgrading the system to a new version.

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Both devices perform equally well - no competition here! / © ANDROIDPIT

With 3,000 mAh of battery, the Moto G5 Plus can get up to 18 hours worth of battery, but as always this can vary depending on how you use the device. Worst case scenario, you'll get around five and a half hours worth of battery when you're using lots of system resources, playing games or streaming. With the G4 Plus, whilst we have the same battery capacity, I got slightly lower numbers during my tests. The most I managed to get out of the battery was around 16 hours of use.

This difference may be related to the processor, as the Snapdragon 625 is a better performer. The Moto G4 Plus, on the other hand, is a model that has already received one update, while the G5 Plus leaves the factory with the current firmware and should receive the new OS in the coming months. All these of details, combined with how you actually use the device, will have an impact on your battery's performance. Of course, in the case of the Moto G4 Plus, if you cut out some features or tasks, you can easily gain a bit more battery. 

Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: technical specifications

Moto G4 Plus vs. Moto G5 Plus technical specifications

  Moto G4 Plus Moto G5 Plus
Dimensions: 153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm 150.2 x 74 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 155 g 155 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in 5.2 in
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED Dual-LED
Android version: 6.0.1 - Marshmallow 7.0 - Nougat
4 GB
Sorry, not yet available!
Internal storage: 32 GB
64 GB
Sorry, not yet available!
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 1.5 GHz 2 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: camera

The Moto G5 Plus camera has fewer megapixels compared to the Moto G4 Plus. The current model has 12 MP, while its predecessor has 16 MP. The differences in results, though, are due to some other important details as well, such as the aperture of the lens, f / 1.7 in the new generation and f / 2.0 in the previous model.

As a result, the Moto G4 Plus does a little better in the details, especially when there is not much light. The G5 Plus lens has a larger aperture, as you may notice in the images we produced, so you can fit more into your pictures. This difference is most noticeable in selfies; the user's face is closer in a G4 Plus image, but slightly further away for the G5 Plus.

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The Moto G5 Plus has a very prominent camera lens. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Moto G4 Plus still delivers great results, and I found both the zoom and focus to be better overall on this model. The last generation handset has laser focus, but this feature wasn't included in the Moto G5 Plus. This makes the focus less quick and look more unstable. That said, the G5 Plus is the only one of the two that records videos in 4K.

Here you can see the images we produced with both devices:

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Focus / © NextPit
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Indoor versus artificial light. / © ANDROIDPIT
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Zoom focus in indoor light / © ANDROIDPIT
batchmoto g5 g4 side hdr
batchmoto g5 g5 side two
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Zoom in natural light. / © ANDROIDPIT

Despite the larger lens aperture, the Moto G5 Plus doesn't go far when it comes to shadows, darker shades or low light. The difference in these points is minimal, but they shouldn't be ignored, as they do affect the liveliness of the colors.

The Moto G4 Plus does have a better zoom, but misses out when it comes to HDR. Overall, the results are very similar, with a slight victory for the G4 Plus for being able to deliver a little more detail in shadows and in low light.

Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: final verdict

It would be a bit obvious to say that the newest model is the best, as its manufacturer has made minor adjustments to its hardware and look that could easily lead us to reach that conclusion. However, using the models over the last few days, I did notice that in many respects the Moto G4 Plus doesn't owe anything to the Moto G5 Plus. 

All of the highlights of the new and improved Moto G5 Plus are valid, but I don't believe they are motivation enough for someone to invest more money and buy this smartphone. After all, because they are intermediate models, you will not have the most premium finish or the best camera on the market, and the smaller details will also factor into this debate, such as which one works best in HDR mode or the benefits of a device having a stronger processor.

Improving the device in these respects is up to the manufacturer, especially if it wants good sales for to its new generation of products. In practice, these details don't do anything to really change my opinion.

Just as an aside, if you are willing to invest a bit extra to get a Moto, go for the Moto Z Play. It's possible that this model will become more affordable over the next few months, so you'll be able to take home an option with a stronger user experience, better performance, and several other highlights to make it a safer and more satisfactory choice. 

If using a more up-to-date processor makes all the difference to you or gives you a greater sense of security, I would opt for the G5 Plus. If you don't have any strong feelings when it comes to this, I'd go with the Moto G4 Plus and not look back.

Which model would you prefer? Do you use any of them? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Sonia Abouchar Mar 11, 2018 Link to comment

    Hi I have feeling that the Moto G5plus is not better is not better than the MotoG 4 plus or maybe I understood him correctly for what I have read it doesn't have internal memory ?

  • Janet Merrill Oct 3, 2017 Link to comment

    My Moto G4 plus met a watery death, so I got the g5plus. Whereas I miss the bigger screen of the G4 plus, the smaller size on the g5plus is easier to handle and put in my pocket. I miss the higher resolution, the better zoom and the better and faster focus on the G4 Plus camera, but I have gotten some nice pictures in perfect conditions with the g5plus. Neither camera is good in low light. And the G5 Plus blurs photos when you use much zoom. This drives me nuts.

    Sadly, I was starting to have trouble with the G4 plus with ghost touch. And that problem was getting worse and worse. Sometimes I even had a hard time turning the phone off. Also, the battery was taking longer and longer to charge. It also tended to overheat, especially while playing games, which triggered the crazy ghost touch. I had the G4 Plus less than a year, so I was frustrated and disappointed with its glitchy performance. I did buy this phone refurbished, though, so who knows how long it had been used before.

    My G5 Plus is snappy and dependable. There is no ghost touch and I can play games with no lag or my screen losing its marbles. I have had no problems with overheating.

    GPS works better, or maps does with the map staying upright.

    I don't care about the style of the phones as I put cases on them. My husband says the call volume on his could be louder, but his hearing is poor and he can hear it well enough. The volume for me is great for both calling and watching videos.

    Because of the quirks of the G4 Plus, I would recommend the G5 Plus, although I still miss the bigger screen and better camera on the older model. I do think the processor is better on the new phone. It performs better.

  • TheArrow777 Apr 15, 2017 Link to comment

    I'm guys, the g5 plus doesn't have NFC. U say above in the comparison list that it does

    • Brittany McGhee Apr 18, 2017 Link to comment

      Thanks for pointing out that detail so we could clarify.

      All the international models have NFC. It's just the US model that doesn't have NFC support.

  • Sumit Pandey Apr 15, 2017 Link to comment

    Im having moto g4 plus and sharing my experience, in about 6 months i got scratches in rear camera bz of that it gives blur images and it get switch off automatically several times which sucks a lot, sometimes it start misbehaving and become slow,.
    Thank you

  • Mayank Jain Apr 15, 2017 Link to comment

    And what about camera protection. I can see very regular complaints regarding plastic protection in G4 plus. I gets scratched and you can take only blurry pictures after that.

    Deactivated Account

    •   2
      Deactivated Account Apr 15, 2017 Link to comment

      Yes, that's an issue with the G4. With the G5 protruding camera I believe, it'll be more prone to scratches.

      • Mayank Jain Apr 15, 2017 Link to comment

        G5 plus has glass protection so it's better than G4 plus

  • Zachariah Howell Apr 15, 2017 Link to comment

    The differentiator for me was that the G5 Plus has a gyroscope. Need that for trying out VR or using Pokemon GO's AR mode!

    Both Plus models have a gyroscope but the regular models don't.
    G5 Plus also has magnemoter which improves location accuracy.

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