The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are the latest devices to bear the Moto brand, but this time they aren’t made by Motorola or Google: they’re Lenovo products. The G4 is the mass market device and the G4 Plus is the flagship, and while both devices have a lot in common there are some crucial differences too. Discover the key details in our Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison.
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Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: design and build quality
As you’d expect, the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus look almost identical: the giveaway is the fingerprint sensor, which you’ll find in the G4 Plus but not in the G4. Both devices have 5.5-inch screens wrapped in the familiar Moto G design but the casings have been updated with a more grippy silicone material and some subtle design tweaks. Unfortunately in one respect the design is a step backwards: the pursuit of thinness and lightness meant dropping IP67 water resistance. These Motos are splash-proof, not waterproof.
Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: display
The displays in the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are identical: 5.5 inches delivering Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) at 401 ppi. Lenovo hasn’t published specs for the screens beyond that but our first impressions are of a bright, sharp LCD display in each device.
Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: processor and storage
The specs you get depend on which version of the phone you end up with: Lenovo is speccing Moto phones differently in different markets. Both the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 plus get a Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor, and the Plus teams that with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage or 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The G4 makes do with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. Both devices can be expanded via microSD.
Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: software
Both devices leave the factory with Marshmallow. It isn’t stock Android but Lenovo hasn’t gone crazy either: there’s a new system information widget and revamped camera, but there’s nothing here to scare you silly.
Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: camera
Both the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus have a five megapixel front-facing camera, but the rear cameras differ. The Moto G4 gets a 13 MP camera, while the G4 Plus gets 16 MP with laser auto-focus, phase detect auto-focus, an LED flash and a wider aperture for low-light shooting. Lenovo hasn’t been very communicative about the G4’s camera, which suggests that it’s lagging quite far behind its more expensive sibling in the snapping stakes.
Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: battery
Both devices benefit from a whopping 3,000 mAh battery with fast charging support, but the chargers differ: the Moto G4 comes with a 10W charger while the Plus gets a faster 15W charger.
Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: price and availability
The original price of the 8 GB Moto G (2015) was $179, and it looks like the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus will cost a bit more: according to Lenovo, which has released the UK prices, the Moto G will be available in the UK from early June 2016 from Tesco Mobile, Argos and Amazon for £169 (around $240). The Moto G Plus will be available from mid-June from Amazon exclusively for £199 (about $288). We'll let you know about US availability and prices as soon as we know: the pound-to-dollar conversion makes the US price seem quite high because UK prices include 20% tax.
Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison: early verdict
If you felt disappointed by the Moto G (2015), the new Motos may just lure you back: they’re true to the original ethos of the Moto G, packing in a lot of useful features for a bargain basement price. However, the difference in price between the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus - about GBP£30 - is so small that we think you’d regret buying the cheaper model unless you were really, really, really tight for cash. The G4 is good, but the G4 Plus is better.
What do you think? Is the Moto G4 and G4 Plus design too dull, or does it matter when you get so much phone for so little money? Let us know what you think.