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Motorola Moto G (3rd-gen) vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: what's new

|May 18, 2016 |Android Phones, Motorola, Lenovo, Comparisons, Qualcomm

"Join us as we figure out what the new Moto G4 models bring to the table as compared to their predecessor"

Motorola’s Moto G series has been the main catalyst when it comes to shaping the budget smartphone market in India to what it is today. But with some serious competition from its competitors, an upgrade to the year-old Moto G (3rd-gen) (review) was due. And that’s exactly what Motorola has done. After a series of teasers, the next iteration in the Moto G series, dubbed the Moto G4, has just been unveiled. Interestingly, the Moto G4 has been launched alongside a ‘Plus’ variant, and the duo are actually the first that carry Lenovo branding. The Moto G4 Plus (review) shares many features with the Moto G4, but the two aren’t quite the same. And to find out how they differ not just among themselves, but also with the Moto G (3rd-gen), here’s our comparison of these three Moto smartphones.


Moto G3  Moto G4 (2)  Moto G4 Plus

While Motorola doesn’t seem to have tampered much with the design much when it comes to the overall look, the real difference can be noticed once you have the phones in your hand. Both new smartphones sport metal frames and are remarkably thinner than the last model coming in at just 7.87mm thick compared to the 11.6mm thickness of the Moto G (3rd-gen). And although the new phones have splash-proof coatings, they’ve unfortunately ditched the IPX7 rating of the Moto G (3rd-gen) and are no longer as impervious to water as their predecessor.

The Moto G4 Plus is the only phone out of the three to feature a fingerprint scanner. Overall, Motorola hasn’t tried anything fancy when it comes to design aesthetics, though we would have loved to see a full metal body design like the one found in its competitors.



The display has seen a huge upgrade both in terms of overall size and resolution. The IPS LCD displays on the new smartphones now measure 5.5-inches diagonally as compared to the 5-inch panel of the Moto G (3rd-gen). The resolution too has been bumped up from 720p to a more impressive 1080p. All three smartphones get an extra layer of protection thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top.


Qualcomm Snapdragon

Both new smartphones also get ample amount of boost when it comes to the processing power. The Moto G (3rd-gen) comes powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 410 SoC clocked at 1.4GHz along with 2GB of RAM. The 8GB variant of the Moto G (3rd-gen) comes with as low as 1GB of RAM. Fortunately, with the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus, the company has made 2GB RAM as the minimum. The Moto G4 Plus also comes in a 3GB RAM variant. Under the hood, both new smartphones pack in 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 617 processors aided by the Adreno 405 GPU.



On one hand the Moto G (3rd-gen) and the Moto G4 sport 13MP primary cameras, the Moto G4 Plus packs in a 16MP OmniVision PureCel Plus sensor. The G4 Plus also gets phase detection autofocus in addition to the laser assisted autofocus that is found in the Moto G4. The new focussing technologies will work hand-in-hand to offer fast focussing in both low light and well-lit scenarios. The rear cameras in all three smartphones are aided with dual tone LED flash units to light up the subjects in a more natural tone.

At its launch event, Motorola touted the camera capabilities of its new smartphones which allow the users to ‘never miss a moment’. The company has also tweaked the camera software making room for a professional mode for added options. For the selfie fanatics, there are 5MP front cameras aboard all three smartphones. Our camera review of the Moto G4 Plus also suggests that it's among the best camera phones in its segment.

Storage and Battery

On the storage front, while the Moto G (3rd-gen) was offered in 8GB and 16GB storage variants, the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus come with 16GB storage on board. The Moto G4 Plus gets an extra variant with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. As with earlier Moto G devices, all three handsets come with microSD card slots to expand the storage.

Although the back covers of the devices are removable, the hardware in all four devices draws juice from non-removable Li-Ion batteries. Both new smartphones come with 3,000mAh batteries, which is a big step up from the 2,470mAh battery found in the Moto G (3rd-gen). The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus also support TurboPower charging which can deliver up to six hours of use with 15 minutes of charging. Thankfully, the company has included a TurboPower charger in the retail box... at least in the G4 Plus' case.

Software and Connectivity

Android Marshmallow

Motorola’s take on Android is the closest you’ll ever get to stock Android on a non-Nexus device. The company aims to add to the features of the OS rather than competing with it. Motorola throws in a bunch of features like the Moto Display for active notifications and Moto Pure for gestures, among others. While the Moto G (3rd-gen) came with Android 5.0 Lollipop and has since been updated to Android Marshmallow, the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus will be running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box.

On the connectivity front, all phones feature dual-SIM support, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot, Bluetooth, and A-GPS. The Moto G4 and G4 Plus feature VoLTE and NFC support, features that are missing on the Moto G (3rd-gen).

Pricing and Availability

Launch Offers Moto G4 Plus

The Moto G (3rd-gen) is available on various e-commerce websites starting at a price of Rs 9,999. Ditching Flipkart, this time, Motorola has decided to make the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus exclusive to Amazon. The Moto G4 Plus will be selling on Amazon India at a price of Rs 13,499 for the 2GB/16GB variant and Rs 14,999 for the 3GB/32GB variant. Unfortunately, the company is yet to announce the price of the standard Moto G4, which it says will be revealed next month. The new phones will be available in black and white colours and would be bundled with Kindle eBooks worth Rs 1,000, Goibibo cash worth Rs 15,000 and a 100 percent cashback for select customers.

Closing Thoughts

The Moto G4 and G4 Plus seem like major upgrades coming in from the Moto G (3rd-gen). They have better cameras, bigger and better screens and faster processors all encased in slim bodies. The Moto G4 Plus also gets the much-awaited fingerprint scanner, a luxury its competitors have enjoyed for a while now. That said, the loss of IPX7 rating, and missing out on metallic unibody design might be the drawbacks of the two smartphones. After all, in a market where every specification is compared very carefully, the consumers are the real winners.


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