Moto G5 vs G4

Another year, another Moto G. But far from being dull, the 2017 upgrade to this budget Android phone is one of the most exciting yet. We’ve already had a good hands-on look at the Moto G5, and you can find out more in our complete guide to the Moto G5, which is now out in the UK.

Here, though, we’re primarily concerned with the differences between 2016’s Moto G4, reviewed, and the new G5.

First, the bright colours and grippy finish are gone. The G5 has a more premium look, a smooth feel and comes in grey or gold. Indeed, materials are more premium with an aluminium body – not a unibody, but a metal frame with a plastic back and removable battery.

Impressively, the G5 costs the same as the outgoing G4: the version of the G5 with 2GB of RAM is £169, but you can pay an extra £10 to get the 3GB model. We’ll have to wait until we’ve run benchmarks on both to know if this is money well spent or not, but in theory it is a no-brainer to go for the extra RAM.

The G5 is out now in the UK, and you can buy the 2GB model from Carphone Warehouse, ArgosUnlocked Mobiles and John Lewis - O2 will also sell the 2GB G5 in an exclusive blue colour, though this isn't yet available. Meanwhile the 3GB version is sold by Amazon and the Motorola online store - though isn't yet listed there.

Right now, there’s no plan for the G5 to come out in the US - only the G5 Plus.

Moto G5 vs G4: Features and design

One of the main changes is the shrinking of the screen from 5.5in to 5.0in. Resolution remains unchanged, so pixel density is higher on the new model. It’s also smaller and those with smaller hands will appreciate the move.

The other obvious addition is a front-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is also a home button. On the G4, there’s no physical button or scanner.

And thanks to some software trickery, you can even swipe over it to navigate around Android Nougat. You even get the Google Assistant on the G5, which is currently available only on much pricier Android phones.

If there’s one niggle, it’s that the G5 has only a Snapdragon 430 processor, which is – to all intents and purposes – no faster than the 617 in the G4. However, given all the other upgrades, it’s hard to complain at this price, and it should offer enough performance for the kind of buyer willing to spend under £200 on a phone.

The circular camera bump on the G5 looks quite different, but underneath, there’s really no change from the G4: both have 13Mp sensors, and 5Mp front cameras. We fully expect there to be no noticeable difference in photo or video quality between the two phones – they’re both limited to recording video at 1080p30.

Both charge via microUSB, and both have a microSD slot and standard headphone socket.

Moto G5 vs G4: Specs

Here’s how the two phones stack up in terms of core specifications:

Moto G4 Moto G5
£169 £169 (2GB); £179 (3GB)
Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 (out of box) Android Nougat 7.0 (out of box)
5.5in 1920x1080 touchscreen, 401ppi 5.0in 1920x1080 touchscreen, 441ppi
1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
Adreno 405 graphics Adreno 505 graphics
2GB RAM 2 or 3GB RAM
16GB storage 16GB storage
13MP main camera, LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps 13MP main camera, LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps
5MP front camera 5MP front camera
802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth 4.2
4G LTE (Cat 4) 4G LTE (Cat 4)
Micro-SIM (Nano-SIM with included adaptor) Nano-SIM
3000mAh removable battery 2800mAh removable battery
Micro-USB charging - supports TurboPower charger Micro-USB rapid charging (10W charger included)
MicroSD support up to 128GB MicroSD support up to 128GB
Water-repellent nano-coating Water-repellent nano-coating
76.6x153x9.8mm; 73.0x144.3x9.5mm
155g 144.5g

Moto G5: Specs

  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • 5.0in 1920x1080 touchscreen, 441ppi
  • 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 505 graphics
  • 2 or 3GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 13MP main camera, LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps
  • 5MP front camera
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4G LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • 2800mAh removable battery
  • Micro-USB rapid charging
  • MicroSD support up to 128GB
  • Water-repellent nano-coating
  • 73.0x144.3x9.5mm
  • 144.5g
  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • 5.0in 1920x1080 touchscreen, 441ppi
  • 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 505 graphics
  • 2 or 3GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 13MP main camera, LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps
  • 5MP front camera
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4G LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • 2800mAh removable battery
  • Micro-USB rapid charging
  • MicroSD support up to 128GB
  • Water-repellent nano-coating
  • 73.0x144.3x9.5mm
  • 144.5g

OUR VERDICT

If you’ve already got a G4, there’s not really enough here to warrant an upgrade, although the fingerprint scanner and Google Assistant could prove tempting. But for those choosing between the two, it’s an easy one: buy the G5

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