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Moto G4 versus Moto G4 Plus: The features that make a phone

Picking up a decent phone on a budget isn't the trial that it was even a few short years ago. What do you do when two nearly identical phones come out at the same time though? That's the question when it comes to the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. Both are largely identical, with just a few additions to the Moto G4 Plus that its little brother lacks.

So we're going to take a look at them side by side and see if the additions to the Moto G4 Plus make it worth the increased price tag, or whether you want to stick with the Moto G4.

Design

When it comes to the design of these two phones, they are nearly identical. They have the same screen, size, and even branding. The one big difference, and the one that matters, is the addition of a fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the Moto G4 Plus. This is actually the big draw about grabbing the Moto G4 Plus over the base Moto G4.

There are a few big differences between these two Lenovo phones on the inside, like the options for memory, the rear camera, and of course that sweet fingerprint sensor. But in looking at them, the only way to tell them apart is by the presence of the fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the Moto G4 Plus.

Hardware

Now for the most part, the hardware on the Moto G4 and Moto G4 plus is identical. Much like the design, there are a few areas where they diverge. The differences that do exist however, are fairly major ones when it comes to changing how they work every day.

Now, while you can get either of these phones with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage, the Moto G4 Plus also has an option for more storage. You can choose to snag the 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage model if you wish. For some people, this difference isn't enough to sway them from the Moto G4, but the option is nice to have.

It's also worth noting that while there is only 16GB of on-board storage initially, both phones have access to the Adoptable Storage feature in Marshmallow. This means that with the addition of a solid SD card you can properly extend your internal storage to the external card as one big piece of accessible storage.

CategoryMoto G4Moto G4 Plus
Display5.5-inch Full HD display, 401PPI
Gorilla Glass 3
5.5-inch Full HD display, 401PPI
Gorilla Glass 3
SoC1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 SoC (eight Cortex A53 cores)
Adreno 405 GPU
1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 SoC (eight Cortex A53 cores)
Adreno 405 GPU
Memory2GB RAM/16GB storage
microSD slot up to 128GB
2GB RAM/16GB storage
3GB RAM/32GB storage
microSD slot
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0.1 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Camera13MP camera
5MP front shooter
16MP camera
PDAF and laser autofocus
5MP front camera
ConnectivityLTE with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0Fingerprint sensor
LTE with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery3000mAh with Turbo Charging3000mAh with Turbo Charging
Dimensions153 x 76.6 x 7.9 mm153 x 76.6 x 7.9 mm
Weight155 g155 g
ColorsWhite/BlackWhite/Black

Cameras

For plenty of people, the camera on their phone can seriously influence a decision. You use your camera to capture moments with friends and family alike, and having a phone with a great camera is necessary for that. You want a camera that can grab shots indoors, and outdoors without any issues. Having one with a fast focus that won't leave you with tons of blurry shots is also integral.

We're happy to say that both the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus have great cameras on them. They don't have the same camera though. Instead the Moto G4 Plus has a 16MP to the Moto G4's 13MP. A great addition that they've both gotten is having access to manual controls on both. That means that whether you go for the pricier phone or not, you can still snag fantastic photos.

Moto G4 (left) / Moto G4 Plus (right); click images to view larger

It's worth being said that overall, the Moto G4 Plus delivered fantastic results with less reshooting than the Moto G4 did. Both delivered great results, but the Moto G4 Plus had a faster focus, and less issues with photos turning out blurry because of movement. It also had the added benefit of showing off better colors than the regular Moto G4 was able to.

Which phone should I buy?

So when it comes down to it, which phone is the right phone for you? The Moto G4 is available for just $199.99 and for that price it's a fairly solid device. However, when you consider that the Moto G4 Plus has access to more RAM, a better camera, and that fingerprint sensor, the $249.99 price tag makes sense.

Of the two phones, the Moto G4 Plus is the better bang for your buck. If you don't really care about an extra 3MP on your camera, or the fingerprint sensor, then it makes sense to maybe save $50 with the Moto G4. The big thing to remember, is that aside from a few differences, the phones are identical. The only real reason to grab the Moto G4 Plus over the Moto G4 is if you're taking plenty of photos, or if you want the superior camera.

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

35 Comments
  • The G4 plus would've been a great midrange phone with SD652 for the chipset and NFC.If you're going to have a fingerprint reader,it seems really silly not to have NFC.The SD617 just doesn't cut it,at least not on the plus version. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agree. Should have beefed the processor up on the + 
  • +1...there are better choices for similar money and if not, there WILL be soon :)
  • The amazon g4 was $125 at launch ...what choices currently or in the near future are coming out for unlocked phones compatible with all major USA carriers that offer a similar or better bang for the buck? Posted via the Android Central App
  • There are better choices. At least in Asia. Only thing those devices lack is camera. Average.
  • Yep. SD652 would've been perfect.
    I think that Moto saved SD652 for the Moto Z Play. They could've gone with SD625 in the G4 Plus. That would've given a little bit boost in performance and battery life.
  • The sunflower pictures are identical - from the G4+
    Whatever, it's out of focus... poor focussing is just another reason to avoid Moto smartphones.
  • I would pick the non-Plus variant just so I won't have to look at that eyesore of a fingerprint scanner on the bottom bezel. That thing is ugly.
  • Who cares, still waiting on ur guys axon 7 review Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes, because the world revolves around "norcal7867". Posted via the Android Central App
  • Glad u see it that way :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's a 4gb/64gb variant of the plus on sale for $300 - $50 gift card on Amazon. If you want to add it to the article. And honestly, this phone is hella optimized. The SD617 screams! Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's the one I just picked up for my wife from Moto.com Posted via the Android Central App
  • You won't be disappointed! Posted via the Android Central App
  • ...until the promised updates don't arrive and you're left with an insecure device with crap firmware.
  • Aaaaaannnnnndddd....you are, absolutely, 100%, definitely: CORRECT! until proven otherwise. And I doubt lenovorola will bother. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly what I was going to say. I opted for this option and for what I paid it is fantastic. I think it's a great unlocked device for what you pay for and get.
  • Not as good as Pokemon Go Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol. New article. 10 reasons why the Moto G 4 is not as good as Pokémon Go. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wouldn't pick either - SD617 is too anemic and there are already reports (posts on Reddit, including a few YouTube vids) of it overheating and throttling down (which obviously decreases performance even further) in certain situations.
  • The s617 is fine for normal usage. Sure there are better professors but... Name a phone with a better processor that is unlocked and compatible with all major USA carriers and cheaper than $125 for the amazon g4. I would agree with the overheating issues... You can read my threads on the forums that discuss overheating situations... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jen, the g4 comes in 16/2 and 32/2.the g4 plus comes in 16/2 and 64 /4. There is no 32/3 option, at least in the USA, which I am assuming that you are referring to since you linked to the amazon usa and Motorola usa site at the bottom of the article . Both indicate the aforementioned storage and ram options. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The article is filled with nonsensical phrasing, repetitive and contradictory concepts, and punctuation and grammatical errors. Not just one or two misplaced commas. Practically every paragraph has flaws. " Both are largely identical"
    "...the design of these two phones, they are nearly identical."
    "The one big difference, and the one that matters, is the addition of a fingerprint sensor"
    "Now for the most part, the hardware on the Moto G4 and Moto G4 plus is identical."
    "The differences that do exist however, are fairly major ones when it comes to changing how they work every day."
    "There are a few big differences between these two Lenovo phones on the inside, like the options for memory, the rear camera, and of course that sweet fingerprint sensor. "
    "The big thing to remember, is that aside from a few differences, the phones are identical."
    "The only real reason to grab the Moto G4 Plus over the Moto G4 is if you're taking plenty of photos, or if you want the superior camera." "This means that..."
    "That means that ..."
    ...and a dozen other unnecessary "that"s
  • LOL. I mean I am literally ROTFLMAO!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Or more RAM and storage. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I completely agree. To be honest I stopped reading after "This means that with the addition of a solid SD card you can properly extend your internal storage to the external card as one big piece of accessible storage."
  • Who cares this isn't Pokemon! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not mentioning the 4gb ram 64gb version of the plus brings the veracity of the entire review in to question.
  • Am i the only one who thinks
    A. the moto g2 was the nicest design and they should've stuck with that.
    B. that fingerprint scanner on the front is UGLY. Idk about you but if I'm going to use a phone for 1-2 years it has to look good.
  • I liked the G3's design the best. The back was grippy and the frame had a metallic look and the curve was gooood.
  • I'd still buy the Moto X Pure over this.
  • Agreed it's on sale most places right now for under $300. NFC included and gyroscope if you need that for VR. I looked at the Moto g4 at best buy both models they look nice. Fingerprint scanner looks kind of weird. I think last year's design was better plus the waterproofing. The manual controls for camera and slow motion video for g4 is cool too. The fact that it supports every carrier is a nice bonus for Moto g4 too glad it's getting advertised heavily Posted via the Android Central App
  • The MXPE didn't have waterproofing. It barely even had water resistance. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Add the SD820 on the + Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like the g Plus a lot... Posted via the Android Central App