The Moto G5 was announced earlier this year as the fifth iteration of the popular Moto G series. It comes with a fairly attractive hardware specs sheet under the hood, coupled with a pretty great design, which makes it one of the best mid-ranged smartphones money can buy right now. Fast forward to June and the company also announced the Moto E4 lineup, consisting of mostly budget devices. We’re going to discuss the Moto E4 and compare it with the Moto G5 to see how the two phones stack up against each other.
Motorola Moto E4 vs Moto G5
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While a comparison might seem unfair given the fact that both smartphones belong to different market segments, it makes sense to check out the two handsets to ascertain if they hold up to their reputation. The Moto G5 is slightly better equipped in terms of hardware, whereas the Moto E4 is pretty much a budget device in the hardware department. But still, the comparison should tell us about some of the common features between the two devices, and we know there are a handful, with the design being one of the most striking similarities. So without wasting any time, let’s get right to the comparison.
Motorola Moto E4 vs Moto G5 spec comparison review
Display and Design
Moto is going with a uniform design here as is evident by just looking at the two phones. So there’s not much to tell the two apart here. Some variants of the Moto E4 come with full metal bodies. However, the one that’s sold in the U.S. comes with a partly plastic body, which can hinder the appeal to a great extent. But the Moto G5 comes with a gorgeous metal body, which makes it stand out from the crowd. Both phones will no doubt appeal to the crowd, so customers won’t really have much to complain about with either phone.
The Moto G5 comes with a 5-inch Full HD IPS LCD panel, which comes with a pixel density of 441 ppi, offering a rich media experience for the customers. The bezels on the front are slightly thicker, though, which makes it look slightly bulky in comparison to other competitive offerings available in the market. It’s about 9.5mm thick, so Moto clearly hasn’t given much thought to the aesthetic appeal of the device. It weighs 145 grams, which is pretty bulky for a device that comes with a 5-inch display on board. There’s a fingerprint scanner placed right on the bottom bezel, which is slightly old fashioned for this day and age, but a choice that the company had to make ultimately.
The Moto E4, as we have partly mentioned already, comes with a fairly identical design and display size as the Moto G5. However, it comes with a sub-par 5-inch HD IPS LCD panel. While Moto has maintained the size of the smartphone, the resolution has been downgraded here, thus resulting in a pixel density of just 294 ppi. The phone is slightly heavier than the Moto G5 at 150 grams but is slightly thinner at 9.3mm. So there’s a tradeoff here for the slightly thinner body.
The Moto E4 is not exactly a camera powerhouse. It comes with a miserly 8-megapixel rear camera with an aperture size of f/2.2, which should just about get the job done. Autofocus is offered by default here, and the rear camera is accompanied with a single LED flash as well. The company is offering a 5-megapixel front camera for selfies, video calls etc. This, again, is not the best, but merely adequate for a phone of this stature. One big surprise here is that the Moto E4 comes with a LED flash on the front as well, so your selfies will never be dimly lit again. This can also be used as a flashlight, one would imagine. Moto isn’t aiming for the stars here, which is evident going by other aspects of the hardware. Given the kind of hardware Moto is offering here, the customers shouldn’t expect amazing pictures or videos from the Moto E4. However, given the fact that it’s a budget offering, this shouldn’t particularly be a concern for the customers.
The Moto G5 is equipped with a 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera, which should offer significantly better performance compared to the Moto E4. This aspect was never in doubt considering that the Moto G5 is a mid-ranger. However, fans would find that there are multiple mid-rangers in the industry today which offer a significantly better performance compared to the Moto G5, so the company clearly has a lot of work to do here. The Moto G5 comes with a 5-megapixel f/2.2 camera sensor on the front, which should just about get the job done for the customers. Unfortunately, the G5 doesn’t come with a front facing flash, which frankly feels like a missed opportunity to us.
The Moto G5 is packing the octa-core Snapdragon 430 SoC under the hood. This chipset consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz each. Qualcomm’s Adreno 505 GPU is powering this mid-level chipset here. While this is not particularly a powerhouse in terms of CPU performance, the Moto G5 will just about make the cut among other mid-ranged offerings. We mostly see the Snapdragon 600 series chipsets on mid-rangers, but Moto clearly thinks otherwise here. The Moto G5 is available in 2 or 3GB RAM configurations, both coming with differing storage capacities. This is pretty much on par with any other mid-ranger out there, so we’re not particularly impressed by Moto here.
The Moto E4 is packing the octa-core Snapdragon 425 chipset, which interestingly packs the same 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 cores on board. The Adreno 308 GPU, however, significantly pegs things in favor of the Moto G5 here. This basically means that even though the two phones appear to be on par with each other when it comes to CPU performance, the graphics performance will be significantly different. We’re not sure if this will make any differences in terms of real world usage, though. The Moto E4 is only available with 2GB of RAM, so there aren’t a lot of options here.
This is perhaps one of the rare oddities in the mobile industry, especially with devices coming from the same manufacturer within a span of six months. Both the Moto G5 and the Moto E4 come with a 2,800 mAh battery on board. So does this mean that both smartphones will have similar battery performance? Well, not really. We have to consider the fact that the Moto G5 comes with a Full HD display, which is obviously going to consume a lot more battery than a conventional HD panel. This surely puts the Moto E4 at an advantage here, and customers should easily expect at least 20-30% more out of the battery than the Moto G5. Other factors like the CPU, RAM, etc shouldn’t make much of a difference considering the fact that they’re basically identical here.
The Moto G5 is available in 16 and 32GB storage variants, whereas the Moto E4 is only available in a solitary 16GB model. The limited storage, however, shouldn’t be a deal-breaker considering the fact that both phones are equipped with microSD cards for storage expansion. However, the Moto G5 can take cards of up to 256GB, whereas the Moto E4 maxes out at 128GB. A small disadvantage for the cheaper Moto handset here.
As we have already mentioned above, both smartphones come with a front facing fingerprint scanner. Since the company is pretty much using the same tech here, we don’t expect there to be a lot of changes with regards to speed and accuracy. Surprisingly, the Moto E4 comes with Bluetooth 4.1 while the Moto G5 comes with support for the Bluetooth 4.2 standard by default. This is slightly odd considering the fact that using newer tech wouldn’t really be too expensive for the company. The two handsets come with Android Nougat on board, but with different versions. The Moto G5 was launched slightly earlier, so it comes with the older Android 7.0. The Moto E4 comes with Android 7.1 Nougat, which is expected to be the last major release of Android Nougat before Android O is unveiled later this year.
Both phones come with standard microUSB ports on board, so there’s no USB C goodness here. I frankly feel any new device that comes out of Android OEMs should at least have USB C by default. But clearly, the manufacturers think otherwise right now. The Moto G5 is available in Lunar Grey, Fine Gold, and Sapphire Blue, while the Moto E4 can only be bought in Licorice Black and Fine Gold.
Before we come to a detailed conclusion about the performance of the two handsets, we also have to remember that the Moto G5 and the Moto E4 are priced differently in the market. Interested customers can grab the Moto E4 for just $99 from Amazon, provided they don’t mind the occasional ads being thrown into their lockscreen. Republic Wireless is currently running a promotion where the phone is being offered for just $99, although it will set you back by $129 without the promo. Buying options for the Moto E4 are limited right now, so Amazon appears to be our best bet right now.
The Moto G5 is selling for $149.99 on Amazon as a Prime Exclusive with ads on the lock screen, which is the same arrangement as the Moto E4 that we talked about above. The seller is also offering the international version of the handset for slightly over $200. However, we have to caution users against buying these variants as they don’t usually come with a warranty.
Now for the all important question about the cost effectiveness of the two handsets. While we’ve mentioned how the two phones are lacking in some areas, I have been personally surprised by Moto’s pricing here. One would naturally expect a price tag of over $200 for both devices, but it’s clear that Moto has learned from the competition and has decided to change its stance in the market accordingly. It’s quite baffling to think that the two phones are only around $50 apart in terms of pricing. Keeping this in mind, you can’t really go wrong with either phone. But if I were to be making a choice, I would naturally pick the Moto G5 for the better display, camera, and a handful of other features. If selfies are paramount to a user, we suggest you give the Moto E4 a closer look as the ability to take selfies in the dark is hard to beat.