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Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: the clear winner has one big flaw

We usually pitch Moto G series' phones against devices from Asus, LG and Samsung. While this is still its main competition, Motorola is now developing products that compete with each other, as is the case between the Moto G5 Plus and the Moto E4 Plus. For a difference of about $100, you can either bring home an incredible battery or have better specs. Which is the better option? We decided to check it out.

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Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: Design

Both devices look quite similar, but it’s easy to tell them apart if you look at the details. The Moto G5 Plus has a prominent rear camera with a round edge, and dual LED flash, while on the E4 Plus, it’s just a warm LED flash.

Their physical lines are different as well. The G5 Plus is a bit more curved while the E4 Plus is more square. It’s easy to tell them apart by the feel as well. Both come with an aluminum back, but the E4 Plus is heavier and an all-round thicker device. This difference in thickness is due to the fact that its battery is much bigger.

motorola moto e4 plus versus moto g5
The Moto E4 Plus is bigger and thicker then the Moto G5 Plus / © AndroidPIT

Besides the curves and prominent lens on the Moto G5 Plus, another difference between the two devices is the LED flash on the front, which can only be found on the E4 Plus. Neither device comes with a USB Type-C port.

Both devices have the gesture navigation button, although the aesthetics are a bit different since on the Moto G5 Plus, the button is on the top of the lower bezel. When you touch the buttons, however, the difference is almost imperceptible.

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Both the Moto E4 Plus and the Moto G5 Plus have a gesture navigation button / © AndroidPIT

Motorola played a bit of musical chairs with these two devices. The speaker, as well as the SIM card slot, are in different spots but in general, both come with basically the same physical features. Choosing which has a better design is subjective, and I admit it’s a bit tricky for me since I’m really not a fan of the design that Motorola is working with this year.

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Both the Moto E4 Plus and Moto G5 Plus have an aluminum frame / © AndroidPIT

If I had to invest in one of these devices solely on the aesthetic of the finish, I’d go with the Moto G5 Plus. It’s not exactly better looking than the E4 Plus, but it has a few things that stand out, like brighter edges and a more compact shape.

Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: display

I could argue that the best display goes to the Moto G5 Plus just for that fact that it comes with a smaller panel and higher sharpness. However, I’d like to tell you about my experience using both devices. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the physical navigation buttons on these devices, I must admit that it allows both screens to be used to their full potential. This is possible because virtual navigation buttons are deactivated when the physical ones are enabled.

With this said, although the G5 Plus comes with a smaller display, you shouldn't have any problems with multimedia content on it. The brightness and colors are better than on the Moto E4 Plus. Take a look at the photo below to see for yourself:

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Colors are brighter on the Moto G5 plus (right) than on the Moto E4 Plus (left) / © AndroidPIT

Also, the G5 Plus reflects less light, which will be more appealing for anyone looking to watch videos or play games. Obviously, it comes with a smaller display and a resolution twice that of the E4 Plus, displaying clearer fonts and more detailed images.

Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: software

The software on both devices gives the same user experience, with very little difference between the two. The Moto E4 Plus comes from the factory running Android 7.1.1 Nougat and the security package from May. The G5 plus, on the other hand, comes with the same security patch but runs Android 7.0. This really isn’t a big problem, but it’ll need to be updated.

The Moto E4 Plus has round icons, regardless of the app installed, including some modifications that Motorola has made on native apps. Fortunately, the Moto G5 Plus doesn’t come with any of these changes.

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Both devices run Android Nougat / © AndroidPIT

Motorola hasn’t publicly promised an update for the Moto E4 Plus to the next version of Android. Also, considering that it comes with a MediaTek processor, which is known for taking their time in releasing drivers for its processors, the update could take longer than for the Moto G5. If it comes at all.

Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: performance

Since both devices having the same amount of RAM, 2GB, the real difference here is the processor. There is a MediaTek processor versus a Qualcomm SoC, Snapdragon 625. The E4 Plus also has less storage, just 16GB, compared to 32GB on the G5 Plus.

The Moto E is an option aimed at those who aren’t looking for remarkable performance on their device. The first thing you should notice about this device is that it’s a mid-range smartphone. It’s normal that these models deliver just enough specs for daily tasks, like e-mail and social networks.

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The Moto G5 Plus is more powerful / © AndroidPIT

The difference between the devices is that the Moto G5 Plus can run games with better graphics more smoothly, in addition to more detail. The graphics card is better, and the processor is more efficient. Storage is also another positive for the G5 Plus since not even memory card support can make a device with only 16GB actually worth it.

Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: camera

The Moto G5 Plus comes equipped with a 12 MP camera on the back with Dual LED flash and Dual Auto Focus Pixel. The lens also has good light entry due to its aperture of f/1.7, which is rare in this price range. The only negative aspect of the camera on the G5 Plus is the focus, which can sometimes take too long to adjust and recognize objects.

Although it has a smaller aperture, some photos in low light are still blurry. However, that’s completely acceptable, since even more expensive models deliver photos with some noise.

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The Moto G5 Plus has a better camera then the E4 Plus / © AndroidPIT

The sensor on the Moto E4 Plus, on the other hand, has an aperture of f/2.0 and Dual Auto Focus Pixel. The front camera has 5 MP with an aperture of f/2.2, and it comes with LED flash. The photos taken with this model are pretty similar to those of the Moto G5, but it falls a bit behind on clarity and color representation, which is a bit washed out.

Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: battery

It’s a bit complicated to compare 5000 mAh with 3000 mAh. With the E4 Plus, you can go two days without having to charge the phone. Whereas, on the G5 Plus, that time is halved. These estimations are based on tests I did while using them in my daily life.

However, 3000 mAh really shouldn't be a problem since a lot of devices (even more expensive ones) come with the same sized battery. Nonetheless, this is the main strength of the Moto E4 Plus. With a bit of battery saving, you could probably stretch out the battery life to three days without having to look for a charger. With the G5 Plus, you might be able to squeeze out 24 hours, but you’d have to be very aware of system features and connectivity.

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Only the Moto E4 Plus has a removable back cover / © AndroidPIT

The back cover on the Moto E4 Plus is removable, but that doesn’t mean you can remove the battery. This access is actually to be able to insert the SIM card and microSD in their respective slots. I should mention as well that neither device heated up during testing, even when I was running a heavy game alongside an overloaded multitasking.

Moto E4 Plus vs Moto G5 Plus: conclusion

The real benefit of the Moto E4 Plus is its massive battery power. I’d say that this is the main strength of this device since everything else is easily beaten out by the Moto G5 Plus and other competitors at the same price point. The other member of this family, the Moto G5, is better and, as I said in the review of the E4 Plus, for a few dollars more, it's a better deal as well.

Opinion by Bruno Salutes
The Moto G5 Plus has a better cost/benefit than the Moto E4 Plus
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I’d recommend the E4 plus for anyone who’s looking for outstanding battery life, but the Moto G5 Plus has a much better cost/benefit ratio. If you’re looking to buy a phone solely for battery power, I’d say get the E4 Plus. In that aspect, it doesn’t disappoint. However, if you’re looking for better performance and more consistent features, the G5 Plus is the way to go.

Which would you pick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Doug D. 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    Nice review, and I agree.

    Sent from a Moto G5 plus that I bought for a relative in need of a good mid-tier phone. I've been playing with it for a week or so, until I see them this weekend. Color me impressed, not kidding, at all.

    $180.00 on Amazon prime day for the variant with 4Gb RAM/64Gb native storage, you can't beat it.

    Hell, I'm going to purchase one their regular Moto E's for $99.00 just to play with the fingerprint gestures, and toss in a drawer for an all US carrier backup, if ever needed.

    Sorry to be long-winded, just really impressed by the performance and value of the G5 Plus.

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