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Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Why it matters to you

The Moto X4 starts at £400, launches on October 26 If you’re looking for a well-rounded smartphone running a close-to-pure version of Android, Motorola may be your best bet. Trouble is, the company has produced many new models in the past year that the lineup can be quite confusing at times, even for seasoned veterans.

Our guide to Motorola’s 2017 smartphones take you through the portfolio, starting with the £130 Moto E4 Plus all the way up to the top-of-the-line modular Moto Z2 Force.

Moto E4

Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Pricing: £130, £100 (Amazon Prime Exclusive with ads) Who it’s for: Someone who needs a basic smartphone and nothing more In terms of specs and price, the Moto E4 is the bare minimum the company offers.

That said, you still get a respectable handset for the money. The E4 comes with Qualcomm’s low-end Snapdragon 425 system-on-chip (Sprint[1] buyers get a slightly more powerful 427 processor), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a MicroSD card slot for additional space. The display is a 5-inch LCD with a 1,280 x 720 resolution, and the main camera is rated at 8 megapixels.

It proved average in our testing tests, which isn’t particularly surprising given the low, low price of the hardware. And you get a front-mounted fingerprint sensor for your trouble, though — a welcome inclusion.

Moto E4 Review[2]

Moto E4 Plus

Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Pricing: £180 (16GB); £200 (32GB); £140/£160 (Amazon Prime Exclusive with ads) Who it’s for: Someone who wants the best battery life, and doesn’t need a powerful phone

We called the Moto E4 Plus the best smartphone under £200 when we reviewed it earlier in the summer, and that’s mostly down to one standout feature: The almost un-killable battery. Motorola stuffed a 5,000mAh unit into the E4 Plus’ 5.5-inch chassis. Coupled with the phone’s frugal Snapdragon 427 processor and 720p display, the E4 delivers incredible longevity on a charge.

It easily lasts two days without breaking a sweat, and three is certainly doable. We say if you have the extra £50 to burn, spring for the Plus over the standard E4 — you’ll have a budget phone that does something even the four-times more expensive Apple iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Google Pixel 2 XL[3][4][5][6]

Moto G5 and G5S

Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Pricing: 230 euros (G5); 250 euros (G5S); U.S. Moto G5S pricing TBA

Who it’s for: Someone who wants a full HD display in a compact package Here’s where things get a little confusing. The standard Moto G5 isn’t available in the U.S., but the slightly improved Moto G5S is.

Both phones sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 processor, though the G5S features a slightly improved battery (3,000mAh versus 2,800mAh); a 16-megapixel rear camera to instead of the regular model’s 13-megapixel shooter; and a metal body instead of plastic. Otherwise, they’re the same — both have a 5.2-inch 1080p display and 2GB of RAM. To be honest, there’s not much reason to go with the G5 or G5S in the context of Motorola’s larger lineup.

The processors aren’t noticeably faster, and the designs aren’t radically different. The batteries are substantially less than what Motorola phones like the E4 Plus offers too, and the cameras are average at best. Bottom line?

You’re best spending a bit more (or a bit less) on something else.

Moto G5 Plus and G5S Plus

Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Pricing: £230 (G5 Plus, 32GB/2GB); £280 (G5 Plus, 64GB/4GB); £280/£350 (G5S Plus, 32GB/64GB) Who it’s for: Someone who wants a jack-of-all-trades midrange phone under £300 But what of the G5S Plus?

The £280/£350 phone may be tough to find outside of Europe and Latin America right now, but it’s worth tracking down. The G5S Plus is slightly bigger than the regular G5 Plus, with a 5.5-inch display at the same resolution. It’s also got dual cameras, both rated at 13-megapixels, replacing the G5 Plus’ single 12-megapixel shooter.

The base model of G5S Plus has an extra gigabyte of RAM for a total of 3GB, though 4GB is an option. The Moto G5 Plus, the G5S Plus’s predecessor, was one of our favorite budget smartphones this year. For £230, you get a Snapdragon 625 processor — a step up from the 430 found in the regular G5 and G5S — as well as a 5.2-inch 1080p display and 2GB of RAM.

If you spend £50 more, you can have double the storage and RAM, making the G5 Plus one of the best values under the £300 mark.

Moto G5 Plus Review[7]

Moto X4 / Android One Moto X4

Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Pricing: 399 euros (64GB); £400 (64GB) Who it’s for: Someone who wants flagship-quality dual cameras in an otherwise midrange device Once upon a time, the Moto X was billed as Motorola’s flagship.

That designation has shifted to the modular Moto Z in recent years, but now the company is reviving the Moto X[8] as a midrange product. From the outside, it looks nothing like the previous versions: You’ll find chunky bezels, super-reflective glass construction, and dual cameras. On the other hand, in terms of specs, it may be too similar to the Moto G5 Plus to really make a splash.

The processor is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630, the chip maker’s newest midrange silicon. It should only offer a negligible bump in day-to-day performance over the outgoing 625. Alongside are 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, IP68 water resistance, and a dual-sensor rear camera with an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens.

In the U.S., the Moto X4 is the first non-Pixel/Nexus device available on Project Fi[9], Google’s pay-as-you-go MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). The £400 Android One Moto X4[10], which is available from the Project Fi website[11], comes with free unlimited Google Photos storage, and up to £165 in credits for subscribers who trade in an old Nexus device. For a limited time, Google’s offering an additional £50 in bill credit for folks who start start a trade-in before October 5.

If Fi isn’t your style, the Moto X4 is available from Best Buy, B&H, Fry’s, Jet.com, Motorola.com, Newegg, Republic Wireless, and Ting starting at £400. It begins shipping October 26. It’s £70 cheaper on Prime Exclusive Phones (£330), Amazon’s discount phone program, but there’s a catch: You’ll have to put up with ads on the lockscreen and sign up for Amazon’s £99-a-year Prime program.

Moto X4 Hands-On Review[12]

Moto Z2 Play

Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Pricing: £408 (32GB, Verizon exclusive); £500 (64GB) Who it’s for: Someone who wants a modular phone at the cheapest price The Moto Z2 Play brings the modular capabilities of the company’s Moto Mods[13] platform down to an affordable cost.

With a Snapdragon 626 processor alongside 3GB of RAM, it’s not necessarily more powerful than the G5 Plus, but it certainly is longer-lasting despite a 3,000mAh battery. The system Motorola has devised for its Moto Mods is incredibly user-friendly — they simply snap onto the back magnetically. Some are a bit too expensive, especially the Hasselblad TrueZoom[14] camera mod and InstaShare[15] projector.

But if the idea speaks to you and you don’t need a device with the fastest processor, the Z2 Play is a solid choice. If you want to learn about more Moto Mods, here’s a list of our favorites[16].

Moto Z2 Play Review[17]

Moto Z2 Force

Looking to buy Motorola? Here’s our ultimate guide to all 2017 Moto smartphones

Pricing: £720 Who it’s for: Someone who wants a modular phone with flagship performance

Though they may mostly share the same name, the Moto Z2 Force is a very different beast from the Z2 Play. The latter is a midrange handset at heart, but the Moto Z2 Force is Motorola’s flagship. It features Qualcomm’s powerful system-on-chip, the Snapdragon 835, and 4GB of RAM.

The only similarity between them is they both support Moto Mods. The Z2 Force features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. It’s a remarkably thin device, though Motorola has protected the screen from inevitable mishaps with its proprietary ShatterShield[18] layered technology.

Unfortunately, that slimmer profile necessitated a smaller battery compared to last year’s model. If you want better battery life, the Z2 Play is a better option. Or you can grab a battery Moto Mod to extend the Z2 Force’s life.

The Z2 Force does, however, feature a better camera, and one with two lenses. Both have 12 megapixels, but one is monochrome, allowing you to achieve true black and white photography. Bear in mind that for all the Z2 Force’s bells and whistles, though, it starts at £720 — over £200 more than an unlocked Z2 Play.

Moto Z2 Force Review[19]

Updated: Added Project Fi availability and pricing to the Moto X4 section.

References

  1. ^ Sprint (www.sprint.com)
  2. ^ Moto E4 Review (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ best smartphone under £200 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  4. ^ Apple iPhone 7 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  5. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  6. ^ Google Pixel 2 XL (www.digitaltrends.com)
  7. ^ Moto G5 Plus Review (www.digitaltrends.com)
  8. ^ Moto X (www.digitaltrends.com)
  9. ^ Project Fi (www.digitaltrends.com)
  10. ^ Android One Moto X4 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  11. ^ Project Fi website (fi.google.com)
  12. ^ Moto X4 Hands-On Review (www.digitaltrends.com)
  13. ^ Moto Mods (www.motorola.com)
  14. ^ Hasselblad TrueZoom (www.motorola.com)
  15. ^ InstaShare (www.motorola.com)
  16. ^ a list of our favorites (www.digitaltrends.com)
  17. ^ Moto Z2 Play Review (www.digitaltrends.com)
  18. ^ ShatterShield (www.motorola.com)
  19. ^ Moto Z2 Force Review (www.digitaltrends.com)

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