Motorola Moto G (2016) and Moto G Plus, first impressions: do they deserve the price increase?

Year after year Motorola has been renewing its Moto G line, one of the most recommended and even the winner of some Xataka Award, since its launch in 2013. This time we see how Lenovo launches a new version twice, Moto G and Moto G Plus.

This year the new Moto G grow to 5.5 inches, move to a higher category of Qualcomm chip, octacore Snapdragon 617 and integrate 2GB of RAM as standard. The Plus model has additional improvements such as a 16 Mpx camera or fingerprint reader, now, will they still be worth it with the rise in price of this range?

Moto X inspired design ... but polycarbonate

The body of the new Motorola Moto G and Moto G plus show off that design that Moto X wore and even that was glimpsed in the Nexus 6 last year. We see a noticeable change from the Motorola Moto G (2015) and the biggest differences are a larger size, in part due to the screen, and features that are on the way: water resistance or dual front speaker.

The back is covered by a rubberized finish that is pleasant to the touch and improves grip on these 5.5-inch models.

The design at first glance is quite careful and although the maximum thickness almost reaches practically one centimeter at the rear, it is true that Motorola makes use of the curved rear to improve ergonomics and cover up that maximum thickness. The minimum, on the sides is 7.9 mm.

We find it curious that the microUSB connector is kept at the bottom of the terminal instead of going to USB type-C although we imagine that being a mid-range focused smartphone it would be almost more of a problem than an advantage due to having to buy adapters or cables to charge it.

It does not seem to us an innovative design as such, it reminds too much of the models that we have mentioned before, but it does seem to us to be a contained design to be a 5.5-inch terminal. You can see that it maintains the weight of the model from last year.

FullHD resolution arrives at Moto G with its 5.5 inches

It is clear that Motorola is committed to a clearly multimedia approach and towards the consumption of content with its fourth-generation Moto G. The evolution from the 5-inch screen with 720p resolution is more than remarkable: ** improvement in diagonal and resolution **.

In our first tests we have been able to see how it offers a fairly high level of brightness and although Moto G loses stereo sound, it seems to gain integers in image quality. The behavior of the outdoor screen or automatic brightness management is something that we will check in our analysis.

The increase in resolution would bring with it a noticeable performance penalty if they had kept the same Qualcomm family from the previous Moto G generation, but Motorola has made the leap to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, an octacore with 8 Cortex A53 cores and Adreno 405 GPU.

This measure is a clear success, something that makes a remarkable difference in this product line. We recall that last year the improvement in terms of SoC was nil.

Motorola Moto G
(4th generation)Moto G PlusMoto G
(3rd generation)Motorola Moto G
(2nd generation) screen 5.5 inch IPS LCDIPS LCD 5 inch IPS LCD 5 inch Resolution 1,080 x 1,920 pixels, 401 dpi 720x1280 pixels, 294 dpi 720x1280 pixels, 294 dpi Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 1.5 GHz 8 core 64 bitQualcomm Snapdragon 410 1.4Hz 4 cores 64 bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2Hz 4-core 32-bit Graphics processor Adreno 405 Adreno 306t Adreno 305 RAM 2 GB of RAM1/2 GB RAM 1 GB RAM Memory 16 GB 8GB (4.5 free) / 16GB, expandable with microSD up to 64 GB 8GB (5 free) / 16GB, expandable with microSD up to 64 GB S.O. version Android 6.0.1, upgradeable Android N Android 5.1.1 Android 4.3, upgradeable to 5.0.3 Connectivity Wireless 802.11a / b / g / n / ac 5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, 4G DUAL SIM Wireless 802.11a / b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, HSPA + DUAL SIM Wireless 802.11a / b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, HSPA + DUAL SIM Cameras Rear: 13 Mpx f / 2.0 / Front: 5 MPRear: 16 Mpx f / 2.0 laser focus and phase detection
Front: 5 MPRear: 13 MP / Front: 5 MP Rear: 8 MP / Front: 2 MP Battery 3,000 mAh 2,470 mAh 2,070 mAh Dimensions 153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm 142.1 x 72.4 x 11.6 mm 141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm Weight 155 grams155 grams 149 grams Price229 euros269 ​​euros 196 (8GB) euros
(Amazon) 179 (8GB) euros

See complete gallery »Motorola Moto G (4th gen) and Moto G Plus (14 photos)

Great photographic bet: Pro mode and automatic HDR

It seems that Motorola has finally hit the table and integrated a camera software to match. It is one of the few modifications on Android that the company has made.

It is a very complete application, easy for inexperienced users with automatic mode and manual adjustments in Professional mode. We liked adjusting the exposure directly from the focus point and the automatic HDR solution.

Although we will have to spend enough time with the mobile to give a verdict on the quality of the same, soon we have found some photographs that significantly improve the camera of the model from last year.

In the Plus model where we have noticed a slightly faster approach than in this year's Moto G model, and much faster than last year's. As we say, we will do a complete review in our analysis.

Welcome fast charge

Motorola has told us that this terminal is compatible with TurboPower technology, which is how Motorola calls QuickCharge 2.0 from Qualcomm. It promises a 6 hour usage time with a 5 minute charge.

Although the 3,000 mAh battery is a reasonable amount for these times, we have to admit that the improvement compared to 2,470 mAh of previous generations is remarkable. However, we are also facing a more demanding set of specifications, screen and SoC mainly.

It is one of the points that we most want to prove, since Android Marshmallow also has Doze optimization and will help in a certain way. Motorola promises a day of use, we will see if it is so.

The second big difference between Moto G and Moto G Plus is that this second one arrives together with a QuickCharge 2.0 compatible charger, while if you buy the Moto G model you would have to buy it separately.

Software and updates

The new Moto G arrive with Android 6.0.1 although we have been told that the update to Android N is guaranteed. Motorola includes legacy Moto X software features as well as Motorola applications.

Apart from these applications and the camera, the rest is pure Android, an experience similar to what you would experience with a Nexus smartphone.

We are looking forward to analyzing the terminal in depth but in our first contact with it we have been able to check how the system occupies about 1.2 GB of RAM and the feeling of fluidity of Android 6.0.1 is even higher than in high-end smartphones of other brands


The Plus model integrates a fingerprint reader on the front. It is not a physical button, it is just a fingerprint sensor, no click, or anything. It works quite efficiently despite being small.

Promising Moto G with some pending subject

On this occasion Motorola has opted to give a great improvement in the fields of photography, screen and autonomy although the price, which to date remained under the psychological barrier of 200 euros, has exceeded that limit.

We have enough to test of these two terminals and we are looking forward to analyzing all their characteristics to see if that price increase is acceptable or if it is worth the outlay of the additional 40 euros of the Plus model compared to the fourth generation Moto G model.

Without a doubt we are facing the renewal of one of the quintessential mid-range smartphones. In addition to this, Motorola has stood out for being the first to make the leap to the latest versions of Android and could be a point in favor of the competition challenge of this price range.

What do you think about Motorola's bet with its new Moto G? We are also waiting to see if a Moto G Play model also arrives in Spain this year.

In Xataka | Motorola Moto G (4 gen) and Moto G Plus.

Share none:  Analysis Science Mobile 

Interesting Articles