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Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: Which is best?

Our Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison review shows you which 2016 Motorola phone is best for you, comparing their specs and most important features such as battery life, performance and camera tech.

We’ve already reviewed the Motorola Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus, which launched in the UK last month, offering impressive specs and features for under £200. They’re two of the best Android phones of 2016, standing tall against some flagship mobiles that cost two or three times as much; check out our full Moto G4 Plus vs OnePlus 3 vs Sony Xperia X vs Samsung Galaxy S7 review if you’re not convinced.

However, if the Moto G4 and G4 Plus still aren’t affordable enough for you, Motorola has just launched two even cheaper Moto mobiles here in the UK. The Moto G4 Play is a smaller, cut-back version of the original Moto G4, while the Moto E3 is a super-value smartphone that still packs some decent specs for under a hundred quid (making it the cheapest Moto phone of 2016 so far).

So which Moto phone is best for you? Here’s our full G4 vs G4 Play vs G4 Plus vs E3 comparison review.

Check out our Moto G4 family hub for reviews, in-depth features, tips and tricks and more.

Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: At a glance

Phone Moto E3 Moto G4 Play Moto G4 Moto G4 Plus
Screen size 5-inches 5-inches 5.5-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 1280×720 1280×720 1920×1080 1920×1080
Fingerprint sensor? No No No Yes
Processor ‘Quad-core’ (TBC) Snapdragon 410 Snapdragon 617 Snapdragon 617
Memory 1GB (TBC) 1/2GB 2GB 2/4GB
Storage 8GB (TBC) 16GB 16/32GB 16/32/64GB
MicroSD? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery 2800mAh 2800mAh 3000mAh 3000mAh
Rear camera 8MP 8MP 13MP 16MP
Front camera 5MP 5MP 5MP 5MP
UK price £99 £129 £169 £199

Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: Design

If you’re not a fan of phablet-sized phones, then the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus aren’t for you. These mighty 5.5-inch mobiles are tricky to operate with just one hand and don’t exactly slip easily into your pants or a compact handbag. For lovers of more reasonably-sized smartphones, there’s the 5-inch Moto G4 Play and Moto E3 instead.

Sadly, while the Moto G4 and G4 Plus can be customised via Motorola’s online Moto Maker service, the Moto G4 Play and Moto E3 aren’t supported. That means you won’t be able to mix and match from a selection of different colours and styles when you buy your phone direct from Motorola.

Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: Screen and media

The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus sport larger screens than the two cheaper Moto phones (5.5-inches versus 5-inches). Screen resolution is also stronger on the G4 and G4 Plus, which boast a Full HD panel for super-sharp images, compared with the 720p displays on the Moto E3 and Moto G4 Play.

That said, the Moto G4 Play and Moto E3 will still produce pleasingly crisp visuals. High-def movies should look good and 5-inches is still plenty for catching up with your favourite shows on the daily commute, without straining your eyeballs.

All four phones here have a microSD memory card slot too, so you can quickly and easily expand the built-in storage space. So even though the Moto G4 Plus boasts the most storage here, you’ll be able to carry around a large collection of movies, tracks and photos on any of these Moto handsets.

Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: Features

All four Moto phones here run the latest version of Android, dubbed Marshmallow. Marshmallow will be succeeded later in 2016 by Android Nougat, but the Moto E3, G4, G4 Play and G4 Plus should all receive an upgrade quite quickly as Motorola hasn’t messed around adding its own Android launcher.

The Android experience is therefore very similar on all four of these mobiles, although the Moto G4 Plus does have one significant advantage over its brethren. A built-in fingerprint scanner makes for stronger and more efficient security, compared with the standard PIN entry and Google Smart Lock support of the other three handsets.

Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: Performance and battery life

If you’re after dependable performance that’s unlikely to degrade in the near future, the Moto G4 and G4 Plus are the Motorola phones of 2016 to go for. Both mobiles pack in a Snapdragon 617 processor which happily runs Android and copes admirably with the latest games.

That said, the Moto G4 Play and Moto E3 should be fine for everyday use. Motorola’s streamlined user experience makes for smooth running; after all, last year’s Moto G3, which uses the same cut-price Snapdragon 410 processor as the Moto G4 Play, is still a stutter-free handset. Check out our full Moto G3 long-term 12-month review for more info.

As for battery life, we’re yet to fully test the Moto E3 and Moto G4 Play but we’re expecting the same day-and-a-half of use between charges that we got from the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. Check out our full reviews, coming soon.

Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: Cameras

The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus have the best camera tech in this round-up, as you’d expect considering the bigger asking price.

Photo quality is very close between these two phones, with both mobile snappers producing sharp, detail-packed shots. The Moto G4 wins out when it comes to HDR snaps, but the Moto G4 Plus is better at action shots (thanks to a super-fast focus) and low-light photos. Check out our full Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus camera review for more info and samples.

You should still get some decent snaps from the Moto E3 and Moto G4 Play’s 8-megapixel camera too, although we’re yet to fully test these smartphone snappers. And all four phones boast a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, for sharp selfies.

Moto E3 vs Moto G4 Play vs Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus: UK price and release date

The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are available to buy in the UK right now, from £169 and £199 respectively. The Moto G4 Play will follow in August for £129 while the Moto E3 won’t hit the UK until September, with a deliciously affordable £99 price tag. Check back soon for our full Moto E3 and Moto G4 Play reviews.

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