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Moto G4 (2016) vs Moto G3 (2015): What’s the difference?

We compare the 3rd-gen Moto G (a.k.a. Moto G3) from 2015 with Motorola’s brand new Moto G4 (2016), to see what the difference in specs is and decide whether you should upgrade to the new Moto G4.

The new 2016 Moto G (a.k.a. Moto G4) has just been launched, along with a super-sexified Moto G4 Plus, but how does it compare with the old Moto G3 from 2015? Is Motorola’s latest great-value phone enough of an update over last year’s handset to warrant an upgrade? Here’s our full Moto G4 2016 vs Moto G3 2015 comparison review.

And check out our Moto G (2016) vs Moto G Plus comparison review, to see what the difference is between Motorola’s two new Moto G mobiles.

Moto G 2016 vs Moto G 2015: At a glance

Phone Moto G 3rd Gen (2015) Moto G4 (2016)
Screen size 5-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 720p HD 1080p Full HD
Water resistant? Yes TBC
Processor Snapdragon 410 Snapdragon 617
Memory 1/2GB 2GB
Storage 8/16GB 16GB
Battery 2470mAh 3000mAh
Cameras 13MP, 5MP 13MP, 5MP
UK price £149 £169

Moto G4 2016 vs Moto G3 2015: Design

When it comes to design, the new Moto G4 is a serious chunk bigger than the 2015 Moto G. Last year’s 5-inch screen has been blown up to a 5.5-inch display, which of course has an impact on one-handed use. If you want something that’s easy to handle, the Moto G3 will suit better.

And if you want something to play with in the bath, then the Moto G3 is your best option again. The 2015 Moto G is fully water resistant, so can survive a tumble into the bathtub, while the new Moto G4 isn’t.

However, we do really like the slender Moto G4 design, which reminds us of the Moto X styling from last year. And like the Moto G3, you can prise off the back and choose a different colour cover to refresh the look. Motorola’s online Moto Maker service is available for the Moto G3 and the G4, allowing you to customise your handset before you buy.

Moto G4 2016 vs Moto G3 2015: Screen and media

Last year’s 3rd-gen Moto G sported a crisp and colourful 720p panel, and at 5-inches it was a decent size for browsing the web, streaming movies on the go and everything inbetween. However, Motorola has boosted this to a mighty 5.5-inch screen in the new 4th-gen Moto G, so you have even more screen space than before.

To ensure images are still nice and sharp, Motorola has also boosted the display resolution to 1080p in the new 2016 Moto G, in comparison with the 720p panel on the 2015 Moto G. Both screens are wonderfully crisp and bright, boasting punchy colours that aren’t overly vibrant. In fact, side-by-side there’s pretty much no difference in quality, beyond the G4’s bigger size.

Both Moto G phones also boast microSD card slots, so you can expand the on-board storage (16GB in the G4, 8 or 16GB in the G3) and carry a massive media collection around.

Moto G4 2016 vs Moto G3 2015: Performance and battery life

The Moto G4 packs the new Snapdragon 617 processor, a mid-range chipset that produced smooth performance in our hands-on session (partly helped by the frill-free vanilla Android OS). You get 2GB of RAM to help keep things running smoothly.

Meanwhile, last year’s Moto G3 is still running smoothly despite packing an ageing Snapdragon 410 processor, as you’ll see in our Moto G3 long-term review. Again, that’s half thanks to the simple OS, which is identical to the Moto G4’s and free from clutter and nonsense. Of course, you’ll need to grab the model with 2GB of RAM, which is a bit more pricey, to ensure a stutter-free experience.

The Moto G4 boasts a bigger battery than the Moto G3, although we can’t confirm right now if that also means better battery life (especially with the bigger display to power). However, the G4 does support TurboPower quick charging, so it should fill up faster than the G3’s cell. Stay tuned for our full Moto G4 review to see how everyday battery life stacks up.

Neither phone features a removable battery.

Moto G4 2016 vs Moto G3 2015: Cameras

Both the Moto G3 and the Moto G4 pack a 13-megapixel camera around the back and a 5-megapixel snapper up front and from a quick play, we couldn’t see much difference. Both cameras shoot quickly and boast simple interfaces, perfectly suited to noobs. You can capture up to Full HD video, while the selfie cameras are just as fast and the photos just as detailed.

Check back soon for our full Moto G4 review.

Moto G4 vs Moto G3 video comparison review

Here’s our full Moto G4 (2016) vs Moto G3 (2015) comparison video review.

 

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