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Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Which Motorola mobile is best for me?

The new Moto X4 mid-range mobile costs £349 here in the UK, a significant chunk of change more than Motorola’s special edition Moto G5s Plus. For that extra cash you get quite a few bonus features however, including a water resistant design, more gesture support, Alexa support, updated specs and a fresh new dual lens camera.

We’re glad to see the Moto X series alive and well, with the UK release of the Moto X4. Although no longer the flagship series for Motorola (that honour goes to the Moto Z family with its Moto Mods support), the X4 boasts some premium specs and features for just £349 here in Blighty.

Of course, Motorola has already released a great-value mid-range phone in recent months: the Moto G5s Plus, a ‘special edition’ version of the Moto G5 Plus which packed the company’s first dual lens smartphone camera. That’s on top of some sleek, improved design work and a large, spacious screen.

So what’s the difference between these two Moto mobiles and which one is best for you? Here’s our full comparison review.

Read next: Best Motorola phones

Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Specs

Phone Moto G5s Plus Moto X4
Screen size 5.5-inch 5.2-inch
Screen resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080
Water resistant? No Yes
OS Android Nougat Android Nougat
Alexa? No Yes
Processor Snapdragon 825 Snapdragon 830
Memory 3GB 3GB
Storage 32GB 32GB
MicroSD? Yes Yes
Battery 3000mAh 3000mAh
Rear cameras 12MP Dual 12MP + 8MP wide-angle
Front camera 8MP + flash 16MP + flash

Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Design

The X4 is the more compact handset here, with a 5.2-inch build compared with the 5.5-inch Moto G5s Plus. It’s marginally easier to use the X series smartphone with one hand therefore, although Motorola has included a screen shrinking gesture that helps out in both cases.

While the G5s Plus sports a metal design, the Moto X4 offers a shiny glass finish instead. Both are pleasingly rugged although the X4 does get a little greasy at times; thankfully it’s pretty good at hiding those prints. You can pick these two blowers up in a small choice of colours too.

The X4’s other big advantage is its IP68 water resistant certification. This new handset can be fully submerged in liquid for quite some time with no harm, while the G series mobile is merely splash proof.

Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Screen and media

In both cases you get a Full HD IPS display, although the G5s Plus has a more spacious 5.5-inch panel, compared with the 5.2-inch X4. However, the Moto X4 also offers crisper whites, while both Motorola blowers serve up quite punchy colour reproduction and a night mode for comfortable evening viewing.

You get a headphone jack in both cases, for connecting wired ‘phones. You also have 32GB of storage space for your media, expandable via microSD.

Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Features

Both of these phones run a vanilla version of Android Nougat, almost untouched by Motorola. Which should hopefully mean an upgrade to Android Oreo very shortly.

The manufacturer has added some funky bonus functionality in both cases however, in the form of the Moto Assistant app. This serves up everything from gesture support (to minimise your desktops, quick load the camera app and so on) to voice-controlled operation and the new Moto Key feature, which replaces passwords with fingerprint recognition.

At least, it does on the Moto X4. On the Moto G5s Plus, a lot of this functionality is sadly missing in action. Some of the gestures are gone and there’s no sign of Moto Key or Moto Voice, although these might possibly appear in a future update.

The Moto X4 also comes with Alexa support built in. Amazon’s voice-activated AI can be used to control your smart home goodies and answer your questions, as long as you have a web connection.

Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Performance and battery life

Both of these Motorola mobiles offer mid-range performance. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 825 is packed inside the Moto G5s Plus, while the slightly fresher Snapdragon 830 is on board the Moto X4. In each case you get 3GB of RAM in backup, to help keep things running smoothly.

That said, no matter you choice of handset, you’ll sadly see the odd bit of slowdown. Occasionally these Moto phones get a little flummoxed and you’ll have to hang around a couple of seconds, waiting for them to catch up. Certainly nothing serious, although this is particularly disappointing from the Moto X4. For just a little extra cash you can grab the Honor 9, which boasts slick performance thanks to the premium Kirin chipset.

As for battery life, both blowers can survive a full day of regular use. You get support for TurboPower charge as well, so an hour at the plug gives close to a full recharge. However, only the Moto X4 has a Type-C USB port: the Moto G5s Plus sports the old-school micro USB, which isn’t reversible and means slower data transfer.

Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Cameras

The Moto G5s Plus was a pioneering device for Motorola, offering the company’s first dual lens rear snapper. This camera setup uses two 13-megapixel lenses which sit side-by-side to offer proper depth perception, for the new portrait-style mode.

We like that camera for everyday use, as you’ll see in our in-depth G5s Plus camera review. In low light it suffered, but snaps taken in decent light always look good. You can also shoot up to 4K resolution video for your home movie requirements.

The Moto X4 also uses a dual lens camera, this time a combo of 12-megapixel standard lens and 8-megapixel wide-angle. You can actively swap between the two at any time, depending on the viewpoint you need, and even use that wide-angle snapper for shooting video. This lens maxes out at Full HD 60 frames-per-second however, while the primary optics can record up to Ultra HD 4K resolution footage.

Once again low light is the camera’s weakness, although we’re happy with performance in most other circumstances. You also get quite an eclectic selection of bonus modes, including some bizarre AR face masks and - of course - the same portrait mode found on the G5s Plus.

Rounding off the camera tech is an 8-megapixel selfie snapper on the G5s Plus and 16-megapixel effort on the X4. Both front-facing cameras have an LED flash as well, to light up your mug when lights are low.

Check out our Moto X4 camera review for samples and all you need to know.

Moto X4 vs Moto G5s Plus: Video

Here’s our side-by-side comparison of the Moto X4 and Moto G5s Plus in video form, so you can see for yourself how they stack up.

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