What phone should I get? Moto G4 Family Face-off

The latest addition to our portfolio is Motorola’s Moto G4 PLAY. This new-to-our-line-up phone rounds out the Moto G4 portfolio, giving you three different options to choose from when buying a phone from the Moto G4 line. The G4 portfolio also includes the Moto G4, and its slightly beefier version, the Moto G4 PLUS. All three of these phones are great choices, but you might be wondering – which one should you get? Good news, friend: We’ll walk you through the similarities and differences so you can decide which Moto G4 is right for you.

FeaturesMoto G4 PLAYMoto G4Moto G4 PLUS
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Internal Storage16GB16/32GB64GB
Fingerprint Sensor
Water-repellant nano-coating
Removable Battery
Rear Camera8MP13MP16MP
Rear Camera: dual-LED flash
Camera mode: Panorama
Camera mode: Slow motion
Camera mode: Professional mode
Camera mode: Video
Video recordings at 1080p

Basic Info

Let’s start with a basic introduction of each phone. The Moto G4 PLAY is an awesome budget phone, which can easily handle all your daily essentials, like calling, texting, and snapping photos. It’s available for the excellent price of just $149! 

The Moto G4 is the next model in the G4 line.

This is actually the phone I’m currently using, and I love it.

Like the G4 PLAY, the G4 will cover your day-to-day needs but has a better quality camera and an option for more internal memory. The 16GB model is $199, or if you’d like some extra storage, you can get the 32GB model for $229.

The Moto G4 PLUS is the top phone in the G4 line-up. This phone has more RAM, which means it can handle more tasks at once. If you like to multitask, game, or run lots of different apps at once, then the G4 PLUS is the right choice for you! You can buy the Moto G4 PLUS for $299.


All three of the phones come in black or white and have a water-repellent nano-coating. This coating makes the phone resistant to splashes. This does *not* mean they are water resistant however, so you’ll want to avoid getting them wet.

Black Moto G4 PLAY and white Moto G4 PLUS

As you might have noticed in the photo above, the Moto G4 PLAY is a bit smaller than the G4 and the G4 PLUS. It has a 5-inch screen, whereas the G4 and the G4 PLUS have 5.5-inch screens.

For some additional perspective, the Moto G4 PLAY is the same size as the Moto G (3rd Gen.) and is a half-inch larger than the 4.5-inch Moto G (1st Gen.). Check out the photo below to see the size differences.

From left to right: Moto G (1st Gen.), Moto G (3rd Gen.), Moto G4 PLAY, Moto G4, Moto G4 PLUS

From the photo above, you can also see that the Moto G4 PLUS has a fingerprint sensor on the front that allows you to unlock your phone with just the tap of your finger. The G4 and G4 PLAY, however, do not have this feature.

The Moto G4 line uses micro-USB chargers and all three devices have standard 3.5 mm headphone jacks. A charging cable comes in the box with each of the phones, so no need to worry if your current chargers are getting old!

While the G4 PLAY does not support TurboPower charging, both the G4 and G4 PLUS do support it.

This means they can charge up to 6 hours of power in just 15 minutes of charging!

They both have a three thousand milliamp hour battery, which should last you through the day.

General Specs

The G4 PLAY and G4 both have 2GB of RAM and 16 gigabytes of internal storage. The G4 also has a 32GB internal storage option. 2 gigs of RAM is perfect for the light-to-medium smartphone user. In other words, if you’re interested in a smartphone for just the basic calling, texting, and app usage, you will be well-covered by 2GB of RAM.

The Moto G4 PLUS is rocking 4GB of RAM and has 64GB of internal storage. This phone really packs a punch when it comes to usage, and will be a good choice for you if you like to run multiple apps at once, game, or frequently change tasks. You might also consider this phone if you’re a heavy social media user, as those apps tend to use a decent amount of memory. (On a side note, if you’re looking for some new games to play on your smartphone, check out some of our suggestions here!)

All three of these devices can support up to 128 gigabytes of expandable memory, so you’ll have plenty of storage space for photos and videos. SD cards also make it easy to transfer your files to your computer! Check out this blog for instructions on how to do that. As always, microSD cards are sold separately.

Each phone in the G4 line comes with Android 6.0 – also known as Marshmallow – and like all of the phones available at Republic, they can access fast, nationwide 4G LTE!


All three phones in the G4 portfolio feature both a rear camera and a front camera. The front cameras have identical specs – a 5-megapixel, wide-angle lens. The rear cameras, however, are a little different.

The Moto G4 PLAY has an 8-megapixel rear camera with a single LED flash. Your pictures will be good quality and the phone will fit all your basic photo and video needs, but you might prefer the G4 or G4 PLUS cameras if you are looking for higher quality photos and more photo options. In addition to slightly lower camera specs, the G4 PLAY has limited camera mode options compared to the G4 and G4 PLUS, but it is able to take panoramic shots and record videos. In other words, you will have more control over the quality if your photos with the G4 and G4 PLUS.

From left to right: photos taken by the G4 PLAY, G4, and G4 PLUS.

The Moto G4 has a 13-megapixel rear camera with a dual-LED flash.

This type of flash helps balance the colors in your photos, giving your sharper and more colorful pictures.

Due to the higher megapixel count, your photos will also be more clear than those taken with a Moto G4 PLAY.

The Moto G4 also has more camera options than the G4 PLAY. Like the PLAY, you can take videos and panorama shots. You can also take slow motion videos and use the professional mode.

Left: Moto G4 PLAY camera menu / Right: Moto G4 and G4 PLUS camera menu

Professional mode lets you have a more hands-on camera experience by giving you options to adjust specific camera settings, like the white balance or the ISO.

From left to right: photos taken by the G4 PLAY, G4, and G4 PLUS.

The Moto G4 PLUS has a 16-megapixel rear camera and, like the G4, a dual-LED flash. Pictures with this phone will be the sharpest of the three phone cameras It also has the same camera mode options as the Moto G4.

All three phones can record 1080p videos at 30 frames per second.


One of the unique features on the Moto G4 PLAY is the removable battery. To remove the battery, you just need to pop off the back shell on the phone. No screwdrivers or pliers required! You can see the difference in the picture below between the removable battery in the G4 PLAY, and the non-removable, built-in battery in the Moto G4 and G4 PLUS.

Built-in battery in the Moto G4 PLUS / Right: Removable battery in the Moto G4 PLAY

The bottom line. Which should I choose?

All three of these phones fit very nicely in their respective budget ranges, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

The Moto G4 PLAY is going to be a great choice for the budget-conscious, light smartphone user. If you’re looking for a phone that can reliably cover all the smartphone basics, this is the phone for you.

The Moto G4 is a superb choice for the medium smartphone user. It covers all the basics with the bonus of having a nicer camera, larger screen, and more internal storage than the Moto G4 PLAY.

The Moto G4 PLUS is an excellent option for the heavy smartphone user who doesn’t want to break the bank. If camera quality is one of the features you value most, or you’re a heavy app user and multitasker, consider picking up the Moto G4 PLUS.

Thanks for checking out our comparison of the three phones in the Moto G4 line! As always, please drop any questions in the comments section below.

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15 thoughts on “What phone should I get? Moto G4 Family Face-off”

    1. They all will! You’ll just need to check with the international carrier you’re planning to use to make sure the phone supports the bands that the carrier uses.

  1. I have a 1st gen Moto X and I think it’s time to upgrade. I want a better camera for low light with sharper images for one and the other (BIG) issue is I want better call quality. I’m not sure it it’s the phone or the carrier that makes the difference. My calls are frequently static-filled, unclear, and fail to make the connection.It’s the most irritating feature of my phone! How do I know what phone to choose?

    1. Hi Nancy! All great questions here and I’m happy to help you out. First I want to address the call quality. The quality depends on a lot of different factors, so we’d have to do some troubleshooting with you to determine what’s making the calls so static-y. Something you can try now is making sure both your Republic and Telephony apps are completely up to date. If those apps are out of date, call quality can be affected. If you’re still having issues with call quality despite the apps being up to date, and would like to have our Help team look into them, you can drop them a note here: http://republicwi.re/1Nmh74r

      Now, for your question about which phone should you get, what it will come down to is both budget and UI of your phone. If you’re wanting to stay in the Moto X line, you can check out the Moto X Pure: http://republicwi.re/2duV56W It’s got a fantastic camera and would be a significant upgrade to your Moto X (1st Gen.).

      If you’re considering investing into a higher end device, both the Moto Z and the Samsung Galaxy S7 (and S7 edge) take fantastic photos. Check out our other blog to see some example photos from the Moto Z (and the Moto Z Play): https://pwk.republicwireless.com/what-phone-should-i-get-moto-z-vs-moto-z-play/

      Let me know if you have more questions!

    2. Yes Nancy, I find that an all to common frequent occurance; even when I have a strong known base line wi-fi reference signal as verified by my 11.5 inch android tablet; what I do Nancy is I often time find that when I switch and force the smart phone to go to the Sprint cell tower by turning off the Wi-Fi entirely; I get a much clearer quality call and I have verified this by calling someone long distance in Florida using both Wi-Fi signal only and Sprint Cell Tower Signal only and Sprint Cell Tower Signal is more times than not clearly superior in real life; so what I do regularly now is prior to making any phone call I automatically switch and force my smartphone into Sprint Cell Tower Signal only mode; and then it works just great and the level of quality of calls being made improves greatly; give it a try and see for yourself by doing ones own extensive telephone quality trials also as well as I have done already!

  2. I also have a 1st generation Moto X and will need a new phone sometime soon. Republic Wireless needs to offer a new basic, solid, no-frills smartphone for those of us who want to continue on PLAN 2.0 rather being forced into Plan 3.0.

  3. Moto G first Gen is not worth getting.. this is why.
    It ships with Android 5.1 “Lollipop”
    All LTE variants have 8 GB storage with expandable memory..HOWEVER you have no promise of getting this phone, and instead one of 3G

    The 3G variant ships with a tiny 2.17BG of space.
    not counting Cached data, Audio( your reinstalled ringtones) you are looking at around 1GB of usable storage space. Be prepared to install at the max 2 apps, and have to disable several built apps to do anything.

    the real kicker however will come in the form of OTA or over air update.
    you see the next generation moto was equipped with Android Marshmellow, and it was released as a update for the first generation phone..which simply cannot take it.

    However your phone doesn’t know this and will display a persistent notification asking you again..,and again..and again to accept the update.

    Once you accept the update, your phone will constantly complain that it is ”out of space” which it is.
    So how about SD cards?

    without rooting the phone and doing some tweaks, it will not use the SD card as ram.
    ram is in short, what lets your phone run quickly.
    without ram the apps will freeze for moments on end with the 400 quad-core processor trying frantically to load your requested action.

    SD cards also will not allow you to save a app into them (again without modification)
    meaning you are indeed stuck with the tiny phones memory bank.

    and that’s if your SD card will load in the first place! because of how the card is read it will reject a SD card, wanting you to format it first before reading. (the reasons are technical to explain to end user)
    the short meaning is use a SD card that is blank, and don’t expect to be able to download anything anyway as the browser (chrome) is ram hungry.. and the phone is out of ram remember?

    Turning on developer mode and disabling screen animations helps, but is the equivalent of putting a band aid on a amputated leg. the device simply is out of space, and there’s nothing the average user can do.

    In my case, using android development manager I was able to roll-back to the prior install, disable the flag to download new update and fix the sinking ship.. but I eagerly await the day my replacement comes.

    in short, do NOT use the Moto G first generation. Its a phone that development was pushed towards the next generation phone, and the updates to its successor will ruin it.

  4. The Moto G4 PLUS sounds like the right phone for me according to this article published less than a month ago, but I see that it has already been discontinued by Republic Wireless less than a year after its introduction. What happened to it?

    1. Hi, apologies for the delay in replying to you. I missed your comment until now! We have not discontinued it – we still support it 🙂 We have simply stocked out and will not be getting any more in stock. Motorola is no longer manufacturing the device since the next phone (Moto G5 Plus) is available now. But, anyone with a G4 PLUS can still bring it to Republic!

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