Motorola currently offers two Moto Cs, three Moto Es, four Moto Gs, the Moto Z and the Moto One so working out which Moto is right for you is no easy task. Luckily, we've done all the hard work for you.
Which is the best Moto phone?
To make it easy to pick apart, we're starting with the summary at the beginning rather than the end. If you want more details and to see how the phones compare in each category, then feel free to read on down the page.
- The Moto C range are very much entry-spec devices. Only really consider them as a first phone or if you don't really plan to spend a huge amount of time using it. The C Plus has a big battery though.
- The Moto E range brings bigger display sizes in a 18:9 aspect. They are good looking phones that cover all the bases, potentially making them a good candidate for kids. The E5 Plus also has a huge battery for not a lot of money.
- The Moto G series brings even bigger displays within reasonable footprints, along with premium glass designs and dual cameras in the case of the G7 and G7 Plus. The G7 Power also brings good features along with a huge battery for under £200.
- The Moto Z range is the flagship series, but the Z3 Play is not currently available to buy. It has a super slim body, dual cameras, the same power as the G7 Plus and it comes with Moto Mod accessories.
Pick of the bunch? It looks like the Moto G7 Plus is the one to shoot for, it will be available from 1 March and we'll bring you a full review as soon as we can.
Moto phones: Design compared
- All ranges have similar design with circular rear camera and flash array
- All have fingerprint sensors, except Moto C
- No current models have waterproofing
All Moto devices offer a similar design, but materials and features vary depending on the range. The Moto C range sits at the cheap end, while the Moto Z is the most premium, offering Moto Mod compatibility.
A rear circular camera and flash array appears in some form on all the devices, except the Moto One. All the models also have the signature "M" on the rear. On some devices the "M" doubles up as a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor - the Moto E5 and Moto G7 ranges. Others have a pill-shaped fingerprint sensor on the front under the display, while the Moto Z3 Play has the fingerprint sensor on the side.
The Moto C doesn't have a fingerprint scanner and has a plastic back, fitting its cheaper positioning. The Moto E5 Play - a US exclusive model - is also plastic, as is the Moto G7 Play.
Metal is used for the bodies of the Moto E5, E5 Plus and Moto Z3 Play, though a higher grade of aluminium and more seamless design appears in the Z range.
The Moto G7, G7 Plus and Moto One all have glass backs, though only the discontinued Moto X4 carried an official IP68 water protection rating, while the current Moto models use a nano-coating for splash resistance.
Below is how all the Moto models fare against each other in terms of measurements and weight:
- Moto C: 145.5 x 73.6 x 9mm, 154g
- Moto C Plus: 144 x 72.3 x 10mm, 162g
- Moto E5 Play: 151 x 74 x 8.85mm, 150g
- Moto E5: 154.4 × 72.2 × 8.95mm, 174g
- Moto E5 Plus: 160.9 x 75.3 x 9.35mm, 197g
- Moto One: 150 × 72 × 7.97mm, 162g
- Moto G7 Play: 147.31 x 71.5 x 7.99mm, 149g
- Moto G7 Power: 159.43 x 76 x 9.3 mm, 193g
- Moto G7: 157 x 75.3 x 8 mm, 172g
- Moto G7 Plus: 157 x 75.3 x 8.3mm, 176g
- Moto Z3 Play: 156.5 x 76.5 x 6.75mm, 156g
The smallest overall is the Moto C Plus; the largest overall is the Moto G7 Power. In terms of design the Moto C, Moto E5 Play and Moto G7 Play have a noticeably "affordable" build.
The Moto Z is designed for Moto Mods, giving it flexibility, but you have to buy those accessories too and it leaves the phone with a mostly flat back. The Moto G7 and G7 Plus hit a sweet spot in great design and build without the price tag.
Some of the design is dictated by the display and as we detail below, some of these phones have the new 19:9 aspect, some use 18:9 and some of the older models are 16:9.
Motorola phones: Displays compared
- Smallest displays on Moto C
- Largest displays from G7 models
The Moto C and Moto C Plus have 5-inch displays, the smallest of the lot. They are 16:9, as is the Moto X4 and the Moto E5 Play.
The Moto E5, E5 Plus and Moto Z3 Play all opt for 18:9 displays, so you get slightly larger displays without the body of the phone increasing too much.
The four models in the Moto G7 range and the Moto One meanwhile, are all 19:9, meaning you'll again see yet more display within the footprint thanks to notched displays. The G7, G7 Plus and G7 Power all have 6.2-inch screens, making them the largest in the Moto family. The G7 and G7 Plus have a tear drop notch, while the G7 Power, G7 Play and Moto One have a wider notch.
Resolution and pixel densities differ across the ranges too. Below are the resolutions for each device, along with their pixel densities:
- Moto C: 5-inch, 16:9 854 x 480 pixels, 196ppi
- Moto C Plus: 5-inch, 16:9 1280 x 720 pixels, 294ppi
- Moto E5 Play: 5.2-inch, 16:9 1280 x 720 pixels, 282ppi
- Moto E5: 5.7-inch, 18:9 1440 x 720 pixels, 282ppi
- Moto E5 Plus: 6-inch, 18:9 1440 x 720 pixels, 268ppi
- Moto One: 5.9-inch, 19:9 1520 x 720 pixels, 287ppi
- Moto G7 Play: 5.7-inch, 19:9 1512 x 720, 294ppi
- Moto G7 Power: 6.2-inch, 19:9 1570 x 720, 279ppi
- Moto G7: 6.2-inch, 19:9 2270 x 1080, 403ppi
- Moto G7 Plus: 6.2-inch, 19:9 2270 x 1080, 403ppi
- Moto Z3 Play: 6.01-inch, 18:9 2160 x 1080 pixels, 403ppi
The Moto C display is the smallest, it's also a low resolution, a drawback of Moto's most affordable device. The C Plus ups the display to HD, as does the E5 Play.
The E5, E5 Plus and Moto One have HD+ displays, also found on the G7 Play and G7 Power, but when you hit the Moto G7 and Moto G7 Plus there's a jump to 2270 x 1080 pixels, which means these phones are going to look sharper and more detailed than all others above it on the list.
The Moto Z3 Play switches to AMOLED over LCD for better contrast, but it has the same pixel density as the Moto G7 and G7 Plus.
Moto Z, G, E, C, One: Cameras stats
- Dual cameras on G7, G7 Plus, One and Z3 Play
- G7 Play and Power offer portrait mode with single sensor
There's massive variance across the Moto range when it comes to the cameras. There is everything from basic fixed focus on the Moto C up to dual cameras on the higher models, with a huge range of different features offered.
Below is a breakdown of the front and rear camera specs for each Moto device, along with their video recording capabilities:
- Moto C: 5MP rear (fixed focus, LED flash, 720p video), 2MP front
- Moto C Plus: 8MP rear (f/2.2, auto focus, LED flash, 720p video), 2MP front
- Moto E5 Play: 8MP rear (f/2.0, 1.12µm, fixed focus, LED flash, 1080p video), 5MP front
- Moto E5: 13MP rear (f/2.0, 1.12µm, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p video), 5MP front
- Moto E5 Plus: 12MP rear (f/2.0, 1.25µm, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p video), 5MP front
- Moto One: 13MP + 2MP (f/2.0, 1.12µm, PDAF, LED flash, 4K video), 8MP front
- Moto G7 Play: 13MP rear (f/2.0, 1.12µm, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p video), 8MP front
- Moto G7 Power: 12MP rear (f/2.0, 1.25µm, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p video), 8MP front
- Moto G7: 12MP + 5MP rear (f/1.8, 1.25µm, PDAF, LED flash, 4K video), 8MP front
- Moto G7 Plus: 16MP + 5MP rear (f/1.7, 1.22µm, PDAF, OIS, LED flash, 4K video), 8MP front
- Moto Z3 Play: 12MP + 5MP rear (f/1.7, 1.4µm, dual pixel AF, LAF, PDAF, colour-correlated temperature dual LED flash, 4K), 8MP front
So, the Moto C looks very basic, bettered slightly by the C Plus and E5 Play.
Then you have single camera options on the E5, G7 Play and G7 Power, but of the three, the G7 Power (on paper) is likely to be a better low light performer because of the larger pixels on the sensor. Despite offering single sensors, the G7 Play and G7 Power can also offer Portrait Mode too for blurry background images.
The Moto One, Moto Z3 Play, Moto G7 and Moto G7 Plus all have a dual rear camera, though the Moto G7 Plus adds optical image stabilisation. All four have the second sensor for depth mapping, also allowing for bokeh images like the G7 Play and G7 Power, but they pull on hardware rather than software like the Play and Power.
In terms of video, the G7, G7 Plus, One and Z3 Play all offer up to 4K recording.
Of course, the specs can only tell you so much and in reality, you need to read about the performance of these cameras in the respective reviews. At a glance, however, we get the feeling that at the time of writing, the Moto G7 Plus is going to be the most attractive option, especially as it also comes with a Smart Composition feature to help you get better composed images automatically.
Hello Moto: Hardware comparison
- Moto Z3 Play and G7 Plus have most capable processor
- Moto G7 Power and E5 Plus have largest battery capacity
- Moto C range doesn't have NFC for mobile payments
Like many features, hardware specifications generally improve the further up the ranges you go. The Moto C range is sits on a MediaTek platform, while all the other models use Qualcomm.
With Qualcomm comes faster battery charging, but the three entry-level devices still offer removable batteries. Here's how the hardware breaks down:
- Moto C: 1.1GHz MediaTek processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD up to 32GB, 2350mAh removable battery
- Moto C Plus: 1.3GHz MediaTek processor, 1/2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD up to 32GB, 4000mAh removable battery
- Moto E5 Play: 1.4GHz Qualcomm SD425/427, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 2800mAh removable battery
- Moto E5: 1.4GHz Qualcomm SD425, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 4000mAh battery
- Moto E5 Plus: 1.4GHz Qualcomm SD425, 2/3GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 5000mAh battery
- Moto One: 2GHz Qualcomm SD625, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up 256GB, 3000mAh battery
- Moto G7 Play: 1.8GHz Qualcomm SD632, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD up to 512GB, 3000mAh battery
- Moto G7 Power: 1.8GHz Qualcomm SD632, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up to 512GB, 5000mAh battery
- Moto G7: 1.8GHz Qualcomm SD632, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up to 512GB, 3000mAh battery
- Moto G7 Plus: 1.8GHz Qualcomm SD636, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up to 512GB, 3000mAh battery
- Moto Z3 Play: 1.8GHz Qualcomm SD636, 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage, microSD up to 2TB, 3000mAh battery
There's a lot to digest here, but let's start with battery: the Moto E5 Plus and G7 Power have huge 5000mAh batteries, the largest of the range. Although there are large screens at 6 inches plus, we suspect these will out-last most other phones - especially in the case of the G7 Power that claims to offer up to 60-hours mixed use.
The Moto G7 Plus is surprisingly powerful, more-so than the G7, sitting on the same platform as the Moto Z3 Play - basically, from a hardware point of view, it betters all the other Moto devices and it's in-line with the current flagship. It also offers a 27W charger in the box, offering 12 hours of charge in 15 minutes.
- Android Pie with Motorola apps pre-installed on most
- Moto One runs Android One
- Some extra features on higher end ranges
The latest Motorola devices launch on Android Pie while most of the older models will eventually get an update to the latest build if they haven't already. It depends on your region, model and operator. You can check the Android Pie list in our separate feature.
The exception is the Moto One, which runs on Android One, meaning no bloatware at all. All the other Moto devices run on a very clean version of Android though, with only a couple of extra Motorola-specific apps pre-installed. The experience should be similar across the board though there will be a couple of extra features as you go up the ranges and the Moto One will differ slightly.
Motorola phone prices
There is a lot of regional variation in Moto models that are available. We've listed the prices here for the UK, so for example, the Moto E5 Play isn't included, because it's not available in the UK. You can find it in the US here.
- Moto C: £80
- Moto C Plus: £90
- Moto E5: £119
- Moto E5 Plus: £149
- Moto One: £199
- Moto G7 Play: £149
- Moto G7 Power: £179
- Moto G7: £239
- Moto G7 Plus: £279
- Moto Z3 Play: To be confirmed
As we say in the summary at the top of the page, the Moto G7 Plus looks to have the best balance of hardware and features for the price.