There are two Moto Cs, two/three Moto Es, three Moto Gs, the Moto X and two Moto Zs at the moment and based on rumours, that won't be the last we hear from the Lenovo-owned company before the year is out, with Moto Z and X replacements to come.
With so many Moto phones available, working out which Moto is right for you is no easy task. Luckily, we've done all the hard work for you.
We've compared the Moto C, Moto E, Moto G, Moto X and Moto Z ranges to help you work out the differences between an £80 Moto device and a flagship Moto.
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 is very much an entry-spec device. The price has dropped since launch, as has the C Plus, but only really consider it as a first phone or if you don't really plan to spend a huge amount of time using it - the big battery in the C Plus should mean it lasts you well, however.
- The Moto E5 is a healthy update over the Moto E4 bringing bigger display sizes in that fancy new 18:9 aspect - so these are good looking phones, covering all the bases. Looking for something affordable for your kids? The Moto E5 might well be it - with the E5 Plus having a massive battery for not a lot of money, ideal for those who want endurance at low cost.
- The Moto G6 brings a display resolution bump as well as a dual camera, so for £219 you get a lot of phone for your money. There's an Amazon exclusive model that bumps up the RAM and storage a little for £239 - but that's then close to the Moto G6 Plus - which looks like a cracker of a phone.
- The Moto G6 Plus has a large display, but it's also powerful - more powerful than the Moto X and the Moto Z2 Play - so a very worthy device if you can jump for £269. It's widely available on contract too, so you might get a great deal on it - but it's a solid-looking mid-ranger.
- The Z2 Force remains as the flagship, but it's getting old and for the asking price there are lots of other phones you could consider - where most of Moto's range is at the affordable end, it's the outsider - unless you're really interested in Moto Mod accessories.
Pick of the bunch? It looks like the Moto G6 Plus is the one to shoot for, it will be available from 9 May 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
- Only the Moto X has an IP waterproof rating
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 range is the most premium, offering Moto Mod compatibility. Generally speaking, Play is more basic (with a big battery) while Plus is a larger option.
A rear circular camera and flash array appears in some form on all the devices, along with the signature "M" beneath and usually, a pill-shaped fingerprint sensor on the front under the display. The new Moto E5 is a little more interesting - as is the G6 Play - with the fingerprint sensor incorporated into Moto logo on the rear.
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.
Metal is used for the bodies of the Moto E5, E5 Plus and Moto Z models, though a higher grade of aluminium and more seamless design appears as you go up the range. The more expensive devices like the Moto Z2 Play and Z2 Force are stronger, especially in the case of the Z2 Force which offers a shatterproof display.
The Moto X4 has a glass back and is the only Moto device that carries an official IP68 water protection rating, while others use nano-coating for protection - but not to the same degree as the X. The new Moto G6 models also have a glass back, with similar premium looks to the X4.
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 G6 Play: 154.4 x 72.2 x 9mm, 175g
- Moto G6: 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm, 167g
- Moto G6 Plus: 160 x 75.5 x 8.0mm, 167g
- Moto X: 148.35 x 73.4 x 7.99mm, 163g
- Moto Z2 Play: 156.2 x 76.2 x 6mm, 145g
- Moto Z2 Force: 155.8 x 76 x 6.1mm, 143g
The smallest overall is the Moto C Plus; the largest overall is the Moto G6 Plus (ok, the E5 Play is larger, but it's mostly bezel). In terms of design the Moto C and Moto E5 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 new Moto G6 hits a sweet spot in great design and build - although the big batteries make for a heavier phone. That's probably worth the trade-off, however.
But some of the design is dictated by the display and as we detail below, some of these phones have the new 18:9 aspect, whereas some of the older models are 16:9.
Motorola phones: Displays compared
- Moto E5 and Moto G introduces 18:9 displays
- Smallest displays on Moto C
- Largest displays from E and G Plus models
- Moto Z2 Force has sharpest, strongest and most vibrant display
The Moto C and Moto C Plus have 5-inch displays, the smallest of the lot. They are 16:9, as is the Moto X and Moto Z2 models - and the Moto E5 Play.
The other new models in the E5 and G6 ranges introduce 18:9 display, so you're getting a larger display without the body of the phone increasing too much - hence those 5.7 and 6-inch sizes.
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 G6 Play: 5.7-inch, 18:9 1440 x 720 pixels, 282ppi
- Moto G6: 5.7-inch, 18:9 2160 x 1080 pixels, 423ppi
- Moto G6 Plus: 5.9-inch, 18:9 2160 x 1080 pixels, 409ppi
- Moto X: 5.2-inch, 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 423ppi
- Moto Z2 Play: 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 401ppi
- Moto Z2 Force: 5.5-inch, 2560 x 1440, 534ppi
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 is the E5 Play.
The E5 and E5 Plus have HD+ displays, also found on the G6 Play, but when you hit the Moto G6 there's a jump to 2160 x 1080 pixels, which means this phone is going to look sharper and more detailed than all others above it on the list. The Moto X slips in alongside the G6 and G6 Plus, but is smaller with a 16:9 aspect so looks a little dated by modern standards.
The Moto Z2 switches to AMOLED over LCD for better contrast, but it's the flagship Moto Z2 Force which has the highest resolution. Does that matter? You'll probably find that the Moto G6 and G6 Plus are just as attractive.
ShatterShield glass protection is found on the Z2 Force designed to protect this phone a little better.
Moto Z, X, G, E, C: Cameras stats
- Dual cameras on G6, G6 Plus, X and Z2 Force
- Moto X offers wide-angle camera
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 G6 Play: 13MP rear (f/2.0, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p video), 8MP front
- Moto G6: 12MP + 5MP rear (f/1.8, depth detection and effects, LED flash, 1080p video), 8MP front
- Moto G6 Plus: 12MP + 5MP rear (f/1.7, depth detection and effects, dual pixel AF, 4K video), 8MP front
- Moto X: 12MP + 8MP ultra-wide rear (f/2.0, 1.4µm; f/2.2, 1.12µm ultra-wide, PDAF, LED flash, 4K video), 16MP front
- Moto Z2 Play: 12MP rear (f/1.7, 1.4µm, dual pixel AF, LAF, PDAF, colour-correlated temperature dual LED flash, 720p), 5MP front
- Moto Z2 Force: Dual 12MP rear (f/2.0, depth detection and effects, PDAF, LAF, colour-correlated temperature dual-LED flash, 4K video), 5MP 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 and G6 Play, but of the two, the G6 Play (on paper) is likely to be a better low light performer because of the larger pixels on the sensor.
The Moto Z2 Play also has a single camera, but offers dual pixel technology, which aims to give you better focusing. The strange thing here is limited resolution video capture. But the 12MP camera is likely the same as the 12MP sensor that sits in the Moto G6 Plus with the same specs - but that new phone also has the second 5MP camera for depth mapping.
The Moto Z2 Force also has a dual camera with two 12MP sensors, but has a smaller aperture than the Moto G6 models and the Z2 Play - but it does offer 4K video capture.
The Moto X was the first dual camera model for Moto, but is something of an orphan now - it's the only model offering an ultra-wide second camera.
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 G6 Plus is going to be the most attractive option.
Hello Moto: Hardware comparison
- Moto Z2 Force has most capable processor, but no 3.5mm headphone jack
- Moto E4 Plus has largest battery capacity
- Moto E, Moto G and Moto Z ranges have NFC, Moto C range doesn't
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 Snapdragon 425/427, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 2800mAh removable battery
- Moto E5: 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 4000mAh battery
- Moto E5 Plus: 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, 2/3GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 5000mAh battery
- Moto G6 Play: 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 4000mAh battery
- Moto G6: 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, 3/4GB RAM, 34/64GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 3000mAh battery
- Moto G6 Plus: 2.2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 4/6GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up to 128GB, 3200mAh battery
- Moto X: 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD up to 2TB, 3000mAh battery
- Moto Z2 Play: 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD support up to 2TB, 3000mAh battery
- Moto Z2 Force: 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD support up to 2TB, 2730mAh battery
There's a lot to digest here, but let's start with battery: the Moto E5 Plus has a huge 5000mAh battery, the largest of the range. Although there's a large screen at 6 inches, we suspect this will out-last most other phones.
The Moto G6 Plus is surprisingly powerful, more-so than the G6, sitting on the same platform as the Moto X and the Z2 Play - basically, from a hardware point of view, it betters all those devices right up until you hit the Moto Z2 Force.
For out-and-out performance, the Z2 Force is the flagship with flagship hardware, but of the remaining devices, the G6 Plus is the next most interesting.
- Android Nougat with Motorola apps pre-installed on older phones
- Moto E5 and Moto G6 launching on Oreo
- Experience should be almost identical, though some extra features on higher end ranges
The new Moto E5 and G6 devices launch on Android Oreo. Updates for Moto X and Moto Z2 should be in the works - although it will depend on your region, model and operator, although Motorola suggests there will be updates to Oreo for these models in the UK.
For the Moto C models, there's no word on whether they will be updated to Oreo.
However, all the Moto devices run on Android with 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.
It's pretty much vanilla Android on Motorola smartphones so you don't get the same level of bloatware as you do with some other devices, such as Sony and LG.
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 G6 Play: £169
- Moto G6: £219 or £239 for 4/64GB Amazon exclusive
- Moto G6 Plus: £269
- Moto X: £199.99
- Moto Z2 Play: £379
- Moto Z2 Force: £699
As we say in the summary at the top of the page, the Moto G6 Plus looks to have the best balance of hardware and features for the price. Of course, you can check out all the best deals on the Moto G6 phones right here.