Moto C vs Moto C Plus vs Moto G5 vs Moto G5 Plus: Which is best for me?

Motorola has just launched two new affordable mobiles, the Moto C and Moto C Plus, offering a full smartphone experience for around £100. But how do they compare to each other and the Moto G5 family in terms of specs, camera tech and the rest?

The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus are a pleasingly affordable way to enjoy quite premium features at a refreshingly low cost. However, your budget for a new blower might be quite tight, in which case you may be tempted by Motorola’s latest Moto C series instead.

Costing £89 and £109 respectively here in the UK, the Moto C and Moto C Plus trim some of those specs while retaining the core principle: a satisfying all-round smartphone experience for users who aren’t particularly demanding.

So what’s the difference between the Moto C and C Plus and should you look to the Moto G family instead? Here’s our full consensus.

Check out our guide to the best budget phones in 2017 for our pick of the best rival affordable handsets.

Moto C vs C Plus vs G5 vs G5 Plus: Specs

Phone Moto C Moto C Plus Moto G5 Moto G5 Plus
Screen size 5-inches 5-inches 5-inches 5.2-inches
Screen resolution 854×480 1280×720 1920×1080 1920×1080
Fingerprint sensor? No No Yes Yes
Processor MediaTek MT6737M MediaTek MT6737M Snapdragon 430 Snapdragon 625
Memory 1GB 1/2GB 2/3GB 3GB
Battery 2350mAh 4000mAh 2800mAh 3000mAh
OS Android 7.0 Android 7.0 Android 7.0 Android 7.0
Storage 16GB 16GB 16GB 32GB
microSD? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera 5MP 8MP 13MP 12MP
Front camera 2MP 2MP 5MP 5MP
4G support? Yes Yes Yes Yes
UK price £89 £109 From £159 From £249

Moto C vs C Plus vs G5 vs G5 Plus: Design

As you might have guessed from the names of these smartphones, the G5 Plus is a jump in size over the G5. Not that much of a leap however, as the 5.2-inch Moto G5 Plus is only marginally larger than the standard G5. To complicate matters, the Moto C and C Plus are actually identical in size at 5-inches.

All of these phones are therefore pleasingly compact compared with many rivals. That means they’re all simple enough to operate with a single hand and can slip into pretty much any pocket or bag. To further help matters, the latest Moto assistant app comes with a nifty one-handed mode. Check out our Moto G5 and G5 Plus tips and tricks guide for more info on this feature.

Both of the G5 handsets sport a solid and attractive metal frame, for a more premium look and feel despite those low asking prices. They’re tough enough to resist scratches and scuffs with ease. The Moto C and Moto C Plus rock a plastic body by comparison, which isn’t surprising given the £100-ish price tag. Hopefully they should prove quite tough though and you can pick up the Moto C and C Plus in black, gold or cherry finishes. The cherry model is particularly vibrant and dare we say cute as hell.

None of these Moto handsets are water resistant of course, as you might expect given the affordable cost. Keep them out of the bath or shower, to avoid wrecking your new portable pal.

Moto C vs C Plus vs G5 vs G5 Plus: Screen and media

When it comes to media chops, there’s a proper gulf between these Motorola handsets.

All four phones sport an IPS screen, with the G5 Plus’ proving slightly bigger than the others at 5.2-inches. Both the Moto G5 and G5 Plus boast great viewing angles, a strong overall brightness and while they aren’t the most vivid panels around, you can expect realistic image reproduction. That’s further helped by the Full HD 1920×1080 resolution, which offers strong detail levels when viewing photos and video.

The Moto C handsets will likely sport perfectly respectable budget panels, if the Moto E series is anything to go by. The Moto C Plus offers 720p HD visuals, so you’ll still get quite crisp image reproduction, but you can also expect more muted colours and narrower viewing angles. Meanwhile the Moto C makes do with a very basic 854×480 FWVGA resolution. In other words, it’s best suited to web browsing and other simple tasks rather than enjoying movies on the go.

All of these affordable Moto phones can have their on-board storage expanded via a microSD memory card, so you can carry around a rather large media collection wherever you roam.

Moto C vs C Plus vs G5 vs G5 Plus: Features and OS

If security is a key issue for you, good news: the Moto G5 and G5 Plus phones both pack a fingerprint sensor. This can be used to unlock your phone quickly and securely, without the need for PINs and passwords. Sadly the cheaper Moto C family relies on the old methods, which again isn’t surprising given that low, low asking price.

Thankfully there’s no difference when it comes to the operating system. The Moto G5 and G5 Plus as well as the Moto C and C Plus all run Android Nougat, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS. This is mostly presented in a vanilla format, with limited tinkering from Motorola.

That said, Moto has added a couple of cool bonus bits that are actually quite useful. For example, a selection of gesture controls allow you to quickly load the camera with just a flick of your wrist and even shrink the size of your apps and desktops for easier one-handed use – something we previously mentioned. You can also mute a call instantly by flipping any of these mobiles over.

Moto C vs C Plus vs G5 vs G5 Plus: Performance and battery life

When it comes to power under the bonnet, the Moto C and C Plus really show their budget roots. Both of these blowers offer quite simple, straightforward performance with their Mediatek MT6737 chipsets, backed by just one or two gigs of RAM. Android should run smoothly enough as it’s a vanilla version, but we reckon you’ll see the occasional pause and stutter when loading and playing with apps.

This is purely hypothetical of course based on similar handsets, and we’ll publish our full experience in our in-depth Moto C and Moto C Plus review.

Bump up your budget to the Moto G handsets and you can of course expect some improved all-round performance. The Moto G5 sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 processor, a solid choice for affordable smartphones. Pretty much all recent games run with a smooth enough frame rate. You get a choice of 2 or 3GB of RAM and personally we’d recommend opting for the latter, if your wallet is fat enough.

As for the Moto G5 Plus, you get another step up in specs, in the form of the Snapdragon 625. Backed by 3GB of RAM, this is a great performer for the price and should survive the test of time quite nicely.

So how about battery life? Well, the Moto G5 Plus once again trumps the Moto G5, offering close to two days of life compared with roughly 24 hours. The Moto C will hopefully make it through at least 24 hours with its 2350mAh battery, but the dark horse in this round-up is the Moto C Plus. This budget blower crams in a massive 4000mAh battery, which is almost as enormous and impressive as the Lenovo P2‘s mighty 5000mAh cell. At almost half the price of Lenovo’s own-brand handset, the Moto C Plus could be a natural choice for anyone after long life between charges.

Moto C vs C Plus vs G5 vs G5 Plus: Cameras

The Moto G5 already sports one of the finest cameras at the sub-£200 price point. The 13-megapixel rear shooter can capture great-looking photos on full auto mode even with more challenging environmental conditions. Full HD video shot in our tests were just as impressive and you get a small selection of features like slow motion video for funky results.

Of course, if you’re after one of the best budget mobile cameras around, we’d suggest the Moto G5 Plus. This 12-megapixel snapper boasts an f/1.7 aperture lens with Dual Pixel autofocus, just like the full-priced Samsung Galaxy S7. It’s incredibly fast to focus and can capture stunning levels of detail, even at night.

Check out our Moto G5 camera review and Moto G5 Plus camera review for all you need to know.

The Moto C and Moto C Plus definitely offer a more budget camera experience, although hopefully they’ll still do the job for simple shareable pics.

The Moto C packs a 5-megapixel snapper with LED flash that can shoot up to 720p HD video. And while the 2-megapixel front camera may be very simple, you do get an LED flash for those night selfies.

Meanwhile the Moto C Plus sports the same 2-megapixel selfie camera with flash, but bumps up the rear shooter to an 8-megapixel effort. This once again tops out at 720p HD video.

Stay tuned for our full Moto C and Moto C Plus camera reviews.

Moto C vs C Plus vs G5 vs G5 Plus: UK price and availability

Pricing for the Moto C and Moto G phones is as follows.

Moto C – £89

Moto C Plus – £109

Moto G5 – From £159

Moto G5 Plus – From £249

You can buy the Moto G5 and G5 Plus right now in the UK, but the Moto E4 and E4 Plus won’t be released until later in the Spring. We’ll update when we have an exact UK release date.