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May 19, 2017

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Which budget Moto phone is right for you?

by John_A

Motorola has already announced several smartphones this year, including two new Moto Gs and two Moto Cs. Based on the rumours though, that won’t be the last we hear from the Lenovo-owned company this year with a new Moto E and new Moto X also claimed to be in the pipeline.

With so many Moto phones available and three ranges sitting in what is considered the mid-range or budget end of the market, which is the right Moto for you?

We have put the new Moto C and Moto C Plus up against last year’s Moto E and 2017’s Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus to help you work out the differences between a £90 Moto device and a £250 Moto.

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Design

  • Moto C and Moto G ranges have new design with circular rear camera and flash array
  • Moto E is smallest, slimmest and lightest, while Moto C Plus is heaviest
  • Moto G range has fingerprint sensor, Moto C and Moto E don’t

The Moto C and C Plus and the Moto G5 and G5 Plus all feature a newer design than the 2016 Moto E, as you would expect. The Moto G devices have full metal bodies and a large circular camera and flash array on the rear, with the signature “M” positioned beneath and a fingerprint sensor situated on the front.

The Moto C devices have a similar large circular camera array on the rear, again with the signature “M” beneath, while the Moto E still as the “M” on the rear to distinguish it as a Moto device but the camera and flash are in an oblong housing rather than circular. There is no fingerprint sensor on the Moto C devices or the Moto E and they have a more plastic finish compared to the G range.

The Moto E3 measures 143.8 x 71.6 x 8.6mm, which makes it the smallest and slimmest of the devices being compared here, as well as the lightest at 140.6g. The largest is the Moto G5 Plus at 150.2 x 74mm with a curved rear between 7.7mm and 9.7mm, while the heaviest is the Moto C Plus at 162g.

  • Moto G5 Plus review 

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Display

  • All 5-inch IPS LCD displays, except Moto G5 Plus which has 5.2-inch
  • Moto G5 has sharpest display, Moto C has softest
  • Corning Gorilla Glass protection on Moto G5 Plus and Moto E3

All the devices being compared in this feature have a 5-inch display, except for the Moto G5 Plus which has a slightly larger 5.2-inch screen. Resolution is different across the ranges though.

The Moto G and G Plus both have Full HD displays, putting their pixel densities at 441ppi and 424ppi, respectively. The Moto E3 and the Moto C Plus both have HD displays at 1280 x 720, resulting in a slightly lower pixel densities of 294ppi. The Moto C reduces its resolution further to 854 x 480 pixels for a pixel density of 196ppi.

The Moto G and Moto G Plus will therefore offer slightly sharper, crisper images in comparison to the other three devices. The Moto C Plus and Moto E will follow in terms of sharpness, while the Moto C will have the softest display of the device being compared here.  

All five devices have IPS LCD displays. The Moto G5 Plus and the Moto E3 are both protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Motorola hasn’t specified any protection for the Moto C or C Plus, while the Moto G5 is said to come with scratch resistance but no specific grade is mentioned.

  • Moto G5 preview

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Cameras

  • Moto G5 Plus has most capable rear snapper
  • Moto G5 and G5 Plus have most capable front cameras
  • No flash on Moto E3 front camera, but there is on Moto C and Moto G ranges

The Moto G5 Plus has the most capable rear camera of the devices in this feature with a 12-megapixel sensor, offering an f/1.7 aperture, dual LED flash and 4K video recording capabilities.

The Moto G5 follows closely behind with a 13-megapixel rear sensor, slightly narrower f/2.0 aperture, single LED flash and 1080p video recording capabilities. Both these devices have 5-megapixel front cameras with an f/2.2 aperture and a display flash.

The Moto E3 and Moto C Plus take things down a notch to an 8-megapixel rear camera, LED flash, autofocus and 720p video recording capabilities, while the Moto C drops its rear snapper resolution to 5-megapixels and fixed focus, but it retains an LED flash and 720p video recording.

Like the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, the Moto E3 has a 5-megapixel front facing camera but it doesn’t have a display flash so night time selfies will be trickier. The Moto C and Moto C Plus both have 2-megapixel front cameras but they do offer an LED flash. 

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Hardware

  • Moto G5 Plus has most powerful processor, more RAM and more storage
  • Moto C Plus has largest battery capacity 
  • Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus have NFC, others don’t

The Moto G5 Plus takes the accolade for the most powerful hardware in this feature, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset under its hood, supported by 3GB of RAM. The Moto G5 takes a slight power hit, though not much, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor and either 2GB or 3GB of RAM depending on the model.

The Moto E3 is the oldest of the devices being compared, therefore offering less impressive hardware with a 1.0GHz MediaTek processor and 1GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the Moto C has a 1.1GHz MediaTek processor and 1GB of RAM and the Moto C Plus has a 1.3GHz MediaTek chip and either 1GB or 2GB of RAM. 

In terms of storage, the E3 only comes in an 8GB option, while the Moto C, Moto C Plus and Moto G5 offer 16GB. The G5 Plus has the most internal storage at 32GB. All five devices offer microSD support for storage expansion but the Moto C, Moto C Plus and Moto E3 can only be expanded up to 32GB, while the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus will offer up to 128GB.

Battery capacity is pretty much on par across the five devices too, except in the case of the Moto C Plus which has the largest by far at 4000mAh. The Moto E3 and G5 have 2800mAh capacities, while the G5 Plus has a 3000mAh battery and the Moto C has the smallest at 2350mAh. It’s also worth mentioning that the Moto C, C Plus and E3’s batteries are all removable.

The Moto G5 and G5 Plus both have NFC, allowing them to be used wth Android Pay, while the Moto C, C Plus and E3 don’t.

  • What is Android Pay and how does it work?

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Software

  • All Android Nougat with some Motorola apps
  • Experience should be almost identical

The Moto C, Moto C Plus, Moto G5 and Moto G5 all run on Android Nougat with a couple of extra Motorola-specific apps so the experience should be almost identical. The Moto E3 on the other hand, launched on Android Marshmallow and won’t be getting Nougat so it will lack some features. Remember a new one is said to be coming soon though which will no doubt launch on Android Nougat.

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. This tends to mean quicker updates to the latest Android software and it also allows for a cleaner experience.

  • Android Nougat review 

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Price

The Motorola Moto C is the cheapest of these five devices starting at £89.99, followed by the Moto E3 at £99.99.

Moving just over the £100 mark is the Moto C Plus starting at £109, followed by the Moto G5 at £159. The Moto G5 Plus is the most expensive starting at £249.

Motorola Moto C vs Moto E3 vs Moto G5: Conclusion

The Moto E3 and the Moto C are pretty similar in terms of price but you get a higher display resolution, better cameras, a lighter device overall and a larger battery capacity in the Moto E3 for £10 extra. That said, it is an older device and you won’t get Android Nougat.

Pay another £10 on top of the E3 price, or £20 on top of the Moto C and you get a larger battery capacity and double the storage of the E3, as well as a more capable processor in the Moto C Plus. You could also opt for double the RAM but you’ll need to pay a bit more again.  

Another £40 on top of the Moto C Plus price for the G5 will get you a higher rear camera resolution again, better focusing, a water-repellant coating, fingerprint sensor, NFC and more storage expansion through microSD. There isn’t a great deal of difference between the G5 and G5 Plus, especially not when you’re talking an extra £90 again, though you will get 4K video recording, a more powerful processor and double the internal storage, as well as a better rear snapper.

The Moto E3 and Moto C both offer plenty for their price but it is worth remembering the E is probably about to be replaced so it might be better to wait for the new device.

For those that have a little extra cash to splash, the Moto C Plus is a good middling device, especially with its huge battery, while the G5 and G5 Plus are for those that don’t mind going over the £150/£200 marks and just have to have a fingerprint sensor, NFC and better camera capabilities.

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