The Moto M has launched in China with some striking new features. Will it come to the UK? And how is it different to the Moto G4?
There's a new Moto phone on the scene. Unfortunately, it looks like the new Moto is currently only available in China, and is unlikely to make it to the UK.
But that doesn't mean some of us won't be able to get our hands on the device, which provides the perfect excuse to see how the new Moto M stacks up against the impressive budget offering that is the Moto G4.
What exactly is China getting that we're all missing out? Is it that much better than what the G4 offers? Allow us to explain...
Moto M vs Moto G4 – Design
The Moto M comes with an all-metal body, that curves at the back, making it 7.9mm thick, while the Moto G comes with a more durable plastic case and a slightly heftier 9.8mm thickness.
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Of course, the Moto G is a budget device, so you're not going to get a premium feel with this handset, though the metal frame does add some quality and strength to the mix. We're yet to get our hands on a Moto M, so we're unable to say how it compares, but the all-metal design will no doubt lend it a more high-end feel.
The China-only device comes in gold, while the Moto G comes with a detachable back, allowing you to swap in new colourful backplates.
Moto M vs Moto G4 – Display
The screen on the Moto G is a 5.5-inch 1080p LCD offering that we found to be a tad warm but, overall, bright and colourful. Previous Moto Gs have been stuck at 720p, so the bump in resolution really makes a difference on the latest model.
Related: Moto G4 Plus review
With the Moto M, Motorola has also gone with a 5.5-inch display, but it's used Super AMOLED tech this time around, so the blacks are sure to be a lot deeper than on the Moto G, and the overall energy efficiency will be much better. The resolution on the M, however, is exactly the same as on the G, so overall there shouldn't be any difference in sharpness.
Moto M vs Moto G4 – Hardware
When it comes to the Moto M, you're getting a Helio P15 processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB storage. That should result in speedy enough performance, even if it isn't the best spec sheet on the market. 4GB RAM is perfectly adequate for most tasks, and you've also got the option to upgrade the storage via the MicroSD card slot.
Meanwhile, the Moto G comes packing a Snapdragon 617, 2GB RAM, and either 16 or 32GB storage, which you can also expand with a MicroSD card. On paper, it looks like the Moto M takes this one, then. It has more RAM and what should be a faster processor.
But we've tried out the Moto G, and concluded: "this is a very smooth phone to use. Apps pop open almost instantly and even bulky, image-heavy websites don’t cause issues. To be honest, the performance on this £169 phone is as good as, if not better than, that of the £469 Sony Xperia X."
In that sense, then, there's very little to worry about when it comes to performance on the Moto G, and the Plus model, which comes with up to 4GB RAM and up to 64GB internal storage is no different. It looks like the Moto M might just have it beat, though, plus it comes with a slightly larger Li-Ion 3050 mAh battery than the Moto G's Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery.
Moto M vs Moto G4 – Software
Android is at the heart of both these Moto handsets, and it appears in 6.0 Marshmallow form in both cases. However, the Moto G is scheduled for an upgrade to the newer Android 7.0 Nougat in the near future, whereas we're unsure when or if the Moto M will received a similar upgrade.
One of the best things about the Moto G is that it comes minus the duplicate apps, bloatware, and skinned menus that companies are known to add to Android. The user experience is all the better for it, and we're hoping the Moto M is no different in that respect.
Moto M vs Moto G4 – Camera
The Moto G4 has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, which is a great offering for the price of the handset – offering punchy colour reproduction and plenty of detail. However, the Plus model comes with a 16-megapixel rear shooter, which produces slightly more natural colours, and better low-light shots.
So, does the China-only Moto M manage to outdo the Moto G? Well, on paper it looks like it pretty much matches the Moto G Plus, with a 16-megapixel camera, f/2.0 aperture, and phase detection autofocus. We're obviously yet to test it out, but it looks like a decent mid-rage offering.
Moto M vs Moto G4 – Summary
Motorola's G series has remained the best mid-range option for some time now, and the Moto G4, with its £169 price tag, continues that trend.
Buy Now: Moto G4 at Amazon.com from $195
The Moto M looks to have an edge on the G, with its all-metal body and slightly improved specs, but if it never leaves China, the world won't be missing out on a must-have device.
For now, the Moto G should handle your mid-range requirements admirably, and if Motorola decides to roll the Moto M out to the global market in the future, great.
WATCH: Moto G and G Plus review
Let us know whether you'd like to see the Moto M available outside China in the comments.