Qs re: Moto G5Plus versus Moto X4? (moving from Moto X1)


I’m about ready to upgrade from my beloved Moto X1. But I’m stuck trying to decide between Moto G5Plus and Moto X4. I’d like a good excuse to get the MotoG5 because of the price, but I have questions:

  1. If you have a Moto G5Plus, is the sound quality "tinny"? I see that a lot in reviews? How would you compare sound to Moto X1, if you ever had one?

  2. Sound quality-–anyone know if the Moto X4’s external speaker sound quality is any better than the G5 Plus?

  3. NFC: How important is it? I don’t use Android Pay much. However, I wonder if there are future uses for NFC and I’ll be mad if I don’t have it. Any thoughts?

  4. Voice control: I use hands-free voice control a LOT. It looks like Moto Voice isn’t available on the G5 Plus? I understand Google Assistant is there but…I’d like to be able to voice-activate my phone from a LOCKED screen without fingerprint. Can anyone confirm whether voice activating from locked is possible on the G5Plus? Pretty sure it’s possible on the X4.

  5. Charger cord. The whole family has microUSB charger cords. All around the house. I’d like to be able to use those universal chargers. Another plus for the G5 Plus.

So to recap, my main concerns/questions are:

  • External speaker sound quality between the two phones?
  • Voice activation from locked screen-- possible on both or just x4?
  • NFC-- should I care?
  • Charging cord: minor but annoying issue

Appreciate any insights you can share!


I don’t have the G5P, but I’ve not seen anyone posting complaints about the sound.
I think it is safe to assume that there is some difference in the sound quality in the MX4. One reason the MX4 costs more. But, to the untrained ear, it might not make a lot of difference.
NFC is mostly used for Android Pay. If that’s not a big deal, I wouldn’t let it be a factor. You probably won’t miss it.
As for the chargers, you can buy microUSB to USB-C adapters on eBay, very inexpensive. Get a 3 pack… or two. I’m ordering my second pack today.


Awesome re: adapters! That’s a big help!


Don’t let me talk you out of a new MX4. That’s a sweet phone!


Also: Will the G5Plus read texts to me, announce calls and let me answer the phone hands-free while driving?


That was not a feature of previous G phones. Without actually researching it, I would guess that it continues to be a feature of Moto’s premium phones.


Actually no it won’t that is a Moto X feature.

@littletoucan made this suggestion to me. (she has a S7 edge)
I like both phones for different reasons. Moto is heavier than Samsung and bigger. I miss Moto App, so I use this one:

That app would also work with Moto G5. I purchased both phones when on sale.


No, the G5 will not use Google Assistant from a locked or sleeping screen. I used the Moto G5 Plus for 2 weeks and I went back to my Nexus 5x because I was not able to wake up the G5 from a sleeping screen like I can with the 5x.


I’ve had the Moto G5+ (64 GB) for about a month. Love it. I upgraded from a lower end G1 phone, so I can’t compare with an X-anything.

  1. Sound quality is just fine.
  2. No problem with the external speaker.
  3. I’ve never used NFC and don’t anticipate needing it. I was pleasantly surprised that they kept the FM radio that’s missing from some phones. Especially nice to have in an emergency.
  4. I only use the voice speech-to-text when answering e-mails or sending text messages. Works fine–same as before.
  5. The phone came with a microUSB fast charger. I’ve read a number of posts that suggest that the fast charger accelerates battery degradation. Therefore, I use the regular chargers around the house instead of the new quick charger.


“No, the G5 will not use Google Assistant from a locked or sleeping screen. I used the Moto G5 Plus for 2 weeks and I went back to my Nexus 5x because I was not able to wake up the G5 from a sleeping screen like I can with the 5x.”

Correct. There is a feature called Smart Lock which will detect various conditions such as when you are home or when your phone is connected to your car by bluetooth. Smart lock will keep your phone unlocked in these conditions but will not unlock the phone. In other words, when driving you could unlock the phone when you get in the car and then it would stay unlocked.

Oddly (and unfortunately), with Smart lock you can set up a “trusted voice” to unlock the phone but it only works if you hit the on button first. Reviews have correctly criticized this as defeating the purpose of the trusted voice. This could be corrected when Oreo is released for the G5+ but I wouldn’t count on it.

This is not a deal breaker for me, so I am happy with my G5+


Thanks for the good explanation of Smart Lock, royrose. So am I understanding that SmartLock would auto-unlock my phone when I’m home and my hands are gooey from cooking and I don’t want to touch the phone?

But in the car…I don’t connect my phone via BlueTooth (older car stereo system). So Smart Lock wouldn’t work in the car, hands free, under these conditions?

So I’d need to look into something like Android Auto, suggested by bocephous?


So the voice control issue was a deal-breaker for you, theresar?

What about the sound of the external speaker on the Moto G5 Plus, which I assume you returned? Was it noticeably bad?


Also: internal storage. 64 GB possible on G5 Plus, but only 32 GB on Moto X4.

Yes, I know I can expand storage with an SD card. But my understanding is that SD storage isn’t QUITE the same as built-in storage? Perhaps not as stable?

If only the X4 had the 64 GB option!


No, the sound was not noticeably bad. I had to pay attention to notice that it was slightly tinny.

I gave the G5 plus to my mom, who loves the G5 plus as a replacement for her E2. My Nexus 5x broke and I did not think LG would repair it, but they did. I would have kept the G5 if they hadn’t repaired my Nexus 5x. They were similar phones. I don’t know what I will get when it’s time to upgrade from my Nexus 5x.


First of all, smart lock is a feature of newer versions of Andriod, so not exclusive to Moto. I don’t actually use it, so I can’t speak from experience. If I go to the Android Auto settings it says “keeps your device unlocked when it’s safe with you”. I think you may have to unlock it once, then it won’t lock when the screen goes dark.

Yes, you would have to get an app like Android Auto to use in the car.


Just to chime in on the NFC…

There are many more devices (portable speakers/headphones especially) that now offer NFC pairing rather than BT pairing.

As pointed out by others, you need USB-C with X4which has been an initial frustration but for $10 I bought a bunch of cords via amazon and may even go buy some micro-to-usbc adapters as well. You can use your old charging bricks with the new cord extensions. I don’t know if the “fast charge” works with the old power bricks tho.

Finally, I have not used the speakerphone so can’t talk to external audio quality but I sound good according to others. Plus, voice recognition seems to work a bit better for me on the X4. The X4 is my first upgrade since buying the original X. I am very happy with two exceptions: the screen is a bit larger (making the phone difficult to get used to…but also I am off on all my swipe keyboard words) and the phone is super slippery without a case.


Thanks for this! You’re in the exact same position I’m in, then-- MotoX1 to MotoX4, probably.

Have you listened to music or a YouTube video or anything at all on the X4 speaker? I assume it’s probably better than the G5.

Also, how much storage does the X4’s system memory use? How much is left for you to use, can you tell?


the OS uses more storage and system resources than i would have hoped. i have already installed a bunch of apps, but according to the INTERNAL SHARED STORAGE screen in settings, 13GB is used by “system”. The APP USAGE shows that 1.1GB of memory (on average) is used for Android OS but my “real life” average (I “use” 58 apps a day on average according to the phone but that includes all the internal stuff we have no control over) is 2.1GB memory usage (or 80%). i did install a 64GB SD card to store all my music. i push photos and videos to google photos and routinely use the “clean photos from my device” feature (a habit i got into with my MotoX1 over the past 1.5 yrs). the speaker gets decently loud but i tested it in a private office. audio seems a bit more “rich” than in the original X.


I am looking to do the same to replace my 1st Gen Moto X. I spent some time this morning reading quite a few reviews online. Suggest anyone looking at the X4 do the same!
The majority believe that the New Moto X4 is not worth what is being charged since it is not very good in some areas, eg. camera picture quality in other than bright light.
The G5Plus is a better buy according to what is stated in the reviews.
I am leaning toward the G5Plus.


Actually, the reviews I’ve seen say if you already HAVE a G5 Plus, it’s not worth upgrading to the X4. But I’m not sure the reviewers are saying the G is superior to the X4 if you have a choice between the two.

Downsides to the G5, as i understand it:

  • G5 external speaker reportedly weak
  • No NFC, if you care about that
  • Camera similar or slightly lower quality than X4
  • Fewer built-in voice control (hands-free) features & quick gesture options


  • Cheaper
  • More internal memory (64 GB).

It’s a tough call! I’m still on the fence.