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Motorola makes Moto G into three phones

We’d been receiving reports and leaks about the Moto G, and we figured Motorola would unveil an original and a Plus model (the former having benchmarks with only an FCC model number for the latter), but the Moto G unveil brought not one, not two, but three new models — all bearing the “Moto G” moniker this past week.

First, there is the Moto G4, a budget-friendly device that continues to offer the best bang for its buck. This year’s original Moto G brings a 5.5-inch, Full HD display with a 1,920 x 1,080p screen resolution, an octa-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, with your choice of 2GB/3GB/4GB of RAM and 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB storage options. The Plus model features a fingerprint sensor (just a sensor, not a home button) and a 16MP back camera that features both laser autofocus and phase detection autofocus (PDAF) technology. The Play version, the third of the series, features a 5-inch, HD display with 1280 x 720p screen resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB or 16GB of storage, and an 8MP back camera. The Play features a 2,800mAh battery as opposed to the 3,000mAh batteries in the original and the Plus. You can think of the Play model as last year’s G phone repackaged, with the Plus being the best the company offers this year.

It’s a bit odd to say the least, but fingerprint security should be a major feature implemented on all devices, no matter how budget-friendly they are. Motorola’s decision to bring a fingerprint sensor to just the Plus model is disconcerting, to say the least. And, the fact that the front of the phone doesn’t have a home button (and the button is used for just a fingerprint sensor) just seems like fragmented hardware design to me. At least LG does have a fingerprint sensor embedded into its power button on the LG G5 (though I dislike any buttons of importance on the back of the device).

At the end of the day, we now have the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus, and the Moto G4 Play as the new options from Motorola for its G smartphone line. Motorola is trying to sell choice, but it denies security as a choice option for all but the G4 Plus buyers. We believe that to be a huge misstep for the company.

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