“Wondering how does the Moto G4 Play stack up against two of the most popular phones in the sub-Rs 10k segment?”
Lenovo has added yet another member to its Moto G4 lineup in India in the form of the newly-launched Moto G4 Play. The series, which already contains the Moto G4 (review) and the Moto G4 Plus (review), now caters to the needs of people in multiple price segments. The Moto G4 Play is the most affordable in the trio. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t face any competition. It’s up against some tough opponents – the Xiaomi Redmi 3S (review) and the Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus (review).
In fact, all three phones have some interesting features up their sleeves. So without beating about the bush, we set out to find the undisputed king in the sub-Rs 10k segment by comparing how these three devices fare when we pit them against one another. To make things evenly poised, we’ll be comparing the Moto G4 Play with the Prime variant of the Redmi 3S and the 3GB RAM variant of the Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Design and Display
Starting with the Moto G4 Play, we can see how similar the design of the new smartphone is to its elder siblings. At the back, the Moto G4 Plus features a polycarbonate shell, along with a nano-coating that makes it splash proof… good enough for protection against accidental water splashes or light rain, but not a dunk in the swimming pool. In contrast to the somewhat plain and unappealing design of the Moto G4 Play, the Redmi 3S Prime and the Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus feature all-metal constructions which not only look premium, but also feel solid in the hand. Do make a note that out of the three smartphones, only the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime features a fingerprint scanner, which is available at the back of the device below the camera lens. For all those audiophiles out there, the K5 Plus has an extra treat, as it features dual Dolby speakers at the back for a more immersive audio experience. In a nutshell, all three smartphones have something interesting to boast about. While the Moto G4 Plus gets protection from splashes, the Redmi 3S Prime gets a fingerprint sensor. And then there’ the dual Dolby speaker system of the VIBE K5 Plus.
When it comes to the display, the VIBE K5 Plus takes an early lead with its full HD resolution as compared to the 720p HD resolution on the other two smartphones. What this means is that despite having the same 5-inch screen size, visuals on the VIBE K5 Plus turn out to be crisper and more detailed as compared to the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime and the Moto G4 Play. But with a screen-to-body ratio of 70.92 percent, the Redmi 3S Prime offers the same canvas in a more compact form factor. Another point worth noting is that the Moto G4 Plus is the only phone out of the three to feature onscreen navigation buttons, meaning you would be losing out some of your screen real estate, which isn’t the case with the other two.
Talking about raw power, we can see that all three smartphones use different chips for providing the prowess to run all tasks. The Moto G4 Play is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 410 SoC, which features four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.2GHz each. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime draws power from an octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor with four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz, and another four clocked at 1.1GHz. The octa-core Snapdragon 616 chipset found in the VIBE K5 Plus features a similar setup like the Snapdragon 430 in the Redmi 3S Prime, but bumps up the clock speeds to 1.5GHz and 1.2GHz in the two clusters respectively.
The Moto G4 Play falls further behind as it sports just 2GB of RAM, in comparison to the 3GB RAM found in the other two devices. Do note that the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime and VIBE K5 Plus are also available in 2GB RAM variants, which are priced much cheaper than the Moto G4 Play.
Camera, Storage, and Battery
When it comes to the rear cameras, it is not surprising to see that the VIBE K5 Plus and the Redmi 3S Prime feature 13MP CMOS sensors at the back. What’s surprising is that the Moto G4 Play doesn’t. In fact, it features an 8MP autofocus camera with f/2.2 aperture and a LED flash. Things turn out to be much closer when we talk about the front cameras, as all three phones use 5MP selfie cameras up front.
On the storage front, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime leaves behind the competition by offering 32GB of internal storage, which is twice the 16GB onboard storage found in the other two smartphones. Thankfully, all three smartphones support memory expansion with the help of microSD cards.
None of the phones come with a removable battery. But as we’ve seen before, battery life has been a strong point of Xiaomi devices. And the Redmi 3S Prime is no different. The device packs in a massive 4,100mAh battery that will last you much longer than the 2,800mAh and 2,750mAh batteries found in the Moto G4 Play and the VIBE K5 Plus respectively. It’s interesting how Xiaomi has managed to squeeze in such a big battery in the Redmi 3S Prime without compromising on the weight or thickness of the phone. That said, every coin has two faces, and although you might find the battery on the Redmi 3S Prime to last longer, it will also take a lot more time to charge from 0 to 100.
Software and Connectivity
One of the key differentiators between the three smartphones is the software. Each of the phones in our comparison has a completely different take on Android. For instance, the Redmi 3S Prime runs MIUI with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Xiaomi has already started rolling out the MIUI 8 update for the phone which brings a slew of new features like scrolling screenshots, Quickball, and a completely redesigned notification drawer. Similarly, the K5 Plus runs Lenovo’s VIBE UI, which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Much like MIUI, VIBE UI also misses an app drawer and features a lot of added features and visual tweaks. For people who prefer a more vanilla Android experience, there’s the Moto G4 Play. You’ll feel like you’re using almost stock Android Marshmallow, as there are just a few additions by Lenovo in the “Moto Pure” software.
On the connectivity front, all three phones feature dual-SIM support, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot, Bluetooth, and A-GPS. For charging and data transfer, all three handsets use microUSB 2.0 ports.
Pricing and Availability
It all comes down to this, doesn’t it? The Moto G4 Play has been priced at Rs 8,999 and will be available exclusively via Amazon India in black and white variants. As a part of the launch offers, buyers of the Moto G4 Play will also get Rs 15,000 eCash on Yatra.com, Rs 100 off on BookMyShow, and 80 percent off on Kindle eBooks. Some lucky customers who buy the product from the Amazon app will also be given a 100 percent cashback on their purchase. These launch offers are only valid if you make your purchase on September 13th or before. On the other hand, you can pick up a Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime for Rs 8,999 from Flipkart or mi.com. The phone is available in Gold, Grey, and Silver hues. Lastly, if you wish to buy the Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus, you can head on to Flipkart where the device is selling at a price tag of Rs 8,499.
For most of the comparison, the Moto G4 Play was playing catch-up with the other two smartphones. Unfortunately, while the software on the Moto G4 Play is its plus point, the phone falls behind in other aspects. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime and the Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus had a very close fight. While Lenovo’s K5 Plus offers a better display and processor, the Xiaomi Redmi 3S features better battery life, more storage and a fingerprint scanner. Either way, the Moto G4 Play fails to impress us, at least on paper.