The mid-range battleground is heating up, with everyone wanting to offer you an affordable sub-flagship device.
The OnePlus Nord hasn’t officially launched yet, but we’re using leaked and confirmed specs for this comparison, while the Moto is on pre-order. So which phone should be getting your attention?
Price and availability
- Nord: £/$/€TBC, 21 July launch date
- Moto G 5G Plus: £299/£349, available now
The OnePlus Nord is not scheduled to launch until 21 July and we don’t really know how OnePlus will want to price this phone – but there’s been the suggestion that it might be around £400.
The Moto G series is known for affordability, so it’s no surprise to find that it starts at £299, which is really aggressive pricing for what you get. It’s also available to order in some regions now and there’s are two versions. The 6G/128GB version is £349.99 which is closer to what we’re expecting from OnePlus.
- Nord: 159.2 x 74 x 8.6mm, ???g
- Moto G 5G Plus: 168 x 74 x 9mm, 207g
We don’t yet know what the OnePlus Nord will be made from, but it looks like it’s glass based on recent reveals. The sizes we have aren’t confirmed because they come from early leak, but it looks like it’s a little shorter than the Moto G 5G Plus and perhaps a little slimmer.
The Moto G 5G Plus is finished in plastic, although based on the feel and look of phones like the Moto G8 Power, we don’t think that’s a bad thing – if it keeps the price down. It’s a tall phone, most of which comes down to the display size, but it’s not hugely wide.
What you will notice about the Moto 5 5G is that it’s heavy – 207g is weighty by any measure, but that’s because of the huge battery – more on that later.
Some rumours suggest that the Nord will offer IP53 water protection – and Motorola also offers some water repellency.
At first glance and based on leaks, we think that the OnePlus might have a slightly more premium build – but Motorola has been really good at offering quality phones at low prices in recent years.
- Nord: 6.4in AMOLED, 2400 x 1080 pixels, 90Hz
- Moto G 5G Plus: 6.7in LTPS LCD, 2400 x 1080 pixels, 90Hz
The displays on these two phones hit some of the same spec points. Although the OnePlus specs aren’t confirmed, we’re confident about these based on leaks, although we’re not entirely certain about the size.
What we do know is that both phones are going to be offering a full HD+ panel – probably the exact same resolution – and both are offering 90Hz refresh rate. While OnePlus hasn’t confirmed that, the company has said that it’s not going back to 60Hz and 90Hz was mentioned early in the leaks for this phone.
But these displays could be fundamentally different. The Moto G uses an LTPS LCD panel while the OnePlus is thought to be AMOLED. That might mean that the Nord offers better visuals, with deeper blacks and more vibrant colours.
With all that said, the Moto phone is HDR certified, so will deliver punchy visuals of its own.
Interestingly, both phones offer dual punch hole cameras in that display.
Hardware and specs
- Nord: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4115mAh battery
- Moto G 5G Plus: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765, 4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, 5000mAh battery
OnePlus is known for producing fast phones and it may well have the edge when it comes to competing with the Moto G 5G Plus. It’s using the Snapdragon 765G, which offers a little more power for the GPU over the regular 765 in the Moto.
OnePlus is also reportedly looking at 8GB RAM – with some benchmarks suggesting that 12GB RAM might also be available. Moto sticks to lower specs with 4G at the entry level and 6GB of the step up. These are just specs, however, and we’re not sure there will be a huge real-world difference between the 6 or 8GB RAM in these phones.
But there is a big difference in battery. The OnePlus Nord has a 4115mAh battery according to leaked images of the battery and we’re also expecting 30W charging. The Moto has a massive 5000mAh battery, so is likely to last a fair bit longer than the OnePlus. The Moto only has 20W charging – although 20W is still fast!
The Moto also has a side mounted fingerprint scanner, but we’re expecting an in-display scanner on the OnePlus.
- Nord: 48MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, 2MP depth; dual selfie cameras
- Moto G 5G Plus: 48MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, 2MP depth; dual selfie cameras
If the leaks are correct, these phones could have camera systems that are almost identical. Unfortunately, we don’t know huge amounts about the OnePlus camera system, just that there are four lenses and OnePlus has promised some crossover with its flagship models.
Motorola has revealed all, however, so we know all those details are correct. Yes, there’s a 48-megapixel main camera, and we suspect it will be the same as the Moto G8 Plus. That’s a pretty good camera, but the appeal of ultra-wide really adds to the picture.
So what’s going to divide these similarly equipped phones when it comes to photography? The software behind them. Having used neither phone – but having reviewed the latest OnePlus and Moto G devices – we think this is going to be a close run thing, although neither is market leading when it comes to computational photography – that accolade lies with Google and Huawei.
As for those two selfie cameras – we weren’t totally sold on this approach when Samsung tried it in 2019, but Moto here offers a wider-angle front camera as the second lens. We expect that the Nord will have a similar function.
- Nord: Android 10 with Oxygen OS
- Moto G 5G Plus: Android 10
If you’re looking for phones that are free from bloat, then Moto and OnePlus have to be at the top of the list (ok, there’s Nokia too, but the Nokia 8.3 that rivals these devices is also yet to go on sale).
Both phones run Android 10 but OnePlus goes a little further with customisation and optimisation – which is what it’s known for. We suspect that the OnePlus will be a little snappier.
Both, however, will give you an Android experience that’s free from unwanted duplications, however and that’s a good thing.
You wait all year for a Snapdragon 765 phone with a quad camera on the back and a dual camera on the front – and then two come along at once. The similarities between these phones is uncanny – and there’s no avoiding the fact that the fight for this middle ground of affordable 5G phones is going to be hard fought.
We suspect that the OnePlus Nord will be slightly faster and offer a slightly more premium build quality with a better quality display.
We think that Motorola will counter that by being a little better value for money, offering a larger display and a having a longer battery life.
Of course, we’re still awaiting the full OnePlus Nord specs, but we’ll update as soon as we have a better picture of what you’ll be getting and how much it will cost you.