Forex traders in all corners of the globe should be grateful to the Cyprus-based MetaQuotes, the software corporation behind two of the world’s leading forex trading platforms, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).
While MT5 understandably has more bells and whistles since it was released in 2010, MT4 (released in 2005) is still far more widespread if accounting for the desktop versions. Yet, the number of downloads for the MT4 app and MT5 app for Android and iOS users are fairly even.
The MT4 app isn’t so different from the MT5 app. One of the main distinctions is the number of instruments you can trade on the latter, which far surpasses the former. Furthermore, you will notice a few more additions to MT5 compared to its predecessor.
This article will provide a thorough MT4 vs. MT5 mobile apps comparison and outline the notable differences.
How MT4 and MT5 mobile apps work
The MT4 app and MT5 app are both developed and maintained by MetaQuotes Software Corp., which created the desktop versions of both trading platforms. The Google Play Store (for Android users) and the Apple App Store (for iOS users) are the official marketplaces to download each mobile app.
As a user, you’ll only want to download from either of these two trusted sources. Just as with the desktop formats for MT4 and MT5, it’s completely free to open a demo account. Here, you can analyze the markets and execute positions with virtual funds.
However, if you desire to open trades with real money, you’ll need a live account created through a broker supported on MT4 or MT5. Any actions (opening/closing positions, canceling orders, withdrawing/depositing, etc.) you perform on the MT4 or MT5 app will reflect on the respective desktop forms (and vice versa).
Features breakdown for MT4 and MT5 mobile apps
Below is a table outlining the main features for the MT4 app and MT5 app.
|Number of tradable instruments||1024 max||Over 1024|
|Number of indicators||30||30|
|Customizable chart colors||Yes||Yes|
|‘Fill or kill’ policy||No||Yes|
|Depth of market (DOM)||No||Yes|
Main technical differences in MT4 vs. MT5 mobile apps comparison
At a glance, the MT4 and MT5 user interfaces on the desktop versions are quite similar. However, there are several embellishments here and there, making the latter more advanced than its predecessor, and this is no different on the mobile designs of both charting packages.
One of the fundamental changes to MT5 was how many more instruments one could trade. Much of the available research suggests 1024 is the maximum of tradable instruments provided through an MT4 platform. However, on average, it’s a lot less.
MT4 has historically been a forex platform, but you can also trade a limited range of cryptocurrencies, equities, bonds, metals, energies, and indices, depending on the broker. On the other hand, MT5 was introduced to provide more traditionally centralized instruments like futures, ETFs, and options.
Therefore, depending on the broker, you can expect a more comprehensive selection on the MT5 app than the MT4 app.
On the MT4 mobile app, you have five types of orders: market execution, buy limit, sell limit, buy stop, and sell stop. With the MT5 app, you can access all of these and two more, buy stop limit and sell stop limit. The latter two are enhanced types of stop and limit orders combining the functionalities of the two.
With a buy stop limit, the platform places a buy stop above price, followed by a limit order if the market reaches a particular level.
A sell stop limit is the opposite, as the platform executes a sell stop below price followed by a limit order if the market reaches a particular level.
‘Fill or kill’ policy
This policy is another order execution enhancement on MT5 not available on the MT4 app. FOK (‘fill or kill’) is a conditional, all-or-nothing order where the broker is instructed to execute an order (‘fill’) at the specified volume if available at that moment or not at all (‘kill’).
The desktop MT4 application allows hedging with most brokers, a technique where traders can open buy and sell positions simultaneously or at different times within the same instrument. With MT5, you have to choose between hedging and netting, depending on what your broker offers beforehand.
Netting is where the trading platform groups multiple lot sizes of a single trade direction into one order. So, for instance, if you opened three buy standard lots at the same or different prices, MT5 will only show an individual running order worth three lots in total.
On MT5, a netted account will not allow hedging and vice versa. Both hedging and netting have pros and cons, which traders should note depending on their preferences.
Depth of market (DOM)
The desktop MT4 application has the DOM feature but not the MT4 mobile app. With MT5, you have access to the DOM for desktop and mobile. Market depth or depth of market presents a real-time updated list of the best bid and ask prices for a particular instrument.
The DOM is another way to execute positions and can be helpful when placing multiple orders simultaneously. It’s worth noting that not all traded assets will have market depth as it depends on the broker offering it.
Overall, the two operations you can perform with the DOM are market execution at set prices or placing pending orders.
Although stark differences inherently exist between the MT4 app and MT5 app, both are still quite stripped-down in capabilities compared to the desktop versions. For instance, on the desktop MT5, traders can access 21 time frames and 9 with MT4. However, with the MT4 app and MT5 app, one is only limited to the standard 9.
Overall, each of these mobile applications is relatively similar and provides more or less the same trading experience. Your decision to use one or the other depends on the instruments you trade and other special features on MT5 not found on MT4.