Tuesday, April 17, 2016, Motorola, a company acquired by Lenovo introduced the world to not one, not two but three Moto G phones. The Moto G phones have been named as the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and the Moto G4 Play. The phones launched by the Lenovo acquired company are the successors to the last years famous Moto G3. Every phone in the market offers something. Each phone excels in certain places and lacks the advantages in other but what lies within the brand new 4th Generation Motorola. Let's break down the phone to its core elements and trace out what does it offer in this in depth review. This marks as in depth review of both, the Moto G4 and the Plus model.
The G series has been symbolized as the budget series in the past making compromises to provide the best package in the least of price. The previous models succeeded in their task and were hailed as successful. Will the new ones stay true to the purpose or will they wither away. Let's find out.
Looking at the phone from a distance, the phone now feels a bit flatter than the previous versions. The camera protrudes out a little and has a metal ring covering the camera. The phone feels as an overhaul to the previous Motorola design and is a rendition by Lenovo to the Moto G3. The Moto G4 opts to keep hold of the rubbery back which fits right into your hands. The smooth plastic back panels are removable and come in different colors which can be chosen via the Moto Maker. The phone although is plastic all around but feels a very premium right out of the box. The Moto G4 Plus shares exactly the same quality as the other which concludes that both phones differ internally. The Moto G4 Plus can be a dual Sim variant which would makes its way into the hands through the Moto Maker. The phone has an isolated headphone jack at the top and has a microUSB port at the bottom.
The Moto G4 Plus has the dimensions of 153*76.6*9.8 all in millimeters. The 4th Generation Moto devices are definitely not the slimmest smartphones in the market but provide with a comfortable feel in the hand. Moto G4 plus supports a microSIM card and shares the same hardware with the other model (Moto G4).
The predecessors of the G4 provided support for an HD screen.The display is definitely a bump from the previous HD screen to now full-HD resolution. This upgrade symbolizes both Moto G4 and the Plus model to be first phones in the Moto line to support a full-HD screen. The screen is a massive 5.5 inches making the budget phone stand out with a pixel density of 401 ppi. The screen is half inch more than the previous phone in the line and a full inch larger than the original Moto G which stated the series. The Lenovo Moto G4 has an IPS LCD screen which accounts for a colder display when compared with the AMOLED technology. The screen looks vibrant and is never too gimicky. It remains protected by the powerful Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The videos played on this device provide with a real time experience and are color accurate. The screen is not the best you can find in the market but with a price cut this short for this device, this is definitely the best you'll get.
The Moto G4 shares all of the display qualities of the Moto G4 Plus. This makes the plus model seems a bit ludicrous and different than all the other Plus models proposed by other companies like the iPhone 6s Plus. The G4 has the same screen with the same 71.2 % of screen-to-body ratio. The display installed on both these devices is both tactile and responsive.
Looking at the spec sheet, we find that the Lenovo Moto G4 runs on a 1.5 GHz Octacore Snapdragon 617 processor which is worthy upgrade from the previous handset. It backs up an Adreno 405 GPU chip which would take on all of the games and image processing data quite efficiently. The phone comes in two basic variants based on the RAM installed. The phone either comes in with 2 or 4 GBs of RAM. We believe that although 2 GB RAM is quite sufficient for most of the users but the people who rely on multitasking must opt for a 4 GB model for a seamless and lag free performance. When it comes to storage, the phone gives the choice to pick up either a 16, 32 or 64 GB model based on your storage preferences. The price shift from the basic model to a 64 model is not that significant making the 64 GB Moto G4 the better choice in the long run. The phone has a 13 MP camera on its back. Considering the price range of the device and pondering on what this device has to device, the camera you get is pretty pristine. The 5 MP provides a nice selfie experience going easy on your pocket. Moving towards the battery, the Moto G4 mounts a 3000 mAh battery. The phone will be able to pass a complete day without any problems faced. The phone might run out of battery just close to the end of the day at extreme usage. The perks of having a Moto G4 include fast charging.
The Moto G4 Plus shares the same display specs as of the Moto G4. The Plus does not give us a Plus in the chipset as both of the models equip a similar Snapdragon 617 Octacore 1.5 GHz chipset and the Graphics Processing Unit (Adreno 405). The phone also comes in with two or four GBs of RAM and the same storage variety as mentioned for the other phone. The Plus gives you internal storage plus a microSD card support up to 128 GBs. The real deal comes in when you find a fingerprint sensor underneath a button. Actually, the look alike of a button fails to be a button and is simply a boundary for the sensor. Bad decision! It does not look good. The phone has an amped up camera, a 16 MP shooter which will obviously perform better in terms of image quality from the Moto G4. The front camera remains the same. Same support for TurboPower comes with the plus model as well. The phone will be shipped in black and White but you'll be able to customize it via the Moto Maker. You can also have a dual-SIM capability if you desire. Just buy the phone from Moto Maker.
Both of the phones will run on android Marshmallow v6.0.1 out of the box. Motorola is not a big fan of the customization capabilities and has opted for a cleaner, more stock skin for its new phones. Lenovo did not add a lot of bloatware into the hone while some useful features from Motorola like the Assist App designed by Motorola has made it to both the phones. The software runs smoothly especially on the model with more RAM and is not difficult to get your head wrapped around it if you have ever used the stock Android like phone.The processor handles the tasks efficiently and never did I feel lag interfering with the common functioning of the device. The phones are expected to get Android updates but that is not verified as Motorola now resides under Lenovo and not Google. Let's hope for the best. The benchmark results seemed to stand out and rocket this device to the top in the mid-range phones. The phone is really well made and offers a lot in little price. The Android is as sweet on this device as any other high-end device. This phone does not disappoint when it comes to software.
The Moto G4 has a 13 MP camera on its back, the camera performs pretty smooth on all turfs in broad daylight. The camera, like many other suffered in low light tending to over-expose the images for me. The camera app is snappy and provides you with a minimalistic look. The camera is tended to be a point and shoot camera. When compared to other phones falling into a similar category, the device performs quite well in terms of camera and provides you with persistent images. The problem to address here that the phone seemed to portray slightly wrong colors when exposed to light. The phone has a 5MP front camera. It is a pretty average camera and works quite nicely in great lighting conditions. The quality of images drops drastically in low light. The overall camera experience can be hailed as better than its competitors. The phone shoots video at 1080p and does not pack the specs to jump further above.
The Moto G4 Plus has the same 5Mp front camera which quite similarly to the Moto G4. The Plus model adds laser focus and phase detection autofocus to the camera improving the point and shoot experience. Certainly from the spec sheet, the camera is comparable to high-end phones of today's market. Unfortunately, the Plus handset runs out of specs as it maxes out at 1080p at 30 fps, so you won't be shooting 4K which is not an issue for most daily users or even record videos in 1920x1080 at 60 fps.
Moto G4 and the Moto G4 plus both have a rather large 3000 mAh battery to perform all its tasks. The battery on this device, though not tested rigorously, has the numbers to run a complete day with ease. Most of the users will find no difficulty in passing the day with a battery this large. The TurboPower found in the device lets you charge up the device for 6 hours in about 15 mins. This makes a complete day usage pretty standard for this device. The battery coupled with the Turbo Charging capability is definitely a nifty feature to have for power outages and your travels. I find this battery quite impressive. Both of the devices support fast charging but with the Plus model, you get a charger in the box. If you opt for Moto G4, you'll have to separately buy the charger.
The phone following the steps of its predecessors, is devised to be cheap and targets a wider group of people who cannot afford a 700$ phone. To my surprise, the Lenovo moto G4 is to cost a mere £169 when it opens up to the UK market in early June. The Plus will be available shortly after making its debut on Amazon and will be priced at about £199 out of contract. I'd argue that an additional £30 is a small price to pay for the higher-performance camera. Plus you get a charger too saving yourself from a little hassle.
The company has not yet declared about the price tag that will be put on these phone in US and Australia but the Moto G4's price converts to about $245 or AU$335, while the Plus's price when converted to dollars both US and Australian is to cost about $285 or AU$395.
The new Moto G4 and the G4 have sure been a surprise and they continue to mesmerize us with the idea that so much could packed inside something so small. The previous moto G phones have been hailed as the most well balanced and powerful budget phones in the past. The new Moto G4 does the same. At a minimal price of $245, you get a lot of features. The phone works like a charm and is quite friendly with your pocket. The camera is fine and the phone passes through an entire day without breaking a sweat. You lack NFC but that doesn't account much. The Moto G4 and especially the Moto G4 Plus triumph as the best budget phone of the year up to this very day.