Moto G4 Plus review: From budget to mid-range

26/06/2016 Comments 0 3090 Views 4.1

Moto G4 Plus review: From budget to mid-range

Moto G phones are not exciting. They’re not sexy and they’re not powerhouses. But they get the job done, and do it for a reasonable price.

Since the line’s launch in 2013, that has always been the appeal of the Moto G line. With the Moto G4 Plus, however, Lenovo is pushing the envelope by biggie-sizing its device, adding in some premium features, and bumping up the price to nearly midrange.

Retailing for between Php 18746.02 to Pphp 19262.83

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The front features one speaker up top, which does an admirable job of pumping out high-quality sound, alongside the front-facing shooter. Down below there’s the famous square fingerprint reader, which was the star of this phone’s leaks. Aesthetically, I personally don’t take issue with its shape or size. It’s different, but it works well, with a low false rejection rate.

The phone’s 5.5-inch 1080p display, up from a 5-inch 720p in the Moto G3, offers a screen large enough to make watching videos on the go enjoyable. It’s not particularly vibrant, especially in comparison to Samsung’s AMOLED offerings, some of which are in a similar price range, but it’s not dull either.

moto-g4_release-date-price-specs-uk-camera

The G4 Plus’ textured plastic back gives it a decent amount of grip, with a smooth dimple holding the Motorola logo. Above is a raised platform with the camera and dual-tone flash. The back pops off easily for access to SIM and MicroSD slots. One would think that the battery would also be accessible, but unfortunately it’s non-removable.

The Moto’s silver frame is also made of plastic, though it looks like metal, and houses the power button and volume rocker on the right-hand side. It also houses a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the phone, a somewhat awkward arrangement that made me turn the phone around every time I put it in and or took it out of my pocket.

At the bottom is the phone’s MicroUSB charging port, which makes the device far from future-proof, but easier to find cheap cords for in a pinch.

Unlike the Moto G3, the G4 Plus is not IPX7 certified (water resistant up to a meter and 30 minutes), but does have a water repellant nano-coating that Lenovo says protects against spills, splashes or light rain, which doesn’t sound particularly assuring.

 

Moto G4 key specs

  • 5.5in IPS screen, 1920×1080, 400ppi, Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.5GHz octacore Snapdragon 617 processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB storage
  • 13Mp rear camera
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 3000mAh battery (with TurboPower)
  • Colours: Black / White
  • Dimensions: 153x77x7.6-9.8mm
  • Weight: 155g

Moto G4 Plus key specs

  • 5.5in IPS screen, 1920×1080, 400ppi, Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.5GHz octacore Snapdragon 617 processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 2/4GB RAM
  • 32/64GB storage
  • microSD card up to 128GB
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 16Mp rear camera
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 3000mAh battery (with TurboPower)
  • Colours: Black / White
  • Dimensions: 153x77x7.6-9.8mm
  • Weight: 155g
  • Dual-SIM model available via Moto Maker

Features

It’s a shame that unlike the older Moto G 3rd gen, the Moto G 4 isn’t waterproof, but instead uses the same water-repellent nano coating of the Moto X. It takes a micro-SIM but includes an adaptor for a nano-SIM.

 

You don’t get 802.11ac Wi-Fi, just dual-band 802.11n along with Bluetooth 4.1. There’s only a single front-facing speaker, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and twin microphones. There’s assisted GPS, but no NFC.

Storage and RAM

It’s a little confusing when it comes to storage and memory as there are three different capacities and two different amounts of RAM across the two phones. There are two options for each device via the Moto Maker.

The regular Moto G4 comes with 2GB RAM and either 16- or 32GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, the Moto G4 Plus is available with 32GB and 2GB of RAM or 64GB with 4GB of RAM.

Camera

Motorola has focused – like many smartphone manufacturers recently – on the camera. The G4 Plus uses a combination of laser focus and phase detection autofocus so that you get sharp photos and don’t miss the moment. Certainly from the specs, it’s comparable with the best phone cameras around right now and makes it the only phone under £200 to have laser and phase-detection AF. Unfortunately, it maxes out at 1080p30, so you won’t be shooting 4K footage or even 60fps at 1920×1080.

It does support slo-mo, burst mode, Mototola’s Quick Capture (two flicks of the wrist to launch the camera app) and also video stabilisation that’s done in software. The camera app also includes a ‘professional’ mode, has auto HDR and the ability to “drag to focus and exposure”.

Moto G4 release date price UK Camera

Charging

TurboPower is a fast-charging mode that’s said to give six hours’ use from 15 minutes’ charging. You get a compatible charger in the box with the G4 Plus, but you have to buy it separately if you go for a G4.

Moto G4 release date price UK TurboPower

You can also use Motorola’s Moto Maker to build your own customised Moto G4 Plus with range of coloured backs and accent colour:

Moto G4 release date price UK TurboPower

It runs Android Marshmallow – no surprises there – but as with previous Moto phones, it’s a near-stock version that we particularly like. A bonus is that it comes with two years of Google Photos storage for all your photos and videos at original quality (not the downsized ‘High’ quality).

New Moto G4 and G4 Plus: Benchmark results

Note: the following information was based on rumours and so may not be correct. We’ve left it here until we can run benchmarks ourselves and confirm how the G4 and G4 Plus perform.

In the last few days there have been benchmark results on Geekbench 3 for the Moto G4 indicating some further specs including that the phone might have 3GB of RAM and Android 6.0.1. The reference to ‘msm8952’ for the motherboard suggests the Moto G willl come powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, an octa-core chip.

Moto G4 benchmark results

In terms of benchmark results, the Moto G is scoring around 700 in Geekbench 3 for single-core and 3100 for multi-core.

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Editor review

Graphics
5/5
Gameplay
4.5/5
Sound
3/5
Storyline
4/5

4.13

Good
4.13
Summary

OS: Android 6.0.1 with Moto Pure Display: 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920p Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, front-facing NFC: No Processor: Snapdragon 617 1.5GHz octa-core Graphics processor: Adreno 405 RAM: 2GB ROM: 32GB Battery: Li-Ion 3,000mAh fast-charging Camera: 16MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing camera Dimensions: 153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm Weight: 155g Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity

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