The Original Moto G – released back in 2013 – was one of the first smartphones that kicked of the trend of affordable but high-quality smartphones, and went on to become one of the best-selling Motorola smartphones ever.
Up until now, we’ve only had one version of the G released every year, but Lenovo, who bought Motorola last year, has this time brought us two: the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus.
Plus? You might expect the G4 Plus to be larger than the regular Moto G4 – it’d make sense with a name like that, wouldn’t it? But you’d be wrong. The Moto G4 Plus is the same size as the G4 and comes with the same whopper of a 5.5-inch screen.
It seems, unlike Google, Lenovo doesn’t want Motorola for its technology alone. The company’s influence over Motorola is becoming more apparent now, and the new Moto G4 Plus has a lot going for it but is in some ways still behind its competitors.
The Moto G4 Plus is no style icon. It looks pretty similar to all Moto phones out there – glass slab front, plastic back. At first glance, I was underwhelmed, but I’ve come to appreciate the understated looks of the G4 Plus.
A plastic body doesn’t necessarily mean cheap or badly built, and Motorola has proved that time and again. Having said that, it’s getting a tad old now. The plastic back on the Moto G4 Plus feels nice, but it is a utilitarian design in a world of premium-looking budget devices. I’d pick the LeEco Le 1s, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and even the Lenovo K4 Note over this: Not because of their metallic designs, but because they simply feel better.
The back is removable, and gives you access to the SIM card slot and the dedicated microSD card slot, one more thing while the back cover is removable, the battery is not.
There are two extra sensors, one in the camera module for laser autofocus and the second is a small square at the bottom of the screen, which is a noise cancellation mic, and trust me it act as a spoiler for the design.
Moto has included a fingerprint ID which is responsive and unlocks the phone as quickly as the Touch ID sensor does on the vastly more expensive iPhone 6S. Unfortunately, unlike with Apple’s phone, the fingerprint sensor on the Moto G4 Plus isn’t a button, so it doesn’t do anything other than unlocking your phone.
Unlike previous generations of the Moto G, the IPS LCD of the Moto G4 Plus has been bumped up to 5.5-inches, with resolution getting a boost to Full HD as well, resulting in a pixel density of 401 ppi.
Full HD, 1080p resolution displays have usually been reserved for higher-priced Moto devices, but this is one way that the company is meeting the demands of the market this time. However, an upgraded resolution doesn’t always mean a better display.
The display technology used is still IPS but, It looks sharp, with good viewing angles, and the display is vibrant enough for the colors not to appear washed out.
Performance and Software
Under the hood, the Moto G4 Plus comes with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, clocked at 1.5 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 405 GPU and 3 GB, or 4 GB of RAM, depending on which storage option you opt for. This particular review unit comes with 3 GB of RAM, and the performance has been pretty good.
In 5 hour of testing I am pretty much satisfied with Moto 4 plus performance but folks I can’t say for a long term run. Apps launch quickly, multi-tasking is smooth, and the device can handle gaming without much of a hitch.
On the software side of things, the Moto G4 Plus is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and this is as close to stock Android as you can get without it being a Nexus smartphone. The interface is quite similar to the previous ones, YU phone, Lyf phones.
There are some features available, though, such as Moto Actions, which lets you do things like turning the flashlight on with a chopping motion, flipping the phone over to silence it when it rings or launching the camera with a twist of your wrist.
The primary weakness of the Moto G series has always been in the camera. The G4 Plus corrects this.
The Moto G4 Plus comes with a 16 MP rear camera with a f/2.0 aperture, phase detection auto focus, and a laser auto focus system, along with a 5 MP front-facing shooter. However, there is no optical image stabilization available, which is unfortunate.
Lenovo has also cleaned up the camera app. It opens much faster than before, and that silly rotary dial that held all the options has been killed off for a simpler menu. All the key settings, such as HDR, are constantly visible, and there’s a handy slider for upping the exposure, while Pro Mode offers you a multitude of tweaks.
The front 5MP camera is fine, but nothing special. It has good face-tracking and skins tones look natural, but that’s about it. The video is limited to 1080p 60fps, or 540p if you want slo-mo, but it’s smooth and usable for sharing on social media.
The Moto G4 Plus is available with 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB in built-in storage options, and as mentioned, this also dictates how much RAM you will be getting. There is also expandable storage via microSD card, up to an additional 256 GB.
The Moto G4 Plus comes with a single front-facing speaker above the display and is a part of the earpiece. There is no stereo sound to be had, but the single speaker does sound pretty good and is capable of getting decently sound without sounding tinny or distorted.
The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate as expected and is comparable in quality to the scanners found with more high-end smartphones as well. But it has to be mentioned that this scanner isn’t particularly attractive looking.
The Moto G4 Plus comes with a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery, which has become the standard size for a lot of current generation smartphones.
The battery has been pretty good, and the device can provide a full day of use with average usage that involves sending and receiving messages, browsing the web, checking social media, watching a few videos and playing games for a little while.
Turbo Charging is supported, and Lenovo throws in a compatible charger so that you can go from 0-80% in just under an hour and to full power in about 80 minutes. Fast charging is still a rarity at this price, so it’s nice to see it included here.
According to me, the phone’s camera seems to be the real reason to buy it. In this range camera quality is much better then its competitor, but if I compare Redmi Note 3, then I must say MI easily be a winner (saves 3k also). Price in India of 3GB, 32 GB variant is 14999, which is not much higher for a branded quality phone lover.
Check Reviews of Redmi Note 3: Techradar Review on Redmi Note 3
Hi, This is Ajay Pandey. I am a Blogger, Tech Geek, Crypto-Investor, an Entrepreneur and an Intellectual Person. Technology is my passion and am trying to deliver my knowledge to this field. In Academics, I have Done Engineering and MBA (Marketing).