The "1-Minute" Review
- Poor low-light camera performance
- Non-removable battery
- No NFC
- No TurboPower charger included
The Motorola G-Series has built a loyal following on its affordable pricing, bloat-free software and attention to design details. However, Motorola has changed hands from Google to Lenovo since the last release--leaving some wondering what will come of the phone line. With the new Motorola Moto G4, it seems the answer is finally here!
We’ve scoured the leading review sites to see what people are saying about the phone. Let’s take a look at what they’re saying!
Looking at the phone, you’re greeted with a plastic chassis typical of the budget- to mid-tier market. Reviewers all agree that the design is one of the best currently available for the price. The Inquirer chimed in on the look, saying, “Yes it's simple, but the smooth curves make it stylish too.”
The phone lacks the IPX7 water resistance of previous models, but the look overall remains very similar. Reviewers did note that the phone is quite large, due to the screen size, but comfortable to hold. GSMArena notes, “Moto G4 feels rock solid and you wouldn't have a hard time to pass off the side frame as metal (it isn't, though).”
Coming around to the front of the phone, you’ll find a 5.5-inch IPS 1080p display. This is a substantial boost in size compared to previous models and about as large as a mobile screen gets before venturing into two-hand usage territory. As the largest screen on a G-series phone yet, reviews indicate that it’s not just about big numbers--the screen looks good too!
Expert Reviews put the display through a range of tests and declared that it offers “brilliant results for a budget smartphone, and its punchy colors look great regardless of whether you're browsing the web or looking at photos in your gallery.” Recombu agreed, saying, “the Moto G4 strikes a nice balance between realistic colors and eye-pleasing hues.”
Pushing all those pixels, you’ll find an octa-core Snapdragon 617 processor. It is firmly mid-tier, but reviews indicate that it’s capable of solid performance. Expert Reviews said, “It's beautiful to use on a day-to-day basis and it's even a pretty capable gaming machine, too.” Combine with 2GB of RAM, the phone should offer smooth and reliable performance for the foreseeable future. Pocket-Lint put the through a series of benchmark tests, and the figures appear to back this up. They note, “Sure, it might not handle the latest 3D games, or offer 4K video capture, in the way that flagship handsets do, but in daily tasks there's little it won't do.”
You’ll find options for 16 or 32GB of internal storage. If you’re looking to keep your trove of music, movies or games on hand at all times, there’s also microSD card support for cards up to 128GB.
All reviews agreed that the 3,000mAh battery was great. The Inquirer notes, “We were able comfortably to get through a day on a single charge, but you'll need to recharge before picking up your adventures the next day.” The phone includes TurboPower charging support, though you’ll have to shell out a little extra to get the charger, as it’s only included with the beefier G4 Plus by default. With the charger, Lenovo claims you can get up to 6 hours of usage out of a 15-minute charge.
For those looking to take snapshots on the go, you’ll find a 13MP rear camera with phase detection auto-focus and dual-tone LED flash. The phone received some criticism for its low-light performance and the color reproduction in videos. However, reviews for the camera are generally positive. GSM Arena says, “Image quality is above average for the class, though colors are slightly oversaturated.” The camera software gets equally good reviews, with The Inquirer noting, “This is very much a pick-up-and-shoot experience, and what you see is what you get.” For selfie fans and video chatters, Alphr says the 5MP front-facing lens “captures colorful and crisp selfies.”
It appears that Lenovo has chosen to stay true to the G-series software experience as well. You’ll find the interface very similar to stock Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Reviewers all noted smooth performance and little bloatware. They also loved the gesture controls. The flick and chop actions for launching the camera and enabling the flashlight were particularly popular.
There were a couple of minor complaints about the Moto G4. The first is a lack of NFC--this means no Android Pay or tap-syncing of information. The second was the lack of fingerprint sensor--an increasingly common inclusion.
Overall, reviews indicate that the phone brings the G-series up to date without deviating far from the popular Motorola formula. Alphr loved the handset, saying, “The Moto G4 is an extraordinarily good budget smartphone; a little large, perhaps, but for the money, it's basically flawless.”
However, if you’re looking to use the TurboPower feature, you might consider the G4 Plus, as it includes the charger and a few improved features for slightly more than the cost of the charger outright.
Prices (Where to Buy)
Motorola released the Moto G4 on May 18, 2016.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola Moto G4 user manual here.
Motorola backs up the Moto G4 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Moto G4 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Motorola support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Motorola's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.