- Weak speaker
- Weak low-light camera performance
- No 5.0GHz Wi-Fi support
The Moto G series has built a solid reputation for affordable phones with compromises in the right areas. The Moto G4 Play offers one of the lowest prices yet (which gets lower still if you’re willing to deal with Amazon ads on your phone), but does it strike the balance of its predecessors and remain recommendable value for everyday use?
Reviews are rolling in! Let’s see what everyone is saying!
If you’ve seen a Moto release, or most any average Android release, you’ve seen the Moto G4 Play. It’s all-plastic design features a few minor metallic accents but nothing about it stood out to reviewers. TechSpot chimed in on the design, saying, “[It] doesn’t feel bad in the hand—the curved plastic rear, textured with a weave-like pattern, is comfortable and has plenty of grip—but you won’t mistake this for something expensive.”
While the phone lacks the fingerprint scanner of many competing models, it is splash-resistant for extra peace of mind while on the go.
Head around front to the 5-inch 720p IPS display and reviews get better. Many reviewers noted how bright the screen is—a critical concern if you use your phone outdoors. AndroidPIT ran it through a series of benchmarks and said, “The screen will be perfectly satisfactory to the average user, but those who care about having the best quality display for videos and games should look at purchasing another phone.” Android Guys was more positive, saying, “If you’re worried about the lower 720p display, don’t be. Everything looks very crisp on it, and I really enjoyed scrolling through wallpaper apps trying out the sharpest offerings.”
Unfortunately, reviews were mixed on performance. The 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 and 2GB of RAM work fine for basic tasks. But gaming and complex websites gave many reviewers trouble. Android Guys noted, “Gaming performance was frustrating with the G4 Play, as games took a very long time to load.”
Where it lacks performance, it makes up ground in storage. With 16GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards, you should have little concern about being able to keep all your favorite apps, games and media available. Reviewers also noted that the version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on the device was low on bloat, leaving most of the storage available for use.
One of the most popular features on the phone was the removable 2,800mAh battery. Reviewed.com noted, "Users can expect well over a day's worth of regular use, provided ‘regular use’ isn't, say, streaming movies for five hours.” For those power-hungry days, you can swap the battery out. However, while the battery offers long life, it also requires a long charge since the phone lacks any quick charging capabilities.
The 8MP rear-facing camera and 5MP front-facing lens were firmly in the middle for reviewers. While the cameras offered images better than many entry-level options, it was far from a flagship experience. Some reviewers noticed quality issues—particularly as light levels dipped lower. TechSpot called it, “[An] excellent for the price, and tends to deliver surprisingly good photos in most conditions.”
Two other issues that stood out to reviewers. First, the single front-facing speaker wasn’t popular with anyone. Complaints of weak audio and distortion were common. Also, the phone lacks support for 5.0GHz Wi-Fi, so you might run into a few speed or signal strength issues in congested Wi-Fi areas.
Overall, reviewers were quick to recommend the MotoG4 Play to anyone looking for an affordable handset but didn’t need power-user specs. PC World summed up opinions well, saying, “The MotoG4 Play will get the job done, so long as its duties are limited to light computing and the occasional gaming session.”