So here I am with my first post ! Since I am a big moto fan, I thought reviewing this series would be a better way to start off.
- Incredible value > A little wider
- Good camera >Processor is getting on a bit
- Speedy fingerprint scanner
- Stock Android
- Lovely screen for the price
- 1080p, 5.5-inch display
- Snapdragon 617 CPU
- 2/3GB RAM
- Android 6.0.1
- 3,000mAh battery
- 16MP camera
- 5MP selfie camera
- Manufacturer: Motorola
- Review Price: ₹13,500
WHAT IS THE MOTO G4 PLUS?
The Motorola Moto G is the standard by which every budget smartphone is measured. Since the first version was released back in 2013, its the winner of most of the awards. You can’t get better bang for your money anywhere.
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.
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 would be wrong. The Moto G4 Plus is exactly the same size as the G4 and comes with the same whopper of a 5.5-inch screen . Wasn’t that already enough?
Moto G4 and G4 Plus:
So what is the difference?
Well there’s the price for starters. The Moto G4 Plus costs ₹15000 for the basic 2GB RAM/16GB storage option. That’s ₹1500 more than the equivalent Moto G4. The extra cash has been spent wisely, though – you get a fast, responsive fingerprint scanner and a better camera.
Is it worth it? Having used both phones for a while now I’d say yes, very much so. This is the best Moto G you can get right now.
Keeping the Moto G4 chugging along is Qualcomm’s older mid-range 617 CPU paired with another middle-of-the-road GPU that seems to handle graphically intense games very well.
You’ve got 2GB of RAM to play with tooand the base storage is again boosted from 8GB to 16GB. They’re similar specs to the Samsung Galaxy A5′, which retails for about Rs. 5000 more than the Moto G4.
There’s no NFC, though, so you won’t be able to use Android Pay here.
The bump in all areas means this is a very smooth phone to use. Apps pop open almost instantly and even bulky, image-heavy websites don’t cause issues. To be honest, the performance on this phone is as good as, if not better than, that of the 46,500 rupee fone Sony Xperia X. That shows you just how much phone you’re getting for your cash.
SOFTWARE AND ANDROID
One of the best, but also absolutely simplest, ways the Moto series has become such a trendy hit is because of its approach to software. During a time when heavy, ugly and cartoonish skins were all on the showcase, Motorola took a different approach and gave us Android as Google intended. Even though Motorola Mobility is now owned by Lenovo, this mantra hasn’t changed.
The objective here is simplicity. There are no duplicate apps, no bloatware, no skinned menus and no unessential features. It’s vanilla Android, the way Google designed it. This also means you’re more likely to get newer versions – Android N for example – and security patches first. Both of which are huge bonuses.
As it’s Android Marshmallow – Android N is coming later in the year – you get features like Now on Tap and Doze. Having the latest software is far from a given on budget devices – the Galaxy A5, for instance, still comes with Lollipop – so I’m happy to see it here.
There are a couple of small additions added by Lenovo, but they only really add to the experience rather than detract from it. The display glows, showing off the latest notifications and the time when you pick it up, while a quick shake opens up the camera. There’s a basic Help app too, and an FM radio, which is probably a welcome feature for a few.
The only other additional software feature is a time and weather widget that’s fairly underwhelming.
Support is included for Marshmallow’s nifty Adoptable Storage that lets you format the microSD card as internal storage. Bung in a 64GB card, follow the setup instructions and you’ve boosted your 16GB to nearer 80GB.
The biggest difference between the Moto G4 and the G4 Plus is the camera, but that’s not to say the cheaper brother is a snail in the optics department. The Moto G4 has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera that’s better than we could have hoped for at the price. In fact, it’s the best camera you can get for the money.
While the sensor is the same as on last year’s Moto G, improvements to the software and the speedier processor all mean that it performs better.
It’s impressive to see quite how far the Moto G has come from the first iteration that took dark and blurry photos.
If you love taking photos then it’s well worth spending the extra on the Moto G4 Plus, though. The beefed-up 16-megapixel sensor provides more detail, but I also found colours to be more accurate. The biggest improvement I found was in focusing and low light.
MOTO G4 – BATTERY LIFE
The 3,000mAh cell tucked in the back of the new Moto G 2016 is fairly standard for a phone of this size. But as it doesn’t have to push a power-hungry CPU and quad-HD display, it performs marginally better than those in the latest flagships like the LG G5 and HTC 10.
There isn’t a huge jump over the previous Moto G, but it’ll still easily get you through the day with a bit to spare if you accidentally forget to charge it overnight. On average I achieved 3.5 hours of screen-on time and the battery dropped 8% while I tried, and failed, to give two hoots about Arrow a 720p file. An hour of GAANA listening took it down 4%, with the screen off.
Unlike last year’s G, the Moto G4 supports fast charging and you’ll get a full charge in about 85 minutes. Going from 0-80% takes little under an hour. Thing is, you’ll need to provide your own supported charger to receive these times, as Lenovo doesn’t supply a suitable one in the box. If you do use the included charger, it takes about three hours to fully charge.
SHOULD YOU BUY THE MOTO G4?
Even though it’s a really large phone, the Moto G4 is easily the best way to spend 13 and a half k’s. Once again the budget Moto series shows every other similarly priced Android phone how it’s done – embarrassing a lot of them in the process.
The camera, screen, power and simple approach to Android are all winners, and while I’m not a complete fan of the textured rear, that’s just a minor quibble that’s completely down to personal preference.
You’ll need big hands, but once again the Moto G4 is the budget smartphone everyone needs to beat.