Ever since launching the original Moto G, Motorola has garnered a lot of accolades for its G series of smartphones. Moto G handsets have gained a reputation of offering a consistent user experience paired with more than decent specifications, and that too at affordable prices.
Keeping with the same tradition, Motorola (now owned by Lenovo) recently launched the fourth generation Moto G smartphones in India. Although both the handsets – G4 and G4 Plus were announced together, the bigger G4 Plus came to the consumers a bit earlier.
And now, it’s time for the Moto G4. Priced at Rs 12,499, the Motorola Moto G4 offers a balanced set of specifications. And of course, there’s the near stock Android experience that Moto series of smartphones are famous for.
But is that enough for the Moto G4 to succeed, given that there are now numerous really good and equally capable smartphones fighting it out in the Indian smartphone arena? We used the Moto G4 for a few days, and here’s our full review.
Design and display
As far as the design goes, there are no surprises. The Moto G4 looks exactly the same as the G4 Plus, with exactly the same dimensions and weight. The phone has a grey coloured plastic frame and a smooth textured back. The back houses the 13MP rear camera and dual LED flash in an elongated closed ring, which is probably a new design feature for the fourth generation Moto G devices.
The back panel is removable and hides a 3000mAh battery, dual micro-sim slots, as well as a microSD card slot.
Moto G4’s front is dominated by a 5.5-inch Full HD display of 1080×1920 pixel resolution. Protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3, the display is quite good. It offers sharp colour reproduction and good sunlight legibility. Above the display lies the speaker, a 5MP front-facing camera and the usual collection of sensors.
While the volume rocker and power key are both located on the right edge of the handset, the 3.5mm jack is placed on the top. The bottom is where you’ll find the microUSB port. The bottom edge of the screen has the on-screen navigation keys. One feature that’s noticeably absent in the Moto G4 is the fingerprint sensor. Given that phones half the price of the Moto G4 have fingerprint sensors these days, the lack of one on the G4 is inexcusable.
All said, the overall design and display quality on the Moto G4 is quite good.
Performance and camera
The key specs of the Moto G4 include:
Memory: 16GB/32GB built-in, with support for microSD cards of up to 128GB in size
Operating system: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor
Connectivity options: 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS
Camera: 13MP rear with dual LED flash and FullHD video capture functionality, 5MP front-facing
Battery: 3,000mAh non-removable
As can be seen above, the Moto G4’s hardware specifications are pretty standard for a budget smartphone. In fact, they are nearly identical to its more powerful sibling Moto G4 Plus, apart from the rear camera.
Coming to the performance, Moto G4 easily handled all the day-to-day tasks we threw at it easily. There were no major heating issues, and everything from multitasking to web browsing was smooth. However, we did notice a slight slowdown in the phone’s performance for a bit.
As for the sound, the audio output and quality through the phone’s speaker were decent. Same can be said about call quality and signal reception, which was good even in areas of weak coverage.
In terms of software, Moto G4 runs near-stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow. In addition, there are also a few nice gesture controls that impart additional functionality.
Moving on to the cameras, the Moto G4 comes with a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and auto-focus. It also has a 5MP front-facing shooter. The camera app has features like HDR, Panorama and more.
During our time with the device, the images captured by the Moto G4 turned out to be pretty good. Colours were accurate and there was minimal noise, even in low-light conditions. The 5MP front camera managed to take some really good selfies.
All in all, we were quite happy with the picture quality of both the front and rear cameras. It’s worth mentioning that the rear camera supports slow motion video recording.
Oh, and the Moto G4’s non-removable 3000mAh battery easily lasted us a day with moderate to heavy usage.
The fiercely contested Indian smartphone market is all but dominated by emerging and established Chinese players like OnePlus, Xiaomi and Coolpad. But as good as they are, quite a few users have a lack of trust when it comes to buying a smartphone from these brands. This is where the Motorola G4 comes into the picture, offering both value-for-money and brand recognition.
However, Moto G4 has less to worry from Chinese smartphones and more from its own big brother – the G4 Plus. Costing only Rs 1,000 more, the Moto G4 Plus offers a fingerprint sensor and a camera with a higher megapixel count. Then of course, there are offerings like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 which offer equal or better specs at lesser prices.
In a nutshell, the Moto G4 is quite a well-rounded smartphone. And even though we recommend it, it would be good if you consider the alternatives as well.