The Moto G4 Plus is the first phone from Motorola since the takeover by Lenovo. Will it live up to the legacy of Motorola’s popular Moto G line of phones?
While overall design has changed a bit it keeps that sort of generic look that Motorola has adopted over the past few years especially from the front which is a edge to edge slab of glass. The screen size has increased to 5.5″. The rounded corners are still there as well as the comfortable round edges but the rounded back is gone. Instead there is a flatter soft feeling plastic removable back.
The G4 Plus still feels comfortable in the hand and despite being all plastic still has that solid well built Motorola feel. Under the hood the specs while not quite top of the line it is powerful enough to get the job done well and do it all day.
- Operating System
Android™ 6.0.1, Marshmallow
- System Architecture/Processor
Motorola Mobile Computing System, including an up to 1.5 GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 617 octa-core processor with 550 MHz Adreno 405 GPU
- Memory (RAM)
- Storage (ROM)
32 GB internal, up to 128 GB microSD Card support
Height: 153 mm
Width: 76.6 mm
Depth: 7.9 mm to 9.8 mm
1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080)
All-day battery (3000 mAh)
TurboPower™ for up to 6 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging
While some will suggest the Moto G4 Plus is underpowered I found it had more than enough get up and go to do everything I asked of it. Scrolling is smooth, full HD videos rn without a hiccup and apps opened quickly and ran well even with multitasking.
Typical of all Moto smartphones, the G4 Plus runs on a near-stock version of Android, and in this case it is Marshmallow 6.0.1. You get the usual suite of Moto enhancements which include Moto Display and Moto Actions.
Moto Dusplay eliminates the need for a notification LED. It shows you the time and a preview of your notifications unlocking the phone when you move it. Moto Actions lets you trigger various motion-based gestures such as Pick Up to Stop Ringing.Kudos to Motorola for leaving out the usual crapware seen in too many phones.
While the Moto G4 Plus continues to use the standard Android on screen control buttons you will notice a square touch sensitive button in the centre of the bottom bezel. This is the new fingerprint reader that allows you to quickly unlock the phone with your fingerprint. I found it worked quickly and reliably but, that’s all this button does and until I got used to that I kept trying to use it as a home button.
The biggest highlight of the G4 Plus is the camera, which is a 16-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture and Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) as well as a laser autofocus system to quickly lock on to nearby objects. What’s more important is the new camera app. There is tap-to-focus and you can also also adjust the exposure with a slider. You get more shooting modes too, like slow-motion video, panorama, and a professional mode.
That really comes in handy when shooting in low light as it lets you adjust the focus, white balance, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation. The ISO range is from 100-3200 while maximum shutter speed is 1/5sec. Slow-motion video is fixed at 120fps at 540p resolution.
The rear camera takes great pictures in good light however, in mixed shade and bright sunlight, highlights tend to get blown out. The level of detail is pretty good and colours are accurate. I recommend keeping HDR set to Auto. Most of the time you won’t even notice it but, when you need it is there and you will appreciate the option of being able to choose from original or optimized images. I liked the low light performance with or without flash.
Video recording at 1080p results in good quality videos in good and low light. It does also tend to blow out highlights. in both daylight and low light. The front camera also manages very good selfies when the lighting is good. Another neat addition is the ability to directly read barcodes and QR codes from within the camera app.
It’s a shame Motorola chose to leave out NFC. It has become pretty standard on most smartphones and the technology is fairly cheap.
All in all the Moto G4 Plus is a great phone and to answer my opening question — yes it does live up to the legacy of previous Moto G models. It offers plenty of power, good battery life, a really good camera and pretty much all the features you would expect on a flagship phone at a budget friendly price. It is not as cool or flashy like top of the line flagships but, this will do the job for all but the most demanding of smart phone users or those who feel better paying double the price.
the Moto G Plus is currently available for around $400 outright at Virgin Mobile, Telus, Koodo, Rogers, Wind Mobile and Sasktel or $0 to $250 depending on the plan.