Moto G4 Plus Review

So, can the Moto G4 Plus still be the mid-budget phone that sets the bar? Here’s our review.

Written by Shruti Dhapola | Updated: June 17, 2016 3:20 pm
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Moto G remains one of the most consistent performers in the India market, despite whatever has happened to the Moto brand. According to Moto, India is their second biggest market for the series after Brazil.

Moto G has always been the smartphone that offered strong performance, decent specs, all at a reasonable price. Now, with Moto G4 Plus, the company is bumping up the specs; offering 3GB RAM and 32GB storage version, along with a better 16 mp camera.

While the lower-end Moto G4 is not yet out in India ( a 13 mp camera and no fingerprint scanner) the higher-end Moto G4 Plus is available on Amazon.

Watch the video review here

Starting at Rs 13,499, Moto G4 Plus launches at a time when this price band is growing fast, and competition is getting tougher. Phones like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Le 1s Eco are all slightly cheaper than the new Moto G4 Plus, offer better looks and great performance.

So, can the Moto G4 Plus still be the mid-budget phone that sets the bar? Here’s our review

Specs: 5.5-inch Full HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 | Snapdragon 617 1.5 GHz octa-core processor | 3GB RAM + 32GB | 3,000mAh | 16MP rear camera + 5MP front camera | Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Price: Rs 14,999

Moto G4 Plus

The most noticeable change with the new Moto G4 Plus is the design. Moto G4 Plus has a much slimmer form factor, compared to last year’s G3, with a silver metal frame on the side with rounded edges. The plastic back still has a textured pattern on it, but it feels different from the Moto G3 and more subtle. The square fingerprint scanner replaces the speaker grill seen at the bottom of the Moto G3.

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While the white coloured Moto G4 Plus we got picked up some smudges, none of it was permanent. And so far it remains pristine looking. The back is removable (battery is not), and the Moto G4 Plus supports dual SIM and a microSD slot. You can insert both nano and micro-SIM in the slots as Moto has added special SIM trays inside.

The phone is light and fits easily in your hand, even though this one has a bigger 5.5-inch full HD TFT display. While it retains the essence of the Moto G series, G4 Plus looks like a more polished, refined version.

What’s good?

A bigger full HD display is what you’ll get with Moto G4 Plus, something that was long due on the series. Lenovo Moto delivers well on this, as the display works well in sunlight, and is crisp and vivid.

You don’t need the brightness at maximum, and in my case I used it at 50 per cent and that was good enough. But yes, the Moto G4 Plus’ display is prone to fingerprint smudges. But, I would suggest getting a screen-guard or tempered glass, as I have noticed some small scratches starting to appear.

With the Moto G series, I’ve always liked the performance and in case of the G4 Plus, the standards are maintained. Personally, I like a pure Android experience and this one it comes with Android M including features like Google Now on Tap (works like a charm) and better battery optimisation.

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Moto G4 Plus might not set the benchmarks on fire — in Antutu it appears down in the list and the GeekBench score is also not too high– but that doesn’t affect the overall daily performance.

HD gaming, multi-tasking, your binge video-watching session; none of it should be a problem on this phone. I’d say this is one of the best mid-budget phones for gaming right now. The phone handles games like Asphalt 8 smoothly.

Call quality and audio playback is also quite good on this phone, better than what most budget phones offer.

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Moto is pitching the camera as the highlight. Moto G4 Plus gets a score of 84 on Dxro Mark a professional camera test, same as the 2014 iPhone 6 and that’s something the company has been quick to highlight.

While most users won’t be trying out the Moto G4 Plus in a professional setting, there’s no doubt that the G4 Plus has a very good camera, at least for its budget pricing. The low-light performance has definitely improved, and the HDR mode is capable of delivering some stunning results.

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The camera is fast, there’s virtually no shutter-lag and it can handle pinks, reds, better than most budget phones. That’s a big plus point. However, there is a tendency for colours like pink, yellow to appear a little sharp, but there are no noticeable bleeds. The selfie camera is likewise quite good and should appeal to most.

On the battery front Moto G4 Plus is shipping with a Turbo charger and promising six hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charge. I charged it for 15-20 minutes, (battery was at zero per cent) and it managed to stay on for the rest of the evening. This included a brief gaming session, Netflix and music. Overall the battery should last 10-12 hours on the Moto G4 Plus.

What’s not good?

I am not saying the fingerprint scanner is not accurate, but I had a rough start with it. At one point I was locked out of the phone, and it didn’t accept the PIN I normally use. So I had to do a factory reset. But since then scanner has worked fine, although it does have some misses at times.

I keep confusing that button for a home button, when it doesn’t do anything else. At some point it feels like a design flaw to me, and I feel Moto could have gone for a less ugly-looking button.

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My other complaint would be that Moto G4 Plus’ Turbo charger doesn’t ship with a removable USB-cable. For a lot of users, that might be a problem, especially if you’re looking to transfer data, and find yourself hunting for a separate cable to plug into the PC.

The phone like all others is prone to heating, especially during a long session of gaming at the top, close to the camera unit.

Should you buy?

Moto G series changed the way we look at mid-budget smartphones. The G3, G2 were all great phones and continue to be; Moto G4 Plus on the other hand improves on the camera bit, and quite drastically. Given the pricing, this camera is exceptional.

Sure it’s more expensive than Redmi Note 3 ( a smartphone I’ve liked and reviewed), Le 1s for its 32GB space, but feels more solid. There are plenty of people who look for a budget phone with a great camera, and in my opinion Moto G4 Plus is the answer.

Buy this if you want a great mid-budget smartphone camera, although Moto G3 users might not feel the need to upgrade.

Read: Motorola Moto G (3rd gen) Express Review: Still the budget benchmark

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