Motorola Moto X4 review: Is this the mid-end smartphone to beat?https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/motorola-moto-x4-review-price-in-india-specifications-features-sale-4958288/

Motorola Moto X4 review: Is this the mid-end smartphone to beat?

Moto X4 may not have a fancy mod to support or a crack-resistant screen, but the phone gives a good idea of where smart devices are headed.

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Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Motorola Moto X4 review: Is this the best phone in the mid-end segment?

Motorola has been designing phones and with devices like the Moto Razr and Moto G changed the way consumers perceived their phones. It has become more innovative as part of the Lenovo juggernaut and is experimenting with new designs and ideas. The new Moto X4 may not have a fancy mod to support or a crack-resistant screen, but the phone gives a good idea of where smart devices are headed. We have had the Moto X4 for a while now and here is our review.

Motorola Moto X4 specifications: 5.2-inch LCD 1920 x 1080 resolution display| Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor| 3GB +32GB storage/4GB RAM + 64GB storage|12MP +8MP dual cameras|16MP front camera|3000mAh battery| IP68 rated|Android 7.1 Nougat

Motorola Moto X4 price in India: Rs 20,999 (3GB RAM +32GB storage), Rs 22,999 (4GB RAM + 64GB storage)

Moto X4 review: Design and display

Motorola has paid attention to the smallest details, and it shows in the Moto X4’s design. The phone looks premium even though this is a mid-end phone that costs less than Rs 25,000 and clearly looks expensive.

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The front of the phone is dominated by a 5.2-inch display, framed by thick bezels at the top and bottom. A capacitive, oval-shaped fingerprint scanner is underneath the display, and it does the job just fine. The power and volume buttons are all on the right side and feel appropriate. A headphone jack is on the bottom, next to the USB Type-C port. And the top of the phone houses the all-in-one tray that holds the microSD card and SIM card. There’s a single speaker on the device, which can be found at the top of the screen, doubling as the earpiece for phone calls.

Flipping the device reveals some surprises. The phone doesn’t look like the Moto G5 or the Moto Z2 Play. Moto X4 features glass on the front and back, and this is all sandwiched together by a metal frame. You’ll also notice a large circular bump on the back of the top center that holds dual cameras, along with the flash. A Motorola logo sits in the center. Having an IP68 rating, Moto X4 is both water- and dust resistant.

Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
A large circular bump on the back of the top center that holds dual cameras, along with the flash.

I have got the Sterling Blue colored Moto X4, but the phone is available in Super Black as well. The Sterling Blue looks like a silver coloured device. The rear of the phone is glossy and prone to fingerprints and smudges. A piece of advice; you really need a fiber cloth all times to clean the glass surface. My review unit hasn’t picked up any scratches, but I would urge you to kindly get a case as soon as you buy the device.

Moto X4 feels solid in your hand– and that’s a reality. As a person with smaller hands, Moto X4 fits me perfectly. I love that Motorola still cares to make a compact smartphone in this day and age.

Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
As a person with smaller hands, Moto X4 fits me perfectly.

The 5.2-inch Full HD display sharp and bright enough for everyday use. Colours are usually good and balanced. I’m surprised to see that even though Motorola has opted for an LCD display and not OLED, the display is of a high-quality. Since you will be spending most of your time looking at the display your eyes will certainly love the Moto X4.

The phone also supports Moto Display that shows the time, date, and notifications. You can call it a type of always-on display. There’s also a new night display mode that filters out blue light.

Moto X4 review: Hardware and software

Moto X4 is not a hero device, so don’t expect the performance to be comparable to the Galaxy Note 8 and OnePlus 5T. However, the device is not going to disappoint for sure. The phone is powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 3GB RAM or 4GB RAM (depending upon the model you choose), and 32GB or 64GB storage. The storage can be further expanded through a microSD, which of course costs extra. During my time spent with the phone, the Moto X4 was snappy and smooth. Apps loaded quickly, and during the intense gaming session the phone never slowed down. Games like Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 8 ran smoothly.

Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Motorola Moto X4 AnTuTu and Geekbench scores.

Moto X4 received an AnTuTu score of 69,446, which is quite low compared to a phone with a Snapdragon 835. On Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance, turning in a score of 871 for single-performance and 4146 for multi-core performance.

In my testing, the 3,000mAh battery would last a day and a half before needing to be charged, which is still better compared to other phones comparatively priced. Charging the phone is fast, thanks to Motorola’s TurboPower charging technology. Call quality was good; I also found the phone held on to a 4G signal better in the metro.

Moto X4 review: Software

Moto X4 runs a near stock version of Android 7.1 Nougat, which is a nice thing in my opinion. The phone should be upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo, but the exact timeline of rollout has not been notified. The user interface remains uncluttered; a swipe down from the top of the screen brings down the notification shade and a swipe up will bring up app drawer menu. There is no learning curve, and everything is simple to operate. But Motorola has added some little touches to elevate the experience. These include the Moto Key, Moto Voice, and Moto Actions.

Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Moto X4 runs a near stock version of Android 7.1 Nougat, which is a nice thing in my opinion.

Moto Actions, for instance, offers various gestures , such as a chop gesture twice to turn on the flashlight; or twisting the phone back and forth twice to launch the camera. Moto Voice is like a voice-activated assistant, but to be honest, I hardly need another assistant guiding throughout the day. Moto Key meanwhile, allows you to log into password-secured websites on your Windows laptop or macbook with the Moto X4’s fingerprint scanner. I tried it on the Windows PC — and it worked.

Another cool feature of the device is Moto’s Wireless Sound System. So essentially, it lets you connect to up to four Bluetooth headphones or speakers to play music simultaneously. I couldn’t test the feature myself, but the idea is really cool.

Moto X4 review: Camera

Moto X4 packs a dual-camera setup on the rear. It has a 12MP primary camera with an f/2.0 aperture, and the second wide-angle camera has 8MP with an f/2.2 aperture. Overall it’s capable of producing some good images if not the best. It can take better shots in good light. However, I was a little disappointed the way camera performed in low light. Many of the shots I took in the dark came out unusable, or were blurry.

Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Motorola Moto X4 camera sample (Image resized for web)
Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Motorola Moto X4 camera sample (Image resized for web)
Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Motorola Moto X4 camera sample (Image resized for web)
Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Motorola Moto X4 camera sample (Image resized for web)
Motorola Moto X4 detailed review, price and specifications
Motorola Moto X4 camera sample (Image resized for web)

The problem with the X4’s camera is that it’s not consistent. Given the phone has two cameras at the rear, one can add a blur effect to behind a subject. It works most of the time, but don’t expect the results closer to the Google Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 Plus. The 16MP selfie camera produces good snaps, though.

Moto X4 review: Conclusion

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Moto X4 is impressive for a mid-range device. The phone excels on many fronts, be it on looks, performance, IP68 water-resistance and battery. Although the camera may not be comparable to the competition, it still works for me. And thanks to its clean stock Android interface, Moto X4 has won another brownie point. For Rs 22,999 (4GB RAM + 64GB storage), it’s a good option for those looking for a phone that’s affordable and perform far better than other devices in its class.