Just when you think you have the best budget phone in your pocket, a Moto G comes knocking at the door. With people going crazy over the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, and the Le1s and Le Max, Motorola makes a distinct statement with the launch of this phone. The next in its super affordable ‘G’ range, is the 4th generation of Moto G.

Priced at Rs. 13,499, this device is available in two colours white and black, and is pretty decent considering the improvements and additions it brings in after its predecessors. Having a tough competition in the mid-range smartphone market, let’s explore how this device from the Lenovo owned Motorola fares.

DISPLAY AND DESIGN

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After the Moto G 2nd and 3rd gen smartphones that donned 5-inch 720p screens, you now get a much more competitive 5.5-inch 1080p screen with a whopping pixel density of 401 ppi. The Gorilla glass 3 protection, although offers great value for money, is a fingerprint magnet. The device gets through vibrant colours, good viewing angles and sunlight legibility and thus, stands out and somewhat wins over most of the similarly priced devices.

It has the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors, with a gyroscope as a refreshing addition. It lacks a magnetometer and a notification LED unlike its previous phones. The addition of a finger print sensor came as a very exciting endeavour for the Motorola fans. The finger print sensor seems like the final piece in the jigsaw and does pretty well, especially with the additional support from android marshmallow. A few issues we experienced were that it does not act as a home button, has no capacitive buttons and has a hole right next to the sensor that appears weird.

The phone has a solid metal frame, which feels great to hold and isn’t slippery at all. It is thin enough with the thinnest point being 7.9mm. The power button has a rough feel to it like in the Nexus 6.

Even though the phone does not have a metal body, it feels pretty solid and premium to hold and weighs a delightful 155 grams with better battery power. All in all, it’s a win-win in this segment.

CAMERA

Moto G4 (plus) has a 16-megapixel rear camera, which is the best in its class. The dual tone flash and laser auto focus are a cherry on top.  The camera app has a new UI compared to earlier models. A manual camera mode and the quick toggles for HDR, flash, timer and switch between front and rear cameras, in my view, are better and more intuitive.

Coming to the image quality, it performs exceptionally well in the daylight with vibrant colours and excellent brightness. The macro mode also does well, owing to the f/2.0 aperture.  HDR shots are crisp, but as for the devices in this price bracket, the camera produces a lot of noise in the low-lit conditions. It can record videos at a maximum of 1080p full HD resolution, which are quite exceptional in the audio department, thanks to the secondary microphone. It can also record slow motion videos with a toned down resolution of 960 x 540.

The front camera on the other hand is pretty ordinary and fails to perform just like its predecessor.

Check the samples below and see for yourself.

Moto-G4-Plus-Sample-1_Daylight    DAYLIGHT

Moto-G4-Plus-Sample-11_low-light  LOW-LIGHT

HDRoff  HDR off

  HDRon  HDR on

SOFTWARE AND STORAGE

The phone runs on the latest Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow), which is almost stock, and thus gives u the feel of a Nexus device. It has a new beautiful clock screen widget, which shows the weather and date along. Nothing very surprising, it gives stock android experience with the much talked about google now launcher default.

It comes in two variants, a 3 GB RAM and 32GB storage, and a 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage, that differ in price by just a 1000 bucks.

In the 3GB RAM variant, you get 2881 MB usable RAM and 24.7 Gb of usable storage. While in the 2GB RAM variant with 16GB storage, the division of usable RAM and storage is 1865 MB and 10.3GB, respectively.

Since it runs on Marshmallow, you can use the microSD card as internal storage and store apps on it.

Motorola has done away with all the bloatware, including the migrate and assist app, since Motorola M has an in-built option for both Backup and Do Not Disturb.

It still has Moto Actions that comprises of four features – double karate chop to turn the torch on/off, flip the phone for do not disturb, pick up to stop ringing and Twist the phone to launch the phone’s camera and capture images quickly. The Moto Display offers time at a glance when you pick up the phone and also offers notifications on the black screen when you receive them. You can swipe up to go to a particular app that sent the notification or swipe either left or right to dismiss them. Moto Display compensates for the lack of LED notification light. You can also set a time if you don’t want to see Moto Display when you are sleeping.

 

PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY

It is powered by an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 64-bit processor which is better than the general snapdragon 615 in other phones in this range. The processor performs pretty well with almostall the heaviest games and shows smooth graphics but the phone heats up during intensive gaming and camera usage. The company could have gone with a better processor like Snapdragon 650 which doesn’t have any heating issues, but, this is what you get for the lenient price.Moto-G4-Plus_fonearena-03-1024x780

 

The phone packs a 3000 mAh built-in battery, slightly larger than the Moto G3’s 2,470 mAh. Average use makes the  battery last an entire day, but with heavy use such as gaming and some 4G, you can’t expect a brilliant battery life. You can enable battery saver to extend the battery life when the battery is low. Turbo Charging can charge the phone by up to 50% in about half an hour using the bundled Turbo charger. The phone heats up when using the charger, as common case with Turbo charging.

CONCLUSION

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Priced at Rs 13,499(for 2 GB), the MOTO G4 PLUS is a worthy successor to the Moto G3. A new improved camera
and display, the addition of a fingerprint sensor and a decent processor make it one of the best buying options in this price bracket if you can do with the heating issue.

As they say, all cheap things come with a compromise, in this device you do that with the lack of a notification LED and water resistance as compared to the previous generations.

 

Coming in two variants, Motorola hasn’t got anything flashy, both black and white look just fine in hand.

I strongly recommend this phone because of its good display, a good camera, great performance, fast fingerprint sensor and a decent battery life. Price and specs like a Chinese device and the stamp of assurance from MOTOROLA, this phone is a beast for its price.

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