Moto G4 Review
The best budget Android device out there?
The Moto G3 had a lot of people talking in terms of value of money. Therefore Motorola are looking to do the same again with their 4th generation handset, the Moto G4 and with a launch price of £160 they may well be on to something.
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Full HD 5.5 inch display
- 1.5 GHz octa-core processor
- 13MP main camera
- 5MP front facing camera
- 3,000 mAh battery
- Micro SD support up to 128GB
- Turbo charging support
The Moto G4 is available from Clove in both single and dual SIM. The dual SIM model comes in white with 16GB internal and the single SIM is Black again with 16GB of storage.
In terms of value for money the screen is where the Moto G4 really delivers. A 5.5 inch 1080 x 1920p full HD display is very good for a handset at this price point and you would be happy to have this on any flagship device.
The screen covers most of the front of the phone and the bezels are fairly narrow with room on the top for the earpiece which doubles up as the speaker and there is also the front facing camera. The side has just 2 hardware keys, the volume rocker and power key with no slots for the SIM or SD card which are located under the removable back cover.
The back cover is a bit awkward to remove and doesn’t feel of the highest quality so the first time you remove it it does feel brittle. However once you’ve done it once, you realise that the cover is a fairly durable plastic, and it also has a textured coating that gives it a nice feel in the hand.
The Moto doesn’t have the premium metals and polished finish you would expect for this sector but it does have quite a nice finish even with all the plastic. The plastics used feel durable and the device feels solid, like it could happily take a few knocks and still be fine.
Overall it’s a well built product and although you can tall its a budget handset from the looks it certainly isn’t disappointing in any way at all.
A big screen device leaves room for a big battery and these types pf devices generally need it as well with high resolution displays drawing a fair amount of power. Therefore we have a fairly large 3,000 mAh battery and also support for turbo charging, however in the UK you won’t be getting a fast charger in box. You will just get the standard In fact, in box all you get is basic charger with an attached plug, so no USB cable for connecting to a PC or Mac and some documentation.
However if you do decide to purchase a fast charger, or have one already then you will be able to get 6 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging. The Moto G4 also has a very impressive battery life and I got over a day and a half when testing the device, I reckon with normal and perhaps some careful use this phone could get you a full 2 days.
The device has a 13MP main camera and 5MP front facing camera which is good and in terms of usability its very easy however performance isn’t the best you will see. However we do have to consider how much this phone costs and not compare it to the heavyweights like Sony, Samsung, Lg and Apple. The shots below were all taken with HDR auto on and in the standard mode.
The results were good and the Moto G4 picked out colours well and the touch focus worked very also. There is a good manual or pro mode which allows you to adjust focus, shutter spped, ISO, exposure and the white balance all with easy sliders that appear on the screen. So if you are looking for some more control over your shots then this phone has the capabilities to allow you to do that.
There is also some other modes that you can try out such as panorama and burst shot which is a nice feature and gives you some more options when taking pictures.
The video camera can record in 1080p at 30fps with both the front and rear cameras and there is also a slow motion mode at 120fps but you do sacrifice recording quality in this mode with video captured at 540p resolution. The sound captured in video was fairly good as well, although at times did sound slightly distant.
Overall this is a very good camera, and even better is that you are getting it in a phone which is around £160 so there is absolutely no complaints to be had here. I think you would do very well to beat this camera performance in this class, so a very good job here from Motorola.
The handset runs the latest version of Android, 6.0.1 Marshmallow which takes up 5.18Gb of the 16GB internal that you get. So with the addition of googles and Motorola’s pre-loaded apps you’ll have 10.82GB left which is good for a mid range handset. Those of you who download lots of apps or store music and pictures may want an SD card and this device can’t support up to 128GB and with Marshmallow you can format this as internal storage which is a really great feature.
You will get a very close to stock Android experience on the device and you’ll have to look out for Motos own UI tweaks. One of these is the camera app which has some nice features including a very easy to use manual mode. Another nice element to the camera is the touch focus which then allows you to adjust the lighting in the picture using a slider.
In terms of the UI and navigating the device, the Moto has the Google Now launcher and the stock app drawer with search so you can easily navigate and dismiss your recent applications.
You do get the Moto app pre-loaded which is a very basic application but it allows you to set up motions such as twist the device twice to launch the camera. You can also adjust your display settings to block certain apps so that they don’t show notification content which helps keep spam down to a minimum which is never a bad thing.
The Moto G4 has got a 1.5gHz octa-core processor in the shape of the Snapdragon 617 chipset and they’ve chucked in 2GB of RAM as well. This makes pretty good reading for a device in this price point, and the experience was very fluid and responsive.
Here you see the benefits of having little to no bloatware and keeping Android in a pretty raw form with no skins over the top. The Moto G4 is a fast device. Ok, it’s not going to be the best for gaming but this isn’t what the phone is built for and for a mid tier it delivers exactly what you need.
The 2GB of RAM is something that you definitely notice when multitasking and I didn’t notice any problems, with the device running very nicely. If put under heavy multitasking or enterprise use then you may start notice the device becoming a little sluggish. However, for users who are wanting this type performance you will need a flagship device which is going to set you back twice or even three times as much.
There was some shouting last year with the 3rd generation coming in `1GB & 2GB RAM options, with the 1GB not really delivering. So it’s nice to see that this time round they went straight to the 2GB and stayed away from a 1GB option.
The Moto has a fairly loud speaker, which for both ringing volume and consuming media is great. The sound was also very crisp and clear, and this is perhaps even more impressive when you consider that sound is just coming from the single speaker at the top of the device. Phone calls on the device also sound clear and I had no trouble hearing anyone and likewise they had no trouble hearing me.
There is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the handset to connect your headphones, and this delivered a good level of sound quality as well. It’s worth adding here that you won’t get a set of headphones in box, Moto have cut costs by reducing the hard bundle in the device and you can understand why they do this for a mid tier handset.
So, back to the start of this post. Is this the best budget android phone you can buy? – If it isn’t then it is certainty close, as there are good parts and bad parts to phones in this price bracket and it all depends on what you are after when looking for. However if you are looking for a phone running stock Android or very close to stock then this is a device that has to be strongly considered, especially if you aren’t wanting to save some money and a Nexus device is slightly out of your price range. The Moto G4 has a good camera, great quality screen, decent processing power and although it doesn’t have a polished premium metal finish the plastics look good and very durable as well.
If this sounds like the phone for you then take a look at our website and get yours today.