Motorola Moto G4 review
Best of budget
The Motorola Moto G4 is one of the very best 2016 budget smartphones and at every turn it exceeds expectations, which should put this Moto phone at the top of any budget buyer’s shopping list.
Display - Big gets bigger
The Moto G4 has a 5.5” Full HD LCD display and this is half an inch bigger than its predecessor. The resolution of the display is upped as well to 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 pixels per inch).
While being a little less pocket-friendly, the extra size does give a far more enjoyable experience, with a little wow-factor. The increased resolution also means that individual pixels are indistinguishable, so images and media truly look lifelike.
Design - Curvaceous and gripable
The Moto G4 is the best looking Moto G yet and it looks a lot more expensive than it actually is. The rounded edges are met by a palm-pleasing curved back, that swells from 7.9mm at the edges to 9.8mm in the middle, making it the thinnest Moto G yet..
The back has a micro-textured finish that is very gripable, making one-handed operation easy. The back cover fits snug to a metal frame and a water repellent nano-coating protects the phone against the elements.
Performance - A marked improvement
Motorola has given the new Moto G4 a performance boost that is most definitely noticeable. The 1.5GHz octa-core processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon 617) has 2GB RAM, which is up from 1GB. This means that the Moto G4 can run multiple apps at the same time, with support for rich 3D images.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Memory, the internet and notifications
The new Moto G4 has double the internal memory at 16GB and this can be boosted further by inserting a microSD card with a value of up to 128GB.
A microSD card can be formatted as adoptable memory and this means that apps and app data can be stored on it. This is a useful feature for those who download loads of apps and games.
The internet can be connected to over 4G, 3.5G and Wi-Fi and when the phone is picked up, the display glows and shows the time and notifications.
OS - Moto Pure
Motorola continues to offer the Moto G range with a Moto Pure approach. This means that the Android Marshmallow OS runs faster, as there is no manufacturer-added bloatware.
Google’s Android OS has a selection of useful pre-loaded apps, such as the Chrome browser, Gmail, Maps, Now on Tap and Voice Search. The Play Music app works well with the front-ported loud speaker, and its position on the front face of the Moto G4 ensures that sounds are not muffled.
Camera & Video
Photography - From Auto to Pro
The Moro G4 has been gifted a really good pair of cameras. These are a 13MP main camera and a 5MP selfie camera, which has a wide angle lens and a display flash.
Quick Capture launches the camera when the holder makes two twists of the wrist. The camera can be used with Auto HDR, which takes two pictures and merges them, in order to give the correct exposure, to both light and dark elements in the frame.
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The Best Shot feature can be used to get better results and this works by taking multiple images, before and after you tap the screen, and the feature then recommends the best result to keep.
Alternatively, the user can switch to Professional Mode and adjust everything, right down to the shutter speed.
Low light results seem to have been improved and these now have a warmer glow, compared to the results seen on previous Moto G phones. The colour balancing LED flash helps out here, while other tools includes a 4x digital zoom, Burst Mode, Panorama, 1080p video recording and Slow Motion video playback.
Power - High capacity battery
The high capacity 3,000mAh battery is both needed and welcomed. Even when the large display is factored in, this battery will give all day power to the typical user. The battery is non-removable so it cannot be swapped out for a second battery.
Instead, it is possible to buy a TurboPower charger to put up to 6 hours of use into the battery in just 15 minutes.
Final thoughts: At around £150 SIM free or from just over £8 per month on a contract, the Moto G4 is great value for money and gives budget buyers a performance that they will applaud.
Written by: Michael Brown