Motorola seems to have got the strategy right. Unlike other smartphone makers which are flooding the market with their phones, Motorola is sticking to its practice of keeping the smartphone portfolio limited. But that is not preventing the company from making timely upgrades across different price categories. In other words, the company may not be coming up with all-new products, but it has been consistently bringing the successors to its phones with right enhancements and at the right time.
In line with its ritual of introducing successors, the company recently launched the Moto G4 - the sequel to the third generation Moto G smartphone - in India. We have already shared with you our first impressions of the phone, but does the phone make it to our recommendation list?
(The new Moto G comes in two variants - the G4 and the G4 Plus. The G4 is a base model and is yet to make its way to the Indian market. The G4 Plus, on the other hand, looks exactly like the G4, but comes with some extra features. So most of the things being talked about here about the G4 Plus apply to the G4 as well - as and when it comes.)
One thing that makes the Moto G4 Plus different from its predecessors (as well as the Moto G4) is the fingerprint sensor at the front. In other words, the Moto G4 Plus is the first Moto G phone to come with a fingerprint sensor. The sensor, as expected, proved to be effective - both in terms of speed and accuracy. Also, it was not erratic, and not even once I found myself struggling with the phone.
Moving to the look and feel of the phone, the G4 Plus has a design language similar to the last-gen models. While the design elements may appear to be borrowed from the predecessor, the changes are pretty noticeable. The panel at the back is completely different from how the Moto G (3rd generation) model looks. It looks neat and elegant.
While the phone comes in two colours - black and white, I personally found the white one more appealing to eyes. It’s just a matter of personal choice.
Hiding under the plastic back panel are two slots for SIM cards and one for microSD card. Given that many companies are going with a hybrid SIM slot, it’s good to see that Motorola has managed to keep all the three slots in place. The battery, however, is not removable.
Compared to the last-gen Moto G, the company has increased the size of the phone by 0.5 inches. But the increased size neither makes it uncomfortable to hold nor adds to its weight. Despite that the phone measures 5.5-inches in size, it is comfortable to hold and operate. The rounded corners of the phone further add to the ergonomics.
Unlike the 720p display on the last-gen Moto G, the new Moto G4 Plus has a screen resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. The display on the G4 Plus offers good viewing angles and produces excellent colours and has a great contrast ratio. Also, it was pretty comfortable reading on the phone under sunlight.
Coming to the cameras, both the 16 megapixel rear camera and the 5 megapixel front camera capture good amount of light and offer good results. Not only the images turn out to be bright, they also have fairly good details. Both the rear and front camera let you shoot videos in 1080p. The only downside is that there are not too many options to customise results - something that Motorola has never been fond of bundling in its camera apps.
Here are a couple of images taken with the Moto G4 Plus rear camera.
(We have not applied any effects or photo filters on them, to reproduce them as close as possible to their original quality. The photos have only been cropped to fit the page width.)
But the interesting bit here is that the company has really been working on improving its cameras. I was never fond of cameras on the Moto phones until the Moto X Play came out. As I mentioned in my first impressions review as well, the X Play was the first Moto phone ever since Motorola’s re-entry into India that left me impressed with its cameras.
What I think that Motorola should have included in the Moto G4 Plus is the waterproof feature that it had introduced with the Moto G (3rd gen). The predecessor had been designed to withstand immersion in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes, provided the back cover was properly sealed. But the Moto G4 Plus lacks that.
At the heart of the phone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 617 chipset coupled with 3 GB of RAM (in the 32 GB model) and 2 GB of RAM (in the 16 GB model). Throughout the review period, I didn’t find the phone to be lagging or having sudden app crashes. It performed pretty smooth and was able to easily handle multitasking.
Motorola is one of the few companies that keeps the Android experience close to native on its phones. The Moto G4 Plus runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and is devoid of bloatware. While the phone comes with the company’s proprietary apps installed, they are very few and don’t count as bloatware.
The speaker on the phone is not only loud but also generates great audio results. Packed with a 3000 mAh battery, the Moto G4 Plus easily lasted for over a day. It also supports fast charging, and therefore, it was pretty easy to have juice in the phone in a matter of few minutes, especially when I had very little time at hand.
Priced at Rs 13,499 for 16 GB and Rs 14,999 for 32 GB, the Moto G4 Plus is a great contender in the under Rs 15K category. The phone makes to our recommendation list and has the potential to compete against the likes of the Redmi Note 3 and Lenovo ZUK Z1.