After the tremendous sales success of the previous generation comes the time for the review of the Moto G4, Motorola’s most economical option for the mid-range of 2016. We thoroughly analyze the mobile to know its main advantages and defects valuing its price, is it worth buying?
The Return of a Giant
The new Moto G4 arrives ready to take witness to the previous generation, the Moto G 2015 which became one of last year’s biggest sales hits. The terminal re-searches for its place within the mid-range as one of the best value mobiles, which is increasingly difficult because of the wild fight between manufacturers.
Perhaps that’s why Lenovo – now at Motorola’s controls – has decided to split the iconic Moto G family in two, with a nomenclature change included. Below you can read the analysis of the Moto G4, equipped with some small improvements compared to the previous year’s model but below in specifications of the new Moto G4 Plus.
If you are not sure which mobile to choose between the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus you have a comparison to know exactly what the premium version adds and, for example, how its main camera works, which is one of the main claims to opt for the highest priced model.
On paper the Moto G4 lands with a considerably larger and capable display, a much more powerful processor and a higher capacity battery, with some extra more. And, of course, the best mid-range mobile under the Motorola label comes from a virtually pure experience that will enchant the stalwart, but is it worth buying?
The new Moto G4 grows to 5.5 inches, so at first glance the change is evident from previous generations. The dimensions of the Moto G4 are 153 x 76.6 x 9.8 millimetres weighing 155 grams, from which we can draw two fundamental conclusions: the terminal weighs almost the same as last year but has stretched its thickness to a surprising 9.8 millimeters.
Until now the design had been formed as one of the main points in favor of the Moto G for its fantastic ergonomics. This time we are faced with a rather functional mobile, very compact and relatively light, but not as manageable with one hand as the Moto G 2015 was.
Surprisingly, the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are practically the same at the design level: they share measurements, they have the same weight and the only visible difference is the incorporation on the front of a fingerprint reader in the premium model, while in this G4 this space is clean.
Unfortunately when it comes to manufacturing materials we cannot highlight this Moto G4, in which polycarbonate is once again the main protagonist. Even so the grip is good thanks to the finish of its rear case, which neither slips nor leaves marked footprints, so we can also not demand much more from a terminal that fits much in the price section.
As in the Moto G 2015 we do not have physical buttons but we have the virtual buttons of Android, which does not detract from visibility thanks to the increase of the diagonal of the screen.
The left side of the smartphone is bare while on the opposite side we find the volume and unlock buttons in a rather ergonomic position.
The edges are again quite clean in this continuous design of the Moto G4. At the top we can barely find the headphone input – not included in the sales box – while at the bottom we have the microUSB port and a small slit to open the back casing.
Like its older brother in this review of the Moto G4 we have proven that it is a 100 percent dual SIM mobile with three different slots to introduce two phone cards and a microSD to expand the memory, which is certainly a plus for many.
The bad news is that this new Moto G4 loses the water resistance that the 3rd generation Moto G, equipped with IPX7 certification, could boast.
One of the main innovations of the Moto G4 is that its IPS LCD panel grows to 5.5 inches and also does so with Full HD resolution, which offers a density of 401 pixels per inch. The frames are generous, albeit slightly less than in previous generations, with a screen-to-body ratio of 71.2 percent.
We also have Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection against small bumps and scratches, which is always an extra in the price range in which we move. Also noteworthy is its brightness level, above other mid-range terminals, as well as the viewing angles, identical to those of the G4 Plus that stands so well in comparison compared to the Huawei P9 Lite.
The reproduction of colors is quite good, always according to its price, although the most demanding will notice the colors with a small excess saturation: we have two options to change the color temperature of the screen -normal or intense- without option to calibrate it manually.
Another advantage of the Moto G4 over other mid-range terminals is the possibility to check the notifications with the screen off, something that can save us a lot of time and that if we do not want to use we can easily eliminate through the Moto assistant.
Leaving aside the numbers in this review of the Moto G4 we have seen that the new delivery of the iconic Moto G family has improved significantly in this section, being a much more pleasant device when consuming videos, images or video games both indoors and outdoors.
The fourth generation Moto G comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 eight-core processor (Cortex A53) with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz that was released at the end of 2015, the same one that we can find on the HTC One A9 or Alcatel Idol 4, well above the Snapdragon 410 of the Moto G 2015.
The GPU has also been updated by means of an Adreno 405 that performs much better when it comes to running all kinds of video games, although we should not forget that the differences from the high-end models are still considerable. Also its price, of course.
Another fundamental novelty of the Moto G4 is that the most basic model comes as standard already with 2 GB of RAM to improve multitasking management on Android, although unfortunately for the moment Lenovo has ruled out bringing to Spain the models of the new generation Moto G equipped with 3 and 4 GB, reserved for now to other markets.
The performance tests and benchmarks of the Moto G4 make it very clear that we are looking at a more powerful mobile than the Moto G 2015, no matter how much the results are discrete compared to the smobiles of the highest range.
During the days we used the terminal to write the analysis of the Moto G4 we have identified some slightly extended loading times when performing very demanding tasks, such as when opening video games with complex Real Racing 3-style graphics.
However, it is only a matter of patience because fluidity is the usual norm in all kinds of conditions, so it will offer a positive experience for most users looking for an efficient mobile but without great boast to avoid spending a fortune.
The internal storage of the Moto G4 reaches up to 16 GB, of which there are about 10.82 GB free for the user, which can be expanded through a microSD card by an additional 128 GB.
The Moto G family has been synonymous with Android experience for a long time and, fortunately, history repeats itself with this Moto G4. If you don’t like the customization layers or you hate the apps pre-installed from the factory by the manufacturers the new Moto G4 is a highly recommended mobile.
At the outset we have Android 6.0.1, fantastic news regarding terminals already present in the market for that same price range. However, one of the biggest advantages of the Moto G4 is that it will predictably be one of the first smartphones to receive the update to Android N.
In practice that is a guarantee that our smartphone will last – at least – two years if we treat it properly, so you only have to do a few small calculations to realize that it is a very profitable investment if you are not looking to buy one of the most powerful mobiles on the market.
In this Moto G4 we have all the good stuff that Android offers, with some small glue for some like the absence of an image gallery to use – instead you have to use the Google Photos app – easily solventable through Google Play.
As an added we only find an app, Moto, that allows us to set gestures such as phone shortcuts or configure notifications on the screen off.