Moto G4 Plus First impressions: The budget maker grows up

Here is our first impression of the Moto G4 Plus the newest budget smartphone from Motorola


Motorola announced the all new fourth generation Moto G on 17 May, at a launch event in New Delhi with two handsets – the Moto G4 and the G4 Plus. Both the phones offer a flat design and the latter comes with a fingerprint sensor making it the first device from the brand to sport this feature. Here is our first impression of the G4 Plus which will be available from 18 May.

Design and build

Moto G4 Plus First impressions: The budget maker grows up

The handset has a plastic finish and the build quality is a bit better than the Moto G 3rd gen from last year. This year, the Moto G has grown and now has a 5.5-inch display and it also feels slimmer at 7.9mm thanks to a more flat design. Below the display, there is a square fingerprint scanner, the first ever on a Moto device. There is a metal-like (although it is plastic) frame running around the edges that also house the textured power/sleep button and the volume rocker on the right side, the headphone jack at the top and the microUSB port at the bottom. The back has a removable panel that reveal the SIM card slots and a microSD card slot. The battery is sealed inside so it is non-user replaceable. The handset is also water resistant so it can withstand some water splashes but not be immersed in water. Overall the handset feels sturdy, refined and definitely larger this time.

Display

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Moto decided to put a 5.5-inch full HD display on the new Moto G. This is a first for any Moto G device; in fact the only other handset under the Moto portfolio with a 5.5-inch display was the Moto X Play. Nonetheless, the display looks bright and sharp. There is Gorilla Glass 3 protection on top for added protection as well. Colours look good, contrast is balanced and the viewing angles are also in check.

OS

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Motorola has been known to deliver a stock Android experience in all its smartphones and the new Moto G4 Plus come with clean Android 6.0 Marshmallow. There are the usual Motorola apps which make the experience quite productive like the twist action to turn on the camera feature and the chop action to open the flashlight. Overall the clean Android experience looks sweet and also allows Motorola to push out updates quicker.

Camera

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The camera on the G4 Plus is definitely an update from the previous generation. You get a 16MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture along with PDAF (Phase detection auto-focus) and dual-tone LED flash. Apart from the update on the hardware, Motorola has also added new features to its camera app including a pro-mode that offer controls to fine tune your exposure, a best shot mode to capture fast motion, and a bunch of additional improvements. We tested out the camera to find that it is definitely improved, but it isn’t a benchmark setter. While bright conditions were not a problem for the camera, low light led to slower auto-focus and loss in details. However, we need to use it extensively to get an idea of its performance.

Chipset, RAM, Storage

The handsets are powered by a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC, an update to the 615. The processor has four cores running at 1.5GHz and the rest on 1.2GHz.There are two variants of the device including a 16GB internal storage with 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage with 3GB of RAM.  Both offer expandable memory, dual SIM card slots along with LTE and VoLTE connectivity.

Battery

There is an update in the battery department as well as you now get a 3000mAh battery along with Turbo charging technology. Motorola claims 15 minutes of charging can charge up the handset to provide a 6 hour battery backup. We will need to test these claims.

Conclusion

The new Moto G4 Plus is a worthy update and a great addition to the Moto G series. It could disappoint some fans because of the larger footprint, but to be honest it isn't that bad and there isn’t anything that we could point out as negative. It will face touch competition from brands like Xiaomi, LeEco and even its parent company Lenovo since all of these companies offer competitive handsets in the same price segment.

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