Review | Motorola G4 Plus smartphone

By Charlemagne Losaria

Motorola is on everyone’s radar right now with the launch of the Moto Z and the Moto Mods that can be attached to it. While all eyes are on Motorola’s flagship device, quietly flying under everyone’s noses are the less heralded, budget friendly Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus.

Do we always equate capable with expensive? Here is my take on the Moto G4 Plus.

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What’s in the box

• Unit
• 2A TurboPower charger
• USB cable
• Headset
• Manuals and leaflets

Build

In today’s era of smartphones where even mid-ranger phones from local brands are built with either glass or aluminum, you have the Motorola G4 Plus, which is built mostly with quality plastic.

Do not let the build fool you though, as the handset is actually quite solid in the hands and may actually survive a few feet drop. It’s also noticeably lighter than other 5.5-inch devices in the market.

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The front panel is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and has water repellant coating for added water resistance. I find the front panel a joy to look at especially with the screen turned off.

For a change, Motorola fitted the G4 Plus with a squarish fingerprint scanner which isn’t actually “press-able” and just functions to unlock the phone. Unlock speed is fast and it works 9 out of 10, regardless of the position of your finger.

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Motorola opted to endow it with a front-firing mono speaker, which also acts as the earpiece of the phone. The G4 Plus is fitted with a 5MP wide-angle camera, and is quite good for casual selfies. Quite disappointing, however, is the missing LED light notifications.

Flipping it over, the removable back panel is textured and actually gives it a good grip. Underneath the cover are two SIM slots and microSD slot. The 3000 mAh battery of the G4 Plus is non-removable.

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The top edge features the 3.5mm headset jack. On the right edge, one can find the power button and volume buttons. The lower edge houses just the micro-USB charging port.

Display

The Motorola G4 Plus is fitted with an IPS LCD panel measured at 5.5 inch. It is a 1080p full HD display with a resolution of 401 ppi.

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The colors are very punchy and HD images and videos turned out very sharp. The display is quite legible even under direct sunlight. It can be set very low suitable for nighttime reading or very high if going outdoors.

Performance

The Motorola G4 Plus comes in three different variants. You have the 2GB RAM / 16GB ROM, the 3GB RAM / 32GB ROM, and the 4GB RAM / 64GB ROM. The unit we reviewed was the 3GB RAM / 32GB RAM variant.

At its helm is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor (4×1.5ghz and 4×1.2ghz) complemented by a 550 MHz Adreno 405 GPU. This combination of tech allows the Motorola G4 Plus to be able to breeze through any tasks I throw at it.

The overall experience is quite pleasant with no lags experienced with normal day-to-day operations. Switching of apps is fluid, thanks to the 4GB RAM of memory.

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For the gaming aspect, I can truly say it does not disappoint at all. I have never experienced drop frame rates while testing HD games like Gameloft’s Asphalt 8, Mad fingers’ Unkilled, and Gun Strider.

And since the G4 Plus has a front-firing speaker, I get to hold the phone comfortably without having to worry about accidentally cupping the sound source.

The G4 Plus ships with Android 6.0.1 out of the box and is pure as it gets with almost no customization and only a few apps from Motorola.

Camera

The 16MP camera on the Motorola G4 Plus is also quite good. It features a laser auto-focus system, video stabilization, and phase detect auto focus ideal for tracking moving objects. The rear camera can also be activated with a flick of wrist even on sleep so you don’t miss a moment.

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Camera modes supported includes Auto HDR, Slow Motion, Panorama and Professional Mode, though this mode is quite limited particularly with the shutter speed with its slowest only at ⅙ of a second.

ISO can be cranked up up to 3200 for low-light photography. If you’re the type to use Auto mode, then this is a very capable snapper.

Some sample photos from the Moto G4 Plus:

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Battery

The Moto G4 Plus has a 3000 mAh battery, enough to last you a whole day on normal operations. It supports quick charging, able to charge six hours’ worth of power in 15 minutes.

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Motorola calls the technology TurboPower Charging and is only supported by the charger that came with the unit. Overall battery times may vary upon usage but this is truly a 3000 mAh device.

The verdict

Motorola generated a lot of buzz recently with the launch of the much-heralded Moto Z and its Moto Mods. To some, it might not be within their budget. I consider myself a fan of Motorola since the V3 days (I think I had five of their phones and my smartwatch) and like me, other Motorola enthusiasts on a budget can find solace in going after a very capable phone in the Moto G4 Plus.

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Sure, it’s plastic and Motorola could have done better on the choice of material but given the price-to-performance ratio — another plus is being close to pure Android — it’s a gem in this price range.

The Moto G4 Plus is being sold in Lazada for P13,999.00.

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