Moto G4 Plus First Impression – Plus Features, Minus Charm

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Motorola’s Moto G series is all about providing decent ‘smartphone experience’ (if not specs) for a price that lies within affordable realms – tagged under a familiar global brand that won’t be discarded or belittled as a novel ‘Chinese’ offering. That should explain why Motorola has sold so many of its Gs and why it’s so popular among youngsters. The new Moto G4 Plus carries forward the same legacy, promising improvements in many key areas, for just the right price. Was it as appealing in person as on paper? Let’s discuss what we liked and what we didn’t in our first encounter with the Moto G4 Plus.

Lenovo Moto G4 Plus

Also read: LeEco Le 1s Eco and Le Membership FAQ: Everything You Need To Know

Key Specifications and Features:  

Model Moto G4 Moto G4 Plus
Display 5.5-inch full HD (1920x1080p) IPS TFT LCD display with 401ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 5.5-inch full HD (1920x1080p) IPS TFT LCD display with 401ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.5GHz octa-core  Snapdragon 617 SoC, Adreno 405 GPU 64-bit class octa-core  Snapdragon 617 SoC, Adreno 405 GPU
Internal Storage 16GB, No MicroSD card support, Expandable up to 128GB 16GB/32GB, MicroSD card support, Expandable up to 128GB
Software Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Primary Camera 13 MP sensor, LED Flash, PDAF, F/2.0 aperture lens 16 MP sensor, LED Flash, PDAF, F/2.0 aperture lens
Secondary Camera 5MP Front-Facing Camera, F2.0 aperture lens 5MP Front-Facing Camera, F2.0 aperture lens
Battery 3000 mAh, Turbocharger 3000 mAh, Turbocharger
Others Dual SIM (Nano + Micro), 4G 64-bit class VoLTE, USB OTG Support Dual SIM (Nano + Micro), 4G VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, USB OTG
Price yet to be announced Rs. 13,499 /14,999

Better quality material used

The cheap metal finish plastic on Moto G3 (which wasn’t fooling anyone) has been replaced with real metal side frame. The plastic matte finish back cover has a subtle texture which lends it a nice grip. Motorola’s iconic dimple insignia is still there.

Lenovo Moto G4 Plus

Also, the new Moto G4 Plus sheds off that Chunky feel by opting for a comparatively flatter back design. Imagine a Samsung Galaxy S7 like side edge, but with polycarbonate instead of glass, and you will get a fairly good idea of what the new Moto G4 Plus design feels like.

Lenovo Moto G4 Plus

With a display size of 5.5-inches, it’s fairly bigger than Moto G3. Speaking of which, the display panel on Moto G4 Plus scales resolution to full HD, and whites are good too, but if you like colors that pop (as in Moto X Play or Moto X Style) you might be a bit disappointed. We will test it further in our personal space before we give our final verdict.

Just below the display, you will find a square (OnePlus 2 Like) fingerprint sensor. It doesn’t double as a home key. Navigation bar is still on the display. It’s a trackpad like sensor, so you can’t press it either. The fingerprint sensor worked fine in our initial testing, but felt weird. Perhaps because of the bordering rim which protrudes out. Also missing is water resistance certification when compared to Moto G3 (IPX7). Splash resistance nano-coating offers some consolation though.

Lenovo Moto G4 Plus

Improved camera hardware?

Motorola brought many professionals from different walks of life to testify Moto G4 Plus’s camera prowess. Point being, this is the feature which Motorola aims to highlight and is solely depending on to market the new Moto G4. We tried some shots in low lighting and under Motorola’s set-up. The shutter speed wasn’t very fast and for good images we had to keep our hands steady and even switch to the new pro mode for accurate white balance a couple of times. On the whole, the low light performance felt above average compared to other similarly priced handsets.


It is still too soon for any sort of conclusions but here are a few camera samples to help you estimate how well the Motorola camera performs.

Moto G4 Plus Camera Samples 

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Performance Expectations

Lenovo Moto G4 Plus
Lenovo Moto G4 Plus

The performance on Moto G devices often exceeds expectations. The stock Android Marshmallow on new Moto G4 Plus felt smooth. The Snapdragon 617 octa-core SoC used in Moto G4 is similar to Snapdragon 615, save for improvements like better ISP (for camera) and a new modem. An upgrade to Snapdragon 615 isn’t exactly as enticing as Snapdragon 650 or 652 at this point of time, but Moto Gs have worked surprisingly well with mediocre SoCs in the past, and this could very well be the case with the G4 Plus. The chipset is also aided by Adreno 405 GPU, which hints at smooth gaming. Motorola has also added support for a few gestures, though I couldn’t spot them in the settings menu on the hands-on prototype.

Also read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Review: Wins Budget War, But By A Very Narrow Margin

Moto G4 Plus Photo Gallery

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The Moto G4 Plus is an incremental update, sticking to existing Motorola philosophy. Yet, somehow it feels that Motorola didn’t go that extra mile. The fingerprint sensor implementation could have been better (integration in Moto dimple on the rear would have been cool) and the same goes for the display. Having said that, it might still be a better alternative to existing rivals. The design choices and stock android should play to its advantage. How impressive it ends up being will heavily rely on how good the rear camera turns out to be.

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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1 Comment
7 years ago

Please correct mistakes in your article and specs sheet. 1. It uses IPS LCD display but mentioned as TFT. 2. Back camera aperture is f2.0 and front one is of f2.2. Please correct the mistakes ASAP

Deepak Singh
7 years ago

Thanks for pointing it out Praveen. Have corrected the aperture part.