Motorola Moto G4 Plus is announced: performance on a budget

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The first Motorola Moto G wasn't just an ordinary phone. It was the device that made it possible to own a decent brand-name Android smartphone without spending a small fortune. Sure, it was no powerhouse, but it was reliable and affordable – just what millions of buyers on a budget needed.

Today we witnessed the announcement of the fourth generation of Moto G phones. Yes, we did say phones, because today's Moto event in New Delhi brought us not one, but two new Moto Gs. The more exciting of the two is the fourth generation Moto G Plus.

Design


On the outside, the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus look mostly the same. They're slim, with metal trim around the camera hump, the familiar Moto dimple, and textured back for added grip and convenience. One thing setting the two apart, however, is that on the Plus model there's a fingerprint scanner below the screen. It is capable of unlocking the phone in under three quarters of a second, which is fast indeed, not to mention that few budget phones would give you the convenience of a fingerprint lock at all.

White and black are the two colors chosen for the fourth generation Moto G Plus. There's no word on whether any MotoMaker customization options will be available, but it seems like interchangeable backplates of various colors will be offered for the device, much like the case is with the Moto G4. Water resistance is provided by a repelling nano-coating. In other words, the phone will handle light splashes of water, although submerging it entirely can't be a good idea.

UPDATE: It looks like the Moto G4 Plus will be eligible for Moto Maker at a later time, most likely in select markets only. The models sold via Amazon right now are not, however. 

Display


With this round of Moto Gs, Lenovo has chosen to go big. The display on the new Moto G Plus measures 5.5 inches in diagonal, which makes it substantially bigger than the one on its predecessor. Comfort during use might suffer for upgrading customers, but on the other hand, a larger screen is much more suitable for entertainment purposes – watching video or playing games. The display resolution has been increased as well. 1080 by 1920 pixels produce great pixel density for sharper images. All previous Moto G models came with 720x1280-pixel displays only. The protective layer of Gorilla Glass 3 on top resists cracking and scratching, so we can't complain. 


Under the hood


While Moto G phones have traditionally relied on Qualcomm Snapdragon 400-series chips, the new Moto G4 Plus comes with a beefier piece of silicon. There's an octa-core, 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 SoC providing processing power, alongside a 550MHz Adreno 405 GPU. We must say that's not bad at all considering what the phone costs. Charge is provided by a generous, 3000mAh battery with TurboPower capabilities. The latter makes it possible to get 6 hours of mixed use time after just 15 minutes of charging using the provided charger, according to official data. 


We must clarify that the Moto G4 Plus will be available in two configurations – one with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage, and another with 3GB of RAM and 32GB for your files. Naturally, the latter is more expensive, but totally worth the extra cash, in our opinion. Storage expansion via microSD cards is supported. As far as connectivity goes, the phone will support VoLTE, will be sold unlocked, will work on any major US carrier, and will have a dual-SIM version. NFC is still lacking, however. UPDATE: The Moto G4 Plus will have 2 or 4 gigs of RAM in the US, the UK, and possibly other markets. These will also get a 64-gigabyte storage option.

Camera


Quite a lot of event time was dedicated to highlighting the Moto G4 Plus' camera – a 16MP shooter with laser and phase-detection autofocus. In fact, we could be looking at one of the best cameras in this smartphone class. It is based around a sensor by OmniVision – an experienced player in the field of mobile phone cameras – with 1.3um pixels and f2.0 optics. It uses advanced technologies, such as Deep Trench Isolation, to reduce pixel crosstalk and noise. Shooting selfies is done with the 5MP front-facing camera, which may use the phone's screen as an impromptu flash.

On the software side of things, the camera app provides you with neat features, including automatic HDR and Best Shot. The latter shoots a burst of multiple images so that the best among them can be picked. Advanced camera users may take advantage of the built-in manual controls. 

Since the phone's announcement, photos taken with its main camera have surfaced already. Here are some of the first Moto G4 Plus camera photo samples.

Software


Speaking of software, the Moto G4 Plus will run a pure, near-stock Android experience, with no clutter slowing it down. Some tweaks will be present, however. The camera app, for instance, will be Moto's own, providing the aforementioned features. You'll also get several neat gestures – a couple of twists, for instance, launch the camera from stand-by, while a shake enables the flashlight. We also seem to have a custom, circular clock and weather widget pre-loaded. Other than that, the Moto G4 Plus should behave a lot like a stock Android device.


Price and release date


How and when can you get one of these? Well, it depends. Folks in India will be among the first to get a taste of the Moto G4 Plus. The phone starts at 13,499 INR in a 2GB RAM + 16GB storage configuration, while the 3GB RAM + 32GB storage variant of the phone costs 14,999 INR. These figures equate to $202 and $225 respectively. The phone will be launched exclusively on Amazon India at midnight local time, with global release dates expected to be made clear in the near future. UPDATE: The Moto G4 Plus is now available on Amazon India, with fast shipping and freebies. The Moto G is expected to cost more when it is released in other markets. The UK price of the phone, for instance, will hover around £199 (about $288).

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33 Comments

1. LoveHater

Posts: 234; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

What a disappointment ,,,They bad of all comes to Moto They ruined it completely,, omnivison sensor ,,,seriously ,,,, they went big cheap this time .Earlier they had Sony sensors To be honest ,,, design is uggliest One, not any special feature and they downgraded camera ,,

22. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

Also no waterproofing

32. hmmm...

Posts: 81; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

What's wrong with Omnivision? They were the main sensor supplier for Apple's iPhone before Apple switched to Sony.

38. anglosaxonengland

Posts: 64; Member since: Sep 11, 2013

It's obvious why they'd switch to a Sony. The main one is the fact that the Omnivision sensor sucks.

2. havoc

Posts: 95; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

So G4 will have the SD617, I supposed the X Play will have the SD652 then the X Style will have SD 820. I think I'll just wait for the Moto X Play.

4. LoveHater

Posts: 234; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

Sorry to say but this year no Moto X Play Only Moto X 2016 which according to leaks will become Ugly No 1 flagship of any brand

14. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Isn't the Vector Thin the "Style" and the Vertex the "Play"? Vertex has Snapdragon 625, according to rumors.

16. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

X Play will have SD 625

17. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

if X Style use SD820, what will they use for droid turbo? SD823? :D

3. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

I like it.

5. mohit17kr

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 12, 2015

Except the design everything looks good at this price . But I don't understand why they are launching another version without a FPS since Moto G3 is a much better phone if FPS is not a concern.

6. surethom

Posts: 1662; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Thanks you Motorola you have just made my decision easier this year, by removing Motorola from my list, Lenovo making Motorola a cheaper brand, shame.

7. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Cheaper brand? Don't you know how Motorola phoned have been priced for like the last three years? They have been the best phones in their price range.

9. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Nope.. They were just a bit cheaper than Samsung's Equivalent. (lacking SAMOLED and brand value only).

12. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

It's just because of timing where samsung announces their flagships half a year earlier, resulting a price drop when Moto releases their flagship. Looking at the price, Samsung's equivalent is only the A series, which have SAMOLED and brand value only, like you said.

20. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

What about G3 and J5?

8. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Its just ugly. I would have prefered a nice looking device at max 8-9 mm with awesome camera and 720p display. J7 2016 is looking good to me due to SAMOLED display and Superb (best in class) camera. Only demerits s a 5.5 inch screen as it has 720p display (5 inch 720p would have been best) and lack of compass(not a big deal for me).

10. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Is this also 7.9 mm?

11. squishypanda8

Posts: 46; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

I hope these are GSM AND CDMA

13. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Snapdragon 617 no thanks

15. sebstin

Posts: 178; Member since: Dec 03, 2015

If Moto G is at 5.5" then what about Moto X?. Will that be 6.5"?. Wish Motorola kept same form factor of earlier ones.. (4.5-5") within a sleek body.

18. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

uninspiring. Bring back the razr series or the v series of old.

19. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

if Moto G4 Plus 3GB Ram + 32GB is priced at $199 I think I'll get it

23. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Looks gorgeous... Oh and the phones are nice too.

24. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

Snapdragon 617 is pretty bad for June 2016

25. Shocky unregistered

We should be seeing larger improvements in these low end devices, performance barely seems to change from one generation of Moto G devices to the next.

28. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

There is a problem with Motorola in my country. Availability is very bad, prices are high. Lenovo phones are much more readily available and a much better buy overall. However, what's up with this? I found it to be disappointing. What was Lenovo thinking?

29. JasonMelling1229

Posts: 27; Member since: Feb 07, 2015

Stuck in a time warp. Very outdated and bland design, they sell 50-100 copies maybe.

30. Beto_Lopez

Posts: 44; Member since: Apr 14, 2015

really? no one can compete with xiaomi mi note 3 pro?

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