Moto G4 Play Review

Call Quality

Calls on the G4 Play sound just fine, and the phone features the same dual-mic arrangement as other G4 models; honestly, something would have to be seriously broken for us to be disappointed here. And it's especially nice to know that the handset's support for all the major US carriers means that we can pick the one whose service is best in our area, without having to sacrifice any options.

Battery Life

Meager power requirements stretch this battery for day-long usage – and then some

When you're buying a budget-priced phone, you expect that you'll have to make some sacrifices, but luckily battery life doesn't tend to be among them. Often as a consequence of the decreased power demands of lower-end components, we see battery life stretching well beyond what even flagships enjoy.

That's very much the case with the Moto G4 Play, getting about ten-and-a-half hours of life from its 2,800mAh battery in our custom endurance test – screen-on the whole time. While that comes up short of the Moto Z Play Droid with its pushing-fourteen-hours battery life, that phone also costs more than twice as much.

Carrying the phone around, day-long battery life quickly became a given, and two solid days of casual usage isn't outside the hardware's reach. Unfortunately, charging speed isn't nearly as impressive as battery life, taking well over four hours to reach full charge. While the phone should support Quick Charge 2.0, a compatible fast charger isn't included with the handset.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Motorola Moto G4 Play 10h 24 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 9h 55 min (Good)
Motorola Moto G4 8h 48 min (Good)
Sony Xperia E5 6h 10 min (Poor)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Motorola Moto G4 Play 280
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 96
Motorola Moto G4 110
Sony Xperia E5 114


The ancient Greeks advised us, “know thyself,” and that's an important aphorism to keep in mind when considering the Moto G4 Play. Yeah, the processor is all kinds of old, the camera is serviceable, at best, and we find neither tons of storage, nor the sort of Moto Maker customizations available for higher-end Motos.

But you've got to remember: this is the bottom-rung Moto phone in many markets (those without the E3 Power, at least), and when we're only paying $150 for a handset, we're not expecting a ton in the first place.

The Moto G4 Play may not be a particularly flashy smartphone, but it's got a nice, clean Android interface, it's capable enough for browsing the web and keeping up on your social media, and it's got some pretty commendable battery life.

There's supposed to be an even more affordable version of the G4 Play available as an Amazon Prime exclusive, adding lockscreen offers and ads. And while that model sold for $100 just a few weeks back, right now it's going for the same price as the standard edition; we've reached out to try and clarify exactly what's going on there, and will update you as we learn more.

UPDATE: We've confirmed with Motorola that the Amazon Prime edition of the phone continues to be sold for its discounted price of just under $100, but that price is only being advertised to current Prime members.

If you don't need a lot of phone, or maybe want a backup model in case something happens to your regular daily driver, there's a lot to like in the Moto G4 Play. It's certainly not going to be for everyone, but as far as really budget-priced models go, it's one of the better ones.

Software version of the review unit: Android 6.0.1; Build Number: MPI21.241-2.35-1

Update: You can now read out Moto G5 Plus review!


  • Low $150 price tag is incredibly attractive
  • Easily day-long battery life, no problem
  • Nice, loud front-facing speaker
  • Fantastic carrier compatibility


  • Only 16GB internal storage
  • Provided charger is quite slow
  • Build feels a little large for the screen size
  • Camera leaves us wanting more

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