Moto G4 Plus

£199 inc VAT mo­torola.co.uk

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Mo­torola has up­dated its best bud­get smart­phone line-up for 2016 with two dif­fer­ent mod­els: the G4 (£169) and the Plus, which we look at here. De­spite its name, the Plus isn’t any big­ger, but comes with a finger­print scan­ner, ex­tra RAM and stor­age, plus a higher res­o­lu­tion cam­era.

De­sign

The G4 Plus is a stylish-look­ing hand­set that re­tains the look and feel of pre­vi­ous Moto G phones. It’s

big­ger than Mo­torola’s pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion of Moto phones due to a larger screen, though so some users will find the de­vice un­wieldy. It’s not too thick and heavy ei­ther at 9.8mm and 155g.

Build qual­ity is good, though the Moto G4 Plus is still very much a plas­tic phone and there’s bet­ter avail­able at this price point else­where if this is im­por­tant – the OnePlus X is a prime ex­am­ple. It’s a shame Mo­torola doesn’t of­fer other ma­te­ri­als, such as wood and leather, like it does with the Moto X Style for an ex­tra cost for those who want it.

One of our only com­plaints about the de­sign is that the vol­ume rocker is a lit­tle tricky to use as it is very flush with the case. We also en­vis­age the groove for the ear­piece above the screen will get clogged with dirt over time.

A big­ger is­sue is that un­like last year’s model this phone isn’t wa­ter­proof. In­stead, it of­fers ba­sic splash pro­tec­tion which it thinks is enough for most con­sumers.

Per­for­mance

The G4 Plus is ex­actly the same size and shape as the reg­u­lar Moto G4. This means it has the same 5.5in screen size, de­spite the likes of Ap­ple and Sam­sung us­ing, plus mod­els for a big­ger phone.

You might think that per­haps the screen res­o­lu­tion is higher but it’s still Full HD like the cheaper model. We’re not say­ing it’s a bad thing and the screen is very good qual­ity of­fer­ing good con­trast, colours and view­ing an­gles. As we’ve said, it’s mainly the size that might put some users off, so it’s a bit of a shame there isn’t a choice on that front.

The G4 Plus also uses the same Qual­comm Snap­dragon 617 pro­ces­sor as the reg­u­lar G4. The octa-core CPU (up to 1.5GHz A53 cores) is a nice jump from the Snap­dragon 410 pre­vi­ously used, and fea­tures Cat 7 LTE and Adreno 405 graph­ics.

There’s po­ten­tially a big dif­fer­ence if you splash out on the higher-spec­i­fi­ca­tion model of the Moto

G4 Plus, which comes with 64GB of stor­age and 4GB of RAM, which is dou­ble the stan­dard model on both fronts. Stor­age be­comes less of an is­sue due to the in­clu­sion of a mi­croSD card slot, which can take up to 128GB.

Sadly, we’ve only been able to bench­mark the en­try-level model and you can see the re­sults op­po­site. We’re im­pressed with the per­for­mance from a user point of view; the Moto G4 Plus is smooth op­er­a­tor in gen­eral use.

You might be a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed when it comes to con­nec­tiv­ity as although the Moto G4 Plus is more ex­pen­sive you still only get 11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth 4.1 and reg­u­lar Mi­cro-USB. There’s no NFC, mod­ern Wi-Fi or other fea­tures such as USB-Type C.

The finger­print scan­ner pro­vides ex­tra se­cu­rity, though the lack of NFC means you can’t use it with An­droid Pay, which is a shame. It’s fast and ac­cu­rate most of the time, but it’s smaller than

most and also has a small rim around it, which feels odd at first but also you lo­cate it. What’s strange is that you can’t use it as a home but­ton.

Like the reg­u­lar G4, the Plus has a 3000mAh bat­tery which is non-re­mov­able, even though you can take the rear cover off. In our bench­mark test, the Moto G4 lasted a very de­cent eight hours and 50 min­utes with a score of 3537.

What you do get for your money is a Tur­boPower charger in­cluded in the box, which the reg­u­lar Moto G4 doesn’t have. Mo­torola claims that via fast charg­ing you can get six hours of bat­tery life from a short 15-minute charge, or 25 per­cent charge go­ing by Mo­torola’s 24-hour bat­tery life claim. In our tests, how­ever, we found it charged only 17 per­cent in the space of 15 min­utes.

Cam­eras

On pa­per, pho­tog­ra­phy is one area that might con­vince you to spend the ex­tra cash on the G4 Plus since it comes with a 16Mp cam­era com­pared to the G4’s 13Mp snap­per. It still fea­tures an f/2.0 aper­ture, phase de­tec­tion and laser aut­o­fo­cus plus a dual-LED (dual tone) flash. You’ll need to shoot in a 4:3 as­pect ra­tio to use all 16Mp as the phone shoots at 11.9Mp by de­fault. Sadly, in our tests there’s re­ally no vis­i­ble dif­fer­ence in still pho­tos, even when you crop into a small sec­tion, so for up­load­ing to so­cial media you’re def­i­nitely not go­ing to no­tice any ben­e­fit. It’s dis­ap­point­ing to find that the G4 Plus, like the reg­u­lar model, is lim­ited to 1080p video record­ing at 30fps, de­spite the ex­tra res­o­lu­tion. It can also only shoot slow-mo­tion 120fps video in a pal­try 540p.

Soft­ware

There’s no dif­fer­ence be­tween the Moto G4 mod­els when it comes to soft­ware and the Plus comes with An­droid Marsh­mal­low 6.0.1. Mo­torola keeps things very much stock, so you get a pure user in­ter­face ex­pe­ri­ence al­most like buy­ing a Nexus phone. Mo­torola’s thin layer does in­cludes some handy fea­tures though, which are wel­come ad­di­tions. There are ba­sic things like the clock wid­get, which has date and tem­per­a­ture info, but most are found in the Moto app. Head here to find some use­ful func­tions that were pre­vi­ously spread across var­i­ous apps. It’s a hub for things like Moto Dis­play and Moto Ac­tions. The for­mer al­lows you to get in­for­ma­tion on the lockscreen without turn­ing on the screen. You can also set up a time

pe­riod to keep the screen dark. Moto Ac­tions is a set of op­tional ges­tures for quickly do­ing things like launch­ing the torch or cam­era app. You can also pick up to an­swer a call or flip over to en­able do not dis­turb. You just get the stan­dard Google se­lec­tion and then can down­load the apps you want from the Google Play Store.

Ver­dict

The Moto G4 Plus is a nice phone, but it’s sim­i­lar to the reg­u­lar model. It’s not worth pay­ing the ex­tra to get a finger­print scan­ner that can’t even be used with An­droid Pay since there’s no NFC. The only real rea­son to opt for the Plus is to gain more stor­age and the ex­tra RAM which comes with the 64GB model; how­ever, the mi­croSD card slot negates this. Chris Martin

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

5in (1280x720, 294ppi) IPS touch­screen An­droid Marsh­mal­low 6.0.1 2GHz Me­di­atek MT6755 He­lio P10 Mali-T860MP2 GPU 2GB RAM 16GB stor­age mi­croSD ex­pand­able up to 200GB 3Mp main cam­era, LED flash; 8Mp front cam­era Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n Blue­tooth 4.1 Nano-SIM GPS NFC 2300mAh non-re­mov­able bat­tery 143.6x66.8x7.9mm 137.4g

Geek­bench 3

GFXBench Man­hat­tan

GFXBench T-Rex

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