Motorola Moto G4 Plus Review

Alex Kidman 10 August 2016

MotoG4Plus_Front_450

Motorola’s latest phone offers large size and equally large value for its asking price.

In the Android smartphone world, almost everyone has a play in the premium space, even though as a nation we tend to buy only Samsung or Apple smartphones if we’re after a premium device. Motorola’s latest pitch has been to leave the premium bloodbath alone and instead focus on mid-range and value segments. That’s solidly where the Motorola Moto G4 Plus sits, with either 16GB or 32GB versions available for $399 and $449 outright.

MotorolaMoto 4G Plus
Screen size5.5in
Storage16/32GB
Weight155g
ProcessorOcta Core Snapdragon 617
Rear camera16MP
Front camera5MP
Battery3000mAh
Resolution1920x1080
Display density401ppi

MotoG4Plus_Fingerprint_450

Upsides: Why you’d want the Motorola Moto G4 Plus

  • Good performance: Mid-range phones should deliver mid-range performance, and here the Motorola Moto G4 Plus performs quite well, challenging higher priced mid-range options such as the Nexus 5X or Telstra Signature Premium at a lower price point. Here’s how it compares against a range of mid-range and budget handset options in Geekbench 3’s standard tests.
    HandsetGeekbench 3 Single Core (higher is better)Geekbench 3 Multi Core (higher is better)
    Oppo R98673303
    Google Nexus 5X11883198
    Telstra Signature Premium7453116
    Motorola Moto G4 Plus7153042
    Oppo R7s6962980
    LG Stylus DAB+4701418
    Alcatel Go Play4531368
    Samsung Galaxy J23151044
    Alcatel Pop 4289945

    The same performance comes through in 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test, where the Moto 4G Plus acquits itself well:

    Handset3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Result
    Oppo R911053
    Motorola Moto G4 Plus9757
    Telstra Signature Premium9559
    Oppo R7s8390
    LG Stylus DAB+4321
    Alcatel Pop 43863
    Samsung Galaxy J23469
  • Fingerprint reader: The Moto G4 Plus’ front-mounted fingerprint reader works quickly and well, and it’s a great inclusion on a phone at this price point if you hate having to input PINs, passwords or screen patterns all the time.
  • Dual SIM: The Moto G4 Plus is dual-SIM capable with two slots plus microSD expansion. Many competing dual SIM phones allow you to add two sims but no memory expansion, or are single SIM if you need microSD.
  • Quick camera: The Moto G4 Plus’ camera confirms what we’ve thought about mid-range cameras for some time now. They’re getting very good, which poses a challenge for the higher priced premium smartphones. The G4 Plus has fast focus and a simple launching mechanism that involves a double flick of the wrist that never failed us during testing. You’re not likely to get truly exceptional shots with the G4 Plus, but it shoots above its price weighting for what it is.
  • Great battery life: The Motorola Moto G4 Plus’ battery life is very good when you consider that it has to power a large screen for what is a mid-range phone. Using Geekbench’s battery test with screen dimming enabled, the Motorola Moto G4 Plus beat out a host of mid-range and budget contenders, bested only by a phone with a much smaller display.
    HandsetGeekbench 3 Battery Test DurationGeekbench 3 Battery Score
    Samsung Galaxy J210:05:202689
    Motorola Moto 4G Plus9:44:103977
    Alcatel Pop 49:20:302490
    LG Stylus DAB+8:11:403278
    Alcatel Go Play7:21:102941
    Google Nexus 5X7:14:204062
    Oppo R7s7:00:002800
    Oppo R96:41:504018
    Telstra Signature Premium5:48:503260
    Alcatel OneTouch Idol 35:42:002276
    Huawei P8 Lite4:39:402768

MotoG4Plus_SIMSlots_450

Downsides: Why you might not want the Motorola Moto G4 Plus

  • Very plain design: The Motorola Moto G4 Plus isn’t the worst looking phone we’ve seen. Indeed, the most striking thing we can say about it is that it’s really rather plain; a slab of black glass and plastic with protruding camera bump on the back and ridged fingerprint sensor on the front. You won’t wow anyone with the Moto G4 Plus’ style, but you’re not likely to offend them either.
  • Fingerprint reader isn’t the home button: The Moto G4 Plus uses an onscreen home button, but the fingerprint reader is right below it. On almost every other fingerprint-enabled phone, the reader in this position doubles as the home button, because that’s where your fingers tend to automatically go. On many occasions, we’d hit the fingerprint reader when we wanted the home screen because of this particular design quirk.
  • Big and slippy: Larger phones are harder to hold in your hand purely due to their size. The Moto G4 Plus has a somewhat slippery back and curved sides, which accentuates this. As such, if you were keen, we’d advise you to buy a case, because accidental drops feel more likely than not.
  • Sealed battery: You can remove the rear cover of the Moto G4 Plus; this is how you access the SIM card and microSD card slots. What you can't do is swap the battery out, however, because it's sealed into the phone body.

MotoG4Plus_Side_450

Who is it best suited for? What are my other options?

The Motorola Moto G4 Plus competes in the mid-range space where a lot of outright purchase buyers are flocking. It competes really well, and is recommended if you want a larger handset, because to date we’ve seen little that matches up to it in specifications and outright performance at this particular price point.

You do have a lot of other choices if, for example, the Moto G4 Plus’ rather plain style doesn’t appeal. Consider Telstra’s Signature Premium phone if you’re happy on Telstra’s network, or Oppo’s R7s perhaps. If you want a large phone in the mid-range space, you could also consider LG’s Stylus DAB+ phone.

Where can I get it?

Motorola sells the Moto G4 Plus through its Australian web store for $399 (16GB) or $449 (32GB), as well as through Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and Officeworks.

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