Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Motorola G Plus (4th Gen)

Lenovo Motorola has come out with their newest version of the Moto G model after the successful last 3 years. There are 2 new Moto G phones, the G4 and G4 Plus mainly with screen size and minor hardware differences. Let’s see if the G Plus is your next top performing budget phone! 


Design, Display & Hardware


The Moto G4 Plus is the bigger of the two G4 models launched this month having a 5.5” FHD 1920x1080p display @  401 ppi. The phone weighs in at 154 & 7.9mm thick gms but does not feel heavy which reflects to excellent weight distribution in the device. The looks and feel has changed a bit from the earlier Moto G phones but the rubber back is still the preferred choice by Lenovo and the frames are all metal. The front has the 5.5” screen with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and the fingerprint sensor at the bottom which can’t be pressed. The 5MP front camera is on the top right next to the speaker grill on the top. Back has the 16MP Auto Focus camera with dual tone LED flash and the iconic M logo beneath. Left edge of the device is untouched while the right has the power button and volume rockers. Fast charging supported charger goes in at the bottom edge which just has the Micro USB port while the top edge has just the 3.5mm audio jack.


The phone box includes the 25W Turbo Boost charger but has non detachable cable so you’ll need a separate Micro USB cable for data transfer ( boo! ). There are also SIM Adaptors to convert your Nano to Micro SIM. Let’s not even get to the embarrassing tacky white earphones in the box. They could’ve just not given one instead of those disappointing ones that looks like you got it from the street! Hardware gets a major overhaul to run the Android M version and packs a punch with the Snapdragon 617 SoC  Octa core @1.5ghz with an Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB/3GB RAM with 16GB/32GB ROM. I’ve gotten the 3GB RAM since the cost difference is minimal and would be a  safe bet for a couple of years at least.It’s got all the usual stuff like 4G, GLONASS, Dual Band WIFi , GPS etc. No NFC though ( It’s kinda dead since no one wants to use it anyways!) . The phone is available in only Black and White variants. 

Software


The USP for the Moto G phones have always been the beautiful stock Android experience and the quickest to get updates from Google. This one has the Android M 6.0.1 pre installed and is already ahead of it’s competition in having the latest software.The reason for not having a LED notification light on the phone is the Moto Display which let’s you preview notifications if you move the phone and they also show up on your screen even if it’s locked with minimal battery usage. You also have the classic Moto Gestures like Twist the phone when in hand for quick access to camera or chopping twice for flashlight etc. Thankfully there aren’t too many preloaded apps that take up valuable space.

Camera


Coming to the biggest change in the series of Moto G phones, the rear camera. The Moto G (4th Edition) has a 16MP camera with f/2.0 aperture and Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF).The laser focus is the fastest I’ve seen on any phone until now and snaps literally in a snap! You have the usual shooting modes of HDR, Panorama, Slow Mo and Professional whcih lets you adjust focus, exposure, white balance , ISO etc. Daylight photos are great and HDR is default ON which makes photos look livelier . Low light photos are still pretty decent but still leave room for improvement. Normal videos can be recorded at 1080p for highest quality while slow motion videos are recorded in 120fps but only at 540p. One special trick up it’s sleeve is the ability to scan barcodes and QR codes directly from the built in camera app instead of downloading an app from the Google Play store.
The front 5MP camera takes pretty good selfies and can record in 720p.

Gaming & Multimedia


Dead Trigger, Mortal Kombat X and Asphalt 8 all run without any lag and no frame rate issues as well so the Adreno 405 does it’s job well. The front near the speaker grill does heat up a bit if you play more than 15 mins non stop but the back is not so warm which is kinda strange. AnTuTU scores a lowly 43250 which I always mention is not a deal breaker. It’s just a number that won’t affect real world performance . When you tweak this phone you can also get 75k plus score on AnTuTu!
A battery capacity 3000 mAh (non removable) meant I could YouTube on 4G and had Wi-Fi , music streaming  and play games without charging before going to bed ( lasted more than 12 hrs)  which is amazing! Fast charge does charge the phone in less than an hour when switched off from 0 to 100.The phone does have FM radio and the default music player is Google’s Play Music. Speaker is pretty loud and earphones are pathetic!


Conclusion


At this price range the only competition is from Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 , Lenovo Zuk Z1 (it’s own cousin in a way) and One plus X . All phones have their own USP but if you don’t want to mess around with other custom UIs get the G4.

My rating is 4/5.

★★★★☆


Pritesh Khilnani





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