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04 Mar, 2017 ,
Motorola a brand now owned by Lenovo earned its status quo in India when it had launched the legendary Moto G series few years back. Here Motorola G4 plus is aimed at the budget end price bracket of 15k. The Moto G 3rd generation and the Moto G Turbo were reliable and well built performers but had lacklustre camera performance. Now Lenovo has launched other two smartphones under the Motorola brand namely Moto G4 Play and Moto G4 thereby causing confusion to the audience. The Moto G4 Play is the child of the trio priced under 10k while G4 acts as the mediator between the G4 Plus and G4Play. To be very honest there is no much difference between the G4 and G4 Plus processor and display wise except for the camera. For that extra grand of what you put on the G4 Plus what you get is a finger print sensor and a well tuned 16 megapixel camera which is said to outperform all the other competition in the price bracket. Does it stand true to its claim? Is it worth putting that extra grand on a not so different phone on papers from a similar brand? Let’s find out.
Motorola has stuck to its iconic design that trickles down to the G4 plus as well. The G4 Plus looks identical to the first generation Moto G phone except that it’s no longer chubby; it’s sleeker and stretched by an inch. The front consists of the 5.5 inch full HD TFT display which manages to give out punchy colours. The top consists of the elongated ear piece along with the 5 megapixel selfie shooter house at the top left of the smartphone. Below to the front profile is a really cool and tactile looking fingerprint sensor which looks like a physical button but it’s not.
The edges of the smartphone look very pleasant wrapped with silver threshold and rounded corners. The left edge of the smartphone houses the power button and the volume rockers. The right edge of the smart phone is plane and houses nothing but the silver edge panel. The top edge of the smart phone has the headphone jack and the bottom edge houses the usb port and charging socket. Coming to the rear panel it houses the 16 megapixel camera accompanied by a dual tone LED flash along with a laser autofocus system which is the highlight of this phone. The rear panel is plastic (yes we are disappointed too) and is flat there by ditching the curved profile of the previous gen Moto smartphones.
The Nano to Micro Sim card dock is placed under the plastic hood along with the non-removal 3000 mAh battery . Then there is the iconic Motorola logo stacked just bellowed the 16 megapixel camera bump. The phone doesn’t feel heavy and the weight is evenly distributed. It feels great to hold considering the grippy pattern cover on the back. Overall the design of the phone is nothing revolutionary and Motorola has managed to stick to its basic design philosophy. Another minor disappointment comes in the form of the non-IP67 rating of the G4. Sure this design can handle splashes and dust but it ain’t water proof, atleast to the point where you cannot consider this phone to take a dip in the water.
The display of the Moto G4 Plus comprises of the 1080p FULL HD IPS panel which is quite a jump from the 720p resolution of display from the previous iteration of the Moto smart phones. Now the 401 ppi display allows you to select a color profile- Normal and Vibrant. Don’t expect breathtaking difference from the above mentioned profiles as they only provide minute gamma correction activity. Sun light visibility from the display panel is good although we noticed a slight reflective glaze which could have been better. Color reproduction during normal viewing conditions is punchy and welcoming. Viewing angles was great to our liking and watching videos or playing games was a lively affair. Then there is Gorilla Glass 3 for that added protection.
In terms of performance the Motorola G4 Plus offers 2GB and 3GB variants of ram along with a Qualcomm's Snapdragon 617 SoC octo core chipset clocked at 1.5GHz. The one we are testing has the 3GB ram support along with 32GB of onboard storage. Like all the other Moto devices this one too runs on stock android form and of course features Marshmallow 6.0.1. Then you get the display and action modes where in you display a motion-based gesture and the smartphone adapts and open up certain applications. Works too well we must say.
Moving ahead, the response is quite snappy from the interface and we didn’t notice any lag while we switched from application to the other. There are no pre loaded apps offered by Moto other than a few basic Google apps and file manager. Out of the 3GB ram, you are bound to get atleast 1.2GB of free space which ensures smooth ram management and is always ready for blazing tasks. The fingerprint sensor is one of the main attractions on this smartphone other than the camera. The finger print response is fast and accurate and it manages to bring the screen to life in fraction of a second.
Coming to the gaming department we did not face any frame-drops or stutter while playing Asphalt 7 or Dead Trigger2. But we did notice that 617 SoC did get warm when used extensively used for gaming. The camera app also faced the wrath of the heating issue causing it to hang up. This is something that Motorola should have looked into. Not that it is scarily hot but then you get a feeling that you are torturing the phone beyond it’s limit. In our extensive tests we got 42,229 in the AnTuTu benchmark and 17fps in GFXbench, which are both respectable.
Battery life is commendable as we managed to get nearly a day and half of operating time before having to charge the Moto G4 Plus, that too with both the SIM working. In our video loop test we managed to get 12hours of playback time which is pretty good. The turbo charger comes in handy if you want to charge up the phone quickly. All in all performance is pretty satisfactory and respectable in this price range the stock android experience makes it even more enjoyable.
The camera is the USP of this Smartphone and Motorola has left no stone unturned to give out the best results. This is the area where they have put some serious efforts. The 16 megapixel camera is technically a very superior upgrade from the previous generation of Moto phones. It comes with f/2.0 lens as well as a few extra add-ons which include a dual-tone LED flash and a combination of phase detection and a laser system for better and faster autofocus. It is quite a step up from the 13 megapixel snapper present on the G4.
The user interface of the G4 Plus is quite simple and when you turn the camera on you get the usual set of shortcuts like Flash and HDR toggles (with Auto modes for both). There are a few camera setting hidden and you can bring them up by swiping from the left-hand side. In order to lock focus and exposure you can just tap and hold on the screen. You can also manually set the exposure by dragging the sun icon. You will love the PRO mode if you know what you are doing. It gives a lot of control over focusing, shutterspeed, iso, exposure compensation and white balance. There is also a dial through which you can set up your favourite shot faster and easier.
There is also a BURST MODE by which you can press the shutter button and take back to back sports or moving shots with amazing quickness. It takes out the best shot of the lot and displays it. You can also delete the unwanted in one go. The HDR mode gives you stunning images although its a slow process but worth the wait. Pictures taken under artificial lighting condition is decent. Overall the quality of the images is sharp and brilliantly composed. Day shots compared to the night shots are much better and emulate less noise.
The 5 megapixel snapper on the front is a good selfie companion. Details and color reproduction is decent. Video recording maxes out at 1080p and the quality is good in both daylight and low light. Over all the camera performance is one of the best in this price range.
The Moto G4 Plus supports dual simcards and supports 4G capabilities. Other specifications include Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy, dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, GLONASS, USB-OTG, and FM radio. Calling reception was excellent and we found no issues or call drops while on a call. The voice from the speaker was good and clear. We even tested this device in black spots and it managed to provide good audio quality calls. Even Wi-Fi reception was pretty great and it managed to gives us enough data usage in the tightest of spots.
Watching videos and movies is an enjoyable and lasting experience on the Motorola G4 Plus. There is no video player given on this device from some odd reason though. You can watch them with the Google Photos app .The Google Photos also works as your gallery to view your photos. There is the assistant which comes in handy for creating panoramas and slideshows (complete with maps of your travels), it even processes certain photos with more skill than an amateur - it straightens them, adjusts levels, it may decide to make them black & white etc etc.
Listening to your favourite songs is a satisfying experience. You get separate equalizers for wired headsets and the front facing speaker. You can also enable surround sounds for that extra hearing quality. Then you have an FM radio with RDS and recording. You still need the headset in order to hear that sound from the loudspeaker. Duh! Multi-media experience on this phone is good to decent in our opinion.
For 15k what you get is a great device with good built quality. (Although there is scope for improvement considering all the other manufacturers provide aluminium constructed body.)
You get a punchy and solid display with that 5.5 inch IPS LCD screen. We were expecting an AMOLED display but nonetheless a great display panel we have got here. If you want a device with good performance and a quality camera then we would definitely recommend this phone for you. Sure this isn’t one of the best performing phones out there but it manages to create an importance of its own with it’s pricing and stock android experience.
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