Not much, says Himanshu Juneja in this review of Moto G4
After much delay, the Lenovo Moto G4 finally has landed in India. This is the first time that the Moto G series has seen more than one model being launched. The hugely successful handset series is known for its near stock Android operating system, and for being a value for money option.
The three varying models seem to be Lenovo's way of catering to the budget conscious buyers, while also trying to check the onslaught from the other Chinese manufacturers. We take a closer look to see how much justified is the existence of Moto G4 along side its other two siblings.
Lenovo has kept the high built quality handset quite manageable at only 155 gms. The screen sits deep in the well, so it will not touch any surface if the phone is kept facing down. The textured back assists in grip, and is replaceable. Underneath the panel reside the two SIM and microSD card slots.
The splash-proof handset has the 3.5 mm audio jack at the top, while the microUSB port is at the bottom. The power and volume keys are at the right, and both seem a bit wobbly. There is only one speaker, and the handset aesthetically looks a bit better compared to its Moto G4 Plus cousin due to the lack of finger print scanner at the front.
The cheapest Moto G4 variant getting full HD 1080 x 1920p display is heartening. The 5.5-inch IPS display ensures nice viewing angles, while the pixel density of 401ppi makes it sharp enough.
The display may not be class leading, but the Gorilla Glass 3 screen carries pretty good contrast ratio, effective sunlight legibility, and the signature Moto brightness levels, making this a pretty good display for the price. Users can choose from Normal or Vibrant mode for punchier colour rendition, but both have a very slight difference only.
Lenovo decided to pack the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 SoC inside the Moto G4, same as the Moto G4 Plus variant. Quad Core A53 (clocked at 1.5 Ghz) and another set of Quad Core A53 (clocked at 1.2 Ghz) work in tandem here.
Adreno 405 for GPU, and 2 GB of RAM complete the core configuration. There is also 16 GB of onboard storage space, and can be expanded by another 128 GB via microSD card.
The Dual SIM Moto G4 is a 4G LTE enabled device. The other connectivity options include WiFi (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth (ver 4.1), FM radio and USB On the go.
NFC missing out on a budget device was expected, but the missing magnetometer means there is no digital compass. Apps making use of the same will take the hit.
Lenovo has maintained the Moto G lineup's image by supplying a near stock Android (Marshmallow) Operating System. The Google Now launcher running handset has the usual enhancement as the useful add on. This includes the gesture to lauch the camera or the torch option. Users also get to mute the handset by turning it over. The now considered essential 'Moto Display' provides an efficient way to glance at the crucial notifications.
Google Photos allowed Lenovo to ditch any duplicate apps, and the same goes for Moto Assist or Moto Migrate. The performance is slick, and users should expect about two more major upgrades, thanks to the absence of bloat or a heavy skin.
The Snapdragon 617 proves to be a very capable daily driver. Adreno 405 as GPU clearly is not going to make hardcore mobile gamers happy, but games like Mekorama, Jelly Defense run with aplomb. The phone only gets warm with strenuous tasks.
As far as the audio sound is concerned, it is pretty good. Any decent pair of headphones will not disappoint the users. The supplied ones are not too meritorious though.
The 13MP camera is noticeably humble in comparison with the 16MP module the Moto G4 Plus has. There is slight over saturation in the captured pics, but thankfully, there is no stark shortage of details. The colours are accurate as well. The LED flash works nicely to bring good low light photography results. The front camera is also capable in grabbing decent selfies.
Videos shot in 1080 offer good details, and the colours again look oversaturated. HDR mode brings good results, but the Panorama mode is disappointing. Low light videography again was more than acceptable. Pro mode has been included for the prosumers and camera enthusiasts. Overall, a pretty good package with the camera department.
Coming with a 3000 mAh sealed in battery, Moto G4 will last for a day on heavy usage. The turbo charging technology is Lenovo's idea to indicate Quick Charge, and the supplied turbo charger brings about 6 hours worth of backup in just 15 minutes of charging.
Moto G4's biggest competitor seems to be the Moto G4 Plus itself. The finger print scanner maybe a differentiator according to Lenovo, but keeping the same camera as that of Moto G4 Plus would have been a good decision.
Same goes for the turbo charger as well. The missing notification light in the handset does not go unnoticed either.
Looking at the Moto G4, one cannot help but think that Lenovo should have either stuck with two Moto G4 variants, or should have priced the Moto G4 less than the going price of Rs 12,499. With Xiaomi's Redmi Note 3 already touting a 650 SoC, and with LeEco jumping in the fray as well, Lenovo should consider bringing the vanilla Moto G4 within the Rs 10,000 price bracket as soon as possible.