Moto G4 quick review: Looks better than Moto G4 Plus

first_imgMotorola, which is now a Lenovo brand, on Wednesday launched the Moto G4 in India. It’s a phone that, despite being the successor to the much-vaunted Moto G3, is not exactly creating as much excitement as it should have. But that is not because of any fault in the phone. It’s just that this year the limelight has been stolen by the Moto G4 Plus, which arrived in the Indian market around a month ago. The key question hence, as the Moto G4 hits the market today, is whether it can live in the shadow of the Moto G4 Plus or not. On the first impression, it seems that the world will end up being cruel to Motorola’s latest phone in India. There are several reasons, but before talking about that, let’s take a look at the device itself. Looks — this is one area where the Moto G4 scores over its more celebrated brother. And the reason for that is simple. Despite the same size, same contours, same build quality, same curves and the same dimensions, the Moto G4 looks better than the Moto G4 Plus because it doesn’t have the fingerprint scanner on the front. The squares scanner button — which doesn’t even act as the home button — in the Moto G4 Plus is ugly. It also looks totally out of place, with its square design on a phone that has overly curved edges. Then there is shiny frame around the scanner, which too looks out of place and a little gaudy. advertisementAlso Read: Motorola Moto G4 with Snapdragon 617, 2GB RAM launched in India at Rs 12,499It is as if this scanner is sort of an afterthought, pasted arbitrarily into the final design of the phone. The Moto G4 without any fingerprint scanner has a design that seems complete, more cohesive. Yes, it also means a lot of empty space on the phone under the screen, but that doesn’t break the flow. The whole device looks elegant and classy compared to the G4 Plus. Except this one change in the design, everything else is same, including somewhat cheaper looking plastic back-cover. As I noted in the review of the Moto G4 Plus, the new generation Moto G loses some of the style and character that the Moto G2 or the Moto G3 displayed. The same is true for the Moto G4. It’s bigger compared to its predecessor and it is flatter without any curve under the back cover. This flatness means it is slimmer but at the same time it lacks that trademark pebble-shape design that we saw on the Moto G2 or the Moto G3. For a big phone, the Moto G4 fits well in hands. Although some people will still like the more handy Moto G Turbo or the Moto G3.Quick specsBefore we talk about everything else, let’s take a quick look at the key specs of the phone. The Moto G4 has a 5.5-inch screen with the FullHD resolution. It’s the same screen that you get in the Moto G4 Plus while it is not the best it is definitely among the better ones in its class. It shows punchy colours although the brightness is on the lower side. The Moto G4 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor. It has 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. It also has 13-megapixel camera on the rear and 5-megapixel camera on the front. Smooth performerJust like the Moto G4 Plus, the Moto G4 is a smooth performer. Although it is a not a blazing fast phone like the Galaxy S7 or even the OnePlus 3, phones that cost much more, it doesn’t show any lag. The animations are smooth whether you are switching between opened apps or drawing the notification shade. Just like other contemporary Motos, the Moto G4 runs an almost unmodified version of Android Marshmallow. Although, there are some extra features like active display and some gesture-based actions — chop-chop to open flashlight — that Motorola has added. Earlier when I reviewed the Moto G4 Plus I found it to be a phone with good enough performance, and the same I can say about the Moto G4. In fact, the core hardware and software in the both the phones is same. So, you will expect the same performance from Moto G4, including a bit of heating during prolonged gaming sessions, although it is something that I will test out in the coming days. Also read: Moto G4 Plus review: Two steps forward, one step back advertisementThe camera in the Moto G4 is vastly different from the one in the Moto G4 Plus. It uses a different image sensor, although the lens and the flash seem to be the same. The performance of the camera too is different. In fact, starkly different in some scenes. On the basis of brief impression, I have a feeling that the camera in the Moto G4 will be slightly inferior to the one in the Moto G4 Plus in good light and for macro shots. But indoors, where the light is on the lower side, and in scenes with dynamic light — read evening — the Moto G4 will click noticeably poorer images compared to what is possible with the Moto G4. More on this subject later but for now, check out these eight image samples (click on thumbnails for bigger size). XPreviousNextCaught between old & newThe Moto G4 is an interesting phone. It is definitely a good update to the Moto G3. But it is also a phone that is not as good as the Moto G4 Plus because it lacks the camera that the Plus version sports. At the same time, in terms of performance it is fairly close to the Moto G Turbo, which sells for a similar price. The asking price of Rs 12,499 for the Moto G4 is on the higher side. It is too close to the price of the Moto G4 Plus and that makes the Moto G4 a poorer value for money. The problem for Motorola here is not that of a bad product. The problem for the company is that it has too many good products trying to attract consumers at price points that are very similar. And that is going to hurt the Moto G4. If you want this phone, possible because you can’t stand the sight of the hideous fingerprint scanner on the Moto G4 Plus, go ahead. You won’t be disappointed with it. But at the outset let me tell you that the Moto G4 Plus is a better buy compared to the phone that Motorola has launched today.last_img