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Gadget Review: Is Moto G4 Plus a value-for-money buy?

Motorola looks set to win back its title as leader in the budget smartphone segment with Moto G4 Plus

Over the last three years, Moto G series has continuously been expanding, and improving. But the first three generations seem like baby steps in front of the giant leap that Motorola has taken with the fourth generation offering three variants — Moto G4, Moto G4 Play and Moto G4 Plus with different tech specs but the same body. Here's how the Moto G4 Plus fared in our test drive.

MotoG4Plus
Display (9/10)
Motorola offers a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920x1080) display with a pixel density of 401ppi in the Moto G4 Plus, which is a bonus in the price range. The touch is good; display is vibrant and comes with a Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Impressive.

Design (5/10)
The Full HD display seems to have occurred at the cost of aesthetics. Available in black and white, the Moto G4 Plus is not the best designed phone. We love Motorola's plastic feel, and how the the back camera and the Motorola logo gels into the back panel. But to give up its trademark curvaceous back for a flatter back panel doesn't go well with the device, making it look fatter and bulkier. The front face gets a speaker grill, front camera and proximity sensor at the top, whereas a fingerprint sensor at the bottom and a mic on the left. While we like the placement of the fingerprint sensor, it appears out of place — the metallic ring around it doesn't help either (it looks good in the black, though); we would have preferred if it also doubled up as the home button.

Connectivity (9/10)
The Moto G4 Plus is a dual SIM smartphone with support for 4GLTE (active in only one sim at a time) and VoLTE as well as 2G and 3G cellular networks. The sim slots are placed at the back accessible after removing the back panel, and come with nano-sim adapters. It also gets Bluetooth 4.2LE and dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n. The device, however, can't support offline navigation as it comes with A-GPS.

Battery (9/10)
Motorola has been generous with the battery capacity, packing a 3,000 mAh battery in the G4 Plus. The battery lasts a full-day on standard usage (without including video playback or using navigation systems) and Wi-Fi on throughout the period. It also gets TurboCharger, supported only on the native charger, that gives six hours back up in just 15 minutes.

Hardware & Performance (8/10)
The G4 Plus is powered by Qualcomm S617 SoC with 64-bit 1.5 GHz quad core CPU and 550 MHz Adreno 405 GPU. The system gives a decent performance for daily tasks without any hang-ups. However, we are yet to test its gaming performance. The fingerprint sensor is fast. We also like how the device is intergrated to use fingerprint scanner with some of the built-in apps including to authroise purchases on Google Play Store. The internal storage is 32GB and the RAM stands at 3GB. It also gets a separate micro SD slot that expands its memory to 128GB, which is an added advantage over the hybrid slots. The Moto G4 Plus is also available in 16GB internal storage with 2GB RAM.

Camera & Audio (8/10)
One of the most impressive features of the G4 Plus is its camera. Both the 16MP rear (13MP in Moto G) and 5MP front cameras are absolute charmers and are able to take decent pictures in close-ups for both night and day conditions. The laser focus is quick with the action and supports AE/AF lock. However, we aren't impressed with landscape shots as the images look distorted. The device also supports slow motion videos, but the quality is terrible. As for audio, the device gets only one speaker at the top and works well in quieter locations.

OS (8/10)
The Moto G4 Plus runs Android Marshmallow 6.0.1, which is more secure than the previous generations of Android. We faced no hang-ups during our test-drive. However, we aren't happy with icon sizes on the device and the lack of options to customise it. On a 5.5-inch device, these appear too bulky. The next question on our mind would be — Will it get Android N?

Overall rating

8 / 10

The guide verdict The Moto G4 Plus might appear bulky and aesthetically uninspiring, but it’s fast and offers features like quality cameras, fingerprint scanner and a separate slot for MicroSD Card inside of 15k, making it a value-for-money buy for the budget-consious.

A piece of advice: Don’t pick the white model.

Specifications

DISPLAY: 5.5-inch IPS 1920x1080, 401ppi
PROCESSOR: 1.5GHZ quad core Qualcomm S615 SoC
MEMORY: 32GB, 3GB RAM
CONNECTIVITY: 4G LTE, 3G and 2G, Bluetooth 4.2LE, dual band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, 3.5mm audio jack, Micro USB slot,
PRICE: Rs 14,990
Available at: Amazon.in

Note: The Moto G is available in 16GB model with 2GB RAM only, but doesn’t include the fingerprint sensor, and will be available from June this year. It gets a 13MP rear camera.

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