Motorola Moto G Plus review

80/100

WhistleOut
14 July 2016

The Moto G4 Plus is one of the year’s most unassuming handsets, yet if you’re looking for great value, it should be on your list of must-see phones.

Motorola has been through some big changes of the past few years. First being bought by Google and then to be sold again to computer giant Lenovo. Through it all the company has been remarkable resilient in keeping its product range consistent. 

The Moto G4 Plus is the first Motorola phone to be designed, developed and released all under the Lenovo roof. It is the first to sport a Lenovo badge on the box, but aside from these details, everything about this phone is instantly recognisable as a Motorola. 

The style, the shape, even the little dimple for your index finger where the logo sits on the back of the phone; everything is in line with this Moto series. 

The Moto G4 Plus differs from the three earlier Gs with a larger 5.5-inch screen. For reference, this is the same size of the screen on the enormous iPhone 6s Plus, but the G4 Plus definitely looks and feels like a smaller handset.

The touchscreen is a Full HD resolution IPS LCD, which in layman’s terms means a very nice display. Colours are rich and the blacks are nice and black.

Below the screen, Motorola has included a new fingerprint scanner, a first for the Moto G series. This is a welcome inclusion, but also a strange one. The scanner can be used to unlock the phone, but it doesn’t double as a Home button, as other fingerprint scanners do on other models. It has not function once the screen is turned on, as navigation is handled by onscreen software buttons. 

The big colourful screen is a bonus, but it does take its toll on the phone’s battery life. Motorola has included a generous-sized 3000mAh capacity battery here, but if you were hoping this would give you a big bump in screen time, unfortunately it doesn’t. We consistently saw about 4 hours of screen use per charge, and we had the Moto G4 Plus on the charger each night.

To offset this, Motorola includes a quick-charge power supply in the box and promises that this will charge the phone fast enough to give you 6 hours of power in just 15 minutes. 

You milage with the battery life may vary, but there is one thing we can say for sure: the Moto G4 Plus takes a great photo. Motorola has put a 16-megapixel camera into this model, with a fast f/2.0 aperture, laser auto-focus and dual-LED flash. 

The photos we’ve taken have been great; good colour reproduction and great details. We rely mostly on the auto-HDR mode for best results, and the gallery is full of photos we can be proud of. There is no doubt that this is the best camera phone anywhere in this price range — and it gives the more expensive models a run for their money too.

Overall

The Moto G4 Plus is probably the best value phone in the mid-range price space. For $399, you get quite a lot of phone, notably a big screen and a great camera. It’s is probably a little more power-hungry than we’d have liked, but it should see the majority of users through a busy day’s worth of screen time. 

It’d be easy to write-off the G4 Plus as a budget-friendly phone that belongs in a category outside of the premium handsets, but we’d argue that it compares with even the most popular models extremely well. It may not be wrapped in stainless steel, like the iPhones and top-flight Galaxy models, but it certainly has the same great, useful features below the surface.


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