Motorola Moto G4 Plus in-depth review - G force

The Moto G range has always been a budget superstar. Priced at £150-ish, it has always been a fresh new face in a land of heavily skinned versions of Android-with tiny internal memory and mediocre batteries. This year, Lenovo have not just launched one version of this superstar product but two! Bigger and badder, the Moto G4 Plus is everything we hoped it would be...

 Motorola Moto G4 Plus Review - G force

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,7/15/2016 11:20:29 PM


out of 10



out of 5

Look and feel


out of 5

Ease of use


out of 5



out of 5

Battery life


Fingerprint scanner | Expandable memory | good camera | fingerprint sensor in the sub-£250 category



-By Sunetra Chakravarti

Whenever I have been asked for a non-network tied budget blower recommendation, I have always pointed towards the Moto G... apart from a few others.

Motorola have such good rep especially for the Moto G amongst other budget offerings that it reigned supreme in the under-£150 segment for a long time before younger pretenders took over.


And even when it wasn't at the top, it was definitely one of top three and last year's Moto G version had an ace up its sleeve- it was water-proof. However, the new owners of the Moto brand, Lenovo had other plans so this year, when it was time for a refresh, they unleashed not just one but two versions of the Moto G budget superstar.

The new Moto G4 has very marginal differences over its successor but the true star of the piece is the Moto G4 Plus- a 5.5-inch screen mega 3000 mAH battery and 1080p screen totting budget warrior that's guaranteed to blow the competition out of water.

Have Lenovo changed the look and feel of the Moto G4 Plus?

Not much has changed about the look and feel of the Moto G- it is still a metal bodied phone with a removable plastic back-plate, but then it is all still in your hands how you want it to look. Customers are able to use Motomaker, the online tool that lets you customise every bit of the phoe to look exactly as you wish it to.

As the name suggests, the Moto G4 Plus is a bigger version of the Moto G, at 5.5-inch it is one of the bigger handsets out there but because of the curved back it doesn't feel uncomfortable to hold in one hand and use during a commute.

It is fairly light too, probably down to the pastic casing at 155g and sports a vertical lozenge shped metal ring at the back which houses the camera and the LED sensors. On the front there is a speaker grille at the top and one of the tiniest fingerprint readers ever at the bottom.

The tiny square sits squarely in the middle so you can unlock the phone either using the fingerprint reader or swiping up on the screen and then using either your PIN or pattern to unlock the device.

The power button and the volume toggle are on the right and you need to remove the back cover for the SIM and microSD trays. If you were to purchase the phone from Motorola's website, you would then get the dual-SIM model so make sure you buy the phone from the right retailer! 

Is the camera any good?

Motorola's phone cameras have always had weird quirks- whereas you tap on the screen to focus on an image in the photo, on the Motos, you tap to click. However, on the G4 Plus, you get a regular touchscreen button as well as phase detection and laser auto-focus. Fantastic for taking pictures v v quickly.

Colour reproduction is spot-on and low light shots quite good, infact I couldn't really tell the difference between the one here and on the G4. It is a 13-MP snapper and the only thing that Lenovo have missed out on here is optical image stabilisation. 

And all settings and trims that would have been are hidden away behind a pull-out carousel are gone, to be replaced by a neater- more user-friendly interface that has all the basic functions you would need to take very acceptable shots. Video recording is in 1080p so all your vacation videos can be re-lived in crisp clarity come December.

I loved the ability to adjust light within the shot because this is  problem I face everyday with my daily driver phone. Terribly dark photos that need to be ligtened later on. 


How good is the G4 Plus for streaming media?

The display is Full HD and the IPS screen makes watching videos absolutely fabulous, made even better by the size of the screen (5.5-inches).

It isn't quite the same as the AMOLED you find on the latest Samsung Galaxy S7 and even though that super-immersive experience isn't there, the media viewing experience for the £229 price-tag for the 32GB version is totally worth it.

Video streaming over 4G with 100% brightness reduced the battery from 53% to 47% and the 3000 mAH battery did very well in the past month that I have been using the G4 Plus for. 

It isn't a removable battery however, but doesn't really bother me much tbf. 

Processor and software? Good or not quite so nice?

The Moto G has been a budget hero for a long time and the CPU is a mid-ranger- 617, it has performed well during the past month. No stutters or lags, the only issue I have is that it tended to get a bit hot- just at the top end of the phone though!

Software-wise, the G4 Plus is a winner because it has pure Android onboard. Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow comes with all its bells and whistles- one of the few phones to support Adoptive Storage. So you are able to use the expandable memory to store apps and not just the usual photos and videos.

Not only do security updates appear faster, but if you buy this phone, you will be amongst the first Android users to get onboard Android Nougat.

Google Now is on tap and there are party tricks galore here: twist your wrist twice or practice a karate chop to launch particular functions and the phone screen glows brighter when you switch it on. 

It is a very unfussy phone and one that is intuitive and very easy for those who are still a little shaky with smartphones.

In fact, I cannot recommend this phone enough for them.

Should I buy the Lenovo Moto G4 Plus?

Moto G has always been a go-to product for budget handsets, but I have also been a massive fan of the Moto X range and am REALLY looking forward to reviewing the Moto Z. So, when it was time for me to check out the Moto G4 Plus, I had high hopes for it. And I was not disappointed.

The display is great, the curved back makes it easy to hold and watch media and the battery just goes on and on and on.

The Moto G Plus costs £229 (32GB) and ticks all the boxes for what you would need from your next handset- yes, it is a bit more rough and ready than sparkly and glamorous and it might be too big for some but it will be difficult to find a more capable device than this, for the price point. 

Lenovo Moto G4 Plus specifications


Price: 2GB RAM + 16GB costs is £199; 32GB storage is £229 and the 64GB + 4GB of RAM is £264. 

Operating System: Android 6.0.1

Dimensions:153x 76.6x 7.9 mm to 9.8 mm

Weight: 155 g

Resolution: 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) 401 ppi

Display: 5.5in 1080p IPS LCD

Processor: Snapdragon 617 octa-core CPU; 2GB/4GB RAM

Camera: 16 MP Laser auto-focus Phase detect auto-focus (PDAF) ƒ/2.0. Selfie camera: 5 MP ƒ / 2.2 aperture Wide-Angle lens. Video recording: 1080p (30 fps)

Memory: 32 GB / 64 GB internal, up to 128 GB microSD Card support

Battery: 3000 mAh

Fingerprint sensor: Yes

Misc: Water repellent coating for added water resistance; Ambient light mode; Turbo power charge