The Pro: The Moto G4's big, bold screen and junk-free software make it a pleasure to use throughout the day. Its ability to survive a dunking will appeal to the clumsy among us.
The Cro: Processor performance is great for everyday tasks, but gamers will want to shop elsewhere.
The bottom line: With its big, bold screen, water-resistant design and rock-bottom price, the Moto G4 is a dazzling deal.
After our G4 and G4 Plus reviews were completed, Motorola announced the even cheaper Moto E3, and -- while we haven't reviewed it yet - the specs make it clear that it sacrifices a bit too much to achieve its rock-bottom price. Bargain hunters in the US can also check out the Blu R1 HD, which can be purchased (with pre-loaded Amazon apps and lockscreen ads) for a mere $50. That said, we still think the Moto G4 and G4 Plus still stand tall in the world of budget phones.
The Moto G has always been among the top dogs when it comes to "cheap but good" phones and the new G4 -- and slightly fancier G4 Plus -- have kept up that tradition.
Competition in the budget arena has never been more fierce, but the newest fourth-generation Moto G continues to hold its own thanks to a host of hardware upgrades, including a larger and brighter 5.5-inch, full HD display and faster octa-core processor, without shedding last year's water-resistant construction and expandable storage (you can add up to 128GB by adding ultra cheap microSD cards).
And then there's that price. In the US, you'll pay $199 for the unlocked phone, which will work with all major US carriers. Amazon Prime members in the States can also buy the phone for $150 from Amazon, if you accept ads -- and they're easy to ignore. Our review of the Moto G4 Amazon Prime edition here.) In the UK, the standard 16GB Moto G4 starts at a similarly affordable 169 pounds.
Motorola -- which is now owned by Lenovo, by the way -- hasn't said how much the phones will go for in Australia, but the Moto G4's UK price converts to about AU$300.
So what's the catch? Not much, really. Spending a bit more for the aforementioned Moto G4 Plus gets you a fingerprint sensor (for easy unlocking), a slightly better camera and -- at the top end -- double the RAM and even more built-in storage. But neither phone has NFC or contactless payment options, so the Plus upgrades don't feel worth the extra money in our book.
The G4 Plus gets its name from its 16-megapixel camera (up from 13 on the regular G4) and a fingerprint scanner on the front. It also offers more RAM (4GB vs. 2GB) on its top-end 64GB configuration. Otherwise the phones are the same, from processor to screen
Obviously, the Plus costs a bit more -- and configurations vary by region. Americans will pay $50 more for the 16GB Plus ($250), while those in the UK will pay an additional 30 pounds (199 pounds). An extra $100 or 95 pounds gets you a 64GB G4 Plus, which -- as noted above -- also doubles the RAM. (The UK also gets a 32GB Plus that doesn't appear to be available in the US.)
That said, none of those upgrades are particularly compelling in my book. I kept confusing the Plus's fingerprint sensor for a home button (it's not), and its lack of NFC means there's no contactless payment option. The extra megapixels in the camera, meanwhile, didn't offer a big difference in everyday shots, unless you were zooming in. For those reasons, the cheaper G4 is the better option for nearly everyone.
The Moto G4 and the G4 Plus are almost identical. They both have 5.5-inch screens, which is half an inch larger than the previous model and a full inch larger than the original Moto G from 2013. Both displays have full HD (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolutions, which are bright, bold and well suited to your tweeting and snapchatting.
Even better, the handsets are water-resistant, so they won't shut down the first time you spill your drink on them. The back panel is removable, providing access to the microSD slot to expand the storage. You can't swap the battery out, but its 3,000 mAh capacity is sufficient for a full day of use, so you may not need to carry spares around.
On our looping video battery rundown test, it took 13 hours 20 minutes to drain the battery entirely, which is a respectable performance. By comparison, the LG G5 took 12 hours 30 minutes, while the OnePlus 3 took 14 hours 17 minutes.
As with the rest of the Moto family, you can select from a wide range of back panels and metallic accents using the online Moto Maker tool. This is also where you can choose the amount of storage (16 or 32GB for the G4; 16 (US), 32 (UK) or 64GB for the G4 Plus, with 4GB of RAM for that most capacious option).
The G4s run a near stock version of Google's Android 6.1 Marshmallow software, making them easy for even Android novices to use right out of the box. (Motorola will eventually offer a Moto G4 Play version too, which will have totally stock Android.) Many budget phone makers -- I'm looking at you, Huawei -- load their phones up with so much junk from the start that they're tough to navigate and find the essential features. Not so here. The interface is uncluttered, and aside from a single Motorola personalisation app, there's no messy bloatware.
Motorola Moto G4 and G4 Plus support video formats: MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and VP8. And movies and TV shows you purchased from iTunes are M4V with DRM protection. To play iTunes movies and TV shows on Motorola Moto G4, DRM protection needed to be removed at first. Now, here's a step-by-step guide to help remove DRM protection and ensure your iTunes movies to play on Motorola Moto G4 easily. Guides on how to convert iTunes movies to Moto Motorola G4:
Step 1. Free download M4V Converter Plus for Windows, install and start the application. The screen will appear is Mac version.
Step 2. Import iTunes movies and TV shows by clicking Add Movies button.
Step 3. Select the suitable format for your Motorola Moto G4. Here we choose Same as Source fro MP4 as output format. For Windows user, Lossless MP4 is the default setting, you can convert M4V to MP4 easily.
Step 4. click Convert to start the conversion. After conversion, connect your Moto G4 to PC with a USB cable, you can drag and drop the converted iTunes movies from the Converted Movies folder to Moto G4 with ease.