Moto G4 Plus review: Tuned up

Tuned up

GSMArena team, 07 November 2016.


It depends on the region, but the Moto G4 comes in single and dual-SIM versions. We have a dual-SIM model for testing and it seems to be the most commonly found variety currently out there. Since it has a dedicated microSD card slot, you might as well get that one, as you never have to sacrifice the extra slot for memory expansion. We definitely count that as a plus with all the hybrid tray solutions floating around.

The dialer should be quite familiar. It's split into three tabs - favorites (with big thumbnails), call log and all contacts. There's no mention of Wi-Fi calling, however (even though previous Motos supported it), there's only SIP calling.

Favorite contacts - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review Call log - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review All contacts - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review
Favorite contacts • Call log • All contacts

Like its generic sibling, the Moto G4 Plus also has a single speaker, but it's positioned on the front. While not exactly as good as a stereo front-facing setup, this is definitely better than a rear or bottom mounted one. The speaker is decently strong and got a Good mark. That's still below the Very Good that the 3rd generation Moto G got. While not the loudest, the G4 Plus offers a strong and clean sound for listening to music.

In terms of loudness, we got consistent results with those on the regular G4, which, of course, was expected.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
LG Nexus 5X 61.2 65.8 61.7 Below Average
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 66.0 64.3 70.1 Below Average
Meizu m3 note 66.5 64.6 71.7 Average
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 64.5 71.0 68.9 Average
Samsung Galaxy A7 64.8 66.3 73.5 Average
Oppo F1 Plus 67.9 71.9 66.5 Average
Huawei Honor 5X 71.1 65.6 70.7 Average
Moto G4 Plus 64.0 70.4 73.0 Average
Xiaomi Mi 5 66.9 67.2 74.0 Good
Lenovo Moto G4 64.7 70.8 72.8 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 64.2 67.2 76.9 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 66.5 66.6 75.8 Good
Oppo F1s 69.0 72.0 67.9 Good
vivo V3Max 74.7 75.8 68.0 Good
Huawei P9 lite 66.0 71.5 83.2 Very Good
Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen 75.7 69.6 75.9 Very Good
LeEco Le Max 2 74.9 69.3 77.2 Very Good
Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent

Messaging and text input

The Moto G4 comes with Google Messenger pre-installed (it's the default SMS app) as well as Hangouts. Messenger behaves a lot like a modern IM app. You can snap a photo and send it in seconds or send short audio recordings, emojis and so on.

Google Messenger - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review Google Messenger - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review Google Messenger - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review Google Messenger - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review
Google Messenger

However, unlike Hangouts it does not support Gmail chat or voice calling, video calling or anything that doesn't fit into MMS. Also, Google now has Allo and Duo for texting/video chats so figuring out which Google app you're supposed to use is a puzzle.

Text input, naturally, is handled by the Google keyboard. It's fast, it's accurate, it's reliable and it has plenty of configuration options. You can enable one-handed mode by long-pressing the comma key, adjust the keyboard height, the layout (e.g. you may want QWERTZ), enable additional symbols on long-press and change the theme. Typing, swiping and voice dictation are available.

Google keyboard - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review Swype input - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review
Google keyboard • Swype input

Other apps

Since a near-stock Android experience is what Motorola has typically been after for some time now, there aren't many other pre-installed apps to speak of. You do get a calculator and Google's calendar app. But the latter is technically part of the standard Google app suite anyway.

Camera app - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review Google Calendar - Motorola Moto G4 Plus review
Camera app • Google Calendar

However, Motorola arguably took things a bit too far in its strive to maintain a clutter-free experience. Then again, it might be sort of Google's fault for not having a standard Android file manager app to offer. Regardless, there is no real solution for outright browsing your files on the Moto G4 Plus. Sure, Google Photos is there and it has access to your local storage, but that is limited to images and videos alone. Furthermore, the Photos app seems to have trouble with quite a few video and audio codecs. But more on that later.

So, back to the point, Photos might have that part of the multimedia browsing covered and Google Play music has you covered for audio files. However, if you want to download or save and work with most other file types out there, you are pretty helpless out-of-the-box. All you get is the Downloads app, which is nothing more than a historical list.

Still, this is more of a nuisance more than anything else, since third party file browsers are plentiful, with some really, really good options available for free.

Reader comments

  • Sanjay m

Best mobile till now for me its working without problem since june 2016. still running like new phone.

  • Jones Kirubakar.

Best Mobile in Motorola, Dual Flash, Laser Autofocus, Front Fingerprint, Center in Headphone Jack Present, Turbo Power Battery Charging, 5.5" , 77mm(width) Broad Large Screen, very cheap Price, All is well, Good Budget Smartphone @ Motorola History, ...

  • Amit

Change the charging cable.. use the good quality cable