Motorola Moto Z4 review

GSMArena team, 21 June 2019.

Introduction

Motorola is back with its Z-series for one more year. Its design, in fact, is largely borrowed from the very first Moto Z that launched back in 2016. Rather than keep the Moto Z as the brand's flagship device, Motorola decided to launch the Z4 as a midranger while the Z3 was really a refresh of the Moto Z2.

Back with the Moto Z3, Motorola used a previous gen flagship chipset - the Snapdragon 835 from the Z2. With the Z4, Motorola didn't even go with a high-end chipset. It decided to go with a mid-range Snapdragon 675 processor instead, which points to a midrange positioning of the device.

Motorola Moto Z4 review

On paper, the Moto Z4 feels like it should just be the Moto Z4 Play, but as Motorola has done in prior years, Moto didn't release a "Play" variant of the Moto Z4, which is usually announced a few weeks before announcing the main Z-variant. Although the Moto Z4 sees some updates in the current trends of the smartphone industry like the in-display fingerprint scanner and a high-resolution 48MP camera, there's a significant change in the category of devices that Motorola aims to compete with.

Moto Z4 specs

  • Body: 6000 series aluminum frame with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3; P2i splash-proof nano-coating
  • Screen: 6.39" OLED display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and Full HD+ (1080 x 2340 px) resolution; 403 ppi; protected by Gorilla Glass 3
  • Main camera: 48MP f/1.7 aperture; 0.8 micron pixels; OIS ; Phase-detection autofocus; Dual-tone LED flash
  • Front camera: 25MP notch camera, f/2.0; 0.9 micron pixels
  • Video capture: 2160p @ 30fps; 1080p @ 30fps/60fps
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 675; Octa-core (2x2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver) paired with Adreno 612 CPU
  • Memory: 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage; expandable via microSD
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie with Moto Experiences
  • Battery: 3,600 mAh lithium-ion battery; Moto Turbo Power 18W
  • Connectivity: 5G-capable via Verizon 5G Moto Mod; LTE Cat. 13 up (150Mbps theoretical), Cat 15 down (600Mbps theoretical); Bluetooth 5.0; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Audio: 3.5mm headphone jack, upward-facing loudspeaker
  • Misc: Moto Mod interface; FM Radio; 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C 3.1 with OTG and HDMI out; in display fingerprint scanner

The Z4's display is finally near-bezelless despite it having the same size footprint as the original. There's also a beefier 3,700 mAh battery here, which combined with the 6.39-inch OLED and power-efficient Snapdragon 675 should yield impressive battery life scores.

Motorola hasn't released a fully-spec'd out smartphone for a couple of years now and it appears this pattern will continue for a little longer. With rumors of a re-release of the foldable Moto RAZR phone, Motorola is slowly taking focus away from the Z series as the flagship it once was. Today, the Moto Z lineup is Motorola's only 5G-supported lineup and the 5G Mod only works for Verizon in the US.

Even so, with the Moto Z4, Motorola is keeping the modular Moto Mod platform alive. The Z4 is identical in its footprint to the first Moto Z Droid so that all Moto Mods made up to this point are still compatible with the Z4, albeit without the exact fitment.

Let's take a look at the Moto Z4's retail packaging.

Unboxing the Moto Z4

We received a retail package that also included a Moto 360 camera Mod. This one doesn't have any Verizon branding at all, so we're not sure if the Verizon variant would also come with the free 360 Camera Mod.

This box is wrapped in a matte red finish and it's soft to the touch. Lifting the lid off reveals the Moto Z4 itself covered in a "Hello Moto" sleeve. below the cardboard tray where the phone goes is another red box that contains the device's documentation and Turbo Power Charger rated at 18W. There's also a SIM tool included in this red box.

Motorola Moto Z4 review

Below the red box is the 360 Camera Moto Mod wrapped in plastic. It appears to be the same hardware as the 360 Camera that launched when the Moto Z2 Force was announced a couple of years ago. These kinds of cameras were a huge trend around that time and to see it come with the Z4 just makes it seem like people forgot about it.

Anyway, that's all the Moto Z4 comes with. We do wish the package included a pair of earbuds or at least a microfiber cloth. Since the headphone jack is back, there's no longer a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, and we don't mind that tradeoff.

On the next page, we'll talk about the Moto Z4's design.

Reader comments

  • Blueberry

This would be a great midrange phone if it was priced around $250. $500 for this? you gots to be crazy to pay premium for a SD675 in 2019. So many great SD845 and 855 under the 500 mark, this has no reason to exist.

  • Anonymous

It would be great if the price or RRP was at the start of each review.

i said camera shots in this review are spectacular and they deleted my comment. wow thx. just compare the shots, it's on par to top grade super flagships samples but the reviewer said bad camera! compare the shots with p30 pro, all are available on...