When Motorola came back into the smartphone market, they came in three flavours – The flagship Moto X, the mid range champion Moto G, and the super economic mode smartphone Moto E. This scheme won the hearts of millions and soon enough, Motorola found themselves back into the mainstream competition. Over the years, Motorola saw a change of ownership, and new owners meant a refreshed lineup, and sure enough, the flagship Moto X found itself getting demoted down the order to the mid range segment, while the Moto G replaced the Moto E in the budget smartphone bracket.
Personally, I always felt this is what Motorola should have done since the very beginning, as the Moto E was completely destroyed by its competition, while the Moto X couldn’t really stand up to its flagship competitors. Well, better late than never, and Motorola finally got the formula right.
The device we have on hand today is the newest flavour of the now, “mid range” Moto X, and decked with Motorola’s new design, this smartphone, christened, the Moto X4, promises to be a rocker!
But is it? Lets find out –
Design and Display –
Motorola has never disappointed when it comes to the industrial design of their devices, but off late, their rather chunky framed smartphones are getting more frowns than smiles. In the Moto X4, the Lenovo owned brand has tried to give the users a flagship feel by adding the front/rear glass combo. Unfortunately, the back glass panel will attract fingerprints and is surely a deal breaker for those who love their smartphone looking crisp all the time.
Also, the overall body of the Moto X4 has somehow lost the more premium feel that its predecessors offered and the new font type moto logo printed on the front just makes things more youth centric than executive.
The fingerprint sensor on the Moto X4 is still on the front, like all of the other models in the Moto catalogue, and again, this is an acquired taste for those who are used to the sensor placed snugly at the rear side of the smartphone.
Coming to the display, the Moto X4 features a 5.2 inch IPS LCD Full HD display with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Its likely that Motorola will adopt the newer 18:9 aspect ratio in their next lineup, but for now, customers and users of this device will have to make do. The bezels by no means are super slim, so thats another point of note. Colour representation on the Moto X4 has always been vibrant and punchy, with nice blacks and good sunlight legibility. The Moto X4 also features Gorilla Glass 3 protection, again a level lower than the latest standard, and while the real utility of this coating can be seen only when the device is used aggressively, but then again, while the rest of the OEMs are going for the best in the lot, Motorola should do the same.
All in all, the Moto X4 features a rather chunk design which is definitely an acquired taste. The full HD display is definitely a good choice considering that the mid rangers have not fully adopted QHD panels. The device is a looker but lacks the executive look and feel of the previous versions.
Performance and Memory –
Now that the Moto X4 is the official mid range entry for Motorola, a lot of interest was into the chipset they would go for, and I must say, Motorola did not disappoint. Powered by the Snapdragon 630 chipset, the Moto X4 does significantly better than the Moto G lineup, while the Adreno 508 does a great job handling graphic intensive tasks. Coming to the numbers, the Snapdragon 630 clocks in at 2.2 GHz with the Cortex A-53 cores doing the grunt work.
Out of the Box, the Moto X4 runs Android 7.1 Nougat, but the device has been listed in those that will receive the Oreo update.
On the memory side, the Moto X4 comes in two versions – One with 3GB RAM and 32 GB in built memory, and the second with 4GB RAM and 64 GB of inbuilt memory. This scheme has been catching up a lot lately with most OEMs offering the same, so its a good deal.
Do note that BOTH the versions support memory expansion via a Micro SD card, and that can be taken up to 256 GB.
All in all, the Moto X4 has got the perfect innards for a powerful mid ranger and I would also say its a no nonsense approach by Motorola in terms of the performance. The competition in the mid range segment is a heated and cut to cut one where one wrong move renders your device incompetent. Fortunately for Motorola, the Moto X4 is right there in the thick of battle.
Motorola cameras have been among the finer options when it comes to smartphones, and its actually one area where they have claimed a hands down victory over the rather hot selling Redmi devices. The Moto X4 is no different. What we have on hand is a dual camera setup with a 12 MP (f/2.0, 1.4 µm, PDAF, dual pixel) + 8 MP (f/2.2, 1.12 µm, no AF) combo, which by the way does a stellar job with the picture quality and depth. Some images do pick up some noise but not so much that would cause any real bother. The video capture section allows 2160p recording at 30 fps while you can also record at Full HD at both 60fps and 30fps.
For all the selfie lovers, the Moto X4 features a 16 MP selfie snapper which also allows Full HD recording. Whats more, you also get a front facing flash, which should give you stunning selfies in pitch darkness too.
Overall, the Media section has been completely aced by Motorola. Theres are no real complains considering the segment it falls in and the specifications on paper. Motorola also does Moto Mods now, so that should give your already awesome smartphone camera a bump up.
This is where I feel Motorola could have done better. They have stuck to the 3000 mAh component for far too long now, and I believe its time they pack a beefier battery in their smartphones. 4000 mAh seems to be the magic number these days and I feel adding that to their lineup will give motorola a super edge above its competition.
If its any consolation, the Moto X4 features Quick charging, which should give you a solution should your device run out of juice in the middle of something important. But its not a permanent solution. Just get a better battery in there Motorola !!
Anyways, coming to the component at hand, the device should give you around a day’s worth of use on a single charge, but I believe it will ask for a recharge by late evening. If you are a heavy user, I suggest you keep a power bank handy.
Overall, the Moto X4 is a bit of a mixed bag, featuring a strong performance and camera package, while the design and battery should be something Motorola should really look into. Phones are getting slimmer and the display are dominating the front end of the device. Something to consider for the next iteration of the new mid range offering.