Motorola’s Moto X series is back after a year of hiatus, and this time around, the smartphone has a new polarizing philosophy with it but keeping the basics intact most likely. It’s called the Moto X4 as this is the 4th addition to the series. In 2016 there wasn’t any Moto X due to the Moto Z/Z Force talking the Flagship responsibility, now it’s back, but a lot has changed for Motorola since then.
Apart from that, the Moto X has also lost some of its flagship statuses and now is positioned as a Premium upper-midrange, rather than a true flagship like it was previously. However, that Premium Upper-midrange is also a win for the Moto X as the basics like the reliable build quality, which is now so top-notch that this can easily compete with the highest-end, Galaxy S8, and even iPhones. Apparently, it won’t keep up with them in the specs department with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 and 4GB RAM, but can easily match the build-quality, fit-and-finish, as well as the looks, which are now entirely revamped in this new Gen, Moto X.
We also have the Moto X4 as an Android One device in the US which is compatible with all carrier’s plus; it can even run Google’s Project-Fi network. While in some countries Motorola will launch it as a regular variant. So, now starting with the design and everything we’ll talk about the different aspects of the device and at the end decide whether you should buy it? Consider it? Or just pass?
Starting with the Design & Display: Premium at for Less
The new looks of the Moto X4 are inspired from that of the Moto Z line up, but the materials used here are nothing less than a flagship, its screams quality high-end build quality in every way. The Moto X4 is covered in Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and rear, while the front has some bezel’s on the top and bottom, the side-bezels are very minimal, the speaker is in the earpiece, so a front-mounted placement is welcome.
The rear of the device is the real deal here, we have already seen glass backs from many OEMs, but what Motorola has crafted here is a true piece of art, this isn’t your regular 3D glass, this play’s with light and reflections. Whenever light hits the curved glass on the back, it flaunts an exhibition of swirly light reflections, creating a contemporary S-shaped reflection pattern, which pleases the eyes like no other phone.
However, this isn’t just about the looks; finally, the X4 also sports an IP68 water and dust proof certification. So, its ready to dive in to take some wide-angle shots as well as all set to go hiking with you. Moreover, the headphone jack is present here, fortunately. Other than that, the rear has the similar camera arrangement with two cameras side by side with the LED flash on the top. However, the circular camera shape has a watch like a boundary inspired from the Moto 360, that also flashes when it interacts with it. Overall, a pretty solid build-quality and looks.
Moto X4 feature’s a compact 5.2-inch 1080p LTPS LCD that is a high-grade LCD panel covered with Gorilla Glass. Sadly there’s no Moto-shatter shield here, which has beautiful saturated colors, viewing angles and outdoor visibility is also fantastic, and there have not been any reports of screen retentions or color shifting, on this affordable premium device.
Camera: Wide-Angle+RGB and a monstrous selfie snapper
Motorola’s squish in a 12-megapixel f/2.0 sensor with a pixel size of 1.4 µm, while the other one is a wide-angle 8-megapixel f/2.2 sensor, this comes at a pixel size of 1.12 µm. The cameras so far are great in day-light as expected, the wide-angle has a little fish-eye effect, but hey that’s cool! Depth-mode still needs the edge selection right, like on many other phones. However, you can cheat a little bit by adjusting the blur to stop it from spilling inside the edges.
Moreover, the low-light performance is pretty average, but the depth mode still performs and works in low-light. And also gives a beautiful decent bokeh. The camera has not the quickest shutter speed but ist pretty much acceptable or regular usage. And if compared to the One Plus 5 or Moto Z2 Play, it’s a pretty equal match, but the One Plus slight pulls ahead with its consistent portrait mode.
What, isn’t average is the front facing camera which is a 16-megapixel snapper wide-angle snapper along with a LED Flash on the front. The selfies taken are sharp, warm and you can also fire up the front flash to taken them in low-light. The camera app remains the same on both the Andriod One and the regular variant.
Software Experience: Google’s Android One/Stock Motorola, Alexa and much more
In here the Moto X4 is loaded with Stock-Android and smart software, but that doesn’t affect the user performance or experience because it’s not intrusive at all. However, on both the variant’s there’s Stock Android but with some minor changes.
Let’s talk about them, the Moto Gestures (Moto-Actions and Display) are here on both, but the Voice assistant on the regular variant is Amazon’s Alexa while the Google’s Android One variant replaces it with Google Assistant. Apart from that, there’s a custom firmware baked inside the Moto X4/Android One variant by a German brand Tempo, which allows you wirelessly connect more than four audio devices and stream distinct audio to them. So, audio is good to hear as well as on the speakers.
If you go with the Android One you get 2-years of Android updates and security patches timely, on the other side Motorola will try its best to update it, but now they’re a little sluggish. However, we can expect the Android Oreo Update on this. That’s all we can say on the updates for now.
A decent 3000mAh non-removable battery with Motorola’s Turbocharge support can get you a full day with moderate usage, and the device charges up pretty quickly at 35% plus in just 15-to-20 minutes. The 1080p display will surely get you a screen on time of about 4hours or more, but it still depends on once usage pattern.
Pricing is what makes or breaks a deal, the Moto X4 Android One in the US starts from $399, the European pricing is 399 Euros. However, the Moto X4 will also launch in India as a non-android one variant and as far as from the leaks are concerned the device will be priced aggressively at just ₹23,999/- INR while we expect it to be around ₹25k or most probably under Rs. 30000.
Moto X4 Full Specifications
(Amazon Prime variant $330[32gb])
|Expected under ₹25K INR||EUR 399|
For this price, if you need one of the best build quality in the market and regular Android Updates then this phone is for you. That doesn’t mean the Moto X4 is a slouch, its right there with the top dogs in smooth UI performance as its runs on Stock Android and proven optimizations, like its previous generations.
However, it won’t appeal to spec junkies, who wants the best highest-end silicon to get 0.2 seconds head start while opening apps and more then 6GB/8GB RAM for super heavy multitasking then this phone is not for you, get the OnePlus 5 or the essential phone. Overall an excellent device for those looking for a high-end build quality and timely updates on a budget.