The thing with Motorola phones is that they’ve never dazzled with their looks nor have they disappointed. The form factor of Motorola has always been reasonably good and the Moto X4 isn’t any different. Motorola devices somehow remind you of that child in school who always got “Can do better” remark by his teacher in his/her report card. Moto X4 has an aluminium frame and a glass back which gives it a stylish and premium look. The glass back is a magnet for fingerprint and smudges and one needs to be really careful as it can easily slip out of your hands. Try keeping the phone on a surface which is slightly inclined – like your wallet on the desk – and it will slide off.
To give it a more sleek and chic look, Motorola has gone for really tiny buttons which are all located on the right. The power button and the volume rockers are of almost the same size but have different textures. At the top, there is a hybrid dual-SIM tray, so one has to choose between a second SIM or a microSD card. It’s strange why more and more brands are still pursuing this feature even when it really is an inconvenience.
Look at the bottom of the phone and the first thing that strikes you is the absence of a speaker grille. There’s a USB Type-C port along with the headphone jack whereas the Moto X4 uses the earpiece as a speaker grille. At the back, the dual rear camera set up is located along with the Moto branding. There’s no fingerprint sensor at the back but is placed in the capacitive home button. The fingerprint sensor works effortlessly on the Moto X4.
This is a compact looking phone but still you won’t be able to perform single handed operations. However, there is a gesture command which allows you to shrink the screen – a feature that we found extremely handy (no pun intended). At 163 grams, it’s also on the bulkier side but frankly it doesn’t seem like a heavy phone.
Performance has never been a problem of Motorola phones across categories and the Moto X4 is no different. It runs Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 process which runs at clock speed of 2.2GHz. There’s also eight ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores which in layman terms means you will not be disappointed with the performance of this device. Multi-tasking or switching between apps is a breeze. The review unit which landed at our desk was the 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM variant which sells at Rs 22,999. Customers can opt for the cheaper and less powerful variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage as well.
Coming back to the performance, there are no heating up issues with the Moto X4 and overall it was a device that delivered what it promises. Moto X4 has a few quirky features up its sleeve as well. For instance, Moto Voice allows you to launch apps and there is a list of supported commands available. You can also ‘secure’ your voice through the Voice Security feature. You can use certain gestures for activating the camera and flashlight.
Moto X4 also features Tempow’s multi-speaker Bluetooth offering which allows you to connect up to four Bluetooth devices simultaneously. Through the Moto X4 you can then control the volume levels of these devices.
The smartphone runs Android 7.1.1 and delivers stock Android performance. The vibrant display enhances gaming on the smartphone and there weren’t any hiccups either while playing heavy duty games. For multimedia content, this is a suitable phone which delivers impressive sound output. You won’t notice the lack of a speaker grille and credit to the company for integrating it seamlessly. We ran a few standard benchmarking tests on the smartphone and were satisfied with the results. On Antutu, the Moto X4 scored 70407 whereas on Geekbench single core it recorded 846. On Geekbench multicore it had a score of 4074.
The dual rear camera set up isn’t new or a first for Motorola. The Moto G5S Plus has arguably a better camera so the Moto X4 does have a battle on its hands to impress users. The 12MP primary camera comes with f/2.0 aperture and PDAF whereas the 8-megapixel secondary camera boasts of a 120-degree field-of-view for wide-angle shots. The primary camera does a fairly good job during the day. Be it landscape shots or routine clicks, there isn’t any hint of overexposure and the images clicked will leave you satisfied. While clicking in low-light conditions, there was a certain amount of noise which did bother us. The camera app comes with the usual set of Modes including HDR.
The bokeh mode on Moto X4 doesn’t merit much praise as images clicked were blurred out. The Spot colour mode is a welcome addition and if you’re keen to bring out the ‘pro’ photographer in you, there’s also the Professional mode. The Depth Enabled mode is another useful option to click images in and produces sharp and clear images.
Shooting videos on the Moto X4 is again slightly disappointing even though you get modes like 1080p at 60fps and slow motion 720p at 120fps. You really need to have steady hands as even a slight jerk results in shaky footage. The video resolution on offer in Moto X4 is 4K but nothing much to write home about.
When it comes to battery, it has to be said that Lenovo has done a great job with Moto X4. The 3000mAH battery lasts easily for a day even in spite of heavy usage. One can browse the Web, use social media apps and navigation, the Moto X4 is well-equipped to handle it all. It also helps that the phone supports fast charging through the TurboPower feature. You can get the phone charged in less than 90 minutes, nothing more you can ask for.
The Moto X4 is a phone that won’t have you complaining over anything except maybe the camera. However, the albatross around its neck is the price. In and around the Rs 20,000 price bracket, competition is really intense with brands offering something unique. With Moto X4, you get what you expect from a Motorola device – reliability and strong performance. It does lack the X factor – a feature that could have made into a must-buy. For instance, the Oppo F5 can stake a claim for the best selfie camera around. Moto X4 has all the right specifications, looks good, delivers sound performance – even though the camera could’ve been better – and wouldn’t disappoint you. Moto X4 joins the long list of Motorola devices which will gain its steady set of followers over time. Because as we have learnt that’s something most Motorola smartphones have managed to do and the Moto X4 will definitely follow suit.