Reviews

Moto X4 Review – The Best Midrange Compact Android Smartphone

Few weeks ago Motorola launched the Moto X4, a mid-ranger with stock Android and a new but familiar dual camera setup. With the Moto G5 at the beginning of this year Motorola mid-range and budget smartphones have proven to be super popular but will this new phone live up to this legacy? Read out for your answers. Let’s take a look at its specs list first.

Moto X4 Specifications:

  • Android 7.1 Nougat OS
  • Hybrid Dual SIM Support
  • Water and dust resistant (IP68)
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 5.2 inch Full HD LTPS IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
  • 2.2 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 630 14nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 508 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM with 64GB internal storage, 4GB RAM with 64GB internal storage, Expandable up to 2TB using microSD card
  • 12 Megapixel primary camera with Dual Autofocus Pixel sensor, PDAF, f/2.0 aperture, 1.4um pixel size and 8 Megapixel ultra-wide angle secondary camera with 120-degree field of view, f/2.2 aperture, 1.12um pixel size and dual-tone LED flash
  • Ultra HD 4K video recording
  • 16 Megapixel Front-facing camera with LED flash, f/2.0 aperture and 1um pixel size
  • 3.5mm audio jack, Front-ported speaker, 3-Mics
  • 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0 LE, GPS, GLONASS, NFC and USB Type-C
  • 3000mAh battery with Turbo Charging support

One of the biggest reason you might get this phone over other is because of its ip68 rating. Looks wise it is typical Moto phone, glass back is a step up from the previous generation it’s also a step towards a smudge magnet. Not the most modern looking phone but yes a good looking one for sure. Part of this come from the side bezels which are light colored and large for the phone size. The circle camera bump on the back contributes much to this effect too, especially since the phone lacks Moto mods and the bump is only there as a stylistic choice.

Moto X4 Review

The new Moto X4 does have a nice heft and though it doesn’t feel particularly slim it feels decently comfortable and one-handed use is a piece of cake. The fingerprint reader is on the bottom chin and its always-on and you can even use it for UI navigation, like tap to go home, swipe left to back or swipe right to switch between apps. With 16:9 ratio the 5.2inch LTPS LCD IPS (1080 x 1920p) display has good details but the whites tend to be a bit bluish. Sunlight legibility is good legibility is above average for an LCD but it’s still not as good as an AMOLED.

The only speaker in the phone is in the earpiece, it doesn’t get too loud and the sound can get a little bit tiny so you can probably make good use of the 3.5mm jack for your favorite headphones. With Bluetooth 4.2 A2DP you can connect up to 4 devices at a time.

Snapdragon 630 is the new CPU with more power than before but with the same power and efficiency, coupled with 3/4GB RAM variants. Moto X4 handles games well thought the phone is not the fastest in the market, especially when using larger apps or the camera app for extended periods of time, otherwise its fast enough for most of your everyday needs.

The Moto X4 comes with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM and 64GB storage with 4GB of RAM, also an expandable storage option. The X4 has a good battery, it provides good back while the screen is on and strangely when on standby it is rather poorly and brings down the overall endurance to 64 hours.

Moto X4 has the USB type-C port and come with MOTO’s turbo power charging. The Stock Android experience is clean, bloatware free and one of the best things about the MOTO X. It’s the part of Android One and a part of Google’s project-5 in the US. For now the phone comes with Android Nougat 7.0 but updates for Oreo should be out by the end of the year. The phone uses stock Android app and few Motorola ones, like Moto menu for gestures and the FM radio. The X4 features a few familiar tricks too like, chop-chop for the flash light and twist for the camera.

The phone has the dual camera setup, one’s a normal 12-MP camera while the other is the wide 8-MP shooter. For now this is the only phone apart from LG’s lineup to feature a secondary wide-angle camera and the only phone with a wide-angle camera and a portrait mode. In daylight colors are good without much noise, however photos tend to be underexposed to prevent clipping, may be. When it comes down to things like foliage they tend to be soft. The photos by the wide-angle camera are even worse, there’s less dynamic range, dull color even more softness. In low-light, photos by the two camera are again a bit below average since they are rather soft and noisy.

Moto X4 Camera

The main camera provides a portrait mode but it’s not up to par with the competitions. It has a hard time with edge detections and often the wrong edges get lured so it’s best to use on soft corner subjects or subjects with curves. The camera app numerous effects for experimenting, with a spot color you can isolate a color and desaturate everything else. You can even choose how much of the color spectrum you’re isolating. Contrary to photos 4K videos are very detailed and well exposed with low noise, they have slightly muted colors especially with washed out reds. 1080p shot at 30fps are also nicely detailed and even more contrasted in 4K ones.

The front camera has a 16-MP shooter with an LED flash and 1080p video recording. This is one of the highlights of the phone and it won’t disappoint you either. Photos have plenty of detail and good colors.

Summing things up Moto X4 is a solid Mid-ranger but it’s in a pretty tough spot. Well the phone’s features are OK but none of them are chart-topping and is competing both with cheap mid-rangers and older flagships with a huge price-cuts. If you can find a good deal then this phone is really a good purchase but if Motorola wants to rule the upper mid-range they have to up their game.

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