Moto X4 Review: Introduction
Welcome to my Moto X4 review. The Moto X4 is Motorola’s 2017 midrange device that sits in between the budget-friendly Moto G5 and the flagship Moto Z2 Force, which I recently reviewed here. A few years back, the Moto X line was Motorola’s flagship line boasting features such as sensors that detected movement and even the ability to custom make your own Moto X using Moto Maker. Now though, that’s all changed and the flagship title has been awarded to the Z line, so what does this mean for the current Moto X generation? Well, keep reading this review to find out if the Moto X4 lives up to its predecessors.
Moto X4 Review: Product specifications, performance and user interface
The Moto X4 is a mid-range device, which is made clear by the parts under the hood. There’s a Snapdragon 630 SoC paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (there’s also a 4GB model with 64GB of RAM available in some countries). These key specifications are quite a step back from specifications of most 2017 flagship phones.
This lower specification set means the phone has slightly noticeable slowdowns when compared to devices such as the Z2 Force. Opening games and applications is by no means a super slow task, but slow when compared to phones of a higher specification. Opening the camera application with a twisting gesture is supposed to enable you to quickly pull out the phone and capture those moments the could fly by in the blink of an eye. This is a good feature in theory, but when you have a camera application that takes 3 seconds to boot up, it just doesn’t work as well as you’d like. 3 seconds may sound picky, but given that the twist of the wrist was designed to help get those quick shots, it’s just not good enough.
For general tasks such as browsing the web, listening to music, watching box set and other things, the 3GB of RAM is a strong point that does allow for multitasking, albeit with some noticeable slowdowns across the board.
As is typically the case with Moto phones, the X4 comes with a Vanilla like Android O.S user interface. I say ”Vanilla like” only because Moto has added a few of their own applications to the system. Such applications include the Moto app that allows you to set up things like gesture controls, display settings, Moto Key settings and Moto Voice settings. There’s also a Moto Alexa app that works with the Amazon Alexa system.
Moto X4 Review: Design
Motorola has opted to go for glass covering both the back and front of the phone with an anodized aluminum frame sitting snuggly in the center. The phone has a shiny mirror-like styling to it and is available in Sterling blue or Super black (The model in my possession is Sterling blue). This front and rear glass design choice gives the X4 a premium look, although at the same time it does mean the phone is a magnet for fingerprints, smudges and scratches alike.
The back of the phone is ever so slightly curved, which makes it extremely comfortable to hold. I say slightly curved because unless you actually bother to look closer, it isn’t really isn’t a noticeable curve at all.
With a thickness of 7.99mm or 9.45mm, if you include the protruding camera circle on the back, this isn’t a thick phone by any means, but neither is it thin. I’d say it sits in between the two and for a phone of its price this isn’t too bad at all. It weighs a total of 163g, which again is quite good for a phone of this price. It’s not too heavy, nor is it too light.
Around the back of the phone is a rather ugly looking round protruded area that is home to the dual camera lenses. In all honesty, the phone would look a bit nicer from behind without this large sticking out eyesore that kind of looks like a pig’s snout. Also at home on the back of the X4 is a small microphone and the Moto M logo.
The front is home to a 5.2-inch display with very little in terms of bezel on the left and right sides. The bottom is home to a microphone and the fingerprint sensor. Lastly, the top of the phone is home to an LED flash, a proximity sensor, the front camera, the Moto branding and lastly the earpiece that also acts as the loudspeaker.
At the top of the device is the sim/MicroSD next to another small microphone, while the bottom is home to the Type C USB port and a headphones jack. The inclusion of the headphone jack is a nice feature as this is something the flagship Z2 Force lacks.
The left-hand side of the phone is bare of any buttons or ports, while the right-hand side is home to the power buttons and the volume buttons. The power button is textured, while the volume buttons are smooth.
Oh and I should mention it’s waterproof with an IP68 rating, which means its protected from water and dust. This means dropping it down the toilet is unlikely to break it, although you’ll still need to give it a good clean after.
Moto X4 Review: Display
The Moto X4 comes with a 5.2 inch Full HD screen, this gives it a resolution of 1920X1080. The display itself is pretty good as it’s bright, colorful and very crisp. It’s not comparable to displays on flagship phones, but none the less, still good enough for a mid-ranger such as the X4.
Viewing angles are rather impressive and with the brightness set high, the display can be easily read, even on the brightest of days. This makes it rather easy to use outside, which is, of course, a welcome feature since a lot of cheaper phones tend to be opposite to this.
Moto X4 Review: Battery
Giving the Moto X4 its power is a none removable 3000mAh battery that Motorola claims can power the phone for a whole day. Of course, this does mean with relatively light use or in the case of the X4 slightly heavy use, which is great. If you plan on playing games all day or watching videos, then you may find yourself reaching for that charger a bit sooner.
The battery here is charged using a Type C USB cable. Type C is now starting to become the latest industry standard taking over from microUSB. Bundled with the included cable is Motorola’s TurboPower fast charging plug, which means you can get about 6 hours of use from a single 15-minute charge. Not bad at all.
Moto X4 Review: Camera
The rear of the X4 is home to one its main features. That feature is, of course, the dual camera setup. The lenses here are a wide angle lens and a standard lens respectably. The main sensor is 12mp, while the secondary sensor has a resolution of 8mp.
When the lighting is good, the camera takes photos that are sharp and clear. The colors are quite good but do often come out a bit dark in certain situations. As you can see from the photo below, the image result is good enough for sharing on social media, amongst friends or just as a keepsake.
In low light situations, things are different and the camera fails to impress. Thankfully there’s a flash to brighten things up a bit, but even this isn’t enough to to make the photo as good as photos taken in pure daylight.
The front of the phone is home to a 16mp front-facing sensor that provides good results and is great for video calls or just making movies in a selfie format. To be honest, I’m not really a fan of selfies, but if you are, this camera won’t disappoint.
Moto X4 Review: Overall
The Moto X4 may not be a powerful flagship device, but as a mid-range device, it’s pretty decent. It has a gorgeous style to it, which makes it look a lot like a more premium device. The specifications certainly aren’t anything special, but they get the job done for now. There’s a dual camera setup that works really well in daylight, but not so good in low light situations.
With the price hanging around the £350 mark for a sim free device, the X4 is a pretty decent phone. The looks alone would have people thinking you paid more. It’s just so hard not to recommend this. It’s a pretty good phone and while it could be better, it’s certainly one I would want to own.
- Overall premium style
- Vanilla Android experience
- Decent price
- IP68 rating
- Decent battery
- Camera not so good in low light situations
- Dual camera bulge is a bit ugly
- Slightly dated specifications
Moto X4 Review: Check it out here
Check out the Moto X4 over at Motorola’s website where you can pick it up for £349.00. Click this link for more information.