Moto G4 Play review

Moto's low-end phone raises the budget bar

Moto G4 Play
Great Value

TechRadar Verdict

Is a blisteringly fast gaming experience on a 2K resolution screen important to you? If it's not, the Moto G4 Play may very well have everything you're looking for in a phone for next to nothing unlocked.


  • +

    Android Marshmallow-powered

  • +

    Excellent value

  • +

    Simple, appealing design


  • -

    Only supports 2.4GHz band

  • -

    No gyroscope

  • -

    Doesn't handle multitasking too well

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Update: Just because the Moto G4 Play is affordable, don't count it out for an update to Android Nougat.

Motorola has confirmed that, along with its Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus friends, the latest version of Android is coming to the budget phone.

If you're looking for the latest G series handsets though you're in the wrong place - head over to our Moto G5 review and Moto G5 Plus review for the very latest from Motorola's best-ever selling range.

Original review follows below.

The Moto G4 Play just wants to have some fun. It isn't necessarily the most skilled at any one thing, but it's hard to look away from a deal this good.

Sitting at the bottom of the G4 totem pole in terms of specs, the G4 Play is generally lacking in marquee features found in the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus, like the water-repellent coating and fingerprint sensor, respectively.

But does that make it a bad phone? Nope, just one that's definitely not for everyone. Still, going for as low as $99 price point, everyone can afford this unlocked smartphone. Even if you love flagship phones, it's hard not to be impressed with the G4 Play, the new budget-priced ruler of Android smartphones.

Moto G4 Play price and release date

Months after the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus hit shelves across the globe, it's now time for the G4 Play.

This budget smartphone is available online at Best Buy, B&H, and on Motorola's own site for $149 (£129.98, AU$249.) 

It can also be purchased through Amazon for the same price, or a discounted rate of $99 in the US and £114.98 in the UK. That's insanely cheap for a phone with no strings attached.


  • Moto has crafted an attractive design for a low price
  • Isn't built to last, as it lacks water resistance and Gorilla Glass

Although this phone is targeted towards those on a budget, you wouldn't guess it just by looks alone. 

The Moto G4 Play looks a lot like the Moto G4, even down to the ruggedized plastic back and rounded edges. But it also takes design cues from high-end phones in the Moto family. 

A few noticeable borrowed examples are its silver-trimmed speaker, the deep grey trim and textured power button that are found on higher-end models like the Moto Z line, including the Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

Obviously, cheaper build materials are used here, but the effect carries over in full-force.

At 144.4 x 72 x 9.9 mm it's a little on the chunky side, but the rounded edges means it still nestles nicely in the palm, while its 137g weight isn't overbearing.

The power and volume keys on the right of the handset fall nicely under thumb or finger, while the 5-inch, 720p display is more than suitable for a phone at the G4 Play's price point.

Moto G4 Play

In terms of features, you'll find your usual suspects on the G4 Play, like a 5-inch display, volume rocker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, front and rear-facing cameras, and a microUSB port for charging. 

What you won't find are some slightly more big ticket inclusions, like Gorilla Glass, a fingerprint reader, or a micro USB port with any sort of quick-charging technology built-in.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.