Moto G4 Play review

Moto's low-end phone raises the budget bar

Moto G4 Play
Great Value

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Battery life

  • This removable battery comes packed with a surprising amount of juice
  • The cameras aren't fantastic, but totally sufficient for quick snaps

Focusing on a few other features, the Moto G4 Play boasts a 2,800mAh battery, which rests under the removable plastic back. 

For the price, this is a generous amount of juice that, ideally, should keep the phone running for over a day without need of a charge. 

During our testing, we found that the G4 Play can, indeed, stay alive under mixed use for about a day and a half.

Moto G4 Play

Of course, if you let it sit around without using it a whole lot, or if your usage is on the light side, it will last much longer - about two days and change, thanks to Doze mode. 

This feature can detect when a phone isn't in motion and put battery preservation higher on the priorities list. In Android Nougat, Doze has been improved to work even when you're on the go, but we're happy to see some version of it implemented on such an affordable device.

If you're looking for a phone with fast-charging technology, this isn't one of them. What this means is that compared to most modern smartphones, this one doesn't charge very quickly, so you'll have to plan some time to refill it back to health. 

From 0%, it took a half hour to bring it up to 30%. At the hour mark, it was sitting at 57%. Then, it took another hour to bring it all the way back up to 100%. This is a phone that's better left to charge overnight.

Moto G4 Play

During our final battery test, we play a 90-minute HD video to see how much of the battery drains in that duration. The Moto G4 Play fared extraordinarily well and only lost 12% of battery. 

Most phones tend to lose anywhere from 15-20% of their total capacity, so it's swell to see that Moto didn't slack in the battery department.


Shifting focus over to the camera system on the G4 Play, there's an 8MP sensor on its rear that has an aperture of f/2.2. If you want to shoot video, this phone can record in 1080p at 30 frames per second (FPS).

Moto G4 Play

We found that, while the camera is serviceable, stills captured with it generally lack vibrancy and contrast balance. Additionally, photos tend to give off a somewhat cold color temperature, and since the phone's cameras lack a manual shooting mode, you're stuck with those settings.

The front-facing camera is capable of 5MP stills and also has an aperture of f/2.2. Unlike the main camera, which has an LED flash, the front utilizes the display to flash, creating a similar effect in the process.

Again, nothing eye-opening here in terms of camera specs and shooting results, but the essentials are on the table. The same holds true for the camera software. While it pales in comparison to the depth and feature list found in Samsung and LG phones, what's here is simple to use and there's definitely enough here to satiate most who are simply looking to take some quick pictures.

Moto G4 Play

We've included several camera samples on the next page and point out its high and low points compared to what other phones are capable of.

Camera samples

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.