Moto G4 Play review

Moto's low-end phone raises the budget bar

Moto G4 Play
Great Value

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The Moto G4 Play, like the other G-series phones, operates with a value-first mindset. It's not a difficult task to find a faster, better-looking smartphone. 

But if you're looking for the most phone for the least amount of money, you'll have a hard time finding a better deal than this.

While it's easy to think that this phone is missing some key features, it's not. That's why the Moto G4 Play is so cheap. 

The Moto G4 Plus, for an extra $100, packs in the fingerprint sensor, bump up in screen resolution and a Snapdragon 617. If those specs don't matter much to you, Moto's low-end G4 phone might be just what you need.

Who's this for?

For those who want a fully-featured smartphone without breaking the bank. This phone doesn't have some modern niceties, like NFC or a gyroscope, but that doesn't dilute its message of sheer affordability.

Should you buy it?

Power users need not apply. But for many, the Moto G4 Play will be a totally sufficient daily driver. 

At that, it's worth every dollar (especially since it costs so few of them at $149, or $99 through Amazon) and is elevated further by the fact that it comes unlocked and is ready to go with virtually any carrier you opt into.

There are a lot of great, low-cost phones available now, and we've complied three of the best that you should also consider before splashing the cash on the Moto G4 Play.

Moto G4

If you have just a little more money to invest and you're in need of a bit more power, the Moto G4 might be a better fit. With that, you'll be treated to the same near-stock Android experience, but there's a slight boost in battery capacity and charge speed, as well as a bump up to an octa-core Snapdragon 617 and a 1080p screen pushing the picture.

iPhone SE

Apple's iPhone 6-guts-in-an-iPhone 5S-body redux might be near the same size as the G4 Play, but it's a whole lot faster and more expensive than Moto's budget phone.

Of course, one of the main differences is the operating system, with the iPhone SE running iOS 10 and the G4 Play running Android Marshmallow. Beyond that, the SE trumps the Moto in terms of processor speed, battery life, and camera quality.

Sony Xperia X Compact

Sony's latest Compact isn't a superb value for the price. Costing a whopping $499 (£359, not currently available in the AU,) the Moto G4 Play offers a more balanced ratio of cost and performance.

Again, these are similar in size, but Moto's effort feels more realized, offers a more lightly customized version of Android, and does right by staying true to its aim as a budget-friendly phone.

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.