Moto G4 review

The fourth generation Moto G is here

Motorola Moto G4 review

TechRadar Verdict

The Moto G4 is an impressive improvement upon older generations of Motorola's most popular handset and it may well be the best phone you can buy on a budget.


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    Low price

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    Bright Full HD display

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    Impressively powerful


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    Missing NFC feature

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    No fingerprint scanner

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    Lack of Moto Maker options

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Motorola's Moto G brand has earned a reputation for offering high-end spec at a budget price.

Even with stiff competition from the likes of OnePlus and other cheaper Chinese alternatives, the Moto G has continued to impress.

The Moto G4 – the fourth iteration of the line – is no different, and once again offers a decent level of features and performance for a low price.

Update: While G4 owners have been enjoying Android Nougat for some time, that's apparently the end of the line in terms of major software updates. Android Oreo won't be coming to this phone in particular, but will end up on the Moto G4 Plus.

If you're looking to upgrade, the Moto G5 isn't available in all regions, though the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus might be just what you're looking for. Otherwise, you should check out our trusty (and up-to-date) list of the best cheap phones around.

Moto G4 price and release date

The Moto G4 launched at £169 ($199, around AU$330), but the price has now dropped to £150/$155 since the release of the Moto G5. Oddly, this device isn't available in Australia, yet both the Moto G4 Play and Moto G4 Plus are available in that region.

If you take a look at the Moto G4 specs on paper you'll see that you're getting a lot of phone for your money. Specs aside, the device comes unlocked, so you can link it up with the GSM or CDMA carrier of your choosing.

Moto G4

However, I was concerned when Motorola announced three versions of the Moto G last year. There's also the Moto G4 Plus, and the Moto G4 Play. When the phones were announced I thought perhaps Motorola would be holding back some headline features for the slightly more expensive Plus model.

That's not the case though – while some features that I'd hoped would have made it to the Moto G4 aren't to be seen here, the near simultaneous arrival of the G4 Plus hasn't impacted on the specs of the Moto G much.

Moto G

So is the Moto G4 worth upgrading to from other Motorola phones? Let's take a closer look at one of the best budget phones money can buy.


It feels like Motorola has taken the Moto G back a few steps in terms of design, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The design of the Moto G4 is simple, and I think it benefits from the slightly tweaked look.

It's not as chunky as the Moto G (2015), but it's still not a particularly slim phone, coming in at 9.8mm rather than the G3's 11.6mm.

Moto G

On the front of the phone there's now just one front-facing speaker, at the top, rather than the two, at the top and bottom, that we saw last year. It looks clean and simple, and there's not much wasted space here, with slim bezels surrounding the screen.

From the front I think this is one of the best looking-Motorola phones you can buy right now.

Moto G

I'm not as keen on the design around the back. The back panel is plastic once again, and you can remove it easily by pulling it up at the bottom.

The textured back of the Moto G (2015) has been dropped for a much simpler plastic finish. In my book it doesn't feel as good to the touch as before, although it may be more to your taste if you didn't care for the textured feel.

The indented Motorola logo is back and I found myself sitting my finger there quite a bit too.

Moto G

The edges of the phone are rounded off, allowing it to sit comfortably in the hand and offering plenty of grip compared to previous Motorola phones.

The 3.5mm headphone jack is still present – unlike on the Moto Z – and sits on the top of the handset, in the centre. I always find this a strange placing for such an integral port and I'd rather it was moved to one side, but maybe that's just me.

Moto G

The Moto G4 is water-resistant, but that doesn't mean you can go dunking it in the bath or taking it for a swim – it just means that if you splash liquid on your phone, or get caught in shower with it, it shouldn't break down.

It's a shame the Moto G4 isn't fully waterproof like the Moto X Force, but it's good to see the G series taking one step closer to durability. A Motorola executive told me earlier this year that the plan is to make all Motorola phones more durable, so maybe the Moto G5 will get the full waterproof treatment.

All in all the Moto G4's design doesn't offend. It looks better than its predecessor, but no one is going to stop you in the street and ask you where you got your beautiful phone from – and given the price of the Moto G4, that's understandable.

Below you can see how the newer Moto G5 compares to the Moto G4.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.