The Moto G has been an impressive family of phones since the first iteration was released in 2013.

The combination of mid-range specs and low-end price is the brand's forte, and the Moto G4 takes this winning formula to a new level. It's difficult to find many faults with the Moto G4.

Moto G4

We liked

The tweaked design of the Moto G4 may not be that of a premium handset, but it's a big step in the right direction. Last year's Moto felt bulky, and Motorola has managed to slim the design down while keeping it simple and stylish.

Screen-wise the Moto G4 destroys the competition in this price bracket. I'm delighted that Motorola has chosen to upgrade to a Full HD option, and the 5.5-inch size is perfect for most Android fans.

You really won't be disappointed with the screen on the Moto G4, I promise you.

In terms of power, the Moto G4 has really surprised me with what it's capable of doing for the price. It's not quite up there with the flagships, but it's not far off – which is remarkable when you consider that it's no more than a quarter of the price of some of those phones.

Motorola has worked wonders under the hood of the Moto G4, and it can play pretty much any games or media you want it to, as well as handling multitasking with ease.

We disliked

There are a few issues with the Moto G4, although it's hard to make too much of them when you take the price of this phone into account.

It's disappointing that the Moto Maker scheme hasn't been extended this time around. I'd like to have seen the option to switch the materials used on the back – although considering that I like the design as it is I can't complain too much.

Moto G

Turbo Charge is a great addition to the Moto G4, but it's a shame Motorola hasn't chosen to include the necessary charger in the box.

Another big miss is the absence of NFC. OnePlus took a lot of criticism for dropping this feature from the OnePlus 2, and with mobile payments becoming a big deal Moto G4 users are are missing out.

There's also no fingerprint scanner, although phones at this level don't tend to include a digit reader – it's only the fact that the Moto G4 Plus has one that prompts me to mention it.

Verdict

Motorola has created one of the best budget phones money can buy in the Moto G4 – the price is nothing short of remarkable when you take into account how much this phone can do.

Moto G4

The design might not be to everyone's taste, but it's certainly not going to put many people off – and if you're after a phone on a budget you're probably not going to be overly fussy.

Considering how good-looking the display is, and how impressive the performance is – and the battery life isn't too bad either – it's hard to see how anyone could be disappointed with the Moto G4.

There are a few features I'd like to see added when the Moto G5 comes around, but none of them are a deal-breaker for the Moto G4.

NFC would have been a nice touch, as would a fingerprint scanner, but at just £169 (US$199, around AU$330) it's hard not to be impressed by what the Moto G4 can do for the money.

This is one of the best cheap phones out there right now, and if you like the look of the Moto G4 my advice is to jump right in – you won't regret it.

First reviewed June 2016

The competition

Below you'll find some other phones we like that may be a better choice for you than the Moto G4.

Moto G4 Plus

Moto G4 Plus

The Moto G4 comes with a sibling: the Moto G4 Plus. The name may prove a little deceptive though, as it has the same 5.5-inch Full HD display as the G4 – the upgrades come in the shape of a fingerprint sensor, and slightly upgraded 16MP camera.

If you like the design of the Moto G4 but want a fingerprint sensor and an extra bit of spec, the G4 Plus might be the phone for you. It will cost you a little extra though, at £199 (US$249, around AU$390).

Moto E

Moto E

After something even cheaper than the Moto G4? You'll lose out on the impressive power, but there's always the Moto E.

This is the second generation of Motorola's cheapest phone brand. The design isn't anything special but it'll do the job, and some fans believe it looks better than the Moto G4 anyway.

The screen isn't anything special either, and you don't get much storage, but these are issues you can happily forget about if price is your main concern.

It's only £99.99 (US$119.99, around AU$190), so it's much cheaper than the Moto G4.