Moto G4 Plus review

It's a Plus, but not in the way you think

Motorola Moto G4 Plus review

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You won't be blown away by the specs inside the Moto G4 Plus, but they're competitive for this price. The G4 Plus is packing an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset, with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and the other four at 1.2GHz, paired with a 550MHz Adreno 405 GPU.

Performance is fast, responsive and silky smooth for the most part, with the experience enhanced by the almost-stock Android Nougat.

Moto G4 Plus review

Digging into the RAM and storage, things get a little more complicated because Motorola is offering different configurations. My review model has 2GB of RAM and just 16GB of storage. With just 10GB free out of the box, that's not enough, but thankfully the 16GB model doesn't seem to be on sale from the UK Motorola website.

It looks like your options are 32GB of storage with 2GB of RAM for £229 (around US$325, AU$440), or 64GB of storage with 4GB of RAM for £264 (around US$350, AU$475). It's worth remembering that the G4 Plus also has a microSD card slot, for expansion by up to another 128GB.

Judging by the occasional slow transition when switching in and out of games and apps, it might be worth springing for the extra RAM. The Moto G4 Plus also heats up a bit when gaming, recording video, or charging, but that's to be expected.

Moto G4 Plus review

Running benchmarks in Geekbench 3, the Moto G4 Plus scored a single-core score of 712 and a multi-core score of 3047. The multi-core score is the more important, and in the second run it managed 3058, which is pretty respectable.

It's streets ahead of last year's Moto G, which scored 1590, but it lags behind the Huawei Honor 7, which managed 3629. Interestingly, the G4 Plus also did better than the Nexus 5X, which averaged 2990 and costs slightly more.

You might be disappointed to learn that the processor is exactly the same as the one in the G4, but you don't have the same configuration options on the cheaper phone. The entry-level 16GB model has 2GB of RAM and there's no option to increase the RAM in the 32GB variant.

Moto G4 Plus review

Overall the G4 Plus is a good performer, although if performance is the most important factor to you then you might want to look at the OnePlus 2, which has a more powerful processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for £249 (US$299, around AU$400).

Battery life

The Moto G4 Plus has a 3,000mAh battery. That sounds big, but it has to power a 5.5-inch display. Even although you can prize the back cover off the phone, the battery inside isn't removable.

In my time with the G4 Plus it has never failed to make it through the day, even with heavy use, although it was a close-run thing on a couple of occasions. On days where I've been playing a lot of games to put the phone through its paces and I've had the brightness cranked up, the battery has noticeably suffered.

By contrast, at the end of a quiet day with some messaging, one call, and a spot of web browsing, there was more than half remaining. For the average user, the Moto G4 Plus will certainly make it through the day with battery to spare.

Moto G4 Plus review

When I ran the 90-minute TechRadar HD movie battery test, with the screen at full brightness and Wi-Fi connected, the Moto G4 Plus shed 17% of its battery, dropping from 100% to 83%.

To put this in context that's not as good as the Galaxy S7, which shed just 13% in the same test, but it's much better than other budget hopefuls like the Nexus 5X, which lost 23%, or the OnePlus 2, which lost 27%.

Budget phones aren't generally known for their battery life, so the Moto G4 Plus is a respectable performer in this respect.

The G4 Plus also comes with a Turbo Charger, which can deliver six hours of power in just 15 minutes. Much like other fast chargers it's very fast initially, and slows down as the battery approaches full.

Putting the G4 Plus on charge when it was around the 20% mark I found that the Turbo Charger regularly delivered an extra 30% battery life, pushing it beyond 50%, in 20 minutes, and the phone was near fully charged within an hour.