• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Motorola is still the undisputed king of budget handsets, but it hasn’t had quite as much luck in the mid and high-end of the market.

The Moto X4 as one of its latest mid-range offerings doesn’t look set to change that either, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth considering, far from it, as with three powerful cameras and a pure, up to date version of Android among other things there’s a lot to like here, but whether it’s the phone for you will really depend on what you want from a handset.

So read on to see all that the Moto X4 has to offer and find out the ways in which it’s not quite a match for some of the competition.

Screen

The Moto X4 has a 5.2-inch screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, for a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch.

That’s competitively sharp and means you won’t be spotting much in the way of pixelation, while the 5.2-inch size is fairly compact by modern standards but not tiny. Whether it’s a good size is a subjective thing, but it strikes a reasonable balance between being pocket-friendly and big enough to use comfortably.

It’s an LCD screen rather than OLED, which is disappointing as it means the contrast isn’t as good as it could be, but this isn’t surprising for a mid-ranger and overall it’s a fairly good quality display.

Design

The Moto X4 is a nicely made if slightly plain phone, with a glass back and a metal frame. It gets bonus points for being IP68 certified dust and water resistant – meaning you can submerge it up to 1.5 metres deep in water for up to 30 minutes, something many mid-rangers wouldn’t survive.

Moto X4 Display

But it loses marks for the camera lens that juts out of the back and for the big bezels above and below the screen and to some extent even on the sides. Compared to, say, the Honor 7X, it looks quite old-fashioned, and the 7X is a significantly cheaper handset, though lacks this phone’s water resistance.

Power

There’s an octa-core Snapdragon 630 chipset in the Moto X4, clocked at 2.2GHz, that’s paired with 3GB of RAM, delivering solidly mid-range power that’s a match for the Sony Xperia XA2 for example.

In practice games and apps should run smoothly, though there can be moments of slowdown and things won’t load quite as fast as on a top-end phone, but you get what you pay for and this isn’t bad at all.

Camera

Moto X4 Camera

On paper the clear highlight of the Moto X4 is its camera, in part because it has a dual-lens one. That’s a feature which just a year or two ago was only found on high-end phones, but now it’s filtering down to mid-range handsets like the Moto X4 and Honor 7X.

In the X4’s case there’s a standard 12MP lens and a 120-degree wide-angle 8MP one, so you can switch between the two depending on what kind of shot you want to take.

There are various modes too, including the ever-popular bokeh mode, which lets you blur the background of your shots, plus you can record video in 4K quality.

So there’s plenty to get stuck into here, but the actual quality of the snaps you’ll be able to take is strictly mid-range, and there’s no optical image stabilisation.

You do get a 16MP front-facing camera though, which is a very high-spec for a selfie snapper, it even has its own LED flash, so you can take crisp, detailed selfies.

Features

There are a few extra features worth highlighting on the Moto X4. For one thing it supports Moto Actions, which lets you make gestures to do things. For example, a double twist of the phone will launch the camera, while a double chop will turn on the flashlight. These work well, but getting into the habit of doing them might take some time.

Then there’s Moto Display, which essentially means part of your screen is always on, displaying the likes of the time, date and battery.

You also get a fingerprint scanner, as is almost standard now on mid-range handsets, and it runs Android Oreo with very little bloat, which is always appreciated.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

Moto X4 Front Angle

The Moto X4 has a 3,000mAh battery, which isn’t as massive as some phones, but life is fairly decent, perhaps because it’s powering just a 5.2-inch screen.

With moderate mixed use you should get around a day and a half from it, and when it does come time to charge it won’t take long, as the Moto X4 supports fast charging.

Memory comes in at 32GB and you also get a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 256GB, while connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.

Verdict

The Moto X4 is a phone of two halves. It’s clad in premium materials and is water resistant, yet big bezels and a camera bump leave it looking slightly old-fashioned.

The camera has two lenses but lacks optical image stabilisation and doesn’t take photos that are any better than rivals, the battery isn’t huge but it’s long-lasting, and most other aspects are about what you’d expect for a phone of this price – including the chipset, RAM and screen.

All of which makes the Moto X4 a very solid but unexceptional phone. If you want water resistance or a high-spec front-facing camera on a mid-range budget then it’s a good call, but in most other ways it’s matched or bettered by rivals.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 148.4 x 73.4 x 8

Weight (g): 163

Battery capacity (mAh): 3000

Colours: Super Black, Sterling Blue

Screen size (inches): 5.2

Resolution: 1080 x 1920

Pixels per inch (PPI): 424

Processor: Octa-core 2.2GHz

Processor make: Snapdragon 630

RAM: 3GB

Internal storage: 32GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 256

Camera: 12MP and 8MP (16MP front-facing)

Operating System: Android 8 Oreo

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