Moto G4 Play review: it's OK
This cheap, flawed smartphone is still good value
- Mediocre camera
- Struggles with top games
Perhaps a better way to explain the Moto G4 Play is to call it an overachieving mediocre phone.
Price$ 269.00 (AUD)
The thought of a modern smartphone, capable of putting the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hand, priced at only $269 is kind of ridiculous, isn’t it?
Just how much phone do you get in a phone that costs less than Apple’s wireless AirPods? Let’s take a look.
Fast enough for basic tasks, not for gaming
The Moto G4 Play ships with Android 6.0.1, is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 processor with 2 GB of memory. Its 2,800 milliamp-hour battery is removable, while its standard 16 GB of storage is expandable up to 128 GB through microSD support.
Translation: The G4 Play isn’t a speed demon, but thanks its 5-inch 720p display and low-end processor, its battery life is stellar.
Battery life in real world use was enough to get me through a 14 hour day, full of email, Facebook, random camera use, and Slack conversations.
During normal tasks where you’re not asking a lot of the processor, such as using Gmail, the phone shows almost no signs of slow performance. However, while racing around the track in Asphalt 8 is possible, you'll suffer some stutter and choppiness to the gameplay.
As is the case with the rest of Motorola’s smartphone lineup (not tied to the Droid branding), the overall Android experience is designed to look and feel more or less stock, with a few custom tweaks here and there. For example, you can launch the camera at any time by pressing the power button twice in quick succession.
Excessive apps and carrier bloatware are nonexistent on the G4 Play, unless you opt for the Amazon version (more on that below).
The camera is just okay
Almost every photo I capture with the G4 Play’s 8 megapixel camera has a grainy look to it. The photo above, for example, looks fine when viewing it on the phone, but view it on a computer and the graininess shows up.
Abnormalities are most apparent around my son’s face, just below his chin. Color reproduction in this particular shot is decent, but the sky is completely blown out, with some of that carrying over to the roof of the school just below it.
On occasion, however, I would get a clean shot with balanced exposure and color replication. Even when viewing the photo of my dog on my computer’s display, I was impressed with the shot.
In other words, the G4 Play’s camera isn’t going to wow you. Often times, you'll will wish you had a better camera, but it does a good enough job for sharing on Instagram or Snapchat where the quality of a photo doesn’t matter as much as the subject matter.
A definite buy for those on a budget
Perhaps a better way to explain the Moto G4 Play is to call it an overachieving mediocre phone. I know, it makes no sense, but when you look at its benchmarks, the scores are really low. Yet, daily use doesn’t suffer in the same manner the HTC Desire 530 did, which scored just below the G4 Play.
I didn’t recommend the Desire 530, however I have no problem recommending the Moto G4 Play to those who are looking for an unlocked phone on tight budget.
The Moto G4 Play will get the job done, so long as its duties are limited to light computing and the occasional gaming session.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- 3 Nokia 8.1 review: The more things change, the more they stay the same
- 4 Huawei Watch GT review: Battery life isn't everything
- 5 Oppo AX7 review: New looks, same old budget buy
Latest News Articles
- Exciting New Aussie Dash-Cams Unveiled Ahead of Holiday Road Trip Season
- Latest Spartan sports watches hit the scene
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review
- Want to play Apex Legends?
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?