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Moto X4 – Pretty, but not impressive -Review

Lenovo’s Moto X4 mobile is Motorola’s new flagship device that sits bang in between Moto Z series and the Moto G Series. The base variant is priced at Rs 20999 in India, while the top end variant with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage is priced at Rs 22999. Moto X4 is priced in a segment which has very less competition. So let’s take a look at it and see if it fits the bill.

Design

Moto X4 is not a bezel-less mobile, which is a trend these days. Barring that, the mobile looks exquisite with its glass body at the back and metal rim molding up to the glass front. Both the back and front are protected by toughened Corning Gorilla glass. With a 5.2 inch display, the Moto X4 is very handy and compact. It has USB-C port and 3.5mm jack at the bottom. The earpiece acts as a second speaker, though it is less powerful than the main speaker at the bottom. It is a sensible design decision for speakers. Below the display is the fingerprint sensor which can also be configured to act as your navigation keys. Otherwise, the navigation buttons are on-screen. The mobile is IP68 water resistant and at this price range, it is a welcome feature. Moto X4 has an elegant, stylish and ergonomic design. Needless to say, I fell in love with this mobile just for its ergonomics.

Display

The display is a 16:9 aspect ratio and not the 18:9 wide aspect ratio, which is the current trend. That means the bezels are thick and makes the mobile look dated. But beyond that, the display quality is impressive. It is an FHD supporting IPS LCD panel. It has good visibility under sunlight and in indoors. The colors are vivid and are very pleasing to use. I just wish Lenovo had the patience to wait for a bit longer and launched the X4 with an edge-to-edge 18:9 display.

Camera

Moto X4 has a dual camera setup at the back. But unlike most mobile, the X4 has a wide angle lens along with a regular lens. The 12 MP sensor has a f/2.0 lens and the 8 MP sensor has a wide angle lens with f/2.2 aperture. The primary 12 MP camera has good performance under all light conditions. It has a good dynamic range. The colors are not over saturated. Focusing is fast but the portrait mode algorithm is still as bad as we saw in the Moto G5S Plus. Background blur is not natural and the edge detection algorithm is a joke. The 8 MP wide angle lens gives a nice wide perspective to your mobile shots. The images are grainy under low light, but still, I like a wide angle lens as opposed to other variants of dual lens implementation.

The mobile can also shoot 4K videos. However, FHD videos get electronic image stabilization. The 16 MP front camera can shoot good selfies under all light conditions. The front flash is useful under low light, but overall the selfies are not very sharp.

The major problem with the Moto X4 camera is the camera UI. The camera app is sluggish and lags between shots at all modes and light conditions. It is very frustrating to use such a slow app to click shots. It has pro-mode, portrait mode, and panorama. It also has a spot color mode which can isolate colors in your shots and make the rest of the colors, black and white. The face filters is very similar to Snapchat like live fun filters on your face. I wish Moto X4 fixes the lagging issues with a software update.

Performance and Hardware

Moto X4 is the first mobile to run on Snapdragon 630. Snapdragon 630 is an overclocked Snapdragon 626. SD626 offer better dual camera support compared to SD625. The SD630 in this mobile handles the UI but shows signs of lag. Gameplay was smooth and the graphics rendering quality is similar to SD626 mobiles. It does not overheat. Motorola could have easily used SD626 on this mobile. I don’t see how SD630 is better than SD626 in the X4. Basically. I really don’t see a valid reason for the existence of Snapdragon 630. Maybe Lenovo wanted to justify the price tag of the X4. But the performance of this mobile is on par with any mobile powered by SD625/626 and priced under Rs 15k.

Software

Moto X4 is running on Android 7.1 Nougat with Stock Android UI experience. The X4 in India is not under Android One program, so we are still at the mercy of Lenovo for Android updates. Apart from the Camera and Moto app, there is no additional software from Lenovo. The Moto apps provide a plethora of customization and gesture controls under Moto Actions and Moto Display settings. Nevertheless, the UI is laggy and not the fastest we have seen. A few apps also kept crashing. Overall, not a great user experience with the Moto X4.

Battery

The mobile has a 3000 mAH battery and it is not sufficient for a full day charge cycle. The Turbo Charger with 15W output is not as fast as claimed by Lenovo. It takes more than 2.5 hours to charge this 3000 mAh battery. Battery life on the Moto X4 is average at best.

Verdict

The Moto X4 has a stylish design, IP68 water resistance, good camera performance, stock UI and a wide angle camera. But it is overpriced by at least Rs 2k. The thick bezelled display is dated, the camera app lags and the UI is laggy as well. Battery performance is also not up to standards. I would not recommend the Moto X4. But for anyone looking to buy a mobile in this price segment, there is better mobile that is available for a cheaper price, though you may not get the IP68 rating. Moto G5 Plus is a good mobile for the Moto Fans and other better choice are the Xiaomi Mi A1 or the Honor 9i. All these mobile have similar performance, but better camera experience and comes at a cheaper price tag.

 

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Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.
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