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Moto X4 Review

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Motorola has launched several smartphones this year, mostly from Moto G and Moto Z series. We have seen Moto G5, Moto G5 Plus, Moto Z2 Play, and many other phones from Motorola but Moto X. After a long time, Moto X has arrived, not as a flagship, but a midranger. The Moto X4 replicates most things from the Moto G series with a new design and some additional features and tricks under its sleeves. The new Moto X4 flaunts a 3D glass design, IP68 waterproof, dual cameras, and a Bluetooth 5.0 feature that will definitely amaze you. Here’s our Moto X4 review.

What’s in the Box

  • Moto X4 with built-in battery
  • TurboPower Charger (15W – 5V, 3A | 9V, 1.6A | 12V, 1.2A)
  • USB Cable (Type-C)
  • SIM Tray Ejector Pin
  • User Manuals, Warranty Information

Moto X4 Specifications

  • Display: 5.2-inch LTPS LCD display, Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), 2.5D curved glass
  • Protection: IP68 Certified (dust and water resistant), Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Software: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, on Home button, Gesture-based, Moto Key Support
  • CPU: Up to 2.2 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 14nm FinFET
  • DSP Processor: Hexagon 642 DSP
  • GPU: Adreno 508
  • Memory: 3 GB or 4 GB RAM, LPDDR4-2666 (1,333 MHz)
  • Storage: 32 GB (with 3 GB RAM), 64 GB (with 4 GB RAM), eMMC-type, expandable up to 2 TB via microSD card (SIM2)
  • Main Camera: Dual Cameras (12 MP + 8 MP), 12 MP Dual Auto-focus Pixel sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 1.4um, 8 MP ultra-wide angle with 120-degree field-of-view, f/2.2 aperture, 1.12um, PDAF (both), Professional Mode, Selective Focus, Spot Color, Depth Detection and Focus, Selective Black & White, Background Replacement, Landmark/Object Recognition, Slow-Mo and dual-tone LED flash
  • Selfie Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0 aperture, 1um, 4 MP Adaptive Low Light Mode, Selfie Panorama, Professional Mode and Selfie Flash
  • Connectivity: USB type-C port, 3.5 mm headphones jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE network support, VoLTE-enabled, 2x nano SIM, microSD on SIM2
  • Other: Synchronized Bluetooth Streaming (plays music on up to 4 Bluetooth speakers at once), Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0
  • Colors: Super Black, Sterling Blue
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh with 15 W TurboPower charging
  • Price: ₹20,999 (3 GB RAM & 32 GB Storage) | ₹22,999 (4 GB RAM & 64 GB Storage)
  • Availability: Flipkart & Moto Hub stores.
  • Launch Offers: Up to ₹2500 on exchanging your old smartphone, Up to ₹3,000 extra over regular exchange value on select Motorola smartphones, 10% instant discount on HDFC Credit and Debit cards, Guaranteed 50% buyback value, Up to 340 GB additional data on Airtel, EMIs start from ₹1,019/month

Design, Build & Ergonomics

Moto X4 comes with a 3D glass design, the back is covered with glass that shines when light falls on it. It creates a ripple effect on the back forming an S like shape in lights. The front looks very much similar to Moto G5 Plus, the edges are curved. The frames are metallic, offers a good build quality.

The design draws much attention, the 3D contoured glass, the camera area that looks like a watch dial, the Sterling Blue color look refreshing. It is sized 5.2-inch with Full HD resolution and covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 employing the 2.5D curve.

Since there’s glass on both sides and no oleophobic coating, the Moto X4 is highly prone to fingerprints. The company has added IP68 protection meaning it can resist dust and water.

The Home button carries a fingerprint scanner with gesture controls such as swipe to the left goes back, chop twice for flashlight, twist to open camera, and more. The bottom has a USB type-C port, the right side has three physical keys, two for volume control and one for power and they offer a good grip. We found a total of three microphones on the device, one at the top, the other two at the front and the back respectively.

It’s dual SIM 4G enabled with VoLTE support, but as it has hybrid SIM tray, the SIM2 cannot be used if you plan to pop in a microSD card. Also, the SIM tray is weak, made of plastic and not metal.

There are total two variants, one with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage and other with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. The storage can be expanded via microSD up to 2 TB.

Display

The display on the Moto X4 is a 5.2-inch IPS LCD with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). Unlike the Moto Z lineup, the Moto X is kept below 5.5-inch size. We didn’t see this year’s trending edge-to-edge display with 18:9 aspect ratio on the phone.

The phone doesn’t use AMOLED panel, but IPS, so the quality of the display is above average, not the best in its class. In terms of colors and contrast, the screen does offer balanced colors and brightness, the content is crisp and appears sharp and clear.

Due to the stock interface, there aren’t much display enhancements, you can adjust the color mode, no while balance or color temperature options. Moto X4 offers Night Display feature (blue light filter) which turns the screen color to warmer eliminating any blue lights during the night. It can be found under the Moto app.

Software & User Interface

The Moto X4 relies on software mostly, there are many features in the software itself. Based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box, the Moto X4 offers pure Android experience with no bloatware or additional third-party apps. The last date of the security patch is 1st September 2017. I was expecting Android Oreo, however, the company said the Oreo update will arrive early in the next year.

Speaking further about the features, the Moto X4 uses the Moto functions like Moto Actions, Moto Voice, Moto Display and the newly added feature Moto Key. While the other three are being already a part of the software on the rest of the Moto phones we have seen (Moto G and Moto Z series), the Moto Key is a new feature that recognizes the fingerprint and logs into apps, websites and even unlocks the laptop, PC or tablet.

A handy feature is that now take screenshots by using three fingers quickly. Press and hold with three fingers for a second anywhere on the screen, the screenshot is captured. Enable it in the Moto Actions under the Moto app.

Another tremendous feature that you will see on the Moto X4 is the Bluetooth connecting up to 4 speakers and plays at once. The Moto X4 comes with the new version, Bluetooth 5.0 with support for pairing 4 wireless speakers or headphones simultaneously.

The Bluetooth is powered TempoW Audio Profile (TAP) that allows you to connect multiple Bluetooth devices and play at the same time. This can be pretty convenient if you are listening to music together with your friends over wireless headphones or having speakers in different rooms.

Moto Key Pairing With Laptop
Bluetooth Plays 4 Speakers At Once

Hardware, Performance & Gaming

The Moto X4 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 and it’s the world’s first smartphone to incorporate this chip. About the SoC, the Snapdragon 630 is a midrange octa-core SoC consisting of eight power-efficient Cortex-A53 cores with a maximum clock rate of 2.2 GHz.

The performance is fast, snappy, the Snapdragon 630 serves well for most apps. Coupled with the 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM and Adreno 508, the Moto X can handle all daily activities and some moderate gaming. For heavy multitasking or intense gaming, we suggest you go higher in performance, Snapdragon 660 or Snapdragon 835 powered smartphones will do.

Moto X4 Key Specs

  • Display: 5.2-inch LTPS LCD display, Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels)
  • Software: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • CPU: Up to 2.2 GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 14nm FinFET
  • DSP Processor: Hexagon 642 DSP
  • GPU: Adreno 508
  • Memory: 3 GB or 4 GB RAM, LPDDR4-2666 (1,333 MHz)
  • Storage: 32 GB (with 3 GB RAM), 64 GB (with 4 GB RAM), eMMC-type, expandable up to 2 TB via microSD card (SIM2)
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh (non-removable), TurboPower charging

The benchmarks indicate that the Moto X4 lies in the midrange segment, and competes with the smartphones having Snapdragon 625, Kirin 659, and MediaTek Helio P23. The numbers are slightly better due to its newer chip, however, the real world performance won’t be noticeable. The Snapdragon 630 offers newer technologies in contrast to them, Bluetooth 5.0, LPDDR4-type memory, faster LTE modem, QuickCharge 4.0 and others.

It is worth mentioning that the Moto X4 has performance similar to some smartphones priced in a lower range. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 has similar benchmarks. Other smartphones include Moto G5 Plus, Xiaomi Mi A1, Honor 9i, Coolpad Cool 1 Dual, and a few more. If you are looking for just performance, you might get it in the lower price range.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • 70,767 points

Geekbench 4

  • 867 points (single-core CPU)
  • 4,127 points (multi-core CPU)
  • 3,597 points (GPU)

Quadrant Standard Edition

  • 22,708 points

While gaming, the Moto X4 performs quite well, the Adreno 508 takes on moderate gaming. The performance would be anywhere close to or slightly above the Adreno 505 found on the Snapdragon 625. If you have higher gaming needs, Adreno 510, 530 or 540 is ideal. Moto X4 remains cool while gaming due to the power efficient processor.

Games Tested On Moto X4

  • Asphalt 8 Airborne
  • Sky Force Reload
  • Dead Trigger 2
  • Shadow Fight 3

Storage & Memory

Moto X4 comes in two storage variants, 32 GB and 64 GB with 3 GB RAM and 4 GB RAM respectively. The system reserves 16.44 GB storage, but a microSD can be handy here unless you are opting the second SIM. The 64 GB storage variant with 4 GB RAM will cost ₹2,000 more.

Coming to the storage performance, the read-write speeds remain similar to Moto G5 Plus, hence, it stands in the midrange category. Moto X4 uses an eMMC-type, not the fast UFS storage found on flagships.

A1 SD Bench

  • 181.42 MB/s (Read)
  • 197.90 MB/s (Write)
  • 3,681.17 MB/s (RAM Copy)

AndroBench

  • 279.34 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 212.93 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 51.13 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 57.85 MB/s (Random Write)

Cameras

The dual camera is one of the key features, packs a (12 MP + 8 MP) dual-camera on the rear side with the 8 MP camera being an ultra wide-angle camera with 120-degree field-of-view. The main camera supports Depth-of-field, Spot color, Object Recognition, Selective B&W, Selective focus, Replace background, and more. The front camera is a 16 MP f/2.0 camera equipped with an LED flash.

Moto X4 Camera Specifications

  • Camera: Dual Cameras (12 MP + 8 MP)
    12 MP Dual Autofocus Pixel sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 1.4um, PDAF
    8 MP ultra-wide angle with 120-degree field-of-view, f/2.2 aperture, 1.12um, PDAF
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
  • Rear Flash: Dual-tone LED
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Professional Mode, Selective Focus, Depth Detection and Focus, Selective Black & White, Background Replacement, Landmark/Object Recognition, Slow-Mo, Burst Shot, Panorama, Selfie Panorama, Professional Mode (Front Cam), 4 MP Adaptive Low Light Mode (Front Cam)
  • Video Recording: 4K video @30fps, 1080p video @60fps, slow-motion 720p video @120fps
  • Front Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0 aperture, 1um, 4 MP Adaptive Low Light Mode
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p video @30FPS
  • Front Flash: Yes, LED Selfie Flash

Moto X4 comes with the Object Recognition feature that recognizes the objects using the camera and provides you the information from the web. It can also recognize landmarks and places. This is a new feature Motorola has added to the camera.

The 12 MP camera takes very decent shots, the image quality is by far better in the price range, somewhat similar to the Moto G5 Plus. The second 8 MP camera is wide-angle camera covering 120 degrees field of view. On using the Depth mode, the image quality slightly decreases and struggles at the interface, the lag is visible.

The dual cameras let you add the bokeh effect as seen on the professional DSLR cameras. Too bad, the bokeh effect isn’t accurate. When in Depth mode, the camera doesn’t properly focus sometimes and lags at the interface. I took some images, but not all went right. Check out the samples below.

The camera is still good in terms of other camera features, it is backed up with features like Spot color which picks the color you choose on the camera and makes everything else Black and White. The Depth mode allows you to edit the image with Selective focus, Selective B&W, and Replace background.

In addition to the camera features, the dual camera offers slow motion and 4k video recording. The Moto X4 also offers selfie panorama and professional mode on the front camera which is also capable of recording 120fps slow-motion videos. The front camera performs well, takes high-resolution photos. The LED flash on the front is powerful enough to offer light on the face.

Rear Camera Interface
Dual Cameras
Front Camera Interface
Object Recognition

Moto X4 Camera Samples

Battery Runtime & Charging

The handset offers a 3,000 mAh battery which lasts a day easily and supports TurboPower charging to charge the battery in no time. The battery life seems convincing, for an average user it may survive a day or longer without any issues. I managed to run it for 1.5 days using moderately and even 3 days using lightly. Our tests are based on 4G single SIM.

Moto X4 supports fast charging, it’s TurboPower technology takes about 85 to 90 minutes to charge the device from zero to full. The supplied charger is powerful rated 5V-3A or 9V-1.6A or 12V-1.2A.

Lasts a Day (Single SIM, 4G Data, Roaming, Hotspot)
Average Usage, Lasts 1.5 Days
Minimum Usage, Lasts 3 Days
Takes 85-90 Minutes From 0% to 100%

Moto X4 Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
4K Video3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p)3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Shadow Fight 35%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Asphalt 8: Airborne6%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Sky Force Reload5%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Music (Offline)1%1 HourScreen offOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music Streaming - SoundCloud1%30 minutesScreen offOn (Wi-Fi)
Facebook3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

Verdict

The Moto X4 leaves a good impression initially. The features on the phone are the coolest things you will find. The handset offers a solid design with attractive looks, IP68 water and dust resistant capabilities. The Moto X4 is a great device overall.

The dual camera problems can’t be ignored if you are using it more often, the camera still has several features to convince. However, we expect Motorola to fix this minor camera issue in future software updates. If you are a Motorola fan, want an upgrade from Moto X Play, the Moto X4 is certainly a good buy.

Rivals

Strength

  • Eye-Candy 3D Glass Design
  • IP68 Certified – Dust & Water Resistant
  • Bluetooth 5.0 Plays Up To 4 Speakers At Once
  • Pure Android Experience
  • Great Dual Camera for Daylight Photography
  • Decent Selfie Camera | Shoots Slow Motion Videos
  • Added Features – Object Recognition, Moto Key Login, Touchless Controls, Gesture-based Home Button
  • Reliable Performance
  • Fast Charging Support
  • NFC Support

Weakness

  • Depth Mode Is Laggy At Times
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