Hands-on Moto G4 Plus unboxing and review: In 2016, Motorola and Lenovo have launched two new Moto G phones for the UK, the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus. Confusingly the Moto G4 Plus is no bigger than the vanilla Moto G4, but instead a more premium version with some sexy bonus features. Here’s our Moto G4 Plus unboxing, hands-on review and comparisons with the Moto G4.
Hands-on Moto G4 Plus review: Design
First up, an apology. The bulk of the Moto G4 Plus’ features are identical to the Moto G4’s, so quite often I’ll be saying ‘go check out our Moto G4 hands-on review for more info’. When it comes to mobile design, the G4 and G4 Plus are definitely twins. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fingerprint sensor beneath the G4 Plus’ screen, you’d struggle to tell them apart; the only other telltale sign is some detailing around the camera lens.
Read next: Moto G4 vs Moto G3, should I upgrade?
With a design more reminiscent of the Moto X flagships, these new Moto G handsets certainly look good, boasting a more premium finish than last year’s Moto G3. The G4 Plus is slim and comes in a choice of colours, with a back cover that peels right off to be swapped for another design. It’s a serious hand-filler though, so you’ll need to use two hands for a comfortable experience.
Hands-on Moto G4 Plus review: Screen and media
The Moto G4 Plus’ 5.5-inch screen is identical to the Moto G4’s panel, down to the Full HD resolution, punchy colours and strong brightness. And like the Moto G4, you get a pleasingly effective front-facing speaker for blasting out your audio, as well as a microSD memory card slot for expanding the 16GB or 32GB of on-board storage. Check out our Moto G4 hands-on review for more details.
Hands-on Moto G4 Plus review: Features and OS
When it comes to the OS and interface, the G4 Plus again mimics the Moto G4. You get a wonderfully vanilla version of Android Marshmallow, with only a few Motorola additions such as the Moto virtual assistant. No clutter, no slew of pointless apps that can’t be uninstalled, and no fuss.
However, there is one very important difference between the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus and that’s the matter of fingerprint security. Beneath the G4 Plus’ screen you’ll spot a fingerprint scanner (something missing from the standard G4), which can be used to unlock the handset in just under a second. From our brief play that sensor certainly seems to be responsive and accurate, but we’ll be testing it out in full for our in-depth Moto G4 review.
Hands-on Moto G4 Plus review: Performance and battery life
Motorola’s handsets tend to perform well over time, which is no doubt partly down to that clean OS. Just check out our Moto G3 one-year review, where I was all impressed at how well the 2015 Moto G still performs after 12 whole months of abuse.
I’m expecting identical results from the Moto G4 Plus, which packs the same Snapdragon 617 processor as the Moto G4. Our hands-on time was satisfyingly smooth, with no sign of a stutter as we whizzed through the Android interface and loaded up app after app.
You get a choice of 2GB or 3GB of RAM with the Plus, something not available in the Moto G4. I’d say grab the 3GB model if your budget stretches that far just to ensure the G4 Plus keeps on going strong over time.
Hands-on Moto G4 Plus review: Cameras
One of the other big differences between the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus is the camera tech, with a mighty 16-megapixel snapper packed into the G4 Plus. Backed by a laser focus and assisted autofocus, the Plus’ lens can snap onto your subject in no time at all. Our test snaps looked perfectly crisp, with realistic colours and uniform lighting. And the camera is definitely ultra-fast and seems to cope well with moving subjects, just like the Sony Xperia X snapper.
So, is the Moto G4 Plus worth the extra £30 asking price? We’ll be doing a full camera comparison when we get final review samples, but certainly the Plus’ fingerprint sensor is a worthy addition that makes unlocking your phone quick, painless and super-secure.
Here’s our hands-on Moto G4 Plus (2016) unboxing and review in video form, if you don’t like reading all those pesky words. We take a look at the Moto G4 Plus’ interface as well as the fingerprint sensor and the camera app.
Moto G4 Plus vs Moto G4 comparison: What’s the difference?
There are two main differences between the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus.
Firstly, the Moto G4 Plus boasts a fingerprint sensor for secure and fast unlocking. This is something not found on the Moto G4, which uses standard PIN entry and other Android security methods instead.
Secondly, the Moto G4 Plus upgrades the Moto G4’s camera from a 13-megapixel snapper to a 16-megapixel lens. Stay tuned for our full Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus camera review.
Check out our Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison review for more info.