Moto X4 is undeniably one of the finest creations of Motorola launched last year. In a mid-range price segment, the handset has some flagship-grade specifications like IP68 certification. As soon as we got our hands on it, we put it against several smartphones for comprehensive comparisons. If you have missed, you can read them here.
But as a gadget reviewer, I know that most of the smartphones work really fine when they are new. The actual judgement of a handset can only be made after using it at least one month. That’s why I decided to use it as my daily driver for one month. As the duration is over, now is the time to share my experience of this handset with you.
Note: The Moto X4 is available in two variants: 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM and 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM. We have the 3GB RAM variant.
As I said, it is one of the finest creations of Motorola. Except its aluminum frame, the handset is entirely covered with glass. Though the glass placed at the front and rear aren’t anti-glare units. I would also like to suggest using a case as the handset is extremely slippery.
To keep the design clean, Motorola has placed volume rockers and power button on the right edge. At the top you’ll find SIM tray whereas USB type-c and 3.5mm audio jack are placed at the bottom.
The Moto X4 initially feels heavy in hands but I got usual after few days of usage. As mentioned before, it has IP68 certification which means it is dustproof and can survive for up to 30 minutes in the water but the depth shouldn’t be more than 1.5 meters.
Built around a 5.2 inches LTPS IPS LCD display, the Moto X4 comes with full HD display resolution and ~424ppi of pixel density; covered by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. The screen is very responsive and typing on this device is fun.
The display of this handset is bright, vibrant and clear. It shows natural colors. Watching full HD videos on this device is also fun. The only drawback I encountered with is reflection. Even with the brightness set at maximum, the screen reflects in both indoor and outdoor lighting condition.
USER INTERFACE or SOFTWARE
The Moto X4 comes with stock Android which I loved the most. Running on the Android v7.1.1, it offers smooth and lag free software experience. Transitions and animations work really fine but I found some lag in quick toggles, especially when turning on Bluetooth or Hotspot. I had to restart the device. I hope Motorola would fix the issue in upcoming update(s).
Talking about the updates and patches, Motorola is quite active. It isn’t getting updates every month but I did receive two updates in late November. Oh one more thing, Motorola has promised to update it with Android v8.0 Oreo.
Further, gestures on the handset are quite useful. For example: shake to turn on flash light, flip to reject a call, and wave your hand above display to wake up the screen for few seconds.
GAMING & PERFORMANCE
Under the hood, the Moto X4 has a 2.2GHz octa-core processor coupled with Adreno 508 graphics processing unit, embedded into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 SoC. Other hardware include 3 gigs or RAM and 32 gigs of onboard storage.
During my 30 days of usage, I played numerous heavy games on this device including NFS: No Limits, Injustice 2, Shadow Fight 3, Mortal Kombat, Gangster Vegas 4 and Modern Combat: Blackout. I also played several normal games like Bubble Witch Saga 3, Clash of Clans, Hill Climb Racing, Moto GP: Renegade and Callbreak multiplayer.
While normal games ran fine no matter how long you’re playing them, heavy games started lagging here and there after 30 or 35 minutes of gaming. But that’s okay, it’s a mid-range smartphone and it wasn’t something unexpected however, graphics rendering is just above average.
Talking about multi-tasking, the handset tend to restart heavy applications when switching back to them. Normal applications just resume however, not always. If you’re switching back to them after around 5-7 minutes, it will restart. Also, switching between heavy applications isn’t easy. Sometimes, the screen goes blank for few seconds.
The Moto X4 has a couple of 12MP (f/2.0, PDAF, dual-pixel) and 8MP (f/2.2, no AF) shooters on the rear with dual-LED dual tone flash; while a 16MP (f/2.0, LED flash) camera is placed at the front for a selfie.
This is the only section where I found no changes even after one month of usage. The performance of its camera is as commendable as it was when purchased. From daylight to low light, photos taken in any lighting condition is far better than photos taken by any another mid-range smartphone we have reviewed till now. Have a look on the samples below:
As you can see, pictures are bright, sharp and full of details. Color accuracy of its camera(s) is unmatched in this price segment. Even the performance under low-light situation is commendable.
FINGERPRINT & SOUND QUALITY
If compared to previous Moto phones like Moto G5 and G5s Plus, Moto X4’s fingerprint sensor is more accurate, fast and smooth. I didn’t encounter any issue during my 30 days of usage period.
Coming to the sound experience, Motorola continues its signature style of embedding speaker at the place of earpiece. If you’re watching some videos, you will feel like you’re watching it on a TV as the speakers are placed at the front. Usually, other smartphone makers place the speaker either at the bottom or on the rear.
Speaker volume of this smartphone is neither that loud, nor that low. With no additional features like Dolby Atmos, the quality of sound remains average. The handset does come with bundled earphones but that’s also just average.
The Moto X4 packs a 3000 mAh battery. When the handset was new, it lasted for a day during normal usage on a single full charge but things seem to be a bit changed now. It doesn’t last whole day and I need to charge the handset after around 16 hours.
Besides, if I do some heavy gaming occasionally, the batter backup time slashes from around 16 hours to 12 hours. And in case I am constantly playing those games, I need to recharge the handset every 3 hours.
Summing things up, Moto X4 is a solid all-rounder. The smartphone has an amazing design, IP68 certification, best-in-class camera and decent performance. Yet, I feel that the handset is a bit overpriced.
Further, this smartphone is not at all for gamers. The handset lags at heavy multi-tasking and gaming. Another cons for gamers would be battery backup. The handset doesn’t last longer than 3 hours if heavy games are constantly played.
So if you are a normal user and want a beautiful looking all-rounder smartphone, the Moto X4 is recommended by us.