Moto G4 Plus in comparison Part 1

With the Moto G5 and G5 Plus around the corner as of this writing, it's a good time to take a look at the well-received G4 Plus, which was refreshed mid-2016. I purchased the 3 GB RAM / 64 GB of the Moto G4 Plus from Amazon, where the price was still maintaining its discount from last Christmas. With Android 6.x, a Snapdragon 617 chipset and Cortex-A53 processors, it's easy to understand why the smartphone was tagged as a midrange smartphone even before the internal upgrades.

If Lenovo/Motorola and retailers decide to cut the price further before releasing the G5 and G5 Plus, users looking for a replacement smartphone should consider the G4 Plus.

Size, build, and the fingerprint button

I initially considered my Sony Xperia C3 a pretty “long” device, but after close to two years of use, the dimensions and weight grew on me, even when I added a case to protect it from my abuse. In comparison, the G4 Plus is thick, wide, and felt heavier, with or without the sturdy iPaky case I purchased with it.

The Moto G4 Plus has similarities to Samsung Galaxy devices, but is noticeably thicker.

The Xperia C3 slipped easily into my jacket pocket and even my rear pocket despite its length, but the G4 Plus's bulky frame doesn't, and pops out of my hoodie's front pocket. I'm pretty sure I can't strap the Moto G4 Plus on my arm when I start jogging again this spring. In fact, my Kobo Glo reader fit better into any pocket in my slacks than the G4 Plus. One of the reasons why I still keep my white Lumia 650 is because of its size. The G4 Plus looks massive in comparison, and makes the Lumia 650 look like an old-school iPod Touch

The Sony Xperia C3 and Lumia 650 definitely fit into a pocket better than the Moto G4 Plus with an iPaky case. However, the two entry-level devices have nowhere near as much processing power and storage.

The trend of smartphones today is towards near-weightless devices. Entry-level Vivo, Oppo, and Huawei devices are exceptionally compact and light despite the impressive processors, RAM, dual-cameras, and fingerprint readers inside their frames. On the other hand, there are some users that prefer a heft to their device, and I can see why. The budget Xperia C3 had a horrible camera but a dedicated shutter button. Unfortunately, even the camera button didn't make it easy to take photos due to the long shape of the C3. 

It's worth it getting used to the wider frame of the G4 Plus when taking photos because the dual-cameras are excellent.

Before the Moto G4 Plus, I preferred the Lumia 925 for taking photos because it not only produced better photos but it also had a dedicated camera button and felt good to hold. The lighter Lumia 650 always felt like it might slip and fall at any moment while I was framing a shot. Due to its wider design, I'm still getting used to holding the Moto G4 Plus when taking quick snapshots, but because the G4 Plus feels so substantial, it has the heft I prefer when it comes to handheld devices. 

There are a lot of reviews that unfairly focus on the fingerprint button at the bottom of the G4 Plus' screen. Many tech sites comment that the button isn't intuitive because it has only one purpose. Unlike Samsung and Apple devices, the fingerprint button on the G4 Plus is only used for unlocking the screen, and doesn't serve as a Home button. Admittedly, I also initially made the mistake of pressing the fingerprint button and expecting it to work as a Home button. However, I gradually grew accustomed to using the Home touch key instead. Some users argue the fingerprint button takes up too much space, considering it's a one-trick pony, but I'd rather have a good, working fingerprint scanner than without one after using the G4 Plus.


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