Moto G4 Plus in comparison Part 4

Continued from Moto G4 Plus in comparison Part 3

Stock apps and Sony apps

Most users probably prefer less preinstalled apps on their devices, and this is one of the strongest selling points of the Moto G4 Plus, and a reason why users should pick up the upcoming G5 series. Motorola/Lenovo included only one app for the G4 and G4 Plus, and it's nothing more than a hardware control module for managing gestures for the camera, flashlight, and Motorola's notification system. The rest of your app screens are filled with Google apps such as Maps and Hangouts.

Moto app

I suffered from withdrawal symptoms switching from the Sony Xperia C3 to the G4 Plus in terms of apps. The mid-range G4 Plus is clearly the superior device in terms of hardware, but I missed the Sony exclusive Music, Videos, and Album apps terribly. Although the Xperia C3 was a budget device, it included audio enhancements when playing MP3s using the Music app, which was actually my default app for playing music albums. The Sony apps also had built-in support for DLNA streaming and client services. The Videos app even had surprisingly good file format support and played bootleg videos without problems. Moreover, unlike Play Movies, Play Music, and Google Photos, which are all installed with the G4 Plus, you didn't have to be constantly reminded you're offline.

Google Play Music and Play Movies will regularly remind you that your device is offline.

You can certainly playback audio using the Play Music app, but it's clearly designed to be always connected to Google's online service. Even Groove Music on Windows 10 Mobile isn't as dependent on an online connection.

If you regularly purchase items from Google Play, then Play Music and Play Movies are fine, but if you have your own content on the micro SD or copy media to internal memory, then you'll have to opt for other apps available on Play Store. Google's Photos app also emphasizes Google Drive, which maybe useful to dedicated Google users, but annoying for others.

Google Photos will always remind you that you should be storing your photos online.

Other users may argue the Sony Music, Videos, and Album apps are nothing special, but they're reliable stock multimedia apps. As a replacement to the Sony apps, I ended up installing the no-nonsense MP3 player app Pulsar and VLC for Android. VLC for Android, like its Windows 10 Mobile version, can be a resource hog, and occasionally unstable, but it works better on the G4 Plus than it did on my older ASUS MemoPad HD7 and the Xperia C3 thanks to the capable processor and extra RAM.

G5 Plus

I'm not a fan of Lenovo, so I like that the Moto brand has been retained for the G-series of smartphones (even though they've removed the iconic Hello Moto message). Although I absolutely have no regrets using the Sony Xperia C3 and my Lumia phones the last few years, I confess I probably would've saved more money if I had bought a well-equipped device like the G4 Plus years ago. For users who aren't interested in iPhones or top of the line Samsung and Huawei products, the upcoming Moto G5 Plus should be on your shortlist alongside upcoming Honour and OnePlus devices.

Should I have waited for the G5 Plus? Probably. Do I regret purchasing the G4 Plus mere months before the G5 Plus? Nope - it's a fantastic smartphone and a good deal.


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