Smartphones for a Budget

Nathan Dion, Staff Writer

The Moto G4 is the fourth iteration of Motorola’s Moto G brand of smartphones. The purpose of this line of phones is to offer phones with high-end specs for an affordable price point and both things I think this phone achieves.

The design of the phone is quite simple. The thin design allows it to be easily slipped in and out of your pocket. The bezels surrounding the screen are slim and the front facing speaker blends nicely into the top. Around back reveals an all plastic back and mounted in the center is the rear facing camera and flash. The back is removable giving you access to an SD and SIM card slot and to the battery. The Moto G4 does come with a 3.5mm headphone jack which is mounted to the top center of the phone. At first, I thought that this was a weird placement for the jack, but have since gotten used to it.

As for features, the Moto G4 has some pretty good ones for a phone under $200. The display is 5.5 inches and is full HD. The display is bright and is easily viewable, even in direct sunlight. Moto Actions are also a nice touch, which allow you to chop twice to turn on the flashlight and to twist twice to open the camera. At first, I thought these were a gimmick but I now use them all the time. To reassure all the people who think the flashlight is randomly going to turn on, it won’t. After using the phone for 3+ years I have never had an experience where my flashlight got turned on or the camera was opened.

The G4 is available in both 16GB and 32GB options and has microSD card support up to 256GB. The phone is very quick and responsive thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, Adreno 405 gpu and 2GB of RAM. Unlike other Android phone manufacturers, Motorola decided to run a stock version of Android Nougat. This allows a clean look and will allow updates to come out faster as Motorola doesn’t need to modify the newest updates.

The camera on the G4 won’t be replacing your DSLR, but is a great camera for casual shooting. The rear-facing camera has an aperture of f/2.0 and a 13 megapixel sensor. The autofocus works well, but likes to shift in and out of focus for a quick second after refocusing on another object. A 4x digital zoom is there but, significantly deteriorates image quality when zoomed in. The camera also has a manual mode for people who want more control out of their camera. The rear facing camera on the G4 can record videos in 1080p at 30fps. The front facing camera has a 5 megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.2.

The battery life on the G4 is good but, not great. The G4 sports a 3000mAh battery, that Motorola claims 24 hours of use. This obviously depends on what you are doing with your phone. Users who watch videos, are constantly checking their phone or listen to music may need to hit the chargers before the day ends. The good news is the G4 supports quick charging technology which can give you up to 6 hours of power in just 15 minutes.

Overall, the Moto G4 is a great option for anyone looking for a budget-phone. There are a few downsides but, for the price I feel this can be overlooked. I recommend this phone for anyone who is looking a phone for under the $200 mark.