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Moto G4 2016 review




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Our Score:



  • So much tech for your cash

  • Reliable camera

  • Great screen

  • No useless software

  • Handy Moto tweaks


  • Very big

  • Divisive textured back

  • No NFC

Best Deals for Motorola Moto G4 2016

  • amazon
  • ebay

Key Features

  • 5.5-inch 1080p display
  • Snapdragon 617 CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • 13MP camera
  • 5MP selfie camera
  • Android 6.0.1
  • Manufacturer: Motorola
  • Review Price: £169.00

What is the Moto G4?

Update: Is there a new entry to the Moto G series coming soon? Possibly. We've got all the Moto G5 news and rumours right here, and we might see it at MWC 2017.

I've reviewed a lot of flagships phones this year, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7, but there isn't a better deal out there than the Moto G4 2016. And it's only £169. The budget phone of choice for many, and three-time TrustedReviews Budget Phone of the Year winner, has received an update. And while it’s now officially a Lenovo phone, the magical combination of performance, features and value hasn't been lost.

It’s fast, has a great camera for the cost, a bright screen and Nexus-like software. I do have some reservations about the size, but honestly every other affordable phone maker should be worried. Seriously worried.

This item is currently on sale , meaning you could bag a bargain. Check out our Black Friday deals for more savings, and get a deal on the Moto G 2016 below:

WATCH: MWC What to expect?

Read also: iPhone 7

Moto G4 – Design

The Moto G has never been a flashy phone. It’s grounded, durable and functional. It also has to meet a substantially low price, so unnecessary extras and luxuries have to be ditched.

It’s still made mostly of plastic, but it far outweighs its £169 price-tag. The front is simple and clean, with no branding and no buttons of any sort. There’s the smallest hint of flair with a silver-rimmed speaker opening at the top, but that’s it.

Related: Best budget Android phones

The metal frame adds some quality and strength to the mix, but I’d like some tougher, less plasticky, buttons. The volume and standby keys on the sides require a good hit of force and they’re a bit mushy, but I’m being overly picky – they're still perfectly functional.

The rear panel has been a bit divisive in the TrustedReviews office, and I’m not completely a fan. Gone is the heavily ridged, almost rubbery, feel of the 2015 version and it’s been replaced by a soft-touch textured plastic. It’s grippy, but it feels strange and seems to get oily and greasy very quickly.

The once-iconic ‘Moto Dimple’ is getting less and less pronounced with every phone. On the original Moto X it was the perfect spot to place your finger, but now it’s barely noticeable. Above the batwing logo sits the camera and flash, encased in glass and surrounded by a silver oval.

Like previous Moto Gs, the back pops off to allow some colourful customisation through sold-separately backplates. This is also where you access the microSD card and SIM slots, meaning you don’t need an annoying SIM tool to access them. Interestingly, the SIM slot works with both a Micro and a Nano card – a nice touch I haven’t seen before.

Even though the back comes off, the battery is firmly attached. Sorry to those of you who love replaceable cells. The Moto G4 has also lost its predecessor's water-resistance powers, though it still should escape a trip through the rain unscathed.

motog4 7

My biggest issue with the Moto G4 is the size of the thing. It’s well and truly a phablet, and it’s as wide as the iPhone 6S Plus (though not as tall) making it cumbersome to hold unless you have large hands. It’s a two-handed phone for sure, and my thumb can’t easily move from the top of the screen to the bottom unless I grip it with my palms.

The jump from a 5-inch to a 5.5-inch display is clearly the main factor in this growth, but in doing so I feel it loses some of the mass-market appeal that made the previous iterations so great. It’s not heavy or particularly thick, but I have passed it between friends and the vast majority have said it’s too big for them.

With Lenovo releasing two versions of the G4 and one boasting a ‘Plus’ branding, it seems odd they’re both 5.5 inches. I’d have much preferred one to stay at a more manageable 5-inch size, or even 4.7-inch, and the other sitting higher above.

Buy Now: Moto G (2016) at Amazon.com from $199

Best Deals for Motorola Moto G4 2016

  • amazon
  • ebay

Moto G4 – Screen

The screen might be large, but it’s also fantastic. There isn’t anything better out there for the price.

While previous Moto Gs have been stuck at 720p, the G4 bumps it up to Full HD 1080p and it’s all the better for it. The LCD panel is bright, colourful and pixels are impossible to pick out. Viewing angles too are fine – obviously not as good as on pricier competition, but great for the mid-range.

It’s a very warm panel, with oranges and reds looking particularly rich. This makes it great for videos and it’s fantastic for gaming. Whites aren’t muddy and while blacks certainly aren’t as deep as on an AMOLED panel, they’re still very good.

Moto G4

Another point I have noticed about the display is just how precise and sensitive it is – something which you rarely see on more budget offerings. It reacts instantly to my touches and doesn’t miss the target. Impressive stuff.

Best Deals for Motorola Moto G4 2016

  • amazon
  • ebay


June 1, 2016, 2:23 am

Nope. Just another boring run-of-the-mill bandwagon phablet that will be soon forgotten.


June 16, 2016, 11:06 am

The G4 Plus comes with a fast charger in the box.


July 2, 2016, 6:45 pm

Honestly, I'd been waiting and waiting but was really put off by the 5.5 size, Tmobile had a great buy one get one free and I ended up switching to an iPhone SE (my first apple phone) which is 4.0 (from my 1st gen 4.5 inch Moto G) rather than go 4.5 to 5.5 and after the rebate it's still cheaper than what I'd end up paying for the G4.


July 7, 2016, 10:54 pm

My upcoming portable media player....


July 10, 2016, 3:14 pm

Had mine about a month now. Still have a 5s, but it rarely gets used now, simply because of the size of the moto. Once you get used to the large screen it's a chore to go back to 4".
The display is fantastic, the sound is fine, and the o/s is great. If only it had nfc.


August 21, 2016, 10:50 am

Please don't buy MOTO G Any generation mobile because they are having inserted very low quality motherboard and after few days usage of your mobile, you start getting hanging phone more frequently and one day it will cost 80% of your mobile due to mother board issue and need to replacement completely which would be too much costlier better if you purchase new one. I am having bad experience with my moto g 3rd gen which need to throw in dust bean after one year merely usage with very careful.

caroline eadie

August 29, 2016, 3:22 pm

I have used every gen of Moto g now on g4 plus never had any problems my grandson has my 2nd and 3rd gen both working perfectly

OnyX OnyX

September 2, 2016, 3:18 pm

the above response is complete garbage

My daughter has had a moto g 1st gen for 2 years never had an issue with it and her phone is literally superglued to her hand 24/7

Son had a G2 for a year and only just replaced as he dropped it and it was run over by a car, asked him what phone he wanted and he wanted the G3 over the G4

For the cost of the phone the spec is amazing in the Moto G lineup and imo the G3 looks a feels better than the G4, but the G4 has the bigger screen so I guess it is what suits your taste

Personally I use an LG G3 and still haven't really felt the need to update to a newer phone as mine does everything I want with no issues whatsoever

imo when you buy tech, always look at reviews ( preferably independent) and what is under the hood/shell rather than looking at the badge on the back/front :)

Shubham Mittal

September 4, 2016, 8:12 am

Thank you Motorola for your exceedingly CUSTOMER UNFRIENDLY services. This was possibly the best and one of a kind service that I wouldn’t even wish for my enemy. Mobiles phones were made to make life easier, but I guess the Motorola Company had different plans for its customers by giving them the ultimate experience of hell because of their one unforgivable mistake: Buying a Motorola phone.
The trauma began for me when my phone’s screen broke in June 2016. I went to the Moto service station to get it repaired. Little did I know then that this is just the beginning. After the screen was repaired, there were problems in the jack, display, sensor, to name a few. This time when I went to complain at the service station, it took me around 7 to 8 trips to get my phone back from them. Even after that, there are still issues with the screen. I again gave my phone at the service centre for repairing on 12th August, 2016. 10 to 15 calls to the main service centre (1800-102-2344), and all I was told was that I would be given an update about the same. More than 20 days passed and there was NO ‘UPDATE’. On enquiring from the service centre where I had given my phone, I was told that they did not receive any notification from the main service centre.
Just to inform you, because of all this hassle, I had to miss my lectures, got delayed in submitting my assignment, which resulted in low marks. Not to forget all the time and energy I wasted on your EXCELLENT AND UNIQUE services. I believe that your company has found a very creative way to harass your customers and drive them away from making any future transactions with you.
Yours sincerely
Totally fed up customer
Shubham Mittal

Job No. ABH/MG/16/01239
Model: Moto G (3rd Generation)
IMEI1 No. 355490064569613
IMEI2 No. 355490064569621
Case handled by Shrinath
Customer Reference Number: 160812-016253


September 6, 2016, 9:25 am

I'm with OnyX and caroline below. My various Moto Gs have been great, and when I have upgraded to a newer generation and handed on the older model, that has kept going just fine.


September 6, 2016, 4:13 pm

Total rubbish, my first Moto G is still going after I gave it to a friend in Africa (and he works on a farm so it has a truly hard life). My second is a G4 and has never missed a step.


September 8, 2016, 12:25 pm

I've had my Moto G phone now since 2013 and it works better than most iPhones after a year.

Radhicka Chakraborty

September 30, 2016, 3:26 pm

I'm planning to buy Moto G4 Plus, but i'm a bit hesitant about the whole hybrid sim slot where you can either have 2 sims and no microSD or 1 sim and 1 microSD. Can anyone please tell me if this is one of those phones?

Abhijit Shaw

October 14, 2016, 10:14 am

My Name Is Abhijit , I have bought Moto G4plus on 5th july 2016 after 15 days it giving trouble from then till now i am just going to service center again again but there is no response. Very poor service . I suggest do not buy Any phone Moto & Lenovo...


October 17, 2016, 6:46 pm

"Thing is, you’ll need to provide your own supported charger to receive these times, as Lenovo doesn’t supply a suitable one in the box."

This must be a UK model thing; my USA version came with a Motorola turbo-charger (120v/60Hz) included.


October 24, 2016, 3:12 pm

Had the MOTO G for 12 months, no issues, nice phone. No dust bean for my phone :)

Spencer Churchill

October 29, 2016, 7:03 pm

great review but the focusing in on the phones got annoying

Darnell Getum Hicks

October 31, 2016, 8:24 pm

I literally just got mine today and i fuckin LOVE IT! One of the best investments i ever made. . . damn near like shoplifting, lol. But no really, if u want all the features of an iphone and the buck of a Galaxy, I can truly say I have the best of both and more. I could not believe they only wanted $200! :-). Pick it up to light it up, chop it to turn on ur flashlight, turn it over for dnt disturb. No tricks, I definitely choose "treat" this year.


November 5, 2016, 6:27 pm

Mine came with a charger !

Sameh Youssef

November 7, 2016, 12:14 pm

I have Moto G4 and my problem with it is that it takes 5 hours to fully charge, this is with the supplier charger. What is your experience with the charging?


November 24, 2016, 7:56 pm

Date: 23 Nov 2016. Déja-vu, all over again.

Murray Snudge

December 5, 2016, 7:37 pm

I'm looking forward to Moto G5

Harry du Preez

December 6, 2016, 1:09 am

Not compatible with Android auto, never mentioned in reviews. For me this has turned it in to an expensive piece of junk, Avoid

Darnell Getum Hicks

December 7, 2016, 9:51 pm

Lol! Spontaneous outbursts? Did u actually get away w/ that. Ppl would think i was crazy. Yea, my phone never charges fast enough for me, lol. I'm a fuckin tech head. I gotta get an OtterBox for it. I spoil my phones.


December 25, 2016, 7:37 am

buy a turbo charger

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