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Motorola Moto G: Apps, Software and Performance

By Max Parker



  • Recommended by TR


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Moto G4 – Performance

Keeping the Moto G4 chugging along is Qualcomm’s older mid-range 617 CPU paired with another middle-of-the-road GPU that seems to handle even graphically intense games very well.

You’ve got 2GB of RAM to play with too (up from 1GB last time) and the base storage is again boosted from 8GB to 16GB. They’re similar specs to the Samsung Galaxy A5's, which retails for about £140 more than the Moto G4.

There's no NFC, though, so you won’t be able to use Android Pay here.

The bump in all areas means this is a very smooth phone to use. Apps pop open almost instantly and even bulky, image-heavy websites don’t cause issues. To be honest, the performance on this £169 phone is as good as, if not better than, that of the £469 Sony Xperia X. That shows you just how much phone you’re getting for your cash.

motog4 5

In our usual benchmarking tests the Moto G4 scores 3,190 in the multi-core test in Geekbench 3, putting it in the same space as the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016).

The 5.5-inch 1080p display is great for games and they run impressively well. You won’t be surprised to learn that simple titles play without a hitch, but even Asphalt 8 and Hitman Sniper don’t suffer from any noticeable dropped frames. Loading times can sometimes be quite lengthy, but that’s something you probably won’t notice unless you have this side by side with a Samsung Galaxy S7.

Buy Now: Moto G (2016) at Amazon.co.uk (£169.99) | Amazon.com ($374)

Moto G4 – Software and Android

One of the best, but also downright simplest, ways the Moto series has become such a cult hit is because of its approach to software. During a time when heavy, ugly and cartoonish skins were all the rage, Motorola took a different approach and gave us Android as Google intended. Even though Motorola Mobility is now owned by Lenovo, this mantra hasn’t changed.

The objective here is simplicity. There are no duplicate apps, no bloatware, no skinned menus and no superfluous features. It’s vanilla Android, the way Google designed it. This also means you’re more likely to get newer versions – Android N for example – and security patches first. Both of which are huge bonuses.

As it’s Android Marshmallow – Android N is coming later in the year – you get features like Now on Tap and Doze. Having the latest software is far from a given on budget devices – the Galaxy A5, for instance, still comes with Lollipop – so I’m happy to see it here.


There are a couple of small additions added by Lenovo, but they only really add to the experience rather than detract from it. The display glows, showing off the latest notifications and the time when you pick it up, while a quick shake opens up the camera. There’s a basic Help app too, and an FM radio, which is probably a welcome feature for a few.

The only other additional software feature is a time and weather widget that’s fairly underwhelming.

Support is included for Marshmallow’s nifty Adoptable Storage that lets you format the microSD card as internal storage. Bung in a 64GB card, follow the setup instructions and you’ve boosted your 16GB to nearer 80GB.

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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.


July 13, 2016, 8:08 am

is the screen active?


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.

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