Motorola Moto G: Camera

By Max Parker



  • Recommended by TR


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Moto G4 – Camera

The biggest difference between the Moto G4 and the G4 Plus is the camera, but that’s not to say the cheaper brother is a slouch in the optics department. The Moto G4 has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera that's better than we could have hoped for at the price. In fact, it’s the best camera you can get for the money.

While the sensor is the same as on last year’s Moto G, improvements to the software and the speedier processor all mean that it performs better.

Moto G4 camera sampleIn good light the Moto G4 packs punchy colours and plenty of detail

HDR, a setting that combines several settings and shots for a more even overall exposure, is automatic and fast to boot. This means that I got a lot more usable shots than I have from previous Moto Gs.

Moto G4 camera sample macro

Not all is rosy, though. There are still occasions where it takes a little too long to focus and results can be inconsistent. So it's not as good as the more expensive Moto G4 Plus. That's clearly a step up when it comes to every aspect of picture quality, as well as being more reliable and faster to focus.

Moto G4 camera sampleMultiple shots were required during the England vs Wales match to get one that was in focus and not too dark

Just to manage expectations, if you compare the camera on the new Moto G with the likes of flagships two or three times its price, you'll be disappointed. The likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7, iPhone 6S and HTC 10 are significantly better, especially in lower light conditions where the Moto G4 struggles.

When the lights go down the Moto G loses detail and has problems with white balance, casting an orangey patina over shots taken in street lighting. Still, the G4 provides great shots in daylight where colours are reasonably vibrant and accurate.

Moto G4 camera sample low lightWhen the sun sets and with florescent lighting the G4 puts a warm afterglow on shots that the Plus doesn't

It’s impressive to see quite how far the Moto G has come from the first iteration that took dark and blurry photos.

If you love taking photos then it’s well worth spending the extra on the Moto G4 Plus, though. The beefed-up 16-megapixel sensor provides more detail, but I also found colours to be more accurate. The biggest improvement I found was in focusing and low light.

Moto G4 vs G4 Plus camera comparisonThe G4 Plus on the right takes clearer and more realistic pics

The G4 Plus comes with laser autofocus and this means it’s a lot faster and provides more consistent results. It also doesn't suffer from the same low-light colour issues.

Moto G4 Camera App

The camera app has been greatly improved. It's fuss-free and intuitive, but still comes with plenty of settings to tinker with if you want to. In normal mode it's a simple point-and-shoot affair. Pro mode lets you tweak plenty, from focus to shutter speed, with immediately viewable results, helping overcome some of the issues I’ve outlined above.

Of course the Moto G4 can also shoot video, and does so with decent results. It shoots at a maximum of Full HD at 30fps or you can opt for slow-motion. Annoyingly this appears to be a step back from the previous model, as it shoots 540p at 120fps as opposed to 720p at 120fps – that’s a significant loss of fidelity.

The front-facing camera has a 5-megapixel sensor and does a good job of taking bright selfies, even in dingy lighting.

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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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