Are you in search of an unbiased and information-rich Moto X4 review? You are at the right place, make sure you read this review to the end so you do not miss out on vital pieces of information.
Itechguides' Take on Moto X4
The Moto X4 is a classy and compact phone with its metal-glass design. It is water and dust resistant and its display quality is a hard one to beat for a mid-range price.
- Classy metal-glass design
- Crisp display
- Water and dust resistant
- Thick and heavy for its size
- Unreliable camera
- Attracts fingerprints and smudges
In this Moto X4 review, I will analyze the Moto X4 critically without leaving any stone unturned. In detail, I will analyze the Moto X4’s design, display, camera, storage, sensors, and battery life.
After each section’s review, I will rate the performance of the Moto X4 over ten. At the end of the review, you will have enough information about the Moto X4 thereby deciding if it’s worth buying.
My Initial Thoughts
Motorola’s Moto X lineup is well known for its stylish collection of smartphones at mid-range prices. However, the series was discontinued in 2016.
Not long after, the Moto X made a comeback in 2017 with the release of the Moto X4. Even after 4 years of its release, the Moto X4 still remains competitive against other mid-range phones in the market.
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At the time we published this article in September 2021, the Moto X4 has seen a significant drop in price. Specifically, the Moto X4 was at a price of $200.
With the short refresh into the Moto X series and the price of the Moto X4, let us proceed into the details of what the Moto X4 is offering.
Moto X4 Design, Dimension & Weight Review
Motorola designed the Moto X4 beautifully with a metal frame and glass back chassis. It sure looks and feels premium despite its mid-range price.
However, the glass and metallic build of the Moto X4 make it susceptible to fingerprints. To keep it clean, you’ll need to use a case except you don’t mind wiping with a microfibre cloth every now and then.
Additionally, the glass back of the Moto X4 can get very slippery. If care is not taken, the Moto X4 can slip off a surface.
At a measurement of 148.4 x 73.4 x 8.0 mm, the Moto X4 Is a bit smaller than the Moto G5 Plus. However, it is thicker than the Moto G5 Plus which measures 150.2 x 74.0 x 7.7 mm.
When it comes to weight, the Moto X4 weighs 163 g. Comparatively, the Moto X4 is heavier than the Moto G5 Plus which weighs 155 g.
However, the weight of the Moto X4 falls within the ideal weight of a smartphone. Based on research, most mobile phone users prefer a phone that weighs between 140 g to 170 g.
Therefore, the weight of the Moto X4 will suit an average smartphone user.
Furthermore, the Moto X4 has a screen size of 5.2-inch which is within the Ideal range preferred by an average user. Our research shows that most mobile phone users prefer a phone with a screen size of 5 to 5.5-inch.
The 5.2-inch screen has some thick top and bottom bezels. The top bezel is home to the earpiece opening by the center.
The earpiece is flanked by the front camera to its right and by a selfie flash to the left. Below the earpiece opening, there is a “Moto” branding and that’s about all you will find on the top bezel.
Meanwhile, the bottom bezel houses the responsive fingerprint sensor and a microphone by its left. That is about all you will find on the bottom bezel as well.
The navigation keys for Home, Back, and Recent are placed on-screen just above the bottom bezel.
Turning the Moto X4 to its back, the glossy expanse of space houses a large circular rear camera arrangement. The circular camera notch sits close to the top of the chassis and a Motorola logo sits below it.
The top of the Moto X4 is home to the SIM card and microSD card slot. Meanwhile, the bottom houses the USB Type-C charger and the headphone jack.
Finally, the right side of the Moto X4 houses the volume buttons. Below the volume buttons, there is a power button that you can press to switch the screen backlight on or off.
Similarly, when you press and hold the power button, it switches the phone on or off,
When it comes to the available color options, the Moto X4 is available in just two colors – Sterling Blue and Super Black. Hence, users can choose a color that meets their fancy.
Impressively, the Moto X4 is water-resistant and is rated IP68. This means that it can survive submersion of about 3 feet of water for as long as 30 minutes.
Practically, I dunked the Moto X4 into a five-gallon bucket of water three times and for a total of 28 minutes. Consequently, the phone kept working fine.
In addition to its water-resistant ability, the Moto X4 is also dust-resistant. How lovely it would have been if it were smudge and fingerprint resistant too, but it is what it is.
Overall, the aesthetics of the Moto X4 – the metal frame, curved edges, and glass back – are beautiful. It feels good in the palm and is easy to hold with one hand.
Finally, I will rate the Moto X4 a nine in this design review section.
Moto X4 Display Features Review
The Moto X4 ships with a 5.2-inch LTPS LCD. LTPS (Low-Temperature Poly Silicon LCD) is an advanced version of IPS LCD display technology.
Moreover, the LTPS LCD delivers a better display resolution and lower power consumption than IPS LCD. This Implies that the Moto X4 consumes less battery power than the Moto G5 Plus that uses an IPS LCD.
Additionally, the Moto X4 comes with a Full HD (1080×1920) resolution. Full HD video resolution is not in the same league as a 4K display.
However, It is an impressive spec for a phone in its price. You will still enjoy watching crisp HD videos.
The Moto X4 display has an aspect ratio of 16:9. This is the standard aspect ratio and it gives a wide view when watching movies or playing games.
Furthermore, the Moto X4 has a pixel density of 424 PPI, it surpasses the average pixel density of 300 PPI. Therefore, you are assured of getting great color accuracy.
Additionally, the display is also sufficiently bright reaching about 500 to 600 nits of maximum brightness. Hence, you will be able to use your phone even when the sun is glaring fully at the screen.
The Moto X4 also features the Motorola standard Active display. The Active display will light up some parts of the screen to show the time, date, media controls, and notifications.
The Active display is useful in the sense that you can reply to a message from the notification or play music without unlocking the screen.
In addition to the Active display feature, the Moto X4 also supports gestures like shaking the phone to turn on the flashlight. You can also make a twist gesture to launch the camera.
As a means of protecting the screen, Motorola has employed the use of corning gorilla glass 3. Therefore, the Moto X4’s screen is fairly strong to withstand scratches and cracks.
In conclusion, the Moto X4 display clearly impresses which makes it difficult to find a fault. Therefore, I will rate the Moto X4 an eight in this display performance review section.
Moto X4 Camera Features Review
To properly evaluate the quality of a phone’s camera, we review 3 features – the camera’s megapixel and its pixel size. Additionally, the ƒ.stop number is also very important because it controls the camera’s aperture size.
The smaller the ƒ.stop number, the wider the aperture size. Consequently, wider apertures translate to more exposed pictures than narrow apertures.
Moreover, wider apertures also mean shallow depth of field. Depth of field refers to how sharp your pictures are from front to back.
Therefore, pictures taken with a wide aperture( smaller ƒ.stop) tends to be brighter but have blurry backgrounds putting the focus on the subject only. Meanwhile, pictures taken with narrow apertures( larger ƒ.stop ) have a sharper background.
The Moto X4 ships with a 16 MP front camera which has a flash for taking clear selfies even in low-lighting conditions. Also, the front camera has an ƒ.stop number of ƒ/2.0
The front camera also has a selfie panorama feature that is useful when snapping group selfies. Overall, the front camera captures a decent amount of detail but only in good lighting conditions otherwise, pictures get noisy quickly.
Furthermore, the Moto X4 has a dual-rear camera. There is a standard 12 MP camera which also has an ƒ.stop number of ƒ/2.0.
Meanwhile, there is also a rear wide-angle 8 MP camera with an ƒ.stop number of ƒ/2.2. The wide-angle camera is useful when you want to fit more images into a frame like a group photograph.
However, the wide-angle lens makes corners distorted. It curves out straight lines too severely.
Generally, pictures taken with the rear cameras are vibrant, evenly exposed, and sharp as long as the lighting condition is good.
However, indoor shots get a lot of noise and motion blur.
Furthermore, the Moto X4 has been packed with a bunch of seemingly smart features. These features include landmark detection, object recognition, and depth editor.
Although these features are half-baked and mostly inaccurate, they are fun to play around with.
Landmark detection is used to identify popular landmarks based on your GPS location. However, the performance is mostly a miss.
Also, the object recognition feature identifies an object and provides more information about it from the internet. The performance, however, is not as reliable or fast as that of the Google Lens.
Additionally, you can use the depth editor feature to adjust the focus and the amount of blur you want in your portraits.
In conclusion, the cameras of the Moto X4 are not the best you will find around but for a mid-range phone, they are above average. The only drawback is that the camera app is a little slow to launch and take pictures.
Moreover, when taking continuous shots also known as burst mode, the count is very low compared to the likes of Google Lens.
Finally, considering the information above, I will rate the Moto X4 a seven in this camera review section.
Moto X4 Battery Life and Talk Time Review
Motorola equipped the Moto X4 with a 3000 mAh battery which is okay for a mid-range phone. The battery is unremovable which implies that you cannot replace it with another even when it gets damaged.
The unremovable battery is a disadvantage.
Moving on, Motorola claims the battery should deliver up to 10 hours 26 minutes of battery talk time. Hence, I put the Moto X4 to a video playback test.
The test involved continuously playing a locally stored video until the battery drains. I also set the phone to airplane mode to conserve power as much as possible.
Based on results from the test, the Moro X4 lasted 12 hours 33 minutes. This is a solid battery performance but you could even get the phone to last the whole day if you perform lighter tasks.
When it comes to charging, the Moto X4 employs Motorola’s fast charging technology known as Turbocharging. With this, it takes the Moto X4 less than an hour to get fully charged.
In conclusion, the battery performance of the Moto X4 is impressive for a mid-range phone. Hence, I will rate the Moto X4 a nine in this battery review section.
Moto X4 Storage Options & Performance Review
In terms of storage, the Moto X4 has either 32 GB or 64 GB internal storage.
Moreover, you can’t even access the entire 64 or 32 GB because the operating system and pre-installed apps will occupy a substantial amount of the storage space. The good news is that the Moto X4 offers an option to expand the phone’s storage via a microSD card.
Thankfully, the microSD card can take up to 2 TB which is more than sufficient to store all your photos, movies, games, etc.
Based on these features, I will rate the Moto X4 a nine in this storage review section.
Moto X4 Security Features & Sensors Review
Sensors make it possible for our smartphones to intelligently interact with us. The sensor is a device that detects changes in the environment and sends that data to the operating system or processor.
The Moto X4 has an impressive sensor count. There is the fingerprint, proximity, ambient light, accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and gravity.
Firstly, the fingerprint sensor allows you to unlock or lock your phone screen with your fingers. In addition to that, it features the One Button Nav gestures.
You can activate the One Button Nav and use it in place of the on-screen navigation keys. For instance, tapping the fingerprint sensor takes you to the Home screen, a swipe left takes you back.
Additionally, a swipe right on the fingerprint sensor takes you to the recent apps.
In addition to the fingerprint sensor, the accelerometer and gyroscope work together and they are very useful for your smartphones. Specifically, they are the brain behind auto-rotating your smartphone’s orientation when you move it from horizontal to vertical.
Another important sensor in the Moto X4 is the proximity sensor. The sensor detects when you are holding the phone near your face during a call and turns the display off.
This contributes to saving the phone’s battery. It also protects the screen from accidental touches when not in use.
Yet another great sensor included in the Moto X4 is the ambient light sensor. This sensor detects the amount of light and automatically dims the phone’s screen accordingly.
Consequently, this benefits your eyes and saves the much-needed battery in a smartphone.
Also, there is the magnetometer which measures magnetic fields. It works like a compass and can tell you east, north, south, or west.
Furthermore, there is the gravity sensor. The gravity sensor is a three-dimensional vector that determines the phone’s relative orientation in space.
Finally, based on features sensors, I will rate the Moto X4 an eight in this security and sensor review section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the Moto X4 is rated IP68. It is waterproof and dustproof. Therefore, the Moto X4 can survive submersion in about 3 feet of water for as long as 30 minutes.
Yes, the Moto X4 has a fingerprint reader which allows you to unlock or lock your phone screen with your fingers. It also features the One Button Nav gestures. You can activate the One Button Nav and use a fingerprint reader in place of the on-screen navigation keys. For instance, tapping the fingerprint reader will take you to the Home screen while a swipe left takes you back.
The Moto X4 is equipped with a non-removable 3000 mAh battery. How long the battery lasts solely depends on the workload you put it through. For instance, in my video playback test the, Moto X4 lasted 12 hours 33 minutes.
Yes, the Moto X4 has a micro SD card slot for storage expansion. You can use a microSD card up to a capacity of 2 TB.
The Moto X4 was released on November 13 2017 as a comeback for the Moto X series after its discontinuation in 2016.
The Moto X4 does not support wireless charging. Its glass back is an aesthetic feature and not for wireless charging purposes like you will find on iPhone X. However, the Moto X4 supports Turbo charging which makes it charge faster.
No, the Moto X4 only supports 4G, 3G, and 2G networks.
At the time we updated this article in September 2021, the price of the Moto X4 was currently $249.99.
The Moto X4 is equipped with either 3 GB, 4 GB, or 6 GB RAM.
The Moto X4 card tray can occupy two nano-SIM cards. However, if you insert a MicroSD card, you can only use one SIM.
My Final Thoughts
The Moto X4 is a beautifully designed and compact mid-range phone. It offers a lot of similar functionalities that you will find in flagships.
Specifically, you will get a water-resistant device, great display, expandable storage, and impressive performance. But the Moto X4 is far from being a perfect phone however, its flaws are easy to live with.
Finally, if the Moto X4 meets your fancy, you are in luck because its price is cheaper now than when it was launched.
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