Motorola Moto G4 full review

As expected, Motorola has launched a new Moto G budget phone for 2016. For this year it's available in two different models. Here's our full and in-depth Motorola Moto G4 review.

Black Friday deal: The Moto G4 might be in Amazon's sale for £99 but we'd recommend getting the much newer G6 Play for just £129.

The Moto G range is a little confusing so let's quickly explain how the range has been launched over the years. You can see the list of Moto Gs below which was launched in 2013 originally. The phone got updated with 4G support before the second generation model came along in 2014 which was then upgraded to 4G in early 2015. Then last year the Moto G third-gen launched later in 2015. Now we have the 2016 models in the form of the Moto G4 which is the fourth-generation.

Moto G
Moto G 4G
Moto G (2014 - second generation)
Moto G 4G (2015 - second generation)
Moto G 2015 (third-generation)

If the launch seems a bit sudden, Lenovo chose to hold an even in India for the Moto G4 but we've been able to see the new phone in London ahead of its UK release.

Moto G4 review

Motorola Moto G4 review: Price and release date

It hasn't been too long to wait for the Moto G4 with its early June release date. It's priced at £169. You'll be able to buy the Moto G4 from the likes of Tesco Mobile, Argos and Amazon.

Motorola has also announced, for the first time, a more premium option for the Moto G range. It's called the Moto G4 Plus and will cost £199. This phone will be exclusively available at Amazon with a release date of 'mid-June'.

Over the years, the Moto G has increased in price – not by much, but Motorola has added another £10 onto the price tag for 2016. While it's still a very affordable phone, it still doesn't fit our under £150 requirement for the best budget phone chart.

Moto G4 budget phone

If you miss the days of the Moto G coming in at under £150, the Lenovo has the new K5 to tempt you with. It's a 5in HD phone with a 13Mp camera and Dolby Atmos which costs £129. Motorola has also dropped the price of the Moto G 2015 to £149.

Motorola Moto G4 review: Design and build

Now owned by Lenovo (previously Google), Motorola has kept the familiar design of the Moto G going with the new 2016 model. It's got the same overall look and feel but tweaking it enough to give it some freshness and individuality.

For example, the dimple the 'M' for Motorola has been taken out of the camera surround. A small change but one which helps differentiate between last year's and this year's models. The build is still plastic but the Moto G4 feels good in the hand. The main difference is that they're bigger phones which some customers might not want - it will be too unwieldy for some, especially if you're used to the smaller size.

Moto G4 design and build

The good news is that you can still customise the phone via the Moto Maker. It's like 'build-a-bear' for phones so you can choose different front and back colours and five accent colours. You can only choose black or white for the front but the rear cover comes in eight different options. You'll also be able choose how much storage you want an optionally add an engraving to the rear cover. The latter is the only cosmetic item  which adds to the price - £5 to be exact.

While the 2015 Moto G is fully waterproof, the Moto G4 has been downgraded in this respect. Now it's simply splash proof so you can't go dunking it completely in water. Motorola told us that most consumers only need splash level protection so avoided the additional cost of making it fully waterproof.

It's worth noting that the Moto G4 Plus is identical to the regular Moto G4 in size and design – 7.9mm and 155g. It simply has the fingerprint scanner below the screen in addition (below). The scanner is quite small compared to others we've seen on phones and has a small raised border around it making it feel a bit different to the touch.

One of only complaints about the design is that the volume rocker is a little tricky to use as it sit a bit too flush with the case. We also imagine the groove for the earpiece above the screen will get clogged with dirt over time.

Moto G4 Plus fingerprint scanner