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Moto G4 and G4 Plus hands-on review

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THERE HAS BEEN A GROWING TREND among smartphone manufacturers to release two versions of a handset, one with a larger screen than the other.

Apple has the 4.7in iPhone 6S and the 5.5in iPhone 6S Plus, while Huawei recently unveiled the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus with 5.2in and 5.5in screens and Samsung and Sony have done similar things with recent models.

It is no surprise, then, that Lenovo-owned Motorola has followed suit with the Moto G4 and G4 Plus, both with 5.5in screens. Wait, what? They both have the same screen size?

Motorola G4 (left) and G4 Plus

Confusingly, yes. The Moto phones have 5.5in, 1920x1080p HD displays. They also have the same dimensions and weight at 153×76.6×9.8mm and 155g.

Has Lenovo understood this trend at all? Sort of. There are some differences. The Moto G4 Plus has a better rear-facing camera, 16MP vs 13MP, and a fingerprint scanner. It also comes with a TurboPower charger that can provide a claimed six hours of use from 15 minutes of charging.

However, while there’s not a huge amount of difference between the two devices, the G4 Plus is only £30 more than the G4 at £199 compared with £169.

That extra £30 certainly gets a lot more phone for your money. Indeed, the TurboPower charger on its own would cost you £20.

All well and good, but what about the devices themselves? Well, they’re pretty good. The design sticks to the tried and tested black rectangle, but it has enough style that you wouldn’t feel ashamed putting it on the table in the pub or in a meeting room as a status symbol, as is the fashion these days.

The 5.5in screen is crisp and sharp with ample brightness and nice colours, ensuring your photos look good.

Finally on the design side the devices were both nice to hold and felt sturdy enough to give you the (possibly misplaced) sense they’d survive the occasional drop.

Back shot of the Moto G4 and G4 Plus Android handsets

However, some buyers could be put off by the size of the phones, especially those with smaller hands, and wish that Lenovo had made a smaller model, like the 5in Lenovo K5 also unveiled.

The Moto G4 and G4 Plus are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor that seemed more than adequate during the brief time we had with the handsets, but we’ll put them through their paces in our main reviews.

However, it’s worth noting that neither phone will have NFC support, meaning they won’t work with Android Pay when it arrives in the UK in the coming weeks or months. This is a shame, and we can only imagine that it was excluded to keep the cost down.

One feature that did make the cut is P2i water repellent technology, which could prove a life saver when the inevitable happens.

Software-wise it’s Android all the way with the new Marshmallow operating system as standard, as well as what Lenovo calls the ‘Moto enhancements’ of Moto Display, Moto Actions and Google Voice Search.

Moto G4 Plus is only thirty pounds more than the G4

Finally, as noted, the prices appear very good for what’s on offer at £169 for the G4 and £199 for the G4 Plus. Certainly this is a great price for anyone after a phone with more than adequate specs and that won’t break the bank.

We’ll have to wait for our full review before we can pass judgement on just how good, or not, the handsets are, but on first impressions the G4 and G4 Plus seem like solid devices that offer good value for money, even if they both have the same screen size. µ

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