The Moto G4 Play is not the most exciting smartphone around. Instead, it delivers reasonably decent performance for its price, along with standard battery life and good ergonomics. However, everything considered, the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime and Lenovo Vibe K5 are better buys. The G4 Play is advisable for those who do not heavily task their phones, and hold brand value as priority.
The Moto G is an iconic lineup of smartphones. The first generation Moto G created the budget smartphone market as we know of it today, and although many other companies have entered the budget smartphone market since 2013, the Moto G line of smartphone still generate a good amount of interest.
The Moto G4 Play here is the smaller sibling of the Moto G4 and G4 Plus. We’ve appreciated the good camera performance of the Moto G4 Plus, the simplicity of use of the G4, and with the G4 Play, the focus is on higher value for your money. The sub-10k Moto G4 Play is about Rs. 1,000 more expensive than the Moto E3 Power, providing an option for budget smartphone buyers who are willing to compromise on battery backup for better performance.
The question, though, is whether that would be enough in the present market of budget smartphones. Here’s what we found.
Build and Design
The build is almost entirely similar to the Moto E3 Power. The Moto G4 Play is rather large for a present generation smartphone with a 5-inch screen. It has rather large bezels, although the finely textured back panel makes the phone stand out among other devices, and aid in hand grip. It looks quite like the previous Moto G phones, and at 136 grams, is reasonably light.
The buttons offer decent feedback, and feel sturdy. Unlike the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Coolpad Note 3, the Moto G4 Play does not house a fingerprint sensor. The metal frame on the sides add to the sturdiness of the smartphone, and despite the large bezels, the phone feels reasonably ergonomic. One handed typing is actually quite convenient here.
To sum up, the Moto G4 Play and E3 Power are very similar, with the same arrangement of buttons and ports. It is nothing exciting, but has an air of sturdiness and stability, which many may like to trade style for.
Display and Interface
The 5-inch display presents screen resolution of 720x1280 pixels. Touch response is reasonably fluent, although colours look a bit dull here. The Moto E3 Power looks more vibrant in comparison, and the dim display makes for a lacklustre viewing experience.
The 5-inch HD display offers decent sharpness, but the lack of vibrancy and contrast in colours become evident when you watch films. Movies that predominantly have dark scenes look a bit too dark, which is not at all the type of display that you would like to own. The Moto G4 Play’s display delivers maximum display brightness of 480 lux, which is lower than many other smartphones that we have tested. In comparison, the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime delivers 610 lux, and the Moto E3 Power delivers 565 lux in brightness scores.
The dimness also impacts viewing under bright, direct sunlight, and the reflective display further hampers legibility. The Moto G4 Play also retains a near-stock Android interface, which will please those who love neat, uncomplicated displays. Fans of extensive customisations, though, will be disappointed. On overall terms, the display offers somewhat dull colours and dim brightness, which somewhat ruins the content viewing experience. Touch response is decent, and that, coupled with clean Android interface, somewhat makes up in terms of experience.
The Moto G4 Play delivers decidedly better performance than the Moto E3 Power, but is inferior to Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime and Lenovo Vibe K5. Daily performance is reasonably alright, and the Moto G4 Play does well when switching between WhatsApp, Facebook, Wynk Music and other regular applications.
Games and other intensive applications run, albeit with notable stutters. However, the G4 Play noticeably delivers lesser stutters than the Moto E3 Power, while the Lenovo Vibe K5 is significantly faster than these two. In games like Asphalt 8, in-game menus stutter the most in Moto E3 Power, and is significantly lesser in the G4 Play. The Vibe K5 delivers distinctly faster performance, all of which is led by the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime, which is significantly faster than these devices.
In terms of benchmarks, the Moto G4 Play is about 15% faster than the Moto E3 Power, but very noticeably slower than Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime, reiterating the real-world performance. Moving on to calls and network performance, the Moto G4 Play delivers consistent connectivity, and holds connection well, even in congested or weak signal areas. Unfortunately, like most budget smartphones in the present market, it too cannot connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. Location sensors also work well, and all of this combine to deliver reasonably stable GPS performance.
The camera is not one that deserves exceptional mention. It is not entirely disappointing, but for the most part, will only suffice occasional mobile photography. Here again, the Lenovo Vibe K5 and the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime lead the G4 Play.
However, the Moto G4 Play focuses smoothly, and does well with colour accuracy. The level of noise here somewhat ruins it, though, even in brightly lit situations. For more details, please click here to read our comparative analysis of the Moto G4 Play and the Moto E3 Power.
The 2800mAh battery on the Moto G4 Play lasted for 7 hours and 42 minutes in our PCMark battery benchmark test, which is significantly lesser than nearly 13 hours of battery performance delivered by the Moto E3 Power. In real life, the Moto G4 Play can last for nearly 15 hours, if your usage consists of the standard slew of messaging and browsing, along with half an hour of YouTube streaming, one hour of music playback, 15-20 minutes of navigation and about half an hour of mobile gaming. The battery backup is reasonably decent, and even offers over four hours of continuous video streaming.
The Moto G4 Play is a simple budget smartphone that offers clean Android interface, reasonably fluent everyday performance, and a reliable battery. It is certainly not the most exciting smartphone around, and at this price, the Lenovo Vibe K5 and Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime are better performers. They also deliver better value for your money, along with more features.
However, for those who are looking for decent performance and the factor of brand value on their smartphones under Rs. 10,000, the Moto G4 Play is an option to consider.
14 Nov 2019
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