Motorola Moto X4 Review: beautiful, but not a beast anymore

In Motorola’s offer, the Moto X series has been a determinant of technical sophistication and smartphone luxury for many years. So the situation turned out to be unusual, when in 2015 Moto X Style flagship model joined the deprecating middle school series – Moto X Play. As the future showed, this movement heralded the upcoming agony of footballers, which took the place of Moto Z smartphones. The X series was reborn in 2017, however. Here is the review of the new Motorola Moto X4.

The appearance of Moto X4 on the market was a surprise. The fans of the Motorola brand still had, of course, hope for the Moto X series to come back, but … not really in this form. Moto X4 fits in in the tradition of iks tradition only partially. Without a doubt, it is an elegant smartphone, but in terms of technical specifications is a classic medium, whose performance and functionality can be compared to the officially medium-legged and clearly cheaper Moto G5s Plus ( check current offers ). Is it enough to rebuild the old charisma of the Moto X series?

The first impression – reliability and elegance

For the first time I had the pleasure of seeing Moto X4 Motorola during last year’s IFA. It is true that the copies presented at that time did not have fully stable software yet, but the glass and metal casing was already making the final, or amazing impression. The hypnotizing winding of the back panel destroys only one important thing its above-average ability to collect fingerprints . The Moto X4 is a great phone for people who already have obsessive-compulsive disorder by constantly cleaning the back panel or wanting to quickly get it. Other users will therefore be forced to close the Moto X4 charm in an additional case, which is somewhat misleading to the point of having it. To put in a case we need a much cheaper Moto G5s Plus ( check current prices ).

The entire Moto X4 structure is well fitted and very stiff . The aluminum, anodized frame of the phone perfectly harmonizes stylistically with two sheets of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The more spectacular is the gray-blue edition of the smartphone (sterling blue). Classic supporters can, however, reach for a more modest, black version (super black).

At the top of the Moto X4 aluminum frame, the manufacturer has placed a SIM and microSDXC card drawer and an additional microphone, and on the bottom, a headphone jack and a USB type C socket (USB 2.0). The main microphone and fingerprint reader are located below the screen. Above it we will see: a loudspeaker of the headphone, the front camera optics and a diode flash assisting in taking selfie photos.

On the back panel, we will see a module of a dual main camera with a double diode lamp illuminating the photographed scene. No known Moto Z series of contact contacts means that the new Moto X4 is not compatible with the Moto Mods modules ( see the full range of modules and check their prices ).

The Moto X4 housing is non-removable and therefore does not allow the user to replace the battery by himself. She received an IP68 certificate for this, which means that it is dust- and watertight (up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters). However, before we completely succumb to the design of the Moto X4 housing, it is worth to read the footnote regarding waterproofness placed on the manufacturer’s website: Damages caused by flooding are not covered by the guarantee. Water, splash and dust resistance tested to IP68 under controlled laboratory conditions. Resistance diminishes as a result of everyday use. Not intended for operation under water. Do not expose the phone to pressurized water or liquids other than clean water. Do not attempt to charge a wet phone. And now everything is clear.

Technical specification good middle class

Lenovo based the Moto X4 design on the medium-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset . It contains the octa-core Cortex-A53 processor (4x 2.2 GHz + 4x 1.8 GHz) and the Adreno 508 graphics system. In the stores available in Polish stores, 3 GB of operating memory and 32 GB of memory for data . In other markets, however, an edition equipped with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB flash memory is also available.

For the test we received a copy with the Dual SIM function (2x Nano SIM) , while traditionally for smartphones straight from China, the Moto X4 has a drawer with one hybrid socket, i.e. allowing the use of a memory card or a second SIM card. I do not conceal that with this form of implementing the Dual SIM function a much better choice for people using two cards would be unavailable in Poland Moto X4 with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of data memory.

The smartphone has a built-in LTE modem category 13. (600/150 Mb / s), dual-band Wi-Fi card (IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac), Bluetooth 4.2 LE module with aptX support, NFC, GPS receiver, GLONASS , GALILEO, FM radio receiver and a rich set of sensors (proximity, lighting, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, fingerprint reader). Dimensions of the Moto X4 housing are: 148 x 74 x 9.5 millimeters (measured with protruding elements), and the weight of the phone is 166 grams.

Image quality

For the new Moto X4, Lenovo chose a 5.2-inch IPS LCD screen with Full HD resolution (1920×1080 pixels). Subjectively, it provides good contrast and wide viewing angles, but the white displayed is too cold, even noticeably blue.

The user can choose between two screen modes Standard and Bright . The difference in the saturation of the presented colors is noticeable in both modes, but in each of them the white remains too cool. Measurements in the editorial laboratory showed that the maximum luminance of the displayed whiteness is … very average, not to say weak, as for the 435 cd / m2 LCD screen. In Standard modethe white temperature is 8664K and the contrast ratio is very good – 1454: 1. The range of displayed colors covers 99.83 percent of the sRGB color space requirement (the panel is minimally unscathed in terms of blues), and in addition there are considerable surpluses in the red and green range (sRGB volume – 117.27 percent). So it looks like the poorly neutral nature of the displayed image is due to the factory default calibration of the panel, not its poor quality. In the Standard setting, the Moto X4 screen presents to our eyes low saturated reds and greens, while at the same time decently calibrated shades of blue.

In the Bright strong instep mode, the colors blue and green are reduced, but the luminosity of reds is still too weak. Therefore, once again we are dealing with a clearly chilled color temperature of the displayed white 8722K. To sum up, the LCD screen used is correct, in theory (gamut, viewing angles) even a good, but strange color calibration and only average brightness make it not stand out in comparison with the smartphone competition, even the noticeably cheaper than the Moto X4.

The convenience of service and functionality almost pure Android

Lenovo tempts us with promises of frequent updates of the Moto X4 operating system and the use of clean editing. During the test (at the turn of December 2017 and January 2018), the phone used the set of amendments from November 2017, so it is not bad in terms of news . Theoretically, we also get a clean edition of Android … only that it is only version 7.1.1 (Lenovo is planning a future update to Oreo). The Moto function is a must-have and a useful addition for Motorola, and the unwanted ones are pre-installed on the smartphone, impossible to uninstall and placed on the honorary site of the main screen, the LinkedIn and Microsoft Outlook applications.

The extensive set of Moto features includes well-known camera and flashlight function using gestures made with a smartphone, but also those that allow us to control the operation of the operating system by means of gestures recognized by the fingerprint reader (then the navigation buttons bar disappears). In Moto X4 we also find the obligatory Moto screensaver (photo below) and the ability to automatically activate the Night Screen, a display mode, in which the amount of blue light emitted is minimized.

No additional overlay and good quality components make the Moto X4 react efficiently to touch commands . In terms of performance, it is a solid, definitely successful mid-range smartphone that will work well in most popular android games. Moto X4 also has no tendency to significantly reduce its performance under heavy load.

The phone is in the palm of your hand, although the glass casing needs a bit of getting used – at first it seems quite slippery. It is also worth paying attention when putting the smartphone on a sloping, smooth surface. People with smaller hands can additionally activate the function of reducing the working size displayed on the image screen by means of the Moto gesture.

Battery performance a solid standard

Motorola Moto X4 has a lithium-ion, non-exchangeable cell with a fairly standard capacity of 3,000 mAh. Depending on the intensity of use, the smartphone needs to be charged every 1-2 days . Full battery charging lasts for 1 hour and 40 minutes (in the set we get a 15-watt Turbo Power charger – Quick Charge 4) and in its time the smartphone casing heats up to about 40 degrees.

Our editorial battery performance tests have shown that the Moto X4 battery allows you to continuously browse the internet for 8 hours 31 minutes . Night wakefulness consumes 5 percent of energy, one hour of listening to music using Bluetooth headphones – 3 percent of energy, and a quarter of a game in Real Racing 3-5 percent. They may not be outstanding, but still very decent performance.

Camera quality three lenses and two flash lamps

The smartphone is equipped with a dual main camera with a standard 12 megapixel module (AF with phase detection, without OIS), wide angle – 8 megapixels (AF, 120 degree angle of view, without OIS) and with a double LED lamp illuminating the scene. The front camera has a 16 megapixel resolution and is no longer equipped with an autofocus system.

The interface of the camera is very easy to use, unless … we want to switch it to a professional shooting mode. From that moment, with the help of convenient sliders we will be able to control such parameters as: white balance, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation and exposure time.

Here are sample photos taken with the main camera in standard, wide-angle mode and with the maximum available digital zoom (8x for a standard module). In the case of a wide-angle camera, very distinct distortions of geometry appear in the pictures. The maximum digital zoom results in a strong loss of quality of the recorded details. The following gallery contains examples of several shots taken with the Moto X4 smartphone in various lighting conditions, also with a lamp that illuminates the photographed scene. The crews captured in good lighting conditions are properly exposed and have pleasant colors for the eye. However, you can see that the smartphone has a slight tendency to overuse the automatically activated HDR mode.

The dual main camera allows the user not only to perform additional wide-angle shots, but also pictures with adjustable depth of field and frames, on which only the chosen by us (indicated on the screen) color will be captured. When shooting, the Lenovo smartphone encourages us to learn a bit more about the subjects being photographed. The function of identifying them works better, sometimes worse, so I would rather not trust it, for example in the topic of identifying a fungus found in the forest.

The quality of music playback

Included with the set, the white headset looks a bit of a toy, but when connected to the headphone jack Moto X4 will try to immediately knock us out with strongly convex low tones. The rest of the band is muted, but this is not difficult due to the declining top of the band. Fortunately, the vocals still sound convincing and do not have unnecessary aggression. One should be a smartphone three.

Motorola’s smartphones have never been known for the sophisticated sound control options. This time it is exactly the same. In Moto X4 we still do not have a classic graphic equalizer, but only predefined character settings and additional enhancers in the style of 3D stereo sound, home theater sound or live concert simulation. As usual, as long as we care about good sound quality, when listening to music, all sound effects should be left in the off setting.

Connecting a better class of headphones to the headphone output will make us hear pleasant, detailed, open, minimally warmed sound. It is not comparable to that coming from smartphones equipped with additional DACs and headphone amplifiers (for example, the new LG V30 check the current price ), but it should easily satisfy the tastes of most fans of mobile music.


The Motorola Moto X4 does not have a 2: 1 aspect ratio or frameless design, but most people will find it a pretty and solid smartphone. Tests and daily use of the new iksa also proved that it is a device well balanced in terms of functionality and performance (both the processor and the battery). Why, then, do I feel this unsatisfactory problem?

First of all because of the price. 1600 zlotys ( check the current price of Moto X4 ), it is a similar amount to that which we have to pay for similarly positioned competitors’ smartphones, such as: Huawei Mate 10 Lite with its 2: 1 frameless screen ( check current offers ), HTC U11 Life with compression-sensitive housing ( check current prices ) or valued Samsung Galaxy A5 ( compare current offers ), but for a significant 400 zlotys less we will also buy similar performance and for most people functionally comparable (no magnetic sensor) Motorola Moto G5s Plus ( check current prices ).

I was also disappointed with the introduction of the Dual SIM hybrid slot to a model with 32 GB of data memory. Until now, Moto smartphones (both lower G series and higher Z) had separate slots for SIM and microSD cards. At the very end of whining, I do not understand the reasons for such a strong cooling of the colors presented on the screen used, the more that the manufacturer himself urges us to minimize the amount of blue night mode component.