Moto X4 is a charge on the mid-range phone army

The Moto X used to be one of the Android flagship phones back when it was actually made by Motorola. Nowadays, the Moto Z2 is the top-of-the-line unit in Lenovo's Moto smartphone lineup. The company has now brought out the the Moto X4, the fourth iteration of the X series. The phone's coated in Corning's Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides, so it has the look of a high-end device. The 5.2" 1920×1080 screen and Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC are decidedly mid-range technology—not that that's a bad thing. Let's take a closer look.

The previously-mentioned Snapdragon 630 SoC is an eight-core unit running at up to 2.2 GHz. According to GSM Arena, two memory and storage configurations will be offered: entry-level X4s will come with 3 GB of memory and 32 GB of internal storage, while a higher-priced model will have 4 GB of memory to go along with 64 GB of storage capacity—though the latter version isn't apparently coming to the US. The Moto X4 has LTE Cat 11, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity. As for wired connections, the X4 has a headphone jack and a USB Type-C port.

The black or silver body apes the shiny materials of newer flagship phones like LG's V30, and the camera specifications do decent a impersonation of those in a $700 handset. The self-portrait camera is a 16-MP unit, and the back of the phone has a pair of mechanical eyes. The main camera is a 12-MP picture-taker with an f/2.0 lens and the secondary outward-facing camera is an 8-MP unit with an f/2.2 eye. The main camera can record 4K video at 30 FPS and the forward-facing camera can record 1920×1080 video at up to 60 FPS.

The non-user-serviceable battery has a capacity of 3000 mAh. Lenovo says that's enough juice for 24 hours of operation between charges. The included TurboPower charger can shotgun six hours of battery life into the phone in only 15 minutes. The X4 runs Android 7.1 Nougat and comes with always-on access to Amazon's voice-interface assistant Alexa. The handset measures 5.8" tall, 2.9" wide, and is 0.3" thick (148 mm x 73.4 mm x 8 mm).

Lenovo's Moto X4 smartphone goes on sale in September in Europe for €399, about $400 without VAT. The company says it will be offered in the US and other regions later in the fall.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    So what is there that is:

    [list<] [*<]Under 5.5 inches [/*<][*<]Waterproof, or at least will survive a good dunking. [/*<][*<]Can survive a drop or two (so no glass backs or super-thin designs) [/*<][*<]Runs stock Android (that rules out HTC and Samsung) [/*<][*<]Has a camera that doesn't suck [/*<][*<]Has at least a 2500mAh battery to get me through a day of heavy use [/*<] [/list<] I mean, my budget is basically infinite but the old, old 1st and 2nd gen MotoG, from back when Google owned Motorola were pretty much perfect and they were dirt cheap. The successor to the 5X would probably be ideal, if it existed and the vanilla (non XL) Pixel seems to be either outrageously expensive unlocked, or only available with lame carriers. Halp? Halp!

      • Welch
      • 2 years ago

      You’ll never take away my OnePlus 3t man… It’s not water proof but it’s had some good amount of water on it, it is considered water resistant, the size is great. It can take a freaking beating (I’ve seen one thrown recently) and no issue. Not stock, but may as well be, no Samsung UI crap, soooo smooth and the most popular phone on XDA, so you can put anything on it you want. The camera is top notch, the OnePlus 5 EIS (Image Stabilization) kicks ass even after a simple software update, 16MP front and rear with software optimizations all of the time. The battery is the main thing, last insanely long, 30 minute charge brings it to 60% which is more than enough for a full days of my abusive use.

      I’ve been turned a believer and I was so skeptical.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Hmm, I’ve been tempted by OnePlus in the past, but I though Cyanogen was practically dead now? Maybe I should look at it again!

          • CuttinHobo
          • 2 years ago

          Cyanogen is dead, but LineageOS forked off at the end of 2016 and is its successor, if I’m not mistaken. I looked into it a couple months ago but I can’t unlock my phone so I stopped researching before getting too far down the rabbit hole.

      • llisandro
      • 2 years ago

      that was basically my list a few weeks ago, my answer was “Pixel and a case” (stupid glass back 🙂 ).

      Was between that and a oneplus, chose the pixel because of the superior camera, and oneplus’ non-standard fastcharge tech. Was thinking about an S8 active, but couldn’t justify paying $700 for touchwiz. No regrets here.

      Google’s store dropped the prices for a couple days 2 weeks ago ($125 off, plus a daydream), I wonder if they’ll do it again to dump inventory before the Pixel 2 release date?

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      Glass backs seem to be the rage now, due to metal backs not so good for wireless charging. Unfortunately, they’ve become so much of a fashion statement they’re prevalent even in phone without Qi or some other wireless charging support.

      OnePlus 5: 5.5″, no waterproofing, aluminum back, 3300 mAH battery.
      Sony XZ1 Compact: 4.6″, waterproof, glass fiber back (note this is not straight glass), 2700 mAH battery
      Sony XZ1 : 5.2″, waterproof, glass fiber back (note this is not straight glass), 2700 mAH battery

      Note that US editions of the sonys have their fingerprint scanner disabled for legal reasons, and I have heard that T-Mobile and at&t are intentionally denying the xperias full network support even on bands the phones support, so do some research before buying.

    • rudimentary_lathe
    • 2 years ago

    Call it paranoia or justified skepticism, but I’m still reluctant to buy any Lenovo product after the Superfish debacle. Also, the Moto phones don’t have good support when it comes to security updates, which is very important for me. I wish we had a good selection of low to mid-range Android phones with 2-4 years of timely security update support.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    On thing about the writeup: in addition to the pixel counts and aperture on the cameras, its good to say something about the field of view.

    • tay
    • 2 years ago

    Why not just get an iPhone SE?

      • meerkt
      • 2 years ago

      Because it’s running iOS?

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        It’s as bad as the oft-heard ‘do you have an iPhone or a Samsung’. Do no other alternates exist?

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    >8x ARM Cortex A53

    y u do this

    I can only imagine a 2+2 setup would be far better, with two larger cores. Granted we already know the answer, A53s are so small and trivial to sprinkle in and easy to market 8 cores. But even infinity A53s won’t make a poopy bit of Javascript feel fast.

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      The 652 makes more sense, but they could even save a little more and go down to two A72s. Four is nice, but how often do you really need four fast cores? Heck, one is probably enough–as long as you have a few slower cores to handle background tasks.

      The 650 and 660 also make sense as well.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      Yeehaw, 8 cores!

      • kmm
      • 2 years ago

      ikr

      But I can’t even make too much fun of this myself as my own phone from two years ago uses 8x Cortex A53 too (older Snapdragon 615). Can’t help it if this is a thing in budget-to-midrange devices, and you’re buying for the other features at a given price (5.5″ 1080p screen, SD card, etc. at $200).

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Some like the Redmi something something managed two Cortex A72s in there. I wish that set a standard.

      • Chz
      • 2 years ago

      I think it’s wildly overpriced for an A53-powered phone. To put it in context, the A53 is roughly as powerful as the “Big” cores in the original Nexus 5. Are you going to pay $400 for something as powerful as a 4 year-old flagship? Though admittedly the A53s are wildly more power-efficient.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    At first I thought those are pretty sweet specs for a midrange phone, then comes the price at $400. I thought midrange phones hovered at around $200-300? At least that’s what I’ve come to understand reading midrange phone reviews for the past ~2 years.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      that’s exactly where the Moto G5 models sit. The hilarity (or not) of the situation is that now we have phones that cost $1000 (Note 8, probably iPhone 8) and now the midrange moves as a result. Extra cost for basically nothing gained.

        • PixelArmy
        • 2 years ago

        IMO, this article omits a huge feature… This has an IP68 rating. I’m sure I’m wrong, but this is the cheapest mainstream (i.e. not a ruggedized monstrosity) phone with that rating. So I think its cost over the Moto G5+ isn’t totally unreasonable.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          OK, I missed that, too. If you are in the market for such a rating this very well might be the cheapest option. I have no idea, since I haven’t paid attention myself.

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, since you’re never getting OS or security updates, you might as well get a much cheaper Le ECO S3 for $150 or so. Heck, get two…

    • utmode
    • 2 years ago

    I hate phone with glossy/smooth back. They are so hard to hold.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 2 years ago

    After my 2nd gen X died after a year and a half and they took away the Moto Assist AND they gave up on timely updates I’m done with Motorola/Lenovo. The Moto Assist was a key differentiation that I loved at the time, too. It would read my messages to me while I was driving. Very handy for hands free.

      • cmrcmk
      • 2 years ago

      I had both a first gen Moto X and a second gen (because carrier change). They were both great bang for the buck until my gen2 decided WiFi was unimportant and would only sometimes connect to networks, prompting near daily reboots. Then I got an iPhone and haven’t looked back.

        • DragonDaddyBear
        • 2 years ago

        I feel like Moto has had more problems than average but that could be just me being biased. Does anyone have a reputable source for tracking the reliability of phones over time?

        • toastie
        • 2 years ago

        Yep. Got my wife a Moto X Pure direct from Motorola just about 2 years ago, because at the time they were offering timely OS updates, and as a direct purchase, I didn’t have to worry about any vendor bloatware or interference with the update process. But it is still stuck on Android 6. It has received a few security updates, but not monthly, and now with Oreo coming out, it is two OS releases behind.

        I’m done with them.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Two years ago, the phone had already been out for a year. Not to say you shouldn’t be upset, but what you’ve gotten from Motorola is actually decent by Android standards.

            • DragonDaddyBear
            • 2 years ago

            Just because it’s normal or better than normal it does not mean it’s acceptable. It is one of the most popular OS’s in the world. Lax security isn’t going to be acceptable forever; a WCry-scale attack is bound to hit Android eventually.

            I also feel like when they say they will support updates for two years, or whatever time frame they give, they should base it on the time of purchase, not release or manufacture. Isn’t that how most warranties work?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            Bad news. Manufacturers won’t care until it happens. If you want excellent support get an iPhone. Google and Android manufacturers can’t be bothered.

            • DragonDaddyBear
            • 2 years ago

            I’m good with my Windows Phone. When Microsoft finally abandons it I’ll have to drink the expensive Kool-Aid.

            • toastie
            • 2 years ago

            Your comment made me go back and check things.

            The phone is a 3rd gen Moto X Pure, and it was ordered less than a month after it went on sale in September 2015 in the US. It originally shipped with Android 5, and did get an upgrade to Android 6, which itself was released less than a month after we bought the phone. However, security updates have been few and far between since then, and it has not received any OS upgrade in the two years since Android 6 has been released. That really isn’t acceptable.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            I knew they’d made a 2014 Pure, but didn’t realize there was one after that. I’ll concede one year of updates sucks.

      • deruberhanyok
      • 2 years ago

      Had the same issue when my first gen G died; it was right when Lenovo took the simple product line Moto had and split the G out into 4 different models, said they weren’t going to update the G3 anymore, and basically turned Moto back into what they were prior to the Google acquisition (I.E. exactly the same as every other cell manufacturer).

        • Shobai
        • 2 years ago

        That’s not exactly fair: before the Google acquisition Motorola had made top end phones with physical keyboards. Google started Motorola on the trajectory Lenono continued.

      • albundy
      • 2 years ago

      Curious how it died. Did the battery no longer charge? Or was it a component that failed?

      • mnemonick
      • 2 years ago

      I used to love them when Google bought them (owned both a first and second gen. Moto G).

      Then Lenovo took over, and like a fool I got a G3 during a Christmas sale. First one I received freaked out during setup, wouldn’t charge and got stuck in a boot loop, so I returned it for a replacement. I wish I’d just gotten a refund. The build quality on it is lousy.

      No gyro or accelerometer means no Moto Assist (or compass or anything else that needs them), updates are few and far between and my screen has developed two hot spots suspiciously near the area where the camera bump is on the back. No stereo speakers so the audio is pretty lousy, plus the back cover is slippery af so I had to get a case that makes it twice as thick.

      I won’t be buying another Moto.

    • dpaus
    • 2 years ago

    Wait… the MAIN camera is 12 MP, the SECONDARY camera is 8 MP, but the selfie camera is 16 MP??

      • NTMBK
      • 2 years ago

      #priorities

      • TwistedKestrel
      • 2 years ago

      More megapixels hasn’t meant better for more than a few years… the selfie camera will have a simple compact lens

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      Of course. Higher megapixels for selfies means better clarity of your facial pores.

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      8 MP does seem weird for a secondary camera, plus, at F2.2, it’s not particularly a low light camera, either, and probably still using a small sensor w 1-1.1 um pixels.

    • southrncomfortjm
    • 2 years ago

    Glad to see more decent mid-range options, but for less than $100 more, you can get a OnePlus 5 with more RAM, storage, and a much better SOC.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      In this price range it might “only” be $100 but that’s 25% more money.

      I’m more concerned that this isn’t different enough from the Moto G5 Plus, which is $100 less. If Lenovo’s approach is to offer something at every $100 step, it seems like overkill.

        • southrncomfortjm
        • 2 years ago

        Oh, for sure. Obvious (or maybe not so) caveat is that Moto can’t sell *me* this phone with the OnePlus 5 less than $100 away. Not the calculation for everyone, but definitely for many people.

        Meanwhile OnePlus can’t sell the OP5 to Samsung/Apple buyers even though those phones are twice as expensive with only slight upgrades over the OP5.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          Yeah it’s a hard sell either way. If you want Moto X4 hardware, get a Moto G5 Plus. If you want to spend a little more, get a faster phone.

        • Voldenuit
        • 2 years ago

        OnePlus 5 64 GB is $479, so “only” $79 more, but twice the RAM, twice the storage, much faster SoC (SD 835 vs 630), aluminum frame, better camera.

        If $479 is too much, the OnePlus 3T has street prices ranging from $350-400, still with twice the RAM and twice the storage, still with a faster SoC (821), and all the other associated advantages of a flagship device.

        I see the street prices of the Moto X4 hitting $300 if they want to stay in the market, buying one at $400 is not a good idea.

        • travbrad
        • 2 years ago

        Yep you can get pretty equivalent phones for much cheaper (Moto G5 Plus goes for under $250 right now), and for people buying cheaper or mid-range phones the cost and bang-for-your-buck is a pretty big factor. You can also get better phones at the same price, and significantly better phones for not much more.

      • Chz
      • 2 years ago

      For roughly the same price, you can get last year’s Huawei Honor 8. Which slaughters the Moto in just about every way. Now that Moto are Lenovo-owned, updates are about the same too. (not awful, but not very good)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This