The Moto X4 is Motorola’s affordable, mid-range smartphone that fits somewhere in between the flagship Moto Z2 Force and the budget-level Moto G5S Plus, and comes awkwardly close to the Moto Z2 Play price without the perk of Moto Mods.
It inherits features from both phone series, like a dual-lens camera, water resistance, a fingerprint scanner and a lot of the same design cues. Inside is where it sets itself apart, with its mid-range Snapdragon 630 chipset.
Price and release date
The Moto X4 is available exclusively through souq.com in the UAE and it costs AED 1,299 for 64GB version.
That’s a good deal for a mid-range phone with 64GB storage built-in. The Moto X4 is also the first non-Google phone that supports Project Fi which allows you to subscribe to Google’s telco services if you’re in the US.
Do note that there’s an Android One version of this phone that’s not available in the Middle East. The Android One version has the advantage of getting timely software updates from Google directly. However, the one sold in the region comes with a few software features that affect the hardware (Moto Display, Moto Voice and special fingerprint sensor controls).
Motorola is touting the Moto X4 as a way to “get octa-core performance without sacrificing style,” and that’s only true if you like Motorola’s signature phone design and can’t afford any of the other truly stylish octa-core phones out there like the Galaxy S8, Note 8 or very-close-in-price OnePlus 5.
It follows current Motorola design practices: smooth curves at the top and bottom, an oval-shaped fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the screen and an oversized rear camera bump aligned in the top-middle of the device. The screen is flanked by bezels on all sides that feel a bit 2016. The power and volume button are all on the right side and feel solid. There’s no speaker grille on the bottom, as the sole speaker is at the top of the screen, doubling as the earpiece for phone calls.
It’s a good looking phone, but like many mid-range devices, we’re certainly not calling up our friends to tell them how cool it looks. It feels solid and smooth in the hand thanks to its glass back and metal frame.
The metal frame doesn’t rise up any to take the brunt of a fall if the phone lands flat. It is protected from water and dust at least, with an IP68 rating that means a half-hour dunk in the shallow end of a pool is no big deal.
The sad truth of the design is that it looks kind of boring in 2017. Forget all-screen, this is an all-camera bump phone, with its dual-lens camera being the one element that stands out.
The Moto X4 has a 5.2-inch Full HD display that fits its mid-range identity more than the flagship Moto Z2 Force. It gets the job done with high enough pixel density for everything other than VR.
With so many phones making the switch to OLED displays, including the similarly priced Moto Z2 Play, it’s a shame to see the Moto X4 using only an IPS display, which lacks the pure blacks of OLED.
The X4 does inherit the Moto Display feature that discretely lights up a portion of the screen with the time, date, and notification icons, mostly in black-and-white. All it takes is a nudge or a wave over some sensors to trigger this alternative to an always-on display.
Moto Display lets you interact with notifications now, so you can quick reply to text messages with the keyboard or your voice, or pause and play music, all without ever having to fully unlocking or lighting up the phone.