Ardent Motorola fans have been waiting for an update to the company’s X series of smartphones for quite some time now. That day has now finally arrived. Yesterday, Lenovo owned Motorola took the wraps off the Moto X4 at an event at IFA in Berlin.
When Lenovo took over Motorola, they abandoned the flagship X series in favour of the Z series of smartphones. As a result, the new Moto X4 is no longer a high-end device but a mid-range smartphone that slots in below Motorola’s Z2 Force flagship. The Moto X4 has been one of the most anticipated and leaked smartphones of the year and comes with a metal and glass design, a dual camera setup at the back, mid-tier specifications and Amazon Alexa support.
The Moto X4 arrives nearly two years after the last Moto X smartphone(s) hit retail stores in 2015 and is in many ways just an X series smartphone in name. It lacks any of the customisation features found in the old X series smartphones such as the ability to buy the phone in exotic finishes such as wood or leather or Moto’s popular Moto Maker service. However, nostalgia aside, the X4 looks like a solid mid-range smartphone with some nifty Bluetooth tricks. Let us examine the Moto X4 in detail:
Metal and glass design
The Moto X4 might be a mid-range smartphone but it comes with a premium design. The smartphone has glass on the front and back sandwiched between a metal frame. The smartphone is available in two colour options – Super Black and Sterling Blue.
The round camera unit juts out a fair bit from the chassis – a design trait which has now become synonymous with current Moto smartphones. The camera module is encircled by a ribbed texture which looks classy and adds a bit of design flair to the otherwise simple rear panel.
The all glass front protected by Gorilla Glass houses the recessed fingerprint sensor, 5.2-inch display, front camera, sensors and capacitive buttons for back, home and multi-tasking. Unlike the Moto G5S Plus, the Moto X4 does not feature the Motorola dimple. The Moto logo is flat – a move which might disappoint long term X series fans. The lack of a bezel-less design might also disappoint a few people.
The specifications of the Moto X4 point towards its new found mid-range status. While past X series smartphones were flagship devices, the X4 will be positioned below the Z2 Force in Motorola’s line up. The X4’s internals are quite similar to the ones found on the mid-range Moto Z2 Play save for a newer processor.
The Moto X4 is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset clocked at 2.2GHz paired with 3 or 4GB of RAM depending on region, the Adreno 508 GPU and a 3,000mAh battery with TurboCharge support. Motorola claims that a 15 minute charge can power the smartphone for up to 6 hours.
The Moto X4 has been one of the most anticipated smartphones of the year and comes with a metal and glass design, dual cameras and some nifty Bluetooth tricks
The 14nm Snapdragon 630 processor consists of 4 high-performance ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 2.2GHz paired with 4 ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz for low-intensity workloads. Additionally, the Moto X4 comes with 32/64 GB of internal storage which can be expanded via a microSD card (of up to 2TB).
The Moto X4 comes with a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with a Full HD resolution and a pixel density of 424 ppi. The display is covered by an unspecified version of Corning Gorilla Glass for protection against nicks and scratches.
Nearly stock Android on board
As with all recent Motorola smartphones, the Moto X4 runs on a near stock build of Android with no unnecessary gimmicks or overlays. The few additions by Motorola only add to the experience and do not take away from the soul of stock Android in any way. These include gestures such as twist for opening the camera, double karate chop for turning on the torch, an always on display and a blue light filter.
The Moto X4 comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. While Motorola has not made any official announcement regarding the Android 8.0 Oreo update, it will not be remiss to state that the smartphone will be getting it soon enough.
The Moto X4 supports all the usual jargon when it comes to connectivity – 4G LTE, VoLTE, Dual-band Wi-Fi 8-2.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS/ A-GPS and GLONASS. Where the smartphone stands out from the crowd is the fact that it supports Bluetooth 5.0 – a standard currently supported only by a few flagship smartphones.
The Moto X4 has a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, a fingerprint sensor and comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, a port which is fast disappearing from smartphones as of late.
All the rumours were correct. The Moto X4 comes with a dual camera setup at the back. However, unlike the Moto Z2 Force which comes with a black and white sensor and a colour sensor, the X4 comes with a primary 12MP sensor and a secondary 8MP 120 degree ultra-wide angle sensor. The primary sensor has an aperture of f/2.0, pixel size of 1.4um and dual pixel autofocus and the secondary sensor has an aperture of f/2.2 and pixel size of 1.12um. The rear camera setup comes with a dual-LED flash and can shoot videos in 4K resolution.
The specifications of the Moto X4 point towards its new found mid-range status
The two cameras work together to offer features such as selective black and white colouring, background replacement and so on. You can also take images with depth of field effects and shoot ultra-wide angle shots courtesy of the secondary sensor.
On the front, there is a 16MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.0. The presence of a front LED flash should make the Moto X4 a good option for selfie aficionados. The front camera also comes with a special 4MP low-light mode which according to the company combines pixels to get more information.
Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 and some Motorola magic, the Moto X4 allows you to stream music wirelessly to up to 4 Bluetooth speakers or headphones. You can pair up to 4 devices and sync a single stream of music to all of them simultaneously. Additionally, you can also control the volume of each device separately.
This feature will allow you to share tunes with your friends or pair multiple Bluetooth speakers together for use at a party or event.
IP68 dust and water resistant
The Moto X4 is IP68 certified for dust and water resistance which means you can immerse the phone in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes with no worries. IP68 water resistance is a rare feature to be found in a mid-range smartphone and is something that will help the Moto X4 stand apart from the crowd.
Amazon Alexa support
The Moto X4 comes with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant pre-loaded giving users another option apart from Google Assistant. Alexa can take commands even when the smartphone is locked and can be used to easily order goods from Amazon, set alarms, answer questions and so on.
Alexa is currently only available to users in US, UK and Germany. Motorola claims that Alexa integration will be coming to other Moto phones in the future.
Price and availability
The Moto X4 has been launched at 399 Euros which roughly translates to Rs 30,400. The smartphone will go on sale in Europe in the month of September. While Indian release details are not available as of yet, we expect the smartphone to make it to the country in the next few weeks.The Indian pricing is expected to be lower. Case in point – the Moto G5S Plus which retails for around Rs 22,000 globally was launched for Rs 15,999 in India.