The Motorola moto X4 is Motorola’s fusion phone. It combines aspects from both ends of its lineup, like dual rear camera sensors and a waterproof design from the high-end Z2 Force, with the midrange specs of the more affordable G5 Plus.
It doesn’t support Moto Mods, but features the almost-stock Android software Motorola is known for, as well as integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. We don’t have US pricing or a release date for the phone just yet, but I got to check it out at IFA in Berlin and have some first impressions.
Design and Specs of Motorola Moto X4
The Moto X4 catches the eye. Its back panel is designed to reflect light in different patterns based on angle and lighting conditions. It’s quite fetching in both Super Black and Sterling Blue options, though I noticed it picks up fingerprints and smudges rather easily.
The Moto X4 has a 5.2-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 IPS display that works out to a crisp 424 pixels per inch. Colors are bright and accurate, viewing angles are great, and while I was strictly forbidden from taking it outside, it gets bright enough that you should be able to use it outdoors.
There’s a SIM/microSD card slot on top, the latter of which supports cards up to 2TB. And there’s a headphone jack on the bottom, next to a USB-C charging port. The phone supports fast charging, letting you juice up to 6 hours of usage in just 15 minutes when using the included 15W power adapter. The 3,000mAh battery should be good for about a day of average use.
In the US, the phone will come with 32GB storage and 3GB of RAM. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, which should make for slightly better performance than the Snapdragon 625-powered G5 Plus.
In North America, the Moto X4 supports GSM (2/3/5/8), CDMA (0/1/10), WCDMA (1/2/4/5/8), and LTE bands (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/66), for comprehensive network connectivity. It should allow the X4 to work on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. We couldn’t test call quality, but the phone features three mics, along with a front-facing speaker that doubles as the earpiece, a setup that makes for good voice calls on devices like the G5 Plus.
It also supports dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC. You can connect the phone to up to four Bluetooth audio devices at the same time.
The Moto X4 is the latest phone to join the trend of dual-sensor cameras. On the back you get one 12-megapixel Dual Autofocus Pixel sensor with a f/2.0 aperture that should result in faster focusing speed and improved low-light performance. You also get an 8-megapixel sensor with a 120-degree field of view and f/2.2 aperture.
This is similar to the wide-angle setup on the LG V30, letting you capture more of your surroundings, though often with some barrel distortion around the edges of the shot.
This setup also allows for bokeh, which lets you focus on a foreground object and blur out the background. Selective Black and White is another interesting feature that makes most of the scene black and white, but lets you pick one color and single it out to remain in the shot, which is cool, if a little buggy (Motorola says it will work this out in the final software). Other features like Landmark/Object recognition weren’t ready to demo yet.
For video, the phone supports 4K recording at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, and slow-motion capture. And there’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera
Moto Meets Alexa
Moto Alexa is a new app you’ll find on the the X4. It’s basically just Amazon’s Alexa, giving you yet another AI voice assistant to help look up information and control
Just like the Echo speaker, you can set the phone to always be listening, so it’ll automatically wake when you say “Alexa” or another trigger word. One thing to note is that Alexa doesn’t can’t send text messages or make phone calls outside the Alexa app, so for that you’ll need to rely on Google Assistant. It’s also only available in a limited number of countries.
In terms of software, the phone runs a fairly stock version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Motorola useful add-ons enabled through the Moto app. An update to Android 8.0 Oreo is should roll out in the future.
Pricing and Availability
The Moto X4 will be available in Europe in September for 399 euros. That would put it at about $475 in the US, which is a bit less than what’s you’ll pay for the Moto Z2 Play. We don’t have US pricing or availability information yet, but the phone is expected to launch in the fall. Check back then for a full review.