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Motorola Moto G4 Play review

7.6/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Motorola Moto G4 Play currently has an Informr score of 7.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 15 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Bright, colorful screen
  • Plenty of storage space
  • microSD support
  • All-day battery life
  • Removable battery
  • Splash resistance
  • Mostly stock Android experience

What's bad

  • Weak speaker
  • Weak low-light camera performance
  • No 5.0GHz Wi-Fi support

The Moto G series has built a solid reputation for affordable phones with compromises in the right areas. The Moto G4 Play offers one of the lowest prices yet (which gets lower still if you’re willing to deal with Amazon ads on your phone), but does it strike the balance of its predecessors and remain recommendable value for everyday use?

Reviews are rolling in! Let’s see what everyone is saying!

If you’ve seen a Moto release, or most any average Android release, you’ve seen the Moto G4 Play. It’s all-plastic design features a few minor metallic accents but nothing about it stood out to reviewers. TechSpot chimed in on the design, saying, “[It] doesn’t feel bad in the hand—the curved plastic rear, textured with a weave-like pattern, is comfortable and has plenty of grip—but you won’t mistake this for something expensive.”

While the phone lacks the fingerprint scanner of many competing models, it is splash-resistant for extra peace of mind while on the go.

Head around front to the 5-inch 720p IPS display and reviews get better. Many reviewers noted how bright the screen is—a critical concern if you use your phone outdoors. AndroidPIT ran it through a series of benchmarks and said, “The screen will be perfectly satisfactory to the average user, but those who care about having the best quality display for videos and games should look at purchasing another phone.” Android Guys was more positive, saying, “If you’re worried about the lower 720p display, don’t be. Everything looks very crisp on it, and I really enjoyed scrolling through wallpaper apps trying out the sharpest offerings.”

Unfortunately, reviews were mixed on performance. The 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 and 2GB of RAM work fine for basic tasks. But gaming and complex websites gave many reviewers trouble. Android Guys noted, “Gaming performance was frustrating with the G4 Play, as games took a very long time to load.”

Where it lacks performance, it makes up ground in storage. With 16GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards, you should have little concern about being able to keep all your favorite apps, games and media available. Reviewers also noted that the version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on the device was low on bloat, leaving most of the storage available for use.

One of the most popular features on the phone was the removable 2,800mAh battery. noted, "Users can expect well over a day's worth of regular use, provided ‘regular use’ isn't, say, streaming movies for five hours.” For those power-hungry days, you can swap the battery out. However, while the battery offers long life, it also requires a long charge since the phone lacks any quick charging capabilities.

The 8MP rear-facing camera and 5MP front-facing lens were firmly in the middle for reviewers. While the cameras offered images better than many entry-level options, it was far from a flagship experience. Some reviewers noticed quality issues—particularly as light levels dipped lower. TechSpot called it, “[An] excellent for the price, and tends to deliver surprisingly good photos in most conditions.”

Two other issues that stood out to reviewers. First, the single front-facing speaker wasn’t popular with anyone. Complaints of weak audio and distortion were common. Also, the phone lacks support for 5.0GHz Wi-Fi, so you might run into a few speed or signal strength issues in congested Wi-Fi areas.

Overall, reviewers were quick to recommend the MotoG4 Play to anyone looking for an affordable handset but didn’t need power-user specs. PC World summed up opinions well, saying, “The MotoG4 Play will get the job done, so long as its duties are limited to light computing and the occasional gaming session.”

Operating system
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
8+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


The Moto G4 Play was designed to be a simple, cheap phone. If you want something inexpensive for normal daily use, it gets the job done. It's splash-resistant, with a long-lasting removable battery, and it's dual SIM. But it also has its drawbacks, like the mono speaker and the lack of fingerprint r...

- Jessica Murgia, AndroidPIT

The Moto G4 Play is a nice device that I wish I could love. Honestly I do really, really want to like and love it, but with so many flaws, it’s one I’m prepared to easily move along from and to the next device.

- Alex Dennis, Ausdroid

The Moto G4 Play may come packing largely the same collection of hardware as its year old predecessor, however the phone’s new $150 price tag blows away the competition in the same fashion as previous Moto G devices

- Tim Schiesser, TechSpot

The only people I'd feel comfortable recommending the Moto G4 Play to are easy-to-please bargain-hunters who couldn't care less about their phone's camera, who don't do much mobile gaming, and who aren't frustrated by slower-than-average performance. Alternatively, if you want a cheap phone to use w...

- Michael Desjardin, Reviewed
Android Guys

If you’re looking for a great valued, brand new smartphone under $200, you can’t go wrong with this phone.

- Jack McNenny, Android Guys

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Motorola released the Moto G4 Play on June 30, 2016.

The Moto G4 Play price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Motorola Moto G4 Play prices from around the web here on The Informr.

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Motorola Moto G4 Play user manual here.

Motorola backs up the Moto G4 Play with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Moto G4 Play has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Motorola support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Motorola's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.


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Screen Size

The Motorola Moto G4 Play's screen size is 5 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

1.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat) operating system (OS).

8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2800 mAh battery.

Moto G4 Play Specs

Release date June 30, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/1900 MHz
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
1700/1900/700/2100 /850 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.79 W/kg
Body: 1.44 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2800 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 41.7 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.4 x 7.2 x 0.9 cm (5.7 x 2.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 137 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 294 pixels
Size 5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
ƒ/ 2.2
8+ megapixels
4x digital
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
5+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Display flash
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Motorola Moto G Play

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