Review: Moto Z4 Doesn’t Offer What A Mobile Should in $500 Budget

Published on November 26, 2019

The Moto Z4 is not a device that is thrilling. In $500, for example, the Google Pixel 3a or the Asus ZenFone 6 can be purchased with more persuasive apps rather than Moto Z4.

That’s not to suggest it’s a disgraceful mobile. A massive battery, reliable performance, a promising camera, and an exceptional experience with software is all it has to offer. Moto Mods can still be used, and some are really useful. But the Z4 is priced a bit high at the end of the day. Only if you’re on Verizon’s network, as it’s available for $400, you should buy this phone.

The Moto Z4 appears very much similar to its forerunners. That’s because the integrated framework is preserved. But Motorola’s Moto Mods will connect to the phone’s back magnetically. That’s great if you plan to upgrade from an older Moto Z4 phone and own a couple of mods already.

Display & Moto Mods

Motorola is currently offering 16 Moto Mods, the newest being the 5G Moto Mod. With the Moto Z4, which is frustrating, no new Moto Mods are released. I always liked the implementation of mods from Motorola. Just a few mods like the power upgrade can be suggested for longer battery life. Also, the booming music JBL Soundboost 2 speaker system, the wireless charging app, and the Insta-Share Printer mod Polaroid. Wireless charger is quick, but it’s slow to charge.

The rear of the mobile features matt glass engraved (Gorilla Glass 3), and it feels good. The matte texture prevents gross smudges and scratches, and it’s hard to say it’s a back window. At the very bottom are the pogo pins needed between Moto Mods and the device for data transmission.

Gorilla Glass 3 protects the display. Motorola jumped on the notch bandwagon and the body without a bezel. The margins around the monitor are small, offering a larger display of 6.39-inch. This makes it look good for apps and other content. It’s a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution OLED display. It will be difficult to see in direct sun however, mostly the display is bright enough to use mobile in all situations.

The display of the Moto Z4 over the Pixel 3a XL is brighter. The resolution of the display is close to Pixel 3a XL while Moto Z4 provides higher levels of brightness. It’s a different story to compare speakers. The Moto Z4 block the top-firing speakers in landscape mode. There are two speakers in the Pixel 3a XL. One at bottom and one as front facing, not only louder, but richer sound as well. If you want a good experience, you definitely need a Moto Mod speaker.


For Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675 chip inside the Moto Z4, Motorola packed 4 GB of RAM. This makes me feel confused as it lags sometimes. On the one hand, phones like the Pixel 3a had hardly any problems with Snapdragon 670. Games such as Alto’s Odyssey, PUBG: Mobile, and Pako Forever run with the infrequent stutter. I noticed that the Moto Z4 tends to get warm pretty fast. That means continuous gameplay can be an issue as the output of the processor.

Nevertheless, the 3a pixel comes in $400. You will purchase the Asus ZenFone 6 for about the same $500 value as the Moto Z4. Asus ZenFone 6 carries the 855 processor of the flagship Snapdragon. It’s the same processor inside the high-end devices like Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. That chipset is much faster and will be better maintained as the years go by.

Great Camera

The Moto Z4’s focus is the lens. At the rear of Motorola is a huge 48-megapixel camera (f/1.7 with optical image stabilization). A wide 25-megapixel selfie image sensor (f/2.0) at backside. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to see huge file sizes and highly detailed photos. Using Quad Pixel technology, the rear and front cameras use another word, pixel binning.

Pixel binning means pixels are combined by the camera to take more light. Better photographs will be clicked in Pixel binning. For the rear camera the output will always be 12 megapixels because the feature is by default activated. The selfie camera has the default option, so the output is a 6-megapixel photo. But you can also choose to use the maximum 25 megapixels but in that scenario, pixel binning feature won’t be used.

Battery Life

The Moto Z4 is fitted with a massive 3,600mAh battery by Motorola. It claims that the telephone should remain charged for two days. I got home around 7 p.m. with 40% of it. I’m still worried that the battery will die if I’m out late until midnight. If you leave the phone overnight, the second day of the Moto Z4 will not last long. Turn it off and, depending on usage, you’ll find it can last at least half a day.

Final Verdict

The Moto Z4 is good but not the one which we will highly recommend after all it has not everything that should be in $500 priced mobile.

Is there an alternative that is better?

Yes. One of the best phones to purchase if you’re on a budget is the Pixel 3a at just $400. It has nearly the same performance as the Moto Z4. But it’s got a good battery life and an excellent camera. It will also offer regular Google software updates for 3 years.

The Asus ZenFone 6 is hard to beat if you’re in the $500 range. Although, the Pixel 3a has the better camera than Asus ZenFone 6. But it has outstanding battery life and Asus is more likely to support their products for longer than Motorola. Performance is the best of all, as it uses the Snapdragon 855 chipset flagship. This mobile will comfortably cope with all the new games and apps.

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