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Moto X4

by Lenovo

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Connectivity Technologies

Lenovo's Moto X4 Brings USB Power Delivery Based Fast Charging to the Masses

As USB Power Delivery technology has rolled out into mobile phones, most people had to shell out a pretty penny to purchase flagship products like the Google Pixel 2Huawei P10Samsung Galaxy S8, and Apple iPhone X, all of which support USB Power Delivery. As these phones have continued to go up in price, it's been more difficult for ordinary consumers on a budget to take advantage of USB Power Delivery technology.

Fortunately, Lenovo offers the extremely economical Moto X4 which supports USB Power Delivery in addition to its TurboPower branded charging technology. Despite the low pricing, the Moto X4 still offers decent specs like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor with 2.2 GHz Octa-core CPU and 650 MHz Adreno 508 GPU, 4K@30hz video capture, and IP68 rated water resistance. 

We purchased the Moto X4 through Amazon Prime for $299 during one of Amazon's aggressive promotions on their Amazon Prime phones.

One of the key ways that Lenovo is able to aggressively price the Moto X4 so low is by making use of sales channels like Amazon and Google. As an Amazon Prime phone, Amazon helps to offset the pricing by putting Amazon advertising on the wake-up screen, enabling Amazon Alexa voice controls in a phone, and have the phone pre-installed with many Amazon Apps. On the Google side of things (which makes sense given Google once owned the Motorola phone business), the Moto X4 has an Android One version which is the first Android phone in the US, allowing Google to extend the Google smartphone experience to non-Google brands like Lenovo's Motorola. Note the  Moto X4 sold on Amazon is the Amazon Prime version so if you want to purchase the Android One version, you need to go to the Google's Project Fi store.

The Moto X4 comes in a fun well-designed package. The box still prominently shows the Motorola logo and name despite the brand being owned by Lenovo based in China.

Opening up the Moto X4 box, we can see that the phone comes with a USB Type-A based TurboPower charger and USB Type-A to Type-C cable. Given the already low price, the Moto X4 doesn't try to add other accessories like headphones, covers, etc.

The Moto X4 looks really good for a low priced phone and has a weighty but comfortable feel.

The Moto X4 supports a USB Type-C port and keeps the 3.5mm audio port which is going away on a lot of other flagship phones.

Like a lot of other phones today, the rear camera portion sticks out the back of the Moto X4. There are actually dual rear cameras, a 12MP Dual Autofocus Pixel sensor (f2.0, 1.4µm) and a 8MP ultra-wide angle with 120° field of view sensor (f2.2, 1.12µm).  

A lot of phones are also now putting focus on having high resolutions in the front for selfies. The Moto X4 has a 16MP (f2.0, 1µm) front camera which can operate as a 4MP camera in low light conditions.

 

Starting up the Moto X4, there is a combination of Google, Motorola, and Amazon startup screens.

  

 

Despite this being an Amazon Prime phone, you are asked to sign in with your Google account first.

  

  

  

Only after the Google setup screens are complete, can you also sign into your Amazon account.

  

The Moto X4 comes pre-installed with the main Amazon shopping App as well as other Amazon properties like Amazon Prime Video, Kindle, Music, Alexa, Drive, Audible, Prime Photos, Prime Now, IMDb, and Goodreads.

  

We were able to also install the Project Fi SIM card without any issue on the Moto X4, making it a very inexpensive way to use Project Fi which is great when you need affordable voice and data access when traveling around the world.

While we found the Moto X4 to work well with USB Power Delivery and Motorola's own TurboPower based chargers, the Moto X4 had problems working with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 chargers.

Most surprisingly, we found Alexa to have problems working on this supposedly Amazon Prime ready phone.

We will be exploring these topics and more in several future posts.

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