Motorola Moto G4 Play review: Our second-favorite super-budget phone

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The Good Motorola's Moto G4 Play is the most affordable phone in the G4 line. It's splash-resistant, comes loaded with a near stock version of Android 6.0, has great battery life and can be used on any major carrier in the US.

The Bad The G4 Play lags when playing games and taking panoramic photos. The display can be hard to read in direct sunlight and you won't be able to customize the phone using Motorola's Moto Maker website.

The Bottom Line If you're on the hunt for an affordable phone with pretty long battery life, the Motorola Moto G4 Play deserves your attention. But the regular Moto G4 gives you even better features for just a little more cash.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7
  • Camera 6
  • Battery 8

If the Moto G4 didn't exist, the stepped-down (and even cheaper) Motorola Moto G4 Play would be the deal of the century. For just $150 (or $100 for Amazon Prime members who submit to Amazon Prime ads, like this), £130 and AU$279, you get a budget phone that's surprisingly pleasant to use, for a rock-bottom price.

But there is a Moto G4, and it comes with a larger screen, a better camera and a much faster processor. Best yet, it only costs a little more -- $50 or £39 -- than the G4 Play (it doesn't sell in Australia, but the G4 Plus does). So for my money, I'd invest a little more and get the G4 over the G4 Play.

That said, the G4 Play is actually a great budget find on its own merit. I never encountered a moment where I thought, "I can't use this." The G4 Play is the Toyota Corolla of phones; it has that wonderful balance of price and value to do real-world things like text and email, upload photos and snap pictures of cute little Fifi.

The Moto G4 Play is pretty much identical to the Moto G4, just a tad smaller (see how specs compare over the page). Despite having a relatively low 1,280x720-pixel resolution for its 5-inch screen, images and websites looked fairly crisp and sharp. But even with adaptive brightness enabled, you might have trouble reading in the noontime sun.