Saturday, May 26, 2018

Experimental Photography with Moto X4

So, here are a few pics that I clicked using Moto X4. Hope these help you make your smart smartphone decision!

1. View of DLF Cyber City in Gurgaon

2. Inside DLF Cyber City

3. The Depth Effect. Notice how the area between the leaves and the man in white shirt is blurred even though there is considerable distance between the two.

4. My colleague Navaneetham ji in office!

5. Delicious Gulab Jamun with Vanilla ice cream

6. Caramel cheese pop-corn for my buddy Deadpool :P

Moto X4 detailed review

Hi everyone,

This is my detailed review of the newly released Moto X4 mobile. I have been using it since the last 7 days and felt my experiences could help you arrive at a decision whether or not to buy this mobile.

Before Moto X4, I owned Moto G2 that I bought 3 years ago. I am very particular about the price and specifications of the phones I buy (Moto X4 being my third android smartphone). So, there is a lot of analysis and elimination involved when I biuy a phone. This time around the contenders were:

Moto G5S (Midnight blue version)
One Plus 5
Moto G5S Plus
Mi A1
Lenovo K8 Note
Nokia 6

This was the initial list of phones that I planned to buy. As you will notice, all of these phones except for One plus 5 are in the range of INR15000. Based on a lengthy analysis that lasted days, I finally zeroed in on Moto G5S Plus and started waiting for the Diwali sale on Amazon and Flipkart. The only two things that bugged me a bit about this phone were the 5.5in screen (I prefer smaller phones) and the color choices of Grey and Gold.

But just before the sale, Motorola announced the Moto X4 series. The specifications were absolutely the same as Moto G5S Plus, the camera seemed a bit different but it was difficult to speculate on the results based on just the camera specs. Other than that, the screen size was 5.2in (an important factor to me) and the phone’s design seemed absolutely stunning! The IP 68 certification is not relevant to me as I have no immediate or future plans of diving into a swimming pool with my mobile!

It was being speculated to be released in the range of INR 25000 but I was sure that the phone should cost a bit lesser to be competitive against Moto G5S Plus. So, I decided to wait out until after the release of Moto X4. I had set a price target of INR 20000 for this phone.

I read a number of reviews on the net. Some people voiced their concerns about the Glass back that was susceptible to cracks. But in the words of one of my friends, even an Iphone with a glass back is susceptible to cracks. That doesn’t stop people from buying it.

I can think of only two reasons for anyone buying the Moto X4:
1. The elegance and looks
2. The probable Android P update

Now, to the actual review. The phone has been working great.
On first charge, it lasted two and a half days of heavy usage. Subsequently, after I installed the SIM card and some heavy duty games (which worked perfectly and without any lag) the phone lasts one and half days.
I did not experience any heating problems during charging.

The volume of the speakers is great (far better than my last mobile that is Moto G2)

The camera is on the whole great. I tested it both during night and day and it performed well. I am enclosing a few of the photos that I took using the mobile.

The depth effect is OKAY for someone who is experiencing it for the first time, but is clearly managed by software. The transition between the focused and blurred image is rather sharp. I tested taking photos of the same objects with One Plus 5 and Moto X4, and the former easily trumps the latter with much softer transitions as you can see in the following photographs.

The videos are again OKAY. The phone seems to be missing Optical stabilization which makes the videos a bit shaky during movement of camera. The other thing that irritates me about the video quality is the large amount of noise that the camera takes in from the surroundings making the voice of the subject less pronounced. To give you a better perspective, I am uploading a few of the videos that I shot using this phone.

Now, to the verdict. After using the phone for a week, would I still consider it worth buying.

And the answer is a big YES!

You see, even though I expect a bit more from the camera, the truth is I can’t think of a better camera in the price range of this mobile. The next better one might only be One Plus 5 (now One Plus 5T) but that is just too costly for the minimal improvements in the camera department. As a matter of fact, I would any day buy Moto X4 over One Plus 5T just because of the design and the Moto experience.

I would like to add two other perspectives here that helped me arrive at a decision but are not otherwise relevant technically. Due to its premier look, the Moto X4 does not look out of place if you are part of a group with a lot of Iphones!

The other perspective of course is that when buying a phone, I plan (rather hope) to use it at least for the next 3 years. When your target is three years, an additional INR 4000 for the looks and durability seems not that expensive.

So, I hope I was able to provide a practical perspective on what to expect or not from the Moto X4. If you have any other questions related to Moto X4, feel free to ask them here or my Youtube channel.