The upper midrange phone market has a new contender. Back when Motorola was still under Google, the Moto X was a flagship phone which focused more on actual features than beastly specs. Fast forward to 2017, we now have the fourth-generation Moto X4. It feels familiar but at the same time different.
Before we get to the deets, let’s run through the body of the phone.
It’s got a 5.2-inch Full HD display
No dual front cameras, but it has a bright LED flash
Power button and volume rocker are on the right
The bottom houses the USB-C and 3.5mm audio ports
The glass back’s reflection is gorgeous
The beautiful back is bothered by a tiny hole
Currently the prettiest Motorola phone
It’s easy to say that the Moto X4 is Motorola’s prettiest phone so far, or maybe one of the prettiest since the Moto RAZR. The Moto X4 has a smooth and shiny glass finish (front and back), unlike other Motorola midrange phones like the Moto G5S Plus and Moto Z2 Play, which both have cold aluminum bodies. Its 5.2-inch Full HD display also makes the phone fairly compact despite having the usual amount of bezels all around.
We reviewed the Moto Z2 Play, and the Moto X4 surely wins in terms of one-handed usage thanks to its palm-friendly curves. While the glass back looks more pleasing, especially when light strikes it, the phone lacks Moto Mod support since there are no connector pins on the back. It could have been nice if Moto threw in wireless charging, but the glass is just for vanity.
What the Moto X4 has which other midrange phones don’t is waterproofing. Other Motorola handsets usually have minor protection against liquids with nano-coating, but this one is completely IP68-certified so you can take it to take pool and swim with it. Just the pool though, and not the beach.
Moto X series steps down to midrange power
One other thing to point out about the Moto X4 is its processing power. Moto fans (including me) were surprised that the X series came back to the market as a midranger. It looks like we’re not getting a true Motorola flagship this year that’s available across the globe. The shatter-resistant Moto Z2 Force is only in select regions, so we gotta wait for next year. Maybe an 18:9 phone soon?
Our unit has a Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB of memory for multitasking and 64GB of internal storage. It’s a dual-SIM variant which has a hybrid slot for a microSD card just in case you need it. Despite not having the best processor around, the Moto X4 never lagged during usage. Prior to using the Moto X4 as my daily driver, I’ve been using the Moto Z2 Play (because of the useful Incipio battery Moto Mod) and both are on par in terms of performance. I kinda miss the AMOLED panel though, which is super useful for the Moto Active Display feature.
Since it’s a Motorola phone, you get a somewhat bare version of Android Nougat (no Oreo, yet). There are a few Microsoft apps pre-installed to get you started in doing mobile office. A midranger like the Moto X4 performs pretty well in gaming. Some titles can be played in high settings like Asphalt Extreme, but NBA 2K17 needs to be set somewhere in the middle if you want really smooth frames.
Wide-angle camera is always fun to use
Two is better than one, right? The Moto X4 has dual rear cameras and they’re similar to the likes of LG phones which have a super wide-angle secondary lens. We’re talking about a 12-megapixel f/2.0 primary camera with Dual Pixel autofocus and an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle shooter without autofocus. While playing around with the super wide-angle lens, it felt like I had a smarter GoPro in my pocket. Selfies is also a thing for the Moto X4 with its 16-megapixel front-facing camera which has its own LED flash.
Quality-wise, the photos taken look great. Dual Pixel works like a charm when shooting in dim places and locks the focus onto the subject really quick. The wide-angle lens doesn’t have any focusing mechanism because it doesn’t really need one. Also, the phone has some sort of portrait shooting mode called Depth Enabled. It works okay if you like to have a creamy bokeh effect, but the camera launcher stutters a bit. The selfie mode doesn’t do justice to the high-resolution sensor, but there’s a beauty mode at least.
Battery lasts longer than expected
Equipped with a non-removable 3000mAh battery, the Moto X4 can last the whole day with moderate use. With a full charge, I start my day around eight in the morning and commute to work for an hour or two while I listen to Spotify or watch something on Netflix to keep myself sane while stuck in traffic. I switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data during work hours, and just before heading home, I have more than enough juice to once again brave the rush hour on the road. I average around four to five hours of screen-on time.
There’s Quick Charge 3.0 on board, and a compatible fast charger is included in the box. A zero to 25 percent charge takes only 15 minutes, while a full 100 percent charge takes about an hour and 15 minutes.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
After using the Moto X4 for more than a week, it crossed my mind that this phone battles its own cousin — the Moto Z2 Play. Both are similarly priced, but they offer something different from each other. For instance, the Moto X4 is waterproofed and sexy while the Moto Z2 Play is industrial-looking and has modular accessories available. Both are on par in performance and display quality (minus the true blacks of Z2 Play’s AMOLED), but their size difference is something one should consider, too.
Grab the Moto X4 if you want a packaged Motorola smartphone concealed within a beautiful glass body. The phone retails for PhP 23,999 in the Philippines and INR 22,999 in India for the same 4GB/64GB configuration. If you can, there’s an Android One version of the Moto X4 in the US which is available for US$ 325 under Google’s Project Fi network.
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Apple Watch Series 6 Review
Is it worth every penny?
The Apple Watch Series 6 offers more than just being a “luxurious timepiece”. Over the years, they’ve pioneered in what a true smartwatch can offer. From the ability to track your runs, cycles, and swims, as far as reading heart rate and even ECG. This year, the Watch Series 6 has a new SpO2 sensor that can read blood oxygen levels within the reach of your wrists.
But does all of that make up for a fancy price tag? Why is the Apple Watch a worthy investment for your health?
You can head on to our Apple Watch Series 6 review by clicking the link here.
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Every year, Huawei’s Mate series dominate the smartphone world with hosts of new features.
This October, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro finally made its way out of the limousine. As usual, it’s packed with the latest and greatest internals minus the full Android experience. Albeit, you still get support for AppGallery and other existing Huawei services.
With all that mind, is it still worthy to invest your money just to buy this smartphone?
You can watch our Huawei Mate 40 Pro review by clicking this link.
Infinix Note 7: Best underrated budget phone?
Does size matter?
The underrated brand, Infinix, is coming in with a perfect phone for when you’re strapped for cash. Infinix has consistently released great phones that deliver every bang for your buck and their recent release is no exception. What’s the latest addition to their great line-up? The Infinix Note 7
Show us what its got
The Infinix Note 7 is a dual-sim budget smartphone with a 6.95-inch HD+ and Corning Gorilla Glass display. It’s decked out in three different colors: Forest Green, Aether Black, and Bolivia Blue. Despite being encased in plastic, the Infinix Note 7 looks and feels premium. Just be more forgiving when the phone looks heavily smeared with your fingerprints — most phones tend to do so.
The phone features and specifications aren’t necessarily what people would view as technologically new or revolutionary. But, with phones on the same price range, this one delivers on all fronts of functionality, affordability, and durability. The phone has loud dual speakers, a great battery life, and reliable performance that makes it a stand-out in with its price tag.
Bang for your buck
The Infinix Note 7 is powered by a Helio G70 Processor paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. If you’re worried about storage, the phone has a dedicated microSD card slot. But, note that the phone has more than enough space to run apps on the Google Play Store without much of a hitch.
The Infinix Note 7 doesn’t falter on features when tested. The phone didn’t stutter or struggle when putting it through the stress test of scrolling, unlocking, and opening and closing multiple apps. On top of that, the Infinix Note7 has a 5000mAh battery that makes your daily grind of work and play look easy.
For gaming, the phone didn’t seem at all bothered with Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Genshin Impact, and Among Us. And, with the amount of storage the phone had, I’d downloaded all the games I wanted with reckless abandon. The phone held up to its dependable battery life too, despite a full day of work and play.
Does size really matter?
The Infinix Note 7 is big for a phone. Facts. If anything, it’s a love child of a phone and a tablet. With its 6.95-inch HD+ display and dual speakers, the phone makes watching Netflix or playing games an overall immersive experience. Despite Infinix sticking to HD+ on a bigger display, it doesn’t really impose on all the great features the phone has.
Remember: the Infinix Note 7 has a good price tag of PhP 7,990. If you’re asking it to feature 2k or 4k resolution, that good price tag isn’t even remotely ideal on top of the other features the phone comes with.
Is the cake a lie?
No, just misunderstood. Hear me out here: The Infinix Note 7 features a quad-camera set-up with a 48MP primary shooter, a 2MP macro lens, 2MP depth lens, and a 2MP dedicated video camera. On the front, the phone has a 16MP selfie camera. These specs can sometimes come misunderstood since Infinix does say the phone features a quad rear camera set-up. The phone technically features three with the fourth as its dedicated video recording camera.
The Inifinix Note 7 performed really well even with little lighting. I tried to photograph a dim sunset and most phones would often scrap some details in photos to compensate with the lack of lighting. That wasn’t the case for this phone. With a phone at its price point, it greatly outperforms phones in the same category quite easily. The phone delivers on detailed selfies with it 16MP in-display front camera and doesn’t struggle to focus using either rear or front cameras.
The phone doesn’t seem at all bothered with taking detailed photos. Sometimes the contrast can be a bit much but again, seeing a budget phone like the Infinix Note 7 perform well under tough circumstances that can just be from being nit-picky.
Is this your BudgetMatch?
If you need a phone to get you good shots and get you through a long day of non-stop work and play while delivering good photos overall, this is the phone for you. There’s nothing to complain about with this phone besides Infinix being utterly underrated for the quality of phones they put out. The Infinix Note 7 is a great phone for your daily grind if you’re looking for a phone that delivers on functionality, efficiency, and durability. It even delivers on good quality shots!
The Infinix Note 7 costs PhP 7,990 (US$ 165).
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