The Moto X4 Leaked Wearing An Android One Logo
Motorola debuted the Moto X4 in August 2017, marking a fourth generation model in the Moto X family. The Moto X4 has now appeared in a leaked render showing it to be an Android One model. As it happens, the 2017 Moto X4 is different to earlier Moto X models: for 2017, Motorola seem to have simply made a cut-down version of their Moto Z flagship. Older Moto X models, especially the first generation, were designed to be more than the sum of their specification. I had already seen rumours that the Moto X4 was to be officially supported by the Google Fi network, but Lenovo / Motorola made no mention of support for Google Fi when the device was announced. This is disappointing as currently the only devices on sale that officially support Google Fi are the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. These are great devices, but they’re also expensive. Something Google have already considered is that a less expensive device will encourage more people to use the Google Fi network.
Let me say a few words about the Motorola Moto X4. This is a mid-range device, based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, plus a microSD card slot. There’s a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 3,000 mAh battery with the promise of all-day battery life, dual 12MP rear cameras and a fingerprint sensor. Motorola have also given the Moto X4 sufficient water and dustproofing for the IP68 rating. As befits a device with a modern Qualcomm chipset, the Moto X4 includes respectable networking technologies. The smartphone comes with Bluetooth 5.0, dual band high performance Wi-Fi and a total of 17 LTE bands plus CDMA / EVDO radio technologies. That combined LTE / CDMA radio is essential for Google Fi’s network sharing system – Google Fi uses a blend of US Cellular, T-mobile and Sprint carrier, seamlessly using the best quality network.
My main reservation with the Moto X4 is that whilst Motorola have used a near-stock version of the Android operating system, under Lenovo’s ownership, Motorola are not releasing software updates or patches like they used to. Motorola’s policy for Google’s monthly patches is that they don’t support this, but will instead collate these patches to release with more meaningful updates. However, selling an Android One variant of the Moto X4 should solve this issue as the device would be supported by Google. That means regular software updates and patches and access to Google’s cost effective network. What’s not to like? Okay there is that weird-looking rear camera assembly.
A less expensive smartphone for the Google Fi network could be just the thing to encourage more and more customers to at least try it. Google Fi’s $10 / GB for data across much of the world is great news for those of us who travel the world. Google have said they will be releasing a “Fi-compatible device at a mid-tier price” later in 2017, and perhaps the Motorola Moto X4 is just that device? And let us not forget the idea that Google might be encouraging manufacturers to introduce Android One smartphones into developed as well as developing markets. First Xiaomi, now Motorola.