2.5 year old $600 flagship replaced with $200 budget phone. What you get and lose


I’ve now been a little over a week with a Motorola G4. After this short time, I’m rather happy with my decision to skip this cycle of bleeding edge phones for something that focused on making The Bits I’d Need really solid while skipping the rest.

The Motorola G4 is The middle-spec phone from the Motorola’s G line, the G4 Play having lower specs and a smaller screen (but replaceable battery) and the G4 Plus having a nicer camera and fingerprint reader. The 2016 version was spec bumped from an earlier G4 because reviewers found it underpowered, but lost the waterproofing in the process (I imagine because the faster processor and higher memory got too hot to have the phone’s rear case fully grommeted).

The phone being replaced was the HTC Evo M8. It had all the bells and whistles of a 2014 phone like NFC and 32 Gigs of storage and the HTC Ultrapixel camera which performed really well in low light. Which was lovely and lasted a half year longer than I needed-to, but a half year shorter than I wanted it-to. The battery was pretty much cooked, I stopped looking into replacing the battery after seeing the “Heat Gun the speaker grille until the adhesive melts” tutorial, and the sudden onset of super-wobble camera (some mechanical bit in the camera lens lost it’s ability to find home, and therefor wobbled back and forth at about 60 Hz, making focus impossible).

The G4 actually outspecs the Evo in a few ways, mostly in the ways that Moore’s law dictates: The screen is bigger and still high resolution enough for me to not see pixels. The processor is faster and has more cores and I think it has a bit more RAM. The battery is also higher capacity and turbocharges when attached to the charger that came in the box.

The losses are not nearly as annoying as I thought they would be. I no longer have a compass, which is okay because the one on the HTCs is always horribly skewed. I lost 16 gigs of space but have the 32 gig MicroSD card installed and haven’t run out of space on a phone since I upgraded my HTC Evo to an HTC Evo 4G LTE (OMG CAPSLOCK11!!12) The phone doesn’t come with NFC (I think I used Android Pay and it’s predecessor Google Wallet, like, three times and it was always hit or miss usually miss)… the annoyance was actually that Android Pay which I had spent some time installing Loyalty Cards refuses to install on a phone without NFC.

Ultimately, what this will do is give me two years to save up $750-800 for a new phone and let it sit until the Moto G dies or I do something dumb to it that breaks it horribly. By then the Pixel might be for sale through Sprint, the iPhone will run full MacOS, or the Rumored Surface Phone might finally be available.

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