Moto X4 hands-on – the center of your mobile disco

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Motorola may have already introduced a ton of new phones this year, but the company thinks the time is ripe for yet another device. Today at IFA 2017, the Lenovo-owned company announced a new addition to the incredibly popular Moto X range, but this one takes the X series in a different direction. Join us as we go hands-on with the Moto X4.

Related: Moto X4 is finally here: a mid-range handset with one killer audio feature

Before we start, let’s try to answer something that’s probably on many folks’ minds. Where does the Moto X4 fit into the company’s confusing lineup? While the Moto X lineup used to be considered Motorola’s flagship smartphone line, the new X4 now sits squarely in between the high-end Moto Z2 line and the mid-range Moto G line.

Moto X4 hands-on

The Moto X4 packs a 5.2-inch Full HD display, measures 7.99 mm thin and weighs in at 163 grams. It’s also powered by a Snapdragon 630 with either 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, or 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage depending on your market.

You’ll find the fingerprint sensor beneath the display and the power and volume keys to the right. The rear has a sleek, contoured design that shimmers in the light, along with a dual camera array that looks very similar to the Moto Z2 Force in design.

Moto X4 hands-on

The main camera features a 12 MP sensor with dual autofocus, f/2.0 aperture, and 1.4 µm pixel size, while the secondary camera is an 8 MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture, 1.12 µm pixel size, and 120-degree field of view. Motorola’s Depth Detection feature allows you to add bokeh and depth of field effects to your photos, although we have not had very long to test this feature out quite yet.

The handset is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery which is accompanied by Motorola’s Turbo Charge technology to help get you back up and running when your battery runs low. What’s more, it comes with IP68 dust and water resistance to help protect you if things do go wrong. Motorola has also brought Amazon’s Alexa to the device.

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So far, we’ve basically been rattling off specs that you can find in many other mid-tier handsets. But the X4 does stand out thanks to one new feature: a new Wireless Sound System that’s powered by French startup Tempow which allows your phone to truly become the centerpiece of your very own mobile disco.

There is one standout feature that allows your phone to truly become the centerpiece of your very own mobile disco

Utilizing the hardware stack and system access, Tempow’s software allows you to play music simultaneously on up to four Bluetooth-powered devices. The software is baked into the OS on the Moto X4, which means it connects and streams to any Bluetooth device, new or old, as long as it has the A2DP music profile or equivalent.

Moto X4 hands-on


For those who want to listen to audio on multiple devices at once, the Moto X4 could be the phone for you

 

Thanks to the company working directly with Motorola, Tempow has been able to add custom shortcuts to the settings menu. In the phone’s settings, you’ll find the ability to set speakers as the left, right, or both channels, as well as the ability to tweak audio profiles on a per-device basis. When you adjust the volume via the phone’s volume button, there’s also an option to adjust the volume for each connected device. Why would you want to do this? Maybe you want to have a bass-heavy speaker lower than a pair of headphones that prioritizes the mids and the highs.

For those who want to listen to audio on multiple devices at once, the Moto X4 could be the phone for you. Tempow is actually in talks to partner with other manufacturers in the near future, too, as it requires system access and swapping out of drivers. The company doesn’t plan to launch the feature as a standalone app, at least not for now.

Tempow partnership aside, the Moto X4 is a phone that blends into the crowd a little too much. It’s not the most unique looking device on the market, though the wireless surround system is a feature that’s not on any other device, at least for now. Simply put, Tempow is the best feature in an otherwise unexciting phone.

Simply put, Tempow is the best feature in an otherwise unexciting phone

 

What do you think of the Moto X4 so far? Do you think this will be your next phone? Is the ability to stream audio to multiple devices exciting enough for you? Let us know your views in the comments.

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