December 29, 2016

Moto G4 Review with Tracfone BYOP

Moto G4 Review and How to Activate with Tracfone BYOP

Below we share our review of the Unlocked Moto G4, and how you can use it with Tracfone BYOP. Here at TracfoneReviewer we share a variety of informational bout Tracfone Wireless. If you're new, be sure to take a loot at some of the other posts we have created.

tracfone moto g4 review
Moto G4 Review for Tracfone Prepaid
The Moto G4 is the 4th generation of a line of phones from Motorola that have been hugely successful for their combination of great features at a reasonable price.

The 4th iteration of the Moto G is no exception and brings a lineup of solid performance, reliability and long battery life for a starting price of $200.

Below we will share our review of the Moto G4 (and G4 Plus/G4 Play), and how it works with Tracfone BYOP and a brief guide to activating it.

There are several different versions of the Moto G4, each with a handful of differences, but mostly the same features. The three main versions are the Moto G4, Moto G4 Play, and Moto G4 Plus. The G4 Play is cheaper than the regular G4, but has a smaller screen and certain other changes. Likewise the Moto G4 Plus has some improvements over the G4, at a higher cost.

Let's take a look at the specs for each of these phones, starting with the mid-priced option, the Moto G4.

Moto G4 Features and Specs

These are the main features and specs. For a complete rundown, visit GSMArena.
moto g4 review
Moto G4
  • 4G LTE Compatible with Both GSM and CDMA networks
  • Android 6.0.1 with upgrade to Android 7.0 in near future
  • Screen: 5.5" IPS LCD with Full HD Resolution (1080x1920) and Gorilla Glass 3
  • Processor: Octa-core (Quad-core 1.5 Ghz and Quad-core 1.2 Ghz)
  • Memory: 16 or 32 GB (plus Micro SD Card Slot)
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP Rear, 5 MP Front with 1080p recording
  • Battery: 3000 mAh removable
  • Price: 16 GB for $199 / 32 GB for $229
You also get all of the other typical features found on a smartphone like GPS, WiFI, FM Radio, MP3 Player, threaded SMS, email, and more.

There are three big features that stand out on the Moto G4 compared to Tracfone smartphones in this price range. The G4 has an Octa-core processor for great multitasking capability, 2 GB RAM to complement that, and a 13 MP Camera with plenty of features.

We recently reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Sky, which was released for closer to $120, but only has a quad-core processor, 1.5 GB RAM and 5 MP Camera.

Let's take a look at another version of the Moto G4 that is cheaper, and also a little smaller.

Moto G4 Play Features and Specs

These are the main features and specs. For a complete rundown, visit GSMArena.
    moto g4 play review
    Moto G4 Play
    • 4G LTE Compatible with Both GSM and CDMA networks
    • Android 6.0.1 with upgrade to Android 7.0 in near future
    • Screen: 5" IPS LCD with HD Resolution (720x1280)
    • Processor: Quad-core 1.2 Ghz
    • Memory: 16 GB (plus Micro SD Card Slot)
    • RAM: 2 GB
    • Camera: 8 MP Rear, 5 MP Front with 1080p recording
    • Battery: 2800 mAh removable
    • Price: $149 (sometimes as low as $129)
    As you can see, the Moto G4 has a smaller, 5" touchscreen, just a quad-core processor and only 8 MP rear camera. However, it still comes with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB memory and Android 6.0.1 (with upgrade to 7.0 coming soon).

    The Moto G4 Play is built more for the everyday causal users, but still has decent specs to handle most games or apps.

    For the real powerhouse of the Moto G4 lineup, let's look at the G4 Plus.

    Moto G4 Plus Features and Specs

    These are the main features and specs. For a complete rundown, visit GSMArena.
    moto g4 plus review
    Moto G4 Plus
    • 4G LTE Compatible with Both GSM and CDMA networks
    • Android 6.0.1 with upgrade to Android 7.0 in near future
    • Screen: 5.5" IPS LCD with Full HD Resolution (1080x1920) and Gorilla Glass 3
    • Processor: Octa-core (Quad-core 1.5 Ghz and Quad-core 1.2 Ghz)
    • Memory: 16 GB or 64 GB (plus Micro SD Card Slot)
    • RAM: 2 GB with 16 GB Version / 4 GB with 64 GB Version
    • Camera: 16 MP Rear, 5 MP Front with 1080p recording/720p slow motion
    • Battery: 3000 mAh non-removable
    • Price: 16 GB for $249 / 64 GB for $299
    The Moto G4 Plus also has a fingerprint reader for unlocking the device.

    If you're going to spend the extra money on the G4 Plus, you might as well get the 64 GB version because it also comes with 4 GB RAM. This pairs very nicely with the octa-core processor for more demanding apps or games. More RAM allows the phone to have more going on at once, so it will be less likely to freeze or slow down.

    The fingerprint sensor is surprisingly useful and convenient for quickly and securely unlocking the device. It does have trouble recognizing a fingerprint if it is wet.

    Review of the Moto G4 on Tracfone BYOP

    We will go into a little more depth on some of the features for the G4 and discuss the pro's and con's of the Moto G4, G4 Play and G4 Plus.

    tracfone moto g4
    Moto G4 Review

    The internal memory and RAM on the Moto G4 is very acceptable in a budget smartphone and the Octa-core processor allows the phone to keep up with most apps and games. For low to moderate smartphone users, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB memory is plenty. However, for users who will be taking a lot of photos or video, or want to load a lot of apps on the phone, 32 GB or even 64 GB will be a better choice.

    The fact that the G4 Play also comes with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB memory is a great deal. It doesn't have the same processor however, running just a quad-core 1.5 Ghz processor.

    There is some occasional lag and stuttering on the G4 (all versions), which likely is not from a lack of processing power, but more likely due to firmware issues that need to be cleaned up. The phone may see some improvements when upgraded to Android 7.0, and let's hope that includes the stuttering issues. It isn't a very common issue, and only appears occasionally in certain applications or when switching between windows.

    The 5.5" screen on the G4 and G4 Plus is full HD 1080x1920 resolution and looks great with good brightness and contrast levels. It also has Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The G4 Play has the smaller 5" screen with HD 720x1280 resolution and also looks quite good.

    When it comes to the camera, the Moto G4 Plus has a 16 MP rear camera with a larger sensor compared to the G4 at 13 MP, and better low light shooting plus laser auto focus. It is a very nice improvement, and renders nice, clear photos in good lighting conditions. While it is also better at low light versus the G4, the G4 Plus still doesn't take great low light photos (but few smartphones do).

    The 8 MP camera on the G4 Play can take good photos in good lighting conditions, but don't expect much more out of it. All three phones have a variety of different features like panorama, HDR and flash.

    All three versions of the G4 are capable of recording full HD video at 30 fps. Video quality is good, and the phone does have optical image stabilization to help smooth out your shots. Videos shot at night do have noticeable noise.

    Battery life on the Moto G4 is excellent, with the G4 Play providing the best battery performance of the three (due to the smaller processor and screen). These phones truly have 'all day' battery life and on many occasions we've noticed nearly 50% charge remaining after a full day with moderate use. Charging speed is also impressive, with all three devices charging very quickly.

    Finally, what makes the Moto G4 such a great device to pair with Tracfone BYOP is that you can use it with either CDMA or GSM service. Just choose the correct SIM card, and follow the activation process (which we will provide more details on further along).

    To Summarize the Main Pro's and Con's with the Moto G4:
    The Good:
    -Good combination of processor, RAM and Internal Memory
    -Large, Clear Touchscreen
    -Excellent Value
    -Compatible with both CDMA and GSM
    -Very Clean Android OS with Update to 7.0 Coming Soon

    The Bad:
    -Occasional stuttering/lag
    -No blinking notification light
    -Low Light Photo Quality is not Great

    Overall, our experience using the Moto G4 Plus with Tracfone BYOP has been nearly flawless. Data and picture messaging (MMS) have both worked without any issues.

    The phone itself is fast, powerful and has plenty of storage. The 5.5" screen is large, but easy to get used to and videos, games or photos look great on it. The single front speaker does a good job, and gets loud enough for most needs.

    The occasional stuttering is not very noticeable, but should be considered when purchasing this phone.

    Which Moto G4 Version is Right for You?

    Originally Motorola had three different 'budget' phones; the Moto E, Moto G and Moto X. They have now decided to just offer one phone, but with three variations.

    All three of the new variations on the Moto G are great value for the money, and they target different people who have different needs for a phone.

    Moto G4 screen size
    Moto G4 Screen Size vs Moto G4 Play and Moto G4 Plus

    The Moto G4 has great specs for the price, but may be limited on internal memory unless you choose the 32GB option.

    With the G4 Play you get a smaller and cheaper phone, but also sacrifice some performance and camera resolution.

    For the 64 GB Moto G4 Plus you get lots of memory and RAM, plus other great features, but the cost starts to get a little high for some, and there are a number of other good phones in this price range (each with certain pro's and con's).

    In the end, the right phone for you is one that you can afford, and will fit the demands you plan to put on the device. For many, the Moto G4 Play is more than adequate with nice snappy performance, and a convenient size.

    However, for just $50 more the regular G4 has a number of improvements that make it a good choice for moderate to heavy smartphone users. It has a better processor for running more apps, and an improved camera.

    We've seen all of the versions of the Moto G4 on sale for $20 or more below retail price, so it might be worthwhile to wait for a sale if you need to get the most bang for your buck.

    How to Activate the Moto G4 on Tracfoen BYOP

    The Moto G4 can be activated as either a CDMA or GSM device. We've tested it on Tracfone's GSM network with complete success. We have also received reports of successful activation on the CDMA network, although some users have run into issues.

    Here are the steps for activating the Moto G with Tracfone BYOP:
    1. Buy an Unlocked Moto G4, G4 Play or G4 Plus (see below for where to buy)
    2. Purchase a Tracfone SIM kit (available online and in many stores for $1)
    3. Choose whether you will activate with CDMA or GSM coverage, and use the matching Micro SIM card from the kit.
    4. Insert the SIM card into the phone by removing the back cover, taking out the existing SIM tray, and replacing it with the Micro SIM card.
    5. Visit the Tracfone website or call Tracfone to continue the activation process, which will include choosing if you want to activate a new phone number or transfer an existing number.
    6. Once activation is complete, test the functionality. Sometimes turning the phone off(by holding down the power button for 3 seconds) and back on is required before the phone recognizes the SIM.

    For additional activation information, and advice on what to do if you run into problems, visit our Tracfone Smartphone Activation Guide.

    If you already have a device on Tracfone's BYOP program, and it uses the same SIM card, you can actually just take it out of one device and put it in the other. We tested this going from a 1st generation Moto G to the Moto G4 Plus and everything worked after restarting the phone, including MMS and Data. We don't necessarily recommend this route, but, as of yet, we've experienced no issues.

    Where to Buy the Moto G4/ G4 Play/ G4 Plus

    The Moto G4 is available from several different major retailers including Walmart, BestBuy, Target, Amazon and others. Below are links for online retail options:

    Moto G4 - Available from Amazon (currently on sale for $179), Motorola, BestBuy

    Moto G4 Play - Available from Amazon, BestBuy

    Moto G4 Plus - Available from Amazon Motorola, BestBuy

    There are plenty of cases on covers available from both Amazon and eBay.

    That concludes our review of the Moto G4. We hope this information is helpful for those considering this phone as an option to use with Tracfone BYOP. There are also many other great smartphones to use, and we've even created a list of the Top 6 Smartphones to use with Tracfone BYOP.

    Leave a comment below with any questions or thoughts you want to share. All comments are moderated for a short period of time before posting.

    Also get involved on our Facebook Page where we share the latest news and information with our active community of over 2300.

    For more information on the BYOP program, visit our Tracfone BYOP page. And you can also take a look at some of Tracfone's smartphone options on our Cell Phone Reviews page.

    Thanks for visiting!


    Anonymous said...

    I was just at Costco yesterday and they had the Moto G4 32GB unlocked for $175. This was in-store and the price will last until 12/31/16. May or may not stay the same price next month.

    Tracman said...

    Bought two of the unlocked 32GB MOTO G4 phones from our local Costco for $175 each (they are no longer available at this store). Could not activate them as CDMA phones on the BYOP program, but did activate them as GSM phones. The MOTO G4, in my opinion, is a great phone for the money, and better than any Tracfone I have owned to-date. FYI...Motorola identifies the battery as being non-removable, but it looks like it could be removed by removing one screw.

    Anonymous said...

    This phone makes me wonder, as it is both CDMA and GSM compatible can I take it with me overseas, but a prepaid SIM card there and have it work while I'm travelling?

    Anonymous said...

    This was perfect timing for this review since I just bought the G4 at the Costco Warehouse in Georgia for $175 on sale the other day. I was able to activate it as CDMA and transfer all my data and phone number on-line very quickly today with no problems at all. This is my first BYOP experience and a so far a fantastic upgrade from my LG Ultimate 2. I really appreciate the great reviews and information your blog provides!

    Anonymous said...

    Will you be able to keep your existing TracFone number and transfer your remaining minutes text and data?

    Anonymous said...

    I'm concerned about the negative reviews on some websites about this G4 phone having a display that destabilizes, where the screen shakes and the phone becomes unusable. Anyone have any information if that's been fixed?

    Anonymous said...

    I too bought from Costco right before the new year for $175. Went from LG Ultimate 2 to this. But I do miss LG's quick access bar for turning on or off the wifi/data/sound etc. This Moto requires an extra step for each. The main/only reason I left the Ultimate 2 was because it didn't react quickly enough for Waze, so sometimes I missed a turn. Other than that, I was very satisfied with it.
    Keep up the good work!

    Anonymous said...

    I called Tracfone, and was told this phone would work with the BYOP program. I transferred my old number and minutes over the phone, they helped me 'test' it out: text, data, etc., all was fine. Two days later my number was deleted, the phone was useless. Tracfone sent out new sim cards, activated me again, but now I can't send or receive a picture within a text as I could before. I was told, "there is no guarantee a BYOP with work properly", but it did the first couple days. And, I already bought more minutes/texts/data. Anyone know what's up with no picture in texts? Can you post here? My contract is up Sept.....I hope this gets fixed or I am forced to switch. TY

    John Kretschmann said...

    Ordered an almost new unlocked Moto G4 Play off of eBay the other day, got it today along with a Tracfone BYOP CDMA SIM kit. Tracfone has done an amazing job of making the BYOP process as easy as possible. It literally took me 5 minutes to activate my new phone and transfer my old phone number along with the remaining balance of my Tracfone plan over to the new phone. It was completely seamless and I did it all online without having to call customer service.

    Unknown said...


    Marikka James said...

    After much research including recommendations on this site, I purchased a new unlocked Moto G4 plus 64mb. While waiting a week or so for my sim activation kit to arrive, I have enjoyed surfing the web via WiFi. Today, however, I called Tracfone to activate the phone and transfer my Tracfone account, minutes, texts, and data from my old Alcatel phone and ran smack dab into a brick wall. My old phone was on verizon so I thought it best to just stay there as the Moto G4's are compatible with both. After 2 hours with tech support, my phone is still not functional as a phone. Not sure where my data, minutes and texts are, but am fearful of losing them too. At the end, we tried using the GSM SIM and going with AT&T, but as of now, 6 hours later, still no service! Very frustrating......

    Marikka James said...

    So, Tracfone will not or cannot activate this phone through the Verizon network. They did however activate it through AT&T and now my phone works and all data, minutes and texts have also been transferred. I just wish it was clear from the start that Verizon does not recognize this phone. But, all's well that ends well...

    David Jarrett said...

    I'm currently using the CDMA Samsung Galaxy S4 as a Tracfone BYOP device.
    I'd like to upgrade to the Moto G4 plus, and I am wondering if this would be as simple as swapping the existing SIM card from the S4 into the G4, since they both have the same size SIM slot?
    Or would I need to use a New SIM card from one of the multi sim kits I have and then do an account transfer?
    Lastly, are there any problems using the G4 plus on the Verizon network? TMobile is the default carrier in my market, but signal reception at my home address makes this a non-starter for my needs.

    David Jarrett said...

    No clear resolution yet as to whether or not the G4 models will work on the Tracfone/Verizon network?
    Has anyone been able to successfully upgrade an existing Tracfone/Verizon network account to use with the G4/G4+ ?
    Pricing on the G4+ is at an all time low, would like to pull the trigger, but no price is a good deal on a phone that won't work on the network I need to be on.

    David Jarrett said...

    FWIW, I was able to do the Sim Swap trick from my old Verizon Galaxy S4 (SCH-I545) into the new G4+ with zero problems. Based on prior comments here, I didn't even try to get it signed up directly for Tracfone/Verizon BYOP, mainly because I have concerns about the new phone being Slim Locked. I did set up a 30 day test SIM on Tracfone/TMobile with zero problems.
    Sadly, my particular G4+ developed severe ghost touch problems within the first week, and has now been sent back to B&H for replacement.