With four of this year’s big-name smartphone makers having already announced — and some launched — their most important smartphones for 2016, our attention can turn to the rest. For the past few years, the Moto G has undoubtedly been Motorola’s (now Lenovo’s) most important device range. With competitive specs, a low price and — most importantly — stock Android software, the G has long been a recipe for success. And this year, the range could be getting a serious feature upgrade: A fingerprint sensor.
Over the past couple of days, leaks seemingly showed a square-shaped fingerprint sensor for the upcoming 4th gen Moto G. Today, new images have surfaced (via NWE) showing the Moto G4 in the flesh, and in much more detail. These images corroborate the previous leaks and clearly show a square fingerprint scanner on the bottom of the front panel. What’s more, this seems to be a relatively large smartphone, suggesting that rumors of a ‘Plus’ model are accurate.
While we’ve seen the fingerprint sensor before, we haven’t seen the back panel, which has a redesigned camera housing. The camera still sits in a centered, vertical pill-shaped panel, but it’s no longer a matte-finish panel. Instead, it seems as though Motorola is going with a black, glass camera panel instead. As usual, it seems like the camera will sit alongside a dual LED flash and will also be placed below a sensor of some kind.
It’s worth noting that the texture on the back has completely changed too. Rather than have a grippy rear with a series of raised, fine diagonal lines like current Moto phones, the surface appears to be completely smooth. Of course, there’s the usual Moto ‘dimple’ for the ‘M’ logo, and the camera housing is slightly protruding from the rear surface.
Weirdly, the front panel has what looks like a microphone hole alongside the fingerprint sensor right on the glass. We can only hope that having it so visible right on the front provides a technological advantage. Manufacturers normally place the mic on the bottom edge, or somewhere far less visible.
With physical leaks showing up now, we’re inclined to believe WSJ’s report that Lenovo will launch a Moto-branded handset in July this year. One big question is whether or not Moto phones’ focus on design and customization will continue under Lenovo’s stewardship. Will we see Moto Maker continue, allowing buyers to choose their color schemes and materials, or will the Moto range join the black and white only trend?