- Weak camera
- Limited Moto Action support
- Limited internal storage
- Not meant for heavy gaming or multitasking
- No NFC
The Moto E series is known for offering a respectable entry-level phone experience at rock-bottom prices. However, with the competition growing in the budget market, their latest release—the Motorola Moto E4—has a higher bar to reach than ever.
A great entry-level phone is all about compromise. Does the E4 cut the right corners?
Reviewers have had time to put the new phone through its paces and are sharing their thoughts. Let’s see what they're saying!
Unlike much of the 2017 Moto line-up, the E4 features an all-plastic design. Despite this, reviewers loved how it felt in their hand and mentioned that it looks as good as Motorola’s mid-tier options. Android Police declared, “... When you actually get it in your hand, the Moto E4 feels surprisingly solid.”
Around front the 5-inch 720p LCD screen satisfied most reviewers. Many were quick to point out that the color accuracy is lower than a high-end phone. But the price is lower too. Visibility in bright light and viewing angles—common issues for budget phones—were no problem. Phone Arena summed up opinions well, saying, “... The display isn’t breath-taking but certainly gets the job done.”
Motorola’s choice of processor is where the budget roots of this phone show. It features a 1.4Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 425 chip and 2GB of RAM. Reviewers were quick to point out that heavy gaming isn’t the phone’s strong suit. However, few had problems with daily tasks, such as checking email, streaming videos or using GPS navigation. Even multitasking with Android’s new split-screen feature fared well.
Phone Arena gave a great summary of the phone’s performance, saying, “By no means is this the fastest phone we’ve ever tested—the benchmarks are clear about that—but in everyday usage, light or heavy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find similar performance at this price-point.”
The phone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Reviews indicate that bloatware is minimal. However, with only 10GB of the 16GB of internal storage free fresh from the box, you’ll probably want to take advantage of the microSD slot if you plan to install any games or store media on your phone.
Due to a lack of sensors, the Moto E only includes a few of the Moto Action gesture controls available to other models. You must double-press the power button to launch the camera and there’s no handy double-chop to launch the flashlight.
Speaking of cameras, this was one of the weakest areas in most reviews. The phone includes an 8MP rear camera with autofocus and a front-facing 5MP lens with LED flash.
Reviewers had issues with lens flares and details washing out in bright light. Low light brought a lack of detail, noisy shots and blur. Android Police summed up opinions well, saying, “... The 8MP camera on the Moto E4 is better than other phones in this price range, but it's not a very good camera objectively.”
Fortunately, opinions improved for battery life. The phone includes a 2,800mAh removable battery. Full top offs require nearly two hours of charge time. However, you can swap the battery out for a spare in emergencies—a feature becoming rarer in recent years. Most reviewers had no trouble squeezing a full day of moderate use from a single charge.
Overall, reviewers would recommend the phone with a disclaimer that it’s good for its price.
Business Insider had an excellent summary of the phone in their verdict, saying, “Camera imperfections aside, the Moto E4 makes its inevitable sacrifices in the right places. It doesn't feel cheap, it's strong enough to get by, and its take on Android is light and user-friendly. It's perfectly coherent, and it rarely offends; that in itself is an upgrade from the ultra-cheap phones of years past."