Along with the debut of Motorola’s Z2 Play last month, the company also released the Motorola E4. The Moto E4 is the latest in Motorola’s low-cost Moto E series. While it definitely isn’t the best phone on the market, its low price can’t be beaten when all of the phone’s features are taken into account.
While its design is a bit basic compared to other phones, the Moto E4 is still a slick looking device. It comes in three different colours, Iron Grey, Blush Gold and Oxford Blue. The phone is light, weighing in at 151 grams, but its 5″ screen size is smaller than most phones are today. The screen uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with oleophobic coating as protection, but due to the size only features 720p resolution. The one problem I did find with the display was that lighter colours looked slightly off. This flaw isn’t very noticeable unless directly comparing to another device, but it was an issue once I noticed it. Those planning to watch a lot of videos on this phone should be aware of this problem.
The back of the phone features nothing but the outer camera and the classic Motorola icon. On its right side are the volume and power buttons, with a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. Located at the bottom of the phone is a USB port, supporting micro USB 2.0. Just above the USB port is the phone’s fingerprint scanner, but as with other Motorola phones, the Moto E4’s fingerprint scanner does not act as a home or back button. The phone’s vibration is another flaw, lacking in strength.
Anyone interested in owning the Moto E4 should already be aware that the phone isn’t a powerhouse. While it does run smoothly the majority of the time, there are occasional hiccups when moving through the phone’s menus or when browsing the Internet. The Moto E4 uses a MediaTek MT6737 chipset with a Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and a Mali-T720 GPU. Anyone looking to do an intensive mobile gaming would be better off with another phone. When it comes to storage, the Moto E4 only has 16GB but can be upgraded to 128GB through its microSD card slot.
The Moto E4 runs on Android’s 7.1.1 Nougat OS, Google’s most recent operating system. This works well with the phone and makes everything easy to find while not taking up any extra storage space. Those who use Android Pay will be out of luck due to the Moto E4’s lack of NFC technology. Unlike a lot of Motorola’s high-end devices, the Moto E4 doesn’t feature any physical gestures. The phone does have basic features, however, such as the Moto Display which can turn on night mode and show notifications on the lock screen.
The camera that the Moto E4 uses is basic, to say the least. The back features an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, with a front-facing camera that is 5 megapixels. It also allows for geotagging, panorama and HDR. However, unless you’re in well-lit areas, don’t expect the photo quality to turn out well at all. The highlight of the Moto E4’s front camera is that it features LED flash. While this doesn’t entirely make up for the camera’s overall low quality, it does help to somewhat increase the quality photo. The Moto E4 is able to record 720p video at 30fps.
The sound quality of the Moto E4 is decent, but when compared to other phones the volume can’t go nearly as high. At max volume, the sound quality decreases slightly but it isn’t actually noticeable unless you listen closely.
Similar to the Motorola Z2 Play, one of the Moto E4’s best features is its long-lasting battery life. The phone uses a removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery. With light use, the Moto E4 can easily last two days. With heavy use, it can last up to a day and a half. The Moto E4 is charges at an average rate, taking about one-and-a-half hours.
There really isn’t much worth talking about when it comes to the Moto E4. At the low cost of $200, it’s understandable that consumers will be receiving the quality they are paying for. Everything about this phone screams “basic”. While it’s far from being the worst phone out there, it makes more sense, in the end, to spend a little extra money on something like the Moto G5 and receive all the benefits that come with it. While this phone is usable, its flaws are easier to spot than other phones in the same price range. If you can’t afford anything more, the Moto E4 has got you mostly covered.