Motorola Moto E4 Plus review: A bigger screen and battery make a better smartphone?
Recently, we tested the latest budget-friendly smartphone from Motorola: the Moto E4. We also had the chance to check on its bigger brother, the Motorola Moto E4 Plus, and what it has to offer. Moto E4 Plus is essentially the same smartphone as the Moto E4 but with a larger screen, more RAM, a camera with more pixels and a monster battery with a capacity of 5000mAh. That sounds pretty good on paper, but how does it translate into your real-life experience? It this smartphone worth buying? Find out from our review:
What is the Motorola Moto E4 Plus smartphone good at?
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus is a suitable smartphone for:
- Basic smartphone needs such as calling others and browsing the internet
- People who hate charging their smartphones every day. The Motorola Moto E4 Plus can last for two days or more, on a single charge
- Those who want a smartphone with a large screen and battery but who are not willing to spend a lot of money
Where To Buy
Pros and cons
Here are some of the most positive aspects about the Motorola Moto E4 Plus:
- It has a competitive price tag
- The build quality is good for its price, and the body is made from aluminum
- The display has vivid colors and good brightness
- The battery can last for two days or more between charges
- It can connect to 4G LTE mobile networks
- It has a fingerprint reader that helps you unlock it quickly
- It comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat
On the other side, the Motorola Moto E4 Plus:
- Has very modest hardware and the performance it offers is lower than that of other smartphones with a similar price
- The display has a small resolution and pixel density
- Is a poor choice for gaming experiences
- The camera experience is far from ideal
Our experience with using and testing the Motorola Moto E4 Plus is a mixed one. We like this bulky smartphone for its big battery, good build quality, and low price. However, the weak performance and the low-resolution screen are things that we did not enjoy. Furthermore, even if the battery can last you for two days or more, this level of autonomy comes at the price of increased weight and thickness. That also makes the Motorola Moto E4 Plus a no-go for people who do not like carrying such a heavy smartphone. In the end, we believe this is a smartphone that is targeted at a rather narrow market segment: people who need a smartphone with a large battery and with a large screen, but who do not care about the performance or the camera experience, only about the basics a smartphone can do.
Hardware specifications and packaging
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus smartphone arrives in an orange box with a few blue accents, that is similar to the one we saw for the Motorola Moto E4. The box also has Motorola's blue balloon dog printed on its upper lid.
On the back of the box, you can see a few images of the smartphone and its main features. Inside the box, the smartphone sits on a paper tray. If you take everything out, you will find the smartphone, its AC power adapter and removable USB cable, a pair of headphones, the warranty card, a safety information document and the user manual.
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus is available in two color variations: Iron Gray and Fine Gold. The model that we tested was Iron Gray.
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus has a large display of 5.5 inches, and a low resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels and a pixel density of only 267 ppi. If you want to know more about what ppi means and why it is important, read this article: Simple questions: What is PPI and does it matter?. The screen is protected by 2.5D glass.
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus draws its power from a quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 processor and a MediaTek MT6737 chipset. The video part is handled by a Mali-T720 MP1 GPU that runs at 650MHz. The smartphone also benefits from 3 GB of RAM and offers 16GB or 32GB of internal flash storage space, depending on where you buy it. The model that we tested had 16GB of built-in storage space. If you need more room for pictures, music or other types of data, you can also insert a microSD card in the dedicated slot.
The main camera on the back of the smartphone has a sensor with a resolution of 13 megapixels, a f/2.0 aperture, autofocus and a LED flash. If you have read our review for the Motorola Moto E4, you might notice that the Moto E4 Plus has a better rear camera. As for the front camera, you get a 5-megapixel sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and a dedicated LED flash, which is quite unusual but a good thing for selfie lovers.
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus uses a Wi-Fi chip with support for the 802.11 b/g/n wireless standards and a Bluetooth 4.2 chip. It is not compatible with the 802.11 ac standard, and that means that you do not get high-speed data transfers through 5GHz wireless networks.
This smartphone also has a version that is Dual SIM, and that is the one we tested. Both SIM slots accept nano-SIMs and only one SIM card can connect and use 3G and 4G LTE networks at a time. The secondary SIM card can use the only 2G. Furthermore, the smartphone uses a Dual SIM Dual Standby implementation, which means that both SIM cards are active in standby, but when you take a call on one of them, the other becomes inactive. It is also worth mentioning that the microSD slot is separate, so you can use the smartphone in Dual SIM mode and add a microSD card at the same time.
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus has a variety of built-in sensors, among which we should mention the proximity sensor, the light sensor, the accelerometer and the fingerprint reader. The fingerprint sensor is a welcomed goodie that you do not often see on budget devices.
The smartphone gets its autonomy from an enormous battery, with a capacity of 5000mAh. That should keep the smartphone running for two days, but we will see if that happens later in this review.
Motorola Moto E4 Plus is a rather large and bulky smartphone: it is 6.1 inches (155 mm) in length, 3.05 inches (77.5 mm) in width and 0.37 inches (9.55) mm in thickness. It is also a pretty heavy device, at 6.98 ounces or 198 grams.
For more details about the hardware specifications and features of the Motorola Moto E4 Plus, visit this web page: Moto E4 Plus Specs.
The unboxing was pleasant, and the bundled accessories are more than you see on other smartphones with similar pricing. Although the hardware specifications are not impressive, the huge 5000 mAh battery is.
Design and build quality
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus smartphone is a copy of its smaller brother, the Motorola Moto E4, just bigger. What is definitory for the design of this smartphone are the top and bottom edges, which are slightly curved, and the circular camera and LED flash area. Other than that, the Moto E4 Plus is relatively conservative regarding design.
This is a large smartphone, because of the large 5.5-inch screen and the monstrous 5000 mAh battery. The Moto E4 Plus is also heavy because of its battery. This and the metallic body only add to the feeling that you are dealing with a robust and well-made device.
The large display dominates the front side of the smartphone. Towards the bottom, you will find the fingerprint reader but nothing else. The smartphone uses the software implementation for the default Android buttons: Back, Home and Recent apps.
On the upper part of the display, there is a small gray moto logo, followed by the earpiece, front camera and LED flash.
The back of the Motorola Moto E4 Plus is where you can find the circular camera module with its LED flash. In the center area of the smartphone's back cover, you can also see the M logo that stands for Motorola.
Looking at the smartphone from above, the left edge is empty, the top edge holds the 3.5 mm audio jack, the right edge is home to the power button and volume rocker, and the bottom edge is where you find the micro USB 2.0 port, the microphone, and the loudspeaker grille. The positions of all these elements are as common as it can be for any Android smartphone so you will easily find any button or port you are looking for.
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus is a budget device, but that does not mean that Motorola did not try to create a well-built smartphone out of it. It is an inexpensive smartphone, but it looks good and feels robust.
If you would like to read more about the smartphone experience offered by Motorola Moto E4 Plus, its camera, bundled apps, and performance in benchmarks, open the second page of this review.