Motorola Moto E4 review: Redefining low budget Android smartphones

Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

The market for budget smartphones is very competitive, with many vendors that are permanently fighting to get their share. Motorola has recently launched two budget-friendly smartphones called Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus. Over the last week, we have used and tested the Motorola Moto E4, a smartphone that is sold at the incredibly small price tag of only 100 dollars. It looks good, and it promises to offer a decent user experience so who could say no to this smartphone? If you want to find out whether the Motorola Moto E4 is a bargain or not, read our review:

What is the Motorola Moto E4 smartphone good at?

The Motorola Moto E4 is a good smartphone for:

  • Basic smartphone needs such as calling others and browsing the internet
  • People who do not want to charge their smartphones every day. The Motorola Moto E4 can last for more than a day on one charge
  • Individuals who want to spend little money on a smartphone. The Motorola Moto E4 has a meager price tag

Pros and cons

Here are some of the most positive aspects about the Motorola Moto E4:

  • It has a very affordable price
  • The build quality is surprisingly good for its price, and the body is made from metal
  • The display has vivid colors and good brightness
  • The battery can last you for more than a day 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, while most smartphones at a similar price don’t

On the other side, the Motorola Moto E4:

  • Has very modest hardware and the performance it offers is lower than other budget smartphones that we have tested
  • The display has a low resolution
  • Is a poor choice for gaming experiences
  • The camera experience is far from ideal
Product Rated
4/5

Verdict

The Motorola Moto E4 is a very cheap Android smartphone. Sure, the hardware is on the weak side of things, and the camera experience is far from being ideal. However, for one hundred bucks you get a working smartphone with a new version of Android (7.1.1 Nougat), a good display, a fingerprint reader and a large enough battery to last you for more than a day on a single charge. Furthermore, this smartphone also looks pretty good, and it has a metal back cover. These are not things that you often find on smartphones sold at this price tag. If you want a decent Android smartphone that does all the basics people need and does not look cheap although it is, then Motorola Moto E4 is one of the best choices you could make.

Hardware specifications and packaging

The Motorola Moto E4 Android smartphone comes in a bright orange cardboard box. It looks good, and it feels aimed at a young audience. The blue balloon shaped like a dog that is printed on the Motorola logo adds to that impression.

On the back of the package, you can see a few pictures with the smartphone and its most important features. If you want more details about the smartphone, you can look on the sides of the box: one of them should hold a sticker with more information.

Inside the box you will find the Motorola Moto E4 sitting on top of a paper tray. Under the paper tray, you will find the bundled accessories: an AC power adapter with a detachable USB to micro USB data cable, a pair of earphones, the warranty card, a safety information leaflet and the user manual.

The Motorola Moto E4 is available in three color variations: Iron Gray, Blush Gold, and Oxford Blue. The model that we tested was the gray model.

Motorola Moto E4 has a 5-inch screen with an HD 720p resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels. The screen has a pixel density of 294 PPI, which is not much but it is expected from a budget device. The front of the smartphone, including the screen, is protected from dust and scratches by the 2.5D glass.

The smartphone is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor running at 1.3 GHz, on a MediaTek MT6737 chipset. For the video, it uses a Mali-T720 MP1 graphic chip that runs at 650MHz. As for the memory and storage, the Motorola Moto E4 has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage space. If you need more room for storing your photos, music or any other type of data, you can also add a microSD card, next to the removable battery.

The rear camera has 8 megapixels, an aperture of f/2.2, autofocus, and an LED flash. The front camera has 5 megapixels, a f/2.2 aperture and, interesting enough, a dedicated LED flash.

The connectivity to the rest of the world and other devices is assured by a Wi-Fi chip that offers support for the 802.11 b/g/n standards and a Bluetooth 4.2 chip. The Motorola Moto E4 does not have support for the 802.11 ac wireless standard, and that means that it cannot connect to networks that are broadcast on the 5GHz frequency.

Among the built-in sensors, we have to mention the fact that the smartphone has an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and a fingerprint reader, which is something you do not usually see on budget devices that cost around 100 USD.

The autonomy of the Motorola Moto E4 is offered by a removable battery with a capacity of 2800 mAh.

The smartphone is a rather small device for today’s standards, with a length of 5.7 inches (144.7 mm), a width of 2.85 inches (72.3 mm) and a thickness of 0.37 inches (9.3 mm). It weighs 5.33 ounces (151 grams).

For more details about the hardware specifications and features of the Motorola Moto E4, visit this web page: Moto E4 Specs.

The unboxing experience we had for the Motorola Moto E4 was a pleasant one: we appreciated the fact that unlike other vendors, Motorola also included a pair of earphones in the package. The hardware specifications are not impressive, but we did not expect them to be since this is a low budget smartphone.

Design and build quality

The design of the Moto E4 tells you immediately that this is a Motorola smartphone. The top and bottom edges have a slight curvature that is specific to Motorola. The Moto E4 is a rather small device, having a screen of only 5 inches in diagonal. However, it feels heavy for its size. That is not a bad thing in our opinion, mainly because it is the consequence of the rather large battery and the metal body of the smartphone. Yes, this smartphone is a budget device, but somehow Motorola managed to offer it an aluminum body and that is great!

The front of the Motorola Moto E4 is home to the screen, the fingerprint reader on the bottom area and the front camera, earpiece and LED flash on the top area. Between the earpiece and the screen, there is also a small and subtle gray moto logo.

On the back of the smartphone, the first thing that catches your eye is the camera and the LED flash which is found inside a small bump with a circular form. Also in the center of the back area, there is the M logo for Motorola, and towards the bottom right there is the loudspeaker grille.

As for the buttons and ports placement, the Motorola Moto E4 is as traditional as it can be. On the top edge, you can find the 3.5 mm audio jack, on the right side, there are the power button and the volume rocker, and on the bottom edge, there is only the micro USB 2.0 port and a small microphone pinhole. In other words, everything is where it should be.

The default Android buttons for Back, Home and Recent apps are all software and are displayed on the screen, not on the body of the smartphone. It feels a bit awkward to have the Home button right above the fingerprint reader, but after a while, you can accommodate to this arrangement.

The Motorola Moto E4 is a smartphone that follows the traditional design lines of Motorola phones. There is nothing spectacular or innovative about that, but we appreciate its build quality. Moto E4 is a budget device with a metal body that looks good and feels robust.

If you would like to read more about the smartphone experience offered by Motorola Moto E4, its camera, bundled apps, and performance in benchmarks, read the second page of this review.