Motorola Moto E4 review: This is the super-cheap phone to get

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The Good The Moto E4 has a near stock version of Android Nougat, a fingerprint reader, a removeable battery, a selfie flash and is splash resistant -- all while being ridiculously cheap.

The Bad The display is hard to see in sunlight and the camera is slow to process photos.

The Bottom Line The Moto E4 is the cheapest Motorola phone but doesn't compromise too much on its amenities.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Camera 7
  • Battery 8

Motorola makes wonderful budget phones like the Moto G5 and the G5 Plus. Its newest addition is the Moto E4 which packs a lot of features: Android Nougat 7.1, a fingerprint sensor, a removeable battery and a selfie flash all within a body the size of a chubby iPhone 7. The E4 is ridiculously cheap: $130, £129 or AU$249 for an unlocked model. Here in the US, an Amazon Prime version with lock screen ads is $99 and one on a Verizon prepaid plan is just $70.

There are times where the low cost shows. The processor is slow, the display is hard to view in sunlight and the camera is sluggish to process shots. If this is a deal breaker, you can pay a bit more for one of Motorola's other budget phones that have higher specs.

In the US and UK, Motorola also makes the E4 Plus, which has a larger screen, a bigger battery and a higher megapixel camera for $180 and £159, respectively. On paper, the UK version seems worth the £30 upgrade since it comes with 3GB of RAM instead of the 2GB found in the US version.

In Australia, there's the Moto G5, which has a better metal build, a higher resolution display and a higher megapixel camera for AU$50 more.

The reason you buy the E4 is its price. And for the price, it's amazing what Motorola gives you. Its nearest rival is the Samsung Galaxy J3 which costs more, takes worse photos and lacks the overall charm of the E4. But if the E4's compromises, such as an average camera, make you sad, remind yourself how much it costs. Still sad? Get the Moto G5 Plus ($150 at Amazon).

Motorola budget phones in the US

Moto E4 (16GB) Moto E4 Plus (16GB) Moto G5 Plus (32GB) Moto G5 Plus (64GB)
Unlocked price $130 $180 $229 $299
Display 5-inch 1,280x720 pixels 5.5-inch 1,280x720 pixels 5.2-inch 1,980x1080 pixels 5.2-inch 1,980x1080 pixels
Processor 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon (425 or 427) 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Battery 2,800mAh (removable) 5,000mAh 3,000mAh 3,000mAh
NFC No No Yes Yes
Camera (rear and front) 8-megapixel, 5 megapixel 13-megapixel, 5-megapixel 12-megapixel, 5-megapixel 12-megapixel, 5-megapixel
Video 1080p HD 1080p HD 4K 4K

It's positively Moto

The E4's slick glass display looks handsome, but in my hand the plastic back feels low-end. The phone's charm comes from details like a textured sleep/wake button, a selfie flash and a fingerprint sensor.

My favorite E4 feature, one button navigation, turns the fingerprint sensor into a mini navigation touchpad. It's also on the Moto G5 and G5 Plus.

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