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Moto E4 Plus Review

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Moto E4 Plus Review

James Shisiah

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What We Love

  • Impressive battery life up to 2 days
  • Water-repellant coating
  • Incredible display
  • Premium design

Overview

Motorola Moto E4 Plus will impress you in almost everything. To start off, it is available from all major USA cell phone carriers, as well as an unlocked version. The expansive 5.5-inch display is incredibly vivid, and it is backed up with just the right power from the 5000mAh battery that promises to keep you connected for up to two days. It runs the more recent Android 7.1 Nougat, has a powerful quad-core processor, a 13MP rear shooter, incredible storage options, and comes at a price that won’t put a dent in your pocket. Let’s dive into the full review.

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Unboxing

The Moto E4 Plus is luckily one of the few phones that happens to work with several wireless cell phone carriers in the USA. It is available from Republic Wireless, Sprint, US Cellular, Verizon Prepaid, and an unlocked version directly from Motorola’s Website. We will discuss more on the wireless plan pricing in a section below. We got ours from Republic Wireless. Now, in the box we have the Motorola E4 Plus gadget, standard USB cable, a pair of headsets, a rapid charger, user manual, service guide and a quick startup guide.

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Design

The Moto E4 Plus is available in two colors: Fine Gold and Iron Gray. It is a sold built phone with metal glass design: glass on the front, metal on the frame and back. It is bigger than its 5-inch sibling, the Moto E4, coming in at 5.5-inches. The back cover, which hosts the back-camera lens and the LED flash, has a texture that feels nice in hand. The whole back cover comes off completely to reveal the slots for the SIM card and microSD, and the battery. However, the battery is not removable.

We are glad to have the headphone jack on the top edge, which Motorola is trying to avoid placing on their recent flagships like the Moto Z2 Force. So, if you have invested in a good pair of headsets, you will be happy to keep them. The bottom edge has the speaker grill, USB port, and your microphone. The right edge hosts the power button and volume rockers, while the left edge has no button whatsoever.

We have the glass front panel which hosts the front camera lens, LED flash and the proximity sensor to the top. To the bottom of the display we have the floating navigation keys which is typical on phones running Android versions higher than 5.0 Lollipop. The fingerprint scanner sits in the lower bezel making it a little thicker which is a non-issue as I have always loved having a front-mounted fingerprint reader. That sums up the hardware tour around the Moto E4 Plus.

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Display

The display on the Moto E4 Plus is its major selling point. It boasts an incredibly bright 5.5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and a 69.4% screen to body ratio. This is arguably the best display on phones under this price tag. While there are phones with higher resolutions like the Moto Z2 Force 4k display, it does require a huge investment on your part. The Moto E4 Plus offers a pixel density of 267ppi, which may seem low, but we found it to be bright and clear. It is good for watching movies, playing games, browsing the internet, and enjoying the various phone features. It is also highly responsive to touch as we didn’t experience any delay between touch and feedback from the phone.

The screen becomes incredibility bright when you go outside to accommodate clear visibility, which is a major plus. The high definition display brings a cinematic experience right in your hands. I enjoyed watching HD YouTube videos, playing games, and chatting on social media.

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Camera

The Moto E4 Plus sports a 13MP back camera and a 5MP front camera. The camera app can easily be launched by dragging up from the corner of the screen, double tapping the power button, or through the long way of finding and tapping the camera app icon from the app drawer. The app has minimal features, just enough to get the job done. I found it to take some nice photos which showed up brightly on the high definition display. The back camera has f/2.0 aperture which is sure to let in more light hence good photos.

In well-lit environments, the camera produced great images. Both cameras have a LED flash which tries to make for great photos in low light.  The front camera lens, which has a smaller aperture tends to struggle in low light, but the images are not as blurry. The back-camera lens has the autofocus feature for fast focusing on a subject. Additionally, the tap to focus feature helps you focus on a specific part of the subject. This affordably priced camera will ensure you don’t miss out on those awesome moments. Typical camera features include panorama, geotagging, HDR, gesture shots, multi-shot, capture a still shot during a video, zoom in and out. The default settings work fine by allowing the camera to optimize itself, however, you can also go into pro-mode and adjust settings like shutter speed, exposure time, and more.

Both cameras can take high definition videos with a resolution of 720p at 30fps. The front selfie camera struggles in the video capture department and it is best reserved for video calling and self portraits only. The camera on the back is quite good; although you will need to remain steady because of no optical image stabilization which is acceptable given the low-end price tag.

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Storage

Motorola has the habit of releasing several variants of phones to cover for different users in the smartphone market. The Moto E4 Plus is available in two variants: 16GB and 32GB. If you are an average user that needs a phone for just getting by, then the Moto E4 Plus 16GB will serve you well. If you are on the other side of the spectrum that includes high media consumption and gaming like myself, then the Moto E4 Plus 32GB is the right gadget for you. The cost difference between the two is under $30 and it certainly makes sense picking the larger 32GB variant. If you need more storage, the phone has a microSD card for external memory expansion up to 128GB.

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Battery

Battery life is always a major concern when buying a new phone. It guides buyer’s decisions, because we all want a phone that will last the longest. The Moto E4 Plus packs a massive 5000mAh battery. In all the phones I have had my hands on, the Moto E4 Plus is the overall winner when it comes to battery life. It even surpassed our former battery life champion the LG X Power 4100mAh battery. Most flagships struggle between packing a large battery and ensuring a low weight of the smartphone. I was pleasantly surprised that even with such a massive battery, the phone wasn’t as heavy to weigh down my pockets.

The phone promises up to 33 days of standby time and up to 48 hours of talk time. Thanks to Motorola, we finally have a phone in the lower end tier that can go for two days without requiring a charging outlet. We did a power drainage test with a continuously looping video and it lasted just under 11 hours, which is almost double the time we get on most smartphones. The screen’s low resolution means fewer pixels to light up, hence contributes to the low power consumption giving you more onscreen time, which is a good thing. For intensive usage, the phone will go a day and a half. For fair usage, the phone was able to last up to two days after a full charge. Good news again, it has fast-charging built in which works with the rapid charger included in the box.

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Performance

The Moto E4 Plus ships running the more recent Android 7.0 Nougat. This operating system carries loads of features and a fluid user interface. To experience these features to the fullest, a phone needs to pack capable hardware resources. The Moto E4 Plus has just the right resources which include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 quad-core processor that is clocked at 1.4GHz. The processor is paired with 3GB of RAM which is enough to ensure you achieve all your tasks. With multitasking capabilities of Android 7.0 Nougat, there’s no noticeable lagging with a few apps running in the background. The almost stock Android version is light on the processor hence no slowdowns.

The Moto E4 Plus has a superfast fingerprint scanner just below the display that is quite useful. It not only secures your phone, but can also double up as a navigation key. Once you turn the navigation feature in the settings, swiping left will act as the back key, swiping right will act as the recent apps key. Long pressing the fingerprint scanner will lock the phone.

In the graphics department, the phone has the Adreno 308 GPU that is quite promising. I was able to play less intensive games with no noticeable skipping of frames. Call quality is good. The Moto E4 Plus supports high definition calling from Sprint, as well as Wi-Fi and VoLTE. The speaker on the lower edge emanates some good sound which can fill a small room, but you will be better off with Bluetooth speakers. The included pair of headsets did produce some quality sound too. All things said, the Moto E4 Plus wins in several aspects; it is a battery champion and the pricing is irresistibly good. It also works with all major cellphone carriers in the USA which we discuss below. Here is a list of specifications.

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Specifications

  • GSM / CDMA / 4G LTE / Wi-Fi.
  • Display: 5.5-inches, 720 x 1280 pixels. 69.4% screen to body ratio.
  • Display Type: IPS LCD capacitive screen.
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
  • Android 7.1 Nougat.
  • Back Camera: 13MP (f/2.0). Autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, HDR. Video capture 720p@30fps.
  • Front Camera: 5MP (f/2.2), LED flash.
  • Processor: Quad-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 427.
  • GPU: Adreno 308.
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 5000mAh.
  • Internal Storage: 16/32GB, external memory expansion up to 128GB.
  • RAM: 3 GB.
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (front mounted), accelerometer, proximity, ambient light, compass.
  • GPS/A-GPS.