Moto e4 Plus Prime Edition review: Monster battery will get you through your day

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Moto e4 Plus

Battery life is a big reason why you may want to consider the Moto e4 Plus.

TA-ratings-88Motorola isn’t exactly one of the top Android smartphone makers anymore but that doesn’t mean they don’t still make a good product. The Moto e4 Plus is a budget-minded Android device with typical Moto looks and decent budget specs. You can pick up a Moto e4 Plus for cheap but you can get it even cheaper should you opt for the Prime Edition. Today we’re taking a look at the Moto e4 Plus Prime Edition from Amazon so let’s dive right into it.

Specifications

The Moto e4 Plus Prime Edition has the following features and specifications:

  • Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • System Architecture/Processor: Quad-Core 1.4GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 427
  • GPU: Adreno 308
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16/32GB
  • Display: 5.5″ HD (1280×720) 267ppi, GFF 2.5D cover Glass
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh with Embedded 10W rapid charger
  • Water Protection: Water repellent coating
  • Rear Camera:
    • 13 MP
    • ƒ / 2.0 aperture
    • 1.12 um microns
    • 78° lens
    • Autofocus
    • Single LED flash
    • Burst mode
    • Panorama
    • HDR
    • Video: 720p (30fps)
    • Beautification mode
  • Front Camera:
    • 5 MP
    • ƒ / 2.2 aperture
    • 1.4 um microns
    • 74° lens
    • Fixed focus
    • Single LED flash
    • Burst mode
    • HDR
    • Beautification mode
  • Video Capture: 1080p (30fps)
  • Bluetooth 4.1 LE
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Sensors:
    • Accelerometer
    • Proximity
    • Ambient light
    • Magnetometer (e-compass)
    • Fingerprint reader

What’s In The Box

  • Moto e4 Plus Prime Edition
  • Wall charger
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Documentation and Warranties
Moto e4 Plus

Classic Moto design.

Design

Motorola design has been pretty consistent over the past few years across all of their smartphones. The Moto e4 Plus stays with the same design aesthetic which isn’t a bad thing and a pretty safe bet. The materials used for construction feel good, not super premium but also not chintzy or flimsy. Everything is made from plastic and the body is fairly thick, likely because of that massive 5,000mAh battery.

On the back, you have the Moto logo along with a noise canceling mic and the classic circular Moto camera module. Along the top edge of the phone you’ll find your 3.5mm headphone jack and along the bottom the MicroUSB port and another mic. There are no buttons along the left side of the phone and the power and volume rocker are located on the right. The power button has a slight texture to it so you can tell which button you are pushing but I did feel the tactile feedback was a little mushy.

The front of the phone houses the 5.5″ 720p display along with the front-facing camera and the fingerprint sensor. Overall this is a safe design for Motorola. It’s not outside of the box and should appeal to a mass market. I would have preferred to see something a more forward thinking but this is a budget phone.

Moto e4 Plus

Fingerprint sensor.

Display

The Moto e4 Plus comes with a 720p HD panel that looks good and is most likely adequate for most. Colors are natural, not oversaturated. Black and whites look decent enough for a display of this type. I do wish Motorola would have put a 1080p display into this phone because there are competitors that use 1080p panels at this price. That being said, this is a budget phone and it’s likely that Moto decided to put more money into the battery than the screen.

One way to look at it is, a 720 screen will use less battery than a 1080p or higher, so there is that. Overall the display is nice for what it is. It’s not mind-blowing, consuming content on it is going to give you an average user experience and nothing more.

Moto e4 Plus

Lock screen ads.

Software

The Moto e4 Plus ships with Android 7.1.1 which is a great pleasure to use. Nothing much to say about the actual operating system other than Android continues to improve year over year. This particular e4 Plus is the Amazon Prime Edition so you will get a lot of added apps. Most all of these apps are Amazon focused and cannot be uninstalled. The other caveat here is Amazon will serve ads to your lock screen and notification shade. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it does save you some money off the phone.

That being said, since I use Amazon services, I had no issue with the extra Amazon apps being on the phone. As far as the lock screen and notification shade ads, those actually get pretty easy to get used to. The most annoying thing is, you can’t use the fingerprint reader to unlock the phone without actually seeing an ad first. Otherwise, I didn’t find these ads to be that big of a deal and it saves you some money on the phone.

Overall Android 7.1.1 is great and we hope this phone will be upgraded to Android 8.0 at some point. The extra Amazon apps are great for those who use Amazon services. The extra apps are not so great for those who do not use Amazon services. Lockscreen ads aren’t a huge deal but may annoy some users.

Moto e4 Plus

Removable back and SIM card access. The battery is NOT removable.

Performance

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 CPU and Adreno 308 GPU you’re going to see decent performance. But this is a budget phone so don’t expect flagship performance. The basics work well: scrolling through web pages, opening and closing apps, email, texting, phone calls, all of your day to day tasks. Gaming works well for low-intensity games but there are some hiccups and dropped frames on more intense games. This is all perfectly normal and expected given the low-price of the Moto e4 Plus. When you’re buying a phone in this price category, you should expect to give up a lot of things and super fast performance is one of them.

Overall, this phone will get most people through what most people need a smartphone for. If you’re hunting for a gaming powerhouse then you’ll need to shell out a bit more cash for something with a better CPU/GPU. Don’t get me wrong, the e4 Plus will get some gaming done but some games may run rougher than others.

Speakers/Sound

Just a basic speaker on this phone, nothing to write home about. It gets the job done for YouTube viewing and some content consumption. If you need better sound then you’ll be better off using a good pair of headphones and you do get a headphone jack here.

Moto e4 Plus

Headphone jack for those who care.

Camera

As I often do on budget phone reviews, I have to remind you that the Moto e4 Plus is a budget phone. This means you’re not going to be getting flagship camera performance from this sensor. The rear camera clocks in at 13MP with an f 2.0 aperture and autofocus. While this isn’t a flagship phone, I did at least expect better than average performance from Motorola.

Launching the camera app takes longer than it should but at least once it is launched snapping off some pics seems to be snappy. There aren’t a lot of camera options like you’ll find on a Samsung or LG phone but the essentials are there. If you’re looking for a broader array of camera options, then a third-party camera app may be the way to go.

Once you get to shooting you’ll find the pictures in good lighting are pleasant to look at. They aren’t oversaturated but tend to be more balanced and natural. Low-light photos can get grainy and the camera’s focus can start to hunt if lighting gets too low. While the photos are decent for the price of the phone, there are other phones in this price point with better quality.

That being said. You can’t expect the highest quality photo given the price you pay for this phone. You will make some compromises, particularly in low-light situations. Overall, the camera is decent but there are better cameras in this price range out there so I scored this a bit lower for that reason.

Reception/Call Quality

Both reception and call quality were acceptable and worked as they should. Every so often I would be told I sounded “distant” but it was just a few times.

Moto e4 Plus

Classic Moto camera module.

Battery Life

Battery life is a big reason why you may want to consider the Moto e4 Plus. Motorola says you should get up to 2 days on the massive 5,000mAh battery and they’re right. Battery life will depend on your use and settings but I got 43 hours with moderate use on a single charge. That was with very light gaming and media consumption. Once you crank up the usage with gaming, media consumption, and other heavy tasks, you’ll bring battery life down. Even so, I was still able to go through a whole day without ever having to charge the phone. The most I got the battery down to was 40% and that was with heavier than normal use in a 12-hour day. Very good battery life here and probably its key selling point.

Price/Value

This is a budget phone and the Amazon price for the Prime Edition is $139.99USD which is $40USD off the MSRP. For a budget phone that’s a fairly good deal.

Wrap Up

If you’re looking for a decent performing budget phone with massive battery life then the Moto e4 Plus is an excellent choice. If camera performance is more important then look elsewhere. If you’re just looking for a basic, decent performing smartphone  in general, then this is a good choice. Keep in mind there are lockscreen ads and added Amazon apps you cannot delete.

*We were sent a review unit of the Moto e4 Plus for the purposes of this review.

Moto e4 Plus Prime Edition

$179.99USD
Moto e4 Plus Prime Edition
8.8

Design

9/10

    Display

    9/10

      Software

      9/10

        Performance

        9/10

          Speakers/Sound

          9/10

            Camera

            8/10

              Reception/Call Quality

              9/10

                Battery Life

                10/10

                  Price/Value

                  9/10

                    Nailed it

                    • Huge 5,000mAh battery gets you through the day and then some
                    • Decent display
                    • Good software experience if you can deal with Amazon extras
                    • Great price for what you get

                    Needs work

                    • Design is a bit bland, same Moto aesthetic
                    • Camera could be better
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