In this Moto E4 Plus review, Mister Mo shares his experience with the bigger sibling of the Moto E4 smartphone.
We have had the Moto e4 visit us and get reviewed here at mobilityArena, and now we have its bigger sibling, the E4 Plus do the same. The E4 had one or two quirks but proved to be a decent smartphone. Does the Moto E4 Plus meet up too? Find out in our review below.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Quick Pros And Cons
Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this 5.5-inch phablet.
|Splash resistance||Odd hardware “Home” button implementation|
|Bright 5.5-inch display||Network Mode does not let you peg to 4G|
|Super solid battery performance|
|Near stock Android 7 Nougat|
Moto E4 Plus Review: Hardware/Design
Like the Moto E4, the E4 Plus has a metal body, but it does not look as classy. It isn’t made of anything inferior. Actually, it is made of the same materials. As a matter of fact, it is the same design – just bigger. And that is why it doesn’t look as good. The E4 had significant bezels. The bigger Moto E4 Plus has bigger bezels and it doesn’t look as good. It is no big deal, but it is there. The Moto E4 Plus also has a splash-proof protective coating. Splash-proof, mind you. Do not submerge it in water.
The USB port at the bottom edge is version 2.0. There is a 3.5 mm audio port at the top edge. Below the 5-inch display is a fingerprint sensor that looks like a hardware Home button. But we soon quickly found out that Lenovo chose a different implementation that took is some getting used to. By default, the home button works only as a fingerprint sensor. If you push it, it doesn’t take you to the homescreen. Above the button, the Moto E4 Plus has the three regular Android onscreen navigation buttons, including a Home button. See? Odd.
But Moto allows you to change how it works. You can disable the onscreen navigation buttons and enable the fingerprint sensor key to function as a one button navigation pad – press down lightly to go to the homescreen, swipe left to go back and swipe right to open recent apps.
If you want to return to the homescreen and press the fingerprint sensor a moment too long, it turns off the display. That is because the button works with light touches for navigation. The whole arrangement has merit and we prefer to use the phone this way, but it takes getting used to.
In all though, the fingerprint sensor is very responsive and accurate. We have had no issues using it.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Software
The Moto E4 Plus runs a near-stock version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The UI is quite clean. From the homescreen, there is a pull-up menu that opens up the app tray. Are there any bloatware from Lenovo? There are three such apps apps – Moto (which lets you modify the hardware button functionality and onscreen notifications), Wallpapers and Downloads.Everything else is the standard Android OS suite.
Split screen is here, with an easy implementation. One of the benefits of running a near stock implementation of Android is speedier software updates. The clause is that being a budget smartphone, no updates might be planned for it.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Network, Telephony
The Moto E4 Plus is a 4G LTE dual-SIM smartphone. Audio quality of telephone calls on the Moto E4 Plus is good but not stellar. The call sounds boxy to the person at the other end. But these are standard fare for devices in this price range.
The Moto E4 Plus works with 4G LTE networks from MTN and Etisalat but not Glo. While it supports Smile’s 20(800) LTE band, we did not have a Smile nano-SIM or SIMs from Spectranet and Swift and so couldn’t put them to test.
As is standard for stock Android OS, the user is unable to peg network mode to 4G only. You can’t peg to 3G only either. So, the phone cycles between available networks depending on the maximum setting you choose.
But then, most 4G phones do not offer the ability to peg 4G either, so it may not be a big deal for many people.
We were able to rectify that and peg network mode on the E4 Plus as we wished by installing and using the MTK Engineering app.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Display and Multimedia
The Moto E4 Plus has a bright, clear 5.5-inch display. This is a phone that those who prefer big displays will feel comfortable with. The loudspeaker is loud and audio quality isn’t bad.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Photography
How does the Moto E4 Plus fare with photography? We put it to test.
Main Camera (13 megapixels):
Main camera indoor, low light shot with flash:
Main camera indoor, low light shot with no flash:
Main camera indoor, low light shot with flash:
As you can see, the main camera does well in low light environments if you keep flash on. If you turn off the flash though, it struggles to focus.
Selfie Camera (5 megapixels):
Low light shot taken with selfie camera and flash active:
The selfie camera too struggles when lighting is not so good. But it struggles more than the main camera does even when flash is used. If you stick to scenarios of good lighting though, you are good with both cameras.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Multitasking/Performance
The Moto E4 Plus is not big on performance, but considering that it is powered by a 1.3 GHz processor, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Apparently, long battery life is what Motorola is after here (and they succeeded). There is 3 GB of RAM to enhance multi-tasking though. Generally, performance is good for everyday tasks. Of course, with the low-end processor that powers it, you can expect some impact if you throw heavy tasks at it.
As far as synthetic scores go, the Moto E4 Plus scores as follows:
- AnTuTu: 30,397
- Geekbench: 538 Single-Core / 1529 Multi-Core
- Quadrant: 11,241
Having the same processor as the smaller Moto E4, it isn’t any surprise that the performance of the E4 Plus isn’t better. You can check out our Moto E4 Plus benchmark test scores to compare.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Battery life
The 5000 mAh battery is the strongest point of the Moto E4 Plus. The phone is clearly targeted at those looking for long battery performance. The E4 Plus regularly lasted two days on a full charge. Where we pushed it harder, it lasted a full day. We never had to worry about battery life. There is fast charge available and you can steal a solid charge quickly whenever you need to. It took us about 2 hours to get up to 80% charge and 3 hours to fill up the massive battery.
Moto E4 Plus Review: Final Words
The Moto E4 Plus won’t turn heads, but it is a dependable smartphone with a big screen and solid battery life. Again, we find the odd implementation of the “home button” a bit annoying. But there are those who can live with that. If you are looking for a smartphone that you can use for more than one day on a single full charge, without being afraid of water splashes, the Moto E4 Plus delivers.
Other Moto E4 Plus Resources
Here are some other articles available on the Moto E4 Plus:
- Moto E4 Plus Specifications And Price
- Moto E4 Plus Benchmark Tests
- Moto E4 Plus First Impressions And Photos
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.