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Motorola today announced the fourth generation of company's most affordable smartphone lineup- Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus. The new generation of Moto E handsets sport the iconic Moto design, offers dual-SIM connectivity and for the first time introduces the fingerprint sensor to make Moto's affordable devices more secure.
Besides, the new Moto E handsets run the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat, sport HD displays and offers decent camera specs. Moto has also tried to make them more useful in everyday life by introducing Moto Display and Moto Gestures that we have seen in Moto Z lineup.
Can all of these features make Moto E4 Plus and Moto E4 win the budget smartphone segment? Let's try to find this out with the first impressions of latest Moto E devices.
Design: First metal clad Moto E handsets with iconic Moto Design
The fourth generation Moto E handsets are a definite step up in terms of design. These are the first Moto E devices that sport a metal build that makes them quite sturdy. However its direct competitor Nokia 3 feels a bit more robust and dense in hands.
The fourth generation Moto E handsets take design cues from the mid-range flagships- Moto Z handsets. Both feature the iconic Moto design that includes a big circular camera module, rounded edges and curved rear panels that make them fit snuggly in your palm. Both the handsets are quite fit for one-hand use.
The volume rockers and power button are placed on the right side. The 3.5mm headphone jack is positioned on top and the microUSB charging port rests at bottom along with a microphone. Moto E4 Plus also gets a mono speaker at bottom whereas Moto E4 sports the same mono speaker unit at the rear panel.
The most significant design change is the addition of fingerprint scanner to make the devices more secure. Both the smartphones sport a biometric sensor placed at the bottom of the display that also doubles up as a navigation button.
The scanner can be customized to perform a number of useful operations. You can swipe left on the fingerprint sensor to go back. Swiping right opens up the multitasking panel and a tap will take you back to home screen. The whole ideas is to offer more real estate on the display by eliminating the on-screen buttons, which seems quite thoughtful and workable.
Display: Bright and responsive
Moto E4 Plus is a big device. It carries a 5.5-inch display that will please users who like to watch movies and play games on their mobile devices. However the low resolution (720p) and average pixel density can be a deal breaker. Keeping aside these spec sheet numbers, the screen is quite responsive and display punchy colours. In our brief time, we used the handset in outdoors and the adequate brightness level made it quite comfortable to use.
Coming onto the smaller Moto E4, the 720p resolution scattered on a 5-inch footprint works in favor of the handset. The text, pictures, videos and icons look a bit sharper when compared to its elder sibling Moto E4 Plus.
Hardware: Entry-level hardware
Moto E4 Plus and Moto E4 are budget handset that are designed to execute everyday tasks that involve basic level of multitasking, camera usage, browsing, social networking, light gaming, etc. This is due to the fact that both the handsets are powered by a mid-level quad-core MediaTek MTK6737M chipset.
The multitasking is taken care by 3GB of RAM in Moto E4 Plus and you get 2GB of RAM with the smaller Moto E4. The combination will work well for basic everyday tasks and might not yield striking results with heavy gaming and other strenuous tasks such as photo and video editing. We will stress tests the new Moto E handsets to evaluate their true potential in real life.
As far as storage is concerned, Moto E4 Plus comes with 32GB internal storage and there's a dedicated microSD card to expand the memory by upto 128GB. Sadly there's no dedicated microSD card slot on Moto E4 and the handset comes with 16GB microSD card. You can use one SIM card and one microSD card at the same time to expand the memory by upto 128GB.
Camera: Front-facing flash lights to please shutterbugs
On the camera front, Moto E Plus sports a 13MP rear camera with LED flash. The rear camera works on an aperture value of f/2.0 and seems to be a good everyday shooter. We captured some shots in daylight and the results were satisfactory. We are yet to test the camera in low-light conditions. Moto E4 Plus features a 5MP front-facing camera with LED flash.
As far as Moto E4 is concerned, the smartphone comes with an 8MP rear camera with a slightly lower f/2.2 aperture. There's a 5MP secondary camera that also gets a dedicated flash.
Software: Latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat with nifty Moto additions
Motorola has always shown consistency when it comes to software. The new Moto E handsets get the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the box and also offer some useful Moto software additions that we have tested in high-end Moto devices such as Moto 2 Play, Moto Z Play, etc. These include Moto Display and Moto Gestures that really enhances the everyday software experience.
With the latest Google OS and Moto customization, Motorola has differentiated the company's budget handsets from the lot.
Battery: Highlight feature of the handset
With a 5,000 mAh battery unit that has to support a 720p screen, Moto E4 Plus would easily last a day. However, the company claims that the handset delivers two days of power on a single charge, something we will evaluate in the coming week.
A 5,000 mAh battery unit equipped with rapid charging makes Moto E4 Plus a threat to Xiaomi Redmi devices that boast battery units ranging in 4,000 mAh mark. Guess, Xiaomi has to step up the game this time to fight Motorola in the budget category.
The smaller Moto E4 Plus is backed by a 2,800 mAh battery unit.
Price and Availability: Targets offline and online customers
As far as pricing and availability is concerned, both offline and online customers are kept in focus. Moto E4 will be available across retail stores in India at a price-point of Rs. 8,999. The pricing makes Moto E compete with the recently launched Nokia 3 Android smartphone that sells around Rs. 9,500 in the retail market.
The bigger one, Moto E4 Plus will sell exclusively on Flipkart at Rs. 9,999 to fight the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 4, Redmi Note 4, Micromax's Evoke series handsets, Yu Yureka Black and other sub Rs. 10,000 smartphones.
The latest Moto E handsets have a lot to offer to consumers in the entry-level segment, especially the Moto E4 Plus that offers a massive 5,000 mAh battery unit and a dedicated microSD card slot. Besides, the premium design, latest Android 7.1.1 and decent camera hardware will please users who are looking to invest in budget smartphones.
Stay tuned on GIZBOT for the comprehensive reviews of the 4th generation Moto E handsets in the coming week.