Meet Motorola’s latest affordable, feature-packed phone: the Moto E4. It looks just like a, but it’s smaller and cheaper, costing only $130 or £129, which converts to about AU$215. The E4 has a slightly more expensive sibling, the larger , which packs a behemoth 5,000mAh battery.
I’m still early in my Moto E4 testing, but here are my first impressions so far.
The E4 runs a version of Android Nougat 7.1 with only a thin layer of Motorola software on top — the usual Moto flair, like being able to view notifications while the screen is off, and some handy shortcut gestures as well.
Below the display on my review unit is a wide fingerprint sensor, which works as well as the Touch ID on the. Like the Moto G5 Plus and the the E4 has One Button Nav that turns the sensor into a navigation pad:
- Swipe left to go back
- Swipe right to show recent apps
- Tap once to go home
- Long tap to lock the screen
- Tap and hold to bring up Google Assistant
Not every region will get a fingerprint reader. For those that don’t, the Moto E4 won’t be able to secure the phone with a fingerprint, or navigate you around your apps.
The Moto E4’s body has a familiar, simple design with rounded corners and is splash resistant. The back is unapologetically plastic, and pops off so you can swap out the battery. Yes, it’s removable!
In our looped video playback test, the E4 lasted 11 hours — low for a budget phone, which typically last 13-14 hours.
It has 8-megapixel rear camera that shoots decent photos, but the dynamic range isn’t great. On a bright sunny day, highlights blow out and shadows get crunched into black. Once this happens it’s hard to get those nuances back. In other situations without such extremes, the camera produces good shots.
On the front is a 5-megapixel camera with a dedicated flash. In dark situations the flash gave selfies a harsh artificial look, but in backlight the flash added a nice touch of light to make pictures look more even.
Then there are the aspects of the E4 that make it feel like a budget phone:
- A 5-inch, 720-pixel display (not very detailed or bright by today’s standards)
- A Micro-USB charging port
- 16GB of storage, though you can add up to 128GB more with a microSD card
- 2GB of RAM
- No NFC (neither does the E4 Plus)
On paper its 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor (or 427 depending on region) seems underwhelming. But in my limited time with the E4, I didn’t find it sluggish when I switched apps or streamed video.
My testing continues, so check back soon for a full rated review of the Moto E4 with even more details about how well it works, including a deeper dive into processor speeds and that camera.
The Motorola Moto E4 is available in the US from Verizon now. You can buy it unlocked at Motorola’s website and from other third-party retailers (like Amazon) starting June 30. You’ll be able to buy it globally later this summer.
Moto E4 vs. Moto E4 Plus, Moto G5 Plus, Nokia 5 and Huawei Honor 6x
|Motorola Moto E4||Motorola Moto E4 Plus||Motorola Moto G5 Plus||Nokia 5||Huawei Honor 6X|
|Display size, resolution||5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||5.2-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels||5.2-inch; 1,280×720 pixels||5.5-inch, 1,920×1,080 pixels|
|Pixel density||294ppi||267 ppi||424ppi||282ppi||403ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.7 x 2.8 x 0.37 in||6.1 x 3.1 x 0.39 in||5.9 x 2.9 x 0.3 in||5.9 x 2.9 x 0.34 in||5.9 x 3 x 0.3 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||145 x 72 x 9.3 mm||155 x 78 x 10 mm||150 x 74 x 7.7 mm||150 x 73 x 8.55 mm||151 x 76 x 8.2 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.3 oz; 150g||6.4 oz; 181g||5.5 oz, 155g||TBA||5.7 oz, 162g|
|Mobile software||Android Nougat 7.1||Android Nougat 7.1||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android Nougat 7.1.1||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Camera (megapixels)||8MP||13MP||12MP||13MP||12 + 2MP|
|Front-facing camera (megapixels)||5MP with flash||5MP with flash||5MP||8MP||8MP|
|Processor||Quad-core processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon in North America; MediaTek globally)||Quad-core processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon in North America; MediaTek globally)||2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430||2.1GHz octa-core Huawei Kirin 655|
|Storage||16GB||16GB, 32GB||16GB (Australia only), 32GB (UK & US), 64GB (US only)||16GB||32GB|
|RAM||2GB||2GB or 3GB (varies by region)||2GB on 32GB US model; 3GB on 32GB UK model; 4GB on 64GB US model||2GB||3GB|
|Expandable storage||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB||Up to 128GB|
|Fingerprint sensor||Beneath screen (varies by region)||Beneath screen||Below screen||Yes, location TBA||Back cover|
|Special features||Dual-SIM (varies by region), splash-resistant (varies by region)||Dual-SIM (varies by region), splash-resistant (varies by region)||Dual-SIM (varies by region), splash-resistant||Dual-SIM|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$130||$180||$229 (32GB); $299 (64GB)||TBA||$250|
|Price (GBP)||£129||£159||£249 (32GB)||TBA||£225|
|Price (AUD)||Converts to AU$215||Converts to AU$265||AU$399 (16GB)||TBA||N/A|