Review: Motorola Moto E4
Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 9:30AM
Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla in Android, Apps & Launches, Breaking news, Buyers Guide, Canada, Lenovo, Moto E4, Product launch

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

The new Motorola Moto E4 is a bit of a nostalgia job. It is reminiscent of the first generation Moto X, a device that brought a lot of innovation, customization and laid the foundation for what Motorola has become as an Android OEM that can successfully differentiate itself in this super saturated market.

At 5-inches, the Moto E4 is sized just right for many users, it comes clad in durable and splash-resistant plastics. It has a removeable battery (a sizeable one at that), and it reflects a utilitarian yet uncompromising handset that's budget-focused but thoughtful nonetheless.

Moto E4 will be available in Canada today at Freedom Mobile for $200 CAD and will be available at various retailers for $249 CAD.

I like the licorice black colour and texture on the Moto E4, the 2D glass and fingerprint-reader are also premium features we've come to expect from more expensive handsets but which fit no nicely here. The availability of a removable battery, microSD card expansion and 8MP front facing cameras with autofocus, 4 piece composite lens and LED flash are features we expect from Motorola at this price-point.

Having used the Moto E4 as a daily driver for over a week. I found the handset to be everything I needed it to be and more. Sure, the ageing microUSB charging port is a bit of a letdown, but you still get TurboCharging capability off the bat. The display isn't anywhere as magnificent as some of the more recent devices I have tested, but it will do well in most situations except under bright sunlight.

My Moto E4 was my main navigation and car entertainment hub using the Android Auto app and Spotify during a recent road trip and it worked just fine. It is a good overall device for day-to-day use, even if it is running a more frugal 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor and 2 GB of RAM. The Moto E4 will not dissapoint for video playback, even AR games like Pokemon GO run smoothly and without some of the weirdness that's present of higher end smartphones.

The speaker is reasonably loud but tinny. The call quality is solid and the various Motorola-exclusive features make for a nice step up from pure Android. The Moto E4 runs Android 7.1, it also has a lot of neat tricks, like being able to use the trackpad to select and scroll through open apps. It's a divisive feature, no doubt. Some people hate it (you can turn it off), but having used it on the Moto G5, I've grown quite accustomed to what it brings. True, one handed (or one thumb) use.

Moto E was always the runt of the Motorola smartphone litter. It was the budget smartphone's budget phone and often a respectable but no frills affair. This is no longer the case with the Moto E4 which is very much like a replacement to the Moto G smartphones of generations past. Solid battery life, great screen specs and durability and water-resistance at an entry-level price. More importantly, you get premium build and features like the fingerprint sensor, which is better implemented here than on many $800 smartphones. 

Since the Moto G5 has moved up a step (in price as well), the Moto E4 goes up a few rungs as a great and sensible budget or pre-paid solution with even fewer compromises, this should make anyone shopping for a budget 4G-capable smartphone with the latest OS, specs and features, quite happy to consider the Moto E4.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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