Back in 2014, Motorola had launched the first-generation Moto E smartphone, which was a huge success in the country. The company was riding high on then already popular Moto G smartphones. Since 2014, India’s smartphone market, particularly the entry-level and budget segments, has been flooded with affordable high-specced smartphones. Motorola and its Moto Es and Moto Gs perhaps lost their sheen while the likes of Xiaomi became the talk of the town. But it hasn’t stopped Lenovo-owned Motorola from launching the new-generation Moto E. The company today took wraps off the Moto E3 Power. I spent some time with the new smartphone at the launch event today, here are my first impressions. Also Read - Lenovo Legion 5i (2020) review: Reasonable gaming package for casual gamers
Priced at Rs 7,999, the Moto E3 Power looks pretty different from the previous Moto E smartphones. For starters, it is bigger with a 5-inch display as compared to 4.3-inch on the previous ones. In terms of design, the Moto E3 Power looks much closer to the recently launched Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. From the rear camera module to slimmer form factor, the Moto E3 Power has borrowed a lot of elements from the Moto G4, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The Moto E3 Power has 9.5mm width, which makes it slimmer than 12.3mm Moto E first and second generations. It weighs about 153.5 grams, which makes it heavier than the previous ones — 142 grams. That said, the Moto E3 Power feels light in the hands. The smartphone feels comfortable too, courtesy the micro textured back panel (removable), and flatter metallic side edges. Power and volume buttons are comfortably within the reach. If you talk about just the looks, the Moto E3 Power perhaps may not be the best looking smartphone at this price point. In my opinion, the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime or Coolpad Note 3 are some of the best looking budget phones, which have a more contemporary design with metal body and slimmer edges. Also Read - Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i (2020) review: Great for work-from-home computing
The Moto E3 Power is all about the upgrade. Finally, the smartphone has a 5-inch display with 720p resolution. It is much better than 4.3-inch display with qHD resolution, and at par with what other brands like Coolpad and Xiaomi are offering in this category. Lenovo says the Moto E3 Power has the brightest display, especially when compared to its predecessors. Another element that the company has borrowed from the Moto G4 series is nano coating, which makes it water repellent. It should not be confused with IP certification for water and dust resistance. Essentially, the Moto E3 Power can sustain moisture or splashes of water, but cannot survive a dunk in water. If you recall, Motorola had made a big deal of out of the IP certification in its last year’s Moto G smartphones. But this year it went ahead with the nano coating to make the device slimmer. The launch event had very poor lighting conditions, so I cannot really tell how the display is in general. But yes, it was pretty okay in indoors.
What I have always liked about the recent Moto smartphones is the stock Android UI. The Moto E3 Power too has stock Android UI with a few preloaded Moto apps. For performance, Moto has chosen MediaTek’s 64-bit quad-core 1GHz MT6735p processor along with 2GB of RAM. Earlier Moto E phones ran on Qualcomm’s chipsets. The company was asked about its decision to choose MediaTek instead of Qualcomm, which does offer Snapdragon 430 for this range of smartphones. Lenovo seems confident that the MediaTek chipset is at par with Qualcomm’s in terms of performance. That we will find out in our detailed review. For the first impressions, the smartphone and overall UI experience felt relatively sluggish with laggy UI and slow app loads. But considering it was the demo unit, I can give it the benefit of doubt.
The smartphone comes with 16GB of onboard storage and supports expandable storage via microSD. Do note it does not have a hybrid SIM slot. This means you can use two SIMs as well as house the microSD. This I think is a nifty retention considering that a lot of smartphones, for example the Redmi 3s Prime, offers dual-SIM connectivity but via hybrid SIM model. The Moto E3 Power comes with dual-SIM (micro + micro) along with 4G VoLTE + 3G support.
For photography enthusiasts, the Moto E3 Power has a higher 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The previous generations had 5-megapixel rear camera. Besides higher number of megapixels, the Moto E 3 Power now comes with burst and panorama modes, which were absent on the previous generations. There’s a dedicated beautification mode in the front camera to woo the selfie enthusiasts. I will reserve my verdict on the camera quality until the final review.
Now, let’s talk about one of the highlights of the smartphone, the battery life. The smartphone has a larger 3,500mAh battery, which is claimed to deliver 287 hours of standby time, and 40 hours of talktime on 2G. The battery comes with a 10W rapid charger, which the company claims delivers a battery life of 5 hours in just 15 minutes of charging. I think an improved battery capacity makes the Moto E3 Power a much better proposition.
For Rs 7,999, the Moto E3 Power seems a pretty decent smartphone. But if you look at the competition, the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime, which is Rs 1,000 more expensive, offers better features like fingerprint scanner, more expandable storage capacity and larger battery. Even the lower variant Redmi 3s, priced at Rs 6,999, offers larger 4,000mAh and a tested performer Snapdragon 430 processor. The Coolpad Note 3 Lite, priced at Rs 6,999, offers MediaTek’s 64-bit quad-core MT6735 processor along with 3GB of RAM. It has 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel front and rear cameras, and also comes with fingerprint scanner.
Perhaps Motorola understands the intense competition, and hence is offering discounts and offers like Rs 800 off on SBI cards and low-cost EMIs to make the device more affordable. Stay tuned for our detailed review to get our final verdict on the smartphone.