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Moto E4, Moto E4 Plus first impressions: Well-crafted, feature-rich in a budget

Here are the first impressions of the Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus, which are priced under Rs 10,000.

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Lenovo-owned Motorola today announced the all-new fourth-generation Moto E lineup  in India, which includes the Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus. Both the models cater to the affordable segment with price tags of Rs 8,999 and Rs 9,999 respectively. However, the Moto E4 is for the offline market only, while the Moto E4 Plus is Flipkart exclusive. Among the two, the Moto E4 Plus garners more attention for its 5,000mAh battery. I got the chance to experience both the models at the launch event today,and here are my first impressions.

Both the Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus feature a metal casing with removable back panels. While anyone can mistake them to be metal unibody phones, it is actually only the metal casing that is wrapped around them. The removable back panel is in fact plastic-based. There are extremely thin antenna lines running on the top and bottom of the back panel. Overall, the rear design of both the smartphones is identical to the Moto G5 lineup with a circular camera module. The difference, however, is that the Moto E4 camera module is slightly protruding, while on the E4 Plus, it blends well into the panel. The company also introduced the Blush Gold color for the Moto E4 which apes the Apple iPhone’s Rose Gold hue, but kind of fails to match the finesse. The Moto E4 Plus, on the other hand, can easily pass off as a mid-range smartphone owing to its overall impressive design, color and build quality.

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The two smartphones share similar moniker but differ on all aspects. To begin with, the Moto E4 is equipped with a 5-inch HD display with 2.5D curved glass on top. The Moto E4 Plus, on the other hand, has a slightly bigger 5.5-inch HD display with 2.5D curved glass. Although I am used to my fairly small Apple iPhone 5S, using the Moto E4 Plus wasn’t much of a hassle. The ergonomics have been carefully thought out to allow for a good grip and seamless user experience. Between the Moto E4 and E4 Plus, the Plus variant is slightly on the heavier side weighing at 181 grams against 150 grams of the standard variant. This is due to the bumper battery inside. However, if you fancy smaller smartphones then Moto E4 could fit in just right. In terms of display quality, both the smartphones are quite legible in varied indoor lighting conditions. We are yet to see how legible these are in outdoor settings, and whether they adapt well to the change in conditions.

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What also deserves a special mention is the all-new Moto Display on the Moto E4 Plus. This essentially replaces the notification LED for an interactive lockscreen. Similar to how iOS notifications can be enabled for responses right from the notification, the Moto Display feature allows one to respond to alerts such as messages without the need to unlock the device. You can type out your texts right from the lockscreen. On one hand it may seem like one reduced step in responding to constant alerts but if one looks at the larger picture, it may also have some security implications. The last thing I would personally want is to let anyone else respond to personal messages I receive without my knowledge or the need for authentication.

Both the models are equipped with fingerprint sensors, which are embedded into the home button on the front. It is a capacitive button, and is also gesture controlled. So for example, if you have to move between the apps, you can swipe onto the home button/fingerprint sensor. You can further customize it to capture images or launch an app. I find it as a nifty little feature which may take a while to get used to, but will add to the overall simplicity of usage. ALSO READ: Moto E4 Plus vs Moto E4: What’s different?

Moto E4

Irrespective of what budget you have, camera and battery are the foremost features you would want to be thoroughly sure of. Motorola is known for embedding its devices with impressive camera and the new Moto E4 series is unlikely to disappoint consumers. The Moto E4 is equipped with an 8-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and flash, while the Moto E4 Plus packs a 13-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and flash. What makes the camera combination interesting is that both the smartphones are equipped with a 5-megapixel front camera supported with LED flash. I tried capturing a few shots from the Moto E4 Plus and in the given lighting conditions, the results were decent. I would like to point out that in the same conditions the selfies taken with front flash were more detailed and stable than those taken without any flash support. As for the rear camera on the Moto E4 Plus, the results did not seem to be quite up to the mark. The colors were slightly dull and not true to life. Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to test out the camera output of the Moto E4 and hence I would reserve my take on the quality of images.

Shots taken with Moto E4 Plus without flash

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Shots taken with Moto E4 Plus with/without flash

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Shots taken with Moto E4 Plus with flash + beautification mode

Moto-E4-Plus-sample-2Talking about the next common factor of the Moto E4 and the Moto E4 Plus is their processor. Both are powered by MediaTek MT6737 SoC and run on Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. It is the use of Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 equivalent for the Indian version is what has enabled the company to keep the prices competitive. The Moto E4 includes 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, while the Moto E4 Plus packs 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.  Both allow storage expansion up to 128GB via microSD card through dedicated microSD card slot. In times when manufacturers are moving beyond the 3GB or even 4GB RAM threshold, it is slightly conservative of Motorola to stick to a lower configuration.

For an average user, 3GB of RAM is a fairly decent amount of memory to process everyday apps and web surfing. However, for heavy users who are hooked onto YouTube videos or going live on social media, it feels tad short. In the limited time of experiencing the smartphones, there were no lags or app crashes. It is yet to be seen how well both the smartphones fare in real-time usage as compared to contemporaries such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and the Lenovo K6 Power. What also works in favor of Motorola is its offering of stock Android, something which has made the manufacturer a popular choice amongst those looking at a true Google Android experience. RELATED: A MediaTek-powered Moto E4 Plus for India shows how competitive the market has become

While the Moto E4 packs a smaller 2,800mAh battery, it is the Moto E4 Plus with its 5,000mAh battery which makes a more value-for-money proposition. The company claims that the battery can survive up to two days on a single charge. The battery is supported with 10W rapid charging technology. Big battery phones are fast becoming a consumer necessity along with an industry fad. Earlier, manufacturers such as Gionee and Xiaomi were known for smartphones with huge batteries. Now, the trend appears to have trickled down to other manufacturers as well. The Moto E4 Plus is the company’s first smartphone to boast such a battery capacity. At this price point, the only other smartphone to boast a 5,000mAh battery is the recently launched InFocus Turbo 5.

To sum it all, the Moto E4 caters to the offline market, while the Rs 1,000-expensive Moto E4 Plus is for those adept at online purchases and offers far more impressive features. The Moto E4 Plus is bound to grab more attention. With the latest Android experience, selfie fulfilling features, massive battery, along with a 5.5-inch display size, the Moto E4 Plus stands out to be a better choice, even if Motorola decides to make the Moto E4 available for purchase online at a later stage. Stay tuned for our detailed reviews of both the Moto smartphones. ALSO READ: Moto E4 Plus to go on sale via Flipkart at 11:59pm today; here’s everything you need to know

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  • Published Date: July 12, 2017 9:46 PM IST
  • Updated Date: July 12, 2017 9:48 PM IST


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