Hands on: Moto E4 Plus review

Motorola’s E4 Plus is the latest phone from the company, packing a huge battery and trying to up the spec despite a low-end price.

Battery life is a big concern of almost everyone who wants to buy a new phone, so Motorola has packed this phone with a massive cell that should be able to last at least two days.

Given its specs are limited in other ways, leaving the phone with less heavy lifting to do, we expect the Moto E4 Plus to do some fantastic things in the battery department, but do the rest of the components add up to make this a worthwhile phone?

Moto E4 Plus release date and price

The Moto E4 Plus is out now in the US and UK, so you can buy this phone right now for $179.99/£159 (around AU$240).

In the US the phone is available through Verizon or from some retailers SIM free, or in the UK you can buy it from Argos and a selection of other shops as well.

This is a touch more expensive than the Moto E4, but it’s not that much more money considering the slightly improved spec, so it may be a better deal than that phone, which we liked enough to give four and a half stars.

Design and display

The Moto E4 Plus is encased in a full metal shell that gives it a premium feel many other affordable phones aren’t able to replicate. It has a curved back, helping it sit in your hand comfortably too.

At the bottom edge of the phone there’s a speaker, while the middle of that edge houses a micro USB port. The opposite end of the phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to use wired headsets for listening to music.

It may sit comfortably in your hand, but the Moto E4 Plus isn’t very light – 198g – and is quite thick at 9.6mm. That makes it chunkier than the 9.3mm thick Moto E4, but that’s down to the much bigger battery that’s been packed in.

That said, it doesn’t make the phone ugly. Its metal shell leaves it looking good and overall Motorola has managed to build in a bigger battery without hampering the design too much.

There’s also a fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the screen, which in our testing so far has worked quickly and easy to setup.

There’s a 5.5-inch HD (720p) display on the front of the phone that you may see as a low resolution option. It does offer 267 pixels-per-inch though, which means you’ll struggle to spot any pixelated images on the phone screen unless you’re looking hard for them.

Specs and performance

Motorola has included a Mediatek MT6737 chipset in the E4 Plus, which is a setup we saw struggle on the Nokia 3. It’s clocked at 1.3GHz and it’s possible that it will be used to better effect by Motorola here so we’ll reserve judgement for our full review.

That’s used in tandem with 3GB of RAM and you’ll have the choice of either 16GB or 32GB storage versions, along with a microSD card slot.

The phone arrives running Android 7.1.1 Nougat software and much like all the other Motorola devices of recent years it’s running a more or less stock version, so it looks very similar to how Google intended.

Battery and camera

The battery may end up being the highlight of the Moto E4 Plus considering it’s a huge 5,000mAh cell, but we’ve yet to push it to its limits. Check back for the full review soon where we will test the battery properly.

For comparison though, the standard Moto E4 only has a 2,800mAh juice pack, while even the massive Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus has just a 3,500mAh one.

For the camera, there’s a 13MP sensor on the rear but the features seem very limited, for example, you’ll be restricted to only 720p video recording and shooting seemed slow in our limited testing.

There’s a 5MP selfie camera on the front of the phone that comes with an LED flash. In our testing we found that you’d likely be happy to take the odd photo on this but don’t buy this phone specifically for its selfie camera as features are limited here too.

Early verdict

Motorola’s latest cheap phone seems like an interesting proposition for anyone looking for a phone with a huge battery that can keep on going for quite a while between charges.

Whether everything else will impress on the E4 Plus though remains to be seen and we’ll be sure to push it to its limit before our full review is published.

Thanks to Currys PC World Business for supplying our Moto E4 Plus unit

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