• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

There aren’t many phones with big batteries or that you can go beyond a day without charging, but the Moto E4 Plus aims to succeed where almost all other handsets fail, by including a massive battery and keeping you wire-free for longer.

That would be reason enough to give it a second look, but with a metal build, a decent spec camera, a fingerprint scanner and more besides, all combined with a rock bottom price of around £140 SIM-free, the Moto E4 Plus suddenly looks like it could be the budget phone to beat.

So is it as good as it sounds? Or has that big battery come at a big cost? Read on to find out.

Screen

Moto E4 Plus review screen

The Motorola Mot E4 Plus has a 5.5-inch 720 x 1280 screen with a pixel density of 267 pixels per inch. That’s more or less standard at this sort of price, but it’s a decent setup.

5.5 inches would have been considered big a few years ago and even now it’s about the largest you’d expect a non-phablet phone to be, so it strikes a great balance between being too big to use comfortably and too small to optimally browse and watch things on.

The resolution meanwhile leaves it fairly crisp. Spend a bit more and you can 1080p, but at 267 pixels per inch you won’t feel too lacking for pixels unless you’re holding the phone an inch from your face.

Design

Moto E4 Plus review colours

The Moto E4 Plus has an almost entirely metal shell, which is impressive at this price. That’s not to say it looks as good as premium metal phones like the iPhone 7, or the metal and glass Samsung Galaxy S8, but for a budget handset it looks and feels nice.

At 155 x 77.5 x 9.6mm it’s a bit chunky, but that’s no surprise given the size of the battery it’s housing, and it doesn’t feel overly large.

The design is quite plain, with just Motorola’s logo and the circular camera breaking things up on the back, while you’ll find fairly large bezels above and below the screen on the front – a clear sign that this isn’t a pricier handset. But the overall look is a good one for the money, and one you’re unlikely to be disappointed by.

The Moto E4 Plus even has a water-repellent nanocoating, so it should survive a spill, a splash or a bit of rain – though note that this is a long way from full waterproofing, so you should avoid getting it wet as much as possible.

Power

The Moto E4 Plus is no powerhouse, relying as it does on a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor. That’s the definition of entry-level, but it’s just about enough to comfortably run Android Nougat (which is the latest version of Android, so one way in which the phone is up to date).

And there’s a generous 3GB of RAM included, which is slightly more than we’d expect at this price, where 2GB is still quite common. Even most flagships only have 4GB of RAM, so this is nice to see, and will help when running lots of apps.

Still, over all we’d count power and performance among the Moto E4 Plus’s weak points. They’re not bad, but nor does it particularly stand out in this area.

Camera

There’s a 13MP camera on the back of the Moto E4 Plus, which is a solid spec for the money and offers similar performance to the Moto G5.

In good lighting you can expect clear, reasonably detailed photos, but imperfections can show up, particularly in dimmer scenes.

The Moto E4 Plus can also shoot video in up to 720p quality (a step down from the Moto G5’s 1080p recording) and has a 5MP front-facing snapper.

The results from that camera are much as you’d expect, with the exception that it has a front-facing flash. That’s something you don’t always get, and it helps brighten up scenes.

Features

Other than the battery, which we’ll cover in detail below, perhaps the most surprising feature of the Moto E4 Plus is its fingerprint scanner.

Only a few years ago these were the reserve of flagships, now they’re almost a standard feature, but still not quite standard at this price, so it’s nice to see one here.

And it’s well-positioned too, being built into the home button below the screen, which makes it more accessible when sat on a surface than a rear-facing scanner would be.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

Battery life is the Moto E4 Plus’s USP and with good reason. There’s a massive 5,000mAh juice pack tucked inside good for up to two days of life between charges.

That’s about double what most phones can manage, and the battery itself is almost double the size of those in many phones. The Moto E4 Plus also supports fast charging, so you can boost it up quickly. The battery isn’t removable, but it’s so big that shouldn’t be an issue, and few phones have removable batteries these days anyway.

Memory comes in at 16 or 32GB (though if you’re buying it in the UK you’re more likely to find the 16GB version). There’s also a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 128GB. You will probably want a card if you don’t already have one, as 16GB doesn’t go far, but 128GB should be more than enough.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.

Verdict

Moto E4 review verdict

The Moto E4 Plus is a brilliant budget handset, as well as having better battery life than almost any other phone. It’s like a slightly cheaper and slightly lower spec version of the Lenovo P2 – a phone that we gave five stars too.

The Moto E4 Plus isn’t quite as good, even with its lower price, thanks to weaker performance and a less sharp screen, but it comes very close.

If you want a cheap smartphone there are few others that give you as much for as little. And if you want a big battery it doesn’t get much bigger than this however much you spend.

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Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 155 x 77.5 x 9.6

Weight (g): 198

Battery capacity (mAh): 5000

Colours: Iron Grey, Fine Gold, Oxford Blue

Screen size (inches): 5.5

Resolution: 720 x 1280

Pixels per inch (PPI): 267

Processor: Quad-core 1.3GHz

Processor make: MediaTek MT6737

RAM: 3GB

Internal storage: 16/32GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 128

Camera: 13MP (5MP front-facing)

Operating System: Android 7 Nougat

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