Honestly, I was a bit confused by Motorola’s decision to unveil E5 Plus Smartphone along with the Moto G6.
Well, the amount of hype that was around G6 made me feel like everyone would just ignore E5 plus (which in my opinion is just as good).
Regardless, of how Motorola does their things, I had to take a deeper look at the Motorola E5 plus. And I’m glad I did. With all these budget phones coming every now and then, it was sort of a breath of fresh air for me.
With a new and sleek design and somewhat decent camera, I was somewhat impressed with this phone. Especially, if you consider the price of this phone.
As of now, it goes for $180-ish (as of writing this post) and I firmly believe this is the best bang for the buck budget phone you can find.
Trust me, this is not just another one of those budget phones that nobody cares about.
Okay, let’s not wait any longer. Let’s dive straight into the specs first and afterward we will move onto the Motorola E5 Plus Review.
Motorola E5 Plus Specifications: How does it look on paper?
So, this is where I get to tell you it’s a budget phone and it does not have all the latest and greatest specs and you say, “Meh… I’ll just move on then”.
But Considering the price point, you’d be amazed to see how much Motorola managed to put inside this package. So, I’d suggest you stick around for a bit longer. Let’s take a look into the specs sheet.
|Areas to Look at||Specs at a Glance|
|Smartphone Dimensions||160.9 x 75.3 x 9.4 mm|
|Overall Build||Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame|
|Display Type||6-inch IPS LCD|
|Dust and Water Resistance Rating||The phone comes with a water resistant coating and no ratings.|
|Protection||Gorilla Glass front, plastic back|
|Chipset Version||Snapdragon 425 (28 nm chip)|
|Internal Storage Space (ROM)||16 GB/32 GB|
|Memory (RAM)||2 GB/3 GB|
|Camera(s)||12MP single rear camera with laser autofocus, 5MP front|
|Security Type||Fingerprint Sensor|
|Software Version||Software: Oreo 8.0 (word on the street is Android 9.X is coming soon).|
As you can see, the only let down would be the SOC. In this era of a 7nm chip, putting a 28 NM chip on a smartphone requires courage (I don’t mean that in a good way). However, for the average users, this is kinda enough as the Moto skin on top of Android is very light and stock like.
The most impressive feature of this entire pack is the 5,000 mAh battery. And trust me, it’s really good (more on this later).
Key Points I Focused on While Reviewing Motorola E5 Plus
Just so you know, this is going to be a standard Androidista style phone review. I’ll look at 6 major factors that I consider to be the most important factor of any smartphone and rate the phone accordingly. For the old chaps… well, you already know it. So, go ahead and skip to the next section. For newcomers look at the list below:
1. Build quality
5. Security and Biometrics
6. OS and timely updates
Let’s take a deeper look into each section now.
Build Quality: Does it cut any corners?
If the phone looks similar to you, then you are probably thinking about the Moto G5 plus from last year. It looks almost like a replica of G5 plus but a bit thicker.
Why thicker you ask? You’ll see why in the battery review section. For now, we will just look at the built material and design language of the phone.
The built is completely made of solid plastic. Plastic is one of those things budget phone manufacturers turns to while making phones. This is not always a bad thing. Plastic is cheaper and much more durable than glass.
The phone is also a bit on the heavier side. I don’t know about you guys, but I like heavy phones as they feel sturdy and grippy in the hand.
Although the back of this phone has a glossy finish, it’s not glass. It is just plastic with a glossy finish. The back side of the phone contains a camera and a fingerprint scanner module.
Don’t get fooled by two camera cutouts in the camera module. It is not a dual camera module. The left and right cutouts are laser autofocus and camera sensor respectively.
The overall built of the phone is very strong. There was virtually 0 flex while I tried to bend the phone. So, that’s a good thing it has going for.
One thing I didn’t like about the build was the huge camera bump on the back. Like, I get it, it’s a traditional camera bump that Motorola makes on every one of their phones. But my question is why?
A phone this thick should not have any camera bump at all.
The bottom of this phone as a micro USB port and the top contains a 3.5mm headphone jack. The buttons on the side of the phone are also made of plastic. They are tactile and satisfying to click.
Another amazing thing about this phone is it has water repelling coating. Sure, it’s not as resilient as IP67/68 water resistance, but it sure is better than not having any protection at all. Kudos to Motorola for this.
I loved the overall build quality of this phone (considering the price), but as I said plastic is cheap and it certainly does feel cheap as well. So, I give Moto E5 plus a generous “B+” grade when it comes to build quality.
Display: Can it compete with other budget phones?
The display of this phone is a 6-inch IPS LCD system. It comes with HD+ which equates to a 720X1440p resolution along with ~228 PPI density. It has a screen to body ration of 76.7% (approximately) with an 18:9 aspect ratio.
I must say I was really disappointed with the “On Paper” 720 display. It also has a huge forehead and chin to accommodate speakers.
However, HD+ technology does make it up for everything a little bit. In day to day use, it’s not as bad as it looks on paper. Display quality is decent and colors are also vivid. However, it’s not as crispy or punchy as one might expect it to be.
In day to day use the average user might not notice the lack of sharpness unless he/she is pixel peeping. The biggest let down of this phone’s display would be the outdoor visibility in my humble opinion.
What can I say? Mmm… it’s just bad. I always had to crank the brightness all the way up to use this phone outdoors. Even then I’d have a hard time seeing things.
I’ve used a lot of phones and this one is one of those that hurts my eyes outdoors (I have poor eyesight. So, you might have a different experience).
while all other phones in this budget are offering a 1080P display, E5 plus with a 720p display is a bit underwhelming.
For protection, it has a coating of an unspecified version of corning gorilla glass (oh look even more suspicion!!).
If you use your phone mostly indoors, then you are all set to go. The resolution should not bother you much as even the iPhone R comes with a 720p display and that cost more than 3 times as much as this phone.
If you want a better option however, go with Google Pixel 3.
After a long use and so much eyestrain, I give the display of this phone a Very generous “B-”. That’s it I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
Camera: Is It Any Good?
Okay, this brings us to the camera of this phone. As already mentioned above it has a 12 MP sensor with laser autofocus and dual tone flash on the back and a standard 5MP selfie cam.
The rare camera comes with an aperture of f2.0. The overall quality of this camera is somewhat decent. It’s not bad, not very good either.
Photos taken from this phone have natural looking color and they look decent. However, sharpness is not very good. It is just subpar. On broad daylight, it shoots decent photos. In default, mode photos look a bit washed out and there’s a cool color temperature going on.
However, after processing, they look useable.
On dark lighting condition, it gets even worse. Shutter speed gets way slower than normal and there are a bunch of grains on each photo. It’s just average, that’s it.
The selfie cam shoots decent selfies. In good lighting condition, it takes better photos than the rare camera. However, this phone doesn’t have any portrait mode available.
The rare camera can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. As it does not have any OIS, it lacks stability. Videos are often shaking and jaggy. I’d not recommend you shoot with this phone unless you have a super steady hand.
Slow motion video is also present but at an unimpressive 480p resolution. At this price, I don’t think you can ask much more than what Moto E5 plus offers. This phone with an average camera gets an average grade of “B”.
Battery: The Trump card
This brings us to the battery life of this phone which is it’s selling point. Remember when I said I was going to talk about why the phone is thick? Well, this is where I keep my end of the bargain.
The reason behind the phone being thicker than other phones is the battery. The phone houses a whopping 5,000 mAh battery. And this big battery along with proper software optimization gives this phone great battery life.
With a full charge, you can easily use this phone for more than a day (even two days). For me, as I’m a power user, I don’t ever recall saying this for any phone.
Seriously, if you are an average user and you hate charging your phone all the time, you should definitely buy this phone.
I was easily getting a screen on time of more than 8.5 hours a day. That’s with heavy gaming and social media usage. If that doesn’t look impressive to you, I don’t know what will.
And the cherry on top is the massive 10W rapid charger. Big guns for big boys, right?
It takes more or less two hours to fully charge the phone. After that, you can forget about charging the phone for a whole day.
After a thorough test and rough usage, I was very impressed with the battery of this phone. This phone has one of if the not the best battery life on any Android phone out there. So, it gets an easy “A+” from me when it comes to battery life.
Security and Biometrics: How secure is the phone?
Let’s talk about security and biometrics now, shall we?
We all know how important it is to have a secure way to lock and unlock your phones. As mentioned in the Moto E5 plus specs section above, this phone only comes with a fingerprint sensor. Nothing else. No face unlock system or no iris scanner either.
The fingerprint scanner is pretty accurate. It registered my finger correctly almost 100% of the time.
However, it’s a bit slower. I was really disappointed with the speed of the sensor. While other manufacturers at the same price point are integrating fingerprint scanner just as fast as some of the flagship devices, Motorola surely did cut corners here.
I’d say this sensor is two generations old. It was probably laying around somewhere and they just made some use of it (a joke obviously).
With only a fingerprint scanner which is also slower than other counterparts, the Moto E5 plus gets a “C+” grade. It works, but it certainly is not up to date for 2019.
OS and Timely Updates: Are they frequent enough?
Last but not in the least, let’s talk about the OS and Updates. This is probably the 2nd thing this phone has going for it. Motorola was always known for making their skin on top of android as close to stock as possible. And this one is no different.
Currently, it runs on android Oreo. It’s clean and really optimized to run well. This is part of the reason why this phone might just be enough for average users. Despite having a 28nm chip. This phone runs pretty smoothly and RAM management is also good, thanks to the clean UI of Motorola.
There is very few bloatware in this phone (still, bloatware is bloatware). Unless you do heavy gaming stuff, you will not find any lag on this phone.
Okay, so the software is good. How about timely updates, you ask?
Well, Motorola was never known for being active enough to rollout updates timely and I don’t think this time it would be any different either. Especially, if you consider this is a budget phone and they have their flagship phones to care about first.
That being said, there are rumors that E5 plus might get the Android 9.0 pie sooner than we think. So, fingers crossed. This phone with clean software and a glimpse of hope of an update gets an “A-” from me.
This brings us to the end of Motorola E5 Plus Review. If you are still confused and want my suggestions, here you go –
Buy: if you are just a causal user and don’t care about display or camera too much, but you love having phones with big battery life
Don’t buy: if you are a power user and you shoot photos with your phone all the time and you love sharp and vivid display.
That’s it. Those are my two cents on Moto e5 plus. So, what are your thoughts on this phone? Do you think it a decent phone considering the price point? Or is it just another budget phone?
Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment section below.