Motorola’s new Moto G6 range might be affordable phones, but the firm has also unveiled new budget Moto E5 devices that are even cheaper. Starting at just £119, here’s our initial thoughts on the Moto E5 after some hands-on time at the Sao Paulo launch event.
It’s a little confusing as to why the G6 is named so while the new Moto E range is a number behind. Well the Moto G arrived in 2013 and is now on its sixth-generation but the Moto E started life a year later in 2014 so is a generation behind.
Price and availability
The cheapest Moto G6 is the Play model that comes it at an affordable £169, but the Moto E5 is even more budget friendly at £119.
That’s a seriously cheap price for what is a pretty nice phone, making it a great option for those who can’t stretch to the higher end of the budget market.
It’s worth noting that there’s also a Moto E5 Plus that might take your interest with its 6in screen and huge 5000mAh battery. It costs £149. There’s also a Moto E5 Play but this is only for the US market.
While the Moto G6 phones are available from 2 May, you’ll have to wait until early June for the Moto E5 phones – available from Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone, Amazon and Argos.
Design and build
Motorola has a clear design language and this hasn’t changed for the Moto E5 series. You can see the similarity to the original yet the E5 looks like it’s a new model for 2018.
The Moto E5 looks very similar to the new Moto G6 range, especially the G6 Play at the front.
It’s fairly plain and simple with modest bezels and the Motorola logo below the screen – which is 18:9 despite being such a cheap phone.
At the back things are more interesting, although the Moto E5 has a more understated look to its G6 brothers. A striking round camera module is the centrepiece, while below sits the ‘M’ batwing logo which isn’t even just for show.
Despite the price of the E5, the logo is where the phone’s fingerprint scanner resides.
It’s impressive that the E5 has an aluminium rear cover, not just plastic as you would expect and we like the soft matt finish here. The phone looks stylish and feels nice in the hand, too.
At 9mm and 175g, the Moto E5 isn’t much thicker and heavier when compared to the regular Moto G6 which is more than twice the price. There’s no p2i water repellent coating here, though and you don’t get USB-C either.
It might look like the Moto E5 doesn’t have a headphone jack, but it’s merely at the top of the phone rather than next to the Micro-USB port.
The Moto E5 is available in the pictured Flash Grey colour or Fine Gold.
Specs and features
One of the things Motorola is making a big deal of with the G6 range is the new 18:9 Max Vision screen, following the trend across the phone market of taller displays, or widescreen if you’re holding it in landscape.
It would be perhaps understandable if this didn’t trickle down to the E range just yet but it has. So like the Moto G6 Play, the Moto E5 has a 5.7in screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio.
Impressively, it’s also IPS LCD and has the same HD+ resolution (720×1440) so that’s the same screen for £50 less.
There are other areas which are downgraded, though, so you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. That not much space, especially as Android will take a decent chunk of it, but there’s a microSD card slot so you can add up to 128GB more – almost a necessity here.
The specs are what we’d expect for the price point and although the Moto E5 performed fine during some hands-on time, we need to test it out properly before we can give a final verdict on performance.
Not only does the Moto E5 share the same display as the G6 Play, it has the same 13Mp rear camera which benefits from an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus and HDR. That’s pretty good for a phone just over £100.
Some test photos look pretty good but we’ll test it further when we have a review sample. The price is reflected more in the front camera which is 5Mp with an f/2.2 aperture. Still, we’d rather the focus (pun unintended) is on the rear camera.
We all want better battery life and with a 4000mAh battery, the Moto E5 could give you a nice boost with most phones offering around 3000mAh or less. It’s worth noting that if the battery is a key spec for you the Moto E5 Plus goes up to a huge 5000mAh.
Software and apps
Continuing its good form, Motorola offers an almost stock Android 8.0 Oreo experience with the Moto E5.
That means things are kept plain and simple, without lots of additional apps and features taking up space. It’s essentially the same interface you get with Google’s own Pixel 2 phones.
Motorola adds its own Moto Experiences app which adds genuinely useful things like gestures and display settings. You don’t get the new Moto Voice feature available on the Moto G6 phones though.