Notebookcheck

Motorola Moto E4 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Mark Riege), 09/12/2017

Removable. In this case we mean it in a positive way, since the battery can be removed in the Moto E4. The smartphone is also quite affordable and offers a fingerprint sensor. You can find out in the test whether the competition needs to brace for this.

Lenovo Moto E4

For the original German review, see here.

The Moto E4 is a smartphone available for barely 160 Euros (~$190; available for $130 in the US), that places it in the entry-level segment. You get a compact 5-inch case and even a removable battery, which is a rarity with current smartphones. It came on the market together with the Moto E4 Plus, which offers a much larger battery and better cameras but then costs almost 40 Euros (~$48) more. The predecessor, the Moto E3, was again considerably cheaper, so it will be interesting to see where Lenovo made the improvements.

As comparison devices we use similarly priced 5-inch smartphones, such as the LG K8, the Gigaset GS170, the Samsung Galaxy J3, and the Huawei Y6.

Lenovo Moto E4 (Moto E Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel 294 PPI, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio port, Card Reader: microSD up to 32 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, USB-OTG
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20/​B38/​B40), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.9 x 144 x 72.9 ( = 0.35 x 5.67 x 2.87 in)
Battery
10.6 Wh, 2800 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix f/​2.2, contrast AF, LED flash, videos @720p/​30fps
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix f/​2.2
Additional features
Speakers: speaker at the bottom edge, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, 24 Months Warranty, LTE Cat.4 (150 MBit/s download, 50 MBit/s upload); SAR value: 0,553 W/kg (head), 1,27 W/kg (body), fanless
Weight
151 g ( = 5.33 oz / 0.33 pounds), Power Supply: 56 g ( = 1.98 oz / 0.12 pounds)
Price
159 Euro

 

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Case

Compared to the predecessor, the design has been adjusted. The long slot in the bottom area, behind which the speaker was, has disappeared and the speaker now radiates towards the back. What has remained is the removable back, which is made from metal. In the Moto E4 it is incredibly difficult to take off and can only be removed using a lot of force. In addition, the thin metal case bends easily and then does not fit perfectly onto the back anymore. 

Underneath the back cover is the battery which you have to remove to get at the SIM card or microSD, so a hot swap with the phone running is not possible. This is surprising, since in the Moto E4 Plus you can exchange the cards while the phone is running without any problems. The case is fairly stable, and pressure on the front or back hardly reaches the display. When twisting it, the case does not creak, but there are small traces in the liquid crystal.

What we like about Lenovo's rounded design language is that it makes the smartphone sit in the hand comfortably. At 151 grams, the Moto E4 is not particularly a lightweight, but it is not much heavier than comparable smartphones either.

Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4

Size Comparison

Compared to the Moto E3, the working memory and storage were each doubled: there is 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of memory storage in the Moto E4. This is the standard equipment in this price range.

At the bottom edge is a micro-USB port. In this price class, USB-C is still rather unusual. USB-OTG is supported, so you can connect external data storage and even charge other devices with the battery in the Moto E4. MicroSD cards can be inserted into the dedicated slot. Lenovo promises up to 32 GB, but our 64-GB card also works flawlessly. You can format the cards as internal or external storage. With the latter, you can use the cards also in other devices, but then you cannot move apps onto the microSD.

Top: 3.5-mm audio port
Top: 3.5-mm audio port
Bottom: USB port, microphone
Bottom: USB port, microphone
Left: no connections
Left: no connections
Right: volume rocker, standby key
Right: volume rocker, standby key

Software

Lenovo uses Android 7.0 as the operating system. Besides the just released Android 8 which can only be found on a few devices, the more current version is 7.1.1, but neither of them are available for the Moto E4. At the time of testing, the security patches were already half a year old, and it is unlikely that there will be updates, since they are rare in this price class.

Android purists will be happy that Lenovo does not install its own UI but uses a pure Android. There are also hardly any additional apps and no preinstalled advertising apps on the smartphone either. You can activate a few additional functions with the Moto app, for example, if you lift up the smartphone, the display can automatically wake up in reduced form and show the time and notifications. Unfortunately, this does not always work perfectly with the Moto E4 but at times is delayed considerably. But in principle it is a great feature.

Lenovo Moto E4 software
Lenovo Moto E4 software
Lenovo Moto E4 software
Lenovo Moto E4 software
Lenovo Moto E4 software
Lenovo Moto E4 software
Lenovo Moto E4 software
Lenovo Moto E4 software

Communication and GPS

With eight LTE bands the Lenovo Moto E4 looks good. At least in nearby foreign countries you don't need to worry about finding a network. In this price class, LTE Cat. 4 is standard. The reception in the inner-city areas of the German D2 net is okay, and we can get half of the reception bars also indoors.

For WLAN networks, the 802.11 b/g/n standards are supported. The less used and therefore often faster 5-GHz band is not available. Even in this less demanding price class, the WLAN speeds are among the worst and even the predecessor was faster. We load various websites near the router to see how this looks in practice. The web pages render quite slowly and pictures often take 10 seconds to load. At a 10-meter distance from the router and through three walls, 3/4 of the signal still arrives, but loading the pages is even slower than directly next to the router.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG K8 2017
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
54.1 MBit/s ∼100% +26%
Gigaset GS170
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.4 MBit/s ∼91% +15%
Lenovo Moto E3
Mali-T720, MT6735P, 8 GB eMMC Flash
47 MBit/s ∼87% +9%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.9 MBit/s ∼87% +9%
Huawei Y6 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.6 MBit/s ∼81% +1%
Lenovo Moto E4
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.1 MBit/s ∼80%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.5 MBit/s ∼100% +16%
Gigaset GS170
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.9 MBit/s ∼93% +8%
Lenovo Moto E3
Mali-T720, MT6735P, 8 GB eMMC Flash
49.3 MBit/s ∼92% +7%
LG K8 2017
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.2 MBit/s ∼92% +7%
Huawei Y6 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
48.7 MBit/s ∼91% +6%
Lenovo Moto E4
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.1 MBit/s ∼86%
GPS test, indoors
GPS test, indoors
GPS test, outdoors
GPS test, outdoors

While indoors it is unable to locate our position, we are quickly located within an accuracy of eight meters (~26 ft) outdoors. This is rather inexact. Our practical test of the precision locating our position includes a tour on a mountain bike. Besides the Lenovo Moto E4, we also took the professional Garmin Edge 500 navigation device for comparison. On our test unit, the measured distance is 280 meters (~919 ft) shorter, which is quite a big difference on our 6.5 km (~4 miles) test route. In sections, the Moto E4 places us completely off the route, and anyone who wants to navigate with this smartphone should not rely on it too much.

GPS Garmin Edge 500 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – crossroads
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – crossroads
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – woods
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – woods
GPS Motorola Moto E4 – overview
GPS Motorola Moto E4 – overview
GPS Motorola Moto E4 – crossroads
GPS Motorola Moto E4 – crossroads
GPS Motorola Moto E4 – woods
GPS Motorola Moto E4 – woods

Phone and Call Quality

Lenovo uses Android's standard app for the phone functions of the smartphone. This app is clear and its operation intuitive. Initially you see the entered favorites or often used contacts. You can display the often little-used phone keys with an entry key, and tabs on top offer the list of phone calls and contacts.

The call quality is decent. The ear piece can become fairly loud but then booms quite a bit. The conversation partner is easily understandable and sounds fairly natural. The sound is pleasantly noise free. The microphone records our voice quite well and is also able to deal with fairly loud or low voices. On the speaker phone, the voice of our conversation partner sounds much less full and the highs and mids are strongly emphasized. However, it is still easily understandable. The microphone is good here as well and only has problems to record very low voices from time to time.

Cameras

Image by front camera
Image by front camera

While the Moto E4 Plus has a 13-MP camera on the back, you have to make do with an 8-MP camera in the Moto E4. This is the same as in the Moto E3, but nowadays not suitable anymore even in this price class. Pictures taken with the main camera appear slightly blurry, and larger color areas appear spotty. In addition, the camera could be brighter. The dynamic in bright areas is fairly good and you can also still make out a few details in dark areas. You can take videos at a maximum 720p resolution with 30 fps. The autofocus attracts attention with some annoying pumping, so it goes through all the stages of sharpness and blurriness, before it finds the right one. The images then appear fairly sharp, but larger areas are poor in detail. The exposure adjusts to the environment quite fast and accurately.

The front camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels, which is the norm in almost all the devices of this price level and even above. The pictures appear with slightly cool colors. You have to keep the right distance to the object through the fixed focus, otherwise the image becomes blurry. The dynamic in dark areas is quite good, but bright areas become quickly too bright.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

The main camera also must prove itself in our test lab, where we use controlled light conditions for easier comparison of the camera images. Color areas appear in parts very pixelated with the camera of the Moto E4, and the edges are often blurry. The color display is clearly too pale. Here the Samsung Galaxy J3, for example, does much better in terms of the camera.

Picture taken of reference card
Picture taken of reference card
Detail of reference card
Detail of reference card
ColorChecker: The target color is displayed in the bottom half of each field.
ColorChecker: The target color is displayed in the bottom half of each field.

Accessories and Warranty

Except for the charger and a USB cable, there are no accessories in the box. The warranty of the device is limited to 24 months.

Input Devices and Operation

Being faithful to the Motorola philosophy, Lenovo uses Google's GBoard standard app as the virtual keyboard. It is intuitive to operate, very clean, and it still has strong functionalities. 

There is a fingerprint sensor below the screen, which is always a small sensation in this price class. It operates very fast and can also be used for Android navigation. A short press brings you back to the Home screen and a longer press switches the smartphone into standby mode. By swiping, you go back or go to the last opened app. If you don't want that, you can just use the on-screen keys for navigation.

Although the hardware keys for standby and volume are set tightly into their places on the right case side, their pressure point is slightly spongy.

Keyboard, landscape
Keyboard, landscape
Keyboard, portrait
Keyboard, portrait

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

A display with 1280x720 pixel resolution is standard in this price class, and with the Moto E4, Lenovo sticks to this. The 5-inch screen appears sufficiently sharp, but of course Full HD displays appear even slightly sharper in a direct comparison. Compared to the predecessor, the screen became a little brighter and now achieves a very good 474 cd/m² on average. However at 87%, the brightness distribution is not quite so even anymore and small brightness differences in large color areas are even visible to the naked eye.

511
cd/m²
487
cd/m²
452
cd/m²
491
cd/m²
488
cd/m²
447
cd/m²
468
cd/m²
479
cd/m²
443
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 511 cd/m² Average: 474 cd/m² Minimum: 7.21 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 488 cd/m²
Contrast: 1627:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.4 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 5.5 | - Ø
96.2% sRGB (Calman)
Gamma: 2.27
Lenovo Moto E4
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Huawei Y6 2017
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
PLS, 1280x720, 5
Gigaset GS170
IPS, 1280x720, 5
LG K8 2017
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo Moto E3
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Screen
35%
8%
-47%
-31%
-18%
Brightness
474
432
-9%
494
4%
418
-12%
351
-26%
420
-11%
Brightness Distribution
87
90
3%
89
2%
92
6%
93
7%
91
5%
Black Level *
0.3
0.13
57%
0.35
-17%
0.45
-50%
0.49
-63%
0.41
-37%
Contrast
1627
3369
107%
1434
-12%
929
-43%
731
-55%
1063
-35%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.4
4.8
11%
4.6
15%
9.7
-80%
7.1
-31%
5.4
-0%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.5
3.2
42%
2.5
55%
11.3
-105%
6.5
-18%
7
-27%
Gamma
2.27 106%
2.23 108%
2.29 105%
2.27 106%
2.12 113%
2.13 113%
CCT
7397 88%
7090 92%
6351 102%
10414 62%
8166 80%
8318 78%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 57 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 6562 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

A good black value of 0.3 cd/m² together with the good maximum brightness leads to the contrast ratio of 1627:1. This is a very good value, but our test unit still cannot stand up against the Huawei Y6 which has an extremely high contrast. You can activate the "Intensive" color mode in the settings to make the colors appear slightly more vibrant, otherwise they appear quite natural. It is just a matter of taste whichever you prefer. The test unit cannot reach the great colors of an AMOLED display, though.

This also shows in a more detailed examination of the screen with the spectral photometer and the CalMAN software. In addition to a slight blue tint, the accuracy of the color display is only mediocre. At least more than 96% of the sRGB color space is covered according to CalMAN. However, this measurement shows more of a trend.

CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color space
CalMAN color space
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 80 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 11 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.8 ms).

Thanks to its bright display, you can also use the Moto E4 outdoors, but of course the reflective surface will be a hindrance in bright surroundings. The brightness sensor adjusts the display brightness fittingly and quickly.

The viewing angles of the display are good, thanks to IPS, and you can recognize the image on the screen from any perspective. However, you do need to count on color and brightness shifts.

Outdoor use, minimum brightness
Outdoor use, minimum brightness
Outdoor use, medium brightness
Outdoor use, medium brightness
Outdoor use, maximum brightness
Outdoor use, maximum brightness
Outdoor use, brightness sensor
Outdoor use, brightness sensor
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Lenovo Moto E4 is equipped with a Mediatek MT6737, which has four cores and a maximum 1250 MHz clock speed. This makes the device noticeably faster than its predecessor, so that a 20 to 30% higher performance is possible in the benchmarks. Compared to similarly priced devices, the Moto E4 is in the middle of the field. The Huawei Y6 is considerably faster, while the LG K8 and the Gigaset GS170, which uses the same SoC, are about at the same level.

An ARM Mali-T720 MP2 with two cores and a 650 MHz clock speed handles the graphics calculations. With this, the Moto E4 achieves a performance in the middle of the field of the comparison devices. At least all the benchmarks will run, while the Moto E3 and LG K8 in parts don't get any results at all here. This is a good indication that the Moto E4 should be more stable and be able to handle more apps than those devices.

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
30856 Points ∼14%
Huawei Y6 2017
40981 Points ∼18% +33%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
35669 Points ∼16% +16%
Gigaset GS170
30144 Points ∼13% -2%
LG K8 2017
30924 Points ∼14% 0%
Lenovo Moto E3
20542 Points ∼9% -33%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
2674 Points ∼39%
Huawei Y6 2017
3487 Points ∼51% +30%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3436 Points ∼50% +28%
Gigaset GS170
2600 Points ∼38% -3%
LG K8 2017
2986 Points ∼44% +12%
Lenovo Moto E3
2087 Points ∼31% -22%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
3518 Points ∼42%
Huawei Y6 2017
4607 Points ∼56% +31%
Gigaset GS170
3344 Points ∼40% -5%
LG K8 2017
4673 Points ∼56% +33%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
617 Points ∼40%
Huawei Y6 2017
734 Points ∼48% +19%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
662 Points ∼43% +7%
Gigaset GS170
558 Points ∼36% -10%
LG K8 2017
616 Points ∼40% 0%
Lenovo Moto E3
528 Points ∼34% -14%
Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
208 Points ∼2%
Huawei Y6 2017
386 Points ∼4% +86%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
252 Points ∼3% +21%
Gigaset GS170
210 Points ∼2% +1%
LG K8 2017
436 Points ∼5% +110%
Lenovo Moto E3
177 Points ∼2% -15%
Memory (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
576 Points ∼13%
Huawei Y6 2017
1288 Points ∼29% +124%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1055 Points ∼24% +83%
Gigaset GS170
610 Points ∼14% +6%
LG K8 2017
634 Points ∼14% +10%
Lenovo Moto E3
401 Points ∼9% -30%
System (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
1077 Points ∼16%
Huawei Y6 2017
1354 Points ∼21% +26%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1395 Points ∼21% +30%
Gigaset GS170
1170 Points ∼18% +9%
LG K8 2017
1191 Points ∼18% +11%
Lenovo Moto E3
817 Points ∼12% -24%
Overall (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
531 Points ∼14%
Huawei Y6 2017
839 Points ∼22% +58%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
704 Points ∼19% +33%
Gigaset GS170
538 Points ∼14% +1%
LG K8 2017
371 Points ∼10% -30%
Lenovo Moto E3
418 Points ∼11% -21%
Geekbench 4.1
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
938 Points ∼11%
Huawei Y6 2017
1238 Points ∼15% +32%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1135 Points ∼13% +21%
LG K8 2017
1203 Points ∼14% +28%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
1532 Points ∼8%
Huawei Y6 2017
1903 Points ∼10% +24%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1858 Points ∼10% +21%
Gigaset GS170
1595 Points ∼9% +4%
LG K8 2017
1737 Points ∼9% +13%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
530 Points ∼11%
Huawei Y6 2017
680 Points ∼14% +28%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
634 Points ∼13% +20%
Gigaset GS170
581 Points ∼12% +10%
LG K8 2017
642 Points ∼13% +21%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
783 Points ∼26%
Huawei Y6 2017
971 Points ∼32% +24%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
923 Points ∼31% +18%
Gigaset GS170
772 Points ∼26% -1%
LG K8 2017
Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
85 Points ∼2%
Huawei Y6 2017
143 Points ∼3% +68%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
63 Points ∼1% -26%
Gigaset GS170
74 Points ∼1% -13%
LG K8 2017
Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
106 Points ∼3%
Huawei Y6 2017
176 Points ∼5% +66%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
79 Points ∼2% -25%
Gigaset GS170
93 Points ∼2% -12%
LG K8 2017
Points ∼0% -100%
Lenovo Moto E3
Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
774 Points ∼26%
Huawei Y6 2017
967 Points ∼32% +25%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
925 Points ∼31% +20%
Gigaset GS170
781 Points ∼26% +1%
LG K8 2017
622 Points ∼21% -20%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
126 Points ∼2%
Huawei Y6 2017
221 Points ∼3% +75%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
92 Points ∼1% -27%
Gigaset GS170
227 Points ∼3% +80%
LG K8 2017
31 Points ∼0% -75%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
155 Points ∼3%
Huawei Y6 2017
267 Points ∼5% +72%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
115 Points ∼2% -26%
Gigaset GS170
152 Points ∼3% -2%
LG K8 2017
39 Points ∼1% -75%
Lenovo Moto E3
Points ∼0% -100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
8266 Points ∼11%
Huawei Y6 2017
11088 Points ∼15% +34%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
11426 Points ∼16% +38%
Gigaset GS170
8178 Points ∼11% -1%
LG K8 2017
6656 Points ∼9% -19%
Lenovo Moto E3
7156 Points ∼10% -13%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
3168 Points ∼1%
Huawei Y6 2017
6184 Points ∼1% +95%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3725 Points ∼1% +18%
Gigaset GS170
3167 Points ∼1% 0%
LG K8 2017
2546 Points ∼1% -20%
Lenovo Moto E3
2694 Points ∼1% -15%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
3671 Points ∼2%
Huawei Y6 2017
6858 Points ∼3% +87%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
4381 Points ∼2% +19%
Gigaset GS170
3666 Points ∼2% 0%
LG K8 2017
2951 Points ∼1% -20%
Lenovo Moto E3
3127 Points ∼2% -15%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
6 fps ∼0%
Huawei Y6 2017
11 fps ∼1% +83%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
6.8 fps ∼1% +13%
Gigaset GS170
6 fps ∼0% 0%
LG K8 2017
3.4 fps ∼0% -43%
Lenovo Moto E3
5 fps ∼0% -17%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
11 fps ∼2%
Huawei Y6 2017
17 fps ∼4% +55%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
11 fps ∼2% 0%
Gigaset GS170
11 fps ∼2% 0%
LG K8 2017
6.4 fps ∼1% -42%
Lenovo Moto E3
9 fps ∼2% -18%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
2.2 fps ∼0%
Huawei Y6 2017
3.9 fps ∼1% +77%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2.6 fps ∼0% +18%
Gigaset GS170
2.2 fps ∼0% 0%
LG K8 2017
1.3 fps ∼0% -41%
Lenovo Moto E3
1.8 fps ∼0% -18%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
4.8 fps ∼1%
Huawei Y6 2017
8.1 fps ∼2% +69%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
5.4 fps ∼1% +13%
Gigaset GS170
4.8 fps ∼1% 0%
LG K8 2017
3.7 fps ∼1% -23%
Lenovo Moto E3
4 fps ∼1% -17%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
1.4 fps ∼0%
Huawei Y6 2017
2.5 fps ∼1% +79%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1.7 fps ∼0% +21%
Gigaset GS170
1.4 fps ∼0% 0%
LG K8 2017
fps ∼0% -100%
Lenovo Moto E3
1.2 fps ∼0% -14%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
14 fps ∼8%
Huawei Y6 2017
6 fps ∼3% -57%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3.8 fps ∼2% -73%
Gigaset GS170
3.4 fps ∼2% -76%
LG K8 2017
fps ∼0% -100%
Lenovo Moto E3
2.9 fps ∼2% -79%

Legend

 
Lenovo Moto E4 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Y6 2017 Mediatek MT6737T, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 Samsung Exynos 7570 Quad, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Gigaset GS170 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG K8 2017 Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, Qualcomm Adreno 308, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto E3 Mediatek MT6735P, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash

In the browser performance, the Moto E4 places more in the rear of the comparison field. Even though more demanding HTML5 games such as the pinball game at letsplay.ouigo.com stutter at times, they are still smoothly playable.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Huawei Y6 2017 (Chrome 60)
17.643 Points ∼100% +21%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Chrome 59)
17.17 Points ∼97% +18%
LG K8 2017 (Chrome 57)
17.124 Points ∼97% +18%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
14.57 Points ∼83%
Gigaset GS170 (Chrome Version 59)
14.342 Points ∼81% -2%
Lenovo Moto E3 (Chrome 56)
12.43 Points ∼70% -15%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Huawei Y6 2017 (Chrome 60)
3092 Points ∼100% +36%
LG K8 2017 (Chrome 57)
3052 Points ∼99% +34%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Chrome 59)
2921 Points ∼94% +29%
Gigaset GS170 (Chrome Version 59)
2284 Points ∼74% +1%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
2270 Points ∼73%
Lenovo Moto E3 (Chrome 56)
2077 Points ∼67% -9%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
17184.6 ms * ∼100%
Lenovo Moto E3 (Chrome 56)
16744 ms * ∼97% +3%
Gigaset GS170 (Chrome Version 59)
16722.7 ms * ∼97% +3%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Chrome 59)
12791 ms * ∼74% +26%
Huawei Y6 2017 (Chrome 60)
12254.8 ms * ∼71% +29%
LG K8 2017 (Chrome 57)
10742 ms * ∼63% +37%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Huawei Y6 2017 (Chrome 60)
65 Points ∼100% +35%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Chrome 59)
60 Points ∼92% +25%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
48 Points ∼74%
Lenovo Moto E3 (Chrome 56)
38 Points ∼58% -21%

* ... smaller is better

In terms of accessing the storage, our test unit does not fare that badly, but it remains only on the level of the price class. The access to our reference microSD card, a Toshiba Exceria Pro M501, is quite fast, but it cannot make use of the potential fast access rates of the card by any means. In the internal storage random writes, meaning the writing onto randomly distributed blocks, the memory is quite fast, while all the remaining access speeds are rather mediocre. In general, the load times of the device are average. 

Lenovo Moto E4Huawei Y6 2017Samsung Galaxy J3 2017Gigaset GS170LG K8 2017Lenovo Moto E3
AndroBench 3-5
-0%
2%
-26%
39%
-41%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
44.9
26.4
-41%
59.6
33%
21.34 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-52%
52.23 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
16%
17.49 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-61%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
65.4
48.4
-26%
70.3
7%
37.41 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-43%
78.55 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
20%
29.78 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-54%
Random Write 4KB
29.2
20.54
-30%
9.5
-67%
10.45
-64%
12.5
-57%
8
-73%
Random Read 4KB
18.7
25.93
39%
24
28%
18.34
-2%
41.6
122%
16
-14%
Sequential Write 256KB
45.3
66.88
48%
51
13%
44.79
-1%
84.6
87%
37.3
-18%
Sequential Read 256KB
187.6
202.55
8%
177.7
-5%
197.86
5%
270.8
44%
141.4
-25%

Games

The demanding Asphalt 8 racing game does not run smoothly in full detail. Only 13 fps is reached on average, and with minimum detail it reaches 29 fps which is slightly less than the completely smooth 30 frames. Dead Trigger 2, a zombie shooter, is less demanding and it runs smoothly also on the Moto E4. The same goes for simpler games such as Angry Birds.

Operation creates no problems, and the touchscreen and position sensor function reliably and without delay.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high13 fps
 very low29 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

Under maximum load our test unit reaches a temperature of 35 °C (95 °F) at most, which we measured at the front in the camera area. This is a warming which can hardly be felt. Compared to the idle mode, the device warms up only by 3 °C (~5 °F) at this place.

We do not expect a limitation to the performance via throttling. In the GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 battery test which renders a sequence 30 times and then compares the achieved frames, there are only minimal differences between the beginning and end of the test run. Thus the performance can also be maintained after a longer load.

Max. Load
 33.8 °C31.5 °C30.5 °C 
 35 °C32 °C30.9 °C 
 34.7 °C32 °C30.9 °C 
Maximum: 35 °C
Average: 32.4 °C
31.4 °C32.3 °C33 °C
31.8 °C33 °C33.9 °C
32 °C33 °C34.5 °C
Maximum: 34.5 °C
Average: 32.8 °C
Power Supply (max.)  37.1 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-350
Heat-map front
Heat-map front
Heat-map back
Heat-map back

Speaker

Speaker test pink noise
Speaker test pink noise

The small mono speaker is positioned at the back. This is not a particularly good position, since it can easily be muffled by the hand or on soft surfaces. The maximum volume of the speaker is 85.6 dB(A), which can fill a small room. However, the speaker emphasizes the highs and the low mids and bass is lacking, so listening to music is not really enjoyable. At least the highs are not booming uncomfortably but are still recognizable with higher volumes. The speaker is good enough to listen to music or videos, but anyone wanting a better sound needs to use headphones or external speakers, which can easily be connected to the 3.5-mm audio port or via Bluetooth to receive a clean sound.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.129.231.12527.128.627.13128.328.728.34032.734.632.75028.227.728.26326.124.826.18026.531.526.510026.133.826.112531.228.331.216023.522.923.520027.521.127.525035.42035.431545.82045.840054.32254.350062.822.962.86306819.36880071.118.371.1100073.618.373.6125072.717.972.7160075.716.475.720007516.575250075.316.775.3315075.616.275.6400074.316.174.3500072.816.272.8630072.816.172.8800071.416.171.41000074.316.174.31250071.51671.51600061.316.161.3SPL85.629.985.6N62.31.462.3median 71.4Lenovo Moto E4median 17.9median 71.4Delta13.32.813.329.629.929.627.928.927.928.83028.836.647.836.630.534.230.525.726.325.724.528.524.528.131.728.138.536.238.530.423.430.436.121.736.14020.74043.919.643.947.52147.553.820.253.859.818.759.864.718.864.765.717.665.767.117.667.169.516.869.570.116.370.172.816.472.873.916.173.975.916.275.973.81673.870.315.970.370.216.170.273.61673.668.815.868.853.815.953.883.429.983.452.11.452.1median 65.7Huawei Y6 2017median 17.6median 65.711.52.711.5hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Lenovo Moto E4 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 39.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (2.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 43% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 45% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 67% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Y6 2017 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.8% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 52% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 73% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison (checkboxes selectable!)

Battery Life

Power Consumption

The Moto E4 likes to use a little more power, in particular in idle mode. When the device is turned on but there is no load, at 2.38 watts on average, the smartphone uses quite a lot of power. The predecessor was overall more efficient and the comparison devices also make do with much less power. However, under load the energy consumption is comparatively low.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.11 / 0.23 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.87 / 2.38 / 2.47 Watt
Load midlight 2.63 / 3.86 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Moto E4
2800 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2400 mAh
Gigaset GS170
2500 mAh
LG K8 2017
2500 mAh
Lenovo Moto E3
2800 mAh
Power Consumption
3%
14%
13%
17%
Idle Minimum *
0.87
0.82
6%
0.54
38%
0.65
25%
0.79
9%
Idle Average *
2.38
1.94
18%
1.56
34%
1.6
33%
1.7
29%
Idle Maximum *
2.47
2.06
17%
1.6
35%
1.62
34%
1.72
30%
Load Average *
2.63
3.31
-26%
3.18
-21%
2.97
-13%
2.65
-1%
Load Maximum *
3.86
3.89
-1%
4.42
-15%
4.34
-12%
3.16
18%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

With 2800 mAh or 10.6 Wh, the battery has quite a high capacity. Yet, a runtime of only 8:42 hours in the WLAN test is disappointing. The Galaxy J3 by Samsung gets three hours more out of a smaller battery. The predecessor lasted much longer as well. The idle battery life of not even 22 hours is much less compelling. We expected more from the relatively large battery capacity of the Moto E4, and the standard battery life for a device of this price class remains unchanged. However, it is still plenty for a workday at the office and even for the night afterwards. During average use, the device has to be plugged in the next day, though. Charging takes just below two hours.

The removable battery is definitely a large advantage. Anyone who needs a longer battery life can just take a second charged battery and use that when necessary.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
21h 42min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
8h 42min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 16min
Lenovo Moto E4
2800 mAh
Huawei Y6 2017
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2400 mAh
Gigaset GS170
2500 mAh
LG K8 2017
2500 mAh
Lenovo Moto E3
2800 mAh
Battery Runtime
13%
20%
-15%
2%
7%
Reader / Idle
1302
1522
17%
1425
9%
1325
2%
H.264
608
693
14%
819
35%
649
7%
WiFi v1.3
522
654
25%
722
38%
442
-15%
594
14%
621
19%
Load
316
302
-4%
305
-3%
280
-11%
315
0%

Pros

+ removable battery
+ dedicated microSD slot
+ not sensitive to pressure
+ quite a lot of LTE bands
+ fingerprint sensor
+ pure Android
+ bright display, good contrast
+ hardly warms up
+ decent voice quality

Cons

- cover is very tight
- back cover bends easily
- outdated security patches
- slow WLAN
- quite inaccurate GPS
- camera images blurry in parts
- high power consumption

Verdict

In review: Lenovo Moto E4. Test unit provided by Lenovo Germany.
In review: Lenovo Moto E4. Test unit provided by Lenovo Germany.

The Moto E4 is an affordable smartphone that offers some highlights, such as a fingerprint sensor, pure Android, and removable battery. If you don't consider the camera the most important feature in a smartphone or depend on exact navigation, then you get the performance typical for this price class in all the other areas: the voice quality is decent, the performance appropriate, and the battery life suitable in practice.

Compared to the predecessor, the higher price is justified by the metal case, the higher performance, and the additional storage. The reason why entry-level phones in particular cost a few Euros more this year lies to a large extent in the storage chips which are currently very expensive. The Moto E3, for example, offered a longer battery life, which makes taking a look at it also worthwhile. As a note to anyone who is currently looking at the Moto E4 Plus: it is much larger and heavier, and the battery is not removable, but it also has a much larger capacity. Compared to the Moto E4, the performance is about the same. For anyone who would like to find out more, we have a detailed review of the Moto E4 Plus.

The Moto E4 is a solid entry-level smartphone that has only few essential weaknesses and convinces with a removable battery and fingerprint sensor. However, the camera should not be very important to the user, since the image quality is rather meager.

When buying a smartphone, you should always weigh which features are really important to you. If a removable battery and a fingerprint sensor belong to these features, the Moto E4 is surely a device you should consider. But anyone who hopes for a long life of the built-in battery should rather consider the Samsung Galaxy J3, which at this point falls in the same price range as the Moto E4. The Huawei Y6 offers most performance for the buck.

Lenovo Moto E4 - 09/08/2017 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
64 / 75 → 86%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
36 / 60 → 60%
Weight
92%
Battery
91%
Display
85%
Games Performance
6 / 63 → 10%
Application Performance
30 / 70 → 43%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
57 / 91 → 63%
Camera
55%
Average
68%
80%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Motorola Moto E4 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-09-12 (Update: 2017-09-17)