Rapid Review: Motorola Moto E5

Low-cost Android handsets are everywhere. If you’re after a name-brand then you have plenty of options with options at a variety of different price points. The Motorola Moto E5 is a competent unit that ticks enough boxes to make it worth a look. Here’s what I found.

What Is It?

The Moto E5 is an entry level Android handset made by Lenovo under the Motorola brand they acquired from Google a few years ago.

The 5-inch display isn’t quite edge-to-edge as there are thin bezels on the sides as well as a band at the top for the camera and speaker and another at the bottom. The back is plastic so there’s less likelihood of it being shattered in the event of a drop.

The design and performance aren’t going to win any competitions but that’s not what you’d expect at this price point.


Display 5.7” 720×1440 HD+ (18:9 aspect ratio) 282ppi, glass
Storage 16 or 32 GB, expandable with up to 256GB via microSD
Processor and memory Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 1.4 GHz quad-core with 2 or 3GB of RAM (depending on storage option)
Size and weight 144 x 73.5 x 9.5 mm, 145g
OS and Software Android 8.0 (Oreo)
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, FM Radio, USB-C
Cameras 13 MP and 5 MP
Battery RTemovable Li-Ion 2800 mAh

What’s Good?

While Motorola has kept the cost down by skimping a little on storage and the processor, they’ve made sure the display and battery life – two of things that most impact the perception of how well a smartphone works – aren’t going to drive you around the bend.

The screen is very good and delivers pics from the 13MP rear camera and during Skype calls. Text was clear and I didn’t find any problems with it at all.

Battery life is solid but it’s worth noting if you purchase online that there are few different battery variants. While the official rating is 2800mAh, I’ve seen references to larger batteries. I went well over a day on a single charge while shooting photos, playing games and keeping up with friends and colleagues over email and several different messaging tools.

Charging is by USB-C which will help reduce the number of different cables you need to carry as that standard is embraced by more phone and accessory makers.

What’s Bad?

The camera was great in well-lit conditions but once the lights dimmed things got a little hazy. For example, shooting pics of kids in a dimly lit room while waiting to blow the candles out on a cake resulted in some graininess that I didn’t see with a high-end handset I was using for comparison.

If you’re looking at this handset with a view to upgrading to Android P, the word is that upgrade won’t be coming to this handset.

Should You Buy It

There’s a lot to like about the Motorola Moto E5. At around $225, it’s a decent option of you don’t need the latest and greatest features.

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