Skip to main content

Featured Post

Amazon's Black Friday Sale Begins: See What's On Offer

Amazon's Black Friday Sale is finally here. Here are some of the best deals on now.
We've had our fingers poised over our keyboards long enough in anticipation of Amazon's Black Friday Sale, which went live at midnight and will last until 25 November.

Moto E5 Play Review

How much smartphone can £89 get you? Find out in our Moto E5 Play review, as we put the budget member of Motorola's budget line through its paces.

  • £89
The E series is Motorola’s budget range, and the E5 Play is the budget-est of the current budget phones, clocking in at just £89 in the UK.

Inevitably any phone this cheap comes with some serious compromises, and anyone used to a faster phone may find the E5 Play a challenge to get along with - but at less than £100 it’s really hard to complain too much.

One quick note before we go on though: this is the UK version of the E5 Play, which is actually slightly different to the E5 Play that was released in the US, both in specs and software. As a result this review isn’t really applicable to the US handset.

The Moto E5 Play is available now in the UK, and costs just £89 to buy SIM-free from Amazon or Argos.

If you’d rather get it on a contract Tesco is offering the phone with contracts from £7.50 per month and Carphone Warehouse has options from £8.99 per month.

The E5 range also includes the £119 E5 and £149 E5 Plus which offer better specs, bigger displays, and longer battery life if you can afford to spend a little more.

The E5 Play looks surprisingly attractive for its price, though make no mistake: you won’t fool anyone into thinking this is a flagship device.

The 5.3in display is in the thinner 18:9 aspect ratio that’s become more popular in recent years, though is still flanked by thick bezels at the top and bottom of the screen - the latter of which includes the Motorola logo.

At 147.9mm x 71.2mm x 9.2mm the phone is comfortable to hold, and any fans of smaller phones will likely get on with it. The choice to build the body out of plastic rather than aluminium makes it feel a bit cheaper, but unfortunately hasn’t really made the phone any lighter: at 152g it’s hardly heavy, but you’d hope for something more lightweight given the size and build.

There’s a fingerprint sensor on the rear, emblazoned with the Motorola stylised ‘M’, but the placement is a bit low - I have to arch my finger to reach it comfortably, though anyone with smaller hands might find it more natural.
While the other E5 phones have a choice of colour options, the E5 Play is only available in black.

While the phone’s build hints at the price point, it’s once you dig into the specs that the E5 Play really can’t hide how cheap it is.

The 5.3in LCD screen is really the first giveaway of what you’re in for. It may boast a modern 18:9 aspect ratio, but the 480x960 resolution is a different matter entirely.

To anyone used to even your average modern smartphone the display here will immediately look outdated, with the knock-on effect of forcing you into an over-sized UI, with limits to how many app icons you can fit on a screen.

Viewing angles are poor, with noticeable saturation problems if you’re looking at any angle other than dead-on, and it’s not especially bright either, making it challenging to use in bright outdoor light.

Processor, memory and storage
Internal specs are also decidedly limited. The E5 Play runs the same Snapdragon 425 processor as the rest of the E5 series, but pairs it with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage - which isn’t much once you take into account the fact that Android itself takes up about a quarter of that. Luckily you can expand storage with a microSD card up to 128GB if you wish.

Those specs are limited, but about what you should expect for a phone below £100. Things run a bit slowly - expect a particularly noticeable delay when you switch between apps - but there’s not a major impact on simple stuff like web browsing or checking email.

In our benchmarking tests the E5 Play lagged behind the regular E5 and G6 Play in processing power, but made up for that in the graphics tests - benefitting from rendering to a lower resolution. It also outperformed the similarly priced Vodafone Smart N8 on every test, making it a clear winner there.

Connectivity and audio
Connectivity is definitely better at least. The big downside is that the E5 Play uses Micro-USB for charging, rather than USB-C, so you'll have to keep using the older cable. This also limits the charging and data transfer speeds the phone can manage.

You also get a headphone jack, which is always welcome, and there’s a microSD slot if you want to expand your storage. Naturally you also get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, though there’s no NFC - which we’d never normally expect on a sub-£100 phone, but is included on the £119 E5.

Cameras are another serious weakpoint here. The main shooter is just 8MP and f/2.0, with a 5MP selfie camera - a noticeable drop from the 13MP rear camera in the regular E5.

There’s a distinct lack of detail in photos, though the colour range is admittedly better than we expected, with support for basic HDR. Lowlight performance is very rough though, with limited light correction, faded colours, and consistent grain throughout photos.

Battery life
The battery here is a measly 2100mAh, though the undemanding specs keep power consumption manageable.

In practice this means the phone will last a full day, but only just - it'll be running on fumes when you go to bed, and as the battery degrades over time it probably won't even manage that.

There's no proper fast charging, but since the battery capacity is so small you can still top it up in just a couple of hours.

Because of the phone's slight specs the E5 Play doesn't actually run full Android - instead it runs Android Go, a leaner, stripped down version of the operating system built for underpowered devices.

That means you'll get the 'Go’ versions of the core Google apps like Gmail or Maps, which are optimised to run smoothly but at the cost of some features. For the most part you won't notice a significant difference, but you will run into small irritations, like the inability to swipe through your inbox on Gmail.

Most other apps will still be compatible, but it's worth noting that you will run into occasional errors or apps that refuse to download. These are sometimes a bit unpredictable too - Android Go won’t install the latest Google app, which in turn means you can’t run Google’s Podcasts app.

Part of the reality of using Android Go and a low-spec phone is running into minor frustrations and compatibility issues like this, so bear in mind that if you’re downgrading from another device there’s a chance some of your favourite apps won’t fun.

  • Android 8.1 Oreo Go
  • 5.3in 18:9 LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, 1.4GHz Quad-core
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB storage (expandable to 128GB)
  • 8MP rear camera, f/2.0 aperture
  • 5MP front facing camera
  • Fingerprint scanner (rear)
  • 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz
  • Bluetooth 4.2 LE
  • Nano-SIM
  • GPS
  • 2100mAh non-removable battery
  • 148 x 71 x 9mm
  • 152g


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review: Hands-on

We had time with Oppo’s new RX17 Pro. It may be blue and purple but how different is it to the similar OnePlus 6T and is it worth your time?
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
Oppo has made a solid mid-range phone in the RX17 Pro. Build quality is premium, fast charging is industry-best fast and the display is of high quality.But the price is high at 599€ considering the OnePlus 6T with a better processor starts at £499/€529. And while functioning as it’s supposed to, ColorOS is still unrefined for the western market with far too many changes to Android to recommend over competitors.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Review

Is there more to the Surface Laptop 2 than a lick of black paint? Find out in our full review.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2? The Surface Laptop 2 is a slightly odd one as it's not a huge upgrade on the original. That said, it comes in at the same price with a few upgrades and the new black colour.You get an 8th-gen Intel processor giving a nice performance boost as well as double the memory for the entry-level model. Battery life is a little down in our test but it's still a decent effort making this still one of the best laptop around.

Like Fan Page