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Moto hasn’t been very visible in today’s smartphone radar, though they’ve assured us that they’re still present in the country. In fact, they’ve sent us a review unit of one of their recent budget devices, the Moto E5 Plus.

Armed with a Snapdragon 430, a 6-inch display, and a massive 5,000mAh battery, this phone does look to be promising, offering a balance of performance, and longevity. But with a segment that’s saturated with so many other options, can this one prove its worth? let’s find out in this full review.

Specifications
ProcessorSnapdragon 430 (Octa-Core)
RAM3GB
Storage32GB (Expandable)
Display6" HD+ 18:9
Rear Camera12MP (f/2.0)
Front Camera5MP with Selfie Light
OSAndroid 8.0 Oreo
Battery5,000mAh
Other FeaturesLaser AF
Video Stabilization
Slo-motion Mode
Unboxing

Design and Build Quality

moto e5 plus u 2 - Unboxing and First Impressions: Moto E5 Plus

At first glance, this phone seems like a big Nexus 5, especially when looking at the top and bottom bezels. Its mainly plastic body is coated with a glossy finish to make it look more premium. Unfortunately, it’s also a smudge magnet.

moto e5 plus u 5 - Unboxing and First Impressions: Moto E5 Plus

For a phone with a 5,000mAh power pack, the Moto E5 Plus isn’t as thick as I expected, though it does feel slightly heavier than your typical smartphone. The back panel houses a single rear camera, placed a section with the LED flash, that makes it look like a smiling face. Oh, and there’s another dash of branding under it. (Can’t get enough branding)

Moto E5 Plus ReviewUp top is the headphone jack, and at the bottom is a standard microUSB port, which is kind of expected at this segment, and the microphone.

moto e5 plus u 15 - Unboxing and First Impressions: Moto E5 Plus

While HD+ resolution does seem a bit off for large 6-inch display. Icons surprisingly don’t look pixelated, text is sharp enough, and colors are also rich enough to keep the lively vibe.

Performance

While the phone does a fine job as a daily driver for common tasks, such as web browsing, social media, and music, its processor a Snapdragon 430 is kind of already outdated for a 2018 device. That also gives it less value, if you’re gunning to use it for a long time. It would’ve been better if they put in one of the newer 400 series chips, like the 450.

Moto E5 Plus ReviewAs always, I used the GameBench app to measure gaming performance – PUBG Mobile will run on Smooth Settings + Medium FPS. I did encounter occasional stutters, but the game is very much playable. You can also play Arena of Valor at max settings even with HD mode on, and Real Racing 3 runs at decent frame rates, proving its optimization even for less-powerful devices.

Camera

The 12MP rear camera of the Moto E5 does a decent job not only in good lighting, but also in those where there’s less than ideal illumination.

Moto E5 Plus Review

Moto E5 Plus Review

Moto E5 Plus Review

Everything from detail, sharpness, and richness would be more than enough to pass for your usual social media posts.

Moto E5 Plus Review

As far as the depth of field effect is concerned, pixelation is present on the blurred area, but only if you look at it very closely.

Moto E5 Plus ReviewMoto E5 Plus ReviewMoto E5 Plus ReviewIn low-light, the snapper’s a hit and miss, as expected. It noticeably struggles when there are multiple light sources in the scene, such as light bulbs in a restaurant, or a building. There’s also noticeable graininess in some instances, but not enough to ruin to shot.

Moto E5 Plus Review
Face Beauty OFF
Moto E5 Plus Review
Face Beauty ON

Selfies are also better than expected. Detailed, accurate, and sharp. And that’s given that I took most of my test shots at a time when there’s less than ideal lighting.

Software

The Moto E5 Plus runs on Android 8.0 Oreo, with much of the elements in stock, and minimal bloatware. That means there’s less burden on the hardware, which should equate to generally smoother performance.

The Moto app sort of works like a semi-digital assistant, since it only gives you advise on how to improve battery life, and gives you the option to enable gesture controls for basic phone functions such as for taking a screenshot, etc.

Battery

Moto E5 Plus Review

Playing a video on loop at 50% brightness and 80% volume, the Moto E5 Plus lasted for 9 hours. It’s more than decent, but less than what I expected from a 5,000mAh battery. Of course, real life usage may yield better results. Charging the phone is quite a wait, as 2% to 97% took around 3 hours.

Moto E5 Plus Review 2
Moto E5 Plus Review
Our Verdict
There are quite a number of things you'll like about the Moto E5 Plus. It offers decent gaming performance, its cameras can take surprisingly good quality photos, and the OS is as close to stock as you can get. There are downs of course - its processor is quite outdated, and for the price they're asking for (PhP9,990), there are a couple of other options that you may want to consider. It would've been good if the battery life was better, given that it has a 5,000mAh power pack, but it's not. You're simply not getting enough value for what you're paying.
Design and Build Quality
Performance
Camera
Software
Battery
What's Good
Decent gaming performance
Decent camera performance
Above average battery life
Close to stock software
What's Not
Outdated processor
Too pricey for what it offers
3.9

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Author

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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