Motorola G and E Series smartphones have been the basis for budget phone phones in recent years. This year there is much more competition to choose from, but many of our favorites still come from Motorola – everything from the Moto G6 to the Moto E5 Plus. The latest budget supplement we're looking at is the cheapest phone Lenovo-owned company has to offer, the Moto E5 Play.
You can not buy the Moto E5 Play lock, but it is available from a number of operators including Verizon and Sprint. Each carrier charges a different price, from as low as $ 70 to $ 1
There are compromises – the camera is not good and this phone will not receive the upcoming version of Android. But with a full-time battery value (it's also removable), solid display, decent performance and a nice design, the Moto E5 Play is a bargain.
Basic Design, Satisfactory Display
There is nothing impressive or especially about the Moto E5 Play design. It's about as basic as a phone can see, with lumpy details around the screen on the front, and a textured plastic feel of plastic.
Sitting up is the camera in front and a flash with the earpiece to the right between. This is the only speaker on the phone, and while it sounds decent indoors, it becomes easy to drown outside. A volume rocker is located on the right side and the power button is below it.
Fortunately, there is a headphone jack on the top, and you'll find a MicroUSB charging port at the bottom. We wish that Motorola went with the universal and convenient USB Type-C charging port, but the company confirmed that Digital Trends that all its 2019 phones would have a Type C port.
The winding edges contribute to grip and the phone is easy, making it comfortable to hold. Turn it around and your back feels minimal and organized. There is a circular single-lens camera module at the top, which protrudes from the back, so little, and it also houses the flash. Below is a native fingerprint sensor, complete with Motorola's logo.
There is nothing impressive or special about Moto E5 Play's design.
The fingerprint sensor is placed in a comfortable place, and it is quite sensitive. You should know Virgin Mobile, Cricket Mobile (Moto E5 Cruise), and Boost Mobile variants of E5 Play do not include a fingerprint sensor, which is disappointing.
We like how easy the back of the phone looks. Textured black pattern also adds a nice touch, even if it feels cheap. You can turn the backside on and off to access the SIM slot, removable battery, and microSD slot. Removable batteries are a dying stick with smartphones, but there is still great interest in them because it is more convenient to replace batteries rather than tow around a heavy, portable battery charger. Having said that, we have yet to find a place selling the Moto E5 Play battery.
The 5.2-inch LCD screen at the front has a format of 16:19 with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. The screen looks sharp and colorful, but we had trouble seeing it outdoors in direct sunlight. We often found ourselves holding the brightness on the higher side to comfortably see and read what's on the screen. Despite the low HD resolution, we do not have any problems or video quality issues when watching movies and showing on the Moto E5 Play.
With regard to durability, there is no IP rating for the phone, so you want to keep it away from water. Motorola says it's a water repellent coating for low water exposure to protect it from rain or accidental release. We dropped the E5 Play once on concrete (at an altitude of about one and a half meters), and the phone had only one minor thing on the side. Just to be safe, you will probably get a case.
The Moto E5 Play is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 425 or Snapdragon 427, depending on which carrier it is sold from. For example, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile and Sprint sell the model with Snapdragon 427, while the rest – including Verizon – sells the slightly weaker Snapdragon 425 model. We have Snapdragon 425, but all models come with 2GB of RAM.
Performance is average – The apps open slowly, and it's a little stutter when you roll in apps like Twitter or Facebook. However, moving through the user interface, such as the Settings menu and home screen, did not pose any problems or layers.
Here are some reference results:
- AnTuTu 3DBench: 43,358
- Geekbench CPU: single core 651; multi-core 1,789
- 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme: 53
The Moto E5 Play actually scored higher than Moto G6 Play (41,158 on AnTuTu), which is more expensive. Benchmark Points are not the best goal of real achievements and we have not had trouble categorizing the Moto E5 Play as useless. We were generally able to complete daily tasks without much frustration. That's when you want to do more things within a short time that your phone starts to frustrate slowly. If you are not a power user, we think you will be happy here.
When it comes to gaming, we did not drive any major hiccups The Sims Mobile . The game took a bit when you swept through different parts of the map, but the graphics look great and we could still enjoy the game.
There is only 16GB of storage on the Moto E5 Play, which is easy to fill in short time. Fortunately, a MicroSD card slot can provide up to 128GB of extra storage if you need it.
No Android P
Moto E5 Play ship with Android 8.0 Oreo, and the only updates you can expect to see is for security. Motorola confirmed Digital Trends that the Moto E5 Play will not receive Android P, so it may be something to consider before purchasing the device. Android P is the next version of Android that is set to release around in late August.
Anyway, the software experience is almost made Android – neat and easy to use. There is very little blow up program, with only your default Google Apps pre-installed package, and you can swipe right from the Home screen to access Google Feed. Press and hold the Home button to enable Google Assistant.
Not all features are available here. We are sad to see some of our favorite movements that are not included.
It's the Moto app that is standard on all Motorola phones, but not all features are available here. We are sad to see some of our favorite movements that are not included – such as making a twist motion twice to turn on the flashlight or twist the phone twice to open the camera. You can touch the screen with three fingertips to capture a screen, turn the phone face down to enable, do not disturb mode, pick up the phone to stop ringing, and swipe down to the left or right of the screen to shrink the screen for one – hand mode. It's about it. We did not use any of these features.
Fortunately, Moto Display is available so you can see alerts that fade in and out of the lock screen. There is also access to the blue light filter and attention screen, which keeps the screen on while watching it.
Decent camera, poor low-light images
Like most budget smartphones, the camera on the Moto E5 game will run in a weak environment. The 8 megapixel rear camera takes sufficient pictures in wide daylight – they can look a bit flat sometimes – but there are some surprisingly good photos coming through.
But as soon as there is not enough light, the camera falls into quality. Even a cloudy sky is enough to make the pictures dull, grainy and missing in detail. Things get worse indoors with low lighting, as results can often look unrecognizable – adding flash makes them worse and washed out. The option to adjust the exposure in the applicant did not make much of a difference.
The 5 megapixel in front of the camera is also not so impressive for self-esteem. Check out and each picture looks unclear and the grain. The built-in Face Beauty feature also made us look strange – it seemed to have airbrushed not only our skin (to make us look paler), but also our eyebrows and bites of our hair. Not very flattering.
Although the camera's app itself is quick to open, we see a small layer when we snap a photo, which we have often found to be a problem on Motorola phones.
With a 2 800 mAh battery running the Moto E5 Play, we managed to get a full day out of the smartphone. This includes access to email alerts, use of social media and productivity programs, capture photos, and text messages. On average we found that our unit was about 85 percent at noon (after taking it by the charger around 8:30), and by the end of the workday at 17 o'clock it was around 74 percent.
You do not have to worry that it dies on you before the day is over.
At about 22:00, the phone hit 68 percent, and it was after downloading apps like Instagram, Twitter and news at our commuter home. With easier phone usage, the phone can definitely last for the second day, so you do not have to worry about it dying on you before the day is over.
It also comes with either 5 watts or 10 watts charger
Price, Availability & Warranty Information
Moto E5 Play is not available unlocked yet, so you get it purchased through a carrier , where it varies in price. At Verizon it will cost $ 70 while Boost Mobile sells it for $ 80. Under the Cricket Wireless, it's known as the Moto E5 Cruise, and it will only set you back $ 40, but you need to sign up for a new line or upgrade your existing device.
You can also buy it from Best Buy – but it's a bit pricier – anywhere from $ 95 to $ 130 depending on the carrier it's locked in. Xfinity Mobile sells it for $ 120, but it's the most expensive on Sprint, which carries the phone for $ 192. Remember, many of the more expensive versions have the Snapdragon 427 processor, which is a bit better. We do not think the performance difference will be noticeable though.
Motorola offers a standard one-year warranty that protects against the manufacturer's failure. Random drops or water defects are not covered.
For such a cheap price, the Moto E5 Play package is all the basics you need for a solid smartphone experience.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes, if you're looking at a Moto E5 Play that's more than $ 130, we recommend taking a look at the Moto E5 Plus. It has a massive 5,000mAh battery, more RAM, and a slightly better processor that should provide a better overall experience. It also comes with the useful moto movements.
Our favorite budget choice is Nokia 6.1 for $ 270, with the standard Moto G6 that follows quickly. It's also the 7X worth considering, since it's only $ 200. You can learn more in our best, cheap phone guide.
How long does it last?
Moto E5 Play should last for about two years. Since it is made of plastic, you do not have to worry about breaking it in relation to all the glass phones.
There may be some security updates, but this is the only Android version you get, so you'll probably want to upgrade yourself with the two-year brand.
Should you buy it?
Yes, but it depends on the price of the carrier. We do not think it's worth buying if the carrier sells a model without fingerprint sensor or if it costs more than $ 130. Otherwise, this phone is a very good deal.