Moto E3 Power that recently launched in India is a better and more powerful version of Moto E3 in terms of battery, performance and storage. Known for being a great phone for the insanely cheap price, I decided to buy my mom one during the Flipkart sale in India for an exchange of her old 1st Gen Moto E. She was really happy with her old Moto E until recently when it started to fill up and the display too started to get some weird artifacts. Thanks to the sale that had an exchange offer, I got the Power at a much lower price than the already cheap price of the phone. Playing with it for around a week and also considering my mom’s thoughts about the phone as it’s her daily driver, here is my thoughts and review of the new Moto E3 Power. Let’s see if it’s bang for the buck.
Similar to other Moto phones the E3 Power has a pretty good build quality that feels good in the hands. The flat textured back cover that curves at the edges gives you a good grip without letting it slip. The metal frame around the phone looks premium and actually gives the E3 a pretty good look even from the front.
The front part consists of the front camera at the top with the call speaker and LED notification and a single front facing speaker at the bottom below the display. The top side has the 3.5mm headphone jack, the bottom part has the mini USB port, the right side has the power button and the volume rocker and the left side is empty.
Weighing at 153.5g the phone doesn’t feel that heavy but feels pretty solid.
The Moto E3 Power has a 5 inch 720p IPS LCD display panel and it’s pretty decent. The colors and the viewing angles are good enough and videos on YouTube play as they should.. in 720p. The screen has adequate brightness and works well in sunlight. It is supposed to be splash proof, I haven’t tried it yet but I know it isn’t water-resistant so don’t dunk or drop it in water.
Fitted with a 1Ghz quad-core Mediatek MT6735P chipset it’s definitely not the best in this department. The phone isn’t snappy compared to other phones but is fast for the price it comes in. Everything works a tad bit slower but if you’re upgrading from a much slower model like my mom did, than it’s surely a pretty good improvement.
The internal storage on this device is 16GB with an expandable storage of up to 32GB. The 2GB ram does help in the performance making multitasking in between apps a little bit faster. Even using it extensively for a week I’m yet to have an app hang up on me. Apps themselves don’t run fast but having more memory makes sure that they don’t run out of it.
Gaming on this device is not the best but it’s not the worst. Games like Temple Run 2, Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5: Blackout do run but mostly with lower graphics and small lags. It’s still playable and less intensive games would run perfectly.
Camera on any Moto phones has never been great and this sadly holds true for the E3 Power. The 8 MP back camera is a step up from the old gen Moto E phones if you’re upgrading but wouldn’t recommend it if taking pictures is really important to you. Pictures lack detail and sharpness even in good sunlight but fail miserably in low light. The HDR mode does help a little in color correction and detailing but it takes a couple of seconds to snap and process the image, so any handshake would mean a slightly blurry picture. Not good. The front facing 5 MP camera is just decent enough to take selfies.
Recording videos at only 720p is surely a let down in the age of 1080p and 4K but videos taken even in 720p are also pretty average. No optical stabilization makes hand shakes more prominent and the frame rate loss in low lights creates choppy videos.
The camera interface though is pretty clean, simple and easy to navigate.
The battery is the good thing about this phone. Boasting a 3500 mAh removable Li-Po battery it lasts almost a day and even more if not used heavily. Having used for a week and charged around 4-5 times I haven’t yet faced any heating issues while charging. Charging takes around 2hrs to complete from 20% and you could get a couple of hours of backup in 20-25mins plugged in. Even though the phone doesn’t heat while charging I’d recommend not to use it while plugged in because I did find it getting warmer under the camera while watching videos on YouTube. I would also recommend not to charge any other phone with E3 Power’s adapter because I found my phone (Moto G 1st Gen) to heat up slightly. It might only be me but still.
6. MUSIC & SPEAKERS
The in-box earphones provided are crap. If you’re planning to listen music on this device I’d recommend buying a decent pair. Audio on a decent pair of earphones is pretty clear and good but I wish it were more loud. I constantly found myself reaching for the volume even at the max. The equalizer in the Google Play Music app didn’t actually work for me no matter what I did so even without them it wasn’t so bad.
In the speakers department, it has a single front facing speaker below the display that gives adequate loudness and clarity but still I wish it was more loud. Dual speakers would have been great and I think every phone should have it but for an average listener in a quiet room the E3 Power’s speakers aren’t bad. If you want more loudness and better quality, I’d recommend buying a bluetooth speaker.
The device runs Android Marshmallow (6.0) out of the box but sadly having no update to Nougat. I have no idea why this decision was made since E3 is more than qualified to run Nougat but it’s a huge disappointment and the only way of running it would be a custom rom. That said the software experience on the E3 Power is bloat-ware free with the stock launcher being the Nexus Launcher which is pretty good. All the necessary apps are the basic apps from Google and that’s it.
8. NETWORK & CALL QUALITY
I didn’t test out 4G or other data services as I have Wi-Fi everywhere but pretty sure they are decent enough. The call quality is pretty good with nice volume and clarity. The device comes with a dual SIM support.
*It does lack compass or magnetometer if anyone’s interested.
The Moto E3 Power is a decent phone with average performance in all departments with the exception of battery life. It fails pretty badly with the camera and that could be a deal breaker for the most. There are other options to choose from the market and a few seem better than the Power but since I haven’t tested them I can’t say much. What I can do say is this is not a bad device, at least the one I received. It might not be the best even for the selling price but in exchange for an old phone or for someone like my mom who is happy that everything works way better than the 1st gen Moto E, this is a pretty good buy.
It’s not bad, it’s not good, but it surely is very cheap.