Motorola Moto E5, E5 Plus and E5 Play: 8 things you need to know

Moto E5 Plus

Last year, Motorola left marks all over the smartphone market, be it the high-end or the low-end segment. While it was routine for fans of the former segment, it’s the latter segment that mostly got to the headlines, especially thanks to the Moto E4 and E4 Plus.

Motorola’s E lineup has been around for a while now and its popularity is due to what it brings – a solid build, quality hardware specs, a near-stock Android experience, all at an affordable price tag. With this in mind, all eyes have been on the Lenovo-owned company to once again deliver one of the best in the entry-level market in the shape of Moto E5. And indeed, there’s little to be disappointed about for Moto fans.

Motorola has even spiced things up by including a Play variant, just like the Moto G6 family, whose Play variant we’ve also covered here.

Moto E5, E5 Plus, and E5 Play specs and features

Moto E5 Plus

Moto E5 Play
  • 5.2-inch 16:9 HD screen
  • Snapdragon 425/7
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB expandable storage
  • 8MP back camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 2800mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
Moto E5
  • 5.7-inch 18:9 HD+ screen
  • Snapdragon 425
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB expandable storage
  • 13MP back camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
Moto E5 Plus
  • 6-inch 18:9 HD+ screen
  • Snapdragon 435
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB expandable storage
  • 12MP back camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

The year 2018 marks Motorola’s entry into the ‘bezel-less’ craze, where the Moto E5 and E5 Plus borrow some design notes from the Moto G6 family, rocking the trendy 18:9 display screens, but due to their entry-level status, the company went with HD resolutions.

Like the G series, the Moto E5 Play is the entry-level model, but in some markets, it still outshines the Moto E5. The Play variant sticks to the old 16:9 design and has the smallest 5.2-inch display screen with the same resolution. To justify its entry-level price, the E5 Play also gets the weakest cameras, the smallest battery, and lacks Gorilla Glass display screen protection.

Also read: These are the best Motorola phones available right now

Moto E5, E5 Plus, and E5 Play price and availability

The trio of phones was launched on April 19 in Brazil, but no market will get all three models. Only the Moto E5 Plus and Moto E5 Play will be sold through American carriers and apparently, there won’t be unlocked models for purchase. Even so, Motorola only provided prices for the European market. Where the Moto E5 will exchange hands at €149, the E5 Plus will set you back €169. As for the Moto E5 Play, it will reportedly be coming to the U.S. priced at $119.

Just so that you get a better picture of what you are dealing with here, we’ve put together 8 things we think you need to know about the Moto E5 series.

8 things you need to know

A new ‘bezel-less’ design

The Moto E5 and E5 Plus mark Motorola’s entry into the bezel-less design, where the pair ship with much thinner bezels compared to what their predecessors have. This trendy 18:9 design is only limited to the standard and Plus variant, though, with the Play model sticking to the old 16:9 design.

Like the Moto G6 Play, you get rear-mounted fingerprint scanners on the trio of Moto E5 handsets, which is not bad, but may piss off those who prefer front-mounted scanners like what featured on the Moto E4 and E4 Plus.

Bigger display screens

The Moto E4 has a 5-inch HD display screen while the Moto E4 Plus ships with a bigger 5.5-inch panel. Their successors are similar, where the Moto E5 is smaller than the E5 Plus, however, they are way bigger than their outgoing counterparts.

With the Moto E5, you get a bigger 5.7-inch display screen and on the E5 Plus, things get even bigger thanks to a monstrous 6-inch panel, but due to the unchanged resolution, picture quality on the E5 handsets must be affected, although not to a quantity that can easily be noticed by the naked eye.

Use today, charge tomorrow…

…or the day(s) after, literally. This is exactly what Motorola wants you to get with the Moto E5 series, especially the standard and Plus variants. Where the former gets a 4000mAh battery, the latter has an even bigger 5000mAh unit. Both should be enough to last a full day, two or even more on a single charge, but this will depend on your usage patterns.

Although the Moto E5 Play has a smaller 2800mAh unit, its small-sized HD display means that it doesn’t consume too much battery juice and thus it can easily see you through the day. Even more interesting is the removable battery, a feature that is increasingly becoming rare to come by.

Fast battery charging technology is universal

Like the Moto G6 series, Motorola included support for fast charging technology in the entire Moto E5 series. Of course, the speed of charging isn’t the same on all three phones, with the E5 Plus getting the best of them all -TurboPower 15W fast charging – compared to the E5 and E5 Play’s 10W and 5W, respectively.

Still, it’s great to see that even the 2800mAh-powered Moto E5 Play also supports fast charging, a feature that isn’t easy to come by in a phone priced at just $120.

They are water repellant, but not water resistant

All three Moto E5 handsets come with a water-repellant coating on the body, which means you don’t have to worry about splashes of water or even checking the time in light rains. However, this doesn’t make the Moto E5, E5 Plus or E5 Play water resistant because there’s no IP6X certification.

In short, these are not phones you’ll want to have when enjoying your summer vacation on the beach, much like you’d do with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ2, Huawei P20 Pro, and so on.

Still no USB-C

Despite elevating the status of the Moto E series with the introduction of the trending 18:9 design, the Moto E5 family still doesn’t get a USB-C port. The older microUSB port remains intact and so does the proven 3.5mm audio jack.

No Android P

The last Moto E handset to get a major OS upgrade is the 2nd-gen model, which came in with Android Lollipop and got bumped up to Android Marshmallow. Since then, beginning with the Moto E3, we haven’t seen the Moto E series getting an OS upgrade.

Well, this isn’t about to stop anytime soon as the company has confirmed that the Moto E5, Moto E5 Plus, and Moto E5 Play will not receive Android P updates. Furthermore, these devices will only receive security updates after 60 to 90 days. In short, software support for these three devices could end probably by end of this year, but we can’t say for sure.

Moto E5 Play is exclusive to North America

Moto E5 PlayNo market will be able to purchase all three variants of the Moto E5 series. Apparently, the Moto E5 Play is a North American exclusive and will work on all major carriers, including Verizon and Sprint. The same region will also be unable to get hands on the Moto E5, but the Moto E5 Plus will be available.

As for other markets, only the Moto E5 and E5 Plus will be available for purchase.

Wrapping up

Like we’ve always known it to be, the Moto E’s 2018 edition still banks on price and not specs. The series brings the design ethos of the Moto G6 to the company’s lowest price point possible and even with the older 16:9 design, the Moto E5 Play still offers a lot of phone for so little money, at least for those in the U.S.

It won’t be easy bumping into a good budget phone with so much battery power like the Moto E5s do. Even better is the inclusion of fast charging technology, which means you don’t have to wait for 3+ hours to fill up the massive 5000mAh unit on the E5 Plus, for instance.

Although Motorola might be looking like a company on its knees, in the Moto E5, Moto E5 Plus and Moto E5 Play, it has phones that will still keep its name high above others in the budget segment.

Thoughts? Let us know in your comments below.

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