Motorola Moto E6 Review Hands-on A Budget Phone 16GB Memory Cell

Moto E6 Review

Motorola Moto E6 Review Hands-on A Budget Phone 16GB Memory Cell

The cinematic experience. Watch your games and videos come to life on an 18:9 Max Vision HD+ display. Immerse yourself in the luscious colors and sharp contrasts of a 5.5-inch screen that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Beyond all day. Count on the power and reliability of a 3000 mAh battery. The moto e6 lasts for up to 29 hours on a single charge,2 letting you access your smartphone from day to night and then some. Built to perform.

Early Verdict. The Moto E6 is a budget phone full of compromises. It’s Motorola’s affordable Android 9 Pie smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen and a removable battery – a real rarity these days. But it lacks a fingerprint sensor, includes a microUSB port instead of USB-C, and keeps the resolution to just HD+ or 720p.

EARLY VERDICT

The Moto E6 is a budget phone full of compromises. It’s Motorola’s affordable Android 9 Pie smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen and a removable battery – a real rarity these days. But it lacks a fingerprint sensor, includes a microUSB port instead of USB-C, and keeps the resolution to just HD+ or 720p. Overall, the Moto G7 Play is a better deal right now.

FOR

  • Incredibly cheap
  • Durable plastic back
  • Removable battery

AGAINST

  • Moto G7 Play exists
  • microUSB port
  • No fingerprint sensor

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The new Moto E6 is the phone that Motorola wants you to see as the ideal cheap phone alternative if you think the budget-focused Moto G7 costs too much, and the specs show it’s just that.

It’s a plastic Android Pie phone with solid construction and a 5.5-inch HD+ display on the outside, and the bare minimum in specs that a phone needs to survive these days on the inside. It’s an upgrade over the 5.7-inch Moto E5 – at least in some ways.

The Moto E6 has a Snapdragon 435 chipset to give it the smallest performance boost possible over the E5, and it’s still limited to 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. The camera is the only thing that’s seen a decent upgrade, but you shouldn’t expect to take prize-winning photos with the E6.

What’s most confusing is that it lacks a fingerprint sensor, something found on the Moto E5, and that Motorola has stuck with a microUSB port in 2019. 

The E6 is at least consistent with its dated characteristics, offering a 3.5mm headphone jack and – shockingly – a removable battery, which some people will like. Really, though, the Moto G7 Play, at about the same price, remains the better buy.

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Moto E6 price and release date

The Moto E6 retails for $149.99 (about £120, AU$210) unlocked from US retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo and Walmart.

US carriers are supporting this phone, and that’s started already with Verizon selling it on July 25. The intention was to sell it for $6.95 a month for a 24-month contract, but that’s already been reduced to $0 a month. Other networks will include T-Mobile, Boost, US Cellular Consumer Cellular and Xfinity. 

Design and display

Here’s one thing the Moto E6 design has going for it: since it’s made of plastic, you won’t be able to shatter the back if you drop it like you would with a glass phone. It comes in two dark colors: Starry Black and Navy Blue.

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Everything about this phone’s look and feel is a reminder that this is a very basic handset offered free on contract. It’s rather small and unrefined, though you may like that it’s compact enough to easily fit into one hand, and the cheap plastic is fairly grippable.

The 5.5-inch screen is HD+, meaning it has a satisfactory resolution of 720p. All of this is okay for an ultra-affordable phone – but confusingly it backtracks in other areas: the lack of a fingerprint sensor (found in last year’s model) means it relies on the less secure unlocking methods like Android Face Unlock.

We also have a real problem with the microUSB port on the bottom of the device. USB-C has become the popular standard for Android phones, and the Moto E series has yet to catch onto that trend in 2019.

The removable battery is going to be a highlight for some people, although power banks have become commonplace alternatives to carrying a second phone battery around with you.

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Specs, camera and missing features

The Moto E6 specs start with the Snapdragon 435 chipset, which is an upgrade… but at the same time isn’t – the E5 had a Snapdragon 425 chip, while the E6 Plus was at 435 already. Its 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 256GB via a microSD card) are the same as in the last-generation phone.

The main draw here is the camera upgrade, at least in theory. We need more time to actually test it outside, but we weren’t impressed with the Moto E5 camera, so there’s hope that the Moto E6 will improve things.

The E6 has a 13MP rear camera that pulls in more light thanks to the sensor’s larger 1.12μm pixels, with an f/2.0 aperture. It comes with fun-to-toy-around-with features, like Motorola’s color-isolating black-and-white photo mode, Spot Color.

The front-facing camera remains 5MP, with the same 1.12μm pixels and an f/2.0 aperture. You’ll find a lot of the same software tricks on the front, with the addition of screen flash to light up your selfies.

The Moto E6 promises all-day battery life, though its 3,000mAh battery is slimmed down over the E5’s 4,000mAh battery – again, a weird omission. Stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks as we test the performance, camera, and battery life.

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Early verdict

The Moto E6 is an ultra-cheap phone for a well-known brand name, but it’s full of compromises that should mean most people will prefer to spend slightly more on the superior Moto G7 or Moto G7 Play. 

Yes, free-upfront phones are tempting, and so is the idea of a durable plastic handset with a removable battery. However, the specs here offer the bare minimum, and there’s no USB-C port or fingerprint sensor. Even at this early stage of our testing, it’s hard to recommend the Moto E6 when the older Moto E5 has some perks we liked more. 

Camera and Video Quality: Sometimes solid, sometimes not

The single 13-megapixel back camera of the Moto E6 isn’t a powerhouse, but it can take decent photos in ideal lighting. It tends to blow out highlights, plus detail suffers when you zoom into most shots. However, viewed on a phone screen or social media feed, you can snag some pretty good snaps from this budget phone.

The Moto E6 starts to suffer in lower-light scenarios. When you’re inside, you’re not going to have much luck getting decent nighttime shots. We’ve also had a few situations where the phone registered a snap, but when we looked at the result, it was actually from a second or two later—usually when the phone was no longer pointed at the subject. You might miss some key shots due to the phone’s persistent lag.

Video recording is limited too, as the Moto E6 can only hit 30fps max at either 1080p or 720p resolution. That’s the best it can do in terms of resolution, so it’s not the crispest or smoothest. 

Motorola Moto E6
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Battery: It’ll keep you going

The Moto E6’s battery life is actually pretty solid, thanks in large part to the weak processing power and low-res display. The 3,000mAh cell is the same seen in the larger, more powerful Moto G7, but it’s more efficient here—we’ve finished days with about 40 percent left on a charge. Granted, you’re unlikely to use the Moto E6 for heavy-duty gaming, given the aforementioned performance limitations, but it should give you more of a buffer for streaming Netflix and such.

 The battery life is pretty good, the camera is fine, and the screen will do the job—but the sluggish performance really drags down the entire experience.

There’s no wireless charging, however, and the Moto E6 doesn’t come with a fast-charger either—just a simple 5W power brick. It also has a micro USB charging port instead of the increasingly-standard USB-C, but that’s more of a quirk than a functional complaint.

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Software: A shame it’s so slow

Motorola’s version of Android 9 Pie arrives intact. As seen on other devices such as the Moto G7 and Moto Z4, the company takes a thankfully light touch to skinning leaving it pretty close to stock Android, with all of the features and functionality you expect from the operating system. The problem, of course, is that everything runs super slow on the Moto E6. It’s not a great experience here, but that’s a hardware problem more than an Android one.

Even so, anyone planning on using the Moto E6 should explore the various optional Moto Actions gesture controls that Motorola adds to Android. Accessible via the included Moto app, these include abilities such as making a double “chopping” motion to turn on the flashlight, or flipping the phone on its face to enable Do Not Disturb. You can also enable gesture navigation via the One Button Nav option, giving the phone an iPhone-esque, swipe-centric interface.

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We reviewed the Verizon edition of the Moto E6 (although it’s now available unlocked), and it came with a heap of junkware apps that we had to manually delete, such as several Yahoo! Apps, and games such as Coin Master and World War Rising.

Price: Cheap, but is it a deal?

On the surface, $150 seems like a reasonable price for the Moto E6. It’s a sluggish, utilitarian handset, but it’s still a functional Android smartphone. That said, the Moto E5—with a larger screen, larger battery, and fingerprint sensor—launched for $100 last year, and it’s unclear why Motorola opted to bump the price point for a seemingly lesser device this time around.

More crucially, you don’t have to spend much more money to get a significantly better handset. For example, Motorola’s own Moto G7 Play has a much faster processor, a slightly larger screen, and a fingerprint sensor for $200, plus we’ve seen it on sale for less than that. There are even better phones in the $200-300 range if you can afford to aim a little higher.

Motorola Moto E6
Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Motorola Moto E6 vs. Motorola Moto G7 Power 

The Moto G7 Power costs $250, so it’s a bit more cash than the Moto E6, but that extra investment gets you a more powerful processor that’s much snappier in usage, a larger 6.2-inch screen—albeit at the same resolution—and a fingerprint sensor on the back. Most impressively, it also gets you an enormous 5,000mAh battery pack, which can realistically last you about two full days of usage, plus it has a fast-charger to fill it back up quickly. And since it has been out for a few months, you might find a solid deal on it, too.

Is the moto E6 a good phone? Early Verdict

The Moto E6 is a budget phone full of compromises. It’s Motorola’s affordable Android 9 Pie smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen and a removable battery – a real rarity these days. But it lacks a fingerprint sensor, includes a micro USB port instead of USB-C, and keeps the resolution to just HD+ or 720p.

Moto E6 Review
Moto E6 Review

Is the MOTO E6 waterproof?

The Moto E6 isn’t water-resistant but is water repellent, which means it won’t survive a drop in a toilet or pool, but light rain should be fine. On the front, there’s a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and HD+ resolution (1,440 x 720).

Which is better Moto E5 or E6?

The Moto E5 has a 5.7-inch display with 1440 x 720 pixels across its face, made with IPS LCD tech. The Moto E6 has a 5.5-inch display with 140 x 720 pixels across its face, made with IPS LCD tech. You get the same amount of pixels over a slightly smaller space with the newer phone.

What is the difference between Moto E and Moto E6?

Motorola Moto E (2nd gen) phone is equipped with Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and Adreno 306 GPU powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset while Motorola Moto E6 phone is equipped with Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and Adreno 505 GPU powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 chipset.

Conclusion

Are you not constantly glued to your phone? Maybe you just want a bottom burner capable of doing the basics with ease, which is where the Moto E Play fits in quite well. It’s low-powered so don’t expect top performance, but it’s also low-priced, which is its selling point.

If you want to play, this is not the phone for you. But if you just need downtime, a few emails, and other apps to get connected to life’s organization, then the Moto E Play certainly fits the bill, albeit not as enthusiastically as the E-series in its heyday, despite the name ‘playful’.

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