Motorola’s decision to unveil Moto E5 and E5 Plus at the same time as the new Moto G6 family of phones is a debatable one. On the one hand, there’s the risk that the E5’s are overlooked in the hype surrounding the Moto G6. On the other hand, there’s also the risk that they undermine the Moto G6 with a better value offering.

Motorola Moto E5 and Moto E5 Plus review: What you need to know

Motorola’s aim with the E5 is, of course, to do neither of these things, and instead to offer customers who might not have considered spending as much on a G6 Play or G6 a cheaper option.

That’s kind of what the Moto E5 and Moto E5 Plus end up doing in a round about way. The Moto E5 Plus, in particular, offers a tempting alternative, with a larger screen and a bigger battery for less. In fact, the Moto E5 Plus has a 6in 18:9 720 x 1,440 display, a 12-megapixel f/2 rear camera and a massive 5,000mAh battery, while inside is a Snapdragon 425 processor running at 1.4GHz with 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of storage plus microSD expansion.

The Moto E5 less interesting but it is even cheaper. It has a 5.7in 720 x 1,440 display, a 13-megapixel f/2 rear camera and a 4,000mAh battery. Inside, it runs the same core hardware as the Moto E5 Plus and it comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. There’s a more detailed breakdown of the specifications of each phone, just below.

Motorola Moto E5 and Moto E5 Plus review: Specifications, price and release date

Moto E5 Plus

  • CPU: 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (Adreno 308 graphics)
  • RAM: 2GB or 3GB
  • Storage: 16GB or 32GB
  • Rear camera: 12MP, f/2, phase detect and laser autofocus, LED flash
  • Front camera: 5MP, front flash
  • Price: £149
  • Release date: TBC

Moto E5

  • CPU: 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (Adreno 505 graphics)
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Rear camera: 13MP, f/2, phase detect and laser autofocus, LED flash
  • Front camera: 5MP, front flash
  • Price: £119
  • Release date: TBC

Motorola Moto E5 and Moto E5 Plus review: Design, key features and first impressions

You might expect from the lower price the E5 phones to look and feel cheaper than their G6 counterparts but that’s not the case. Both feel solid in the hand and the glossy Moto E5 Plus looks fabulous in either the grey or gold colours it’s available in. The E5 is less interesting to look at but is still reasonably smart. I particularly like the rear mounted fingerprint reader with the Motorola logo printed on it, which feature on both phones. It’s in just the right position and falls under the tip of your index finger perfectly.

^ The Moto E5 Plus looks almost as nice as the Moto G6

The 5,000mAh battery in the Moto E5 plus doesn’t even add too much extra weight (the phone tips the scales at 197g), although it is quite chunky at 9.35mm. The same goes for the overall performance of the phone. I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with either phone at the event but performance didn’t feel distinctly different to the Moto G6.

As for the screens, they’re both 720 x 1,440 in resolution and both employ IPS panels that seem nice and bright and colourful. Neither is as sharp as the 1,080 x 2,160 screen on the Moto G6 and G6 Plus, but there didn’t appear to be any major problems. appears to perfectly fine.

^ The Moto E5 is a touch less inspiring but feels well made

One major difference between the E5 phones and the G6 is that they two phones charge via micro-USB instead of USB Type-C, which limits the speed at which the battery is replenished. Neither phone will charge as quickly as the Moto G6, G6 Plus or G6 Play, something that is likely to be exacerbated by the huge batter in the Moto E5 Plus.

Another difference concerns the camera, which has none of the G6’s clever landmark recognision or its depth editing skills. It’s also worth pointing out that neither Moto E5 gets the p2i water repellent treatment, but they’re so affordable that if you soak one and kill it it won’t be a complete disaster.

Motorola Moto E5 and Moto E5 Plus: Early verdict

In the end, though, it matters not how quick the Moto E5/E5 Plus is, how good or bad their cameras are – or that they’re a little down on feature count.

It all comes down to the huge 5,000mAh battery in the Moto E5 Plus. That’s the specification users will fixate on and I’m hoping it’ll deliver two days, perhaps more, in everyday use.

So, forget about the Moto G6 Play and the regular Moto E5. The Moto E5 Plus is where it’s at at the bottom of the Motorola range. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to put it through its paces.

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