Moto E5 review

A lot of features for little money

Motorola Moto E5

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Battery life

  • Long battery life
  • Fast charger included

With a 4,000mAh cell, and a power sipping chipset, we came with great expectations for the battery life of the Moto E5. And for the most part, the Moto E5 is indeed a battery champ.

A typical day involving unplugging at 6:45am, a 45-minute commute streaming audio over Bluetooth while reading articles online, then checking constant emails and other messages across an eight hour day, followed by the same commute in reverse, we found that 6pm would arrive with the device having roughly 75% battery to spare on average.

This is a very solid showing, and we found in particular that standby time was strong - dropping only 2% across the course of one night.

Motorola Moto E5

Running the TechRadar battery test (a HD video played at full brightness for 90 minutes), the power on the Moto E5 dropped from 100% to 92%, which is a very competent showing indeed.

Although not packing quite the battery chops of its larger sibling the Moto E5 Plus, the Moto E5 is a strong contender for the throne of battery champ at this level, soundly thrashing much of the competition which can’t quite make it through a full day, never mind keeping enough juice to last into a second.

Fast charging is supported, and Lenovo does throw a compatible power brick in to sweeten the deal, though it should be noted that this doesn’t provide quite the fastest speeds that the chipset is capable of.


  • Simple app
  • Disappointing images

It has always been the case that a good camera is the linchpin to a good smartphone experience. Yet, as cuts are made to meet a certain price point, quality tends to dive - so is the Moto E5 any different?

Sadly, it isn't. The Moto E5 comes with a 13MP snapper and a single-LED flash on the front as well as the rear, while the selfie camera is 5MP in resolution. Neither offer anything to crow about.

From the rear-facing sensor, colors are muted and washed out, lacking any life or vibrancy. Detail in photos is notable only by its absence, and dynamic range is sorely tested by anything other than perfect lighting.

Motorola Moto E5

Skin in particular is prone to being overblown, leaving friends and loved ones looking like terrifying waxworks of themselves. This is performance which would have been acceptable from a budget handset in 2013, however in the present this is no longer okay.

As might be expected, the situation only deteriorates as the sun goes down - images taken in this light have a tendency to look as though they have been recreated in watercolor.

The selfie game is only slightly better. Images still lack detail, however this isn’t quite so much an issue when one has an ugly mug worth hiding, and colors are fairly represented.

Motorola Moto E5

For many people, much of the above will be of little relevance, given that the debate around what makes a ‘good’ camera is so subjective, what each individual values from each snapper is variable.

Motorola Moto E5

As such, your mileage may vary, however this is mainly a camera to trust with the odd social media shot - not the documentation of special moments for years to come.

Regardless, the camera app is laid out sensibly. Taking the tack set by Google with the Google Pixel 2 there’s a capture button, a toggle for the HDR function (which only makes slight improvements, and at the expense of sharpness), the flash, video mode and a wider settings menu.

A stab is made at a manual mode, but this only offers limited control over shutter speed and is mainly for adjusting white balance.

In all, don’t buy this device expecting a great photography experience, it simply isn’t there.

Camera samples

Sean is a Scottish technology journalist who's written for the likes of T3, Trusted Reviews, TechAdvisor and Expert Reviews.