A problematic shooter that sometimes satisfies and sometimes disappoints

Motorola Moto E4 Review

Before we delve too far into image quality, it’s worth mentioning the camera interface. You won’t find a ton of shooting modes as one would expect with a Samsung device, for example, but rather a clean, straightforward setup. Tap the ellipses and you’ll find shooting modes tucked away in a small pop-up menu. Selecting the “Professional mode” brings up a striping of slider controls that line the screen vertically, offering adjustments in ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, and manual focus. While easy to use and fun to play with, they would be put to better use on a more competent camera, as they can do little to remediate this sensor's issues.

Camera interface - Motorola Moto E4 Review

Camera interface

On paper, the camera setup doesn’t sound too shabby, considering the price. Eight megapixels in the back and five in the front – both paired with their own respective single-LED flash – highlight the tools provided to make photographic and video magic. They say a good worker never blames his tools but there is a limit, right? Magic will not be made here; nevertheless, the moment won’t be lost with this quick snapper. It will, however, be a good deal noisier and less defined than you saw it in person. The camera has a hard time capturing detail in much the same way the display has trouble displaying it. Edges get blurred, and noise is always a factor. You won’t want to zoom in on any of the pictures taken with this camera; blowing up pictures to share or print will be a highly dissatisfying experience.

Color accuracy is also quite inconsistent. In some situations, the color difference is negligible and appears generally accurate, albeit incompetent to properly reproduce gradients, due to its limited range – another factor leading to lost details. Other scenes betray the sensor's tendency to shoot with a cold blue tint. This seems to appear in various lighting situations and is especially noticeable with paler colors, especially yellows and greens. Even when colors are vibrant and well lit, you may find the sensor slightly over-compensating with tints from other colors, like yellow or red. Or you can easily run into another issue: over-exposure. Again, these issues vary by situation, and are not necessarily always a product of the lighting in the environment. Suffice it to say, image quality is a mixed bag.

Naturally these issues are exacerbated in low-light situations – noise especially. The use of flash does little to help, other than making your grainy shots brighter.

Predictably, the 5 MP selfie camera suffers the same issues, though such close-up portraits are less likely to reveal the aforementioned ills, especially with the aid of beautification mode. This feature smooths out wrinkles, evens out blemishes, and generally does a good job “beautifying” – even with the LED flash on, a feature we can also appreciate.


You’re afforded only one recording mode (1080p) and, much like the camera, noise and artifacts are common. Stabilization is also poor and shutter-roll is a given, producing pixelated pans and movement. Automatic re-focus is almost non-existent.




Posts: 130; Member since: Mar 09, 2017

Where is full review phonearena no display benchmarks no battery life chart, please post a full review

5. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

There are 3 more pages of the review. What are you cackling about?

6. itsikkan

Posts: 6; Member since: Jun 12, 2017

Oh boy. I never thought that a crappie phone like that will get a better score than phones like htc u11 or one plus 5. I think maybe the reviewers lost their minds...

9. Khyron

Posts: 397; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

the ironic here is that a $100 does more 3 times more multitasking than the $700 iPhone 7 plus who care if the iPhone launch 1 second faster games when this $100 device does more task

11. domfonusr

Posts: 1073; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I have a Moto E 2nd gen, and it also has a poor camera, but I really don't care that much, as I have never truly needed a high-end camera for anything (my Nokia E75 took better pictures than my Moto E, but I almost never used the camera, either). I really really REALLY hope this new Moto E4 comes to Cricket, especially if it is cheaper than the unlocked version. I would happily pay the Verizon price of $69.99, but I know that might be a little unrealistic to ask for in this case. And as for the score, just remember that this is taking into account that it is competing against other hundred-dollar phones in the entry-level. If a Moto E scores the same score as a Samsung flagship, I don't expect the hundred dollar phone to be the equivalent of the flagship phone. They aren't competing with each other at all. People have really gotten lost as to what a multi-tier scoring system is for.

12. sascha76

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 04, 2017

wow as usual this is a joke, just because its cheep doesn't mean its justified the 8.5 better than U11 and Oneaplus 5 that is so frustrating. but it seems like they dont care what people say that. follow this site which is a shame, this is just no realistic anymore and a total waist of time

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Moto E4
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 427, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.