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Motorola Moto E40 review: A fuss-free smartphone under 10000

Motorola Moto E40 review: This low-frills mobile from Motorola gets the basics right.
Motorola Moto E40 review: This low-frills mobile from Motorola gets the basics right. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

Motorola Moto E40 review: The Moto E40 brings a clean Android experience and a decent choice of specs to earn our top recommendation in the sub-INR 10,000 segment. Read our full review.

It has been raining smartphones lately in India, especially in the category above INR 20,000. While the options have been tempting, the affordable segment under INR 10,000 has barely seen any action in comparison. All we have seen is the lackluster JioPhone Next and the Motorola Moto E40, the latter being today’s topic of discussion.

At INR 9,499, the Moto E40 is aimed at first-time smartphone buyers, or those looking to get a simple and affordable Android phone. This low-frills option from Motorola gets the basics right and adds some bells and whistles to make you forget the competition. AND, it delivers in the real world too.

After using the Moto E40 for a few days, here’s what we think about it.

Motorola Moto E40 Design

In a sea of ostentatious bright plastic shells, the Moto E40 is different with its understated looks and colours. Despite trying to be a simpleton, the Moto E40 tries to add some visual drama with its waves pattern on the back. The Motorola batwing logo masks the fingerprint sensor while you find a dedicated Google Assistant key apart from the usual buttons. And joy-of-joy, there’s a USB-C port here.

Motorola Moto E40 
Motorola Moto E40  (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

In fact, unlike most of its rivals, the Moto E40 brings more modern elements from a class above. The punch-hole style camera cutout is a nice touch. The build quality itself is good for this segment and I am glad to report that Motorola has added some tactility in the buttons. There’s also a tiny LED notification indicator on the top bezel; another useful touch.

As part of the package, you get a 10W USB-C charger and a plastic case. There’s no pre-installed screen protector.

Motorola Moto E40 Display

Motorola Moto E40
Motorola Moto E40 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

The 6.5-inch HD+ display is good enough for this price range; pictures look fairly bright and colourful. Whether you watch YouTube videos or browse social media, the viewing experience is satisfactory. The cherry on top of the cake is the 90Hz refresh rate; unseen in this category and surely helps smoothen the scrolling experience here. Paired with the clean Android experience, this 90Hz refresh rate makes the Moto E40 one of the most pleasant smartphones I have used in this segment.

Motorola Moto E40 Performance

Motorola is offering a Unisoc T700 chipset in the Moto E40. In synthetic benchmarks, the T700 chip offers superior performance over the MediaTek G25 and G35 chips you usually find in this segment. Paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, it certainly looks promising, especially with a clean version of Android 11. No info on whether this will get Android 12 in the future.

Motorola Moto E40
Motorola Moto E40 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

On a daily basis, the Moto E40 runs normally like affordable Android phones. The Unisoc T700 keeps the stock Android 11 interface chugging smoothly, save for the occasional long pauses and animation lags. Exposing it to a busy use case did not make it run out of breath. Regular smartphone tasks like social media browsing, streaming music, watching YouTube videos, and occasional photography kept the Moto E40 going well.

The OS is identical to stock Android 11, with no UI modifications and a bunch of custom installed apps. Except for a pre-installed Facebook app and the Interactive Wallpapers app, it is free of bloat. Most Motorola exclusive features are missing but you still get the chop-chop gesture to turn on the torch. This is easily the cleanest and most fuss-free Android phone you can buy at this price.

However, the Unisoc T700 isn’t meant for gaming and it shows. The experience with casual games like Shadow Fight 4: Arena and F1 Clash is poor, with frequent frame drops and lowest textures. Audio out of the loudspeaker sounds fine and is loud. The 3.5mm headphone jack also stays.

Motorola Moto E40
Motorola Moto E40 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

Network reception on Jio network was strong throughout my usage and so was the call quality. Note that you only get a single-band 2.4GHz Wi-Fi; not a big deal for the target audience but a dual-band Wi-Fi could have been a nice touch. The phone also lacks the compass sensor.

Motorola Moto E40 Cameras

Motorola has always offered the nicest cameras in the budget space and the E40 continues the tradition. The 48MP main camera impresses at Night, especially with the Night Vision mode activated. Daylight photos struggle with exposures and may appear soft at times, but at this price, this is one of the better camera experiences you can get. 

Moto E40

The macro camera is disappointing in quality and only works in daylight. Portrait mode photos are fine. The 8MP front camera performs nicely; no complaints considering the price. Check out the sample shots.

Motorola Moto E40 Battery life

This is a mixed bag situation. Despite packing a 5000mAh capacity battery, the Moto E40 is at best a one-day smartphone with moderate usage. The phone ended most busy days with 25-30 percent charge left. The 10W charging takes over two hours for a full recharge; hence leave it on overnight charging.

Verdict

Motorola Moto E40
Motorola Moto E40 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

The sub-INR 10,000 smartphone space is no more what it used to be a few years ago; most phones in this segment are basic and functional. The Motorola Moto E40 is an exception that stands out, it sprinkles some modern features usually reserved for more expensive phones. You get a large display with a faster 90Hz refresh rate, fuss-free user experience, and decent battery life: that is pretty much what most buyers demand from an affordable phone these days.

Our take: The Motorola Moto E40 is easily one of the best phones for less than INR 10,000. It’s fuss-free to use. Our top recommendation in this segment.

Rating
3.5/5
Price
9,499/-
Product Name
Moto E40
Brand Name
Motorola
Pros
  • Clean UI
  • Good performance
  • 90Hz display looks nice
Cons
  • Cameras could be better
Specifications
  • Chipset
    Unisoc T700
  • RAM and Storage
    4GB, 64GB
  • Display
    6.5-inches HD+ IPS LCD 90Hz refresh rate
  • Battery
    5000mAh
  • Rear cameras
    48MP + 2MP + 2MP
  • OS
    Android 11

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