Motorola’s new E6s costs just $125 – and sometimes, it feels like it. The screen is low-res, the performance is sluggish, and its materials leave quite a bit to be desired.
However, it still works, and will be able to help you carry out the essential tasks you expect from a smartphone. So, is it a good, cheap phone? Or a reminder that, quite often, you get what you pay for?
The Motorola E6s is the embodiment of a no-frills phone. If all you want from a phone is something to send messages and make calls on, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Moto E6s.
However, if you’re hoping that the E6s might be flying under-the-radar as a great cheap option, you’re going to be disappointed. We wouldn’t recommend the E6s for anything other than the bare essentials.
At the moment, the E6s isn’t available in the US. In the UK, it’ll set you back just £99.99 — yep, a sub-£100 phone in 2020.
In this review:
- Motorola E6s performance – Sluggish to say the least
- Motorola E6s design and screen – Cheap materials aren’t the most endearing
- Motorola E6s cameras – Actually surprisingly good
- Motorola E6s cost and value for money – It’s cheap, but even that isn’t enough
- Motorola E6s review verdict – Unless you simply cannot spend more than $100 on a phone, we’d avoid it
Motorola E6s Performance
The E6s isn’t a fast phone – it’s slow and sluggish, and at times, grating.
Swapping between apps takes a good while, and there’s a lot of stuttering. What’s more, we also encountered quite a few app closures, simply because the phone couldn’t manage the different tasks we were asking it to do.
A particular gripe was how long it took the phone to summon the keyboard when entering text into apps – when you’re signing into an app, for example. We’re not talking a momentary lag here – it’s a noticeable, agonizing delay.
Still, you can’t really expect much more from a phone powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 and just 2GB of RAM.
The upside, however, is in battery life. The E6s will easily last for well over a day, which could be handy for some people.
Perhaps the Moto E6s' biggest problem, however, is that it ships with Android 9 Pie rather than the newer Android 10. This means that you don't have access to features such as Dark Mode.
Motorola E6s design and screen
The E6s is, again, about what you’d expect for a phone that costs less than £100.
The rear case and frame are made from a pretty cheap plastic which is sometimes remarkably grippy, but other times isn’t. When tapping on the case, it feels a bit tinny, as well. The single speaker on the phone is also located on the rear case, not on the bottom rail as it is with most phones.
Round the front, the 720×1560 display is quite pixel-y, and isn’t the best thing for watching videos or playing games on. What’s more, the bezels are large, making it feel like a poor pastiche of a flagship phone rather than a flattering imitation.
Interestingly, the E6s has a proper notification light on the front panel, which is something we haven’t seen for quite a long time.
But again, for a phone this cheap, you can’t really expect any more. It’s still better than the Nokia 3.2, though, which is good.
Motorola E6s Cameras
Want a surprise? The rear cameras on the Moto E6s are, actually, not bad.
Yes, we now live in a world where you can buy a smartphone for just over $100 that has multiple rear cameras. The E6s has a 13Mp wide angle sensor and a 2Mp depth sensor.
Naturally, the image processing isn’t particularly smart on a phone this cheap, so there is a fair amount of noise. But, the depth sensor does an OK job when it comes to finding the point of focus, and the 13Mp lens brings in a decent amount of light.
The same, however, can’t be said for the front camera. It has a 5Mp lens, and the images it takes look quite soft and lifeless.
Video quality is also a bit lackluster. There’s an overall softness, and the phone doesn’t manage light very well.
If you really care about phone photography, you will need to buy a more expensive device than the Moto E6s. We wish it wasn’t that way, but sadly, it is. However, decent photography is closer than you think – the Moto G8 or Moto One Vision are surprisingly strong alternatives, but still cost less than $400.
Motorola E6s Cost and Value for Money
At £99.99, or around $125, the Moto E6s is very cheap. In fact, there aren’t many phones that can compete with it on price.
But does that make it good value for money? Not in our eyes. We think that almost all people would be better off spending slightly more money to get a phone which is far easier to live with everyday.
If you need an extra-long battery life, get the Moto G/G8 Power for $250. If you need an all-round better phone, however, you should get the Motorola G8 for $179.
Motorola Moto E6s Review Verdict
Sure, the battery life is pretty good and the cameras are OK. However, there are other phones that offer better longevity or better cameras for not much more. If we're honest, you need to spend a bit more on a phone than this to get a good product.
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