The Motorola E-series smartphones have been serving the under Rs 10,000 segment for quite some time. The Moto E40 is the newest smartphone in this series and the successor to the Moto E7 Plus and Motor E7 Power in India. This new smartphone brings new hardware and functions that are unusual in this market segment. Has Motorola just changed its naming strategy or does the Moto E40 contain enough goodies to be the de facto choice on a budget? I put this new smartphone to the test to find out.
Moto E40 price in India
The Moto E40 costs Rs. 9,499 in India for the only configuration with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It is available in two color options, Carbon Gray and PInk Clay. I had the former with me for this review.
Motorcycle E40 design
The Moto E40 is a budget smartphone, but it’s well designed. It has a large 6.5-inch display with a fairly large camera hole in the top center, which some might find annoying. The bezels are thick but acceptable given the price of this smartphone. There is a small notification LED in the upper right corner directly above the display. The Moto E40 has a plastic case, but it didn’t feel thin. Motorola has also curved the sides of the smartphone and is easy to grip.
You can see all of the buttons on the right side of the Moto E40, which makes it look cluttered. Motorola has positioned the power button in the middle of the frame and is easy to reach when you hold the phone. The volume buttons and the dedicated button for Google Assistant are right above it. With four buttons close by, finding the right one can be a guessing game. Motorola could have moved the Google Assistant button to the left, which only has the SIM tray. The top has a 3.5mm headphone jack, while the bottom has the primary microphone, speaker, and USB Type-C port.
The back of the phone is relatively black and has a curved pattern. This phone has a triple camera in the top left corner and it doesn’t protrude too much. There’s also a fingerprint scanner with the Motorola Batwing logo on it.
The Moto E40 weighs 198g, which is noticeable after prolonged use. You get a 10W charger in the box. Motorola also includes a transparent case with this phone.
Moto E40 specifications and software
The large 6.5-inch LCD panel has HD + resolution and a refresh rate of 90 Hz.High refresh rate panels are not very common in the budget segment, but there are some other examples like the Infinix Hot 11S (review) . The Moto E40 is powered by the Unisoc T700 Octa-Core SoC. This processor is paired with 4GB of RAM, and you also get 64GB of storage and a 5000mAh battery. Motorola doesn’t offer variants with more RAM or storage, but you can expand the storage by up to 1 TB with a microSD card.The Moto E40 is IP52 certified, which means it should be splash-proof. It supports dual SIM dual VoLTE, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi and six satellite navigation systems.
The Moto E40 runs Android 11 with Motorola’s My UX adjustments. My test device ran the September Android security patch. These adjustments are minimal and so you get an almost standard Android experience on this smartphone. Google apps and Facebook were preinstalled on the Moto E40; the latter can be uninstalled. The Moto app, which allows you to control all Moto functions on other phones, is missing, but some shortcuts are still available in the gesture area of the Settings app. Motorola uses a three button navigation layout by default, but you can switch to gesture navigation. Overall, I like the almost standard Android experience and the fact that there are no spam notifications on the Moto E40.
Moto E40 performance
The Moto E40 can handle normal use without any problems. So if you use your phone mostly for WhatsApp, phone calls, and a few casual games, this phone can handle it all without breaking a sweat. The high refresh rate ensures smooth scrolling. Motorola has set this to Auto by default, but you can manually choose between 60Hz and 90Hz as well.
The display has decent viewing angles and the brightness was sufficient indoors. The Moto E40 only has a single downward facing speaker that sounds shrill at higher volumes. When watching videos for a while, the lower half of the body became slightly warm. I was able to unlock the smartphone quickly and easily using the fingerprint scanner on the back. Multitasking between some apps was easy too.
The Moto E40 managed Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests, 351 and 1,333, respectively. It achieved 8971 points in PCMark Work 3.0. In AnTuTu, the phone skipped the GPU test, but landed a total of 173,202 points. It also managed 58 fps and 15 fps in the GFXBench T-Rex and Car Chase benchmarks. In most of these tests, the Motorola E40 does slightly better than the Realme Narzo 50A.
I played Battlegrounds Mobile India on the Moto E40 and it took longer than usual to load. Once executed, it defaulted to HD graphics and high frame rate. With these settings, the game was playable without noticeable stuttering. I played for 26 minutes and noticed a 7 percent drop in the battery level. The top half of the phone felt warm to the touch after playing.
The Moto E40 has a good battery life, which easily lasts for over a day and a half when I use it. The large 5,000mAh battery lasted 15 hours and 7 minutes in our HD video loop test. While the battery life is good, charging is slow. The phone hit just 21 percent in 30 minutes and about 41 percent in an hour. You have to wait over two hours to fully charge the battery.
Moto E40 cameras
With the Moto E40 you get a triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel main camera, a 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The main camera has an aperture of f / 1.79 and Pixel-Bin-Photos to take 12-megapixel shots by default. For selfies, it has an 8 megapixel shooter on the front. Motorola’s camera app is very similar to what we’ve seen on previous models, but functionality is limited on this smartphone. You can take portraits and there is a night mode to help you out in low light.
The Moto E40 focused pretty quickly, but there were times that it took a second. Daylight photos were average and I had to set HDR to Auto as it was disabled by default. Objects in the distance did not have good detail and a slight grain was visible in darker areas of the scene.
Close-ups had good details and the phone managed to separate the subject from the background. The Moto E40 isn’t the fastest to lock focus, however, and I occasionally had to tap the screen to get it to focus where I wanted. Portraits took about a second or two to process, but the phone recognized faces quickly and allowed me to choose the degree of blur. I found the blur too aggressive even at the medium setting that you may have to turn it all the way down to make it look natural. Macro shots were fine, but not very sharp. In addition, the low resolution limits any possibility of enlarging and cropping pictures. I would have liked an ultra wide angle macro camera, but that was not possible with this budget.
Low light photos were below average. While the phone managed to keep the noise under control, the photos appeared soft and the colors were off as well. Night mode takes over 5 seconds to take a picture and you need to remain calm during this time. This mode helps with slightly better sharpness and more light in darker areas.
Selfies taken in daylight were decent, while those taken in low light appeared flat. Selfie portraits had good edge detection, but it takes about 1-2 seconds to take a photo.
Video recording reaches 1080p for both the primary and selfie cameras and this phone does not provide any form of stabilization. Daylight shots looked average, and the phone managed to keep the noise under control in low light. However, the footage is shaky due to the lack of stabilization
The Moto E40 is Motorola’s latest offering in the Sub-Rs. 10,000 market. It has decent hardware and I see no reason for the casual user to complain. The Unisoc T700 SoC chugs well until you start something difficult. For large apps and games, the loading time is longer than ideal. While the near-standard Android experience might make purists happy, the camera performance won’t impress anyone.
If you like standard Android and you’re on a tight budget, the Moto E40 is a strong case on its own. If you are looking for alternatives, you can take a look at the Realme Narzo 30A (review) or the recently tested Infinix Hot 11S (review).