Motorola Moto E6 hands on in the hand

If you’re in the market for a sub-$200 smartphone, Motorola might have the handset for you. The Motorola Moto E6 sees Motorola’s entry-level series upping the ante while keeping its affordable price tag intact. Verizon Wireless is selling the phone in the U.S. at launch, and Motorola says other carriers will follow over time. The Moto E6 may be a simple, unassuming device and that might be what makes it so charming.

Read: Moto E6 full specs

Motorola Moto E6: Engaging, not enigmatic

Don’t expect the world for a song. Motorola is targeting the value segment of the market with the Moto E6 and that means hardware with lofty ambitions firmly in check.

The phone boasts a 5.5-inch Full HD+ screen with Motorola’s Max Vision 18:9 aspect ratio. This is the same shape we saw on Motorola’s Moto One Vision earlier this year. I can’t say that the display won me over. The IPS LCD screen, protected by a flat panel of glass, came across as dull to my eyes and it leans toward blue in terms of hue. A pixel density of just 296ppi allowed my eyes to spot pixels along the edges of text and icons on the screen. It is not a cinematic display, though it suffices for what we might term normal, everyday use.

Motorola Moto E6 hands on screen on

Plastic forms the outer shell and inner chassis of the Moto E6. The phone comes in either black or blue, and I dig the micro pattern etched into the rear panel. It sounds like a zipper when you drag your fingernail across it. Believe it or not, the rear cover is removable as is the battery underneath. Most mid-range and flagship phones have succumbed to sealed-in batteries, so this is a treat. The SIM tray and microSD memory card slot are under the rear shell.

Motorola Moto E6 hands on rear panel

A fairly sharp and noticeable lip runs around the front face. It would not call it comfortable. The bezels are thicker than what you’ll find on pricer phones, though I would not call them egregious. A single, dual-purpose speaker is wedged between the display glass and the lip at the top of the phone.

Motorola Moto E6 hands on blank screen

The top edge is where you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, while the microUSB port is tucked into the bottom. A power button and volume rocker are perched on the right side and both deliver excellent action.

It may be a bit on the plain side of things as far as design is concerned, but it is less fragile that any all-glass phone. More importantly, it is comfortable to hold and use. 

Motorola Moto E6 hands on angled mug

Simplified silicon

Motorola opted for the Snapdragon 435 processor with eight cores clocked at 1.4GHz. An Adreno 506 GPU and 2GB of RAM join the processor. A Fortnite machine, the Moto E6 is not. The demo units we saw ran smoothly enough, however. A mere 16GB of storage is embedded in the phone, though that can be expanded to 256GB via memory card.

Motorola Moto E6 hands on buttons

The camera situation is minimal. A single 13MP lens is located on the rear of the phone. It includes an LED flash and comes with most of the standard set of software features, such as HDR, portrait (software assisted), timelapse, and Motorola’s Spot color. Video capture tops out at 1080p 30fps. The Moto E6 selfie camera is a lowly 5MP job, but it includes most of the software features found on the main camera. The app worked well in the few moments I spent with the phone. 

Motorola Moto E6 hands on camera closeup

That removable battery? It’s rated at 3,000mAh and Motorola claims it will last all day no matter what. Given the lower-resolution screen and entry-level processor, it’s probably a safe bet to believe Motorola, though we’ll reserve final judgement once we test the device. 

Diving deeper, the Moto E6 offers the typical set of connectivity options. There’s LTE 4G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and even an FM radio. These are all good things. A nano coating protects the innards from sweat and rain. It is not submersible. 

The E6 will ship with Android 9 Pie. Motorola made no commitments to Android Q. The phone runs Motorola’s version of Android, which is mostly stock with a few nice extras tossed in for good measure. Moto Display and Moto Actions are the most important additions, and they are accessible via dedicated apps on the phone. 

Motorola Moto E6 hands on in the hand 2

Already for sale

The Motorola Moto E6 goes on sale today. Verizon is selling it for just $149. Motorola said the Moto E6 will eventually reach more operators and markets over time. In the U.S., some of those operators include T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Consumer Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile. The E6 will also be available unlocked on Amazon.com and at Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Walmart.

The company has high hopes for the phone and believes it is a good candidate for those seeking value over virility. Bottom line, it’s a good option for kids or those who are new to smartphones. 

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