Like all launch events for smartphones, the Moto E4 and the Moto E4 Plus launched amidst a pre-created buzz on social media. A mammoth 5,000mAh battery being the center of all the hype. That too at a price of Rs 9,999. And as soon as the presentation got over, there was the usual rush to where the devices were being showcased. Publications from all around the country were busy making videos and giving pieces to camera. First impressions were done and launch copies published. That’s usually the norm of press events where products are launched. But what was unexpected was the refusal by Lenovo to send out review units of the phone for the in-depth articles about the phones. Believe it or not, people in India, especially those buying a budget smartphone want the best value for money and for that, they tend to research a lot about the device they are looking to buy. It is what we are known for. To provide an informed, educated opinion about a device that will eventually help a buyer decide where to put their money at. The brands know this. The publication s earn their bread and butter through it. So, in refusing to send review units , Lenovo comes across as not being confident about their new offerings .
Alas, there will be no way of knowing for sure, just why exactly Moto doesn’t want its product reviewed by experts. In fact we checked around with journalists of some other publications and were informed that indeed the Moto E4 Plus wasn’t being distributed for review. But let’s make an educated guess.
On the face of it, the Moto E4 is a stunning deal. The latest stock Android. Dolby Atmos tuned speakers. A 5,000mAh battery!, 13-megapixel cameras with large pixels, front-mounted fingerprint sensor and a metal unibody. This sure looks like a deal that will make people looking for entry-level phones immediately rush to the stores.
But then comes that hardware that powers the phone. Both the Moto E4 and the Moto E4 Plus are powered by a MediaTek 6737 chipset with a 1.3G H z quad-core processor and Mali-T720 graphics. In comparison, the U.S variant of the Moto E4 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 SoC which has a 1.4Ghz quad-core processor and Adreno 308 graphics.
It is now a known fact that phones with MediaTek processors fail to obtain favourable reviews from publications while phones powered by Qualcomm processors are rated higher. There are several reasons for that. We believe, it is because of this trend that Lenovo refused to entertain reviews for this phone.
MediaTek chipsets usually use s off-the-shelf ARM ar c hitecture when they are used in a phone . In the SoC, MediaTek offers multi-core processors, GPU, cellular modem and the Wi-Fi module. Qualcomm chipsets generally are more powerful in terms of performance and more efficient in terms of heat management and battery life . They also pack more custom made goodies. For instance, a Qualcomm chipset will house a custom Image Signal Processor ( ISP) , Digital Signal Processor ( DSP) , Noise-cancellation technology, NFC, GPS and many more modules apart from the CPU, GPU and the modem. As a result, MediaTek chipsets are less expensive to procure than Qualcomm chipsets which brings down the price of a phone considerably. It is perhaps this line of reasoning that led Lenovo to use a MediaTek processor. Here’s MediaTek’s official website highlighting the offerings. In comparison, here’s the spec sheet of the Snapdragon 427 SoC used in the U.S variant. See for yourself.
Despite more offerings, it is not necessary that a Qualcomm processor will outperform a MediaTek processor. We have seen time and again in benchmark tests that a MediaTek processor has edged out a Qualcomm processor of the same range. But here’s the thing. Qualcomm chipsets employ heterogeneous computing. What is that? Allow us to explain.
Heterogenous computing allows chipsets to distribute tasks efficiently across the modules of the chipset. For instance, if you are taking photos from the camera of the phone, a Qualcomm chipset will only use the ISP to process the photos and the videos. The GPU, CPU and the rest of them will remain idle, saving power, reducing heat, and overall, increasing the efficiency.
MediaTek processors have no such provisions. Even a simple scroll through the app drawer will keep the processor running at full power, draining battery considerably faster. It’s the reason why phones with MediaTek processor also tend to heat up more than their Qualcomm counterparts.
That brings us to the Moto E4 and the Moto E4 Plus. In our launch article, we mentioned that the 5,000mAh battery will last two days of use. Perhaps that’s true. Without reviewing the phone, we will never for sure. However, if Moto had launched the Qualcomm variant in India, would the phone have lasted even more than that? Most likely, yes.
Now comes the question of why. Why did Lenovo launch a phone which to be honest is not at all class leading? And it is not , because t he Rs 9,999 Redmi Note 4 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 which is not even an entry-level processor, but a mid-rang e computing engine that is superiorly efficient in power intake and thermals. Heck, even the Redmi 4 which is vastly cheaper offers better performance and a better bang for a buck. Perhaps, Moto thought that by using seemingly inferior components it could compete with Xiaomi on price like what HMD Global is doing with the Nokia 3.
The finer details the Lenovo is touting in the Moto E4 like the display is not up to the mark of the Redmi Note 4. It’s not even at par with the Redmi 4 which is priced at Rs 7,999. Both the Redmi Note 4 and the Redmi 4 sport 1080p panels. In the limited time I got to use the Moto E4, I found the 720p display nothing extraordinary.
Even the speaker which carries the tag of an iconic audio brand is made to sound as something that is groundbreaking. The Moto E4 phones come with Dolby Atmos speakers. But so does the LG G6. Does it mean that the speakers on the Moto E4 is as good as LG’s flagship phone? Most likely, not.
T he fact remains that the it does have inferior hardware features, though Moto should remember that it does offer one of the best implementations of Android, which is unadulterated and that can help it deliver a better user experience. And at the end of the day it is all about the end user experience and not what’s there in a phone or what a reviewer thinks what a phone should have. But I’m guessing Moto has forgotten that.
And this isn’t the first time Lenovo has done this. Remember the Moto M, another budget offering from Lenovo. Do you remember reading any reviews of the phone? That’s because the Moto M too is powered by a MediaTek processor in India. Just run a Google search for the same and all you will find are user reviews, not jou rnalistic reviews.
And this isn’t the first time Lenovo has done this. Remember the Moto M , another budget offering from Lenovo. Do you remember reading any reviews of the phone? That’s because the Moto M too is powered by a MediaTek processor in India. Just run a Google search for the same and all you will find are user reviews, not jou rnalistic reviews.