I've come to terms that Motorola's bread and butter are affordable smartphones, even though they have launched the odd flagship here and there. And keeping in line with that budget-friendly outlook, is the latest Moto E7 Plus.
Now this phone was first launched in Brazil earlier in September and has now made its way to India with an interesting mix of specifications.
On the front, there's a 6.5-inch Max Vision IPS LCD HD+ display. It's not the brightest, especially when looking at it from the side, and you'll be better off leaving the adaptive brightness setting off for most of the day, especially if you use Dark Mode. There's a waterdrop notch at the top, bezels aren't all that slim, and the chin at the bottom is quite pronounced. Colours are bright, and you can select from three options--Natural, Boosted and Saturated.
The water-repellent design on the E7 Plus is quite similar to what Motorola has been offering lately. We received the Misty Blue colour variant that features a gradient on the rear, similar to the Moto G8 Power Lite. The body is made from plastic, and as a result of its fairly light at 200g, despite the large battery it packs. There's a micro-USB port on the bottom, next to the single downward-firing speaker, with the 3.5mm audio jack placed on the opposite end of the phone. The power button is easy to reach, and two slots above it sits a dedicated Google Assistant button, which isn't something you get to see in a lot of smartphones, irrespective of price point.
The Moto E7 Plus gets a hybrid dual SIM card tray, which means you can either have two SIM cards popped in, or one SIM card and a microSD card. Mind you, a microSD card can take this phone's overall storage capacity from 64GB up to 512GB. A fingerprint sensor has been integrated into the Motorola logo at the back, that's quick to unlock the device and rarely gives any failed input.
On the rear, there's a dual-camera setup with a 48MP primary sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. There's 1080p video recording with both the front and rear cameras, but only the rear setup supports 60 fps. Speaking of the front camera, this one has an 8MP sensor in the notch.
Pictures from the 48MP sensor are very clear, and belie the phone's price point. There's more than enough natural depth of field, details are crisp and colours are punchy enough without looking oversaturated. The addition of HDR makes skies look nicer, and Moto's image processing certainly seems to work well here. The depth sensor is slightly hit and miss, with Portrait pictures being pretty well done, but Cutout pictures sometimes failing to cutout subjects clearly. Night Vision is present here as well and helps spruce up pictures taken in low-light situations. As far as I can tell, it seems to work both manually and automatically, which means you can enable the feature anytime you like, but if it gets too dark, the phone ends up processing the image as though it were taken with Night Vision on anyway.
Selfies aren't the sharpest in average lighting conditions, but throw enough daylight into the mix, and it'll do fine. Portrait pictures were alright too, with edge detection doing a good enough job.
When it comes to performance, the Moto E7 Plus packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 chip, with 4GB RAM to back it up. It's a decent enough processor, and handles day to day tasks with ease. Basic tap games run on it easily enough without any hiccups, but if you're planning to run graphic intensive games like Call of Duty: Mobile, you're better off turning the graphic settings all the way down. Multi-tasking is smooth, and made easier with the presence of navigational gestures, thanks to Android 10.
Which brings us to software. Near-stock Android has been the highlight feature of Motorola phones, especially in this budget segment, where most competitors either pack in tons of bloatware and unnecessary apps, or annoying advertisements. Thankfully, there's none of that here. It's a clean interface that's made better with My UX, that's Motorola's way of adding functionality to Android 10.
Battery life is really good thanks to the generous 5,000mAh battery, and should get you through a day and a half with light to moderate usage. There's a 10W adaptor included in the box, and that's the fastest this phone will charge, so it's best if you plug it in at night.
So should you consider this phone at this budget price point? Well, if you take a look at competition from the likes of Realme and Xiaomi, you're likely to find that Motorola's actually offering decent hardware and a much, much better software experience than the other two. What the Moto E7 Plus lacks in raw performance, it more than makes up for with its smooth, uncluttered interface, that frankly, is the best reason to buy this phone.