Motorola wants to get some of the action in the budget segment with its new Moto E6s smartphone. This is pretty much the same phone as the Moto E6 Plus that we saw recently at the IFA in Berlin. The company launched it in India under a slightly different name at a fairly attractive price of Rs. 7999. For this amount, you get 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a fingerprint sensor that not many manufacturers offer. It also has some features like a removable battery that we don't see much these days. With a modern design and decent all-round specs, should the Moto 6E be the best choice for your budget? It's time to check and find out.
Moto E6s design
The design of the Moto E6s is pretty simple and basic. The display is notched at the top and has rather thick edges all around, especially the chin, which is not uncommon on inexpensive smartphones. The volume rocker and the power switch are on the right. The buttons do not have much leeway, but are easy to use. We like the contrasting texture on the on / off switch that makes identification easier. The cutout for the 3.5mm headphone jack on the top is slightly off-center, but the placement shouldn't bother you if you're using headphones while holding the phone in landscape mode.
The laminated back and sides look like two separate layers, but are part of a shell that comes loose. In India, the Moto E6s is available in the Polished Graphite and Rich Cranberry color options – both huge magnets for fingerprints. We saw more color options with the Moto E6 Plus at IFA, but they haven't made it to India yet, at least not yet. Of the two, the red version hides fingerprints slightly better because they are two-tone. However, it gets messy very quickly and the dirt is not so easy to remove.
The case can be easily broken off and shows two SIM slots and a dedicated slot for a microSD card (up to 512 GB). A micro SIM card is inserted in one of the SIM slots, which we haven't seen in a while, just like the replaceable battery. The fingerprint sensor in the middle works well and is printed with a Moto logo. Unlocking the phone with a fingerprint isn't very quick, but we found the success rate good. Face recognition works quite well in good lighting conditions, but has a bit of a struggle in poor lighting conditions. Once again, it's not as fast as what we've seen on other phones in the household segment, but it does the job.
Below we have a micro USB port and the individual speaker. The 6.1-inch IPS display offers a resolution of HD + (720 x 1560 pixels). The display becomes bright enough for outdoor use and the colors are powerful. Viewing angles are also decent. The 19.5: 9 aspect ratio makes this phone relatively large, but it's not very wide, so it feels comfortable to hold it. The Moto E6s is only 150 g light and 8.6 mm thick.
The scope of delivery includes a USB cable, a 10 W charger, some manuals, a bag and a nano-to-micro SIM adapter.
Moto E6s specifications and software
The Moto E6 has a modest processor, the Mediatek Helio P22. This is an octa-core chip that we have seen in phones like the Realme C2 (test) and the LG W30 (test). In India, the Moto E6s is only available in a configuration with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage.
Other Moto E6 technical specifications include Bluetooth 4.2, single band WiFi 802.11b / g / n, USB OTG, FM radio, support for three satellite navigation systems, an accelerometer, an ambient light sensor and a proximity sensor. Unfortunately, the phone lacks a gyroscope or even a compass, so apps like Google Maps are unable to show you the direction you're looking.
An almost instantly available version of Android 9 Pie runs on the phone. Unlike Motorola, which offers One Action (Review), the Moto E6s is not part of the Android One program. There are hardly any additional apps besides an FM radio app, Moto Help, and Motorola Notifications to help you find the nearest Moto Hub store or service center.
Some of the Google apps are besides the usual sheets, slides, news and files. Digital wellbeing is also available and always at hand. You will get a few gestures that allow you to quickly turn on the camera by tapping the power button twice. You can also change the default gesture-based navigation scheme for old-fashioned buttons on the screen.
Moto E6s performance and battery life
In terms of performance, the Moto E6s does a decent job by running apps and doing a bit of multitasking. Navigating the Android menus is generally quick, but not what you would call fluid. We sometimes noticed some temporary delays in the user interface animation, but this didn't affect the experience too much.
The benchmark numbers are not particularly good, which is no surprise given the SoC. In AnTuTu we achieved a score of only 79.208, while GFXbench returned 25 fps in the T-Rex graphics test. Even for this price, this phone is definitely underwhelmed, as there are other options at the same price as the Realme 3i (Review), which offers a MediaTek Helio P60 SoC.
With 4 GB of RAM, a good number of apps remain in memory, and the loading times for apps are not too bad. Heavier games, like games, are doing well. This phone doesn't deliver the best experience with the full version of PUBG Mobile, but PUBG Mobile Lite did a little better. There is still a slight delay when the action gets intense, and aiming at a weapon is not always very accurate. Still, we won some games. The Moto E6 gets pretty hot after about 30 minutes of play. We also noticed an 11 percent drop in battery levels.
The phone does a decent job with media files. The speaker does not become too loud, even if the "BesLoudness" sound enhancement option is activated. The display has good viewing angles and the colors are not too exaggerated. Ideally, we would have liked an option to improve the colors, as animated videos could appear a little more lively.
The 3000 mAh battery isn't huge, but it lasts almost a day. In our HD video battery loop test, we only achieved a runtime of 12 hours and 22 minutes. If you don't use the phone too often, you can transfer a full charge beyond one day. Motorola calls the included charger a "quick charger," but we've found that it's anything but that. The 10 W device can charge the phone to just 15 percent in half an hour and around 30 percent in one hour. It takes almost 3 hours and 45 minutes to fully charge.
Moto E6s cameras
The rear cameras of the Moto E6 are a 13 megapixel main sensor with an aperture of 1: 2.0 and a 2 megapixel depth sensor. In the front we have an 8 megapixel selfie camera. The camera app is pretty simple. You have all the shooting modes and the shutter button at the bottom and the mode-specific switching options at the top of the viewfinder. There is also AI scene detection that can be turned on and off. You can also use Google Lens in the camera app.
The autofocus is not very fast, so shooting fast-moving objects is a challenge even in good light. HDR works well with backlit photography, but the dynamic range is somewhat limited. Details were decent in close-ups, but distant objects often looked a little soft. The camera struggled a bit with the exposure, and most of the highlights of our day shots looked overexposed. Close-ups do a little better in good light.
In bokeh mode you get a slider with which you can adjust the degree of background blur. Edge detection is a hit or miss here, also with the special depth sensor for human subjects and objects. There is a separate beauty shooting mode that you can use to smooth the face of your subject. Other shooting modes are video and panorama.
In low light, the camera tried to lock focus for a second or two before it calmed down. The Moto E6s struggled to capture good details at night, and landscape shots generally looked pretty grainy. However, it was worth keeping good colors.
The front camera takes strictly average looking selfies in daylight. There is HDR, but it's not always very effective. This phone has a little hard time correcting skin tones and exposures. There is also a noticeable difference when you take a normal selfie and use portrait mode. Selfies taken at night had visible grain and were not well defined. The screen flash is also not too effective.
Video quality is only average even in daylight and there is no electronic stabilization at 1080p, which is the highest resolution this phone will achieve. In poor lighting conditions, the picture quality is soft and the details are very poor.
The Moto E6s may be one of the few phones at this price that offers 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. This is a great achievement, but it makes too much compromise in other areas, which makes the recommendation somewhat difficult. Also, leaving out basic things like a compass is a real letdown. Recently, phones with much larger batteries have also become available at this price, making the Moto E6 feel small. With phones like the Xiaomi Redmi 8A on the market, which has a Type-C connector with fast charging and a much larger battery, the E6s doesn't feel very competitive. The removable back cover and battery are nice details, but we doubt that this is a feature that would affect anyone's buying decision.
The Moto E6s is light, has a decent display, and offers plenty of RAM and memory for the price. However, if you're satisfied with less RAM and less memory, there are better options like Realme 3i (test) and Redmi 7 (test) for about the same price. Plus, with so many online sales, you can even find huge discounts on better phones that are usually sold for around Rs. 10,000.