Republic Wireless Moto E4 smartphone review 2017
Is the new Moto E4 the best new budget smart phone of 2017?


Motorola Moto E4 smartphone from Republic Wireless
Rating: 5/5 by Steve
Last Updated: July 1, 2017


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(updated August 7, 2017)


The new Republic Wireless Moto E4 smart phone is a fully capable, amazingly affordable, "budget" smartphone, and for $99 ($30 off the normal $129 retail price), it re-establishes Republic Wireless as the value leader for smart phones and service plans. With the new Moto E4, it's almost unbelievable what you get for $99. It has a a nice-sized 5.0" display with crisp, bright HD resolution. It has a competent Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor with a respectable 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, plus a microSD card slot so you can add up to 128GB more. It has a 2800mAh lithium-ion "all day" battery that is removable and replaceable, so if some day the battery begins to show signs of not holding as much of a charge, you can pop it out and replace it, and you don't have to send your phone to a repair shop like most more expensive smartphones with built-in permanent batteries. The Moto E4 even has a fingerprint scanner. Probably the only real "compromise" is the camera, but even the camera is respectable and takes decent pictures. The Moto E4 camera is not the latest and greatest camera that one would get on an $700+ iPhone, but the Moto E4 also only costs a fraction of the price of a new iPhone. To determine if the Moto E4 camera will work for you, you should consider what you generally do with your smartphone camera pictures. For posting on social media or viewing with friends and family, the Moto E4 camera quality is quite nice. However, if your phone camera is an important feature to you and you want the best pictures you can get, then you might want to consider a more expensive phone, like the mid-range $229 Moto G5 Plus or the top-of the-line $699 Moto Z, but you'll also be paying considerably more for your phone, which if you are serious about photography might be money better spent on a real SLR digital camera instead. Suffice it to say, smartphone cameras have come a long way, and while there are clearly better cameras on more expensive phones, the Moto E4 camera is actually better than most older iPhones and should serve many people quite well.

Looking at the specifications and features on the new Moto E4 phone, I am amazed by how quickly smartphones are improving and just how much you can get for your money now. When I compare the new Moto E4 to our three-year-old original Moto G phones (which still work just fine), the new Moto E4 has a bigger, higher resolution screen (5.0" vs 4.5"), a better camera, dual wifi bands (2.4 and 5.0 instead of 2.4GHz only), 3G-4G-LTE, instead of 3G only, more RAM (2GB vs 1GB), more ROM (16GB vs 8GB), a better, faster processor, a bigger battery, a fingerprint scanner, and the Moto E4 is cheaper (only $99 instead of $149, the price for the original Moto G). The bottom line is that you don't have to spend that much to get a good smartphone now, and one should not automatically assume that more expensive smartphones are necessary nor necessarily worth the extra price.

Affordability: You won't find a better deal or more-bang-for-you-buck than the $99 Moto E4.
Size: The bright, crisp 5.0" screen is a nice size that balances carrying your phone with having a fairly big screen. It's a definite step up from older 4.5" phones.
Dual wifi channels: The Moto E4 supports both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz wifi routers.
Battery: Not only does the Moto E4 have a high capacity  battery, the battery is also removable and replaceable.
Unlocked and GSM/CMDA capable: Because the Moto E4 supports both GSM and CMDA, and it's unlocked, you can take it with you and use it on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, or any of their MVNO providers.
Fingerprint Sensor: Previously only found on expensive phones, the fact that the Moto E4 has a fingerprint sensor shows just now much "high end technology" is now a "standard feature", at least on the Moto line of smartphones.
Reliability: From our experience, Motorola makes good reliable phones. We currently have three Moto G (1st gen) phones that are still chugging away just fine after 3 years. I also have a newer Moto G4 phone that is working just fine, and prior to having smart phones, we had two classic (and iconic) RAZR flip-phones that served us well for many years.

Camera: While the Moto E4 camera should be more than sufficient for many people and is better that the cameras found on most older smartphones, if your phone camera is important to you and you want the best camera you can get (and you're willing to pay more), you might want to look at more expensive phones.
No NFC: The Moto E4 does not have NFC (Near Field Communication, used for making secure point-of-purchase payments with your phone), which means you won't be able to use Android Pay to pay with your smartphone. If you want to use your smartphone instead of your credit card to pay at the store, you'll need a more expensive phone with NFC. But because I focus on spending less and not spending more, and because I don't mind using my "old fashioned" credit card, this is not an issue for me.

While I'm a big fan of the new Moto E4, I recognize there are obviously better phones out there, but they also cost more, and the question is what do you really need and are the more expensive phones worth it. Another new Moto smartphone that I think is definitely worth considering is the new Moto G5 Plus smartphone (also at Republic Wireless). It costs a little over twice as much, but for $229, it still doesn't break the bank. The Moto G5 Plus is a "better" phone, if you need a better phone. I've compared the specifications for the Moto E4 to the Moto G5 Plus in the comparison chart below. The Moto G5 Plus has a better camera, so if you're concerned about the camera and picture quality, the Moto G5 Plus may be for you. The Moto G5 Plus also has a slightly larger and higher resolution display screen, as well as a faster processor and more memory (if you need it). But many of the features are the same, indicating the real value you get for less with the cheaper Moto E4. Both are unlocked and CDMA and GSM capable, so you can use them on any US carrier if you ever leave Republic Wireless. 


"The Android-powered Motorola Moto E4 offers smooth performance and lots of features at a bargain price... you'll be hard-pressed to find a better phone for the price. For its combination of price and performance, the Moto E4 can't be beat, and earns our Editors' Choice." - PCMag, June 2017

"The Moto E4 does not rival the big dogs of the Android world, like the Galaxy S8* or LG G6*, but it’s not supposed to. The Moto E4 is meant to be a smartphone that can be a good option for those that don’t want to (or have the money to) spend a ton on a new smartphone. The Moto E4 has a lot of bright spots and if you compare it against other smartphones in its price range, then it actually looks like an incredible value for the price, which it really is." - AndroidHeadlines, June 2017 [*the Galaxy S8 is $725, the LG G6 is $660]

"For $130** unlocked, you won’t find a better deal on a smartphone with the latest version of Android... the Moto E4 is a steal at $130*, and it’s the right one to buy." - DigitalTrends, June 2017 [**at Republic Wireless the price is only $99!]

If you're looking for a new smartphone for your kid, you can't go wrong with the Moto E4. You should also consider it for yourself. Unless you need a better camera, the benefit of only paying $99 for your phone is you can worry a lot less about breaking it or losing it (which is also why it's a great phone for kids).

Republic Wireless has a 14 day money-back guarantee for new phone purchases. That said, if you are new to Republic, I recommend making sure their coverage will work for you. You can use the Republic Wireless Coverage Checker and enter your zip code to make sure they have good coverage in your area. Republic Wireless utilizes T-Mobile (with voice/text roaming on AT&T) or Sprint (with voice/text roaming on Verizon). The Republic Wireless coverage checker will determine which one will work best for you and will show you the available phones with that service. If neither service will provide good coverage in your area, the coverage check will let you know that Republic Wireless would not be a good option for your area.

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Moto E4 specs Moto G5 Plus specs

moto e4 vs moto g5 plus

$129 $99 $229

display size / type / resolution (pixels)

5” HD (720 x 1280) IPS LCD 5.2” Full HD (1080 x 1920) IPS LCD


Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Corning Gorilla Glass 3

phone width / height / weight

5.69″ x 2.83″ x 0.37″, 5.11oz 5.91″ x 2.91″ x 0.30″, 5.47oz

phone colors

licorice black, fine gold lunar gray, fine gold

memory (ROM)

16GB internal
plus add up to 128GB removable via MicroSD slot
32GB internal (or 64GB internal version)
plus add up to 128GB removable via MicroSD slot


2800mAh lithium-ion, removable 3000mAh lithium-ion

processor chipset, speed, graphics processor, RAM

Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 with 1.4 GHz Octa Core and Adreno 308 GPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with 2.0 GHz Octa Core and Adreno 506 GPU
2GB RAM (or 4GB RAM version)

main camera

8MP auto focus with LED flash 12MP dual auto focus with dual LED flash

"selfie"  front-facing camera

5MP with display flash 5MP with display flash


Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat

data speed

WiFi (2.4GHz + 5GHz), 3G, 4G LTE WiFi (2.4GHz + 5GHz), 3G, 4G LTE


accelerometer, compass, fingerprint, proximity accelerometer, compass, fingerprint, gyroscope, proximity

water protection

water repellent nano coating water repellent nano coating

cellular carriers / providers supported

unlocked, GSM and CDMA, works with all US carriers unlocked, GSM and CDMA, works with all US carriers
Moto E4 Moto G5 Plus


read my full Republic Wireless review

* click here for current Republic Wireless redemption codes, coupon codes, & special deals *
(updated July 2, 2017)


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