Moto E40 Review: Only for Android Purists on a Budget?

Motorola E series smartphones have been working in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment for some time now. The Moto E40 is the newest smartphone in the series and is the successor to the Moto E7 Plus and Motor E7 Power in India. This new smartphone brings with it new hardware and features that are unusual in this segment of the market. Has Motorola just changed its naming strategy or does the Moto E40 pack enough goodies to be a real choice on a budget? I tested this new smartphone to find out.

moto e40 price in india

The Moto E40 is priced at Rs. 9,499 in India for its 4GB RAM, 64GB storage configuration alone. It is available in two color options Carbon Gray and Pink Clay. I had the prior for this review.

Moto E40 Design

Moto E40 is a budget smartphone but it is well designed. It has a large 6.5-inch display, with a large camera hole in the top-center, which some might find distracting. The bezels are thick, but acceptable considering the price of this smartphone. There is a small notification LED in the top right corner just above the display. The body of the Moto E40 is plastic but it didn’t look dull. Motorola has also curved the edges of the smartphone, and it is easier to hold.

The Moto E40’s hole-punch camera is big and can be distracting to some

You’ll see all the buttons on the right side of the Moto E40, which makes it look cluttered. Motorola has placed the power button in the middle of the frame, and it’s easy to reach by holding the phone. The volume buttons and dedicated buttons for Google Assistant are right above it. With four buttons nearby, finding the right one can turn into a guessing game. Motorola could have moved the Google Assistant button to the left which only houses the SIM tray. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top while the primary mic, loudspeaker and USB Type-C port are at the bottom.

The back of the phone is relatively black, and has a curvy pattern. This phone has a triple camera setup in the top left corner, and it is not too protruding. It also has a fingerprint scanner with Motorola’s Batwing logo on it.

The Moto E40 weighs in at 198g, which is noticeable if you use it for a long time. You get a 10W charger in the box. Motorola also bundles a transparent case with this phone.

Moto E40 Specifications and Software

The large 6.5-inch LCD panel has HD+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. High-refresh-rate panels are not very common in the budget segment, but you can find some other examples such as the Infinix Hot 11S (Review). Powering the Moto E40 is the Unisoc T700 octa-core SoC. This processor is paired with 4GB of RAM, and you also get 64GB of storage and a 5000mAh battery. Motorola is not offering variants with more RAM or storage but you can expand the storage up to 1TB using a microSD card. The Moto E40 has an IP52 certification, which means it should be splash resistant. It has support for dual-SIM dual-VOLTE, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi and six satellite navigation systems.

Moto E40 Backpanel Gadgets360 Moto E40 Review

The body of the Moto E40 is plastic but it doesn’t look dull

The Moto E40 runs Android 11 with Motorola’s My UX customization. My review unit was running the September Android security patch. These customizations are minimal and hence you get an almost stock Android experience on this smartphone. The Moto E40 had Google apps and Facebook pre-installed, and the latter can be uninstalled. The Moto app, which lets you control all Moto features on other phones, is missing, but some shortcuts are still available in the Gestures section of the Settings app. Motorola uses a three-button navigation layout by default but you can switch to gesture navigation. Overall, I quite like the near-stock Android experience, and the fact that there are no spammy notifications on the Moto E40.

moto e40 performance

The Moto E40 can handle regular use with ease, so if you use your phone mostly for WhatsApp, phone calls, and some casual games, this phone can handle it all without breaking a sweat. The high refresh rate makes scrolling smooth. Motorola has this set to auto by default, but you can also choose between 60Hz and 90Hz manually.

The display has good viewing angles and the brightness was adequate indoors. The Moto E40 only has a single bottom-firing speaker that sounds tinny at high volumes. The lower half of the body became slightly warm to the touch after watching the video for a while. I was able to unlock the smartphone quickly and without any issues using the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Multitasking between a few apps was also easy.

Moto E40 Camera Module Gadgets360 Moto E40 Review

The triple camera module on the Moto E40 doesn’t protrude much

The Moto E40 managed 351 and 1,333 respectively in Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests. It scored 8,971 in PCMark Work 3.0. In AnTuTu, the phone skipped the GPU test but finished with a total score of 173,202. It managed 58fps and 15fps in GFXBench’s T-rex and Car Chase benchmarks, respectively. In most of these tests, the Motorola E40 performed slightly better than the Realme Narzo 50A.

I played Battlegrounds Mobile India on the Moto E40, and it took longer than usual to load. Once running, it defaulted to HD graphics and high frame rates. The game was playable at these settings without any noticeable stutter. I played for 26 minutes and noticed a 7 percent drop in battery level. After gaming, the top half of the phone was touch to touch.

The Moto E40 offered decent battery life, easily lasting over a day and a half with my usage. The massive 5,000mAh battery lasted 15 hours and 7 minutes in our HD video loop test. While battery life is good, charging is slow. The phone became just 21 percent in 30 minutes and about 41 percent in an hour. You will have to wait more than two hours for the battery to be fully filled.

moto e40 cameras

You get a triple camera setup on the Moto E40, which consists of a 48-megapixel primary camera, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The primary camera has an f/1.79 aperture, and the Pixels compartmentalize photos to produce 12-megapixel shots by default. For selfies, it has an 8-megapixel shooter on the front. Motorola’s camera app is very similar to what we saw in previous models, but the features are limited in this smartphone. You can take portraits, and there’s a Night Mode to help you out in low-light scenes.

The Moto E40 was quick to focus but there were times when it needed a second. Daylight photos were average and I had to set HDR to auto as it was off by default. Details of distant objects were not good and dark areas of the scene showed slight graininess.

Moto E40 daylight sample (tap to see full size)

Moto E40 close-up sample (tap to see full size)

There was good detail in close-up shots, and the phone created a good separation between the subject and the background. However, the Moto E40 isn’t the fastest to lock focus and I sometimes need to tap the screen to focus where I want it. Portrait shots took about a second or two to process, but the phone can quickly detect faces and allow me to select the level of blurriness. I found the blurring too aggressive even on the medium setting, so you might have to dial it all the way up to get a natural look. Macro shots were fine but not very sharp. In addition, the low resolution limits any possibility of magnifying and cropping shots. I would have liked an ultra-wide angle camera over a macro camera, but that just wasn’t possible at this budget level.

Moto E40 portrait sample (tap to view full size)

Moto E40 Macro Camera Sampler (Tap to view full size)

Low-light photos were below average. While the phone managed to keep noise under control, photos appeared soft and colors were off as well. Night mode requires more than 5 seconds to take a shot, and you need to be still during this time. This mode helps with slightly better sharpness and more light in darker areas.

Moto E40 low-light camera sample (tap to see full size)

Moto E40 Night Mode sample (tap to see full size)

Selfies taken in daylight were good while selfies taken in low light looked flat. Edge detection was good in selfie portraits but it takes around 1-2 seconds to capture a single photo.

Moto E40 Low-Light Selfie Portrait (Tap to see full size)

Video recording tops out at 1080p for the primary as well as the selfie camera and this phone doesn’t offer any kind of stabilization. Daylight footage looked average, and the phone managed to keep noise in low light under control. However, the footage is shaky due to the lack of stabilization.

Decision

The Moto E40 is Motorola’s latest offering in the sub-Rs. 10,000 market. It offers decent hardware, and for a casual user, I see no reason to complain. As long as you don’t launch something heavy, the Unisoc T700 SoC runs just fine. For large apps and games, load times are longer than ideal. While the near-stock Android experience may keep purists happy, its camera performance won’t impress anyone.

If you like stock Android and have a low budget, the Moto E40 makes a strong case for itself. Those looking for an alternative can check out the Realme Narzo 30A (Review) or the recently reviewed Infinix Hot 11S (Review).

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