Motorola’s new E-series offering, the Moto E13 comes across as one of the most basic smartphones of 2023 yet. It boots Android 13 (Go edition) and sports a single rear-facing camera, a 5MP selfie camera, and a 10W charging solution. That said, the phone targets budget buyers who want a smartphone experience without splurging big bucks. The Moto E13 can be yours for as low as Rs 6,999, but is it worth the money? We answer that and more in this Moto E13 review. Read on.
The Moto E13 could be worth considering for those looking for a stock Android smartphone in the budget segment. The handset doesn’t check all boxes but still manages to get the job done. It has a good design to begin with, followed by a solid battery life and a serviceable display. The performance and cameras could have been better, but one can’t really complain given its budget pricing. .
- The Moto E13 doesn’t have a flashy or flamboyant design, but it is to my liking. Motorola has kept things nice and simple with its acrylic glass PMMA body, which has a matte finish. The handset comes in three colourways: Cosmic Black, Aurora Green, and Creamy White. I was sent the Aurora Green variant, which looks subtle and shifts its colour ever so slightly with the light hitting the surface. The phone is a magnet to fingerprint smudges, but not as much as smartphones with glass backs. Besides this, the Moto E13 sports flat edges for an excellent grip and a small rear camera housing, which sits flush with the phone’s chassis. This ensures a wobble-free typing experience on a flat surface. The rear panel also has a Motorola logo.
- The toggles for power and volume are on the right spine of the phone. While the power toggle button was within my thumb’s reach, I had to resort to finger gymnastics to press the volume rocker at times. It would have been better had the buttons been placed slightly lower. Moving on, the phone ships with a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer on the bottom edge alongside the speaker grille and a microphone. The top edge comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the left edge, the Moto E13 sports a SIM ejector tray, which has a dedicated slot for a microSD card. The handset is also IP52-rated against minor splashes and dust.
- On the front, the Moto E13 packs a 6.5-inch display that bears HD+ resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. Motorola has opted for an LCD panel that has a waterdrop notch atop. It is a typical budget smartphone display, with good colours and decent outdoor visibility. That said, the viewing angles and 720p resolution are sub-par. The details may not look sharp enough in some situations. The display has panda glass protection and chunky bezels. Despite that, the phone offers an 89.47 percent screen-to-body ratio that delivers a good viewing experience indoors. The phone is lightweight – tipping the scale at 179.5 grams – and comfortable to hold for hours to binge-watch web series/ movies. That said, the device is Widevine L3 certified and can only stream SD content from Netflix and other streaming platforms.
- Now, coming to the performance and software of the Moto E13. The handset is powered by a 1.6GHz octa-core Unisoc T606 SoC with 2GB/ 4GB of RAM and 64GB user-expandable (up to 1TB) storage. The performance of the device is average at best and will suit the regular, everyday smartphone user. The chipset can handle basic games, such as Subway Surfer, and some light multi-tasking with a few apps running in the background, but not without hiccups. The handset stuttered and took time to load apps under moderate to intense loads. While the 4GB RAM feels decent for the smartphone, I wish there was a 6GB RAM variant as well. This would have catered well to the needs of power users in the budget segment. Be that as it may, the Moto E13 delivers a near-stock Android experience. The handset boots Android 13 (Go edition) out of the box, with a light custom skin running atop. The skin hardly customises the OS or adds any bloatware. Additionally, you have the option to enable/ disable push notifications. As for the Android 13 (Go edition), it comes with the same Material UI design, customisation options, and features such as Notification Permissions, App Language Preferences and more as the regular version of the OS.
- As for cameras, the Moto E13 packs a single 13MP AI-powered sensor at the back with LED flash, while up front, it rocks a 5MP snapper for selfies and video calling. The image quality is just about okay in daylight. The details look decent, and so do the colours, as long as there is no shadow falling on the subject. The dynamic range also looks fine with HDR. Having said that, as is the case with most budget smartphones, the images might appear over-exposed at times. Furthermore, photos clicked in low and artificial light look hazy and blurry. They have a lot of noise and colour inaccuracy. Motorola has given night mode to do some justice to the E13’s lowlight performance, but it smoothens out the details. Given the price, that’s the most you can get from the smartphone. Moving on, the handset comes with a portrait mode, which offers an artificial bokeh effect that is fully adjustable to your liking. However, edge detection can go for a toss at times.
- Keeping the Moto E13’s lights on is a 5,000mAh battery, which is rated to last up to 36 days on a single charge. Considering the phone will not be used for heavy gaming, the claimed battery life seems plausible. I was consistently getting more than a day’s battery life between charges on moderate to heavy usage. That said, my usage did not include binge-watching movies/ web series for hours. On the PC Mark battery 3.0 test, the handset returned with an impressive score of 17 hours and 55 minutes. What’s not so impressive; however, is the phone’s charging. The Moto E13 ships with a 10W charger, which takes close to 3 hours to juice up a dead battery to 100 percent.
- In terms of connectivity, the Moto E13 features dual-band Wi-Fi that supports both 2.4GHz reach and 5GHz high-speed channels. There is also Bluetooth v5.0 and dual SIM support. The handset comes with 4G LTE connectivity, which worked fine for me. For audio, the phone packs a single Dolby Atmos-backed speaker on the bottom edge, which outputs decent sound quality at 60-70 percent volume.
The Moto E13 is priced in India at Rs 6,999 for the 2GB RAM variant, while the 4GB option cost Rs 7,999. Given that the two variants are closely priced, going with the 4GB RAM would be a sensible choice here. Motorola has cut some corners to keep the price of the smartphone on the affordable side. The Moto E13’s performance is just about average, while the cameras struggle in most scenarios. The phone is also slow to charge, but you can let it pass since all the other smartphones in the segment offer similar charging speeds.
On the bright side though, the handset comes with a bloat-free software experience, long battery life, and a decent display. If those things matter to you the most over anything else, the Moto E13 would be a smart purchase.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Nicely built
- Clean and bloat-free OS
- Good battery life
- Underwhelming performance
- Slow charging speeds
- Cameras need improvement
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