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Moto E6s review

The Moto E6s is a solid phone at an excellent price

Moto E6s
(Image: © Future)

Battery life

  • Average 3,000mAh battery
  • Lasts a day comfortably
  • Limited to 5W charging

One of the advantages of a lower-resolution screen and less powerful components is of course improved battery life, and the 3,000mAh battery packed in here does a capable job – you're going to get well into a second day of use if you're not pushing the phone too hard with video, GPS and so on (always reassuring to know should you forget to put your phone on charge overnight).

We had in the region of 30-40% of battery life left when it was time for bed some days, which is an impressive effort and perhaps another reason why you might pick this over a flagship phone. Don't forget that all new handsets come with brand new batteries though, and you can expect them to degrade over time.

Pushing the phone with games or videos did see some serious battery drops, though our usual 90-minute video test only knocked down the battery level from 100% to 83%, which is just about passable. If you're really pushing the processor in the Moto E6s then you might see drops of around 25% over those same 90 minutes.

Moto E6s

(Image credit: Future)

Charging tops out at 5W, which is about as low as you can go in terms of phone charging at the moment, and you'll need a good three or four hours to get this phone fully juiced up from zero. It's another compromise made in the name of cost, and one that you might be willing to live with.

Motorola certainly hasn't cut any major corners with the battery life on the Moto E6s, and it's on a par with if not better than most phones at the moment. You just have to be careful not to push the performance boundaries too far.

Camera

  • Dual-lens rear camera
  • Tries its best at bokeh
  • Sketchy low-light performance

Thankfully we've got way beyond the days when budget phone cameras produced pixel-art approximations of what they were seeing, and even the cheapest smartphones on the market now can pull out great-looking shots when they put the effort in.

Cameras like the one on the Moto E6s really do need good light and a steady hand though, otherwise noise and fuzziness can quickly creep in. If you're paying top dollar for a flagship phone, one of the benefits is the superior optics – the extra lenses, the faster processing – that produce improved results in the majority of shots.

The Moto E6s's rear camera comes with a 13MP f/2.2 main sensor and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. On a bright and sunny day we were able to get some very clear and crisp shots, with a shutter speed that was pleasingly fast, too. HDR processing is on board, which does well at balancing out the darkest and lightest spots of a picture.

There's even a bokeh or portrait mode, though we found that to be a bit hit and miss. You can get some background blurring behind a subject, but a little bit of trial and error is required, and the Moto E6s can easily get confused about what it's looking at.

Moto E6s

(Image credit: Future)

Low light photography is the area where budget phones are always below par, and so it is with the Moto E6s – in near darkness you're not going to get photos anywhere near the quality of the likes of the Google Pixel 3a, for example. Details get lost, edges get noisy, image processing times go into the seconds, and this is not the phone to take with you to document a night out in dark pubs and clubs.

Is it going to be good enough to take pictures of the kids and the pets though? Absolutely. Once again you have to weigh everything against the price you're paying, and considering this is one of the cheapest smartphones you can currently buy, you can't really complain about the camera quality – in fact you might be a bit surprised at how well some shots turn out.

Completing the picture is the 5MP selfie camera on the front, which does the job and no more. Video recording from the rear camera goes up to FHD (1080 x 1920 at 30 frames per second), and this was satisfactory enough – just don't expect to film a movie with it.

Of course at this price you don't get any of those fancy extras like optical zoom or optical image stabilization: the Moto E6s camera setup is very much a point-and-shoot affair. If photography is important to you, maybe try and save up a little bit extra to hit mid-range prices, as the camera quality jump is significant.

Camera samples

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Moto E6s sample

You can get some good shots from the Moto E6s... in good light. (Image credit: Future)

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Moto E6s sample

The HDR processing manages to keep dark and light areas in balance. (Image credit: Future)

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Moto E6s sample

A lot of the shots you get don't scream "budget camera". (Image credit: Future)

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Moto E6s sample

Even with close-ups, the shutter speed is usually fast. (Image credit: Future)

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Moto E6s sample

Details are a little fuzzy, but daytime scenery shots usually come out well. (Image credit: Future)

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Moto E6s sample

As darkness descends, details get lost and noise ramps up. (Image credit: Future)

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Pixel 4 XL sample

Here's the same shot from a Pixel 4 XL with Night Sight – you can see the difference in quality. (Image credit: Future)

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Moto E6s sample

A bench, at night... low-light shots are just about usable. (Image credit: Future)

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Moto E6s sample

This isn't really a camera you want to rely on late at night. (Image credit: Future)

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Pixel 4 XL sample

The same shot with a Pixel 4 XL (no Night Sight), with a lot more detail. (Image credit: Future)

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