Right up front is a 5-inch, 720p screen that's tough to complain about considering the asking price. There's some graininess to be seen if you peer at the display long enough (a result of its modest pixel density), but it's generally bright enough to easily read even under harsh sunlight. Color reproduction seemed pretty good too, if a just a little washed out. I'd like to see Lenovo make the leap to 1080p at some point, but screens are among the most expensive components in a phone's bill of materials; getting a decent full HD display in a phone this cheap is going to take some time.
Thankfully, even modest Motos like this one run very clean versions of Android. It's very, very close to stock, but with some of those handy Motorola experiences built-in. You can set the screen to display notifications while the screen is off and ditch those on-screen buttons in favor of one-button navigation with the built-in fingerprint sensor. It takes a little getting used to, but the option is nice to have if you want to maximize the amount of stuff you can squeeze onto the screen. Unfortunately, more complicated gestures (think: twisting your wrist to launch the camera) aren't supported here.
Speaking of cameras, that's one of the areas we're looking forward to testing more thoroughly. The Moto E4 sports an 8-megapixel camera on its back, baked into a prominent classic circle above an LED flash. In my brief hands-on time, it managed to take decent photos, but the results were too often hampered by lousy automatic exposure; if you're taking shots of an area that's partially bright and partially not, expect the bright bit to be totally blown out. Colors tended to come out on the drab side too, and the level of detail was often lacking. There's a Pro mode here with more nuanced controls, though, which did help mitigate some minor issues.
This phone came in full retail regalia, so this is very likely the camera experience you're going to get too. Even so, we're going to play with the camera more before passing a final verdict. The other thing I'm really looking forward to testing more thoroughly is the battery. There's a removable 2,800mAh cell here, which should go a long away, considering the modest power this thing produces. Motorola says the phone should last all day on a single charge, but we'll be the judge of that.
All told, this is a pretty solid package for the price. Cheap as it is, the biggest knock against the Moto E4 is that it just isn't that much less expensive than the fifth-generation Moto G series. Motorola and Lenovo have made only the Moto G5 Plus available in the United States, and an additional $100 ultimately nets you a much, much better device. As I've said, though, we're going to keep testing the Moto E4. Maybe it'll surprise us if we spend a little more time with it.