Moto E22 Review: Cheap but lacks optimization

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Lately, cell phone manufacturers have launched several new entry models in the market. One of the most recent examples is Motorola ‘s Moto E22,  a very inexpensive cell phone with an elegant design and attention-grabbing features such as a fingerprint reader and Dolby Atmos.

The device has a simple construction, but a look inspired by more advanced models of the same brand, in an attempt to attract Motorola fans who want to buy a cheaper cell phone. Imitating a more premium look, incidentally, was not the only strategy to attract consumers. The Moto E22 brings features that are rarely seen in entry-level cell phones, such as a 90 Hz refresh rate, IPS screen and stereo sound.

We have tested the device for a few days and these features make the Moto E22 a relevant cell phone for its price range. If you want to know whether it is worth buying the device, read our fully Moto E22 review.

Design and Construction

As already mentioned, the Moto E22 has a look inspired by more advanced models from Motorola itself. The difference is that it has a chassis made entirely of plastic. There’s no glass on the back and its frame isn’t made of metal either. Additionally, the cell phone does not have any type of protection against dust, water or scratches.

moto e22 design

Moto E22’s rear and side edge

  • Dimensions: 163.5 x 74.6 x 7.99 mm;
  • Weight: 172 grams.

The look of the Moto E22 is very beautiful and elegant. On the back, we have a camera module that seems bigger than necessary, as there are only two sensors and the LED flash. The Motorola logo is traditionally located on the back of the device, but without functioning as a fingerprint reader, since this feature is integrated into the power button.

As an entry-level device, the Moto E22 has slightly wider edges than more advanced models, especially at the bottom of the screen. The drop-shaped notch serves as a shelter for the front camera.

At the top of the device is the P2 output for headphones. On the right edge, we have the volume buttons and the power button. On the other side is the drawer for the two chips and the microSD card. At the bottom, there is the main speaker, the USB-C connector and a microphone.

Screen

The Moto E22 has a good quality screen, with vivid colors and good viewing angles, as well as very acceptable contrast levels. The HD+ resolution is sufficient for a device of this category, but the brightness is very low. In bright places, we often need to set the screen brightness to maximum, even if we are not in direct sunlight.

moto e22 screen

The Moto E22’s IPS screen has good quality for movies and series

  • Size: 6.5 inches;
  • Panel technology: IPS LCD;
  • Resolution and aspect ratio: HD+ (720 x 1600 pixels);
  • Approximate density: 270 pixels per inch;
  • Refresh rate: up to 90 Hz.

On sunny days, seeing the cell phone screen is a very complicated mission. Already indoors, with moderate light, the screen of the Moto E22 serves very well users who will focus on movies and series.

Configuration and Performance

The Moto E22 specifications make it clear that it is an entry-level cell phone. Incidentally, the device has two variants, one with 4/64 GB and the other with 2/32 GB (RAM and storage, respectively). The simplest variant leaves the factory running Android 12, which is a leaner version of  Google’s operating system.

  • Operating system: Android 12;
  • Chipset:  MediaTek  Helio G37 (12 nm);
  • Processor: octa-core (4x 2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 + 4x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53);
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320;
  • RAM and storage: 4/64 GB.

We tested the least weak variant, which runs the stock version of Android 12 under Motorola’s custom interface. It’s the same interface that the manufacturer uses in more advanced cell phone models, but with some customization limitations.

Unfortunately, these software limitations aren’t enough for the Moto E22 to deliver the performance it could. Not that the cell phone is not bad, but it clearly lacks optimization, as its processor is far from good, which forces the manufacturer to pay special attention to the software. But that doesn’t happen.

The Moto E22 has a screen with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, a feature that improves the fluidity of animations when opening, closing and switching applications. However, the functionality leaves something to be desired, as the device has delays and micro crashes when running some apps. We can clearly see that the scrolling of the social media feed is quite impaired.

The cell phone is also not suitable for games, except for the most basic ones. I managed to run Subway Surfers well, but Asphalt 9, even with low graphics quality, takes a long time to load, and can have micro crashes.

The Moto E22 did not run the benchmark tests that we use in our review, due to incompatibility issues. Fortunately, the device was able to run the Geekbench benchmark, reaching 172 points in single-core, and 970 points in multi-core. In this way users can compare the score of the smartphone with the devices they have at home.

Moto E22 benchmark results on Geekbench

Moto E22 benchmark results on Geekbench

The Moto E22 does not have NFC. The screen unlock features, such as the fingerprint reader and facial recognition work with acceptable performance.

Camera

In terms of video and photography, the Moto E22 does the basics as expected. To take decent pictures, the environment needs to be well lit. At night, the captures are very grainy and suffer from the loss of sharpness and detail.

moto e22 camera

The Moto E22’s rear camera module is a little big, considering there are only two sensors

  • Main: 16 MP, f/2.2, 80º angle;
  • Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4, 80º angle;
  • Selfies: 5 MP, f/2.4, 78º angle;
  • Videos: 1080p @ 30 fps (maximum).

Still, the cell phone will be useful for basic users who make occasional captures or need to scan documents from time to time. The depth sensor adds little to the lens set, as the portrait feature is playable via software. Stabilization and zoom are digital only. The latter, with approximation of 4x.

Regarding the front camera, the performance is lower than the rear camera and it only has a resolution of only 5 MP, which reduces the chances of obtaining a clear image in case the photo needs to be enlarged.

Sound system

The Moto E22 has audio stereo which is not very common for an entry-level cell phone. The volume is good and the sound does not distort at alarming levels, serving well those who are going to watch videos.

  • Stereo sound: two speakers;
  • Extra feature: Dolby Atmos.

The highlight is the Dolby Atmos feature, which obviously, can only be taken advantage of if you have a good quality speaker system – or headphones. The headphones that come with the cell phone are very simple and they don’t even fit my ears, as they don’t have silicone tips.

Battery and Charging

In terms of battery life, the Moto E22 disappoints by bringing a capacity lower than that of many devices in the entry-level segment. Another point that does not contribute to good autonomy is the fact that the device uses a 12 nm chip, an old manufacturing process which reduces the energy efficiency of the chip.

  • Capacity: 4020 mAh;
  • Charging: 10W.

In our tests after three hours of playing videos on Netflix, with volume at 50% and brightness on automatic, there was 75% charge left. This gives an estimated autonomy of 12 hours of playback of videos via streaming (using Netflix).

The Moto E22 has a USB-C connector for charging

The Moto E22 has a USB-C connector for charging

After the real use test, with the execution of social networks, videos, messengers and games, under the same conditions as the previous test and for a period of more or less 6 hours, there was only 61% of charge left on the cell phone. With this type of use, the estimate is that the device’s battery lasts only 15 hours and 15 minutes. This means that the Moto E22 cannot spend a whole day unplugged if the user uses it frequently and is connected to the internet.

Charging has a power of 10 W. Therefore, to charge the cell phone’s battery completely, it will take just over 2 and a half hours.

Direct competitors

An entry-level cell phone that clashes with the Moto E22 is the  Galaxy A03. Here, it is worth mentioning that our device has some casualties, such as the micro USB connector, slower charging, TFT screen and the lack of a fingerprint reader.

On the other hand, the Galaxy A03 has a superior overall performance than Motorola’s cheap cell phone. The A03’s processor and graphics card are better, and the operating system seems more optimized for the device. Another positive point is that the A03 has better battery life.

Is it worth buying the Moto E22?

The Moto E22 is an entry-level cell phone that has a value well in line with its category. And despite being an entry-level device, it brings some modern features such as a fingerprint reader, USB-C connector, 90 Hz refresh key and sound with Dolby Atmos.

The problem is that its performance leaves a little to be desired due to the very outdated chip and lack of software optimization. Even when the 90 Hz update is used, the low performance of the device has a negative impact on the fluidity of the animations. Screen taps are sometimes registered with a delay.

Therefore, if you are keen to buy a cheap cell phone, but that offers more satisfactory overall performance, consider buying a Galaxy A03, which has a value very similar to that of the Moto E22. In this case, you will have to give up some more advanced features, which are only present on the Motorola smartphone.