The Motorola e5 Plus, Project Treble, and Updates

The GPS on my husband’s much-loved LG G5 crapped the bed. After a Google search, we discovered that it was most likely a hardware issue, which irked my hubby. He’d paid good money for the phone and was hoping to get more than a little over two years from it. Keep in mind that the phone can be fixed, but he didn’t think it was worth it. And since neither of us could recall the last time it got an update, I didn’t argue. To me, it’s time to start looking for a new phone once it stops getting updates.

My husband, who refuses to let me use his name on the blog, then started going on about how he wasn’t going to spend good money for a phone anymore, that high priced phones should last longer than two years, and how disappointed he was that the GPS crapped out. I can’t argue with him on any of this, especially that high-end phones should last longer than two years. And although he vowed that he was going to find a cheap phone, I knew he would continue using his broken LG G5 and hating every moment of it until I found him a new one. With that in mind, I started looking.

The Motorla e5 Plus

The phone I picked out for him was the Motorola e5 Plus. I liked the specs and it got good reviews, as do most of the new phones in Motorola’s lineup, and is under $200.00. I’m not going to review the e5 Plus, just know that you can pick one up at Sprint or Cricket, where they call it the Motorola e5 Supra.

Here are the specs:

Operating system: Android 8.0, Oreo
Memory (RAM): 3 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
Expandable storage: microSD Card support (up to 256 GB)
Battery size: 5000 mAh, Non-removable
Battery life: 1.5 days of life on a single charge*
Charging: 15W TurboPower™, 6 hours of usage in 15 minutes of charge
Charger type: Micro-USB TurboPower Charger
Display: 6” IPS LCD
Resolution: HD+ (1440 x 720)
Rear Camera: 12 MP
Front Camera: 8 MP

I sent him a few online reviews, which he read and then started looking into it himself. He was interested, but I knew he wasn’t about to act on it yet. He truly did not want to spend money on a new phone. Since his birthday is next month, I bought it for him as an early birthday gift.

It was tricky picking up the phone as a gift at Cricket. I had to buy it under my account, then explain that I would use the same SIM card from my husband’s old phone to set it up. The first Cricket store I went to refused to sell me the phone, but the second one understood my situation and sold it to me with no problems.

All I can say is that he loves the phone, and I can see why. The camera is fine, the screen looks great, and its fast and capable of doing everything he throws at it. Although the hubby doesn’t care, it does offer as close to a pure Android experience as you’ll get on a non-Pixel phone.

Although the camera takes good shots, it’s not as good as a premium phone. As I said in my post on How to Find a Good Phone for Less Than $200.00, you have to make a few trade-offs when buying a budget phone. The camera is a good trade-off, especially one that can deliver a decent shot. Remember, even the best phone camera can’t compete with a professional grade camera. And the camera on the Motorola e5 Plus is good enough to produce images you won’t mind sharing on Instagram.

Project Treble

Since I now look like a good guy, I should stop here, but I won’t. The truth is that I was also curious about Motorola and upgrades. You see, any Android phone that ships with version 8.0 (Oreo) has to be part of Project Treble. Simply put, Project Treble is a way for Google to make it easier for manufacturers to update their phones more often.

That’s right, any phone that ships with Android 8.0 should get fairly consistent updates, which makes me pretty damn excited. I even wrote a post on Why I Still Love My Pixel XL, which explains why I want regular updates. There’s also a good post about Project Treble on Android Authority called Understanding Project Treble and future Android updates. This means the gift I bought my husband was also going to allow me to take a peek at a cheaper phone and see if Project Treble will deliver on its promise on updates.

After the next major update to Android 9.0, I’ll get a final year of updates on my Pixel XL before it comes to an end. And yes, that means I’ll start looking for a new phone by the end of this year. And if all goes well with Project Treble on the Motorola e5 Plus, I might be able to save some money on my next purchase. Now there’s something to smile about.

Remember my post Do I trade in my Pixel XL for the Huawei P20 Pro? Could Project Treble make it possible for me to purchase a P20 Pro? Perhaps I’ll become interested in one of the higher priced Motorola phones? Or maybe, just maybe, there’s another phone maker about to come out with a stunner of a phone with a camera I can’t refuse. It’s a shame there isn’t going to be an Essential 2.

Keep in mind that just because phone makers can keep up with updates doesn’t mean they’re going to. Since Project Treble will make it easier, I’m hoping to see more companies support older models.  Keep your fingers crossed and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

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