Best Places To Buy A Moto E3: The UK’s Cheapest Deals
October 18th, 2016
The third-generation Moto E3 from Lenovo and Motorola is now available to buy from £95 unlocked in the UK.
If you’re looking for a highly-affordable entry-level smartphone, Motorola’s third-generation Moto E3 is a great value choice starting at just £95 unlocked.
Running a bloatware-free version of Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Moto E3 has some highly-competitive specifications for its price point including a high-definition 5.0-inch display, a quad-core processor and an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash. It also has a splash-proof design with protection against water and a long-lasting 2,800mAh battery.
In this article, we’ll look at the best value deals for buying a third-generation Moto E smartphone in the UK. We’ll also look at the Moto G4 Play: an almost identically-specified alternative with a slightly faster processor and twice as much storage for £25 more.
SIM Free & Unlocked
In the UK, you can currently buy the Moto E3 from a number of electronics retailers. You’ll get a handset that’s already unlocked so you’ll be able to use the Moto E3 on the network of your choice (perhaps by ordering a free Pay As You Go micro-SIM or getting a low-cost SIM-only deal).
Cheapest SIM-Free Retailers
At present, Tesco.com is the cheapest place to buy an unlocked Moto E3. It’ll cost you £95 for the Moto E3 handset, with free click & collect from your local Tesco store. Alternatively, you can pay an extra £3 for standard UK delivery making the total cost £98 inclusive of home delivery.
For a wider choice of retailers, it may also be worth considering the Moto G Play as an alternative smartphone. This costs £25 more than the Moto E3 and comes with a number of highly worthwhile upgrades:
- You’ll get twice as much storage. The Moto G4 Play comes with 16GB of storage, whereas the Moto E3 has only 8GB of storage. This means more space for your apps, photos, music, etc. The Moto G4 Play also has support for larger micro-SD cards (up to 128GB rather than up to 32GB).
- You’ll get a faster processor. The Moto G4 Play has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (1.2GHz quad-core). This will give better performance than the Moto E3’s 1.0GHz quad-core Mediatek processor.
- You’ll get NFC connectivity for Android Pay. On the Moto G4 Play, you’ll also get NFC connectivity. You can use this for contactless payments through the Android Pay service. The Moto E3 lacks NFC connectivity so doesn’t allow you to use Android Pay.
The following table shows the UK’s cheapest deals for buying an unlocked Moto E3 or Moto G4 Play:
|Retailer||Moto E3||Moto G4 Play|
|8GB Storage / 1GB RAM||16GB Storage / 1GB RAM|
with £10 voucher*
* On Motorola Direct, use the UKWELCOME10 voucher code for a £10 discount on the Moto G4 Play.
If you’d like to add extra storage to your smartphone, you may also wish to buy a micro-SD card. For the Moto E3, you can buy a 32GB micro-SD card for around £8. Combined with the 8GB of built-in storage, this will give you 40GB of storage in total. If you instead choose the Moto G4 Play, you can buy a larger 128GB micro-SD card for around £30. Combined with the 16GB of built-in storage, you can have up to 144GB of storage in total.
If you’re buying a Moto G4 Play from Motorola Direct, you can use the UKWELCOME10 voucher code for a £10 discount.
Pay As You Go
If you’d like to save a bit of money upfront, you can also buy the Moto E3 on Pay As You Go. You’ll get a subsidised handset from the mobile network but it will typically be locked so you’ll only be able to use it on that network. Typically, there will also be a minimum initial top-up of £10 when buying a Pay As You Go handset.
At present, O2 is the cheapest Pay As You Go network for both the Moto E3 and Moto G4 Play. You can get the Moto E3 for an upfront price of just £69.99 and the Moto G4 Play for an upfront price of just £89.99. You’ll get the handset on O2’s Big Bundles tariff where a £10 monthly top-up will buy you 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of data.
Should you need to use your handset on another network in the future, it will cost £15 to unlock it from O2 (also, you’ll need to wait until you’ve had the handset for at least 12 months). For this reason, it may still work out better value to pay the small amount extra to get a fully unlocked SIM-free handset.
|Mobile Network||Moto E3||Moto G4 Play|
|8GB Storage / 1GB RAM||16GB Storage / 1GB RAM|
|EE||Get it SIM-free and then order a free EE SIM card.|
|giffgaff||Get it SIM-free and then order a free giffgaff SIM card.|
|Three||Get it SIM-free and then order a free Three SIM card.|
If you’d like to use the Moto E3 or Moto G4 Play on a Pay As You Go mobile network that doesn’t sell it directly, you can do this by ordering the unlocked version of the handset and then picking up a free Pay As You Go SIM card for that network.
In this section, we’ll compare 24-month contracts for the Moto E3.
With 500MB of Data
For light users, the Moto E3 is currently available on some entry-level tariffs with 500MB of data per month. For this, you’ll typically pay around £8 per month:
With 1GB of Data
Realistically, we’d probably recommend choosing a data allowance of at least 1GB per month (this reduces the likelihood of you running out of data mid-month). For 1GB of data per month, you’ll be looking to pay around £15 per month.
With 2GB of Data
For regular smartphone users, a 2GB tariff could be much more suitable. The following table shows 24-month contracts with a Moto E3 and with at least 2GB per month:
Before ordering a Moto E3 from any of the networks above, it’s strongly recommended you check the coverage in your area. Please select a mobile network to see their online coverage map:
About the Moto E3
The Moto E3 is Motorola’s latest-generation entry-level smartphone. It runs the Android 6.0 operating system from Google and is distinguished from other handsets by the fast, bloatware-free interface.
Aside from the operating system, the Moto E3 also has some very competitive specifications for its price point. This includes a high-definition 5.0-inch display at 720p resolution, a quad-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash. There is also a long-lasting 2,800mAh battery and the handset is protected by a waterproof nano-coating against accidental spills and splashes.
The following table compares the Moto E3 to the Moto G4 Play and Moto G4:
|Motorola Moto E3||Motorola Moto G4 Play||Motorola Moto G4|
|Release Date||2016, Entry Level||2016, Mid Range||2016, Mid Range|
|Software||Google Android 6.0||Google Android 6.0||Google Android 6.0|
|Size||5.0-inch display||5.0-inch display||5.5-inch display|
|Resolution||1280x720 pixels||1280x720 pixels||1920x1080 pixels|
|Pixel Density||294 pixels per inch||294 pixels per inch||401 pixels per inch|
|Rear Camera||8 megapixels||8 megapixels||13 megapixels|
|Flash||✔ LED flash||✔ LED flash||✔ Dual-LED flash|
|Front Camera||5.0 megapixels||5.0 megapixels||5.0 megapixels|
|Processor||MediaTek MT6735P||Snapdragon 410||Snapdragon 617|
|Speed||1.0GHz quad-core||1.2GHz quad-core||1.5GHz quad-core &|
|External Storage||✔ Up to 32GB micro-SD||✔ Up to 256GB micro-SD||✔ Up to 256GB micro-SD|
|3G Networks||✔ Up to 42Mbit/s||✔ Up to 42Mbit/s||✔ Up to 42Mbit/s|
|SIM Card Type||Micro SIM||Micro SIM||Micro SIM|
For more information about the Moto E3, please see the official Motorola website.
My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.
Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.