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My Love-Hate Relationship with the Motorola e4 – Sprint Product Ambassador

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Sprint Product Ambassador

I have been using the Motorola e4 for a couple of weeks now and generally, this is a strong phone for the price.  It has a solid feel and a nice display.  It has a removable battery and a microSD card slot for adding extra storage.  (Note – be sure to get a fast Class-10 or greater microSD card… especially if you want to run applications off of the card.)

 

We don’t live in a perfect world.  No person is perfect nor is any single mobile device. It’s also been said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  So in that vein, I would like to tell you about my Love-Hate relationship with some of the features.

 

First up is the vibrating notifications.  They are sturdy!  I LOVE that it can be in my pocket and there is no uncertainty that I am getting a notification.  Short “blip blip” notifications from Instagram and text messages.  Longer “buzz” notifications when I am getting a phone call.  I HATE it when it’s my morning alarm!  5:30 AM comes early and if I have left my phone in silent mode, the vibration can be heard two rooms away!  It’s quite annoying as an alarm, but the good news is that it does wake me up!  Some mornings it’s like an earthquake.

 

Screenshot_20170816-104741.pngVolume Down too far = Do-Not-DisturbThe next thing is might be a little more important to you as a reader and owner of this device.  When you use the volume rockers to increase and decrease the various sound settings, not only is the power button a bit too close to the volume-down, but if you press the volume-down button and the phone is at its most silent setting, it puts the phone into “alarms only” mode.  The first few times this happened, I kept wondering why my phone was in “do not disturb” mode.  I wasn’t getting calls and other alerts were not coming through. 

 

Screenshot_20170816-105059.pngStyle and Duration

Now the e4 has several different modes for “do not disturb” that can be useful. If you pull down the notification drawer and tap “do not disturb” once, it turns on the “alarms only” mode.  If you touch the “do not disturb” area a second time it will take you to a deeper preference screen where you can choose between three different do not disturb styles.  All three styles have three variations for how long they are active. 

  1. Until you turn this off (You must manually turn off the do not disturb)
  2. For one hour (You can add/subtract to this time using the provided – and + options)
  3. Until Next Alarm (The display will show the date/time of your next alarm)

Total Silence

This blocks ALL sounds and vibrations.  No alarms, music, videos or games.  Note, that you can still make and receive phone calls!  When a person calls or you get an Instagram notice, your screen may light up and display the caller or alert information.  (See the section below on advanced options) 

Alarms Only

Just like it sounds, this mode only allows for Alarms to come through and trigger an alert.  It too has the stipulation that you may still see screen notifications depending on your advanced configuration options.  Note that this is the DEFAULT mode when you accidently turn the volume down past “silent” and into “do not disturb” mode.  If you were previously in any other mode, it will still go back to “alarms only” mode.  (By the way… the power button has ridges if you can train your fingers to recognize it compared to the smooth volume down button.)

Priority

This is probably the most flexible option, but also the one that takes the most setup.  You have complete control over what items you would like to have come through.  See the section under “More Settings” to see what options you can set for this style of do not disturb. 

More Settings (Advanced Options)

Priority only allowsScreenshot_20170816-105512.pngPriority details

Since the “Priority” style of do not disturb is the most flexible, it has the most options to set.  You choose which items are blocked by turning on do not disturb for alarms, events, messages and calls.  Message and calls allow you to specify:

  • From anyone
  • From contacts only
  • From starred contacts only
  • None

You don’t have control over individual applications or calendars, but you do have a final option to allow calls from anyone who calls a second time within 15 minutes.  For safety reasons, I can’t imagine ever turning off; however, you may have a use case for this complete blocking of calls.

Automatic rules

Here is where you can setup to have various do not disturb styles activated automatically for different situations.  They can be either event (a.k.a. calendar) based or time based.

 

Event

Screenshot_20170816-112402.pngEvent-based RulesAfter entering a name for the rule, you choose which calendar you would like to use as the basis for turning on do not disturb.  You can choose any “profile” calendar or all profile calendars; however, you cannot choose “sub-calendars” within each profile.  For example, I have my Work and my Personal Calendar profiles.  (Under my personal calendar profile, I have sub-calendars for the various clubs in which I am a member.   I use the sub-calendars because I can maintain color coding for each calendar and quickly see what event belongs to which club.  I also use sub-calendars because I publish these sub-calendars to the clubs in which I am a member so that everyone in the club can see the events.)

 

Next specify the “Where my reply is” value you wish to use to activate the do not disturb.  It makes sense to me to always have the option “Where my reply is ‘yes’” selected, as I wouldn’t want to be placed into do not disturb mode for events I have not replied or said “maybe” but you can choose the option based on your needs.

 

Lastly, choose which do not disturb style you wish to enable, with your choices being Priority only, Alarms Only or Total silence.

 

Time

Screenshot_20170816-112248.pngTime-based RulesFor time rules, you can specify which days of the week the time rule should be enabled, along with the start time and end time of the do not disturb.

 

Like before you choose which do not disturb style you wish to enable, from the choices of Priority only, Alarms only or Total silence.

 

Finally for the time-based automatic do not disturb there is an option to override the end time based on your next alarm.

 

Block visual disturbances

Screenshot_20170816-105529.pngVisual Do-Not-Disturb OptionsBlock visual disturbances has two modes.  The modes can be used independently or together as they each stand alone in their functionality.

 

The first one listed is “Block when screen is on” and it basically will block any notifications based on the disturb style of complete silence, alarms only or priority.  So if you have do not disturb turned on with this option, you could be reading emails or playing candy crush and you would not receive any sound or visual notices being blocked by the do not disturb style. 

 

The second mode listed is “Block when screen is off” and this one is seems to be the most logical for my situations.  If the screen is off and you are in do not disturb mode, the screen will not wake up and show you visually any of the items being blocked by the do not disturb style.  Now, if the screen is already on, the phone will show you all of the visual notifications from items being blocked by the do not disturb style.

 

Like I stated earlier, this is a great valued phone.  It will be hard to find a better phone at this entry price.  Combined with the awesome Sprint network and unlimited voice, text and data plans.  One can expect a lot of use and high return on an investment in this device.  Just watch out for accidentally turning on do not disturb and try not to be too jolted from sleep when the vibration of the alarm shakes the whole house.

 

-- John

 

Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity.