Motorola Moto E review: The Game Changer

Introduction

After the success of Moto X and Moto G, Motorola moved towards the affordable smartphone segment with its Moto E. The company created hype of the Moto E even days before its official launch, and its demand out performed the actual supply soon after the formal launch. This states how the Moto E came into the entry-level segment to create a new history. The US-based company aims at all the first-time smartphone users to sell its Moto E and newbies have started loving it in their daily lives. We got a chance to live along with the Moto E since its launch to cover an in-depth review. So here is our words on the Moto E.

Motorola Moto E

What’s in the Box

Motorola Moto E is designed for the entry-level segment. This means that the retail box of the Moto E only contains few useful things for the end-users. In this regard, the Moto E comes along with an AC charger, a headset and a quick start guide. Though we were also hoping a USB data cable as well, the retail box does not have a room for any more accessory of course to maintain the affordable price. The box itself also features a minimalistic design which is quite similar to the Moto G’s retail box.

Motorola Moto E with box accessories

The box contents are enough for the newbies as they are not looking for a high-end device with full of accessories support. Thus, the Moto E bundled with decent things to impress the buyers.

Watch Motorola Moto E unboxing video:

Its Design

Motorola is quite popular in making smartphones with solid built quality. The company has not left its brand value even in the entry-level segment and therefore has provided a similar solid built on the Moto E which featured on the Moto X and Moto G. Though it still uses plastic material for the built, its quality is nowhere looking like a cheap device.

Motorola Moto E with loudspeaker grill on the front

The front of the Moto E has a 4.3-inch display which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has anti-smudge coating on the top. Above the display, there is an earpiece with a steel finished grill and a couple of sensors – ambient light sensor and proximity sensor – are available on the left side of the earpiece. Below the display, there is a loudspeaker grill which again features a steel finished grill. The smartphone could have a front-facing camera as well to give a complete front view of traditional looking smartphone but the company has cut the cost there.

On the right side, the Moto E has a power/lock key and a volume rocker. Both the keys have metal finish and their buttons are of high-quality. Similar to the Moto G, there is no control or port on the left.

Motorola Moto E with power/lock key and volume rocker on right

The bottom side of the Moto E has a microUSB port which does not support USB On-the-Go (USB OTG) support. Alongside the microUSB port, there is a pinhole microphone for audio inputs.

Motorola Moto E with microUSB port and primary microphone on bottom

The top of the Moto E has a 3.5 mm audio jack and a secondary microphone for noise cancellation purpose and for audio capturing while recording videos.

Motorola Moto E with 3.5 mm audio jack and secondary microphone on top

Turning towards the rear shows a rubberised back cover which debut on the Moto G. There is a curvature designing from the center which eases the holding of the smartphone for long hours. The cover has a Motorola logo at the center which is the only area on the smartphone that gives detail about its branding. A camera sensor is available above the logo. Unlike the Moto X and Moto G, the rear side of the Moto E does not feature a speaker grill as the loudspeaker is situated on the front itself.

Motorola Moto E with rubberised back

Taking off the back cover shows a non-removable battery. As the battery pack is non-remo vable, the smartphone has two SIM card slots and a microSD card slot on the right side of the rear frame. All the three slots are hot-swappable and the SIM card slots support micro-SIM cards.

Motorola Moto E with non-removable battery pack

Overall, the designing of the Moto E is quite impressive. The built quality is just similar to some mid-range smartphones and is quite solid too. While the rear side of the smartphone is similar to its elder models, the front side tells a completely new story. In short, the designing of the Moto E is more than worth its price.

Now turn to the next page to know about the camera capabilities of Motorola Moto E.

Its Camera

Motorola Moto E is made for the first-time smartphone users and thus, the company has provided a decent camera support within the affordable price bracket. The Moto E features a 5-megapixel camera on the rear with an inward lens protection to protect from usual scratches.

Motorola with 5-megapixel camera on rear

The company has not provided an LED flash for taking shots in dark and a secondary front-facing camera sensor is also not available. Of course, these things are not available on the Moto E to balance the pricing of the smartphone. The rear camera supports still photography in a resolution of up to 5 megapixels and video recording with up to FWVGA resolution is also available to persuade the first-time smartphone buyers.

On the interface side, the Moto E has the same camera interface which debut on the Moto G. There is a large-size virtual viewfinder through which users can take pictures just by a single tap. The settings are accessible by swiping from left to right and a video recording button is on the bottom right of the screen. The camera app also provides commonly available features like touch-to-focus, geo-tagging and HDR. Users can view their previously captured shots by swiping from right to left. Overall, the interface of the pre-installed camera app is quite easy for the newbies.

Motorola Moto E camera interface

We have tested the camera capabilities of the Moto E by taking shots under different environments. Considering the affordable price tag, the performance of the Moto E’s camera is decent enough. However, auto-focusing and color production of the sensor could be improved a bit to give perfect results under the affordable price. The lack of an LED flash can easily be found when taking shots in dark but day shots are acceptable.

Motorola Moto E camera samples

The video recording on the Moto E is also decent enough. The camera cancels some ambiance sound when recording a video in a noisy environment. The expectations were high on the video recording avenue but the actual performance is just as similar as other entry-level Android smartphones.

This results that the Moto E has satisfactory camera capabilities for the newbies. It is quite presumable even before the launch of the Moto E that the smartphone would not be a choice of professional photographers in any case, but the performance of the single available rear camera is decent for the first-time smartphone users. In short, the camera capabilities of the Moto E are justifying its price.

In Depth

Motorola has provided decent design and a basic camera on the Moto E to influence the first-time smartphone buyers. But these are not just the only factors to make the buyers convinced to pick the smartphone. So here we are covering all those factors which may help in choosing or leaving the Moto E.

Motorola Moto E

Motorola Moto E has a 4.3-inch IPS LCD display with 540 x 960 pixels (qHD) resolution. Above the display, there is Gorilla Glass 3 protection and anti-smudge coating to give better durability and experience than the competition. The display is quite impressive when comparing with other entry-level smartphones in the current market and viewing angles are also decent. The digitiser available on the top of the screen does not feature any super-sensitive touch support, of course to cut the cost, but has 5-point multi-touch support.

On the software front, Motorola has provided Android 4.4 KitKat operating system out of the box with stock interface. The latest operating system enables the Moto E to give faster performance than other entry-level smartphones which have an older Android version. In addition, the stock interface gives Nexus-like experience in a budget-friendly price. The company has also promised to provide a next major update as well.

Motorola Moto E runs on Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box

The latest Android operating system along with stock interface states that the interface of the Moto E has slide to unlock, five homescreens and a simple app drawer. On the downside, users cannot add or delete any homescreen and the app drawer does not support folder creation. There is a status bar on the top which gives all the notifications and comes with toggles to give easy access to all the connectivity options.

Motorola Moto E with stock interface

Motorola has provided some of its pre-installed apps on the Moto E to distinguish from the competition. In this regard, the Moto E has Motorola Migrate, Motorola Assist and Emergency Alerts. Among all the three apps, the former two apps are also available on the Moto X and Moto G but the latter one is debut on the Moto E to help users in case of an emergency.

Motorola Moto E with pre-installed Motorola apps

For telephony support, the Moto E has basic smart dialer which debut on the Nexus 5. The dialer allows users to use type a contact name or number to dial instantly. The smartphone has dual-SIM support with dual-standby connectivity to provide two network connections and 3G support is also available through HSDPA network on one SIM network. In our testing, we have not found any issue with the telephony of the Moto E. The in-call quality is up to the mark and there is no signal dropage found even in the basements and top floors. A secondary microphone is also available to improve the voice call experience. For typing text messages, there is Google keyboard available with auto-predict and auto-correct features. The screen size of the smartphone is enough to type fast.

Motorola Moto E with stock telephony and messaging support

Being running on the latest Android operating system with stock interface, the Moto E has Google Chrome browser pre-installed for web browsing. The Chrome browser supports multi-tabbing for surfing multiple webpages simultaneously. The Moto E overall performs well even when surfing multiple heavy webpages.

Motorola Moto E with Google Chrome web browser

To provide a decent multimedia experience. Motorola has provided Google Play Music, Play Movies and an FM Radio apps on the Moto E. The Play Music and Play Movies apps required a Google account to download contents online but also support offline playback of contents and compatible with all the popular audio and video formats. The addition of FM Radio entertain users in regions like India just after plugin a headset. The front-facing loudspeaker grill makes the audio output louder and clearer than the entry-level smartphones which have a rear-facing speaker. Additionally, the audio output is quite impressive with equalised balance of sound.

For some of our readers who want to know the benchmark results , we picked all the popular benchmark apps to test the Moto E. On AnTuTu version 4.4.2, the smartphone scored 12663. When tested on Quadrant Standard Edition version 2.1.1, the result was 5102. On Vellamo version 2.0.3, the Moto E scored 448. On RealPi, the Moto E taken 30.43 seconds elapsed time.

Motorola Moto E benchmark results

We have also test the Moto E performance by playing some popular game titles. The smartphone performs well across all the tested game titles which include Asphalt 8: Airborne, Minion Rush, Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2. The graphics performance through Adreno 302 GPU are even similar to some mid-range smartphones, however, users cannot install large-sized games due to less internal storage. Overall, the Moto E has decent gaming capabilities to impress the gamers.

On the specifications side, the Moto E has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset along with a 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex A7 CPU, Adreno 302 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The smartphone has 4GB internal storage out of which 2.21GB remains free for the end-user. A microSD card slot is also available for expanding the storage up to 32GB. The Moto E has a decent list of connectivity options which include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and a microUSB port. Unlike its elder brothers, the Moto E does not support USB On-the-Go (USB OTG) to allow external media devices and pen drives.

Motorola has provided a 1980mAh battery with the Moto E which is non-removable. The battery has enough capacity to provide more than a day backup against decent usage. But on the down side, users cannot replace the battery pack if any service required.

Overall, the Moto E has an impressive amalgamation of latest software and hardware in a budget-friendly price. The smartphone has many things to impressive but very less to depress.

Now turn to the next page to know about the key features and competitors. Our conclusion on the review is also available on the next page.

Features

Competitors

Motorola Moto E

Conclusion

Motorola has once again created a history in the smartphone market by offering the Moto E. The Moto E not only wins in the reviews conducted by the media but has also become the best value for money smartphone in the current market with its impressive list of features over the competition. In short, the Moto E is one of the very unique devices in the market that certainly justify their price tags.

Now turn to the next page to know about the specifications of Motorola Moto E.

Specifications

ModelMotorola Moto E XT1022
Display4.3" IPS LCD display
ResolutionqHD (540 x 960)
Memory4GB internal storage, microSD card support
RAM1GB
OSAndroid 4.4 KitKat
UIStock
Camera5-megapixel rear camera
VideoFWVGA
SensorsAccelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light sensor
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 200
CPU1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A7 CPU
GPUAdreno 302
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, A-GPS, MicroUSB
Battery1980mAh non-removable battery