Since being bought out by Google, Motorola have gone a long way. From cutting edge style and one of the most desired phones in the era before smartphones, the Motorola Razr, to near extinction a couple of years ago, to suddenly being back on top with powerful phones like the Moto X and to the affordable sibling the Moto G. Now, Motorola have released an even more affordable phone called the Moto E.
Moto E Review:
When we reviewed the Motorola Moto G, we were amazed that Motorola and Google could get away with selling a phone with such adequate stats at such a low price (£140 at the time). Now, Motorola have gone one better and made a sub £100 ($170/€126) phone which is still powerful enough to keep up to date.
Design and Display:
Design-wise, the Moto E keeps Motorola’s new minimalist style of matt black plastic backing and a black glass front. Only two chrome highlights where the speaker and microphone on the front will differentiate it from the Moto G. There are no physical buttons on the front, keeping a flawless smooth black surface of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the devices 4.3 inch display. The whole device only weighs 142g (5.01Oz) and is a little smaller than the Moto G at 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm (4.91 x 2.55 x 0.48 in).
The display itself has a resolution of 540×960 with a pixel density of 256ppi. Obviously with that kind of resolution, it’s not able to display 1080p video, but what do you want for under £100?
Inside the little plastic casing of the Moto E is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 with a 1.2GHz Cortex A7. This is backed up by 1GB of RAM and a Adreno 302 GPU. Internal storage is set at 4GB only, but there is a Micro-SD card slot so you can expand it by a maximum of 32GB. As well as the powerhouse, the Moto E has Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi B/G/N and WiFi hotspot and is charged by a Micro USB 2.0 cable (there is no plug, that is sold separately).
AnTuTu Benchmark results:
As usual with all test devices, we submitted the Moto E to two lots of benchmark tests, one being AnTuTu benchmark. With such low end hardware, it wasn’t a surprise to see the Moto E come dead last in the list, bellow the Samsung Galaxy S3 of two years ago. The Moto E scored 12216 points.
On AnTuTu’s 3D benchmark programme, the Moto G is able to run OpenGL ES 3.0, and managed to score a respectable 1810.
Quadrant SE Benchmark Results:
The second batch of tests we submitted the Moto E to were from Quadrant SE Benchmarking app. Here, the Moto E faired a little better, scoring a total of 5254.
For the price, you’ve shouldn’t expect anything great when it comes to the camera of the Moto E. At 5MP, the camera isn’t the sharpest, but for quick pictures out and about, it is more than adequate. It’s downfall is that there is no flash, so any pictures inside or in low light are going to come out grainy, blurred or too dark. The basic Motorola camera app isn’t of much help either, as there are no settings other than HDR and Pano, so you are limited as to what/where you can shoot. The test pictures were taken inside under a single bulb lighting. The first picture is a HDR photo. The rest are non-HDR.
Top of the Moto E showing the 3.5mm Audio jack and camera.
Test image of the Moto E under a single bulb taken with no flash.
Being so small, and with a CPU that isn’t going to be very demanding, the Moto E doesn’t need a massive battery. The Li-ion 1980mAh battery certainly won’t last weeks, however, unless you’re playing massive 3D games all day, you should be fine to leave your charger at home. When you do come to charge it, you’re probably looking at 60-90 minutes for a full charge from flat, depending on the power of the plug you use.
With the rear cover off, you can add your Micro-SIM and Micro-SD card. You can also see there is no flash and you can’t replace the battery.
If you’re looking for a cheap replacement phone to tide you over till your contract is up because yours is broken or was stolen, then the Moto E is your device of choice. Widely available from Motorola and online stores, you won’t be short of places to purchase it. We would also say that the Moto E would make an excellent first phone for a teenager. Yes, it’s not the most powerful or glamorous, but it will do most of what they want and you’ll be able to contact them. You’ll also be safe in the knowledge that if it’s broken or lost, it won’t cost the earth to buy a new one. If you’re looking for high-end performance, go for the Moto G or the Moto X. If you’re happy with low-cost and low demand, then the Moto E is a great phone.