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Motorola Moto E review

7.6/10 AVG.
RATING



7.6/10
Informr score
The Motorola Moto E currently has an Informr score of 7.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 38 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Silky smooth interface
  • Lightweight design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Clear, bright display

What's bad

  • No LTE support
  • Low storage capacity
  • No front facing camera
  • “Terrible” rear facing camera

The Moto E is the latest entry-level device from Motorola. While it’s 4.3-inch display, dual-core 1.2-GHz processor and 1GB of RAM are far from top-of-the-line, Motorola’s aggressively cheap pricing could change what an entry-level smartphone is capable of. But does the phone live up to it’s claims? Let’s find out!

One of the most commonly mentioned aspects in reviews of the Motorola Moto E is the build quality. The device shares a similar design and materials to the more expensive G and X devices. Engadget states, “The E is awfully nice to hold, even when compared to premium gadgets like HTC's One M8.” Gorilla glass and a water-resistant case provide added durability while the curved, matte finish plastic provide a comfortable secure grip. A removable back provides access to the SIM slot and a microSD slot. Jerry Hildebrand of Android Central says, “It fits well in your hand, feels solid, and while not made of any fancy materials like wood or aluminum, it's very well built.”

The display receives just as much praise. While it is limited to just 540-by-960 resolution, reviews note that it is plenty crisp and bright for regular use. Android Central says, “A budget screen is part of the budget price, but Motorola did fairly well picking out a bright and clear one.” A few reviews did note that the IPS panel did have mild distortion at extreme angles, otherwise, reviews were generally positive.

While it won’t play the latest games or crush any benchmarks, performance was reviewed quite positive for a budget phone as well. Vlad Savov of The Verge states, “This is far and away the fastest and best user experience you can get in a sub-$150 phone.” Android Central notes, “The software experience is where the Moto E shines, the whole thing feels very fine-tuned to the hardware.” Overall, apps appear to run well, multi-tasking is fluid and the phone responds well. A few reviews noted that image-heavy websites and HD video could cause slight lag on the device but nothing that made the device freeze or rendered it unusable.

There are, however, a couple of potential issues with the device. The biggest is a lack of storage space. All reviews noted that after everything is installed on the device that a scant 2GB remains for regular use. If you plan to download anything, take pictures or play games, Engadget says, “Picking up a microSD card is damn near a necessity.”

The camera is also a weak point in many reviews. Lack of a front facing camera makes video chat and other features impossible. The 5MP rear-facing camera receives lackluster reviews. SlashGear states, “Images lack detail, struggle in low-light conditions, and the fixed-focus means close-ups are pretty much impossible.” The Verge goes as far as to call the camera “terrible.” Combine this with potential storage issues and the device could pose problems if you’re looking to take photos and video with your phone.

Overall, the device appears to be a clear winner in the entry-level category. TechRadar gives the device rave reviews, stating, “at that price I'd argue that there's nothing else out there as good as the Moto E.” The Verge believes this could change the entry-level market of Android devices, saying “Motorola has set a new standard with the Moto E. A handset that’s affordable to many and good enough for most.” Whether you are looking for an affordable device, want a cheap phone for the kids or picking up a backup for your daily use phone, the Moto E seems to offer outstanding value.


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
4.3"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Beta News

By modern standards this is a small handset -- its screen is only 4.3-inches. The Moto E is a tough little cookie.

- Sandra Vogel, Beta News
TechSpot

Over the years testing and reviewing smartphones, I haven’t used a device that retailed for under $130 at launch that was actually decent. Until I tried out the Moto E, that is.The Moto E isn’t a device suited to power users. It isn’t a device for people that demand the best hardwa...

- Tim Schiesser, TechSpot
Mobile88

The Moto E is as good as it gets if you’re looking for a super affordable phone. Not only you get a solid device which offers an efficient all-round performance, the fact that it runs on the latest Android operating system coupled with prompt updates make it currently one of the best budget An...

- Andre Chan, Mobile88
Know Your Mobile

It's easy to forgive the Moto E's shortcomings as there simply isn't a better Android effort in the budget sector

- Damien McFerran, Know Your Mobile
Pocket-lint

The Moto E is a brilliant device for the price. If your budget doesn't stretch beyond £100 then we would say - ignoring the lack of 4G connectivity - that there isn't a competing device that offers the same overall experience, specification and design.Despite the price point the Moto E has gli...

- Britta O'Boyle, Pocket-lint


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Screen Size
4.3"

The Motorola Moto E's screen size is 4.3 inches with 540 x 960 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Dual core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 5.0 Lollipop) operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
4 GB

Internal memory is 4 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1980mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1980 mAh battery. Motorola's performance ratings are 840 minutes, 301 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Moto E Specs

Overview
Release date May 13, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800/850/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+
variations
SIM card size
Micro-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 5.0 Lollipop)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Dual core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage 4 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.5 W/kg
Body: 0.97 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1980 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 391 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 301 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 840 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 16.7 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.5 x 6.5 x 1.2 cm (4.9 x 2.6 x 0.5 in)
Weight 142 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Pixel density 256 pixels
Size 4.3 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, OPP/FTP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Geotagging, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, OGG, QCP
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, DivX, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

Also available in a dual-SIM model.

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Motorola Moto E Reviews
Where to buy Motorola Moto E
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