Review Motorola Moto E

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by Sunit JC, Jul 5, 2014.

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  1. Sunit JC

    Sunit JC ActiveRAIDer

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    Motorola marked its return to the Indian market in full force with its budget Smartphone - Moto G. The device is still one of the best smartphone you can get in the price range of 15K Rupees and no doubt it has gone on to become the highest selling phone in Motorola's history. One thought that this would be the cheapest device Motorola will ever release but they surprised everyone by launching the Moto G's smaller brother - the Moto E.

    Currently the Moto E is available only in black and white variants exclusively through India's top online retailer with a price tag of just 6999 INR.

    Today we'll be taking a detailed look at the Moto E and see what this latest budget competitor has to offer other than its really low price.

    A look at the specifications.

    Dimension - 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm (4.91 x 2.55 x 0.48 in), 142g
    Display - 4.3 inch qHD (960X540) capacitive touch screen with 256 ppi pixel density, 16M colors, 5 point multi touch display
    Processor - Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Dual-core 1.2 GHz, Cortex-A7
    GPU - Adreno 302, single core 400 MHz
    RAM - 1GB
    Operating System - Android 4.4.2 (KitKat), upgradeable to 4.4.4
    Memory - 4 GB internal memory (2.2GB user available), Micro SD card slot can take up to 32GB
    Camera - 5 MP primary camera, HDR mode, Panorama, Geo-tagging, Video recording up to 480p @30 fps, No secondary camera
    Sensors - Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Proximity
    Battery - Non removable 1980 mAh Li-Ion battery

    UNBOXING - Package, Contents and Build
    The Moto E comes in a standard box which contains the charger, earphones, warranty manual and the device manual in Hindi and English language. There is no USB cable so if you want to connect your Moto E to the PC you'll have to buy the USB cable separately. Now, the International version of Moto E comes only with a USB cable but no earphones or charger. So the retail package contents vary across different market.

    The Moto E feels pretty solid in hand and but no means does it looks cheap. The design is very clean and simple. The entire front is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and a water resistant nano coating. So if you drop the Moto E in a water puddle it will surely survive. But this doesn't mean that the Moto E is water proof and you can use it in shower or while swimming. LOL!

    Above the screen of the device we find the earpiece along with the proximity , ambient sensor and the notification LED. Sadly there is no front facing camera in the Moto E which can be a disappointment to a lot of people. Hard Luck all you selfie fanatics out there! You certainly cannot expect a device costing just 6999INR to have all the bells and whistles now, can you?


    Along with this the top consists of the 3.5mm audio jack and the secondary noise cancelling microphone.


    The right side of the device consists of the volume rocker and the power button on top of it. The left side has no buttons.


    The bottom consists of a big speaker grill and the primary microphone is below the silver plastic covering the loudspeaker. Along with this there is the microUSB slot.


    The back consists of the 5MP camera along with the Motorola logo on the dimple similar to the Moto G and X. Sadly there is no flash. The back cover is removable which can be real troublesome. The device houses a 1980mAh battery which is non removable. Below the cover we find the microSIM slots and the microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 32GB. Thankfully the back cover just snaps back to the device very easily and is not as difficult as removing it.


    The Moto E comes with a 4.3 inch qHD (960x540) display with a pixel density of 256ppi. Though Moto E doesn't have the best screen in the market but it certainly has one of the best looking displays in that price range. All thanks to the deep blacks because of which the contrast is pretty solid.

    The viewing angles are a bit disappointing and the device shows a bluish tint (blacks turn into blue) when viewed from the left side. The glass is also reflective and with the poor brightness, using the device in direct sunlight is really hard.

    But then again, as I said, the Moto E was targeted for the low end market and expectations should not be high with this device.

    The Moto E launched with Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box. Although Motorola started giving the 4.4.4 OTA update this week. This is one of the best feature of the device - the regular and fast updates. All thanks to Motorola - A Google company (soon to be ex-Google) and its minimal modification made to Stock Android. With KitKat, Google has trimmed down the memory usage by removing a lot of background apps hence reducing the overall memory consumption. As a result of which KitKat is smooth even in devices with 512mb RAM. This is quite evident in Moto E. The software experience to my surprise was pretty good. For a device costing so low I expected it to lag quite a bit but it didn't. Swiping through the home screen, menu, settings etc was smooth. Launching the apps is a bit slow but nothing that you cannot live with. At the price point it is definitely better than its competitors.

    Motorola is the closest you can get to the Nexus devices when it comes to the Software look and feel. The stock vanilla experience without any heavy customization is one of the defining attribute of Motorola which makes the updates as fast as the Nexus lineup.

    The lock screen is pretty standard with the clock widget in the middle and the lock ring at the bottom. The left bottom side consists of the camera app shortcut which you can access by swiping to the right. Along with this there is the usual single widget per page support. The home screen is also the usual affair with 5 active (always) home screen which you cannot reorder or delete.

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-12-22-27.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-06-49-34.png
    The notification panel, the app drawer, the widget drawer everything is the usual stock android. The notification can be swiped down and the quick toggles can be accessed from there or by directly swiping down using two fingers. The recent apps/multitasking switch is also like the stock android.

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-12-20-21.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-37-03.png


    Screenshot_2014-07-05-15-05-20.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-15-09-03.png

    The in-call clarity of the Moto E is pretty good. It is loud and clear. The dialer is standard dialer which comes in stock android. The Indian Moto E has dual SIM standby which means when you are in a call on one SIM the other SIM is automatically disabled. There is a separate menu for the dual SIM in the settings menu in which you can easily manage the connectivity.


    Other connectivity features of the Moto E includes a single band WiFi along with WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GLONASS and FM Radio.

    The messaging app is pretty standard and the keyboard too is of stock android. The keyboard has swype input, Google voice input and other standard features like the dictionary, spell check and auto correct.

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-55-06.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-56-09.png

    The Moto E comes with the stock calendar and calculator app. Everything is similar to the apps in stock android. The default browser is Google Chrome. It also comes with pre-installed quick office which is a pretty handy app for viewing editing documents on the go.

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-39-03.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-48-04.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-48-08.png
    Along with these standard apps, Motorola has added two extra apps - Moto Assist and Moto Migrate which are Motorola exclusive. The Moto Assist provides Do Not Disturb feature which allows you to block all interruptions. You can set the timer as well. Moto Migrate is another great app which allows you to transfer everything (contacts, messages, audio, video etc) from your previous device (Android or iPhone) to your new Moto device and vice-versa.Along with this there is a new app introduced in Moto E - Motorola Alert. It sends periodic messages of your location to emergency contacts (which you select) in case of any emergency.

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-50-11.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-50-24.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-51-22.png

    Along with these there is the Google Maps app which allows you to plan your trip etc. The offline maps is a pretty handy feature provided by the app which allows you to connect even without data connection.

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-53-40.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-53-46.png

    The Gallery app is also the default one along with the newly added Photos app. The gallery app displays all the photos and videos sorted in album. The photos app is connected to your Google+ account and you can backup all the photos to your g+ account. The video player is integrated with the gallery app and is quite sufficient. Though I like to use the market apps such as MX player or VLC player which have subtitle support as well. The music player is the stock Google music player which has standard features like equaliser, playlist etc. The FM Radio app is quite basic with RDS support. Plug-in the headphone and you are good to go. The earphones provided with the device is pretty decent but certainly not the best. The loudspeaker to my surprise was really loud.

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-18-49-16.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-15-09-26.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-15-11-01.png

    Gaming on the Moto E was a pleasant experience. The device scores 49.5fps in Nenamark 2 benchmark which is pretty decent. Games like temple run, subway surfers run very smoothly without any lag. The only issue here was the app loading time. Even these small games take quite sometime to load. Another issue with the device is the puny internal storage. You get around 2.2GB of user available memory and yes there is the option of moving apps to SD card but you cannot move the entire data files. Only 10-15% of the data moves to the SD card. This created problems with certain games like Modern Combat 3 and Dark Knight rises as there was not enough free space. I ran Dead Trigger 2 and Asphalt 8 (except the Tokyo level) which are quite graphic intensive and I was certainly pleased. For a device costing just 6999INR the device performed exceedingly well in the gaming department.

    Check out the subway surfers gameplay on the Moto E.

    Under the back cover of the Moto E lies the 1980mAh Li-Ion battery. Now Motorola said that the device will easily last 24hours. But.. The Moto E under my usage didn't last an entire day. Depends on the usage actually. Gaming and videos were the two main battery drainer. So if you are a heavy user i.e, play a lot of games or watch a lot of videos the battery will drain quickly and you'll need a charger in the middle of the day. But this is the case of almost all the smartphones. Even my Nexus 5 doesn't last an entire day when under heavy usage. So battery of the Moto E is not disappointing.

    The Moto E comes with a 5MP fixed focus camera. It lacks auto-focus and a flash but has HDR mode, panaroma mode and geotagging. As I mentioned earlier, the Moto E lacks a front camera as a result of which video calling is not possible.

    There is not much to talk about the quality of the pictures taken from the camera. The pictures are soft, lack detail and are at the best okay. HDR mode increases the dynamic range and the contrast but the pictures are still very poor when it comes to details. Fixed focus will not allow you to take good macro shots. The indoor pics are even worse. The absence of flash is clearly a disadvantage. Overall the camera of the Moto E is a real disappointment.


    Indoor (1).jpg
    Indoor (2).jpg
    The video camera is capable of taking FWVGA (480p) resolution videos at 30fps. The video camera too is a let down and video clearly lacks detail. The areas under the shade are almost blacked out in the videos.

    Here is an untouched video taken from the Moto E video camera.

    The Moto E houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU along with Adreno 302 GPU and 1GB RAM. The specs are pretty awesome for the price point. For a device costing just 6999INR the Moto E performs exceedingly well in benchmarks.
    Here is how Moto E performed in some popular benchmarks:

    Nenamark 2: 49.5 fps


    Quadrant: 5427 || Antutu 4: 13102

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-12-46-44.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-12-51-06.png

    944 || Metal: 604 || Browser: 1247

    Screenshot_2014-07-05-13-19-51.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-13-20-00.png Screenshot_2014-07-05-13-20-13.png
    Now the real world performance is what matters more and what I observed was that Moto E didn't face any lag during swiping in and out of the menu and other basic tasks. I've seen similar priced devices and a bit more expensive mediatek devices lag. But Moto E? No No!

    With almost everything covered it's time for the verdict. Is Moto E worth buying?
    Absolutely. With such a low price tag the device is absolutely fantastic. Although the camera is a real disappointment in the Moto E. Along with this the absence of front camera can be letdown for few people.

    If you are on a budget this is certainly a device to consider.

    Moto E.jpg
    • Price tag
    • Great performance in the price range
    • Regular software updates (already on 4.4.4)

    • Disappointing primary camera, no secondary camera.
    • No flash and no auto focus.

    Yes it has other cons too which I didn't mention (mediocre screen, build quality etc) but I'll say this again, you cannot expect a device costing just 6999INR to have all the bells and whistles.

    RAID101 Rating: 8.0/10
    Latest Given Reputation Points:
    BANHAMMER: 50 Points (good work sire) Jul 10, 2014
    Invader: 50 Points (GJ !) Jul 11, 2014
    JD666: 150 Points (For an exhaustive review! great work) Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
    Invader, BANHAMMER and JD666 like this.
  2. Sunit JC

    Sunit JC ActiveRAIDer

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    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    Very well written.
    This will look brilliant on our promotional pages.
  4. Stuge

    Stuge RAID Rookie

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    Good review .. well written
  5. Sunit JC

    Sunit JC ActiveRAIDer

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    Thanks guys! :success:
  6. dbg

    dbg RAID Staff Staff Member

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    Get your friends to share it Babaji :D
  7. Stuge

    Stuge RAID Rookie

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    Yes ,It deserves to be shared :)
    JD666 likes this.

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