- Damien McFerran , 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
- Eric M. Zeman , Phone Scoop
The Moto E redefines what inexpensive Android smartphones can offer.
- Silky smooth interface
- Lightweight design
- Excellent build quality
- Clear, bright display
- 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.
Reviews (7.6/10 Avg. rating)
Excellent value for money
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 hardware or a suite of crazy features. It is, however, a great entry-level handset that gives you all the necessities in a simple, functional package for a very attractive price. Crucially, the necessities aren’t hampered by terrible software or laggy performance, which typically haun... Full review
Decent specs in a very affordable package
Stock Android, great build quality, expandable storage
The Moto G completely redefined the concept of the budget smartphone, providing an experience that most people would have happily paid twice or maybe three times as much for. The Moto E is even cheaper, but in order to shave some cash off the RRP, Motorola has had to cut corners when it comes to screen size, CPU power and camera capability.
Despite this, the Moto E remains an impressive phone that puts rival low-cost smartphones well and truly in the shade. If you're in the market for a device and price is your primary concern, then it makes sense to save the additional pennies... Full review
Great design and good display at an affordable price
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 glimpses of premium about its build; the matte finish on the rear makes it a delight to hold and the metal buttons feel quality. Add some useful software features, a true Android experience, solid battery life, microSD slot for storage expansion, quality sound output and it's an undeniab... Full review
Like a low-cost dual-SIM Nexus
Feels really solid in the hand and navigates extremely smoothly
A phone that redefines consumer expectations of a low-cost smartphone
If you are an enthusiast, this isn’t going to be your primary phone. It does however make for an inexpensive backup or a great way for folks on other platforms to test drive and experience Android as it was intended. Outside of the Nexus program and rumored Android Silver phones, Motorola is the only manufacturer making phones that ship with a pure Android experience, going as far as to guarantee you’ll receive an update to the next major version of Android. When you remove all of the bloat, Motorola has found that you don’t need the fastest processor to provide users with... Full review
You get what you pay for...and a little more
Motorola has rested its hat on delivering the most phone possible for the least money necessary. The company cut corners on the Moto X and focused on software, then cut even more corners with the Moto G and focused on price. With the Moto E, it's raced to lower depths and still managed to create a phone worth buying. That's because the Moto E costs only $129 without a contract. At that price, no other smartphone comes close. I'd recommend anyone considering a Moto E aim a little higher and get the Moto G if they can afford it, but for someone whose first priority is the budget, the Moto E i... Full review
Delivered successfully in so many departments
A smartphone that looks to shake up the affordable smartphone market
Prices (Where to Buy)
Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
- Motorola Moto E Manual (PDF)
Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Cricket, Sprint, Straight Talk, TracFone Wireless, U.S. CellularReview Sources Have a question?
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