Motorola Moto E Review : It’s Time to Switch
Its not often you see a phone sell out hours from launch, especially in India. The Motorola Moto E saw sales skyrocket the minute the handset went on sale, and there is a good reason behind it. The Moto E is built on the philosophy of the Moto X and the Moto G, two phone essentially responsible for bringing Motorola back into the same game they had originally started back in the day. But is the Moto E good enough to live up to the hype? and is it the only thing Motorola needed to defy all logic and become prominent again? Lets find out!
Motorola is trying to change the need of the hour, by re organizing spends and delivering Android in the purest form. The Moto E is a perfect example of what a user needs from a budget device. It lives up to almost any needs in this spend, however there is no kitchen sink.
Build Quality and Hardware
The Moto E is exceptionally well built, in fact if you put the Moto E and the Moto G side by side, there is hardly any noticeable difference in the build quality of both devices. The Moto E has a brilliant mix of quality materials and reinforced design along with a gorilla glass 3 front that will ensure that no one is disappointed with the phone. The Moto E also boasts water resistance and has an unknown IP coating that we will be soon putting to test. However the company claims that the handset is splash proof, just like the G and the X.
The Moto E also comes with customization options like replaceable back panels and special rubberized grip panels that will add color and strength to the already solid phone.
Hardware wise we are not empty either, the Moto E runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset on dual cores with 1 GB RAM and 4 GB storage, an Adreno 302 GPU completes the mix ( it is read as 305 in benchmark apps) . You have a 5 MP camera at the back, that does not live upto anything, and then there is the 1980 mAh battery which is simply wow. The display is a 4.3 inch 960 x 540px capacitive panel with great color reproduction and brightness.
1980 mAh battery which is simply wow.
The Moto E is a dual sim phone, which will create mobile hotspots using your 3G connection and can tether upto 5 devices for the use of 3G data. Battery life does not drain and the hotspot feature is very stable. The phone also has a nice white notification light on the right of the earpiece, that breathes once you get a new notification and goes away the minute you pull down the notification panel (you can disable this from the settings panel)
UI and Android
There is less to say here, it runs a sort of pure, yet tweaked version of Android 4.4.2 Kitkat out of the box. You do get two bloatware apps which can be uninstalled (oh thank god!) and some useful Moto apps like Moto Assist, Migrate and Alert. You might find yourself using these more than once. The great thing about Motorola’s intention behind a pure Android experience, unlike other manufacturers, is that the company plans to deliver updates almost as soon as Android gets updated in Mountain View (Google HQ). The Moto E also has a FM radio which will be appreciated by many, the FM reception is solid and the earpiece is needed as an antenna.
[pullquote] lives up beyond expectations and still remains very responsive[/pullquote]
The OS is buttery smooth and honestly you can’t ask for more from the handset, it lives up beyond expectations and still remains very responsive. This phone will be the benchmark for all phones going forward in this price bracket.
The Phone will beat all odds and defy all logic when it comes to battery performance. The Moto E can even run some heavy games, albeit one at a time, but games like Asphalt 8 runs on this US $ 120 phone and it is actually playable.
Battery life is also excellent from this dual sim handset, once you get over the initial phase of playing with the phone, most users should expect a good 1.5 days of use on this phone, with talk times running into 6+ hours in most cases with both sims installed.
Basically Motorola has a beautifully built rom of Android, that does not leak RAM and drain power, cellular antennas are strong so network searching is minimal and hence battery is saved there as well.
Phone and Networks
The dual SIM capability is just like the Moto G, and there is no surprise there. Calls are smartly forwarded to the next number once a SIM is busy. The network strength, as mentioned in the previous segment is surprisingly powerful and we are happy with the overall quality of networks and the call drops or the lack thereof.
Microphone and earpiece speaker are great and both sides will be pleasantly happy with the loud volumes.
Display, Camera and Multimedia
For all the coverage you have already seen, you should be aware by now that, the Moto E has the best possible display in this price bracket. Stop looking at specs and look at the actual quality of the display. It is crisp and bright, even outdoors, its got great viewing angles, its got gorilla glass 3 and smudge proof coating (which is brilliant by the way) and it is insanely responsive for an under 10k or even under 8k phone (INR).
The Camera is there, because its there. Honestly don’t plan on becoming a lifestyle fashion photographer with this phone (unless you already own a fancy camera). The fixed focus camera is there because they wanted people to have a camera, and it solves purely that purpose. That being said whatever pictures are clicked in good lighting and end up in focus, have good color reproduction and almost no noise. See samples: (coming up)
The LED flash is missing which is quite a shame. More than the need of a flash for the camera, consumers in this price bracket would have appreciated the LED flash as a torch. We really love our phone torches Motorola, our streets are not very well lit!
Multimedia wise, Motorola did a few good things; the speaker is now in the front, and not easily blocked by the hands, so it doesn’t muffle with ease. The audio is loud and clear, with a balanced output and an impressive sound from the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Lose the included handsfree for some real headphones to truly enjoy that audio bit. Display, like mentioned, is good so watching video or playing games is really enjoyable on this powerful budget device.
It takes a lot from a company to not make us so excited about a product, in fact India and many other nations in general appreciate the intent of the company. The Moto was sold out within hours of launch of sales in India, on the online shopping website Flipkart. This phone leaves little to complain about, it is well built, has great specs and features bundled with a unique and stock Android experience that will leave many happy. This is the best “first phone” for those wanting to jump the feature phone/Blackberry ship to a uber – budget Android device. It is also customizable with panels on the exterior and has a Gorilla Glass 3 and splash proof front making it a pseudo rugged, long lasting handset.
There are, however, major flaws in the current positioning of the phone. The handset is supposed to be an average mans everyday phone. It is supposed to be a emplacement for a feature phone and it’s supposed to be a phone for the masses and on a low end budget. This category of user is currently not happy or capable of shopping online. So by the time the phone gets sold from Flipkart and reaches the masses, the price escalates to Rs. 10000 and more, thanks to black market dealing and short supplies on this impressive product.
Motorola has made a fantastic phone, a phone that is truly a reason to switch from an old gen phone to Android on a budget. Why should you have to spend tens of thousands, when all you want is a phone that works well and gives you some basic functionality. Well the Moto E is here and it has changed the perception of the budget phone in our eyes. If you want to take our word for it, then the Time to Switch is Now!
(Note : the scoring below is entirely based on the Price vs ratio of each)
- Well Built
- Stock Android
- Great Display
- Great Audio
- Solid Phone and Network
- Excellent Battery
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- Camera is Torrid
- Low Availability, Sold on Flipkart Only
- No LED Flash