If you are looking for a reliable smartphone under a budget of Rs.10,000 then look no further. Yes, we agree that the camera quality is poor and skipping the LED flash and front facing camera was a huge blunder. But in the end, Moto E proves to be a sturdy and nimble little smartphone with a solid build quality and decent performance capability.
- Display: 4.3-inch, 960×540 resolution with Gorilla Glass 3 (256ppi)
- Battery: 1980mAh
- Storage: 4GB, expandable via microSD card slot
- Camera: 5MP rear fixed focus
- SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 200
- CPU: Dual-core 1.2GHz
- GPU: Adreno 302
- RAM: 1GB
- Operating system: Android 4.4.2
- Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
BODY AND DESIGN
The looks are quite similar to the Moto G, featuring a plastic design and a curved back with rubberized finish. The back panels are changeable and one can choose from a variety of colours. Under the back panel there are two microSIM card slots and a microSD card slot. The battery is sealed shut so it is not user-replaceable. The back houses the 5MP camera.
Coming to the display, we have a 4.3-inch LCD with a 540p resolution. For the ones who crave a 720p display, you won’t be disappointed as the sharpness of the display is excellent and we think that the resolution fits well for such a dimension. One hand operations are much easier and the handset fits pretty well in the hand.
There are two chrome bars, one on top of the display which has the earpiece, and one below the display which has the loudspeaker and mic. Speaking of which, the loudspeaker is way too loud and because of the heavy volume levels the quality is just horrible. The volume and lock/power key are on the right edge and the 3.5mm audio jack lies on top. The bottom has the microUSB port for charging and data synching.
The overall design of the Moto E is not so different from the Moto G and for a 7K handset it seems way better than most of the smartphones out there. The quality and finish of the handset is well worth the money.
UI AND PERFORMANCE
Just like the Moto G and X, the Moto E runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat which has a stock UI. We love the fact that Motorola offers a stock based UI and doesn’t add any bloat-ware apps. The OS is quite stable and doesn’t show signs of slow response or lag. There are no fancy apps or features preloaded but you can always get them from the app store.
The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 200 dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz coupled with 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 302 GPU. For a 7k smartphone it sounds quite decent and to test that we ran some benchmark apps to see the potential of the smartphone.
The results show that the Moto E isn’t a showstopper, and we didn’t expect it to be one either. The 1GB of RAM allows you to do your daily tasks easily including checking mails, browsing the internet, surfing social media networks, listening to music, etc. Apps which require high graphics performance like high-end games aren’t that smooth and do stress the hardware.
The battery on the Moto E sounds quite impressive as it has a rating of 1980mAh. We ran our standard battery stress test by first charging the smartphone to a full 100% and then played a full HD video for one hour. Surprisingly, there was only a loss of 14% which means that you can keep playing the video continuously for around seven and a half hours. This means that the Moto E will easily give you a full day of battery backup.
The camera is one major concern if you are planning to invest in the Moto E. When we had tested the 5MP camera on the Moto G, we weren’t fully satisfied with the performance and it was pretty average. With the Moto E we again have a 5MP sensor but the biggest issue here is that there is no auto-focus. This results in mostly out of focus and blurry photos. Motorola has also ditched an LED flash which means shooting in low-light is just impossible. You also get limited camera controls and you can’t fiddle with exposure or white balance or resolution. You do get HDR, panorama, and burst mode. The video recording capabilities aren’t that good either as you can only make video in 480p and audio quality is just average.
The colours produced are low on saturation and everything is quite grainy. Contrast and sharpness just goes for a toss.
Here are some camera samples of the Moto E
The market craves for an affordable smartphone that delivers and the Moto E just manages to do that. Yes, the camera is horrible and the loudspeaker is terribly loud, but the overall experience with the device doesn’t give off the impression that it is of low quality. The hardware is quite solid and the OS runs quite stable. For a sub-10k smartphone the Moto E is a solid recommendation from us. If you are not worried about the brand, then you can try the Lava Iris 406q or the recently launched Micromax Unite 2.