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Customer Review

145 of 151 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost the outstanding budget Android phone of 2014, 27 May 2014
By 
This review is from: Moto E 4GB SIM-Free Smartphone - Black (Wireless Phone)
There has been a lot of hype about where Motorola would go next with smartphones, esp since the release of the Moto G which has been hugely popular and packs a lot of bang for your buck.

After testing the Moto E I can say it's probably one of the strongest budget android handsets I've used to date. But there are some compromises here too, not entirely unexpected at the low price. It's still a strong phone though in many ways

My quick summary of good and bad points

Pros:
+ Build is good, nice soft touch back..Gorilla Glass is scratch resistant
+ Latest version of Android 4.4 Kit kat
+ Motorola claim it's splash proof, I didn't test this though
+ Screen is good, 540 x 960 (256 pixels per inch) 4.3" slightly smaller than the Moto G but a decent size, and with good vibrant colours and fairly sharp, also has a brightness sensor. The best I've usd on a budget model so far (at this price point)
+ Sound is quite impressive not only loud but very clear (mono speaker)
+ Spec overall is decent for the price 1GB ram, Snapdragon 1.2GHz dual-core A7 CPU is ok for normal day to day use (mostly fast scrolling and performance is decent)
+ Above average battery life, many phones will die during the day the 1980mAh battery is a good step up over rivals. It should last a day even with heavy use, moderate uses should get a couple of days out of it (keep an eye on those battery hog apps too)
+ GPS and bluetooth 4.0

Cons:
- Camera, whilst it's 5 megapixel it is fixed focus (not great for close up shots) in low light levels performance isn't good images take a dive in quality (grainy and lacking contrast). Daytime shots are ok as long as your subject is far enough away
- Video quality is passable in daylight, but very laggy and with dropped frames in low light/dark environments (it's not HD either)
- No front camera (even a basic one would be useful)
- Viewing angles on screen could be better
- Not the slimmest handset ever, though the battery performance compensates for this a bit
- 4GB storage you have under 2GB left for use so make use of that micro SD slot

Other notes:
Takes a micro SIM card type
Micro SD cards up to 32GB capacity
You get a micro USB charger (not a full wall charger)
No easy access to battery (it's sealed in)

Gorilla Glass is good, but it's also prone to shattering if you drop the phone screen down (based on previous experiences on other handsets), so I would strongly suggest you invest in a decent case.

Games wise it does ok for a budget phone, don't expect to play higher end games without a bit of lag now and then. The Snapdragon dual core CPU isn't bad, but you really need more firepower (ie Moto G) for more serious gaming. One area I like with Motorola is you don't get a whole load of added on junk apps it's mostly the vanilla android experience many like (and you can tweak it to your own taste)

Taking into account the attractive price point, good sceen, overall decent spec and class leading battery life, the Moto E is a good budget smartphone, if not the best one overall on the market right now. You could argue that spending a bit more buys you a Moto G (which is a good step up faster processor, better screen etc), but if you are in this price point it's one of the best around compared to other offerings.
If only Motorola would address the weaker aspects many of their models have, the ho hum camera/video performance. Still if photos are not that important, it's a solid buy. Budget Android phones have improved hugely over the last couple of years, and the Moto E is proof of that.

With the price sure to drop a bit over time, Motorola have another hit on their hands. You get a lot of phone for not a lot of money.
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 May 2014 09:10:28 BDT
Lauri says:
Hi, thats well written. How about we talk about the internal memory what is usable less than 2 GB. Since Android installs app data to internal storage and you have ability to move some of it to memory card, but not at all. All the memory will be very soon claimed, so my question is such: how many or what kind of apps your phone can hold until its full? You cant completely store it up to full since Android is constantly using it for its own beside with RAM, how many apps you can install (ie 10 apps for daily use)? Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2014 10:21:57 BDT
Mr Baz says:
Hi Lauri
The majority of memory heavy apps are usually games (the more advanced graphics heavy ones) for normal apps it's quite unlikely most users will have a problem for typical apps even quite a few of them.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2014 10:47:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 May 2014 10:48:06 BDT
Lauri says:
Hi, thank you for your fast answer. I have seen a few threads in the forums about the low memory problem. But do you still think that it aint a problem at all? I would like to use clash of clans, waze, antivirus, google navigation, tomtom navigation software, weather app, calendar and all that kind of programs.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2014 15:44:13 BDT
Mr Baz says:
At this price I don't see it as a problem, I'm not app heavy myself (novelty wears off and I usually remove unwanted apps) If you think you want more on device storage you could look at the Moto G which is a bit more, but starts at 8GB and is a step up in performance and screen. Clash of clans isn't a big game uses about 50MB if I'm correct

Posted on 15 Jun 2014 14:11:02 BDT
Jon B says:
Moto E 4GB Sim Free Smartphone - Black

- Can someone confirm if this has / hasn't dual-SIM?
- I saw that in most markets it is released as dual-sim, but some - where the punters are too illiterate to appreciate how valuable that is, ie. the U.S. - only 1 sim is supported. Is amazon.co.uk shipping the dual-sim?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2014 14:57:10 BDT
Mr Baz says:
Hi Jon this is the single sim version, I have seen dual sim versions in other regions.

Posted on 12 Jul 2014 15:55:29 BDT
P. Griffey says:
First thanks for a good review.
Q. Does the fixed focus camera mean it has problems reading barcodes?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jul 2014 20:23:34 BDT
Mr Baz says:
Hi the camera can't close focus so I'd look for something else for barcodes or close up shots.

Posted on 16 Aug 2014 22:11:26 BDT
Ali Z. says:
Hi,,,
Thank you for your nice review.
I am planning to buy this phone for my mum and she always turn on speaker-phone when talking to other people and does not like using the earpiece and the problem is that with some phone ,if you use the speaker phone ,the people on the other end of the line may hear their voice as an echo...could you please let me know if there would be the same problem with this phone or not.
thank you very much.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Aug 2014 00:19:42 BDT
Mr Baz says:
Hi Ali I have used speakerphone a few times and nobody has complained about echo on the calls so I don't feel it's a problem on this handset. Hope that helps
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