Last year Motorola set a new benchmark in the budget category with the launch on Moto E and the specs were very good for the pricing it was offered at. The first generation went on to become a huge hit in markets like India where a large share of smartphones sold are in the budget segment. Now, Motorola has announced the upgraded version of Moto E with better hardware and also offers the latest stock Android experience.
The Moto E 2015 features a 4.5 inch qHD display and is powered by a 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Quad Core Processor and features 1GB RAM and 8GB storage along with an improved camera. So how does the new Moto E stack up with the competition, lets find out in the detailed review of the phone.
Related Reading: Moto E (2015) Unboxing
Design and Build:
Design wise, the new Moto E has lot of similarities with the first generation device. The phone has a sturdy build quality and feels really good for a budget smartphone. The volume and power buttons are located on the right side and have chrome finishing. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top while the micro USB charging slot is at the bottom.
There is slight changes to the rear panel which has a matte finish. The rear camera is 5MP auto focus, but flash is still missing. There is also the Motorola logo below the camera unit. The rear panel as such is not removable, but you can pull open the band around the rear panel and insert the SIM card and micro SD cards. The band has a textured finish. We were impressed by the solid build quality and fit and finish offered on this device.
The front panel has the 4.5 inch IPS display, the sensors and front camera on the top and the three on screen buttons below. Overall, the build quality of the device is impressive for a budget smartphone. The phone also comes with water repellent coating which can protect the phone from rains.
Motorola has upped the display size on the new Moto E to 4.5 from 4.3inches, but the display resolution is still at qHD (960X540). The display on the new Moto E is pretty good and offers good quality. The touch response is also good and there is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on the display. The IPS display offers good viewing angles and the readability is also decent. While the first generation Moto E offered qHD display and probably the first to introduce in the budget segment, now the competition offers HD displays at the same price point.
But overall, the display on the device is really good.
Software and Performance:
One of the best aspects of the device is the software. If you love stock Android experience, then this device will not disappoint. The phone comes with Android 5.0 out of the box and it is more or less stock Android with some useful apps from Motorola. With Android 5.0, there are quite a lot of animation and effects in the notification center. Motorola has also included apps like Moto Migrate, customize app and also protect the phone apps which are handy.
Powering the device is the 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Quad core processor, the same processor which powers budget Windows Phones. The phone also comes with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage. The internal storage has been increased from 4GB on the first generation. But one of the major issues is that you cannot install apps directly on to SD card which might be a deal breaker for many users. The phone does have good performance and it is responsive without any lags in normal usage. Multitasking was also fine, and improved from the first generation which had a dual core processor. The gaming experience on the device is also decent and it can play almost all games available.
The phone comes with 8GB internal storage, out of which close to 4.5GB is available to the user on first boot. You can expand the storage via microSD card, but the disappointing aspect is that you cannot install apps and games directly on the SD card.
The call quality on the device was good and the speaker quality was just average. We did not have any issues like dropped calls or signal issues.
Motorola has improved the camera on the second generation Moto E by providing a auto focus unit to the 5MP rear camera. The rear camera still lacks a flash. Motorola has also added a VGA front facing camera on the device. While there is improvements to the camera hardware, the software remains the unchanged and it is the same basic interface found on other Motorola phones. While the interface provides decent amount features and functions like HDR, Panorama, timer shot, it still lacks additional features like control of ISO, exposure and filters.
The photos taken with the 5MP camera have decent clarity and color quality. But at the same time, the noise levels are also slightly higher as the camera is not able to capture a lot of details. While there is a lot of improvement over the previous version, it still is far behind the competition in terms of the overall photo quality. The macro shots also have good color quality. The phone is not really suited for low light photography, but manages decent photos with adequate lighting. The lack of flash is also another deal breaker for many users. Here are some of the samples taken with the device.
The phone supports video recording in just 480p which is same as that offered on first generation. The 480p sample is disappointing and also the competition offers 1080p even in the budget category.
The battery capacity on the second generation Moto E has been increased to 1950mAh and the battery performance is pretty good. You can get a day of usage from the battery on the Moto E with Lollipop. We tested the battery by using the 3G SIM card and few social apps configured and running in the background along with email accounts. We were able to get a day of battery life with average usage and the stand by time is also very good on the device.
There is also a battery saver option to get more battery life on the device.
Moto E (2015), priced at Rs 6999 does make a good buy if you are looking for latest Android Lollipop 5.0. Moto E (2015) is definitely a big upgrade over the first generation Moto E which did set a benchmark in the budget category, but there are still areas which needs improvement, especially the camera and the display. If you are not really worried about latest Android version, we would suggest you to check out Xiaomi Redmi 2 and also Lenovo A6000 which offers better value for money at Rs 6999.