Review Of Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen) 3G

The first generation of Motorola Moto E won the Best Low Cost Smartphone award at the 20th Global Mobile Awards by GSMA at the recently held Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Also, the older Moto E was well received in India last year and it is still selling well. So, it goes without saying that the expectations from Moto E second generation was obviously higher this time. After spending some quality time with the new Moto E, here is my take.
The new Moto E comes with a slightly bigger screen and battery, latest Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU, a VGA selfie camera and double internal storage. While everything looks good on paper, I did not feel the new features were good enough for the phone to be called an upgrade. This may be one of the very few smartphones offering the latest Android Lollipop OS out-of-the-box at a price of Rs 6,999, however, that is not a major differentiator. Especially when Motorola is also selling the original Moto E at Rs 5,999 with the promise of an Android Lollipop upgrade.

Design:  Both the Moto E versions look almost the same and with Android Lollipop on both there is hardly any difference. However, the new Moto E has a better rubberised side band (called Motorola Band) which can be changed. The smartphone comes in either all Black or White (including the band) and buyers will have to shell out Rs999 for a pack of three colour bands. On the design front, the side band is the major differentiator and hides the SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.Overall, the new E has great build quality, looks good and is compact.

The new Moto E sports a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. That is very basic as we have seen far better displays at the same price range. Keeping the display aside, what’s more frustrating is that it is not sharp. The icons appear blurred and even the wallpaper feels a bit pixelated. The viewing angles are doable, but outdoor visibility is poor, especially under direct sunlight. The display appeared dull to me even when the screen was kept at full brightness. The display is protected with Corning Gorilla 3 and has oleophobic coating to prevent smudges and fingerprints. Overall, the quality could have been much better.

Moto E (2nd gen) scored 17619 on AnTuTu Benchmark (v5.6.2), an average performance. However, the device is pretty smooth overall. You will not see lags or app crashes. For regular usage, the experience is good. Don’t expect much on the gaming front. You can play light basic games, but the device will simply give away while playing heavy graphics games.

The device offers stock Android 5.0.2 UI, with no bloatwares at all. Motorola has included some good features like Moto Display, Moto Alert, Moto Migrate among others. Overall, experience with the UI is really good.

 We will not talk about the VGA selfie camera. The new Moto E offers a very basic primary camera with 5MP auto-focus. The Moto E comes with a Motorola’s Quick Capture feature which activates the rear camera instantly on twisting the wrist twice. The same can be done to swap between the front and rear cameras. The image quality is good under daylight and the camera is also capable of taking some decent images under artificial lighting as well. Low light shots are not good of course. There is no Flash. Overall, if you click a lot of pictures on your smartphone then the new Moto E is definitely not for you.

Storage and Connectivity:
The device offers around 4.5GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 32GB. This is a dual SIM 3G smartphone and supports 3G connectivity on both SIM card slots. There is no USB OTG support.

The device is powered by a 2,390 mAh battery which can easily last an entire working day. The battery life is at par with most other devices in this price range.

The Moto E can be good smartphone for first time smartphone users and those who wish to have a budget Android Lollipop smartphone. The device is suitable for people whose operations are limited to checking emails, social media, a bit of Internet browsing, light gaming and music. If you click a lot of pictures and is into a lotof gaming, videos and selfies then avoid the new Moto E. Motorola could have really changed the budget smartphone market with the second generation if it took some inspiration from the Lenovo A6000. Also, launching another 4G version with same specs (different processor) at a higher price makes little sense. To me this is a lost opportunity for Motorola.

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