In our Motorola Moto E (GEN 2) review I uncover a budget smartphone that Motorola hopes will be a standout in this division throughout 2015.
Moto E (GEN 2) design
The experience begins with a bright and vivid 4.5” IPS display that holds a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. The viewing platform is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass which as the name suggests is tough enough to resist bumps and scratches.
The design elements on the Moto E include a water resistant coating and a colour choice of either black or white. The white for me has a little bit more of an edge to it but if you like buying accessories then there is a wide choice of coloured Moto Bands and Moto Grip Shells. This smartphone is averagely weighted as 145 grams and has an arced back which expands from 5.2mm at the edges to 12.3mm at the centre.
The design of the Moto E GEN 2 includes an amply sized 2390mAh battery which is designed to give a full days use under a mixed usage scenario. You will also find an Android battery saver feature and this adds an extra 90 minutes of use when activated. There are two battery features that I love and these are timers that show an estimation of how much longer the battery will last and how long it will take to charge when connected to a power supply.
The final design element we note here is the 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB RAM and an 8GB memory that is backed up by a microSD card slot for up to 32GB memory cards.
Moto E (GEN 2) camera
The 5MP camera is of a pretty good quality for the Moto E’s pricing bracket and the tools have a bit of that premium edge to them. These include a camera settings wheel that can be rotated to quickly find the setting you need whilst taking up minimal space over the viewfinder.
The next feature that I think is pretty cool is motion control. Making a twisting motion with your wrist activates the camera and a second twist alternates between the main and selfie cameras. Taking a shot is also pretty effortless and instigated by tapping anywhere on the screen.
The main camera features on the Moto E include a 4x digital zoom, Auto HDR , Panorama, Burst Mode and 720p video recording. The biggest sacrifice from choosing budget is the video calling camera which only has VGA quality (0.3MP).
Moto E (GEN 2) features
The Moto E (GEN 2) is powered by the Android Lollipop OS so loads of new apps and content can be downloaded from Google Play, Play Music, Play Newsstand and Play Books. Android also brings with it the Android Smart Lock feature which locks and unlocks the phone automatically when it is close to your other secure devices such as a smartwatch.
The set up process is eased with Tap & Go so if your old phone has NFC then you can transfer all of your contacts, files and photos simply by tapping the two devices together. If you had an Android phone before then you can also transfer over any apps downloaded from Google Play.
Google’s voice activated digital assistant is on hand to answer questions, get directions or via dictation create emails. A nice touch in the setup is that notifications can be responded to straight from the lock screen.
The Android OS also brings with it new easy to use toggle buttons for GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. You can also now create multiple user accounts to allow guests to use your phone without having access to your private files. Priority Mode with Priority Notifications can restrict who can get in touch with you and this can be set automatically for regular downtimes like between the hours of 10pm and 8AM.
Motorola Moto E (GEN 2) verdict: The Moto E is a great budget smartphone and with Android Lollipop on board you get to enjoy most of the features found on premium devices with a much higher price tag.
Written by: Michael Brown