Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen) review
A great first phone, but it is priced too high in Australia
- 4G and Dual-SIM
- Light version of Android Lollipop
- Quad-core CPU
- Priced to compete against better equipped rivals
- Camera struggles in most lighting conditions
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
We are well into the age where a child’s first mobile can be a smartphone. Motorola makes a good case that its Moto E is the right phone for your kids, with it striking a balance between affordability and a promising set of features.
The design echoes Motorola’s modern identity. A black front is used to blend thick bezels in with the screen, while a solitary grille conceals a front firing speaker. On its back is the familiar Motorola dimple and a stylised camera lens making do without an LED flash.
Deviating from the norm is a removable cover where only the outline peels off, taking with it the volume and power buttons, but leaving the entire back in place. Propping it off is how you gain access to two 4G SIM trays and a microSD slot.
It’s the shape and the thickness of the smartphone that is telling of its low asking price. Less subtle curves turn into prominent bulges. At its thickest point, the Moto E measures 12mm, and that’s a lot of fat for such a stout smartphone.
Then there’s the quality of its display. It’s smaller than most at 4.5-inches and it has a lower resolution at 960x540. The numbers alone aren’t impressive, but colours are decent, viewing angles are wide and it’ll support Motorola’s notification screen with blacks that are wholesome. Watching videos or playing games on the Moto E is enjoyable for a smartphone in its price range.
A year’s time has resulted in some improvements to the hardware. Powering it is a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU from Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. This modest hardware is just enough to keep it running along smoothly. Performing a 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test returned a score of 4538, which is significantly lower than the 7523 achieved by the Kogan Agora 4G Pro and the 8680 scored by the ZTE Blade S6.
Hampering this smartphone is its limited memory. Most of its internal storage is filled by the Android 5.0 operating system and any applications that are installed. A microSD card makes it possible to expand it further, but only by 32GB. Snubbing support for cards larger in size is another concession made for that lower price.
Integrated into the body is a 2390 milliamp-hour battery. We used the smartphone with two 4G SIM cards and found the battery life would last an average 25 hours before needing to be recharged.
A feather in the Moto E’s proverbial cap is its support for two SIM cards, with each one operating on a 4G network. Thrifty shoppers interested in keeping their monthly spend to a minimum can milk the data benefits of one SIM card and take advantage of the free calls from the other. This is a trick mastered by high school teenagers.
Younger children confined to homes will probably resort to surfing the Internet over Wi-Fi. The Moto E will oblige with support for single-band 802.11n networks. Rounding off its connectivity technologies is low energy Bluetooth 4.0.
For many, the Moto E will not only be their first smartphone, but also their first camera. It will capture 5-megapixel stills and record high definition videos; most of which will underwhelm.
Usable photos need to be taken outside, under the generous lighting of the sun. A photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge looked usable under such conditions, with the bright blue sky clashing against the near-black water. The quality was good enough to upload to Facebook for viewing later on the screen of a computer.
But there is a wide variety of lighting scenarios that will baffle the camera. It’ll often struggle to balance the foreground with the background, over exposing one at the expense of the other, softening its focus so that fine details are lost. Photos taken inside are worse off still as any artificial lighting will be over exposed. Dark colours are darkened and light ones are washed out altogether.
By far the biggest problem plaguing the Moto E is its price. It retails for $249 in Australia — that’s $70 more than the original. Pricing it so high puts it in the company of the Moto G, which for $20 more, offers a better design, a richer screen and better cameras. Odds are anyone who buys the 4.5-inch Moto E will have to upgrade it much sooner, too.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 3 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 4 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Belkin introduces 3.5mm Audio + Charge Rockstar compatible with new iPhone range
- Panasonic launches new Windows powered Toughpad
- Oppo release limited Barcelona FC version of R11 flagship
- 3SIXT Reveals iPhone X Offering
- ALDI Mobile Ups Stakes in the Telco Industry
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- Moto E4:
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTJunior Digital/Marketing Project ManagerOther
- FTFinancial AnalystOther
- CCWeb DeveloperACT
- FTSolution Architect - Enterprise VoiceACT
- FTMulesoft Integration DeveloperOther
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerQLD
- FTIT TechnicianOther
- FTSAP PM Functional ConsultantOther
- FTPMO Analyst BIWA
- CCTest LeadNSW
- TPTechnical AnalystNSW
- CCApplications Deployment/SupportQLD
- FT3rd Line IT EngineerOther
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerOther
- TPMessaging EngineerQLD
- FTProcess SME (Continuous Improvement)Other
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Office 365 ProjectOther
- CCJava Developer- API &Micro servicesNSW
- FTDelivery ManagerVIC
- FTApplication Security Specialist - penetration testing requiredOther
- FTEnterprise Software/Product Sales ManagerVIC
- FTData Scientist (Scientific Computing Specialist)ACT
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- CCData ArchitectNSW