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Motorola Moto E Review

Motorola Moto E

Posted: , by John V.


Motorola Moto E Review

Motorola Moto E Review
Motorola Moto E Review
Motorola Moto E Review
Motorola Moto E Review

Motorola’s strategy has been a peculiar one lately to say the least. In the high-end segment, its Moto X Android smartphone proved to the masses that great phones don’t need beefy specs to stand a chance in being successful. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, its Moto G ushered in a new era for the proud company with its hard-to-beat price. In following up to that success, the Moto E stands to continue the trend by diving deeper into the competitive entry-level segment of the market. Brandishing an even more aggressive $130 off-contract price, can the Moto E permanently make extinct those feature phones?

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • Get Started Guides


Pricing might be regarded as dirt cheap, but it bears a humbling design that comes off slick.

Cosmetically, Moto E employs the same humble design language of the Moto G before it, but there are a few minor differences. Compact, lightweight, and form-fitting, it’s a comfortable thing to hold despite being a little bit chubbier than the Moto G – thanks in part to its decent construction and slightly arched casing. Relying on a plastic build, there’s a pleasant personalization aspect to the design, seeing that the rear casing is interchangeable. Factoring the cost, the design of the Moto E could’ve gone a total different way, but in the end, Motorola manages to deliver something that doesn’t come off obnoxiously cheap.

So what’s different about the phone from the Moto G? For starters, the speaker has been positioned to the front – just below the display. However, they had to omit a front-facing camera to keep its cost with their target budget. Besides that, everything else is pretty much the same here. They include its power and volume controls on the right, microUSB port on the bottom, and its 3.5mm headset jack on top.

Around the rear, there’s a 5-megapixel fixed focused camera sans flash, which has the ability to shoot 854 x 480 (FWVGA) video. Fortunately, a microSD card slot is hidden behind the rear casing to supplement its storage capacity. Although it’s not expected to survive submersion, the Moto E features a water-resistant splash guard to safely protect it from minor splashes.

Motorola Moto E
4.91 x 2.55 x 0.48 inches
124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm
5.01 oz (142 g)

Motorola Moto E

Nokia Lumia 520
4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches
119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

Nokia Lumia 520

Samsung Galaxy S III mini
4.78 x 2.48 x 0.39 inches
121.5 x 63 x 9.9 mm
4.23 oz (120 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III mini

Apple iPhone 5c
4.9 x 2.33 x 0.35 inches
124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 mm
4.66 oz (132 g)

Apple iPhone 5c

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Far from being the sharpest on the block, the display gets the job done without a whole lot of complaints.

Honestly, we weren’t expecting anything extravagant with the display, especially knowing its price point. Sporting a 4.3-inch 540 x 960 (qHD) IPS display, which gives it a pixel density count of 256 ppi, it’s effective enough for most things, but don’t expect crisp results everywhere. Sure, it’s still good for surfing the web, so there’s not much concern regarding its detail.

However, its weaker brightness output of 389 nits combined with its poor viewing angles, doesn’t make it a strong usable candidate under sunny conditions. From the front, colors radiate with a punchy and robust tone, but the slightest of tilt causes them to wash out. Hardly expected to enthrall us, the display here might not earn high marks in all key areas, but at the end of the day, complaining about its deficiencies is pointless due to its low cost.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Motorola Moto E 389
Nokia Lumia 520 364
View all

  • Options

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:29 8

1. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

Fantastic device. Btw, what the hell is 5C doing there?

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:37 14

4. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 2011)

i thought the same thing. lol, we could buy 6 moto e's at one 5c price.

posted on 28 May 2014, 20:44

91. crazzyd77 (Posts: 36; Member since: 07 May 2014)

Same here.

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:50 5

7. ScottSchneider (Posts: 336; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)

Wow... A 9 is actually a great rating for a low spec device from PA though... Moto has a real good winner with G and E on their hands and X+1 around the corner... Moto is gonna be real happy with things turning around...

posted on 26 May 2014, 18:40

90. bob_monkeywarts (unregistered)

Well, the 5C is sort of Apple's, "low end" phone, with the high end being the 5s. also, 5c has sort of low-end qualities-1.3 Mhz dual core processor, 4 in. screen, cheap plastic body, stuff like that. So if you want something like the 5c, you might as well buy the Moto e at 1/6 the price. Still, I do think that's sort of weird, though.

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:30 9

2. AJagtiani (Posts: 466; Member since: 24 Apr 2014)

Great phone at a great price. :)

posted on 16 May 2014, 07:58 4

41. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)

But the phone looks ugly

The L520 looks better

posted on 17 May 2014, 20:18 1

78. sgodsell (Posts: 4896; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. The 520 has a crappy ecosystem compared to Android. Don't even pretend that it even competes with Android. Enough said.

posted on 19 May 2014, 12:40

87. hulk_14 (Posts: 71; Member since: 14 Dec 2013)

Crappy is the best word to describe your person.

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:31 2

3. CyberFalcon (Posts: 223; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)

Very good for a 100$ device....

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:38

5. EgyDroid (Posts: 111; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)

So the Xperia M2 gets 5-10 and this 9.......huh?

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:54 6

8. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

M2 costs double and is not perfect at all.

posted on 16 May 2014, 06:45

13. EgyDroid (Posts: 111; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)

Yeah I know but PA should have a rating for the low end devices and the E is a great device

posted on 16 May 2014, 07:26 3

22. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

M2 costs $350 and has a similiar package to Moto G. You decide now.

posted on 16 May 2014, 14:10 2

63. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

Meh. The M2 has a qHD screen vs the Moto Gs 720p screen. Not to mention it's way more expensive than the Moto G LTE....$350 vs $220. M2 sucks!!! No wonder it got a 5/10

$350 can buy you a Nexus 5 16 GB or a 64 GB Oneplus One..... If you think the M2 is a good deal at $350 you need to get your brain and your Sony fanboy side checked.

posted on 16 May 2014, 11:55

62. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

xperia m2 is expensive. it's an ugly stain on the current xperia lineup.

posted on 16 May 2014, 05:42 3

6. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Now this phone is priced really well here in India, and I hope it sells well, which it probably will.

posted on 16 May 2014, 09:14

58. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

wow now replying you got me a warning saying personal attacks LOL.

posted on 16 May 2014, 14:13 2

64. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

Wait... "now replying you got me a warning saying personal attacks"..."YOU got ME a warning"??? Did your parents ever teach you personal responsibility? Nobody makes you personally attack them. Amirite?

posted on 16 May 2014, 23:31 2

71. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

I just replied him "great now you have a avatar it will be easy to spot you". Now tell me mr. Sherlock was that a personal attack, it didnt hurt him either.

posted on 18 May 2014, 13:33

83. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

Oh that's pretty lame.

posted on 24 May 2014, 12:19

89. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Are you serious ?! No way you could've banned by that statement alone. Unless you wrote something you didn't mention here ? :/

posted on 16 May 2014, 06:14 4

10. hemedans (Posts: 645; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)

overated phone snapdragon 200 with dualcore cortex a7 and adreno 302 is crap even for low end. these are alternative you can get for same or litle more price.

1. xiaomi hongmi
720p display, quadcore cortexa7 1.5ghz for about 130usd

2.huawei honor 3c
720p display quadcore 1.3ghz cortex a7 for about 130usd

3.zte v5
with 4g, 720hd display quadcore snapdragon 400 for 135usd
if you pay more like 160usd you can get 2gb ram version.

all of the above has camera 8mp or 13mp with flash, and front camera.

other alternatives
lumia 520/521/525
you can get it as cheap as 60usd and spend like 20usd to unlock or about 100usd unlocked. it has 1ghz cortex a15 with adreno 305 and it run windows phone.

posted on 16 May 2014, 07:28 2

24. KenAdams (Posts: 55; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)

I think I agree with you. The Lumia 525 is better than this phone at this price. It offers similar specs and WP will run smoother than Android at a dual core CPU.

posted on 16 May 2014, 14:16 2

65. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

It honestly isn't that good of a deal...... If you're in the USA you can get better deals. How about the T-Mobile Alcatel One Touch Fierce for $125.01, or the AT&T ZTE 998 $112.98 on Amazon. 4.5" qHD, 4 GB internal storage, 5 MP phones have existed for a long time. Plus these phones are even better because the screen size is marginally larger with off screen buttons which give you more usable screen space, both have a LED flash, both record video in 720p, both have front facing cameras, not to mention the 998 has a better processor, GPU and includes LTE. Check out this comparison. The Moto E is pretty crap compared to the ZTE 998.


posted on 16 May 2014, 18:13

66. hurrycanger (Posts: 1626; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)

I agree... again. Last time I mentioned the LG F3, F6, and the Galaxy Light.
Now I would like to add this, even some BLU phone is better deals than the Moto E.
Yep, BLU phones are pretty poorly built comparing to phones from bigger brands (including the Moto G), but the E is not priced that well for what it is offering either, imo. The BLU Studio 5.0 S ii is most likely a better choice (no water resistance splash guard though). I got a chance to use the BLU Studio 5.5S (the same thing with the 5.0S ii, but 5.5" display), and it runs very smoothly. Asphalt 8 also runs smoothly at medium settings, and same for Ironman 3.
The Studio 5.0s ii costs about $150 and comes with a charger, a soft case, and headphones. The Moto E doesn't come with any of those things.

posted on 28 May 2014, 20:45

92. crazzyd77 (Posts: 36; Member since: 07 May 2014)

Well said.

posted on 16 May 2014, 23:42 1

72. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Okay sir, i'll request Mr Dennis Woodside to offer the Moto E at $60 with snapdragon 810, 4K display, 5000mah battery, 4gb Ram, 128gb inbuilt storage, aluminium unibody, and Godzilla Glass... Happy or want more.

posted on 18 May 2014, 13:37

84. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

If you were replying to me your comment was pretty retarded. I didn't ask for it to be cheaper, I didnt ask for more specs. I simply pointed out better deals. Calm down man.....

posted on 17 May 2014, 01:36

75. kryme (Posts: 382; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)

huawei honor 3c is ......http://www.ebay.com/itm/HUAWEI-Honor-3C-Smartphone-MTK6582-Quad-Core-Android-4-2-Unlocked-Black-White-/151261888550?pt=Cell_Phones&hash=item2337e94026

huawei honor $175 with 4.2 android

moto e $130 with android 4.4.2

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Motorola Moto E

Motorola Moto E

OS: Android 4.4.4 4.4.3 4.4.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi)
Camera5 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
Size4.91 x 2.55 x 0.48 inches
(124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm)
5.01 oz  (142 g)

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