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Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation Review

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Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation Review

James Shisiah

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What We Love

  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Superb battery life
  • Affordably priced
  • Powerful quad-core processor
  • 4G LTE

Overview

The Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation is a 4.5-inch smartphone that comes running Android 5.1 Lollipop with all its latest features. Launched in early 2015, the Moto E is still very competitive in the current market because of the features it comes packed with. Apart from having a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and a beautiful design, the phone includes 4G LTE for faster internet services. The Moto G is a CDMA phone offered under FreedomPop monthly no contract plans. At the end of this review, I discuss more on the competitive FreedomPop plans.

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Unboxing

The Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation is available from the FreedomPop website together with the no-contract service plans. In the box, you will find the Moto E 2nd Gen Device, a pair of Motorola headsets, wall adapter charger, service guide and a quick setup guide. With Android 5.1 installed, setup is easy and straightforward.

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Design

The Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation has a great build quality that feels nice in hand. With slightly rounded corners, the exterior layout is unique compared to other devices in this range. Volume rockers and power button are on the right edge. The top edge hosts the headphone jack. On the bottom edge, there's a micro-USB charging port. The casing around the edges is removable to reveal SIM and microSD slots.

The front of the device is a 4.5-inch fully touch display. The upper part of the display hosts the ambient light sensor, earpiece, and the front facing camera. The gadget has the floating navigation buttons appearing at the bottom of the screen as a norm in Android 5.1 Lollipop. To the back of the gadget is a no removable cover that hosts the back camera.

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Camera

On the Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation is a 5MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front camera. With no LED flash attached, the camera handles picture taking in good lighting well enough. This being a budget smartphone, the camera doesn't hold the high-end specifications, but it does have some advanced features that you will love.

You can adjust the exposure and focus by dragging the focusing bracket around the screen. HDR mode lets you capture images with improved quality and shadow detail. One thing I love about the Moto E is its capability to capture 720p High Definition Video at 30 fps, which is a great thing for a budget smartphone. The camera has burst modes and panorama features in addition to other filters for improving the photos.

With a double twisting wrist motion, the camera app launches, even with the screen backlight off. A second double wrist twisting will switch from the back camera to the front facing. I found this to be a cool feature.

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Display

The 4.5-inch 720p high definition display on the Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation does a good job when it comes to viewing items on the screen. Characters show up clearly without oversaturation. In bright light, the screen performs poorly making it tough to see. Indoors, the screen performs well as images and web pages show up brightly. The screen has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for enhanced durability. It's very responsive to touch, and I didn't find any issue with it.

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Battery

A major selling point on the Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation is its battery life. It comes with a 2390mAh that keeps the phone running till you are done. With regular usage, including listening to music, I managed up to 2 days without finding a charging outlet, thanks to the Snapdragon 410's energy-efficiency boosts. This is almost double the battery life of phones in this price range. For users who rarely need internet services, the phone can go up to 5 days of regular usage. Motorola has included a Battery Saver mode in the Moto E which limits background services hence extending the phone's battery life till you find a charging outlet.

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Storage

Though on the lower end tier, the Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation comes with a decent internal storage capacity. Its internal storage capacity is 8GB, expandable to 32GB with a microSD card. The internal capacity is pretty sufficient for a normal user who doesn't need to include a lot of stuff on the phone. The additional storage with a memory card comes in handy when you need to save your videos and games on the device.

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Performance

The Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation performs competitively for devices in the lower end. It comes running the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop, which though not the most recent Android version, supports thousands of apps on Google Play Store. The powerhouse of the Moto E is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 processor paired with 1GB of RAM. With such resources, the device can basically handle anything you throw at it. Games and animations show up nicely with minimum lagging for the extremely heavy ones.

The Motorola Moto E 2nd Generation being a 4G LTE enabled smartphone, internet speeds are incredible. I experienced fast web page loading and impressive video streaming capabilities. Together with the superb battery life, the Moto E will ensure fast and prolonged internet services.

To respond to the environment, the phone has a couple of sensors. The proximity/ambient light sensor on the front adjusts the screen brightness depending on the immediate lighting in the surrounding. The accelerometer sensor assists in controlling characters like in video games or turning on related apps, for instance, double wrist twisting to launch the camera app.  Other standard features on the phone include FM radio, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi for connecting to hotspots.

Specifications

  • 4G/Wi-Fi/CDMA.
  • 4.5-inch touch display.
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad-core 1.2GHz.
  • Internal Storage: 8GB expandable to 32GB with an external microSD card.
  • 1GB RAM.
  • Camera: 5MP back, 0.3MP front.
  • Battery capacity 2390mAh.
  • Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Proximity Sensor.
  • Accelerometer.
  • GPS capable.