Mobiles & Tablets

Review: Moto E 2nd-Gen — A worthy sequel

R Dinakaran | Updated on: Mar 25, 2015






The Moto E 2nd-Gen packs more  features and better looks at a low price

When the first gen Moto E was launched, one ‘aspect’ that went against it was the absence of the front camera. With a generation of mobile users that had got used to the selfie culture giving it a thumbs down, Motorola has taken care to include it in the second generation device.

There was one group that will like the phone though. It is the group that hates the bloated firmware of other mobiles and also loves the pure Android experience - at a price that is a fraction of Nexus devices.

And this is one of the main strengths of the Moto E. But not many, except may be die-hard Nexus and pure Android fans, will be interested in this ‘feature’ (if you can call it that).

The new second generation is slightly bigger and heavier than the first version. What makes the device stand out is the look and feel. Handling it doesn’t make one feel like they are handling a low-priced phone. The feel is almost like a Nexus S. This includes the haptic feedback and the slightly curved back. There is also the front camera that was not there in the first version.

Above the dimpled Motorola logo is the 5 MP camera. The left side is clean, with no buttons. Both the volume rocker and the power buttons are on the right. The headphone jack is bang in the middle at the top, and the micro-USB port is at the bottom.

The first surprise is the removable bezel frame. It is the band-like frame that has to be removed to access the two SIM card slots and the micro-SD card slot. Removing it requires some dexterity and it looks so flimsy that it feels like it might snap any moment. But it is the same band that accentuates the Moto E’s looks, and covers the volume rocker and power buttons in brushed aluminium.

The 5 MP camera is a basic unit, but includes a HDR option. There is no dedicated button for the camera. Touching the screen triggers the camera. The picture quality is decent for a 5 MP cam. The HDR option makes it slightly better. The new front camera is of VGA quality, and does what it is supposed to do - take selfies. Nothing more. The camera can be opened with a twist of the wrist even when the screen is locked.

Like most other stock Androids, the Moto E is offered with only the Google apps installed and a couple of Motorola apps thrown in. When the email app is opened, it tells us that the “email app has been moved. The Gmail app now lets you view all your email accounts.” One good thing Motorola has done is to include a safety app called Alert that allows us to share our location with family and friends. It allows us to send a request to meet us at a specified location or send regular updates of our location. The ‘OK Google’ search option is also pre-installed as it is a stock Android phone.

The stock Google keyboard is a little difficult to type, but the swipe option makes the job better and easier. The phone allows you to cast the screen or Youtube videos to the TV without the need for a Chromecast app.

The phone comes with Corning Gorilla glass and water repellent coating. The 2390 mAh battery is another plus point. We got a more than a day’s usage worth of juice with frequent browsing, using Google Now and a few calls.

If you love stock Android and are content with a basic phone that does the job, the Moto E is for you. But with the competition such as Xiaomi and Lenovo offering phones that have better features, it looks like Moto E has to watch out.


Love: Pure Android experience, build, expandable memory

Hate: Not-so-great camera

Published on January 24, 2018

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