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Moto E Review: It's Really Good, Especially for the Price

por Dorris Proeschel (2019-09-26)

Moto E Review: It's Really Good, Especially for the Price
New York (TheStreet) -- Motorola's new second-generation Moto E is the company's lowest-priced Android model, and its first new release in the United States since the company was sold to Lenovo after its relatively brief partnership with Google (GOOG - Get Report) . The new handset is pretty amazing for the asking price.
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sim dep onlineThere are actually two new Moto E varieties. There's an updated (but still 3G-only) model, that comes with a quad-core processor and 4 GB of storage and sells for only $119, as well the new 4G version that we've been testing, which sells for $149.
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The "Moto E Second-Generation with 4G LTE / 4G" has a slightly larger, 4.5-inch display, That's compared to the 4.3-inch screen on the new 3G version. Both offer 540 by 960 pixel density. There's a more upscale quad-core, 1.2 GHz Qualcomm ( QCOM - Get Report) Snapdragon 410 processor (allowing the phone to handle 4G/LTE data), 8 GB of internal storage, a 5 MP, auto-focus camera on the back, and a new front-facing VGA camera.
The Moto E 4G runs on the latest version of the Android OS - 5.0.2 (Lollipop). Motorola says it will have separate versions for Verizon (VZ - Get Report) and Sprint (S - Get Report) , as well as one model which works on all of AT&T's (T - Get Report) and T-Mobile's (TMUS - Get Report) cellular frequencies. Our test device was delivered with an AT&T SIM card. The 4G version of the second-generation GSM Moto E is available on the Motorola website for $149.

Lenovo too a novel, low-key approach to introducing the new model. Samples were hand-delivered to reviewers on Wednesday morning. The handset came in a box designed to mimic the usual industry press conference, with a welcome desk, a stage, seats and even a laminated press badge. Lenovo should be commended for creating lots of buzz with this distribution method, as well as economizing on the usual cost of introducing a new product here in New York.

Overall, this 2nd-Gen E is just about the same size as the original (and still pretty terrific) Moto X that came out in 2013, although the new E feels a little chunkier and slightly heavier to hold. But, as for how the phone works in real life situations it's so good that it lulls you into believing that it's a much more expensive, "luxury" Android device.

Operating the phone is fairly straightforward. It provides an excellent Android experience, and battery life was pretty good, too. We were able to to squeeze more than a day's worth of juice from the somewhat smallish (2390 mAh) rechargeable battery pack. The Lollipop OS has a lot to do with that. We found the 5 MP rear camera did a good job capturing "on-the-go" outdoors and, under good lighting conditions, indoor photos too. The E doesn't have an electronic flash.
The new 4G/LTE version is fast when it comes to connecting to the outside world. Speed tests on AT&T's network yielded downloads and uploads in the 10 Mbps range -- comparable to many of the more expensive 4G phones we've tried at our usual test locations. Wi-Fi connections were even faster.
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As for streaming media -- a task that's sometimes a problem for less-expensive smartphones and tablets -- we found Spotify worked perfectly and the music sounded pretty good through the E's mono speaker. The Time Warner Cable (TWC) streaming app worked perfectly, too.

We did run into a few minor glitches though. The pop-up keyboard feels quite cramped. Tapping and typing on it produced more errors than we usually see on a similar-sized smartphone screen keyboards. We also noticed a very small, and somewhat infrequent hesitation when the phone went from standby mode to unlocking the home screen. We usually don't see that on modern-day smartphones in any price range.

The new Moto E comes in either black or white, but the manufacturer is offering what it calls Motorola Bands -- candy-colored plastic accent strips which are easy to snap into place. But, the bands retail for a somewhat steep $20 each. There's also an available Grip Shell that protects the back of the phone (also $20), and an external backup battery pack designed to be carried on a (large) key chain ($40).
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These second-generation models are probably the last Motorolas to be designed under the influence of Google. The next Moto phones will instead reflect the influence of Lenovo -- a very successful smartphone manufacturer that hasn't begun marketing its cellular products in North America yet.
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In the case of the new Moto E, Lenovo inherited a winner. Let's hope future Moto models will be as good -- and as affordable.

Overall Score: 8.5/10
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- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.