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Motorola Moto E 4G Review: A Swanky Android Smartphone with Speedy LTE capabilities
Motorola brought a kind of revolutionary wave in the smartphone industry, particularly among the Asian countries last year when they first launched their most affordable devices - the Moto G and Moto E.
The Indian market, which was then already flourishing with home-brewed low-end smartphones (from Micromax, Karbonn, etc.) were put at stake due to the launch of these two devices. Moreover, what made more impact was the Motorola brand and its lucrative association with Google. However, the native manufacturers sustained the invasion.
- Superb battery life
- Customizable design (Swappable Border)
- 4G LTE
- Latest Android Lollipop
- Low price
- Poor camera quality
- Average display
Now time-lapse a couple of months, the scene is - Motorola has revised its last year's devices and the hard-hitting heart of the matter that excites Android-fanatics is that it has enabled 4G LTE support to its most inexpensive device - the Moto E. Now that they have given the most futuristic feature to the phone, they call it the Moto E 4G.
That doesn't mean in anyway that the previous model was a disaster, but yes, we do agree to the fact that it did lack a couple of things that were integral for the phone's success in the market then.
Priced slightly higher than the previous model at Rs. 7,999, the latest Moto E 4G has experienced a complete overhaul in terms of design. Moreover, the hardware and software too have been tweaked to its best. Not to levitate your hopes by referring to it as the best device but at least, precisely speaking, the best that Rs. 8,000 can buy.
Thankfully, the Moto E 4G arrived at GizBot and we used it to our best and to its best capacity. Therefore, here is vivid story of how Moto E 4G went past us leaving quite a lot of things to us. And we can't help but share each and every bit of this tale with you.
Build and Design
Let's face it, the Moto E 4G is a plastic built phone, but pass no judgement already, now that we have used it and seen it under micro-to-macro lenses, it is quite a cute device in its own way. Although, the shape of the device is close to its predecessor, what makes this device special in terms of design is the removable or swappable border.
This means that you can swap the border of the phone to any color of your preference. The body of the phone however is offered only in Black and White matte variants.
Talking about the shape, it's still got a round body feel to it. Although, it's a relatively small device with 12.3mm thickness, it weighs quite heavy at 145 grams.
All the buttons remain at their old location i.e. the unlock button and volume rocker on the right hand edge of the phone. The headphone jack is placed on the top-center and the microUSB port lies at the bottom-center part of the handset.
Very much like a person's signature, Motorola continues to leave a dimpled company logo on the back of the phone just below the camera. What you can see in the back is also the slight change in the camera design. You will surely notice the thick rim around the camera which evidently augments the looks of the phone from the rear angle.
Upfront, the device is similar to the predecessor, with the speaker grill above the increased display. Beside the speaker, you will also see a camera this time around, which we will talk about later. Sadly, the speaker below the screen has been compromised this time for a larger display.
Coming back to the swappable border, it looks pretty and is quite innovative too. It also serves as a protective shell and provides a firm grip to the users. However, the fact that it is built with a flimsy plastic makes it quite delicate. The rear panel doesn't open up and to insert the SIM and microSD cards, you will have to unlatch the border.
The 4.5-inch display has replaced the 4.3-inch seen on the first Moto E. Offering a 960x540 pixel resolution (245ppi) the IPS LCD display also is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It's not a waterproof phone but to save it from liquid spillages, the company has offered oleophobic coating. Although, the resolution and pixel density in terms of numbers are very less, it can successfully produce crisp app icons. Interestingly, the images also appear pretty decent.
Power and Processor
The Moto E 4G is a reinvented device in terms of power and processor. The new 1.2Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor replaces the dual-core chipset employed in the older variant. Moreover, it also uses a price-efficient 400 MHz Adreno 306 graphic unit, which makes it a relatively better gaming device among all falling in the corresponding price category.
One of the amazing things that we noticed with this particular device is that it can even run heavy graphic-oriented games like Asphalt 8: Airborne. Although, we did notice some lags, but at the price-point at which it is being offered, it can't even fall in a bargain rate. However, other games with less graphics ran with ease.
If you believe in numbers, the AnTuTu test rated the device with 22928 points. This is not a commendable figure if one has to judge by it but the device is very smooth functioning if compared with others in the same range.
Moreover, the 1GB RAM does all the back-end work which results in a lag free experience while swiveling from one app to the other.
One of the best things about the Motorola devices is that all its devices come with near-stock Android Lollipop. And this being the cheapest in the lot, makes it even more exciting. The Moto E is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. Along comes the native apps such as Moto Alert, Moto Migrate and Moto Assist, which are individually a unique features.
As far as pre-loaded apps are concerned, as you switch on the device, there are no other apps apart from the Google hub, Chrome browser, Camera and Google Play Store. The chubby little smartphone gets its edge also from the latest Android L.
The camera is not a brilliant one. However, the affordable price gives no room for bargain here. Anyway, the 5MP rear snapper and the addition of the front facing VGA shooter are below average in quality. However, compensating the odds in the camera quality, Motorola has added some other advanced features.
You can now adjust the focus and exposure by dragging the focusing bracket around the screen. The below-par dynamic range of the Moto E's pictures is largely solved by its Auto HDR mode. Not to incline towards the harsh criticism, but the camera struggles to capture images in low light conditions, even with the flash turned on.
Images turned out to be very grainy, and motion blurs is quite obvious. The hilarious part comes in when you shoot video. Unbelievably, the phone, which doesn't have HD display can shoot video at 720p at 30 fps. Still the videos are not up to the competition. Moreover, Motorola has even stuffed the Slow-motion HD video capturing option in this device, which attracts a lot of people these days. You will also get a lot of other features like Panorama, Burst modes, and Quick Capture.
Storage and Connectivity
Motorola has offered an 8GB in-built memory in this phone. However, the microSD card slot will allow you to take it up to additional 32GB. This is pretty much a thumbs up part of the device. Anyway out of the 8GB native storage, the user accessible memory would be approximately 3.50GB.
Talking about the connectivity option, one of the main reasons why it's worth buying this phone is because of its connection options. Not just any other option but the 4G LTE. This is certainly the best entry-level smartphone with such connectivity. Other connectivity feats include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, USB microUSB v2.0 and Bluetooth.
Motorola has improved a lot in terms of battery. It has jumped from 1980mAh to 2390mAh battery without making the Moto E larger or heavier. Moreover, courtesy the larger cell, Moto E 4G during its stay with GizBot survived for a close to 3 days on a single charge and that was a regular usage with occasional music and game playing. Making an educated guess, with limited usage the battery can juice the phone for close to 5 days.
Sound and call quality is average and the enormous speaker at the front is pretty loud. However, the audio quality it more treble centric.
At Rs. 8,000 price point, there aren't any smartphone that will offer Android Lollipop, 4G LTE support, and better battery. Motorola has not left any room for bargain from a practical point of view. Despite the poor quality, the company has offered a dual camera this time around and has also overhauled the design of the handset.
If you are looking for a camera-centric device and if you are an avid gamer, this device is not for you. This device can possibly be a great device for people who are in need of fast internet services and are quite active on social media platforms.