Motorola E Review: Setting Standards
The Moto X has been one of Motorola’s most successful launches in the past few years, and building on that success, the company has introduced a new entry-level smartphone for consumers looking to save, rather than splurge. Motorola made a commitment to offering low-cost options for consumers, with the idea that the device has now become an essential tool within our society, and anyone that has left their phone at home when heading to work in the morning, knows this to be true. So with Apple and Samsung dominating the high-end markets, Motorola has stepped-up to offer lower-income families and individuals looking for less dazzle in their phones, an option to get things done, without breaking the bank.
That’s the idea anyway but other companies have failed at that endeavor in the past. Finding the perfect mix of performance and pricing changes year-to-year as costs and manufacturing materials alters throughout the world, or as technology advances. At just $129 the Moto E cost a fraction of the price of your standard high-end smartphone, but still manages to offer a lot of key features consumers may be hoping for.
With a lower-cost consumers know they will be trading in high-end features, for barebones pricing, but Motorola is hoping to cut back on the ‘extras’ offered by other companies, and instead, offers just what you need. Or offers what Motorola thinks you need, however you want to look at it.
Stepping away from the ‘large-screen’ trend dominated by the Samsung’s Galaxy line, the Motorola E offers a 4.3-inch qHD screen, safely secured under Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 to keep it safe. A quick overview of the phone reveals a 5-megapixel camera (without a flash) on the back, and there is no front-facing camera on this device. The qHD (960 x 540) has a 256 ppi, if you are moving from a device like an iPhone 5 it will be a dramatic downgrade, but if you are new to the smartphone market (which is the intended demographic in this case) the display hold up rather well, and is very easy on the eyes.
The 1,980mAh battery offers more usage-time than higher-grade phones, due to the reduced features, which could be a terrific selling point for some shoppers. The device has many of the same ports that you would find on a regular high-end phone, the SIM slot is easy to access and a microSD card-slot will allow customers to expand the on-device memory. The microSD slot isn’t exactly an advanced feature as much as it is a hidden cost. The on-device memory caps at 4GB internal storage, which will probably be filled just a day after taking pictures or shopping on the Google Play store. This means you will most likely have to get the microSD card when you buy the phone, which can be anywhere from $30-$75 depending on where and when you buy them.
The dual-core Snapdragon 200 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM are a fitting duo for this device, the UI, apps and menus are all relatively quick to respond, though I don’t think the speed will be dazzling any customer in the long-run. Speaking of speed, the device does not support LTE, though that would be a deal-breaker on other devices, this phone has a much more global demographic in mind, and LTE isn’t exactly a global standard at this point. The hardware runs a very standard form of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which allows the phone to sit at the incredible low-end cost of $130, but offers a solid-showing and quick-response when shuffling through the phone’s settings and features.
In the United States we can easily forget about the conditions in other parts of the world, our companies like AT&T, Google and Apple are in-fact global, but the services, products and advancements that we rely on to run our gadgets aren’t easily accessible in every country. The Motorola E won’t take home any prizes for the phone’s spec-sheet layout, but it is one of the most advanced low-cost options that any company has put forward in the last few years. When it comes to using a phone for life’s new “basics” like social-media, simple photos, internet and emails, the phone is a worthy addition to anyone’s tech-arsenal, and the low price puts those features into the hands of many people that couldn’t afford it before.