The Moto E launched last year was not a super great phone in any way. However, its existence allows customers with limited budget to own a capable smartphone. The original Moto E has every basic thing you need for a smartphone and this year, Motorola steps up the game by offering even more on the new Moto E. The processor, storage capacity, connectivity options and display size received an upgrade.
The new Moto E will be supporting 4G LTE, which is nice to see in entry-level devices like this. I guess that LTE support will be adopted in almost all kinds of smartphones in 2015, regardless of the price range. The new Moto E has a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, which is quite a significant upgrade from the dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor found on the old Moto E (2014). The GPU used in the Moto E with LTE is Adreno 306. There is also a 3G version of Moto E which is powered by quad core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor with Adreno 302 GPU. The rest of the upgrades will be found in the 3G model, anyway.
The amount of RAM is kept at 1GB but the storage has been increased from 4GB to 8GB. As 8GB is unlikely to store all of our stuff, up to 32GB of MicroSD card is supported. The display size has been increased from 4.3 inch to 4.5 inches, not a big difference here, but the resolution is kept at 960×540. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is not omitted and you can have less worry on scratching the display.
The rear camera is still a 5MP shooter, but at least it is not the fixed-focus camera found on the old model. A VGA front camera is added and we would accept it happily as there is none found on the previous Moto E. With all the upgrades, you might fear that the battery life will take a toll. Luckily, Motorola still promises a whole-day battery life by packing in a larger battery rated at 2,390mAh. It is a little funny when you found out that this little brother has a larger battery than the flagship, Moto X.
The second generation Moto E is running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. Unlike other entry-level devices, Motorola will deliver software updates to the Moto E. Since Motorola did live up to the promise on upgrading the first Moto E to Lollipop, there is no need to worry about being forgotten. Motorola also packed in its home brew features such as Moto Display which can be used to view notifications quickly without unlocking the phone. The software is really a reason that why the Moto E should be considered.
The design of the new Moto E is still chubby like its predecessor. The bezels and the body are quite thick, but these are not unexpected with devices of its class. Coming in black and white only, you can customize the Moto E by changing the bands surrounding the frame. Different colours of bands will be available to suit your taste. The removable band is where you access the SIM card and microSD card slots.
The 4G model of second generation Moto E is priced at $149 (RM540) while the 3G variant is selling at $119 (RM 430). The price is really low and this is totally unthinkable few years ago. Certainly, it is not a great performer at all, but packing everything a basic user needs in an affordable package is a nice thing to see. The Moto E might not do anything you want, but it has everything you need.
The other competitors from China like Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Meizu m1 Note mini are slightly cheaper and the specifications are better. Is Moto E doomed at launch? This is unlikely as these Chinese smartphones are not available in Western markets where the Moto E is targeting. The clean software and promised timely updates on the Moto E is a major selling point too. With different strengths and no direct competition in the same market, the new Moto E is still a budget-friendly device that many will consider.