Motorola Moto E hands-on and first impressions


Motorola has set the cat among the pigeons once again. After setting new benchmarks for smartphones priced under Rs 15,000 with the Moto G, it is all set to change the experience first time smartphone users can have without having to spend a fortune. The Moto E is all about giving the best user experience at a budget. While other tier one smartphone vendors have a token presence in the sub-Rs 7,000 price point, Motorola is ensuring users get the things they demand the most — good hardware, a snappy and pure Android user interface, stylish and sturdy build quality along with the promise of future Android updates. I got to spend some time with the Moto E and here are my first impressions.

The Moto E is nothing like any other Android smartphone currently available at this price. Instead of the patchwork you see from other brands that cut corners wherever possible, the Moto E is a smartphone even I won’t mind being seen using. It is a well designed product with a curved back that feels natural to hold and premium quality plastic back cover. Even at this price point, it feels like a product on which the design and engineering teams have spent a lot of time, which is something you get only on similarly priced Nokia devices. The Moto E neither looks, nor feels cheap.

On the front, there is a 4.3-inch qHD display, which is again a new benchmark for a smartphone from a tier one vendor. The display is crisp though the viewing angles aren’t stunning but that’s something we are willing to overlook considering phones from Samsung and others at this price point have a WVGA display at best, with even worse viewing angles.

Motorola-Moto-E-Like always, Motorola has kept the UI clean and as close to pure Android as possible.  The advantage is that even with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 dual-core processor, the Moto E is snappy. Screen transitions are fluid and there is no bloatware or unnecessary animations anywhere. This should come as a wakeup call for others who tend to “differentiate” their phones from others by putting a skin on top that induces UI lag. I’m sure the presence of 1GB of RAM on the Moto E also helps.

The Moto E also has a front firing mono speaker, which was loud enough even in a very noisy room that was crammed with over two dozen people. It has a 1,980mAh non-removable battery, which Motorola claims is good enough to last an entire day. My Moto G regularly lasted me for a day and there is no reason to believe why the Moto E won’t do the same. There is 4GB of internal storage, of which around 2.2GB is accessible to users. There is a microSD card slot as well.

The Moto E runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Motorola is guaranteeing at least one major future Android update, which is again unheard of from any other vendor at this price segment.

Motorola-Moto-E-LogoThe 5-megapixel fixed focus camera is nothing worth writing home about but it did take just about passable shots in the poorly lit area where I used the phone. A flash for the camera would have been ideal but I’m ok with Motorola cutting corners there rather than some of the critical add-ons the phone provides.

Like the Moto G, even the Moto E has nano coating both inside and outside that provides it resistance to accidental water splashes. There are no flaps that need to be covered, unlike solutions from Sony and Samsung. The display is also protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, which again is unheard of at this price point. If Motorola can provide this on a smartphone priced at Rs 6,999, there is no reason why others cannot. And these are features that increase the longevity of the product rather than others that try to “sweeten the deal” by providing free games and apps.

Motorola-Moto-E-7Overall, with the Moto E, Motorola has shown yet again what a smartphone should be all about and other handset vendors should take notice. There is no reason for me to believe why anyone would want any other smartphone in the sub-Rs 10,000 range from a tier one brand. The Moto E goes on sale at midnight on Flipkart priced at Rs 6,999.

Photos: Harshita Rastogi

  • aky_style

    what games do you think off, Moto E can play?
    Or how much heavy apps it can run.. or it can handle anything you throw at it?

    • Vivek Singh

      6999 me bachche ki jaan loge kya

      • ximitri


  • Abhisek

    Its a phone with a price tag of 6999/- , it def can handle more than most of other phones. Standard games should do well. If u want to play graphic intensive games you will need to spend more money. Simple.

  • aky_style

    Whats ur definition of graphically intensive? ?
    Some people consider Temple run as intensive, others think otherwise! !
    Can it play candy crush. ??

    • mrigank

      Temple run is literally nothing, 99% of the handsets can play it at >50 fps..keep in mind that anyhting less than 7k before this phone was complete and utter sh1t has stormed the indian market and taken away the most competitive price points if 10-12k and 6-8k away from money hungry brands like samsung and xperia…

  • Dr. Avinash

    Camera should be autofocus.. big drawback of moto E, but its a great deal bcoz gorilla glass 3.

  • peru

    Am sure it is much better than Sony M which is like almost Double…and also all Samsung phones in 15k range !!! you get a product for 7000 which other brands would have kept for 12+

  • peru

    It not about the specification which MotoE Carries. All the talk is for the price which they accommodated for this specification from a Tier 1 Brand with Gorilla glass 3,Battery,Quallcomm and other high end stuffs

  • ximitri

    Moto E is going to eat all the other phones for breakfast! In your face Samsung! I saw a lot of vidoes on YouTube and by no standard does the phone look cheap or on a budget. The specs are great with a 4.3″ HD display, 1.2GHz dual-core, Android 4.4 Kitkat, 1 GB RAM being the big positives. The phone is heavier by 22 grams compared to the competitors in the same range but I guess that is because of a bigger battery, hopefully it will last a full day without charging. NO auto-focus, LED flash and front facing secondary camera, guess no selfies! I bought this phone on Flipkart last night to replace the Sony Tipo as it has high SAR value. Does anybody know the SAR value of the Moto E?

    • hendry

      not HD display but its qHD (540×960 pixel) resolution

      • ximitri

        My bad. Thanks for the correcting. Learnt something new – qHD.

  • Ashish Yadav

    At Rs 6999, Moto E will have Indian manufacturers worried –

    Like Moto E on facebook –

  • Jester Jester
  • ratheesh

    Received my mobile today. The first impression is good.
    Worth money.