Moto E test, the small smartphone that hides its game well

Motorola has not finished with the world of smartphones, far from it, and it proves it to us by regularly releasing new terminals. It was in May that the firm officially lifted the veil on the Moto E , a new mobile classified in the entry-level category and available from us for 119 €. A very attractive price, to be sure, but enough so that we can tell ourselves that the quality is not there. However, that would be wrong.

Because if the Moto E seems small and weak, it has it in its stomach and sometimes even manages to surprise us with its responsiveness. It remains to be seen if that can be enough to be convinced by the Moto E. And guess what, that is precisely the aim of this comprehensive test.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well

The Moto E box

Specifications

Before starting to talk about the user experience, it may be necessary to do a little reminder of the technical specifications of the Moto E, so that everyone is on point. We therefore have for the Moto E:

  • a 4.3-inch screen for a resolution of 960 × 540 pixels (256 ppi);
  • a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, two-core and clocked at 1.2 GHz;
  • an Adreno 302 GPU;
  • 1 GiB of RAM;
  • 4 GB of internal memory;
  • a microSD card slot up to 32 GB;
  • a main lens of 5 megapixels;
  • 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi chips, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, GPS;
  • two SIM card ports;
  • a 1,980 mAh battery;
  • dimensions of 124.8 × 64.8 × 12.3 millimeters;
  • a weight of 142 grams;
  • a price of 119 €.

Apart from that, the Moto E is available in two colors, namely black or white. Its screen has undergone a Gorilla Glass treatment which makes it resistant to splashes and micro-scratches. In addition, we will find above the screen a notification indicator, always useful.

Regarding the box, it obviously contains the Moto E but also a quick start guide accompanied by a small safety booklet. We will find the usual headphones as well as the synchronization cable which will especially allow us to recharge the Moto E. Lack of luck, we will have to do without the AC adapter.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 1

The Moto E box, top view

Design and ergonomics

The design of the Moto E is simple with its speaker and microphone clearly visible on the front. However, the smartphone remains elegant , especially with its soft back which makes the Moto E particularly pleasant to handle… despite its thickness. Because it must be said: 12.3 millimeters, it starts to get thick, and it was not necessary.

On the edges, the Moto E scores a point by displaying few details , since we will only find the headphone jack on the top, the microUSB port on the bottom and two buttons on the right edge: the power button which accompanies that of volume control. Note, however, a small downside concerning these buttons which are a little hard to press. Without claiming superhuman strength either, we would have liked a little more gentleness.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 2

Moto E in all its glory

These buttons are also the only physical ones found on the Moto E, Motorola having preferred to stick only to the touch buttons of Android, and that's good. Finally, all the better, it depends on taste, mind you, and it will be up to you to know if you like buttons or not.

We will therefore not find a cover for the SIM card ports and the microSD card port . To access these, we will indeed have to remove the back of the Moto E which has a little surprise in store for us since it hid a small detail that is important: the Moto E battery is not removable , and it will therefore be necessary to do with the one provided by default, whether we like it or not.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 3

Cannot remove the battery which is too well guarded

With its 4.3-inch screen, the Moto E is not massive and can be used easily with one hand , which tends to get lost a bit, at a time when 5-inch screens are everywhere.

Aesthetically speaking, it will be up to everyone to make their own opinion. But if you want mine, just know that I find it quite pleasing to the eye, even if it's a bit thick. Its back is slightly rounded, which makes it a bit difficult to stay put if you are looking to use it while it is on a table or the like. Well, that's not really how we use our smartphones most often either, eh.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 4

The back of the Moto E is very soft

User experience

Having a smartphone with a good grip is important, but the rest must be interesting. And that's the case. Starting with the screen, which is far from bad.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 5

The Moto E fits in the hand, and that's good

At a time when we hear nothing other than Full HD 1080p with pixels everywhere, we can say that the resolution of 960 × 540 pixels on board the Moto E is perhaps a little too low, but it is not. Because we must not forget that we are dealing with a 4.3-inch screen, and the image displayed by it does not have to be ashamed against other larger and more powerful smartphones .

So of course, the resolution and the pixel density are not everything, since you also have to look at the quality of the rendered image and, again, the Moto E is doing very well, with a sharp and precise image, as well as very beautiful colors . In addition, the brightness of the screen is sufficient for outdoor use, and that's pretty good.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 6

The screen of the Moto E is of very good quality

On the power side, the Moto E is of course not a racehorse with its Snapdragon 200 processor and its unique GiB of RAM. But it does have good resources, however: it is very responsive and didn't keep me waiting to open an app . In addition, it accepts without flinching to run games in 3D which remain just as fluid as on other more high-end smartphones .

From the first days of use, I was also very surprised by the autonomy of the Moto E. Pleasantly surprised, in fact: the battery drains very slowly , and I would have even managed to make it last a whole week- end complete without cutting any service, going as far as asking for a 3G connection and GPS positioning for a whole morning.

Speaking of autonomy, the Moto E includes a battery saver . Concretely, this means that when the battery level is low, the Moto E will automatically cut off some of the most energy-intensive services, in order to last longer. Of course, it is possible to deactivate this feature at any time.

System and applications

The battery saver is not the only feature on board the Moto E: like any terminal that does not have a pure version of Android, the Moto E comes with a small panoply of more or less useful applications that come straight from Motorola. This panoply is however very small, as you will be able to see it for yourself.

Among these applications, we will count in particular Motorola Alert , an application that will allow you to designate certain contacts as emergency contacts, to be called in case of emergency, a call that can be triggered with a simple press of a button, which can always be used in the event of a problem.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 7

Motorola Alert, so you don't die alone in a corner

We will also find Motorola Assist which will allow you to trigger certain actions such as silencing the smartphone as soon as your calendar indicates that you are busy. Practical, Assist also has a night mode, to cut off notifications when you sleep.

Apart from that, the Moto E comes with Motorola Migrate , the Motorola tool that allows, as its name suggests, to migrate your data from your old smartphone, which is very practical so as not to get lost when you change phone.

The camera application is also a little different from what you can see on a Nexus terminal. In particular, no Photo Sphere despite being on Android 4.4, and that's still a shame.

Regarding the quality of the pictures taken, it is good, if we do not get too close. The 5-megapixel sensor allows you to take good photos, but nothing more , and you shouldn't expect to be able to capture small details. Anyway, this may be more than enough for basic use, but I'll let you judge with the few photos that follow, all taken with the Moto E.

Verdict

I was more than surprised with the Moto E. For just € 119, Motorola hits a big blow with an entry-level smartphone that can easily compete with slightly more expensive terminals. Fluid, beautiful and very pleasant to handle, the Moto E can be bought with eyes closed for anyone who wants a good smartphone at a low price.

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Motorola has not finished with the world of smartphones, far from it, and it proves it to us by regularly releasing new terminals. It was in May that the firm officially lifted the veil on the Moto E , a new mobile classified in the entry-level category and available from us for 119 €. A very attractive price, to be sure, but enough so that we can tell ourselves that the quality is not there. However, that would be wrong.

Because if the Moto E seems small and weak, it has it in its stomach and sometimes even manages to surprise us with its responsiveness. It remains to be seen if that can be enough to be convinced by the Moto E. And guess what, that is precisely the aim of this comprehensive test.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well

The Moto E box

Specifications

Before starting to talk about the user experience, it may be necessary to do a little reminder of the technical specifications of the Moto E, so that everyone is on point. We therefore have for the Moto E:

  • a 4.3-inch screen for a resolution of 960 × 540 pixels (256 ppi);
  • a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, two-core and clocked at 1.2 GHz;
  • an Adreno 302 GPU;
  • 1 GiB of RAM;
  • 4 GB of internal memory;
  • a microSD card slot up to 32 GB;
  • a main lens of 5 megapixels;
  • 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi chips, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, GPS;
  • two SIM card ports;
  • a 1,980 mAh battery;
  • dimensions of 124.8 × 64.8 × 12.3 millimeters;
  • a weight of 142 grams;
  • a price of 119 €.

Apart from that, the Moto E is available in two colors, namely black or white. Its screen has undergone a Gorilla Glass treatment which makes it resistant to splashes and micro-scratches. In addition, we will find above the screen a notification indicator, always useful.

Regarding the box, it obviously contains the Moto E but also a quick start guide accompanied by a small safety booklet. We will find the usual headphones as well as the synchronization cable which will especially allow us to recharge the Moto E. Lack of luck, we will have to do without the AC adapter.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 1

The Moto E box, top view

Design and ergonomics

The design of the Moto E is simple with its speaker and microphone clearly visible on the front. However, the smartphone remains elegant , especially with its soft back which makes the Moto E particularly pleasant to handle… despite its thickness. Because it must be said: 12.3 millimeters, it starts to get thick, and it was not necessary.

On the edges, the Moto E scores a point by displaying few details , since we will only find the headphone jack on the top, the microUSB port on the bottom and two buttons on the right edge: the power button which accompanies that of volume control. Note, however, a small downside concerning these buttons which are a little hard to press. Without claiming superhuman strength either, we would have liked a little more gentleness.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 2

Moto E in all its glory

These buttons are also the only physical ones found on the Moto E, Motorola having preferred to stick only to the touch buttons of Android, and that's good. Finally, all the better, it depends on taste, mind you, and it will be up to you to know if you like buttons or not.

We will therefore not find a cover for the SIM card ports and the microSD card port . To access these, we will indeed have to remove the back of the Moto E which has a little surprise in store for us since it hid a small detail that is important: the Moto E battery is not removable , and it will therefore be necessary to do with the one provided by default, whether we like it or not.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 3

Cannot remove the battery which is too well guarded

With its 4.3-inch screen, the Moto E is not massive and can be used easily with one hand , which tends to get lost a bit, at a time when 5-inch screens are everywhere.

Aesthetically speaking, it will be up to everyone to make their own opinion. But if you want mine, just know that I find it quite pleasing to the eye, even if it's a bit thick. Its back is slightly rounded, which makes it a bit difficult to stay put if you are looking to use it while it is on a table or the like. Well, that's not really how we use our smartphones most often either, eh.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 4

The back of the Moto E is very soft

User experience

Having a smartphone with a good grip is important, but the rest must be interesting. And that's the case. Starting with the screen, which is far from bad.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 5

The Moto E fits in the hand, and that's good

At a time when we hear nothing other than Full HD 1080p with pixels everywhere, we can say that the resolution of 960 × 540 pixels on board the Moto E is perhaps a little too low, but it is not. Because we must not forget that we are dealing with a 4.3-inch screen, and the image displayed by it does not have to be ashamed against other larger and more powerful smartphones .

So of course, the resolution and the pixel density are not everything, since you also have to look at the quality of the rendered image and, again, the Moto E is doing very well, with a sharp and precise image, as well as very beautiful colors . In addition, the brightness of the screen is sufficient for outdoor use, and that's pretty good.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 6

The screen of the Moto E is of very good quality

On the power side, the Moto E is of course not a racehorse with its Snapdragon 200 processor and its unique GiB of RAM. But it does have good resources, however: it is very responsive and didn't keep me waiting to open an app . In addition, it accepts without flinching to run games in 3D which remain just as fluid as on other more high-end smartphones .

From the first days of use, I was also very surprised by the autonomy of the Moto E. Pleasantly surprised, in fact: the battery drains very slowly , and I would have even managed to make it last a whole week- end complete without cutting any service, going as far as asking for a 3G connection and GPS positioning for a whole morning.

Speaking of autonomy, the Moto E includes a battery saver . Concretely, this means that when the battery level is low, the Moto E will automatically cut off some of the most energy-intensive services, in order to last longer. Of course, it is possible to deactivate this feature at any time.

System and applications

The battery saver is not the only feature on board the Moto E: like any terminal that does not have a pure version of Android, the Moto E comes with a small panoply of more or less useful applications that come straight from Motorola. This panoply is however very small, as you will be able to see it for yourself.

Among these applications, we will count in particular Motorola Alert , an application that will allow you to designate certain contacts as emergency contacts, to be called in case of emergency, a call that can be triggered with a simple press of a button, which can always be used in the event of a problem.

Moto E Test The Small Smartphone That Hides Its Game Well 7

Motorola Alert, so you don't die alone in a corner

We will also find Motorola Assist which will allow you to trigger certain actions such as silencing the smartphone as soon as your calendar indicates that you are busy. Practical, Assist also has a night mode, to cut off notifications when you sleep.

Apart from that, the Moto E comes with Motorola Migrate , the Motorola tool that allows, as its name suggests, to migrate your data from your old smartphone, which is very practical so as not to get lost when you change phone.

The camera application is also a little different from what you can see on a Nexus terminal. In particular, no Photo Sphere despite being on Android 4.4, and that's still a shame.

Regarding the quality of the pictures taken, it is good, if we do not get too close. The 5-megapixel sensor allows you to take good photos, but nothing more , and you shouldn't expect to be able to capture small details. Anyway, this may be more than enough for basic use, but I'll let you judge with the few photos that follow, all taken with the Moto E.

Verdict

I was more than surprised with the Moto E. For just € 119, Motorola hits a big blow with an entry-level smartphone that can easily compete with slightly more expensive terminals. Fluid, beautiful and very pleasant to handle, the Moto E can be bought with eyes closed for anyone who wants a good smartphone at a low price.

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