Motorola Moto E review: Have a break!

GSMArena team, 14 June 2014.
Pages: 12345678910

Tags: Motorola, Android

Unboxing the Motorola Moto E

Motorola, just like with Moto G, is selling the Moto E in a very tiny retail box, which houses only the phone itself and a USB cable. There is no wall charger, nor is there a headset. Whatever you need more, you'll have to buy one.

Motorola Moto E Motorola Moto E
Moto E's retail box

Surely, the retail package contents may vary across different markets. In our case, we picked up our Moto E from a retail store in the UK so our observations would certainly be valid there.

Motorola Moto E 360-degree view

Moto E spreads at 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm and weighs 142g - a footprint very similar to Moto G's but 5mm shorter and a gram lighter.

Design, build quality and handling

Motorola Moto E utilizes a clean, simplistic design, which however lacks any character whatsoever. That's not to say that the Moto E is bad-looking, but it completely fails to grab the eye in any way.

Motorola Moto E Motorola Moto E Motorola Moto E
Motorola Moto E

The entire front is covered by a protective glass, and in Moto E's case that's the latest generation Gorilla Glass 3. The removable rear cover is made of matte plastic which isn't prone to fingerprints and smudges. Finally, there is the glossy framing bordering the display, which might not be helping for a good grip, but surely looks nice.

Unfortunately, the Moto E build quality is not up to very high standards. The different parts and panels just don't seem to fit like it should.

The rear cover, for instance, fails to fit the middle section properly and not only does it give out the occasional creaks and squeaks, but it also moves around a bit under your fingers, which leaves a rather cheap impression.

A second example is the way the middle section fits around the front panel. The translucent frame we mentioned earlier has a substantial gap that allows all sorts of dirt and whatnot enter there and it's a rather tricky place to clean.

Being a 4.3" smartphone puts the Moto E in the pocket-friendly category. It isn't thick or bulky, yet its 142 grams would have made for a solid feel in your hand if it wasn't for the flimsy battery cover.

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Handling the Moto E

Display

The Motorola Moto e 4.3" qHD display isn't among the best units we've seen, but it's certainly among the best this price bracket has on offer. The pixel density is 256ppi, which qualifies for a sharp enough images and easy reading.



The display is not that bright, but to make matters worse, its surface is very reflective.

The viewing angles are good with acceptable color washing, though the reflectiveness gets in the way of the viewing experience if you are not looking at the screen straight on.

Disregarding the effect of the reflectivity, the display panel's contrast turned out very good thanks to the deep blacks.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Motorola Moto E 0.27 278 1024 0.49 522 1062
Nokia X 0.39 247 637 0.64 461 715
Nokia XL 0.33 251 752 0.53 466 874
Nokia Lumia 520 - - - 0.51 422 834
Motorola Moto G 0.35 315 906 0.57 550 967
Sony Xperia C 0.18 151 842 0.66 639 962
Sony Xperia M2 0.33 325 989 0.64 643 1000


As we said, the Moto E's display is very reflective and you'll have a hard time in those sunny days.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.950
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.790
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • LG G3
    1.820
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.740
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Samsung Galaxy Core LTE
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.270
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114
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