Motorola Moto E £89 smartphone – a solid, budget performer with just a few compromises

Motorola Moto E £89 smartphone - a solid, budget performer with just a few compromises

Motorola is aiming to grab a bigger slice of the budget smartphone market with the release of the £89 Moto G – a fully fledged smartphone running the latest version of Android (4.4).

Motorola Moto E £89 smartphone - a solid, budget performer with just a few compromises

Bought by Google last year (and soon to be hived off to Lenovo), Motorola scored a big hit with last year’s Moto G, a £135 budget handset that matched phones nearly twice its price .

This time, Motorola are aiming even further down the budget scale, with the similarly looking Moto G trying to tempt the wallets of the cash-strapped.

Weighing 142g and relatively slim at  64.8 x 124.8 x 12.3mm, the Moto E packs a 4.3in screen supporting a modest 540 x 960 qHD display, which isn’t great but about par for the course at this price point.

That said, the Gorilla Glass-covered screen is better than many of its rivals, with good colour saturation and crisp and clear enough for most uses.

Motorola Moto E £89 smartphone - a solid, budget performer with just a few compromises

Powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, the Moto E comes with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage expendable to 32GB via a microSD slot. Performance is impressive for the price point, with all but the most demanding games being playable (save the occasional stutter).

Conveniently for the butter fingered, the Moto E has a P2i nano waterproof coating, making it water repellent and splash proof, but we wouldn’t strap it on if you’re about to dive into the sea.

The sole 5-megapixel rear camera is where the budget price reveals itself with the camera struggling to capture detail, but it’s decent enough for everyday use, although it’s a  particularly poor performer in low light.

Motorola Moto E £89 smartphone - a solid, budget performer with just a few compromises

Verdict:

For the price, the Moto E is an impressive performer, offering a decent level of build quality, reasonably snappy user experience and a good battery life.

The lack of a front facing camera will upset selfie fans, and the substandard 5MP snapper may prove problematic for some some users, as might the limited storage.

Even with these shortcomings, the Moto E represents excellent value for money and one to consider for people looking to upgrade to their first smartphone – or perhaps for outdoor types needing a second phone for work or the festival season.

The Moto E pretty much covers all you’ll need for every day use, although we’d still recommend shelling out the extra £30 or so for the Moto G though. Now that is a remarkable phone.

Operating system
Android™ 4.4, KitKat®

Processor
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 200 with 1.2GHz dual-core A7 CPU Adreno 302 400MHz single-core GPU

Capacity
4GB user storage
MicroSD slot supports up to 32GB expandable memory 1GB RAM

Dimensions and weight
Height: 124.8mm
Width: 64.8mm
Depth: 12.3mm (6.2mm at edges)
Weight: 142g
Display
4.3 inches
540 x 960 qHD, 256ppi
Features anti-smudge coating and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

Connectivity
MicroUSB, supports USB 2.0
3.5 mm headset jack
Micro SIM
Battery
Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion, 1980mAh
Mixed usage up to 24 hours

Rear camera
5 MP

Video capture and playback
Capture 30fps FWVGA (MP4, H.264, H.263)
Up to 720p playback capable FWVGA (MP4, H.264, VC-1, WMV-9, DivX 4/5/6)
Audio playback
AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, PCM,
FLAC, MIDI, QCELP, EVRC, OGG/Vorbis

Networks
UMTS 850/900/1900/2100
AWS 850/1700/1900 (2100) + QGSM 850/900/1800/19000
GSM 850/900/1800/1900
CDMA 800/850/1900

Wi-Fi
802.11 b/g/n, 2.4GHz
Bluetooth® Technology
Version 4.0 LE
Location services
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou

In the box*
Moto E in black or white
USB cable
Quick start guide