It doesn't seem like it was long ago that everyone was excited by rumors of a new Motorola phone after Google's short-lived acquisition of the company in May 2012. Motorola had long been known as a company that introduced their own custom interface onto Android which users felt offered little benefit in return for the performance impact it had on their devices. After their acquisition by Google it was hoped that Motorola would offer an experience closer to that of Google's Nexus devices. Those wishes came true, and Motorola has since been creating devices that are very close to stock Android with only minor modifications which, for the most part, are generally seen as helpful. Motorola also made a move for the mid-end segment of the market with the Moto G which offered users a formidable smartphone relative to its price.

Today Motorola has continued along their new path by introducing the Moto E, the most inexpensive device in their new lineup of smartphones.

Motorola's Smartphone Lineup
  Motorola Moto E Motorola Moto G Motorola Moto X
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 (MSM8x10)
2x ARM Cortex A7 at 1.2GHz
Adreno 302 at 400MHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
4x ARM Cortex A7 at 1.2 GHz
Adreno 305 at 450MHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (MSM8960Pro)
2x Krait 300 at 1.7 GHz
Adreno 320 at 400MHz
Motorola X8 System (SoC+NLP Processor+Contextual Processor)
Display 4.3" 960x540 LCD 4.5" 1280x720 IPS LCD 4.7" 1280x720 RGB Stripe AMOLED
Network 2G / 3G (MSM8x10 21.1Mbps HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100MHz or 850/1700/1900/2100MHz) 2G / 3G (Qualcomm MSM8x26 21.1Mbps HSDPA) 2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x15 UE Category 4 LTE)
Dimensions 124.38 x 64.8 x 12.3mm, 142g 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm, 143g 129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4 mm, 130g
Camera 5MP (2592 х 1944) Rear Facing 5MP (2592 х 1944) Rear Facing w/ 1.4µm pixels and F/2.4 aperture

1.3MP Front Facing
10 MP (4320x2432) Clear Pixel (RGBC) Rear Facing w/ 1.4µm pixels and F/2.4 aperture

2MP 1080p Front Facing
Battery 1980 mAh (7.52 Whr) 2070 mAh (7.87 Whr) 2200 mAh (8.36 Whr)
OS Android 4.4.2 Android 4.4.2 Android 4.4.2
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS 802.11 b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, DLNA, NFC
SIM Size Micro-SIM (Dual SIM SKU) Micro-SIM Nano-SIM

The Moto E sports a similar design to the other smartphones in Motorola's lineup with a rounded plastic design and a lip at the top for the 3.5mm headphone jack. Similar to the Moto G, customers will be able to swap out the back cover for ones of many different colors which adds a level of customization to the phone's design. I hope that Motorola has not compromised on the quality of construction to attain such a low price point; the Moto G felt exceptionally well crafted given its cost.

On the face of the device we have a 960x540 qHD display. Motorola isn't being forthcoming with whether or not this is an IPS panel, although they do confirm that it is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. To attain its low price point the Moto E does not come with a front facing camera. There is also a large front facing speaker along the bottom of the device. On the back we have the 5MP camera which is capable of FWVGA (854x480) video recording, and the indented Motorola logo that has become standard across Motorola's new devices.

Inside the device we have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 200 platform with two Cortex A7 cores running at 1.2GHz and an Adreno 302 GPU at 400MHz. On the cellular side the device supports 21.1Mbps HSDPA on bands 1, 2, 5, and 8 for the North American and European versions and bands 1, 2, 4, and 5 in Latin America. A special SKU with support for dual SIM cards will also be available in certain markets with support for dual SIM standby. The device packs a 7.52 Whr battery and Motorola is promising that it will be capable of lasting you the day on a single charge. The device ships with only 4GB of NAND (only 2.2GB of which is available to the user) but to compensate Motorola has included a MicroSD card slot for up to 32GB of storage expansion.

Motorola is marketing this as the smartphone to kill the dumbphone and they have set up a website which encourages users to tell their friends still using flip phones to make the switch. The website states "Life before mobile apps should be a thing of the past. Introducing the Moto E. Made to last. Priced for all." It really is something to see such a capable device at a price accessable to the masses. It was only a few years ago that hardware of this capability was reserved for the fastest and most expensive of smartphones.

The Moto E comes with Android 4.4.2 out of the box. It is available now in the US and India for $129 USD and 6999 Rs respectively, with Motorola planning to launch in over 40 countries in the coming weeks.

Source: Official Motorola Blog

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  • rseiler - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    A G for $150 in Canada? Maybe you mean with a contract? If so, that's not a straight comparison.
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Nope you can get it $150 outright on Virgin Mobile prepaid. Sometimes if you're lucky you can can a refurb from Koodo/Telus for $75 too.
  • rseiler - Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - link

    Right, I forgot about the 8GB version that doesn't work on some carriers (even if unlocked), since I'd been looking at the 16GB one (that works on all carriers) for so long. That one's even $200 on (not that Canadians can order from there).
  • CrystalBay - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Motorola seems to be marketing this phone as a semi rugged phone. I think that has something to do with its dimensions.
  • rseiler - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Probably worth adding to the chart: no camera flash
  • PubFiction - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - link

    Killing the dumb phone has nothing to do with the cost of phones. Afterall almost anyone can get a smart phone free on contract and low end smart phones of this caliber are easily less than $100 on ebay or craigs list.

    The problem is that carriers will not activate smart phones without data plans. So what good is a super cheap smart phone?
  • wumpus - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    From what I can tell (not yet a customer), Republic Wireless carries the Moto G (and presumably will carry the E soon) and has some seriously low cost data plans. $10/month voice only (data from wifi) or $25/month voice & data (throttling after 6G/month data, aggressively uses wifi). Other gottchas:
    VOIP phone (I expect to see more of this), uses data not voice. Expect some wierdness.
    Locked phone. Between the voip and the aggressive wifi use, the phone isn't standard. I don't know if rooting it and using CyanogenMod is an option, but I wouldn't count on it.
    WiFi use. If this is a problem, don't use Republic. The system is built on cheaping out on wireless use, so don't try to get around it. You get certain amount of leeway in the 6G limit, but only so much.

    The only other data plan that looks less than predatory is from of all places, Tracphone (I think, might be a walmart specific plan). While there is very little else to recommend about tracphone, they sell data in 2G chunks (which didn't expire the last I looked). The big catch is that while they claim to let you "bring your phone", don't count on being able to find an unlocked *and* *useable* CDMA phone (maybe you can get a moto E CDMA+LTE unlocked and free to use yet, didn't look plausible). Right now they are using phones that just can't compete with the new Moto E&G phones.

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