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Motorola Moto E 2 (2015) review

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Moto E 2 (2015) Video Review
  • Moto E 2 (2015) Video Review
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)
  • Moto E - Camera Focus Screenshot
  • Moto E Geekbench 3
  • Moto E Look Up
  • Moto E Square
  • Moto E Bike
  • Moto E Grip Shell
  • Moto E Asphalt
  • Moto E Alert
  • Moto E Assist
  • Moto E Migrate
  • Moto E Geekbench 3 sq
  • battery drain over time

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Superb battery life
  • Fun, customisable design
  • Good build quality
  • Bloatware-free and fast

Cons

  • Average cameras
  • Screen could be better

Best Deals for Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)

  • amazon
  • ebay

Key Features

  • 4.5-inch 960 x 540 IPS screen
  • Android 5.0
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor
  • 2,390mAh battery
  • 8GB memory with micro SD support up to 32GB
  • Front-facing VGA camera
  • Manufacturer: Motorola
  • Review Price: £109.00

What is the Motorola Moto E (2015)?

The Moto E (2015) is an updated version of Motorola’s popular budget smartphone that has some noteworthy improvements. One is a new design, another is a larger screen, but the best is that it now includes 4G LTE for faster internet and video streaming on the go.

For less than £100 PAYG (or £109 SIM-free) you get a solid and stylish smartphone that borrows some of the key features from Motorola’s high-end devices and has outstanding battery life. There are plenty of good cheap Android smartphones these days, but these updates ensure the Moto E 2 remains one of the most attractive options.

Watch our Moto E video review

SEE ALSO: Best Cheap Smartphones

Motorola Moto E (2015) – Screen

At a time when phone manufacturers are creating phones that make bold and flashy statements, the Moto E takes a different route. Rather than shouting about how great it is, the look and feel of the Moto E warmly invites you to pick it up and have a play, and it feels great in the hand.

The body is a smooth, durable matte plastic and it comes in black or white. But what gives the design some flair are the optional Grip Shells and Motorola Bands that fit around the edges. There are currently six colour bands available – Red, Turquoise, Raspberry, Blue, Golden Yellow and Purple – priced at £14.99 for three. The Grip shells come in Golden Yellow, Charcoal, Turquoise, Blue and Raspberry for £14.99 each.

One of the great things about the Grip Shells is you can stick photos or graphics between their clear surface and the back of the phone, creating a truly personal handset. We don’t know if this was an intended use of the shells, but it’s pretty easy to do and the results are decent.

SEE ALSO: 13 Best Smartphones and Mobile Phones

Moto E Grip Shell

But besides the grips and bands, not too much else has changed physically, at least not at first glance. Look closely, however, and you’ll notice the Moto 2015 is slightly taller and wider than last year’s phone. This is to accommodate its bigger 4.5-inch 540 x 960-pixel display, so we’re not complaining about that. Another side effect is the speaker below the screen has been removed – it’s cleverly built into the earpiece now.

Measuring 12.3mm at its thickest point, the Moto E looks a little chunky, but its curves and the rubberised band make it nice to handle. The build quality is pretty decent as well, and the Moto E’s screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. Once the preserve of higher-end phones, the tough and shock-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 should protect the Moto E from general drops and scratches.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Moto Z

You can’t remove the back cover of the phone, meaning the battery is inaccessible. However, Motorola states that the Moto E has p2i nano-coating, which along with the closed enclosure design of the phone, should offer some basic water resistance, even more so if used with a Grip Shell cover. But we wouldn’t expect this phone to survive being submerged in water, as it doesn’t carry a water-resistant rating like the Samsung Galaxy S5 does.

Internal storage has been doubled from 4GB to 8GB and you can increase that further using an external microSD card, up to 32GB. One significant improvement in the 2nd generation Moto E is the ability to easily transfer games and apps to the external micro SD storage, so you don’t have to clog up the phone’s internal memory.

See also: Best Android Phones and Smartphones

Motorola Moto E (2015) – Screen

The 4.5-inch, 245ppi (pixels per inch) screen on the 2nd-gen Moto E is about as good as last year’s model, but then last year’s model cost £80 SIM-free and this year’s is £110. The Honor Holly, which costs about the same, has a 5-inch 720p screen that’s larger and sharper. The competition is stronger than ever.

We wouldn’t describe the screen as poor, though – characters and icons are still clear and only appear a little jagged if you look closely. Images and web pages look good for the most part, and colours are reproduced faithfully and without oversaturation.

Contrast is one area where the Moto E could improve, though – the screen is a little flat, and in bright light it’s tough to use, even at full brightness. This is most obvious when watching videos or viewing photos, and a smaller screen isn’t ideal for them either.

All this ignores the fact the Honor Holly doesn’t have 4G, though. The Moto E (2015) does, so you’re essentially trading 4G for a slightly inferior screen. If you want a better screen and 4G, consider the new 4G version of the Moto G (2014). It's more expensive, but still great value.

Best Deals for Motorola Moto E 2 (2015)

  • amazon
  • ebay

chancooluk

March 17, 2015, 6:48 pm

"The camera struggles to capture anything particularly usable in low light, even with the flash turned on"

How did you turn on the flash when there is no hardware flash present? It's ever likely it didn't help capture more detail in the low light scenes...

9/10 seems very high for a device which is as expensive as the original moto g (even the 1st gen Moto G 4G can be had for £99), but worse in almost every way.

Islam

October 3, 2015, 9:12 pm

Vodafone smart Ultra 6 is a better choice it beats Motorola Moto e and moto G

Ohmz

November 8, 2015, 3:18 pm

I bought this phone yesterday and I'm returning it today.

This phone is slower than my Acer Z220 which it was replacing.

That's amazing considering that phone is as low end as it gets.

What a let down.

thejumpingsheep

December 6, 2015, 6:56 am

Im not sure what the comments below are talking about. I love this phone (Moto e 2nd LTE) , not because its lightening fast and full of bells and whistles, but because of value. This thing is readily available here in the US for about $40 which is about $35 Euro. That is an absolute steal for this phone. Why anyone wants a high end phone is beyond my 160 IQ and my multiple science degrees. Games on phone suck and all the apps suck worse (outside the basics that normally come with the phone). Phone cameras are also horrible and not worth the money (for said feature) compared to even the low end stand alone camera so again, this is a stupid thing to consider.

So if all phone cameras suck, apps suck, and games suck, whats the point aside form surfing the web and the occasional game while in the bathroom? There isnt a point and any smart phone from the last 10 years can do the basics just fine. People are just tools.

This phone does all the basics and does it much better than older phone and the price is right. It can even play modern phone games (for whatever thats worth).

thejumpingsheep

December 6, 2015, 7:03 am

huh? Im not into phone but just 10 seconds on google let me know that you have no idea what you are talking about. The Z220 uses a snapdragon 200 chip... the moto e 2nd (2015) uses the 410 chip which is easily twice as fast. The battery is also worse and it has no 4g or LTE and the screen is worse. On top of all that, the Moto e 2nd LTE versions can be found easily for about $40.

thejumpingsheep

December 6, 2015, 7:06 am

Yes but its about 200% more expensive.

Islam

December 6, 2015, 9:49 am

vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is £115. its £45 extra then Moto E.
or you can get Vodafone prime £75

ElfirBFG

December 17, 2015, 1:27 am

Bloatware-free and fast

I don't know where you get 'fast' from, this phone is the furthest thing from 'fast'. Waking from the lock screen is a pain, as it often jumps to the homescreen and then back to the lock screen. Apps, even ones already in RAM, take anywhere from 5-30 seconds to open.

Bluetooth on this device is the absolute worst. Unless the phone is on Airplane Mode, BT cuts in and out constantly, and even on Airplane it skips if you're using the screen. My headphones work flawlessly with my NUC(HTPC), desktop, and GS3, so it's definitely the Moto E.

No gripes with the camera, as it's a low-end device, so I wasn't expecting much.

The screen is alright, although I feel a 720P panel would be better, as the visible pixels on the qHD make it look like linen.

The battery is great, but it better be given the amount of Screen-On Time this phone wastes by being so bloody slow.

I'd owned a Moto G(1G), so I thought I'd love this phone given the similar specs with added LTE and mSD slot. Was I ever wrong. Considering I could have had a used Moto X(1G) for about $50 more than the E, I really regret my purchase. I would rather live with only 16GB of storage than with this phone. Over the years I've had a SLVR(L7), A780, Atrix, RAZR, and Moto G, all of which were fantastic for their time/specs, I can say without a doubt that the sour taste left by the E will prevent me from ever buying another Motorola product. Hell, I might even jump to iOS because of this experience. Hopefully something comes along to change my mind before my uprgrade in July(or I pay my early upgrade fee), but I certainly won't be saving the E as a backup device, I will be taking great joy in smashing it against a hard surface, repeatedly.

Ended up replacing with a Moto X Play. Night and day.

Bobby Mo

January 5, 2016, 11:39 pm

I found that disabling Wi-Fi stops Bluetooth from cutting in and out.

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