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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen. (a.k.a. Moto E 2015) is a value smartphone with a 4.5-inch touchscreen that runs the Android 5.0 “Lollipop” operating system, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 1.2 GHz quad-core processor in the 4G LTE version. It has 1 GiB of RAM and 8 GiB or 16 GiB storage space, a 5 MP main camera, a VGA frontal camera, and supports two SIM chips in the reviewed model. Let’s see if is a good entry-level smartphone.

As they did with their mainstream Moto G model, Motorola launched an updated version of their value smartphone, the Moto E. It is called Moto E 2nd. Gen or Moto E 2015, since it was launched this year.

The model we tested is the XT1523, which supports 4G LTE and DTV, offers 16 GiB storage space and supports two SIM cards. There are several other models, with only 3G support, no DTV, only one SIM support, and 8 GiB storage, and several combinations of those characteristics.

Figure 1 shows the box of the Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen.

Motorola Moto EFigure 1: box

Inside the box, besides the smartphone, there is a wall charger, USB cable, earphones, three frames (black, cyan, and purple), and the user manual.

Motorola Moto EFigure 2: accessories

Figure 3 reveals the Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen. The front panel is entirely covered by glass (Gorilla Glass 3). There are no physical buttons on the front, just the camera at its top right and one speaker the top.

Motorola Moto EFigure 3: the Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen.

[nextpage title=”Overall Look – Part 1″]

The Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen. 4G LTE we reviewed uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. It has four Cortex-A53 cores, running at 1.2 GHz, and an Adreno 306 GPU. Keep in mind, however, that the 3G version uses a simpler processor: a Snapdragon 200, with four Cortex-A7 cores running at 1.2 GHz, and an Adreno 302 GPU. The phone has 1 GiB of RAM and 16 GiB of internal storage in this version; it can also be found with 8 GiB storage.

The 4.5-inch IPS LCD screen has a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels.

Figure 4 shows the back side of the device. The back cover is not removable. You can see the camera, which has no flash.

Motorola Moto EFigure 4: back side

At the bottom of the phone, there is the Mini-USB/charger connector.

Motorola Moto EFigure 5: bottom

Figure 6 unveils the top side of the Moto E, where you will find the earphone connector.

Motorola Moto EFigure 6: top side

[nextpage title=”Overall Look – Part 2″]

Figure 7 shows the right side of the Moto E 2nd Gen., where the power button and volume adjust buttons are located.

Motorola Moto EFigure 7: right side

There are no buttons or connectors at its left side.

Motorola Moto EFigure 8: left side

Removing the frame that comes around the phone (called Motorola Bands by the manufacturer), the slots for the SIM cards and for the SD memory card are accessible. The model we tested come with three different bands (black, cyan, and purple).

Motorola Moto EFigure 9: frame removed to expose the card slots

[nextpage title=”Using the Moto E 2nd Gen.”]

The Moto E 2nd Gen. is smooth and fast for an entry-level smartphone. The screen size gives a good balance between a big screen and ease to carry the device around.

Being 0.48” (12.3 mm) thick, it is a little thick, but as it is curved at the back, it is comfortable to hold and to carry it in the pocket of your pants.

The quad-core, 1.2 GHz CPU is fast and gives an excellent usage experience.

The 960 x 540 screen resolution seems low when compared to mainstream models, but it is better than most entry-level smartphones, which usually have 800 x 480 screens. The angle of vision is not as good as that of mainstream models, even being an IPS screen.

The phone supports microSD cards up to 32 GiB.

The Android 5.0 operating system the highlight of this phone. Figure 10 shows the initial screen when you turn on the Moto E 2nd Gen. for the first time.

Motorola Moto EFigure 10: main screen

Pressing the icon with the circle with six dots, you enter the list of applications, shown in Figures 11 and 12. The Moto E comes with few preinstalled apps and games, which is nice since you can simply install what you really need.

Motorola Moto EFigure 11: list of applications

Motorola Moto EFigure 12: list of applications

You can install new applications using the Google Play Store, which has thousands of applications and games available.

The smartphone uses a 2,390 mAh lithium battery, which lasts up 24 h of mixed usage, according to the manufacturer.

The Moto E 2nd Gen. has a 5 MP camera, with average quality. The lack of a flash is a problem, but the overall camera quality is not bad for an entry-level smartphone. You can check the quality of unedited photos taken with the device by clicking here and here.

It records videos only at 720p, with no image stabilization.

The front camera has a VGA (640 x 480) resolution, which is only good enough for video chats, not for decent “selfies”.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen. (model XT1523) include:

  • Dimensions: 2.63 x 5.11 x 0.48 inches (66.8 x 129.9 x 12.3 mm)
  • Weight: 5.11 ounces (145 grams)
  • Display: 4.5 inches, 960 x 540, IPS touchscreen
  • Operating System: Android 5.0 (“Lollipop”)
  • Main Processor (CPU): Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, 1.2 GHz, four Cortex-A53 cores
  • Graphics Processor (GPU): Adreno 306, embedded in the CPU
  • RAM: 1 GiB
  • Storage: 16 GiB (there are 8 GiB versions too)
  • Memory Card Slot: yes
  • GPS: yes
  • FM Radio: yes
  • Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, light
  • SIM slots: two micro-SIM
  • Networks: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS/HSPA+ 900/2100 MHz, 4G LTE 800/1800/2100/2600 MHz
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth:  yes, 4.0
  • Rear camera: 5 Mpixel
  • Front camera: VGA
  • Flash: no
  • Battery talk time: not informed
  • Battery: 3.7 V, 2,390 mAh Li Ion, not removable
  • More information: https://www.motorola.com/
  • MRSP in the U.S.: USD 150.00 (4G LTE model)

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The second generation Moto E is a very good entry-level smartphone. Performance, screen, and camera are not bad at all. And it brings support for 4G LTE networks and comes with Android 5.0, which is excellent.

The only problem is its price point: altough the Moto E is a value smartphone, the price of the 4G LTE model is very close to the mainstream model from the same manufacturer, the Moto G, which has better cameras and screen.

Strong Points

  • Good screen quality
  • Supports 4G LTE networks (in the reviewed model)
  • Light and comfortable to carry around
  • Fast and agile
  • Many apps available
  • Up-to-date operating system
  • Front camera for video calls
  • Supports microSD memory card
  • Support for two SIM cards

Weak Points

  • Its cost/benefit ratio is not as good as the Moto G’s
  • Has no flash
  • Do not record movies in Full HD
  • The front camera has poor quality