Moto E Hands-on: The End of Dumb Phones?

This player is used on Facebook and anytime it's embedded outside of our sites.

Smartphones might seem ubiquitous to your average technophile, but about 45 percent of Americans are still packing feature phones in their pockets. That might soon change, however, thanks to budget-friendly handsets like Motorola’s new Moto E. Available on Amazon and Motorola.com for $129 unlocked, the 4.3-inch Moto E is a full-featured smartphone for the price.

When you first pick up the Moto E, you tend to notice its rather chunky design. At 4.9 x 2.6 x 0.48 inches and weighing 5.0 ounces, the Moto E is a bit thicker than the 4.5-inch Moto G and 4.7-inch Moto X. Still, the Moto E feels exceptionally sturdy. And with its Corning Gorilla Glass display and water-resistant chassis, the Moto E should be able to handle some rough treatment.

MORE: Best Smartphones 2014

sam 0721 600x400

The Moto E comes with your choice of a black or white chassis. If you want to add some panache to the smartphone, you can opt for one of Motorola’s available color Shells for $14.99. Want some additional grip? Motorola is also offering a Shell with enhanced grip for $19.99.

In terms of specs, the Moto E gets a 4.3-inch, 960 x 540-pixel resolution display, dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. There’s also a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1,980 mAh battery pack. Although those specs pale in comparison to those found in today’s flagship smartphones, they should prove more than adequate for the first-time smartphone users Motorola is aiming for. 

We did notice some slowdown when trying to shoot photos with the Moto E’s camera, especially when going from shot to shot. The Moto E also lacks a 4G LTE antenna, so you’ll be locked into 3G. That said, some users may see 4G-like speeds via the phone’s HSPA+ capability.

sam 0726 600x400

Like all of Motorola’s Moto handsets, the 4.3-inch Moto E offers a pure Android experience. But unlike many of the low-cost handsets in its class, the Moto E comes loaded with the latest and greatest version of Google’s mobile OS, Android 4.4.2. What’s more, Motorola promises that Moto E users will get at least one major Android update beyond KitKat, something that’s almost unheard of for a low-cost smartphone.

Motorola is pushing its new Moto Alert app as an integral part of the Moto E experience. The app’s Emergency option lets you automatically make an emergency call to a trusted contact to let them know that you’re in trouble. Alternatively, you can choose to set off an alarm on your handset.

sam 0727 600x400

The app’s Meet Me feature lets you quickly text your location to a saved contact to make. If you’re on the go, the app’s Follow Me setting lets you periodically update a specific contact about your exact location. If you don’t grab a Moto E, have no fear. Motorola says its Alert app will be available for download through the Google Play store for other handsets in the near future.

At $129, the Motorola Moto E is a steal of a smartphone. It looks like the dumphone is officially on notice.

AUTHOR BIO
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Daniel P. Howley on
Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. Joena Says:

    Moto E really good . it can grow its popularity very quickly. Moto E filled with new technology . user can use it with excitement…. thanks

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE