It was Moto G 2013 edition which turned Motorola's comeback into an overnight success with its above-average specifications found usually in mid-budget smartphones at twice the cost, and a stock version of Android.
The success made Motorola optimistic about the formulae of bringing in affordable smartphones with a decent user experience and Moto E2 is the latest from their arsenal.
Build and Design
The latest Moto E retains the pebble shaped design of several successful Moto smartphones, with a matte rubberised plastic back and Gorilla Glass 3 front. The design features a new twist by installing an interchangeable rim which can be changed to give it a new look.
The textured rim covers the entire bezel and hides the SIM and Micro SD slots under that. Motorola offers several rims, named as bands, that can be bought to give the phone a new look.
We received the black model for review which looks better than its white variant. We tried few of the bands and found the phone looks cool enough and sits fine with different identities. The band also lends a good grip to the phone but feels a tad feeble once detached.
That apart, we found the design quite impressive. Measuring 140x67x12.3mm, the Moto E2 weighs 145g and feels a bit heavy in hand the curved back makes it easy to hold or just slip inside the pocket.
For the budget smartphone category 720p HD displays has become a common standard and several devices including the latest Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Lenovo A6000 which comes in the similar price bracket offers the same.
Unlike the competitors, the Moto E2 features a qHD 4.5-inch display with a resolution count of 540x960 pixels at a pixel density rate of 245PPI. The display feels fine while reading documents but on the downside, it can sometimes feel a little dim and not as sharp.
The colour level of the display is pretty decent. The interface, notification and icons look pretty crisp and the viewing angle of the display is good too.
Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Undoubtedly the biggest USP of Moto E2 is the operating system version it runs on. Offering Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS out of the box, the device beats most of the competitors since they still run on the predecessor Android Kitkat 4.4.
Android 5.0.2 Lollipop offers a material interface with a logically designed notification system which lets you view and respond even when the device is in locked state. The OS also offers a clutter-free stock camera app and an integrated battery saving mode.
On the security aspect, Lollipop offers SELinux or Security Enhanced Linux which offers data encryption features and also monitors the system and installed apps behaviour.
Interestingly, Moto E2 offers the stock Android interface with the least possible pre-installed apps which lets your preferred apps sit on the system. But Motorola features a few useful apps including Moto Display, Moto Assist and Actions which lets you customize the device according to your lifestyle.
Moto E2 is offered in 2 variants. While the 4G edition packs a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Processor, the 3G edition comes powered by a Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8610 SoC. Though the 4G edition is available across the Europe and North America, in India you can only buy the 3G edition. The Snapdragon 410 SoC comes common in most of the popular smartphones including Lenovo A6000 and Xiaomi Redmi 2 but the Snapdragon 200 feels a bit dated in comparison.
The score of 17748 on AnTuTu feels a tad inferior in comparison to Redmi 2's 20376 and A6000's 19830. In GeekBench the Moto E2 managed to achieve 329 on single core test and 1131 in multi-core test while the Redmi 2 scored 472 in Single-Core and 1392 in Multi Core. The Lenovo A6000 scored 491 in single-core and 1482 in multi-core benchmark.
The difference in scores shows that Moto E2 is a tad less powerful in its price range, but in real life testing we found it managing the day-to-day tasks well. Applications opened rapidly and surfing across menus remained smooth and lag free.
The Moto E2 offers a 5MP camera to meet the primary photography needs and a 0.3MP camera for the front. Both the cameras are a tad inferior for the price as most of its potent competitor offers 8MP primary camera and at least a 2MP front camera.
We appreciate the Motorola's intuitive camera app which offers a clean interface with handy options like Quick Capture, visible in high-end Motorola smartphone, it lets you launch your camera by simply twisting your hand. It also lets you change the focus and exposure while clicking.
The app focuses quickly on the subject, and clicks in a flip. However we found the image quality average in ambient lighting condition and difficult to manage in challenging lights.
Battery and Storage
Powered by a 2390 mAh battery the Moto E2 offers impressive battery life. In our video loop test the E2 survived little more than 8 hours which is good enough. In real life use it managed to survive for a couple of days which is really impressive. In the AnTuTu battery benchmark we found the Moto E2 offers better battery life than several powerful smartphones like Google Nexus 5 and Xiaomi MI3.
Moto E2 offers 1GB RAM and 8GB of inbuilt storage expandable up to 32GB. All of its competitors except Huawei Honor Holly offer the same in its price range, so absolutely no complains there. Another appreciable factor is the amount of free memory it offers. In idle mode the Moto E2 offers 497MB of free memory which is nearly 50% of the total memory space. In comparison most of its competitors occupy at least 65-70% of the RAM memory in idle state.
All in all, the Moto E2 has several pros and cons when compared with its competitors. The device is easy to use, offers Lollipop out-of-the-box and has a powerful battery but on the other hand it has a less powerful camera and a dated processor.
We wish Motorola had offered the 4G variant at this price point and the 3G edition at least Rs 1,000 lesser than the current price.