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Tuesday, 13 May 2014 10:02

Motorola launches $130 Moto E

Written by Peter Scott



Moto G gets microSD slot, LTE

Motorola is doubling down on its low-end smartphone strategy. Last year the company introduced the Moto G, which quickly became its fastest selling smartphone of all time. The new Moto E is more of the same, it’s even simpler and cheaper.

The Moto G launched at $199, while the Moto E should cost just $129. This makes it one of the cheapest Android phones worth seriously considering. That’s Motorola’s idea, hence it has a new marketing campaign - #GoodbyeDumbPhone. For some reason though, goodbyedumbphone.com doesn’t exactly work in many countries and the phone doesn’t show up on motorola.com, which is a bit silly.

The fact that a certain product is not available in a certain region does not mean that it should not be listed on the manufacturer’s website. For some reason, Motorola is doing just that. 

Moto E features decidedly low-end specs


Nobody expects killer specs on a $129 phone and the Moto E does not have any headline grabbing features. It sports a 4.3-inch 960x540 display (256ppi), 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage backed by a microSD slot and it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor. The Snapdragon 200 is a dual-core Cortex A7 clocked at 1.2GHz with Adreno 302 graphics. 

The phone has a 5-megapixel camera at the back and there is no front facing camera. This is good news for passive-aggressive parents, as they can buy their teen a new phone that can’t take those annoying selfies. The phone has a 1980mAh battery and even an FM radio.

moto e white

On the whole, the specs aren’t bad, although we would have liked a quad-core Cortex A7 SoC. Using a dual-core doesn’t exactly save a lot of cash and it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of efficiency, either. We can only assume that it’s Motorola’s way of differentiating the Moto E and Moto G. For example the Moto E can capture video at 854x480 (30fps), whereas the Moto G with a quad-core processor can cope with 720p at 30fps, with rudimentary HDR to boot.

Time for some nitpicking. The Moto E measures 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm (4.91 x 2.55 x 0.48 in) and weighs 142g (5 oz). It’s practically the same size as the Moto G, which has a slightly bigger 720p display (129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm, 143g).

Moto G update, Moto E pricing


The Moto E is official in India and it is priced at 6,999 rupees, roughly $117. The phone is expected to cost about $130 in the US when it launches on May 19. The UK should get it for about £80-90 and anything short of a €99 price tag in Euroland would be a disappointment. We will know the official prices later this week.

In addition to the Moto E, the good old Moto G also got an interesting update. There’s a new LTE-enabled version and it should cost about $220 in the US, roughly $20 more than the plain 16GB version. There’s more good news – the LTE version also sports a microSD slot, which is a nice addition and for many potential users it is a bigger deal than LTE support.

Bottom line, we like the Moto E and its dumbphone killing price tag, but we reckon the Moto G is still a better choice for most users. 

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 10:15
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