Offering all the enterprise benefits of Android 5.0 Lollipop, coupled with above average hardware for its price, the Moto E is one of the best affordable smartphones currently available.
Android 5.0 Lollipop, affordable, reasonable performance, decent design
Camera is average, only 8GB of storage
Screen: 4.5in qHD 960x540, 245ppi IPS LCD
Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
Storage: 8GB, expandable with microSD card up to 32GB
Camera: 5MP, 2592x1944 rear camera and VGA front camera
Motorola set the standard for affordable smartphones with the original Moto G in 2013.
Featuring above average internal specifications traditionally seen only on smartphones close to twice as expensive, and an all but untouched version of Android, the Moto G (2013) was one of a select few smartphones to achieve V3's five-star rating.
Clearly aware that it's found a winning formula, and despite being sold to Lenovo, Motorola has tried to replicate the Moto G's success, releasing a steady stream of affordable smartphones, the most recent of which is the Lollipop-powered Mote E (2015).
Design and build
Like most Motorola smartphones the Moto E has a pebble-like design, with a matte, smooth plastic backplate and Gorilla glass front. The only obvious design feature is a removable rim that lines the Moto E's sides and top edge.
The grooved rim offers access to the Moto E's micro SIM and microSD card slots and lets users customise the handset's appearance using one of the multicoloured, or "armoured", alternatives that Motorola sells.
We found during our review that the rim, while solid enough when attached to the main body of the Moto E, felt flimsy and is difficult to remove. In fact without strong nails or a decent screwdriver to wedge it off, we found the rim all but impossible to remove.
Beyond this we were fairly impressed with the Moto E's design. With 140x67x12.3mm dimensions and a reasonable 145g weight, the Moto E hits the same sweet spot as past handsets, such as the Moto G or Sony's Xperia Compact.
Thanks to this, the Moto E is big enough to use for tasks like document editing, but small enough to feel comfortable to hold.
Screen technology is an increasingly competitive area in the smartphone race. Smartphone vendors have been racing to increase their pixel per inch, colour vibrancy and brightness levels ever since Apple laid down the gauntlet with its Retina display technology.
However, many of these innovations are yet to appear in the low-end smartphone space.
The Moto E doesn't change this trend, featuring a 4.5in qHD 960x540, 245ppi IPS LCD display, and the screen is reasonably good compared with other phones on the market.
It's noticeably dimmer and less sharp than the displays on more expensive smartphones, but it compares well with other handsets in its price bracket, like the Honor Holly.
Colour balance levels were decent, text and icons were suitably crisp and, while prone to picking up stray light, viewing angles were reasonable.
Next: Operating system and performance