Motorola MOTO E

Budget Android smartphone

Motorola MOTO E review, rating and latest UK deals and offers

Motorola's MOTO G took the smartphone world by storm, with seriously impressive spec for a budget price. Now there's an even more affordable alternative - the MOTO E

Our rating
88

Available on these networks O2 mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk

Motorola MOTO E

  1. EXCLUSIVE to O2
  2. Just £14 a month
  3. 300 minutes
  4. 300 MB data
  5. UNLIMITED texts
  6. Handset included


Latest offers Get this deal

Looking for sim free Pay As You Go?

Buy now securely with PayPal 

accepted at 1stMobile.co.uk


  1. FREE insured UK mainland postage
  2. Just £13 worldwide shipping (outside UK)
  3. FREE O2 Prepay sim included
  4. NO monthly contract
  5. Full 1 year warranty

IMPORTANT: Customers outside the UK MAINLAND MUST select the "worldwide" option from the drop-down list.

Motorola E

£139.99


In stock now

Choose shipping option:

Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.

Main features

  1. Affordable price
  2. 4.3 inch touchscreen
  3. Scratch and water resistant
  4. Excellent 5 megapixel camera
  5. Long battery life


Read our full Motorola MOTO E review >>>
by Mike Leader

Following on from the astonishing success of the Moto G, Motorola have come up with an even more affordable version of the same thing - the Moto E

The Moto G is Motorola's best selling smartphone ever, no doubt introduced by Google to push their Android operating system to yet more users in a highly competitive smartphone market.

Although the firm has now been sold on to Lenovo - you probably remember them better as IBM - it's no surprise that they have chosen to build on this success.

Desirable design

Enter the Moto E then, possibly so named as it sits alongside the Sony Xperia E in the affordability stakes.

It is also probably no surprise that the design of the E doesn't wander too far from that of the Moto G, and yet the two look very different at first glance thanks to the two silver strips above and below the screen.

The narrower of the two strips up top houses the speaker while the wider, lower strip accommodates the microphone. We have seen chrome strips on budget models before, possibly added to make the phone look more expensive than it is. On the Moto E it does seem to have the desired effect.

Soft touch, easy grip casing

Take those away though and the two Motos are almost identical, right round to the curved rear panel with the dimple housing the famous Motorola 'M' logo just below the camera.

The matte, soft touch finish is retained and you will find this, together with the curvy shape, makes it not only comfortable to hold but it actually feels good too. More important is the fact that you are much less likely to drop the phone

The two phones are even almost the same size, with the E being 5mm smaller while width and depth are virtually the same, give or take less than a millimeter. Even the weight, at 142g, is only one tiny gram difference, or 0.03 of an ounce in English.

Larger screen than any iPhone!

On to the screen, arguably the most important part of any phone, and it's here the differences start to become apparent. This new budget handset has a 4.3 inch 540 x 960 pixel screen with a density of 256 pixels per inch.

While that is some way below the 326 pixel density of the 4.5-inch Moto G, it is still impressive.

Anything over 220 PPI is going to offer you a sharp and clear viewing experience and the Moto E does not disappoint in any way, with bright, vibrant colours and sharp text. It is in fact better than we expected, particularly on a budget model.

On a bright sunny day you might struggle but that's hardly groundbreaking news. The Gorilla Glass panel is of course naturally reflective but the anti-smudge coating helps here, is sure to impress and is better than we have seen on many more expensive handsets

Impressive camera

We are also impressed to see the 5 megapixel camera retained which we found to perform extremely well on the G, although to keep the price down some features are missing.

There is no LED flash or HD video recording for example. The secondary front facing camera has gone too. However it is possible to find lots of Android apps on Google's Play market such as Face Detection apps, and many of those enhancements are completely free.

The camera it has to be said didn't seem to perform as well as the one on the Moto E though, with a steadier hand required for crisp shots but it's perfectly fine for everyday snapshots.

We do like the touch-anywhere-to-shoot feature but if you are used to touch-to-zoom it will take a little getting used to. Here you slide up and down to zoom and we think this method works better once you get used to it.

Plenty of power, expandable memory

Another clear sign that significant efforts have been made to keep the price low is the onboard memory, or lack of it. You only get 4GB which is an absolute minimum these days, however you can add a Micro SD memory card with capacities up to 32GB.

Thankfully the phone uses the same 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which is more than enough power to keep this phone running smoothly, and we experienced no lag at all in day to day use.

Sound is impressively loud through the speaker with reasonable depth too, and not as tinny sounding as most. you also get a 3.5mm headphone socket so you can listen to your own tracks or enjoy the built in FM radio, though there are no stereo speakers here

Original untouched Android

Worthy of mention is the operating system which, as Google intended, remains largely untouched by Motorola. The Moto E will of course have been developed long before Google passed the firm over to Lenovo.

Motorola do include their excellent Motorola Assist in a cut down version which allows you to block callers and only allow those you choose through, such as friends and family, at certain times such as overnight or when your calendar shows that you have a meeting.

But there is no in-car mode here, so you can't get the phone to answer a call with a predetermined text message while you are driving, as you can on the Moto X for example. Meanwhile, Motorola Alert is an app which allow you to forward your location to friends, and there is an option that can ring preset contact automatically in an emergency.

Motorola Migrate

However the best feature is one you will probably only use once. Motorola Migrate strangely has to be downloaded first from Google Play possibly because some people may not need it, for example those who are buying their first android smartphone but then you could say that of any app.

This app helps you to easily transfer your contacts, messages and even photos and music from your existing Android smartphone. It will of course have to be installed on both phones. I tried this myself and it works like a charm.

Our summary

We weren't expecting something to take on any of the £500+ flagship phones here, but we were pleasantly surprised at just how good this sub £100 smartphone actually is. The screen, often a weak point on cheaper handset, is clear and vivid while you get the full experience of pure Android as it was intended, presented in it's latest version - v4.4.2 Kit Kat with an upgrade to the next version promised too.

Battery power is outstanding too with the phone easily lasting the day in general everyday use. Perhaps it's one flaw is the low 4GB on board memory, which could be an issue if you like to download loads of apps.

For the difference in price some may be tempted to jump up a step to the truly excellent Moto G, but for those who want a decent everyday phone without too many bells and whistles but with good build quality and a decent sized screen then the Motorola Moto E fits the bill perfectly.


Motorola MOTO E UK Price Comparison

(Don't worry, you can change price plans and options such as colours before you decide to buy. Other plans are available)

MOTO E Latest UK prices - O2 Network UK O2 mobile phones @ 1stMobile.co.uk

Light User
£12 a month
100 minutes
UNLIMITED texts
100 MB data
NO upfront cost
 
RECOMMENDED
£14 a month
300 minutes
UNLIMITED texts
300 MB data
NO upfront cost
 
Popular
£17 a month
500 mins
UNLIMITED texts
500 MB data
NO upfront cost
4G ready
PAY AS YOU GO
£79.99
NO contract
Now reduced
4G handset
£79.99
 

Looking for sim free Pay As You Go?

Buy now securely with PayPal 

accepted at 1stMobile.co.uk


  1. FREE insured UK mainland postage
  2. Just £13 worldwide shipping (outside UK)
  3. FREE O2 Prepay sim included
  4. NO monthly contract
  5. Full 1 year warranty

IMPORTANT: Customers outside the UK MAINLAND MUST select the "worldwide" option from the drop-down list.

Motorola E

£139.99


In stock now

Choose shipping option:

Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.