Moto E: Is this the World's Best Cheap Smartphone?

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Although Nexus remains the flagship line for everything new and shiny Android, a new, or rather an old player is taking the market by storm. Motorola, with its simplicity and its unbeatable price has become the next big thing in the Android world. Bringing the same pure Android experience of Nexus smartphones and the cool features of many flagship phones, Motorola's line of products seems to make everyone love Android. What makes Motorola’s new smartphones so special is the fact that they could fit into anyone's budget. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One, iPhone 5s, or even Nexus 5, these devices are designed to fit your pocket, both literally and figuratively.

Moto X, Moto G, and the Moto E appeal to 3 different types of phones you can buy according to the cash you have right now. Moto X, the top-of-the-line Android device is pretty much a competitor to Nexus 5. It is loaded with amazing features that look even better with the stock Android that it comes with. What's more, it is completely customizable with its sleek-looking back panels that go with every style.

The next is Moto G, a budget-friendly device that appeals to those who don't have a lot of cash to spend, but still want a decent high-performing smartphone. It doesn't have the best features that are out there, but still, it makes for a good mid-budget phone.

Finally, there's the Moto E, which is going to be our focus in this article. This sleek little phone has gotten a lot of attention in the press lately. With so many Android phones cropping up every day, it stands out not only because of its price but also for the value it offers at such a low budget. Many have hailed it as the world's best cheap smartphone. But, is it worth the title? Let's find out: 


Moto E comes with 1GB of RAM --which is enough to run 4.4 KitKat --and a Dual Core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset. These specs for merely $129 are a steal. You won't be able to do a lot with the smartphone, but for daily usage, this is a great choice. In fact, the Moto E performs surprisingly well as far as gaming is concerned. The Adreno 302 GPU gives a pretty good low-level gaming experience offering more value for money than expected. The apps perform pretty quickly, thanks to KitKat, which is optimized for devices with memory as low as 512 MB. Overall, compared to other low-budget smartphones, the Moto E performs surprisingly well.


For this low a price a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display comes as quite a pleasant surprise. With large bezels and a 4.3-inch screen, the display is something you won't complain much about. The colors are sharp and you would rarely notice any pixels thanks to the small size of the screen. The 256ppi pixel density does provide a satisfactory display for anyone who wants to use chatting apps, browse the web, and watch the latest YouTube videos.


The 5MP isn't something you'd want to complain about. It's simple, easy to use, and takes okay-looking pictures. If you are someone who's looking to take pictures with focus, this is not the phone to go for. However, if you don't care about the quality of your pictures, this smartphone is made for you.

The only disappointment about Moto E is the lack of front-facing camera. Sorry, selfie fans, but you'll have to look for another device.

Operating System

The Moto E features Android 4.4 KitKat that is regularly updated along with Moto X, Moto G, and Nexus 5. So, if you are someone who wants to stay with the bleeding edge of Android, Moto E is a great choice. Also, thanks to the low cost of the phone, it can be used as a device you can tinker with. 

Extra Features

What makes this smartphone even more appealing is its sturdiness. Not only does it have a splashguard that makes it water resistant, it also comes with an anti-smudge coat. Though you won't be that careful with a $129 phone, it is still a great feature to have. Also, there is the Gorilla Glass sturdiness that makes things even better.

So, is it the best cheap smartphone in the world?

Yes, at least for now. But the competition is heating up as Motorola has created a whole new market. Also, Firefox OS has been looking to enter this space for a couple of years now.

Who Should Buy It

If you are a little tight on budget but need a decent performing Android smartphone this has to be your first choice. Also, if you are an Android tinkerer or someone who develops apps for Android and needs a secondary phone to mess with, Moto E is your go-to device.

Who Shouldn't Buy It

If you take a lot of selfies, do video chats, and play heavy games, opt for the Moto X instead. Also, if you are looking for a phone with a great camera, this probably won't be worth spending $129 on.

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.