Good morning all! Like last time, I've once again got a surprise review for you all. This time around I'll probably keep it a bit short though. Mostly because I'm still hungover and right now all I want is to shower and crawl back into bed and pass out to the Futurama marathon that is currently on.
So before I get on with it I'd like to say this time around this phone isn't for me or my lady friend or backup phone purposes. This one is for a coworker. We needed a smartphone by Monday and one we could get on the cheap and off contract, which gave me the opportunity to suggest the Moto E. A phone I've been advocating we switch over to instead of the Blackberrys or iPhones we tend to get.
The phone itself we paid $150 for off of Amazon. Normally I'd buy from Motorola, but we seriously needed this for Monday morning and that ruled out buying from Motorola. Buying from them means waiting 2-3 days, Amazon has the Moto E available for Prime (which I've got) and that means I can get it in 2 days for free or pay an extra $8 and get it overnight. Considering I ordered the phone at nearly 3 PM yesterday and UPS was banging on my door when I woke up at 10 AM I can say I made the right shipping choice.
Onward and upward though!
Figured I'd put the pictures up and then get with the writing. Also it required less effort than thinking right now.
Anyway, out of the box the device came with 4.4.2, I suppose that has more to do with the fact that the device came from Amazon instead of Motorola. Various people had reported receiving theirs with 4.4.3 out of the box, but on devices they ordered straight from Motorola.
Of note is that the Motorola Alert app does not come pre-installed on the device. It was my understanding that it did, not sure if that's just my device or what. Either way it can be easily installed through the Play Store.
Beyond that, as far as Motorola apps go, it has the standard applications you'd expect. All the stock Google ones and Motorola Assist and Migrate, the latter two of which I've mentioned and written about before in my Moto G LTE review.
It's as stock as device as can be short of being a Nexus device.
It goes without saying that due to the low price nature of the device certain corners had to be cut and that can be seen on the box with the Snapdragon 200 processor it comes with, in addition to the only 4 GB of built in storage. The latter of which realistically leaves you a little over 2 GB free, as seen in the pics above. Of course that is mitigated by the fact that you can expand it courtesy of the built in microSD card slot, which will easily accept and make use of a 32 GB microSD card.
I really feel the need to stress that this device is made with the third world in mind, places where a $150+ phone is considered as priced in "go fuck yourself, I got kids to feed" territory. For $129 this phone really can't be beat and it's hoped that it'll get the device into more hands at that price point. People in such locales don't need the latest and greatest specs and they don't need room to store all the pr0n possible.
That said, I would have no trouble recommending this phone to someone like my mom. Mostly because her one concern is that it make and receive calls and text messages and can handle web browsing. The 2 GB of free space is enough to install the one or two banking apps she needs and maybe a handful of others, everything else she uses comes pre-installed on this device. Notably Google Play Music, which of course can move music to the SD card normally. So that's a plus and even if it wasn't the Moto E has that ability as well thanks to Motorola's software.
So there's really no need to complain about storage when what most people would use a device like this for (pictures, videos and music) is readily able to handle.
Did I mention the price? Because I really feel the need to, especially in light of all the idiots (and yes, I'm calling them idiots) who see it and say, "Well, if it came with X amount of storage or Y specs I'd buy it. As is it sucks!" If this phone doesn't meet your needs there are plenty of others out there that do, including numerous from Motorola that have what this phone has and then some. Don't knock the device for not being created solely to appease your wants and needs. That's dick and really something that a truly entitled personality and mindset would do.
Put simply, this is an incredibly well priced phone that anyone can buy. It is also priced low enough that it would make a very wallet friendly backup phone for emergency purposes. Heck, you could buy one and throw it in a drawer or in your bag or phone. Should the worst happen to your daily driver then you could be up and running again in as little time as it takes to swap out and in the SIM card. On that note though, it is worth mentioning that this phone requires a micro SIM card, not the nano SIM card that is utilized by its older siblings the Moto G and Moto X. So you'd need an adapter to handle the swap or to go get a new SIM card from your respective carrier.
As I've mentioned before, I'm not going to get into discussing battery life. I'm a heavy/power user. I can kill a fully charged phone in as little as 5 hours easily, plus usage greatly varies from person to person and my battery life isn't yours isn't your mom's isn't so and so's. There's no truly accurate way to give a review on this phone from my use and reliably let you know what battery life for you and your use would be. So don't bother asking me to report on it. Plus that would eat into my recovery time before tonight's shenanigans and I can't have that.
Beyond that, not much more to add. It's an incredibly well made device. It looks like its older siblings and has a slightly smaller footprint. Software is as up to date as can be (now that I've updated the device) and use is amazing. Not a stutter or hiccup despite its somewhat meh specs.
Get this phone if you're in the market for a cheap Android device, want a backup one for emergency purposes or if you want to get something for your older relatives to get them to finally use a smartphone. You won't regret doing so!
EDIT 1: One thing I forgot to mention up above is that this device has a built in FM radio, sort of. You'll need to plug in any set of headphones, they'll act as an antenna. At which point you'll be jamming to your local stations. (This is a feature that is also available on the Moto G and Moto G LTE.)
EDIT 2: Whether it's a company phone, personal or one for a friend/relative I always recommend putting a case and screen protector on the device. It's worth the cost over having a broken screen or scuffs on what area pricey electronic devices. To that end, more often than not I always highly recommend any products made by Rearth and just now having scoured Amazon I've already found that they make a case and screen protector for the Moto E. The Ringke Max for Moto E will set you back $9.99 (plus $3.99 for shipping) and is a hybrid case that adds protection from all sorts of things including falls to your phone. Hybrid cases more often than not consist of two pieces, one is a soft TPU part that goes directly around your phone and absorbs and lessens any impacts and shocks resulting from said impacts and the other part is often a polycarbonate shell that goes around the TPU section and adding a harder piece to the overall protection. It really is the best of both worlds and I feel that the trade off in now adding a bit more heft to your device is worth it. Also, a free screen protector comes with the case itself. However, if you are scuff and scratch prone when it comes to your screen protectors you can always get more, also made by Rearth. The Invisible Defender Screen Protector will set you back $5.99 (and is available for Prime shipping). It comes with a total of 4 screen protectors and you'll have no reason to say that isn't enough anytime soon.