Notebookcheck

Motorola Moto E 2015 Smartphone Review

Michael Moser, Tanja Hinum (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/11/2015

Successful update... ...would be a brief and catchy description of Motorola's Moto E 2nd generation because many points of criticism made on the predecessor have been reworked. A 4.5-inch qHD screen, LTE, 8 GB of storage, and the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop - the revised bundle is appealing.

For the original German review, see here.

Motorola's Moto E already impressed us last year, and now Motorola wants to score again with its second generation Moto E. The new model has been treated to a bigger 4.5-inch screen, more internal storage, the brand new Android 5.0 Lollipop, and a front camera. Even LTE Cat 4 is installed. A purchase price of just 129 Euros (RRP, ~$137) makes it a hot candidate for the pedestal.

We used Microsoft's Lumia 535LG's L FinoHonor's Holly and Huawei's Ascend Y530 as direct competitors for this test.

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Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015 (Moto Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.5 inch 16:9, 960 x 540 pixel, capacitive, multi-touch, IPS LCD, 245 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with anti-smudge coating, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 4.55 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD (max. 64 GB), Sensors: GPS, AGPS, GLONASS; accelerometer (2x), ambient light, proximity, sensor hub
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0 LE, nNets: GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), UMTS dual-band (900/2100 MHz), LTE quad-band (800/1800/2100/2600 MHz), net standards: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+; SIM form factor: micro-SIM; SAR-rate: 0.75 W/kg
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 12.3 x 129.9 x 66.8 ( = 0.48 x 5.11 x 2.63 in)
Battery
Lithium-Ion, 2390 mAh, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 24 h
Operating System
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Camera
Webcam: front-facing camera: 0.3 MP; rear-facing camera: 5 MP, f/ 2.2, auto-focus, 4x digital zoom, slow motion video, burst mode, auto HDR, panorama, 720p-HD [email protected] fps (MPEG4, H.264)
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker (calls & open listening, music), two microphones, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, 12 Months Warranty, water-resistant coating
Weight
145 g ( = 5.11 oz / 0.32 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
129 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Motorola closely stuck to the former Moto E in terms of feel. Thus the second generation Moto E is just as pleasant to hold and agreeably slip-proof due to its rubber-coated plastic casing. However, its looks have changed more obviously. The second speaker below the screen has been axed. The micro-SIM and micro-SD slots' accessibility has also been modified. The back cover can no longer be completely removed, but only the accent band that also harbors the physical buttons. That also increases the stiffness, and the smartphone resists even persistent warping attempts successfully. Only the screen responds to high force with light discolorations. The battery is still non-removable. The gaps are extremely even, and the build quality does not suggest the low price, either.

The dimensions of 129.9 x 66.8 mm (~5.1 x 2.6 inches) are slightly higher than that of the predecessor, but the thickness of 12.3 mm (~0.5 inches) has remained. The weight has increased by an unnoticeable 3 grams (~0.1 oz). The review sample is black with a black accent band, but the device is also available in white. The bands are obtainable in different colors.

142.2 mm / 5.6 inch 72.3 mm / 2.85 inch 9.4 mm / 0.3701 inch 157 g0.3461 lbs140.2 mm / 5.52 inch 72.4 mm / 2.85 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 146 g0.3219 lbs129.9 mm / 5.11 inch 66.8 mm / 2.63 inch 12.3 mm / 0.4843 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs132.5 mm / 5.22 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 9.3 mm / 0.3661 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs127.5 mm / 5.02 inch 67.9 mm / 2.67 inch 11.9 mm / 0.4685 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs
Motorola preloads diverse...
...apps.
CPU-Z system information
Accent bands and shells in different colors by Motorola

Connectivity

The port positioning is almost the same as in the predecessor. The micro-USB 2.0 port is on the lower edge, and the 3.5 mm jack is on the top. The micro-SD and micro-SIM card slots are under the accent band on the right. A clever detail: Since the back cover cannot be removed, and Motorola did not want to disrupt the clean looks, the IMEI number, model label and CE mark have been placed on a pull-out tab. As usual, the power button and volume rocker are on the right.

The internal storage is now 8 GB. Roughly 4.6 GB net are available for the user. It can be expanded by up to 64 GB via a micro-SD card. Many apps can be moved onto the card owing to App2SD.

Software

Motorola installs the latest Android 5.0.2 Lollipop operating system on the Moto E 2015. It has again virtually been left untouched, which leads to a pleasingly high performance. Like in the predecessor, the manufacturer preloads some proprietary apps, such as the well-known Assist feature for muting the device or scheduling via the calendar.

GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

Communication & GPS

The review sample obtains a full score in this field. It offers a genuine rarity for this price range with quad-band LTE; the contenders do not offer that. On the other hand, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 LE are standard fare. NFC has not been installed.

In the test, Motorola's Moto E 2015 consistently presented a decent and stable reception at a distance of 10 meters (~33 feet) and through three walls from the router. Websites opened relatively fast.

The GPS reception proved rather mixed. Although the smartphone can link to a few satellites using the GPS Test app indoors and localization is quite fast outdoors, it had a deviation of 7 to 10 meters (~23 to 33 feet). This deviation was also recorded in our bike test when compared with the Garmin eTrex 30 navigation system. The review sample cut the total route by approximately 320 meters (~350 yards). This is particularly obvious in tight curves and on wooded paths.

Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Motorola Moto E 2015
Motorola Moto E 2015
Motorola Moto E 2015
Motorola Moto E 2015
Motorola Moto E 2015
Motorola Moto E 2015

Telephone & Voice Quality

The phone app corresponds to Google's stock application. All important features, such as call lists, favorites or groups, are available. The voice quality is decent, which our contact also confirmed in a test call. Neither static noise nor a too low volume was noticed. The hands-free feature is, however, only useful in quiet surroundings. The sound suffers from crackling and a low maximum volume.

Cameras & Multimedia

The primary camera on Motorola's Moto E 2015 has a sufficient resolution of 5 megapixels, and is roughly on par with the contenders. Although an auto-focus is installed, there is no photo light. That makes it even worse that the camera lens' low light performance is very unsatisfying. The pictures suffer under poor focus and relatively high image noise even when the objects are well illuminated. It is better not to use the digital zoom because the last bit of sharpness is lost and the noise increases exponentially. The Moto E records videos in 720p with 30 fps.

Motorola's Moto E second generation now also features a front-facing camera. However, Motorola might just as well have omitted it. It is extremely disappointing and useless with an outdated VGA resolution, virtually non-existing image focus, and pale colors alongside extreme noise. Rivals like Microsoft's Lumia 535 present a significantly better performance here.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
The primary camera shoots mediocre pictures,...
The primary camera shoots mediocre pictures,...
...and the webcam only produces pixel mush.
...and the webcam only produces pixel mush.

Accessories

The box contains a quick start guide and USB charger besides the smartphone itself. A modular power adapter is not included for the device. Various Motorola accent bands will soon be available optionally, which adds a bit of color. Furthermore, different colored Grip Shells for protecting the device will also be purchasable. Users who are frequently on the road will be pleased about the additional Power Pack Micro battery for approximately 50 Euros (~$53), which even has an integrated key finder.

Warranty

Motorola includes a 12-month warranty on its Moto E 2015.

Input Devices & Controls

The capacitive touchscreen supports up to five fingers at the same time, and is sensitive up to its corners. Inputs are identified and implemented relatively fast, just like automatic screen rotation. Unfortunately, the navigation icons integrated in the screen again lessen the actual, usable screen area. Android therefore fades them out as often as possible.

Portrait mode
Portrait mode
Landscape mode
Landscape mode

Display

The 4.5-inch IPS LC screen in Motorola's Moto E 2015 has a resolution of 960x540 pixels - Honor's Holly offers HD resolution, and other rivals only offer a slightly lower resolution.

The average brightness of a meager 204.1 cd/m² is clearly lower than the rates of the contenders. A maximum of 248 cd/m² are achieved. The illumination disappoints with just 55%, decreasing significantly from top to bottom, visible even for the naked eye on bright contents. The former Motorola Moto E did a considerably better job here.

Motorola again relies on Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect the screen. It even has an "anti-smudge coating". However, its usefulness did not become evident in the test.

159
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
137
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
237
cd/m²
191
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 248 cd/m² Average: 204.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 55 %
Center on Battery: 217 cd/m²
Contrast: 1447:1 (Black: 0.15 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.12 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 4.87 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.38
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei Ascend Y530
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
LG L Fino
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 4 GB Flash
Microsoft Lumia 535
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Honor Holly
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-62%
-26%
-10%
-51%
Brightness middle
217
375
73%
299
38%
431
99%
472
118%
Brightness
204
370
81%
303
49%
424
108%
455
123%
Brightness Distribution
55
91
65%
93
69%
90
64%
87
58%
Black Level *
0.15
0.74
-393%
0.5
-233%
0.64
-327%
0.77
-413%
Contrast
1447
507
-65%
598
-59%
673
-53%
613
-58%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.12
8.8
-114%
5.41
-31%
3.6
13%
8.23
-100%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.87
8.69
-78%
5.44
-12%
3.71
24%
8.84
-82%
Gamma
2.38 92%
2.03 108%
2.23 99%
2.4 92%
2.12 104%
CCT
6019 108%
8507 76%
7400 88%
6878 95%
6819 95%

* ... smaller is better

The review sample can clearly outperform its rivals with its black level of a superb 0.15 cd/m². The contrast of 1447:1 is also very impressive. Images look vivid and the black reproduction is exhilarating.

The CalMAN analysis discloses clear shifts from the sRGB reference color space. Although the color accuracy is decent, a light yellowish cast is evident. The color brightness is also a bit too low. The grayscale levels exhibit a visible greenish-yellowish color cast particularly in the brighter hues. In return, the color temperature and gamma rate are quite close to the ideal rate, and the DeltaE in ColorChecker is also on a good level. The contenders have significantly higher rates here. Subjectively, Motorola's Moto E 2015 color reproduction is still decent especially in view of the price range.

Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)

The Moto E 2015 does not convince outdoors due to its low maximum brightness and highly reflective screen. However, content is still easily read in partial shade.

The screen's viewing angle stability is high owing to the IPS technology. Its brightness does decrease in extreme, impractical viewing angles while the color reproduction remains stable for a very long time.

The low brightness limits...
The low brightness limits...
...outdoor use.
...outdoor use.
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 quad-core SoC installed in the review sample clocks with 1.4 GHz and offers a high performance in this price range.

Motorola's Moto E 2015 regains ground in terms of performance, and clearly outruns the contenders in almost all benchmarks. Solely Honor's Holly stands out in the Androbench 3 storage test. The user has 4.55 GB of the 8 GB storage available. The storage is generally accessed very quickly. Holly's Honor is on par with the review sample in the Linpack benchmark.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1464 Points ∼2%
Huawei Ascend Y530
605 Points ∼1% -59%
LG L Fino
1113 Points ∼1% -24%
Honor Holly
1174 Points ∼1% -20%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
481 Points ∼10%
Huawei Ascend Y530
324 Points ∼7% -33%
LG L Fino
329 Points ∼7% -32%
Honor Holly
352 Points ∼7% -27%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
9440 Points ∼11%
LG L Fino
7961 Points ∼9% -16%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
3969 Points ∼1%
LG L Fino
3543 Points ∼1% -11%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
4556 Points ∼2%
LG L Fino
4041 Points ∼2% -11%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
8548 Points ∼10%
Huawei Ascend Y530
4026 Points ∼5% -53%
LG L Fino
7156 Points ∼9% -16%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2091 Points ∼0%
Huawei Ascend Y530
1951 Points ∼0% -7%
LG L Fino
2014 Points ∼0% -4%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2513 Points ∼1%
Huawei Ascend Y530
2203 Points ∼1% -12%
LG L Fino
2397 Points ∼1% -5%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
8718 Points ∼6%
Huawei Ascend Y530
4075 Points ∼3% -53%
LG L Fino
7183 Points ∼5% -18%
Honor Holly
7766 Points ∼5% -11%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
4847 Points ∼1%
Huawei Ascend Y530
4139 Points ∼1% -15%
LG L Fino
4234 Points ∼1% -13%
Honor Holly
2680 Points ∼0% -45%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
5378 Points ∼0%
Huawei Ascend Y530
4125 Points ∼0% -23%
LG L Fino
4659 Points ∼0% -13%
Honor Holly
3136 Points ∼0% -42%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1.8 fps ∼0%
Huawei Ascend Y530
0 fps ∼0% -100%
LG L Fino
1.3 fps ∼0% -28%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
6.4 fps ∼2%
Huawei Ascend Y530
0 fps ∼0% -100%
LG L Fino
6.8 fps ∼2% +6%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
5.3 fps ∼0%
Huawei Ascend Y530
0 fps ∼0% -100%
LG L Fino
4.4 fps ∼0% -17%
Honor Holly
4.2 fps ∼0% -21%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
12 fps ∼0%
Huawei Ascend Y530
11.7 fps ∼0% -2%
LG L Fino
13.3 fps ∼0% +11%
Honor Holly
7 fps ∼0% -42%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
22125 Points ∼22%
Honor Holly
18808 Points ∼19% -15%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
580 Points ∼29%
LG L Fino
562 Points ∼28% -3%
Microsoft Lumia 535
367 Points ∼18% -37%
Honor Holly
507 Points ∼25% -13%
Graphics (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
312 Points ∼1%
LG L Fino
318 Points ∼1% +2%
Microsoft Lumia 535
189 Points ∼1% -39%
Honor Holly
137 Points ∼0% -56%
Memory (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
369 Points ∼5%
LG L Fino
164 Points ∼2% -56%
Microsoft Lumia 535
593 Points ∼8% +61%
Honor Holly
232 Points ∼3% -37%
System (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1053 Points ∼6%
LG L Fino
711 Points ∼4% -32%
Microsoft Lumia 535
572 Points ∼3% -46%
Honor Holly
983 Points ∼6% -7%
Overall (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
515 Points ∼6%
LG L Fino
380 Points ∼4% -26%
Microsoft Lumia 535
391 Points ∼5% -24%
Honor Holly
355 Points ∼4% -31%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1.67 MB/s ∼1%
Huawei Ascend Y530
0.51 MB/s ∼0% -69%
LG L Fino
0.6 MB/s ∼0% -64%
Honor Holly
4.76 MB/s ∼2% +185%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
12.08 MB/s ∼6%
Huawei Ascend Y530
8.02 MB/s ∼4% -34%
LG L Fino
9.5 MB/s ∼5% -21%
Honor Holly
17.73 MB/s ∼9% +47%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
20.03 MB/s ∼3%
Huawei Ascend Y530
9.24 MB/s ∼2% -54%
LG L Fino
10.79 MB/s ∼2% -46%
Honor Holly
48.29 MB/s ∼8% +141%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
100 MB/s ∼7%
Huawei Ascend Y530
37.2 MB/s ∼2% -63%
LG L Fino
55.7 MB/s ∼4% -44%
Honor Holly
143.79 MB/s ∼10% +44%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
231.685 MFLOPS ∼8%
Microsoft Lumia 535
234.392 MFLOPS ∼8% +1%
Honor Holly
236.23 MFLOPS ∼8% +2%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
105.584 MFLOPS ∼10%
Microsoft Lumia 535
58.598 MFLOPS ∼6% -45%
Honor Holly
114.21 MFLOPS ∼11% +8%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
4011 points ∼87%
Honor Holly
2230 points ∼48% -44%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
4147 points ∼22%
Honor Holly
4435 points ∼24% +7%

Legend

 
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Ascend Y530 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8210, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash
 
LG L Fino Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash
 
Microsoft Lumia 535 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor Holly Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash

A mixed impression emerges from the browser benchmark performance. Where Motorola's Moto E 2015 can still score in the Google V8, WebXPRT 2013, Vellamo 3.1 and Octane v2 benchmarks and lets some contenders look quite inferior, they surpass it in the Sunspider 1.0 benchmark and Kraken 1.1. The tests were all performed using the preloaded Google Chrome browser. Subjectively, Motorola's Moto E 2015 offers plenty of browsing fun for the money.

Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1305.4 ms * ∼14%
Huawei Ascend Y530
1538.8 ms * ∼17% -18%
LG L Fino
1525.9 ms * ∼17% -17%
Microsoft Lumia 535
1254.1 ms * ∼14% +4%
Honor Holly
1361.1 ms * ∼15% -4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
14002.3 ms * ∼24%
Huawei Ascend Y530
19673.3 ms * ∼33% -41%
LG L Fino
15615.8 ms * ∼26% -12%
Microsoft Lumia 535
27174.9 ms * ∼46% -94%
Honor Holly
15354.5 ms * ∼26% -10%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2804 Points ∼5%
LG L Fino
1938 Points ∼4% -31%
Honor Holly
2020 Points ∼4% -28%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2041 ms * ∼43%
Microsoft Lumia 535
2835.1 ms * ∼59% -39%
Honor Holly
1991.7 ms * ∼42% +2%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2138.6 ms * ∼57%
Microsoft Lumia 535
2571.4 ms * ∼69% -20%
Honor Holly
2050.4 ms * ∼55% +4%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2282.3 ms * ∼19%
Microsoft Lumia 535
5995.6 ms * ∼49% -163%
Honor Holly
4175.2 ms * ∼34% -83%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1005 ms * ∼11%
Microsoft Lumia 535
2296.3 ms * ∼26% -128%
Honor Holly
1638.4 ms * ∼18% -63%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
233 Points ∼10%
Microsoft Lumia 535
131 Points ∼6% -44%
Honor Holly
181 Points ∼8% -22%
Vellamo 3.x
Metal (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
772 Points ∼21%
Honor Holly
740 Points ∼20% -4%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1115 Points ∼25%
Honor Holly
1210 Points ∼27% +9%
Browser (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2005 Points ∼26%
Honor Holly
1528 Points ∼20% -24%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2580 Points ∼13%
Microsoft Lumia 535
1141 Points ∼6% -56%
Honor Holly
1820 Points ∼9% -29%

* ... smaller is better

Games

The somewhat older Qualcomm Adreno 306 GPU with a clock rate of 450 MHz is located in the mid-range, and provides enough power for most up-to-date games found in Google's Play Store. For example, even the slightly more demanding first person shooter Modern Combat 5 ran smoothly in our game check. The accuracy of the sensors and touchscreen greatly contribute to the gaming fun.

Many up-to-date games like "Angry Birds Transformers",...
Many up-to-date games like "Angry Birds Transformers",...
..."Modern Combat 5" or...
..."Modern Combat 5" or...
..."Trials Frontier" run smoothly.
..."Trials Frontier" run smoothly.

Emissions

Temperature

Motorola's Moto E 2015 does not exhibit irregularities and always stays cool. A maximum of only 36.1 °C (~97 °F) on the upper side's center and at most 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) on the underside were measured during full load. The idle temperatures on the surface remained clearly below 30 °C (86 °F). The former Motorola Moto E was noticeably warmer, and the other rivals cannot compete with it here, either.

The battery test of GFXBenchmark 3.0 also confirms that the smartphone does not get excessively warm and thus does not throttle.

Max. Load
 34.3 °C
94 F
36.1 °C
97 F
35.6 °C
96 F
 
 35.4 °C
96 F
36.1 °C
97 F
36 °C
97 F
 
 34.4 °C
94 F
35.6 °C
96 F
35.2 °C
95 F
 
Maximum: 36.1 °C = 97 F
Average: 35.4 °C = 96 F
34.7 °C
94 F
34.6 °C
94 F
34.5 °C
94 F
35.1 °C
95 F
34.6 °C
94 F
35.4 °C
96 F
34.1 °C
93 F
34.6 °C
94 F
34.8 °C
95 F
Maximum: 35.4 °C = 96 F
Average: 34.7 °C = 94 F
Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.4 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 36.1 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.4 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.2 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
GFX Bench 3.0 battery test
GFX Bench 3.0 battery test

Speaker

The receiver of Motorola's Moto E 2015 also serves as the speaker for audio output. Although its maximum volume is still sufficient, the sound transducer soon begins to overdrive. The tinny sound with extreme lack of bass prevents a balanced sound and consequently also music enjoyment. An external speaker or headphone is clearly the better choice. The latter is connected to a well-implemented 3.5 mm jack that fuses a relatively low basic noise with high maximum volume.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of Motorola's Moto E 2015 is within an acceptable range with rates of 2.7 to 4.3 watts during high load. Some contenders consume significantly more; only Huawei's Ascend Y530 is less guzzling. When idle, the review sample’s 0.7 to 1.4 watts surpasses only the much less powerful Huawei's Ascend Y530. The other rivals are not as power-hungry as the Moto E 2015, which gives hope for a long battery life.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.7 / 1.1 / 1.4 Watt
Load midlight 2.7 / 4.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 870

Battery Runtime

According to Motorola, the non-removable battery has a capacity of 2390 mAh, which is 410 mAh more than in the predecessor. The review sample, however, only achieves a 20-minute longer runtime under load than last year's first generation Moto E - that is likely due to the considerably stronger SoC. All rivals have to take their place behind that, particularly since all have a weaker battery installed. The review sample proved to be a real marathon runner with its maximum runtime of around 26.5 hours in minimum brightness and enabled energy-saving mode. The smartphone had to be recharged after approximately 8.5 hours in the Wi-Fi test using a brightness of 80% (150 cd/m²) and constantly opening different websites via a script. Although the predecessor lasted longer here, it is still an impressive time. The review sample managed 6 hours of Full HD video entertainment. Thus, watching will be possible even on long trips.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
26h 33min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Google Chrome)
8h 26min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 20min
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 535
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
LG L Fino
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 4 GB Flash
Huawei Ascend Y530
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Honor Holly
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Battery Runtime
-31%
-12%
-20%
-19%
-4%
H.264
360
322
-11%
350
-3%
WiFi v1.3
506
Load
260
127
-51%
228
-12%
208
-20%
211
-19%
248
-5%
WiFi
376
407
483
363
846

Pros

+ Price/performance ratio
+ Build
+ Latest Android version
+ Battery life
+ Sufficient performance
+ Expandable storage
+ LTE

Cons

- Camera modules
- Resolution
- Brightness
- Non-removable battery
- No power supply included
- No NFC

Verdict

In review: Motorola Moto E 2015
In review: Motorola Moto E 2015

Motorola's Moto E 2015 has definitely earned our recommendation. The refresh simply provides a lot for a price of 129 Euros (RRP, ~$137). But first things first.

The build and the choice of materials are very good, and would look good in even considerably more expensive smartphones. The plain and stylish design also appealed to us. The internal 8 GB storage is easy to expand for little money via a micro-SD card. Furthermore, the hardware's performance alongside the latest Android 5.0.5 operating system and long battery life is convincing. The communication modules do not exhibit any major missteps, and LTE is still the exception in this price range. That makes it easy to forgive the lack of NFC.

Our verdict about the 4.5-inch screen is mixed. The IPS screen's high contrast and great black level deliver a good score, and the color reproduction is also decent. On the other hand, the low brightness is not as pleasing and makes outdoor use a bit difficult. However, the camera modules and the squeaky speaker are really disappointing.

The multiple pros outweigh the cons and thus we give a purchase recommendation to everyone who wants as much "bang for the buck" as possible.

The price/performance ratio convinces; the contenders are all decent devices taken alone. However, they cannot knock the Motorola's E 2015 off the top, which even outclasses its successful predecessor.

Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015 - 04/02/2015 v4(old)
Michael Moser

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
68 / 75 → 91%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
93%
Battery
93%
Display
78%
Games Performance
54 / 63 → 86%
Application Performance
26 / 70 → 37%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
56 / 91 → 62%
Camera
57%
Average
72%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Motorola Moto E 2015 Smartphone Review
Michael Moser, 2015-04-11 (Update: 2018-05-15)