Smartphone makers often focus on making premium devices with big screens, gorgeous metallic designs and high-performance specs, although many — like Motorola — also build their brand by not neglecting the low end.

With last year’s first-generation Moto E, Motorola embarked on a mission to kill the feature phone with barely passable specs. Now, the company’s ready for round two. The second-gen Moto E is here to bury feature phones once and for all.

Starting today, Motorola’s selling two new Moto E models running Android 5.0.2 “Lollipop” — one with 3G $119 and one with 4G/LTE for $149 — in over 40 countries.

The new Moto E is a little thicker in all directions and a teensy bit heavier — a necessary concession to accommodate its slightly larger 4.5-inch screen (up from 4.3-inch). The display’s resolution is the same 960 x 540, but the pixel density’s dropped from 256 pixels per inch (PPI) down to 245.

Underneath the hood, the Moto E’s engine is now a little faster, too (at least on paper): the 3G Moto E has a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor and the 4G/LTE model has a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410. I poked around briefly with the 4G LTE model running on AT&T and while it handles Android 5.0 “Lollipop” pretty well — apps launch quickly and swiping is smooth — a quick speed test against the first-gen Moto E running Android 4.4.2 “KitKat” actually reveals the older model is speedier when loading websites and opening apps.

One thing many users complained about on the Moto E was its puny 4GB of internal storage. Motorola’s remedied that with 8GB of internal storage in the new model and a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 32GB.

The rear camera is still the same 5-megapixel shooter, but it now has autofocus. The front of the phone gained a VGA-resolution camera; it’s nothing special, but I suppose having a front camera for grainy selfies is still better than having no front camera at all. Another nice touch: Motorola’s signature Quick Capture gesture, which lets you twist the phone twice to launch the camera, a feature you’ll find in most of the company’s smartphones, including the Moto X.

And since this is a Motorola device it’s customizable. Instead of swappable back covers, the new Moto E has interchangeable bands and “grip shells” — essentially a band with a transparent back cover — that come in six colors. The bands are pretty nice and add some pop, as well as grip, to the budget smartphone.

 

Author: Raymond Wong
Source: Mashable