Motorola Moto E review

A dinky dialler that's got a lot to shout about

Motorola Moto E review
Do good things really come in small (and cheap) packages?

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With its reasonably large and crisp 4.3 inch 540 x 960 display the Motorola Moto E is a solid choice for enjoying media on. Obviously it's never going to replace a TV or tablet, but movies look good (as long as you view them straight on) so why wouldn't you?

Audio isn't bad either. The phones speaker can reach some impressively loud volumes, but it tends to sound a little muffled when you crank it up, so you're best off sticking with headphones.

Motorola Moto E review

Out of the box the only video apps are YouTube and Play Movies. Play Movies is heavily geared towards getting you to buy or rent things, but will play local media too and navigating and controlling it is easy enough, with a simple menu to switch between the store and personal content.

Music, similarly, is limited to a basic FM Radio app and Play Music. The latter is an app that I've always been a fan of, what with its ability to let you store music in the cloud for free and the inclusion of a lock screen widget to easily pause or skip the track.

But for both music and video there are plenty of alternative options available on Google Play.

Gaming is a real surprise though. With just a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor and Adreno 302 GPU I really didn't expect much out of it but it actually held its own quite well.

Angry Birds Star Wars exhibited faultless performance as you'd hope, but even Dead Trigger 2 ran fine for the most part. The first minute or so of gameplay was a little jerky and occasionally there'd be a bit of lag when looking around, but in general it ran fine, even when blasting multiple zombies.

Motorola Moto E review

The Moto E's real Achilles heel, at least as far as media is concerned, is its storage capacity, as there's only 4GB built in and just 2.21GB of that is available for applications to use.

Thankfully there's also a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 32GB, and with so little built in storage investing in a microSD card is pretty much essential. This adds to the price and in doing so detracts a little from one of the Moto E's main selling points (the fact that it's so cheap).

It also doesn't totally solve the problem as increasingly apps can't be installed on an external card, so while it gives you leeway with videos and music you might still find you can't install as many apps and games as you'd like.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.