Motorola has launched a new budget smartphone, the Moto E. Priced at US$129, it’s even cheaper than last year’s Moto G, which was itself already quite affordable. The Moto E’s specifications are slightly dialled down from the Moto G, though they’re certainly still decent. Early reviews of the Moto E are generally positive, with the price tag being one of the big attractions.
Is the Moto E really cheap? I can’t help but compare it with Xiaomi’s Redmi Android smartphone. The Redmi sells for just S$169 in Singapore, or about US$130. Now, the Moto E suddenly doesn’t seem like such a compelling bargain.
The Redmi is also a budget smartphone, and although it can’t compare in terms of specifications with Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 3 smartphone, it’s still quite a lot better than the Moto E.
Let’s see how the Moto E stacks up against the Redmi.
|CPU||Dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200||Quad-core 1.5 GHz MediaTek SoC|
|Memory||1GB RAM, 4GB Flash, microSD slot||1GB RAM, 4GB Flash, microSD slot|
|Display||4.3″ 540×960 pixels ~256ppi||4.7″ 720×1280 pixels ~312ppi|
|Camera||5MP (main), no secondary camera||8MP w/ flash (main), 1.3MP (secondary)|
|Network||3G, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0LE||3G, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0LE|
|GPS||A-GPS with GLONASS||A-GPS|
|Battery||1980 mAh Li-Ion||2000 mAh Li-Po|
|Dimensions||124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm||137 x 69 x 9.9 mm|
|Weight||142 g||158 g|
The Redmi does look like the better spec’ed smartphone of the two, having the larger screen size, higher resolution display, higher resolution main camera, additional front-facing camera and better battery (the Li-Po technology in particular). There’s A-GPS support, but no GLONASS, although I think this is seldom a problem for most people.
However, if you’re looking for a more petite smartphone, you may prefer the lighter and smaller (though thicker) Moto E. The Moto E is supposed to be more rugged too, with water-resistant coating on the body and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on its display. Some people may also find the Moto E’s colourful swappable covers an attractive feature.
For users who care about their Google Android experience, the Moto E runs an almost stock Android 4.4 KitKat, with Motorola committing to at least one major upgrade cycle. The Redmi ships with MIUI ROM, which is based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It’s a little dated.
Try as they might, I think it’s difficult to beat the Chinese companies when it comes to budget gadgets. With Motorola headed to becoming a Lenovo company, it might just happen that they’ll one day produce a smartphone that’s truly at a budget level.