CPU Performance

The 2015 Moto E with LTE is the first device with Snapdragon 410 that we've run through our tests. However, buyers of the 3G versions will only get a quad core Snapdragon 200 with 4 Cortex A7 cores. While this is still an improvement over the original, it's quite a disappointment when compared to the LTE edition. To be clear, the results below are from the Snapdragon 410 version, not the Snapdragon 200 version.

Qualcomm's MSM8916 is a quad core Cortex A53 part. Motorola's implementation has it running with a peak CPU core frequency of 1.2GHz, and it's paired with a 400MHz Adreno 306 GPU. Like the Cortex A7 cores used in Snapdragon 410, Cortex A53 is still a dual-issue in-order design, and pipeline depth remains the same as well. ARM has greatly improved branch prediction accuracy and expanded how instructions can be co-issued with Cortex A53, and so much of the performance increase over Cortex A7 will come from those improvements.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)

The Moto E shows a decent improvement over Snapdragon 400 based devices like the Moto G, and the improvement over the original Moto E would be even larger. That being said the Moto E doesn't do quite as well as one might expect in our browser tests. Browser optimizations play no small part in this, with Chrome having lagged behind the stock browser from other manufacturers for some time now. Motorola's devices use Chrome as their default browser, and I have a feeling that to an extent the Moto E is limited by software here rather than hardware.

PCMark - Web Browsing

PCMark - Video Playback

PCMark - Writing

PCMark - Photo Editing

PCMark - Work Performance Overall

PCMark is a benchmark that focuses more on real-world scenarios where race to sleep speed is paramount. In it we see another modest overall lead compared the Moto G. The writing test in particular shows a great deal of improvement, while the video playback test is slightly worse which I suspect is the result of the Moto E's flash storage speeds causing video seek times to be longer than the Moto G.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

In BaseMark OS II we actually see the Moto E performing worse than the Snapdragon 400 powered Moto G. The Moto G's higher score in the memory subtest helps to give it an advantage overall, and I'm at a loss to explain why the Moto E scores 50 points lower than the Moto G in the Web subtest. I can only imagine that the cause is related to software tuning but I can't definitively say why the gap is as large as it is.

Overall the Moto E does perform well for a budget device, but I do wish Snapdragon 410 showed a greater performance uplift over Snapdragon 400. With only 1GB of RAM and a maximum memory bandwidth of only 5.3GB/s Snapdragon 410 is also under some heavy memory constraints that could be acting as a bottleneck to potentially greater performance improvements with Cortex A53 over Cortex A7.

Introduction and Design GPU and NAND Performance
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  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Buying goods internationally is always more hassle. First off, there's customs fees that may increase the total cost quite significantly. On top of that there's always a concern regarding warranty because if the OEM has no presence in your country, you may have to ship it to another country that increases waiting time and may even cost you.
  • erikiksaz - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    I was under the impression that xiaomi phones don't have all the proper bands for T-mobile. Is this not true?
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Any front camera samples?
    Did you try charging it using a Quick-Charge 2 charger; or even another normal charger with a high amp rating?
    How good (or bad) is multitasking on the phone due to only 1GB RAM?
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    The original release of Lollipop has some memory issues of its own, but I never felt like there were problems with multitasking due to the limited amount of memory. There's definitely more app reloading than on the Nexus 6 but it's not a big deal.
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Thanks, aren't you guys gonna share front camera sample pics?
    It might not be great, but I was curious to see how good/bad it is.
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    It's funny that we're talking about a PHONE having "ONLY" 1GiB RAM, when I vividly remember that being a shit-hot amount of RAM for your desktop PC.

    That aside, I don't see Moto E as a hardcore multitasking phone anyway, it's just a decent phone with a reasonable set of specs for someone who isn't that hardcore of a smartphone user.
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Times change :) When it comes to PC's I think 4GB RAM is the minimum that should come with a new PC, anyone planning on multitasking needs more. When it comes to laptops like the Surface and MBP, they should be including 8GB atleast: the iGPU uses a portion and that reduces things even further.
  • mkozakewich - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    No, times have changed yet again. A PC should have 1 GB at the very least, with 4 GB being a good amount. Most of these kinds of computers have SSDs, which are a lot faster with their page files. You can swap without too much delay, so you don't actually need much RAM. I've been surprised at how well the 1GB Stream 7 performs, despite Windows 8 taking up about a gigabyte on boot.

    (If you use Chrome heavily, tack on an extra 2 GB. All those tabs really add up.)
  • hans_ober - Friday, April 24, 2015 - link

    Don't page file read/writes have a negative impact on the life of SSD's?

  • blzd - Thursday, April 23, 2015 - link

    My desktop PC has never gone above 6 GB of RAM usage, that's while playing a Shadows of Mordor while streaming twitch and Spotify in the background.

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