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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  • Impulses - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    It looks very similar to the rest of Moto's lineup... You think the Moto X & G are fugly too? How many people have you polled to determine the majority definitely agrees with you?

    I happen to like how it looks, actually Moto's rounded plastic phones are some of the few I would dare use without a case... Both because they seem more resilient than metal ones and because the customization aspect makes it more unique.

    I remember noticing a lip on the Moto X that actually lifted the screen by a mm when face down sans case, not sure if that's standard, but that and lack of a camera hump also make it easier to go case-less.

    For reference I like the new SGS6 (tho I still dislike the home button) and Sony's Z line, I could take or leave the One design (poor ergos), and I thought older SGS with plastic imitating other materials was chintzy.

    At the end of the day I care more about a phone's features, performance, and ergonomics than it's looks tho. None of them are *that* striking or stylish.
  • chizow - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Sure, here you go, the same tenets apply to smartphones as they do to people's faces:


    Its been shown whether subconsciously or not, the more symmetrical a face is, the more pleasing it is to the eye.

    The rounded and concave edges just make it look like a cheap toy, too much round around the sharp angles of the rectangular screen and the asymmetrical nature of the speakers and cameras don't do it any favors either.
  • blzd - Thursday, April 23, 2015 - link

    Well that settles it. 100% Confirmed. Everyone agrees with you.

    lol please do the world a favor and delete your internet.
  • hans_ober - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    If it's anything, wide bezels make devices ugly.
  • sonicmerlin - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    lol that was my first thought upon seeing the picture. It looks like a half-done prototype. The Lumias going for half the price look better.
  • DabuXian - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Off topic, but why don't you update NAND performance of the Nexus 6? It's been vastly improved on Android 5.1.
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Our NAND tests are being moved to Androbench 4. The writing of this review took place over a longer period than I had anticipated, which is why there are a few things like the usage of the older NAND bench and the GS6 not showing up in the charts. In future reviews the Nexus 6 should have up to date storage performance benchmarks done on 5.1.
  • djvita - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    The graph for Basemark OS II battery score is missing the Moto E's score.
  • whiteiphoneproblems - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    "The procedure for iOS is a bit different, and it involves signing into your iCloud account which I'm just a bit weary of..."

    Should be "...just a bit WARY of".

    Also, I don't see the Moto E listed on the "Basemark OS II Battery Score" chart(?)
  • whiteiphoneproblems - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    (Apologies for x-post with the above)

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