Benchmarks and Battery Life
A stack of Moto devices ready to benchmark
I currently have access to a 2014 Moto X as well as the Motorola Nexus 6, so I used these more expensive devices ($499 and $649 respectively) for some benchmarking comparisons. Of course the Moto E stands to lose next to these faster devices, but it is still interesting to see how a budget device stacks up against its bigger siblings. The Moto E’s Snapdragon 410 is a quad-core part, though only clocked up to 1.2 GHz on its Cortex-A53 cores. Additionally, the Moto E only has 1GB of RAM at its disposal compared to 2GB with the Moto X and a whopping 3GB with the Nexus 6.
While the 2015 Moto E lags far behind the leaders here, the results aren't bad. We can easily see how the SoC's scale with higher clocks, as the 2.4 GHz Snapdragon 801 basically double the performance of the 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410. Next we see the results from Basemark OS II, and again performance scales as expected.
To give you an idea of what these speed differences might represent in a real-world scenario, here are results from a couple of browser benchmarks. First we have Google's Octane benchmark and then SunSpider, both run on the Chrome browser on each phone.
Faster SoC's do indeed equal faster web browsing. Nothing to see here. Now we move on to graphics.
3DMark's Ice Storm benchmark gives us another look at the significant drop in performance the Moto E's Snapdragon 410 suffers when compared to the high-end 801 and 805 parts. The results here scale normally, but things look different with the next benchmark:
Here the Snapdragon 801 in the Moto X actually wins out, and I can only speculate as to why. The Nexus 6 might have the faster SoC with the Snapdragon 805, but the phone's default full-system encyption (which can not be disabled on a stock image) might have affected the results in some of the benchmarks. This was the one example I found from the few I chose for this review, but it seems inevitable that some performance aspects of the Nexus 6 are hampered by the encryption (which was disabled by default on the other two phones here).
A vital component of any smartphone, battery life was very good with the Moto E, easily lasting a full day for me with normal use. The 2015 Moto E features a larger battery than last year's device (or the 2014 Moto X, for that matter), and at 7.6 hrs in our demanding PCPer Battery Test the new Moto E was able to outlast both the Nexus 6 and Moto X 2014 which managed 6.5 hours apiece.
Another aspect of battery is of course charging time, and here all three of the Moto devices I tested are outstanding thanks to Qualcomm is Quick Charge 2.0 implementation. The Moto E 2015 will fully charge from 1% is about 2 hours – when using a Quick Charge 2.0 adapter, that is. Unfortunately the Moto E 2015 doesn’t come with one of these (in this group only the Nexus 6 does), so a full charge took around 4.5 hours instead. I have found Quick Charge to be the biggest advancement to the way I use a smartphone in the last year, and I would hesitate to use a device without it now.
Next we'll look at my favorite aspect of the Moto E (and all Moto phones, for that matter): Stock Android 5 Lollipop.