How much is fifty dollars worth?


If you listened to the Weekly last week, you heard that I was on, so therefore it was awesome. Actually, it’s awesome all the time but it bubbles over when I…never mind. On the weekly last week we took some time to discuss the latest Moto Phone to delve the depths of the smartphone price ocean. The Moto E is the latest low-end smartphone to hit the market that might just be worth looking at.

As a matter of fact, two of my day job co-workers independently approached me and asked about the Moto E. I told both of them, “Spend the extra $50 and get the Moto G.” Both of them responded with their own version of “Weeeeelll, I don’t knooooow…” which got me wondering…What is it about fifty dollars?

It’s just fifty dollars

Now, I completely understand if you want to pick yourself up a nice Lumia 520, in addition to the Moto E. Here in the States, you can walk into any AT&T store and walk out with a fully functional, Windows 8.1 capable (with the Dev preview that is), Cortana-toting smartphone. So that’s a picture of Ulysses S. Grant well spent. But if you’re not looking for a Windows Phone experience, you’ll get yourself pretty much double the specs in almost every respect. From SoC, to storage, to screen resolution, the Moto G is a superior phone.

mustangThe magic number

Unless of course, you’re dying to have a Ford Mustang wireless mouse. I would totally understand that. But it’s still curious that one extra trip to the ATM would give a potential customer pause when considering a Moto E versus a Moto G. Is there a certain number somewhere below which “I don’t know” becomes “Why not?” I was always under the assumption that $200 was that mark. I must have been mistaken. But then I’m still shocked that the Lumia 520 isn’t flying off the shelves when the Moto E at two and a half times the price apparently has a lot of appeal.

Is it Android? Or is it Motorola? Or is it both? Neither? It’s a tough question and this is not going to become an Android versus Windows Phone piece. But it is an interesting question. But let’s get back to the Moto G/Moto E thing and the $130 versus $180 thing. One thing this does do is narrow down the sweet spot for low-end OEMs. Assuming the Moto E sells that is. I personally haven’t seen any evidence that suggests it won’t.

pink_caseThe devil you know

Which is great because it’ll give the world a chance to finally own that pink rhinestone Bible/book case that I know I personally have been yearning for. But, you know? I just don’t see it. The Moto G is a known commodity. It’s a device that many well-respected technology writers can and have carried as a personal daily driver and have been very satisfied with the experience. Maybe the Moto E will bring that brand of sexy with the 2.x GB of user accessible memory and the flashless fixed focus, even-worse-than-the-Pre-3 camera. It’s very possible.

Or maybe we’re just not meant to own the matched set of “I love my crazy boyfriend/girlfriend” iPhone cases. Who knows? But I know if I was given a choice, I would not own any of the items I mentioned in this article – not even the Lumia 520, which makes me a little sad – because my benjamins would go toward a Moto G, without even waiting for the Moto E to be released officially in the US. I’m not really a low-end phone kind of guy. Which is why I could see myself owning a Moto G – which dances around the mid-tier area. If I can’t go high-end, I’ll be damned if I go ultra-low end.

sunrise phoneDaily driver

This conversation becomes even more interesting when you consider my wife owns and uses a Lumia 520 on the daily, and has for 5 months now. She is perfectly satisfied with it. Sure, she doesn’t brag about it, and she has to borrow my phone when she goes to Target, but it offers a very reasonable experience. Is the Lumia 520 the Moto E equivalent? I’m not so sure, but again we’re drifting into that Android versus Windows Phone debate and we’re just not going there.

Bottom line, Android has yet to convince me that it can offer a livable experience in a low-end package. To be fair, I haven’t tried it as a daily driver yet, so maybe a $129 experiment is worth it. I’ll be watching as the full reviews and comparisons start rolling in before making a judgment on that one. But suffice it to say, a Sunrise Fruit phone isn’t all that tempting when compared to a proven commodity like the Moto G.

So what do you think? Will you be picking up a Moto E because, why the heck not? Or will you be shunning that Premium Binocular Flask Gift Set (yes, a flask that is shaped like binoculars) in lieu of a Moto G – you know, if you had to. Sound off below, and be gentle.


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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!