Both phones do share more direct similarities. They each come equipped with headphone jacks, MicroSD card slots, and 32 gigabytes of built-in storage. Plus, they’re both made of plastic, so they’re a little more durable than pricier all-glass slabs like those from Samsung and Google. Better yet, these budget-minded Motos have fingerprint sensors on the rear—a first for Motorola’s E-series phones. Not having to input a password for an app or use a pin code to unlock the phone is a blessing I’ve gotten accustomed to, and it’s great to see this modern convenience finally trickling all the way down to the sub-$200 tier.
Of course, there have to be compromises somewhere on phones this cheap. What didn’t make its way to the Moto E? A USB-C charging port. Don’t worry, it’s present on the Moto G Fast, but you’re stuck with MicroUSB on the $150 phone. It’s not a problem, but the ability to use a universal USB-C connector to charge the phone would have eliminated the need to have yet another cable plugged into my power strip. Ah well, perhaps Motorola will make a complete switch to USB-C in its 2021 lineup.
Rounding it all out are the screens and batteries, which are more than adequate. The G Fast has a 6.4-inch LCD, and the Moto E sticks with a 6.2-inch panel, both of which have relatively slim bezels around the screen, giving the phones a modern look. Neither phone feels too big in my hands, either. The former has a hole-punch camera floating at the top of the display, the same kind you’ll see on pricier phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20.
The screens themselves are colorful and get just bright enough to stay visible outdoors in direct sunlight. The only snag is the relatively low 720p resolution, but you’ll have to pay close attention to notice any pixely edges. Oh, and if you’re not plugging in headphones while watching a video, just know that it’s very easy to block the bottom-firing speaker and muffle the sound when holding the phone in landscape mode.
The G Fast and Moto E are kitted out with 4,000-mAh and 3,550-mAh batteries, respectively, which are large enough to easily push these phones past a full day of use. I frequently made it to 7 or 8 pm on the second day before I needed to plug them in. With average use, daily charging is not needed.
Risk of Exposure
It’s not all rosy. The biggest drawbacks of these two phones lie in their camera experiences. The Moto G Fast has a main 16-megapixel shooter, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and an 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle camera, whereas the Moto E sticks with a 13-megapixel sensor and 2-megapixel camera that provides the depth information required for the bokeh effects in portrait mode.
You’ll need to keep your hands very steady to avoid a blurry shot, and you may as well put the phone away in low-light conditions, because the results are always mediocre. (Unlike on the Moto G Stylus, there’s no dedicated night mode.)