Moto E (2nd-gen) camera review: better than its predecessor, but not the competition

“A closer look at the camera performance of the Moto E (2015)”

When Motorola launched the Moto E (review | FAQs) in May last year, the device instantly became a go-to choice for anyone looking for a capable smartphone under Rs 7,000. However, if there was one area where the Motorola’s budget offering lacked, it was in the camera department. It had a 5-megapixel sensor at the back, which, because of its fixed-focus mechanism, was good enough for only basic shooting. There was no LED flash either to help in low-light environments. The manufacturer also didn’t think much of the selfie trend too, since the Moto E had no camera at the front.

The new Moto E (2nd-gen) camera

Its successor, the recently-launched second-gen Moto E (first impressions | FAQs) tries to tackle all these issues. Even though it still sports a 5-megapixel camera at the back, it gets autofocus mechanism promising sharper images. At the front too, the smartphone features a VGA sensor. To see whether all these updates have improved the image quality too, we took the device out and shot in variety of conditions to test out its camera prowess. The following images have been taken in automatic settings with the aspect ratio set at 4:3.

Long shot

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera review - long shot

The above shot was taken at Fatehpur Sikri and the second-gen Moto E’s shooter manages to capture the different elements in the scene well… The Badshahi Darwaza on one side and Tomb of Salim Chisti on the other look nice, and the cloudy sky also adds a artistic feeling to the image. Being a 5MP snapper, you can’t expect much details or sharpness, but the colours have been reproduced quite well.

Close up

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera test - close up

The above image also continues our feeling of the artistic touch with the Moto E snapper as the flower has been captured well, and the same goes for the insect. The sunlight imparts a nice effect on the leaves, and the image seems to be adequately sharp. Now let’s see if our impressions remain the same when the image is magnified.

Close up (zoomed in)

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera test - close up (zoomed in)

Magnifying the same image by 100 percent, you can take a look at the insect closely along with a few petals. While the image isn’t as sharp as we’d have liked, details aren’t lost completely.

HDR off

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera quality - HDR off

The above image will serve as a reference for seeing the HDR capabilities of the Moto E (2015)’s camera. As such, the camera has been able to do justice to the scene by capturing the Taj Mahal and everything in between well, but let’s see if turning on HDR spruces it up.

HDR on

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera quality - HDR on

With HDR, it seems that Taj Mahal does live up to its name of white beauty as the whole image looks brighter and in turn, pleasing to the eyes.

Front shot

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera samples - front camera shot

It’s a welcome change that Motorola is offering a front-facing camera on the new Moto E, since there was none in its predecessor. However, the snapper is available just for the sake of it as evident from the image embedded above. The image is blurry and has very poor resolution since the phone features a VGA sensor at the front. Still, it should at least serve your basic video calling needs.

Low-light shot

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera sample - low-light shot

While in daylight, the Moto E (2nd-gen)’s shooter can capture good shots, it goes for a toss in dimly-lit conditions. The shot above only shoes the head of the bobblehead probably because of the light shade of the face, while its body isn’t visible at all.

Night shot

Moto E (2nd-gen) camera performance - night shot

However, if there’s light available even during night, then the camera is able to capture the subjects well. In this case, both flowers and leaves are visible, and different colours of flowers can also be made out.

As the images suggest, the second-gen Moto E will serve the needs of casual photo sharing on social networks and is definitely better than its previous iteration. However, when you take into the account of its sticker price of Rs 6,999, then it faces strong competition from the Lenovo A6000 (camera review) and Xiaomi Redmi 2 (camera review), both of which boast a better pair of shooters with 8MP rear snappers and 2MP front shooters. Of course, the camera isn’t the only thing while choosing a phone, so wait for our complete review of Motorola’s latest offering, coming your way soon.

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