Motorola's $129 Moto E isn't the cheapest phone there is, but it might be the nicest cheap phone there is.
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: budget smartphones have become much more interesting than their high-end counterparts in the last year or so. While $600 flagships continue to get slightly larger and slightly faster and slightly better at a predictable rate, the amount of phone you can get for $200 or even $100 has increased by leaps and bounds. OEMs are looking to sell smartphones to people who don't have smartphones yet, and making things cheaper is the easiest way to do that.
Many of the smartphone OEMs offer budget models, but they're mostly either ancient or terrible. They have slow, no-name processors; not enough RAM or storage; old versions of Android that time has forgotten. You can buy these and use them, but why on Earth would you ever want to?
Motorola (currently owned by Google but awaiting purchase by Lenovo) is taking things in another direction. We already looked at the Moto G, which was an incredibly impressive phone given its $179 starting price. Now we're looking at the Moto E, a $129 follow-up that tries to strike the same balance between quality and price. We've put the phone through its paces and we're here to tell you where it succeeds and, more importantly, where Motorola found that $50 in savings.