Motorola E (2nd Gen) 4G LTE: A Belated Review

Motorola E (2nd Gen) 4G LTE: A Belated Review

May 13, 2015

For the longest time, Motorola has been synonymous with Android; it’s been a part of the Android takeover, and some of the best smartphone hardware has born its imprint. With the Moto E2, the device maker looks to show it can have a budget hit. Again.

The review unit Moto sent us contained the black handset (a white alternative is also available, two bands (more on that later), power cord and documentation. The phone goes against the grain somewhat, particularly with regards to size; still, it would be rude to call it diminutive at 5.11 x 2.63 x 0.48 inches and weighing in at 5.1 ounces. It is quite comfortable in hand, and feels well constructed, so much so that at first glance, one will definitely be forgiven foe not noticing the interesting band that goes around the side. This flexible band houses hardware buttons and protects SIM and SD card slots, but are also swappable, and allows a degree of aesthetic customization.

Under the hood, the Moto E does have some pertinent upgrades on its predecessor: our review unit packs the Snapdragon 410 with 1.2 GHz Quad-Core CPU (Adreno 306 with 400 MHz GPU)). It also has 1GB RAM and 8GB Flash, with the ability to expand with up to 32GB, and a 5GB rear camera paired with a simple VGA snapper set towards the top right on the front of the device.

Moto E_2nd Gen_1 Phone

With Android Lollipop at the helm, the device is zippy and familiar. Interestingly enough, the OS is close to stock in appearance and navigation, with Material Design front and center in the stock offerings. The core apps are all here, and the hardware and software combine to create a smooth experience. We are able to test it out with a few choice games, and the Moto E did swimmingly.

The lack of NFC functionality is disappointing, the cameras are not going to blow you away, and that internal space might cause app-centric users some nervousness. Also, one will have to learn to love the installed apps, because a lot of them can only be disabled at best, and not uninstalled from the device; it boils down to a good deal of the stated being used from jump. Some folks might balk at the screen size, but it is better than decent in real life usage, and even browsing works well.

In the end, it’s a budget device that feels like it has the chops to at least not get left too behind by the flagships. It works surprisingly well as a hub, and, in some aspects, puts us on notice with regards to when Motorola drops its next high-powered device.

Hill Bill Gets Released on Android Soon

Hill Bill Gets Released on Android Soon

Sep 9, 2013

Hill Bill 3

Hill Bill, a motorcycle trick-jumping simulator with a person of South-western folk roots as a protagonist, will soon land on Android. Bringing a new “Las Vegas” level with it. The game is perceived warmly on iOS, so here’s hoping that it’ll be as interesting around here as well. The game doesn’t yet have a download link, we’ll notify you when it finally does.

Hill Climb Racing App Review

Hill Climb Racing App Review

Dec 20, 2012

If 2012 is known for anything in the world of apps it should be about the rise of the endless runner. Games like Temple Run have taken over the addiction throne from the usual skill/puzzle games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds. The reason these games are so addictive is because no matter what there is never an end, and the game always ends on account of a mistake of the player. This mechanic is pretty much exactly what makes these games so addicting because they leave the player with this feeling that something is unfinished; that all they need to do is not make the same mistake and they will progress further. I do not mean to sound conceited or elitist but I find that it is hard for me to truly become addicted to mobile games. Sure, I will love them for a while but like a bachelor with commitment issues I quickly become bored and move on. This all changed when my girlfriend had me download Hill Climb Racing and this semester’s final grades might be a reflection of how much class time I spent engrossed in this game.

Instead of most endless runners which put the player above the action looking down this game operates very similar to those dirt bike flash games where the player controls the physics of a motorcycle rider over a turbulent terrain. The view is from the side and the goal is simply to advance as far as possible over 8 different rugged terrains. The catch here is that the basic jeep that is given to start with has terrible traction and struggles to get up even the most basic of hills. Combine this with a ever depleting gas meter and for the first few tries the jeep does not get very far. A standard coin system allows for upgrades to the vehicle as well as unlocking better vehicles and new maps. What is nice is that these upgrades are really well spread out and there are enough of them that a fully decked out car takes an amazingly long time to obtain even though it feels like it is being constantly upgraded.

With each upgrade the impact is noticeable and that is what makes the game so addicting because every unscalable hill is just one traction upgrade away from being just a bump in the road. Mountains that once seemed impossible at the beginning now are jumped over without the slightest thought. No matter how powerful the vehicle the player possess is it never feels overpowered, and yet the game never is viewed as cheap or unfair. Each level has checkpoints that give coin bonuses and it is a great feeling struggling to get to Level 6 and then suddenly cruising all the way to Level 9 in one go. Hill Climb Racing is one of the greatest games I have played on my Android device and I strongly recommend that it moves right to the top of any download list.