Moto E & G LTE Launch in Toronto: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

All eyes on the big screen...

So this morning I was also at the Motorola event with Howard in downtown Toronto. Two new Android handsets were announced, a bargain basement Moto E and a new version of the Moto G with LTE.

The Moto E will sell for $179.99 unlocked from Ingram Micro, while the LTE Moto G will be a Rogers and Fido exclusive at launch. Another bit of news is that starting this June you’ll be able to buy an unlocked HSPA Moto G at your local Staples.

Here, in reverse order, are my thoughts about the phones and the event itself.

The Ugly

I’m certainly not going to fault Motorola Canada for putting on a good show; it’s just a bit unfortunate that their “news” about the Moto E had been public knowledge for about 12 hours prior, and made for a rather obvious elephant in the room. But maybe I’m presuming too much about how closely other folks follow their Twitter and RSS feeds.

As for the Moto G LTE, everyone got to take home a little booklet called a “Reviewer’s Guide”, filled with handy talking points to make sure we all stay on message about the device. With no point of contact for further questions, this reviewer found it just a tiny bit insulting.

The Bad

If you’ve ever been to a car show you’ve probably lined up for a short turn in the driver’s seat of some pocket rocket, rowing through the gearbox and adjusting the rear-view mirror until you realize there’s not really much else you can do without actually being able to drive the thing.

A press scrum at a phone launch is much the same; a bunch of bloggers crowd around a small number of devices and patiently wait their turn for some hands-on time, without actually being able to take them out for a spin in the real world.

That said, I did get a couple of insights into Moto’s new hardware offerings. The low-priced E has dual front-facing stereo speakers, and they actually sound pretty good. Unfortunately the qHD screen (960×540 pixels) doesn’t do the handset any favours as a YouTube-viewing machine.

As for the LTE-enabled Moto G it handily smoked an iPhone 5S—also on the Rogers network—in a speed test. 2600MHz ftw!

The Good

Ok, it’s actually pretty great. While everyone else was watching the presentation I had my eye on a large table where a number of gift bags were being assembled. At the last Moto event I attended I got to take with me a brand-new Moto G, which Howard eventually gave away. This time around, it’s a Moto G with LTE, and a temporary SIM from Rogers.

In other words, there may be another giveaway soon. 😀