Motorola's Moto E was created as an extremely affordable smartphone that doesn't compromise in too many areas, and the second generation brought some welcome improvements over the first one. Sure, it's screen is not the sharpest by any means, but the resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and the smallish size of 4.5 inches makes for a density of 245 ppi, as an additional benefit, it's covered by Gorilla Glass 3. Its processor is a quad-core one at 1.2 GHz and 1 GB of RAM is also included. The internal memory is only 8 GB, but it can be expanded by Micro SD cards up to 32 GB. There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back and there's even a front facing camera this time around.
This particular phone was released with Android Lollipop 5.0 out of the box, so users could enjoy the new design language with its brighter colors and animations plus the new notifications system right from the start, but now Verizon has announced that it will be updated to the most recent version of the operating system Android 5.1 starting now, so you might want to check if the update is available in the About Phone section. The phone currently sells for $69.99 in a pre-paid plan with this carrier, so it's nice to see them updating devices other than flagships to the latest versions.
Besides the typical bug fixes, this update includes improvements with the alarms and notifications, being able to silence them in some new scenarios, also, volumes may now be adjusted even while media files are being played, just a tap on the bell icon will bring up additional volume controls. If notifications are swiped in an upward direction, they will disappear but they will be kept in the notifications bar. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons in the Quick Settings menu will now show a pull-down menu to easily change the access points or devices that are being used. Some icons from this menu could be hidden by a long press. For additional protection against theft, the device will remain locked until the user logs in with his Google account credentials, even after being reset to factory settings. Finally, Ambient Display will be a little more accurate and will prevent accidental interactions as the minimum swipe distance has been increased.