Saturday, July 4, 2015

Verizon Moto E (2015) - the king of phones!

For $50 (currently $20, after $25 BestBuy rewards), you simply cannot get a more ideal phone than MOTXT1528PP:
  • Global 4G/LTE (see here), works on Verizon, Sprint (see comments below), AT&T, T-Mobile (confirmed LTE) and etc.
  • Great battery life with its large 2400mAh battery.
  • SD card slot for more storage.
  • OTG USB.
  • FM radio with exceptionally good reception and sound quality, better than the best FM radios I own. And it is stereo, yes! You may plug in something into the headphone jack as an antenna and then cast audio to a Bluetooth device. I can even click the fast forward/backward buttons on my HS3000 to switch stations! Are we talking about a budget phone?
  • Perfect screen size of 4.5", third generation gorilla glass, anti fingerprints.
  • Hotspot works out of box, regardless what prepaid service plan you have! No need to do any hack to bypass the entitlement check.
  • Loud and clear speaker at top front. 
  • Non-slip frame. This frame is also easy to open to access the SD and SIM slots - no need to open the entire back cover.
  • Hot swap SIM cards, unlike all Samsung and LG phones that force a reboot.
  • Fast data speed (20M download), especially uploading (10M, about double of Samsung S4 and LG G2). 
  • Very few blotware if any at all and all Moto "enhancements" can be easily disabled.
  • More than 30 languages built in, including Korea, Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

So what's the catch?
  •  No permanent root yet, but Kingroot works as a temporary one. You just need to use Kingroot to root it after every boot. So yes you can let hotspot go through VPN. Some apps that require modifications to the system folder won't work, such as Busybox and those that need it. BTW, Kingroot 4.0 works better than 4.1. If it fails, reboot, go to settings and apps, KingRoot and clear data. Disabling Moto, Moto Actions, Moto Display and Motorola Alert may also help.
  • As soon as it is connected to the Internet, it'll receive an update to 5.1 which makes it more difficult to switch to GSM mode (global mode). So you'd better ignore the "Install system update" notification - don't touch it, just ignore it. Normally you have to have a Verizon account to get an OTA update and prepaid phones almost never get any update at all, so you know how eagerly Verizon wants to patch this and why you must not take this generous offer.
  • No 2100 MHz that's used for 3G in some countries such India and China.
Two alternatives:
  •  Moto Luge 4G/LTE. It was on sale in BestBuy for $50 before $25 rewards. Smaller (4.3") but better looking screen, slim and adorable. Also a global phone but no LTE on T-Mobile etc. (H+ only). Totally rootable, but Android 4.4.2 has a bug with VPN and ipv6, so you need to use the "OpenVPN Settings" app if you need VPN and disable ipv6.
  • LG Transpyre 4G/LTE. It is always $80 or even lower. It is not a global phone though, CDMA only. Beautiful screen. Root and VPN is the same as the Luge.
[update] Kingroot is not practical and thus this phone is not so suitable for hotspot if VPN is needed, unless you can run VPN on other devices. Brand new Luge is only $80 on ebay, the only thing missing is a fantastic FM radio.

[update] Now there is a workaround to the annoying system update.

[update] Success rate of Kingroot 4.1 is high now, almost successful every time, due to either the removal of TogicTV app (very background active), or newer rooting schemes added to KingRoot's database?

26 comments:

  1. A crucial correction. This does NOT work on Sprint phones in contrast to what you said on the post. Sprint phones only work on sprint phones, non-sprint has no way to work on sprint like how non-Verizon phone cannot work on Verizon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. So Sprint does the same IMEI check like Verizon then.

      Delete
  2. Not sure why deleted, but tethering doesn't work on unlimited or business share plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carriers block tether at two layers, at least. The first block is when you enable hotspot, this moto e2 does not do such block. I have tested my prepaid SIM cards of AT&T, T-mobile and Verizon, all go through this layer.

      The second block happens when you try to make some traffic through the hotspot. VPN is one effective way to penetrate this layer, but it require root. Fortunately, Kingroot works for this purpose.

      Delete
  3. GSM mode now can be enabled on 5.1, not as straight as on 5.0 though.
    Requires some adb commands

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonder if you can use terminal instead of adb?

      Delete
    2. Does it have built-in Chinese language? Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Does it have built-in Chinese language? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, almost all languages plus their input such as Pinyin.

      Delete
  5. Tried to root it using kingroot, but after root succeed, all google apps are force closed. and keeping pop up windows, do you have anything like this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that's the big problem I have been experiencing.

      Delete
    2. Also the tether comes with the OS doesn't work for me - asked me to subscribe to some verizon service

      Delete
  6. FYI for the un-initiated: This (& ?All Verizon LTE'?) phones do not need to be SIM unlocked. Just need to ignore the Not Verizon SIM message.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just bought one with $50 from bestbuy. Thanks!
    It has H+ but not LTE on AT&T.
    My other phone LG G3 has LTE with twice speed as the Moto E's H+.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are its LTE bands?

      Delete
  8. LTE bands
    Phone scoop says Verizon version supports LTE 2/4/5/13.
    So it doesn't support AT&T main band 17.
    AT&T LTE bands: 2, 4, 5, 17(main)
    T-mobile LTE bands: 2, 4(main), 12
    Verizon LTE bands: 4, 13(main)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I got this phone at BestBuy for $35 after showing them the Fry's Ad.

    It immediately downloaded (via Wifi) the OTA upgrade and then started bugging me to install it. After a while I found it asking me how long I wish to delay the install and so I just put in a time prior to the current time and DO NOT check the box that says "Just do it" and it leave me alone for 23:59 hours. Sigh!

    It has the best FM Receiver . This is the first time I've had an FM receiver that can push the music to BlueTooth. But it still needs a cord for reception.

    I was able to sorta delete the Apps by trying to delete them but only getting APP INFO and going there and doing a force stop and disable. And that makes them disappear (at least for the time being)

    Thanks Sean!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah once you touched the update notification, you have to set a delay timer. The interesting thing is: after factory reset couple times, it no longer get the OTA.

      BTW, I now have the b19 ROM for the ZTE Concord II if you're still interested.

      Delete
    2. Check later the original Concord article for a download link.

      Delete
    3. Link posted, expire in 7 days.

      Delete
  10. Does this work with T-Mobile wifi-calling?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Don't know, mostly not because as I know that is a T-Mobile ROM feature. I use a perfectly modified Sipdroid via my own SIP server: http://VoIP.kots.us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just bought a MOTXT1528PP from Fry's, and found it's already in Android 5.1, mobile network only one choice: LTE/CDMA. Any way to make it open up to GSM like T-mobile? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just want to let you know, I followed the steps, with some minor glitch, and had the phone work like a charm! Fry's and BestBuy sold this phone for under $10 before BF. I got 2 and like them so much! Thanks a million!

    ReplyDelete