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7 common problems with the Moto E and how to fix them

We take a look at some of the problems faced by Moto E owners, and offer potential solutions on how to fix them.

Published onOctober 3, 2014

These days, more phone companies are beginning to introduce affordable gadgets for people who want quality on a budget. After the Moto G made a splash in the midrange cellphone pool, Motorola decided to up the ante with the fantastic Moto E. This addition to the family is even cheaper, but comes with the same all-around solid build quality and features that users expect. With great entry-level specifications, the Moto E is be the ultimate phone for the consumer looking to spend less. Of course, smartphones at any price point have their fair share of faults. Today, we’ll be assessing some of the problems that Moto E owners may face, as well as providing potential solutions on how to fix them.

Disclaimer – It’s important to remember that all phones can suffer problems. The Motorola Moto E is still a great smartphone at an unbeatable price point. 

Problem #1 – blurry, out-of-focus photos

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Some users have been conveying disappointment regarding the quality of the photos captured by their Moto E. Although the phone advertises a modest 5 MP camera, the fact that it doesn’t have a flash, auto-focus, or front-facing capture are contributing factors.

Potential Solutions –

  • Unfortunately, this is one of those things that users will have to cope with regarding this phone. You can’t take any stunning low light photos or close-ups, as there is no way to overcome the fixed focus.
  • To boost the resolution a little, make sure that the HDR mode is set to ‘On’, this should give you a sharper, more vibrant result. It will be on ‘auto’ by default. 

Problem #2 – Random reboots

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At such a great value price, you can’t expect the Moto E to be the fastest phone out there, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to deal with random reboots. Some users have expressed concerns about the fact that their phone automatically switches itself off and on again.

Potential Solutions –

  • Most of the time, the problem behind random reboots is a troublesome app. You can try switching the phone onto safe mode, by pressing and holding the power button and waiting for a menu to pop up on screen. When the menu appears, tap and hold the ‘power off’ selection then choose ‘OK’. If, after turning on safe mode, you no longer experience random reboots, you can typically assume that an app is the reason behind your glitch problems.
  • If you do find that an app is responsible, then you can try to uninstall all of your applications one by one to see whether you can find the one responsible this way. On the other hand, to save time, you could just use a factory reset to clear the phone, and then selectively re-install your apps.
  • If an app isn’t to blame, then you’re probably suffering from a case of faulty hardware. Contact the store where you picked up your phone and try to have a replacement sent out.

Problem #3 –Rattling Back Cover

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Several Motorola Moto E users have issued complaints that the phone’s back cover is loose, leading to shaking and rattling when they move the phone.

Potential Solutions –

  • Get in touch with your retailer and ask for a replacement, and they should send one out for free. Make sure that you do not attempt to remove the back of the phone from the top when replacing your cover.
  • If a replacement cover is still loose, then you could stick a small piece of tape to the interior of the cover or use a tiny bit of superglue on the clips to tighten the fit. However, you must be careful with these options, as you do not want to cause further damage to your phone.

Problem #4 – The Charger Keeps Overheating

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Although a couple of people have complained that the Motorola Moto E itself does overheat sometimes when playing games, or using the screen for an extended period of time, it doesn’t seem to be a major problem. A more profound issue is that the charger heats up significantly for many users after just ten minutes of use.

Potential Solutions:

  • First of all, make sure you’re using the cable and charger that were provided with your Moto E. Then, take off the back of your phone and check that the battery is an official Motorola model.
  • Ensure that the charger is securely plugged into the socket and that the cable is firmly plugged into the Moto E. Make sure that the contacts are clean, and attempt using another wall socket to see if there are any noticeable differences.
  • If you have an alternative charger, you can attempt to use this and see whether the problem continues.
  • If you have ensured that the problem is the charger itself, and not your power supply or Moto E battery, then contact Motorola, or your retailer for a replacement.

Problem #5 – Unresponsive Pixels

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Some users have reported problems with stuck pixels on their phone screen. This typically looks like a dead black dot somewhere on your screen that won’t go away when you change pages.

Potential Solutions:

  • There is an application that can be downloaded that will help to detect unresponsive pixels within your phone and fix them, called Dead Pixel Detect and Fix. For the app to work, you may have to run it for a few hours, but it may solve your problem.
  • The only other option for dealing with this issue is contacting your retailer or Motorola and asking for a replacement handset. If you can clearly see the stuck pixels, they should not be able to refuse you a replacement.

Problem #6 – Sudden Sound Problems

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Some owners of the Moto E have reported that they suddenly are no longer able to hear sound from their media applications on their speakers. After restarting the phone, the issue may be fixed for a couple of seconds, but then the problem arises again, acting as though there are headphones plugged in by providing the ‘too loud for too long’ warning.

Potential Solutions:

  • Attempt a hard reset, as there may be a conflict somewhere with cached data. By resetting your phone to its factory settings, you will erase all data from the system, including any damaged files that could be causing audio problems.
  • If you don’t want to lose data with a hard reset, try pressing and holding the power button until you see a menu with the ‘power off’ and ‘airplane mode’ options. Below those selections you should see three icons, two of which will look like speakers. Select the speaker with a line through it, indicating speaker off, then power down, power back up, and selected ‘speaker on’.

Problem #7 – ‘Emergency Service is blocked’

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Many users have apparently experienced an issue where service is lost and they are given the notification: ‘Restricted access changed – Emergency service is blocked’. Apparently, this is more of a network issue than a software or hardware fault to do with Motorola itself.

Potential solutions:

  • Carefully remove your SIM card; ensure that it and the slot for it is clean, before reinserting.
  • If you used a SIM that had to be cut, instead of a Micro SIM, you might suffer more problems. Try ordering a Micro SIM from your carrier to use instead.

So there are some of the most common problems faced by people with the Motorola Moto E. We will continue to update this list for you if more problems arise, and if you’ve struggled with any of these issues, let us know if our solutions worked for you. If you have other issues with your device, mention them in the comments and we’ll try to find a potential fix for you!

Here are the guides on how to perform a soft reset and a hard reset (factory reset) on the Motorola Moto E.

Soft Reset

  • If your display is already off, press the power key to turn it back on.
  • Press down the Power/lock key for somewhere between eight and ten seconds.
  • Your phone will perform an automatic restart

If this does not work, then take the battery out of your phone, wait thirty seconds, then reinsert it. Press the Power/lock key to turn your phone back on.

Factory Reset

Remember that by performing a factory reset, all of the data in your phone will be erased. If you have any important things saved on your phone, you should back up before a hard reset.

To factory reset your phone through your phone’s menu

  • Unlock your phone and tap ‘menu’
  • Go to ‘settings’ then ‘backup and reset’
  • From there, select ‘factory data reset phone’
  • Agree with the prompts that appear on your screen
  • Select ‘reset phone’.

To factory reset your phone in the case of a frozen screen, you can use hardware buttons:

  • Start by turning off your phone – simply press the power button and select ‘power off’ on the menu.
  • Enter the Moto E ‘fastboot’ mode by pressing the power button and volume down key at the same time for six to seven seconds. Release when the fastboot mode menu is displayed.
  • From fastboot mode, use the volume down and up buttons to scroll through the menu.
  • Select your ‘recovery’ option and select by pressing down the power button.
  • From ‘recovery’ choose ‘wipe data factory reset’
  • You can choose to wipe the cache partition on your phone also from the main menu of recovery by picking ‘advanced’ then selecting ‘wipe dalvick cache’.

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