Motorola has launched a new Moto E smartphone, and this time it comes with 4G LTE connectivity. The official announcement comes after a series of leaks, and a brief tease of the product launch over the weekend. The phone has been updated in several different ways, and here’s what you need to know.
Updated on 03-12-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news of Verizon, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile availability and pricing.
New Moto E keeps things simple
Motorola has increased the screen size to 4.5-inches for the new Moto E, but has decided to keep the same 960 x 540 pixel resolution. It’s covered in a Gorilla Glass panel to keep it safe, and apparently the body has a water repellent coating. That’s not the same thing as the Moto E being waterproof though, so don’t go dropping it in the bath.
The internal storage space has been doubled to 8GB, and a MicroSD card slot will accept cards up to 32GB on size. This is a considerable improvement over the original phone. Motorola says the 2390mAh battery inside should keep the phone running all day, and Android 5.0.2 is installed from the start — so it’s right up to date.
Motorola has added a degree of customization to the phone’s body. Colorful Motorola Bands can be swapped out, and tough Grip Shells can cover it up to keep it safe. The phone will come in either black or white, with the option of adding one of six bands, or five different Grip Shells. The Grip Shells look particularly cool.
A quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon chip powers the phone, and Motorola has added a basic VGA front camera to the spec sheet, joining the rear 5-megapixel camera.
Pricing and availability
Motorola’s going to charge $150 for the 4G LTE version of the new Moto E, but will also sell a 3G version with the updated spec sheet for $120. It’s already on sale in select areas, and will eventually be sold in more than 50 countries around the world. The Moto E is available for purchase for several prepaid carriers, including Verizon, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile. So far, the pricing for the handset itself is the same at all carriers, coming in at $100.
CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO FOR A ROUNDUP OF ALL THE MOTO E 4G RUMORS
The Moto E 4G specs leaked on both by Best Buy and on a Verizon page. The only difference is the carrier branding. The Best Buy webpage showed the Moto E 4G as a no-contract, pay-as-you-go device available through the Sprint and Cricket network, and priced at $100 and $129, respectively. The processor will apparently be a 1.2GHz Snapdragon chip with 1GB of RAM, while the Android operating system – which may end up being Lollipop, if we’re very lucky – measures 4.5-inches and has a 960 x 540 pixel resolution.
On the rear we should find a 5-megapixel camera, while a basic VGA cam may be fitted on the front. Internal storage is listed as 8GB, and a MicroSD card slot will allow this figure to be increased. This is the other major difference between last year’s Moto E and this revised model, as the 3G version had a mere 4GB of internal storage space. Motorola didn’t fit a front camera to the original phone either, although whether a VGA cam constitutes much of an upgrade may depend on your expectations.
The price, should it remain at $100, is lower than the 2014 Moto E when it was first introduced. We reviewed it at $130, and although it’s hardly a feature-packed powerhouse, noted its value as a basic smartphone even then.
The Moto E was announced in mid-May last year, so it’s less than a year old. However, there’s a growing number of interesting, low-cost smartphones on the market, and Motorola may not want to wait for much longer before putting the new Moto E 4G into battle.
Updated on 03-10-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added information concerning Cricket Wireless availability.
Updated on 02-25-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in official Moto E 4G launch details.
Updated on 02-24-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added new leak of 4G Moto E from Verizon’s website and news of its launch date.
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