Motorola played a fun game with media last week by teasing a mysterious product, saying everything we needed to know could fit into a box. Today we were hand-delivered said product, box and everything. What was inside? Well, it’s no secret by now—but I’ll tell you anyway: a new and improved Moto E.
Rather than holding an event, Motorola created a neat little DIY project to announce its second-generation Moto E, which remains the company’s most affordable smartphone. Smartphones have gotten cheaper over the years, but the Moto E is absurdly cheap; for just $119, folks can pick up the new 3G model, a small sum for what you get. It’s the perfect starter phone, and continues Motorola’s excellent run of very good devices.
Specs include a 4.5-inch (540 x 960 pixel) display, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor (for the LTE model), 5-megapixel camera, 8GB of expandable storage, 1GB of RAM, 2390mAh battery, and Android 5.0. Did we mention it starts at $119. Sure, it doesn’t have the latest specs, but it doesn’t have to. The design is slick, and it’s running Lollipop, which is something you can’t say for a lot of devices.
It’s definitely a step up compared to last year’s model—you get more internal storage, the camera now supports auto focus, and the processor has been updated (at least in the LTE model). It’s worth pointing out that the 3G models will sport a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 chip, as opposed to the LTE model’s Snapdragon 410 (last year’s Moto E came with a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor).
The best part, though, is that the Moto E supports a few of Motorola’s trademark features, including Assist, Actions and Display. Assist automatically adjusts your device depending on different scenarios (like going silent when you’re in a meeting); Actions reacts to gestures; and Display will show you important notifications without having to unlock your phone.
The Moto E also supports interchangeable bands, called Motorola Bands. So rather than taking the entire back cover off, you can choose from an accent band to give your device a bit of color. It’s a clever way to allow folks to customize their phones, and it also hides the microSD and SIM slots, so the outside of the device is seamless.
The forehead of the phone is a little big, but otherwise it’s a handsome phone for how cheap it is. And although we haven’t really put it through its paces, it seems plenty fast for what it is.
There are technically three different versions: a U.S. GSM + LTE, U.S. GSM, and a global GSM. The LTE model, as mentioned above, is the one that comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 chip, while the others come with a quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. You can pick up the new Moto E starting today for just $119 for the 3G models, or $149 for the LTE model.