Motorola doesn't want to lose its grip on the entry-level and mid-range segments. In 2018, the Moto G series seems like it'll be getting a significant upgrade. But the company still cares about those very cheap phones for consumers who don't need all the fanciest features. That's why the Moto E series, too, will see new models released this year.
Mobile industry insider Evan Blass shared images of the Moto E5 Play over the weekend:
Verizon and Cricket Wireless are going to sell Motorola's soon-to-be-announced Moto E5 Play. Since Cricket Wireless is a prepaid carrier belonging to AT&T, it's likely that Verizon also relegates the entry-level phone to its prepaid customers. The Moto E series is low-priced; therefore, offering it on a regular lineup isn't ideal as a subsidy is useless.
AT&T's prepaid carrier, however, won't be selling the phone with the same name. Cricket Wireless' variant will be known as the Moto E5 Cruise. It's a throwback to the days when phones were branded differently despite being the same in every other way.
Being that the images only show the front of either variant, it's hard to tell what the Moto E5 Play will be like. Last month there was an image of the regular Moto E5 posted online that appeared to have a rear-based fingerprint scanner. Since this is the Play-based model, a fingerprint scanner will probably be left out.
What we do see on the Moto E5 Play here is a traditional display with thick top and bottom bezels, a slightly tweaked version of Android, and a front-facing camera with LED flash.
Invites have yet to be sent out, but there's speculation that Motorola will unveil the new Moto E series at MWC at the end of the month.