Motorola's new Moto E is a more powerful LTE smartphone

Priced at $150 in the US.

The new Motorola Moto E

The new Motorola Moto E

Motorola Mobility's new Moto E has LTE and a more powerful processor than its predecessor, but users will also have to make do with a low-resolution front camera that doesn't measure up to ones offered on competing products.

The upgraded Moto E's arrival less than a year after the first version went on sale highlights the growing competition for unlocked smartphones costing US$200 or less. It will start shipping on Thursday in 40 countries and cost about $150.

The new Moto E has a 4.5-inch, 540 x 960-pixel screen and a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor from Qualcomm. The original model has a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor and a 4.3-inch screen with the same resolution.

There are smartphones that cost less than the Moto E but have an HD screen. For example, parent company Lenovo will start shipping its A6000 in India on Wednesday. It has a 5-inch, 720 x 1280 pixel screen and a US$110 price tag.

However, compared to products from vendors that are more well-known in Europe and the US, the Moto E holds its own. For example, Sony this week announced the similarly priced Xperia E4g, which has a 4.7-inch screen with the same number of pixels. Also, adding an HD screen to the Moto E would risk cannibalising sales of Motorola's best selling product, the Moto G.

The upgraded Moto E also features 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage that can be expanded by as much as 32GB using a microSD card. It still has a 5-megapixel main camera and adds a front-facing VGA camera. The original model lacked a front-facing camera altogether, but the low resolution is still a let-down. The Xperia E4g has a 2-megapixel camera for selfies and so does the A6000.

However, there is one area where the Moto E is ahead of the competition; while the Sony and Lenovo smartphones use Android KitKat, the Moto E comes with Lollipop. The Moto E will be upgraded to a future iteration of Android, but Motorola isn't ready to promise an upgrade to M, the next major version of Google's OS.

Motorola's caution with its bill of materials isn't too surprising. The company has seen big improvements in unit sales, but is now under pressure to start making a profit. Lenovo expects that'll happen within a year to a year and a half.

Motorola will also start shipping a 3G $120 version of the upgraded Moto E on March 3 in the U.S., Latin America and India. It lacks LTE and has a less powerful quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor under the hood.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesAndroidconsumer electronicsMotorola Mobility

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?