Motorola launches the Moto E: 1.2GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, water-resistant, just £89

After weeks of leaks, Motorola today unveiled its newest entry-level smartphone. The Moto E - the first device to be launched since Motorola Mobility transferred from Google's care to become part of the Lenovo family - is the latest handset to target the lower end of the market, and the company will be hoping that its keen pricing and ample specs will appeal to those who desire a competent smartphone experience without having to spend a small fortune. 

Under the hood, you'll find a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, along with 1GB of RAM, a 1980mAh battery, and 4GB of onboard storage, along with a microSD slot supporting cards up to 32GB. Up front, there's a 4.3-inch display with 960x540px resolution, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and a special smudge-resistant coating which will please those with particularly greasy paws.

Like Microsoft's recently launched Lumia 630, the Moto E also includes the option of dual-SIM capabilities, a must-have feature for many of the most price-sensitive buyers in emerging markets. Another significant feature is the device's water-resistant body - a very useful addition, and one that is often found in handsets that cost far more, such as Samsung's Galaxy S5

Users will be able to customize the Moto E with a range of different 'shell' covers, including some 'grip shells' that offer a more ruggedized finish. There's also a 5MP rear camera, but no flash, and no front-facing camera for video calls either. 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi is supported, as is Bluetooth 4.0 LE, but you won't get 4G LTE support. The device weighs in at 142g; its dimensions are 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3mm (at its thickest point).

The Moto E will go on sale with Android 4.4 KitKat on board and, according to Engadget, the company says that the device will see "at least one major update" to the OS during its support lifecycle. 

For many of the potential buyers that Motorola is targeting with this device, all of this adds up to a pretty decent package, especially when you consider its price tag. The Moto E goes on sale in the UK this week for just £89 GBP off-contract. (Direct currency conversions equate this to around $150 USD / €109 EUR / Rs.9000 INR / 935 CNY, but exact pricing in each market will vary, depending on various factors.)

In the United States, for example, buyers will pay $129 (excluding taxes and shipping), while in India, the device will be available from Flipkart for just under Rs.7000.

That's not a bad deal at all, on paper at least - we'll have to reserve judgement, though, until we've had a chance to put the device through its paces in a full review. But Motorola has plans to bring its smartphone experience to even lower price points. Earlier this year, the company said that it was working on bringing a $50 smartphone to market.

Source and images: Motorola 
This article was updated after publishing to add details of local pricing in certain markets.

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