Motorola introduces no-contract $129 Moto E, adds LTE to Moto G

moto e black white combo

Motorola introduced a new contract-free, low-cost smartphone on Tuesday that the company says is "fully loaded and fairly priced." With the new Moto E, Motorola says it wants to bring an end to the era of the feature phone by making a capable smartphone available at a reasonable price.

The new handset will be priced at $129, sold via Motorola.com, with a feature set matching the Moto E rumors circulating in April. The Moto E will feature a 4.3-inch qHD display with 540-by-960 resolution at 256 pixels per inch. Motorola's new bargain-basement handset also has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage (with a microSD slot for another 32GB storage), a built-in FM radio, and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera. Sorry, selfie fans, there's no front-facing camera here. 

The Moto E runs Android 4.4.2, KitKat, and connectivity options include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. Motorola's latest device is also very thin at a little less than a quarter of an inch, but weighs in a little heavier than higher-end smartphones at 5 ounces versus 3.95 oz. for Apple's flagship iPhone 5S.

Moto G gets LTE

In addition to the Moto E, Motorola also introduced an updated version of the Moto G on Tuesday with LTE connectivity. The LTE version of the device will sell for $219 contract-free, compared to $179 for the original version.

Like Nokia's Lumia lineup, Google-owned Motorola is currently using its Moto series to create a broad spectrum of devices from the low-powered Moto E to the more high-powered Moto X (and soon the Moto X+1).

But Motorola will be handed over to Lenovo in the coming months, which agreed to buy the company in January for $2.91 billion. Whether Motorola's new owners will continue the same strategy with the Moto lineup is unclear. Lenovo's Motorola acquisition has yet to gain regulatory approval.

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