Motorola has just launched Moto E, a very budget friendly smartphone with a price of $129 (around RM420). Motorola has been sold by Google to Lenovo and Moto E is the first phone announced after the deal, although Lenovo supposedly did not involve in the development of the phone.

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In terms of specs, Moto E has 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage with micro-SD support up to 32GB, 4.3 inch 960×540 display with anti-smudge coating and 5 MP camera. There is nothing special in terms of specifications but Motorola has targeted this phone for the 70% of the people who are still using feature phones. So they try to keep everything nice you have in a feature phone: long battery life with 1980mAh battery, Gorilla Glass 3 for scratch resistance and durability, water-resistant coating and not forget to mention, a low price tag. The design of the phone is almost the same with its brothers, Moto X and Moto G, which is a good thing given that they have nice and simple look. It also comes with colorful replaceable back cover to suit your taste.

The camera is a 5 mega-pixel fixed focus camera with no flash and no stabilization. There is no front camera too. But bear in mind this is a cheap phone and sacrifice has to be made somewhere and Motorola opted to sacrifice optics. However, if you are a feature phone user, you will probably find the camera usable. If optics is important to you, you might want to consider Nokia (or Microsoft Mobile) Lumia 525 which has slightly better specifications and camera.

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Moto E is running Android 4.4 Kit Kat at launch and Motorola promises at least one major update, which can be a luxury for the other brands given that a lot of phones are left to be rot at older version of Android. Motorola has a good reputation in software where they don’t add in bloatwares that you never use and the UI skin is minimum, leaving you with almost pure and fluent Android experience. The hardware will not make the performance fly but considering midrange Moto G is doing great, Motorola should be able to make Moto E usable.

In short, Moto E is a usable, durable phone with passable hardware with a very low price point. It will only be appealing for those who are looking for phones at that price and for those who want to start using smartphone. For those who have smartphones, chances are the phones you have currently are much better than Moto E. We will see if the price will be maintained when it is official in Malaysia. Watch the nice video made by Motorola to know more about it.

Speaking of Moto G, Motorola also showed some love for it. They have refreshed it and add LTE and micro-SD expansion to it. The price is $219 (around RM700). The only complaint I have with the previous version of Moto G is without the micro-SD expansion so this variant will be a very good buy, even if you don’t use LTE that often. (The sad truth is LTE is limited to very few areas only in Malaysia)

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If you feel that one variant is not enough, Motorola also announced a Ferrari edition Moto G with the same specification with original Moto G but with kevlar cover and Ferrari logo and accessories. It costs around $390. Given the fact that Moto G is a budget phone and Ferrari is a premium brand, the combination makes no sense to me. They should have make a Ferrari edition of their flagship Moto X instead of Moto G. However, this will not be a wise choice in terms of money for consumers anyway.