Motorola launched another low-price smartphone in Mumbai on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. They are intent upon girding up for Summer early, so that they can go nose to nose with a host of lesser known Chinese and South Korean manufacturers, especially in the exploding Indian market with its $120 Moto E handset. Motorola has planned a series of launch events over 24 hours in different countries, but at the first, in India on Tuesday morning, the company officially took the wraps off its third Moto branded handset, the Motorola 3G Moto E.
Motorola has resisted the urge to overlay a skin or any other fripperies on the OS. Just as with the Moto G and Moto X, the new phone has the same rounded corners, slightly curved backplate, and will be available in a range of colors. It boasts a 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 540×960 pixels. It’s not full HD; it works out as qHD – 256ppi – so it will be fine for streaming videos, although not much use at all for intense gaming. Indeed, for $120 lowered expectations are necessary. It’s not designed as a gaming handset; it’s been designed to offer the masses access to mobile Internet, apps, and the best that Android has to offer. Consequently, although it only has a dual core 1.2 GHz A7 Snapdragon processor, it has a full 1 GB of RAM and runs Android KitKat, the latest and smoothest version of the operating system.
Bang-for-your-buck-wise, the rear-facing camera is a punchy 5 megapixels, and although there’s only 4 GB of storage on board, there’s support for MicroSD cards of up to 32 GB for making more space for music, photos, and films and you can easily transfer everything onto your desktop or laptop more or less instantaneously. By saving money on things like onboard storage and processors, Motorola has been able to invest in other areas of the phone. It is encased in Gorilla Glass to handle the knocks and scrapes of daily life.
Motorola’s guarantee of an “all-day battery life” for the Moto E, Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 and P2i’s waterproof nano coating are usually found only on smartphones costing twice as much as the Moto E. Marketing this model in the same way it did the Moto G, Motorola promises an exclusive early-buyer upgrade to the next version of Android after the Moto E. This is a very savvy way of selling two consecutive phones to the same consumer. Motorola have also been smart enough to sell a version of the Android software that has none of the modifications that other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC typically make, which tend to slow the performance of cheaper smartphones.
Smartphones in the UK are projected to reach 80% penetration by January next year, with 90% sometime between mid-2016 and the end of 2017. Those figures are not available for the US at this point. But, theoretically, the saturation point where almost every person who wants to buy a smartphone will have bought one within the next couple of years in Europe. This would, theoretically, make very low-end smartphones like the Moto E redundant. Luckily, markets in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and Chile still beckon.