E for Entry: Moto makes a budget phone

Motorola’s recently reviewed X smartphone might be tackling the mid-range, but the entry level market has space for Moto to take over, and a new device from the company looks squarely aimed at people who don’t want to spend too much.

Announced overseas and likely to be made available in Australia in the next few months, Motorola’s “E” handset isn’t a flagship, and it isn’t even a mid-range, focused on people who need a solid phone, but not necessarily one with all the fix-ins.

The smartphone will run on Google’s Android, the latest version of it in fact (KitKat), paired with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 dual-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, 1GB RAM, and 4GB storage.

While 4GB doesn’t sound like much in the way of storage, there’s room to move with a microSD slot capable of handling up to 32GB, meaning more music, photos, videos, apps, and games, provided you have a small memory card handy.

The screen isn’t small, with a 4.3 inch qHD 960×540 display protected by Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3, with a degree of water resistance added in the form of a splash guard.

A 5 megapixel rear camera is also included, as is WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and the ability to stream FM radio, and while 4G isn’t part of the package, 3G is with downloads rated to 21Mbps.

But a lack of 4G might not be such a big deal, especially in the part of the market Motorola is going for, with a price of $129 in America before tax, suggesting Australians won’t have to pay more than $200.

The budget area isn’t known for having many 4G LTE phones, and outside of the few cost-cutting models released by Telstra and engineered by ZTE (among others), there aren’t many options, so consumers generally know that going in with a small budget.

Motorola’s E certainly won’t add to this, but it will provide an up-to-date budget smartphone, which is also something that can’t be found easily, as entry-level touchscreen Android phones generally come equipped with older versions of Android.

As for what the Moto E will be like, we can only say when the review units arrive, but if it’s anywhere near as good as it’s Moto X brother, then it’s about to get really interesting in the entry level section of the market.