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Motorola's budget Moto E gets LTE, a quad-core CPU, and more storage

Jamie Rigg , @jmerigg
02.25.15
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Earlier this month, Best Buy accidentally (or not) published a listing online that outed an updated Moto E with LTE, more storage and a slightly bigger screen. The page disappeared tout de suite, but last week Motorola gave us a heads-up it was prepping some kind of announcement for today. You don't need to be a math whizz to put two and two together, and as anticipated, Motorola has now made the new and improved Moto E official. The second-generation model has 8GB of internal storage instead of 4GB, as well as an LTE radio (because bargain hunters deserve speedy 4G data access too) and new 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 CPU. It's also been given a fresh face, with a 4.5-inch display in place of the 4.3-inch screen found on the original. That screen is no prettier, however, as you're still afforded the same 960 x 540 (qHD) resolution. It also comes equipped with Lollipop, the latest version of Android. While the OG Moto E retailed for $120/£90, this new model is slightly pricier at $150/£109, with several retailers offering it from today. Motorola's US site tells us there's a 3G variant in the works, too, which should come in a little cheaper when it eventually appears.

Gallery: Moto E (2015) hands-on | 10 Photos

While you won't be mistaking this refreshed Moto E for Motorola's flagship models, the company definitely brought a bit more style to its budget handset this time around. The front of the phone looks cleaner, since there's only one silver bar for the earpiece (its predecessor also had one for the microphone), and a ridged texture on all edges gives it a slightly more premium feel. It's also more solid than the original model. That may be due to how the phone handles access to its microSD and SIM-card slots, which now only requires removing a plastic perimeter panel (available in several colors), rather than the entire rear cover.

Among other improvements, this Moto E also features a 2,390mAh battery, which is slightly bigger than last year's 1,980mAh entry. It also sports a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, which the original model didn't even include. For once, it looks like shoppers won't have to give up much if they're after a budget phone.

Devindra Hardawar contributed to this report.

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