Lenovo/Motorola announces $US129 Moto E Android smartphone, 4G Moto G upgrade

Lenovo subsidiary Motorola has fired the latest salvo in the low-end smartphone price wars, announcing a new Android smartphone for just $US129 outright.

The new smartphone runs the most recent of Android, 4.4 KitKat, features a 4.3-inch Gorilla Glass display, and includes Microsoft Lumia-style replaceable back covers.

The device also includes a 1980 mAh battery, a microSD slot with up to 32 gigabytes of storage and a built-in FM radio.

However, its rear camera is limited to 5-megapixels, it is built around a dual-core (rather than quad-core) Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at 1.4 GHz and its display is limited to 256 pixels-per-inch.

In a statement, the company says the Moto E is aimed at first-time smartphone buyers who have held off on replacing their featurephones.

“The fact is, about 70% of mobile phone users in the world are still using feature phones that can’t unlock the full wonder of the mobile Internet, in many cases because they don’t think it’s worth the $337 for a smartphone (the average selling price globally in 2013).

“We believe it’s time the feature phone era came to an end and that quality smartphones are made accessible and affordable for all. Say hello to Moto E and join us in officially saying goodbye to the feature phone forever.”

The company has also announced a 4G version of its Moto G smartphone for $US219, as well as a price cut for its existing 3G Moto G to $US179.

While full specifications for the 4G Moto G haven’t been released, the existing model features a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, a 4.5-inch HD display, with a screen resolution of 326 pixels-per-inch.

While it is unclear whether the devices will receive an Australian release, Lenovo claims 80 carrier partners in 40 countries have already signed up to sell the new devices.

The new device is the latest salvo in a low-end smartphone price war that has seen Microsoft release a new low-end smartphone in Australia, the Lumia 630, for just $249 outright earlier this week.

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