Motorola Does What Apple Can’t; Launches Budget ‘Moto E’ for $129 Unlocked and Contract Free

When the rumors were swirling before the launch of the iPhone 5C, the thought was that Apple would finally be tapping into a new market segment with a budget smartphone. No doubt a lesser version of its flagship iPhone 5S, lesser specs and cheaper build parts would mean a considerably lower price for consumers. Such a device would appeal to developing markets outside the United States and help Apple establish an even larger presence overseas where a basic 16 GB iPhone 5S can cost as much as $1,100.

Unfortunately, that’s not what the iPhone 5C actually became. Unlocked and contract free, it’ll set you back $549 here in the States, a mere $100 less than the flagship iPhone 5S, and as disappointing sales have shown, that’s not what the market is looking for. If you have $550 to drop on a “budget” phone, you’ll likely be able to cough up the extra $100 for the flagship model.

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Motorola saw the opportunity here and pounced. Earlier this year, they released the Moto G, a well-performing entry level Android smartphone with a 4.5-inch HD display, a quad-core Snapdragon processor, and a 5 MP camera for just $179 unlocked and contract free. It also runs the latest version of Android, version 4.4 KitKat. That’s a solid deal.

Earlier this week, Motorola announced that they’ve gone even further, unveiling the Moto E, which sells at an incredible $129 price point, fully unlocked and without a contract. Like the Moto G, it runs the latest version of Android, version 4.4 KitKat. It offers a slightly smaller 4.3-inch display at 960 x 540 resolution, a dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and a 5 MP camera. Don’t expect blistering, eye-popping performance out of the Moto E, but bear in mind this device would be the cream of the crop just a couple years ago, and at $129 bucks, it’s accessible to [literally] millions more people than the $549 iPhone 5C.

You can buy the Moto E directly from Motorola’s website now. It comes in Black or White as the primary color, and there are nine fun color options for the back plate that you can add for $15 bucks.

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