The Moto E isn't the sort of phone you dream about or sketch concepts of in your spare time. It's made simply and of simple materials; it's neither extremely thin nor especially light. It's just a regular smartphone. What's different about the E, however, is its price: $129 without a contract. Nobody's going to fantasize about this phone because almost everyone who wants one should be able to afford it.

Motorola has proven with the Moto G, which costs $50 more than the new E, that it can condense a modern and responsive Android user experience within tight budget limitations. After only six months on the market, the G is already Motorola's best-selling smartphone ever, and is presently the top seller in Mexico and Brazil.

Tapping into the insatiable appetite for cheaper smartphones, Motorola distinguished itself with swift updates to a near-stock variety of Android that was a joy to use. A market populated by the likes of the Galaxy Fame and Galaxy Young — both of which are stuck on Android 4.1 with little hope of an upgrade — hadn't seen anything like the quick and well-made G before. Or since, for that matter. The Nokia X has waded into this battle, but its lack of Play Store apps and glacially slow performance mean it's more of the same.