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You can customize and buy the new Moto G with LTE today

This year's Moto G may have been one of Motorola's worst-kept secrets, but it's still taking the time to formally announce the new smartphone on stage today. And Motorola's announcement actually confirms one important thing: the new Moto G now includes LTE as part of its standard model. That hasn't been the case until now, and it was one of the low-cost smartphone's biggest downsides. With this new model, which Motorola is releasing today, the Moto G becomes an even more compelling choice for people looking for a cheap smartphone. Even without LTE, it was already our go-to choice.

LTE is now in every configuration of the Moto G

The new Moto G keeps the same 5-inch, 720p display specs as last year's model, but the outside of the phone has still seen some improvements. The new model borrows some of the Moto X's style, and it can also be customized through Moto Maker for the first time. That'll allow buyers to choose different colors for the phone's front, back, and accents — exactly what Motorola has been doing with its top-of-the-line Moto X since 2013.

On the inside, this year's Moto G switches over to a 1.4GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, which is what's allowing it to have LTE. It now includes a 13-megapixel rear camera, up from 8 megapixels. Motorola says it's the same camera in use on the Nexus 6, calling it "best in class" and optimized specifically for this phone. The phone comes in two configurations with either 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage or 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It also includes a microSD slot, a 5-megapixel front camera, and basic waterproofing. It's running Android 5.1 Lollipop, which, as usual, Motorola is keeping pretty close to stock.

Motorola says that last year's G was a big hit for it. This year's model doesn't change the formula much, but it updates the phone in all the right areas. LTE was always one of the big areas where the G came up short, and Motorola even promises that we'll get good photos from it this year. The phone's pricing starts at $179.99 for its 8GB model — the same price that its predecessors started at — so Motorola shouldn't have much of a problem winning over existing fans.

Check out our Moto X live blog for the latest updates.