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Circuit Breaker

The new Moto E3 has four cores, a 5-inch screen, and Android 6

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Arrives in September with an attractive price and an understated look

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Lenovo

Very much in line with the way it enlarged the Moto G this year, Lenovo is taking the ultra-affordable Moto E and beefing it up for 2016. The Moto E3, as the new model is called, moves from the 4.5-inch display of yesteryear to a new 5-inch HD screen, adds a quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM, and steps up the main camera to an 8-megapixel resolution. This is augmented with a 2,800mAh battery, 8GB of storage, a microSD card slot for expansion, and a splash-proof construction for extra peace of mind. Lenovo even claims the Moto E has a "built-in smudge-resistant screen protector," though how that differs from just building a good screen with something like Gorilla Glass, I'm not really sure.

Running Android 6 Marshmallow, the new Moto E will be up against some tough competition in the most price-sensitive segment of the market. In the UK, Lenovo's new handset will cost £99 (equivalent to $131 in post-Brexit money) off contract, which positions it slightly higher than earlier E models. Still, there's always opportunity for affordable new phones that perform like premium devices — which the original Moto E was so good at — so if Lenovo can keep up this phone's good track record, it can still be a winner. It's just a shame that the company's Moto lineup is being left without any phones smaller than 5 inches. There's a market for smaller devices, as Apple's iPhone SE has recently shown.

The Moto E goes on sale in the UK this September for £99, coming in the wake of the Moto G Play, which will cost £30 more at £129 ($170) in August.


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