Last year Motorola launched the budget-minded Moto G handset that struck an effective balance between price and performance, and signalled a new direction for the company. With today’s announcement of the Moto E, the company is pushing the equation to the limit, providing low-end but capable specs at a wallet-friendly price.

The new handset runs on a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor and Adreno 302 400 MHz single-core GPU, backed up by 1 GB of RAM. Motorola has packed in a slightly skimpy 4 GB of internal storage, but luckily there’s a microSD card slot available, allowing for a more spacious 32 GB of expandable storage.

The Moto E’s display is one of its weaker elements, clocking in at just 540 x 960 over 4.3-inches, giving it 256 pixels per inch. That said, we have seen much lower resolution offering in the budget category, and the E’s display does come with an anti-smudge finish and Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Though there’s no front facing camera here, the handset does feature a 5 MP shooter on the back, capable of recording 720p video. In terms of connectivity, you’ll find Bluetooth 4.0 LE, a built-in FM radio and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and the device is kept alive by a 1,980 mAh battery that Motorola claims will keep the handset running for around 24 hours of mixed use.

The smartphone is pretty average when it comes to thickness and weight, coming in at 12.3 mm (0.48 in) and 142 g (0.31 lb). The design of the device is similar to other handsets in the Moto line.

Beyond those basic specs, the E stays true to its Moto moniker, offering some customization in the form of a range of colorful, interchangeable backs known as Shells. Even though Motorola recently ceased to be a Google company, you can still expect the latest Google experience if you pick up the Moto E, with the handset running on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, with a guaranteed 4.4.3 update.

Unsurprisingly, the handset will be widely available, coming to more than 40 countries and more than 80 carriers in the weeks to come. The smartphone starts as US$129 with no contract, which, given its capable specs, makes it a solid option for the budget-minded consumer or anyone making the jump up to a smartphone.

Check out the video below for a closer look at the Moto E.

Source: Motorola