After a few retailer sightings, Motorola has officially announced the second generation of the entry-level Moto E after the unexpected popularity of the previous version launched last year. The phone ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop and includes more of Motorola’s Android customizations originally pioneered on the Moto X, such as the Quick Capture gesture to launch the camera and Glance Screen for notifications without waking the phone or turning on the display.
The most significant new feature is the added support for LTE networks, however the battery cover is no longer removable, and in its place, the second-generation Moto E now features a customizable and removable band around the edge of the phone that can be removed for bands of other colors as well as new Grip Shells. The display size has also been increased from 4.3 inches to 4.5 inches, keeping the 960 x 540 resolution of the previous model.
The E is now powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor which allows for the addition of the aforementioned Motorola software customizations. Internal storage has also been increased from 4GB to 8GB, and both the SIM slot and microSD slots have been relocated to the sides of the phone, under the removable band. The phone also features an improved 5-megapixel camera with 720p video capture, and a new VGA user-facing camera.
Motorola also claims the 2,390mAh battery should provide more than a full day of use before recharging. The second-generation Moto E is now available direct from Motorola in select markets, including the US at $149.99 for the unlocked LTE version in a US GSM version with support for AT&T and T-Mobile 3G along with support for US LTE (2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17). The 3G-only version will be launched at a later time, with pricing set at $119.99 for the US version.