Motorola has launched low-cost smartphone Moto G that includes features more commonly found in higher-priced models.
The Moto G will be sold contract-free from $179 in the US.
The handset has a 4.5 in (11.4 cm) 720p high-definition screen, a five megapixel rear camera, a 1.3MP front one, and runs the latest versions of the Android operating system.
Analysts suggest the budget end of the market is set to enjoy huge growth.
The Moto G is being launched in 30 countries including the US, UK, France, Germany and parts of Latin America and Asia. That contrasts with Motorola’s last model – the Moto X – which is currently only available in the US.
Its price makes it slightly cheaper than Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Mini, HTC’s Desire X and Sony’s Xperia M but still more expensive than Huawei’s Ascend G510.
However, Motorola’s device is the only one of these to come preinstalled with the Android Jelly Bean operating system. The firm is also promising to release an upgrade to the newest version of its Android platform, KitKat, in the near future.
It also has the highest resolution display and is the only one to feature a quad-core, rather than dual-core, CPU (central processing unit). This should in theory allow it to offer superior processing power while minimizing the toll on battery life.
Motorola representatives revealed the handset would be targeted at three groups:
- People in developing countries who wanted to move from a basic “feature phone” to one that could run a wide range of apps
- Students and children in richer nations, for whom price was still an issue
- Existing smartphone owners frustrated by the prospect of spending $800 every couple of years to upgrade to another top-end model [youtube DljaASvRUIA 650]