Lenovo's Moto E3 tries to redefine the budget-phone model

Lightweight contender grows up

Lenovo is giving its affordable E series of smartphones the 2016 treatment, just like it did with the Moto G4 and G4 Plus.

Bigger, faster, and supposedly splash-proof, the Moto E3 tries to redefine the budget-phone model at a time when consumers seem to be more interested in the midrange segment than at any point prior.

If you can’t afford more expensive options out there, Lenovo’s Moto E3 might be something you’d want to pursue if it’s available in your region (Moto has a small distribution network, much to our disappointment).

The 2016 Moto E model pairs a 5-inch, 720p display — a step up from last year’s 4.5-inch, 540p screen — with a quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of upgradable storage. The E3’s screen also has an oleophobic coating, which should give the front of the phone the practical benefit of smudge resistance.

The 8-megapixel main camera and 2,800mAh battery are also an improvement (from a 5-megapixel shooter and a 2,390mAh cell), if only slightly so. As with most Android devices released today, the E3 has Android 6.0 Marshmallow on tap.

The Moto E3 will run for £99 ($130) when it hits U.K. stores this September. A wider release is expected to follow soon after that.

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