Ed. Note: The 2015 Moto E, released in early March, will remain on Android 5.1 Lollipop and not be updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which was made available some seven months later. As such it is not a smartphone we can recommend purchasing.

The first Moto E was a budget-level success, and now it has a budget-level successor: the new Moto E (2015). It's in most every way an upgrade over the previous phone, all while keeping the same low cost that made it so popular in developing countries.

The all-new LTE-toting Moto E 2015

The new edition of the Moto E offers a larger 4.5-inch qHD display (960x540), and when you opt for the LTE version, a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor (the non-LTE version has a quad-core Snapdragon 200 chip inside). In addition, the Moto E has gained a front-facing camera, something that was missing from the first version of the phone. It even runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. All of this for just $149.99.

This is all a marked improvement over the first-generation Moto E, which only offered an HSPA radio, lacked the front-facing camera, and had slightly smaller 4.3-inch display (still qHD, though).

The new Moto E draws power from a 2390mAh battery (up from 1980mAh), which should provide decent battery life with that new LTE radio. The new Moto E also sports some of Motorola's favored software tweaks, including ambient lock screen notifications via Moto Display and the double-wrist-twist gesture to launch straight into the camera app, but by and large it's the mostly-stock Lollipop experience we've come to expect from Motorola.

And, of course, there's some customization you can make here. It's not quite the level of the Moto X, but it's still nice to know that Motorola wants you to be able to make even the entry-level Moto E a little bit yours. To that end, they're offering the phone in black or white, plus the the option of six different colors of "Motorola Bands" that you can swap out to change the color around the edge of the device. Motorola's Grip Shell case has also been updated for the new Moto E.

Moto E (2015) specs

Press release:

Choose to start your mobile journey with the new Moto E

London UK, 25 February 2015: We're big on firsts at Motorola. Whether that's your first job, your first phone or your first status post. We live in a world where access to new experiences and information are at our fingertips and that's exactly what we want to give more people more access to. There are millions of people that haven't yet joined the smartphone revolution because they either haven't found the right product or they don't want to spend hundreds of hard earned pounds to start the journey.

That's why last year we launched Moto E, a new class of smartphone tailored for those looking for a great mobile experience at a price that wouldn't break the bank. Now, we're taking Moto E a step further. We're introducing the next generation, packed with more features and functionality to give people around the world even greater access to life's possibilities - without a hefty price tag. Because we believe access to the mobile internet should be a choice, not a privilege.

Meet the new Moto E. The new Moto E helps you connect to the world like never before. Now available with 4G LTE speed, a 4.5-inch qHD display, front-facing camera, the latest Android™ software (Lollipop) and even more customisation options. And, for the first time, we're bringing personalised software experiences that we introduced with Moto X to our most affordable device. The new Moto E packs a bigger smartphone punch for a fraction of the average smartphone cost.

Meet the New Moto E:

Start connecting at 4G LTE / 4G speed

We took an already great smartphone and paired it with the best 4G network in the world. Start browsing the web, streaming music, playing games and watching videos all at 4G LTE speeds. The new Moto E will also be available in a 3G version.

Do more, faster, with a quad-core processor

The new Moto E features a powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor with a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and advanced graphics. Start switching back and forth between your favourite apps without slowing down. Or listen to music and surf the web at the same time - without missing a beat.

Keep going with an all-day battery

With a 2390 mAh battery, the new Moto E is designed to last a full day. Dash to school or work in the morning. Meet up with family or friends. Then head out for the evening. All without worrying about stopping to recharge.

Take more shots with two cameras

The new Moto E comes with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a second camera in front, making it perfect for selfies or video calls with family and friends. With two twists of the wrist, you can launch the camera with Motorola's Quick Capture feature. Want to take a selfie? Just twist your wrist again to switch to the front-facing camera. All without touching the screen.

Start with the latest Android™ OS, Lollipop

The new Moto E runs Android™ Lollipop, the latest version of the world's most popular mobile operating system.

Let the fun begin... just add color

Give your phone a splash of color with interchangeable Motorola Bands and Grip Shells. Start with a black or white phone and then choose from six Motorola Bands like turquoise or raspberry, or attach a colorful Grip Shell for added protection from scrapes and spills.

Make it easy with Moto software experiences

With the new Moto E, you get premium Moto experiences like Moto Display for notifications and updates without interruptions and Moto Migrate to quickly and easily transfer contacts, photos and videos to your new phone. The new Moto E will be coming to over 50 countries in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia starting today.