Motorola returned to the mobile game in a big way during the second half of 2013 thanks to the launch of the Moto G.

It wasn't an all-singing, all dancing flagship smartphone; instead, it sported mid-range specs and a low-end price tag.

And it was that excellent value for money proposition which saw it fly off shelves, and Motorola is attempting to do the same thing again with the Moto E.

Instead of being a direct replacement of the Moto G, the Motorola Moto E becomes the firm's new entry level device, coming with dialled down specs and a lower price of £89.

Cut to the chase
What is it? Motorola's new super-cheap smartphone
When is it out? By 20 May
What will it cost? £89 in the UK, $129 in the US off-contract (around AU$160)

Moto E release date

Motorola scheduled an event for May 13 in London and New Delhi, and used this to launch the all new Moto E.

The phone will launch 'later this week' in the UK, which means you'll be able to have it stored safely in your pocket for not much cash by 20 May.

Moto E

The Moto E will be available off-contract in the US via Motorola.com in the coming weeks.

This will be the first handset to come out of Motorola since it was sold by Google to Chinese firm Lenovo, and will be joined by a 4G version of the Moto G.

Moto E price and specs

As you can imagine with a phone that's packing low-end specs, the price is very competitive: we're talking £89/$129 off-contract (around AU$160) for a phone that would have cost five times that much not very long ago.

We're still waiting for prices internationally, or even a plan to release it in other territories, so stay tuned.

Moto E display

The Moto G might sound like it has a small screen, but in reality it's larger than the iPhone by 0.3 of an inch, with a 4.3-inch display sitting atop a 960 x 540 256ppi resolution.

That's pretty low sharpness for a smartphone, but broadly equivalent with most tablets on the market at the moment.

Moto E

That's a touch smaller than the 4.5-inch Moto G - and sadly isn't as high-res as the older generation of low-cost motorola smartphone, which packs a 720p resolution.

Moto E power and OS

One of the attractive points about the Moto G was its 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, giving the handset a decent amount of grunt under the hood.

Moto E owners will have to make do with a dual-core offering, as the Moto E will feature a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor and 1GB of RAM - this isn't going to be a lot of grunt if you want to mess around with higher-power apps, but it's at least enough to keep things chugging along better than a single core variant.

Moto E

That RAM allowance should ensure that Android 4.4.2 KitKat runs smoothly on the Moto E, which is kinder on the power draw compared to the older versions of the OS.

Similar to the operating system on the Moto X and G, Motorola hasn't tinkered with Android too much. That means you'll get an almost stock version of Google's mobile platform, with a handful of additional features thrown in.

Moto E camera

The Moto E inherits the same 5MP camera that you find on the Moto G, but round the front there's no good news.

It appears that Motorola has chosen not to include a front facing snapper on the Moto E which may deter the young, selfie-obsessed market.

Battery and connectivity

With a smaller screen and less powerful processor inside the Moto E we can at least expect half decent battery life from the handset.

Moto E

The Moto E as sports a 1980mAh battery, which is bigger than expected. That's slightly smaller than the 2070mAh power pack in the Moto G, but larger than the 1450mAh offering in the Lumia 520.

In terms of connectivity don't look for 4G capabilities on the Moto E, as the phone arrives in a 3G variant only.

We're still waiting on confirmation of the internal storage, but we're expecting to see it come on the lower end of the scale (around 4GB), which is pretty poor, but a microSD slot is housed beneath the removable rear cover allowing you to build on that paltry offering by up to 32GB.