Republic Wireless, the MVNO that puts an emphasis on cheap unlimited data plans with its WiFi-optimized handsets, announced (opens in new tab) that it will offer the budget-friendly Moto E smartphone for only $99, starting next month. The device joins other Motorola best-sellers on the network, such as the 2013 versions of Moto X and Moto G.
The phone will be available on Republic Wireless with the following “no-contract” plans:
- Unlimited talk, text, and data on Wi-Fi only - $5/month
- Unlimited talk and text on Wi-Fi and cellular, and unlimited data on WiFi - $10/month
- Unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 3G cellular - $25/month
The Moto E comes with a dual-core 1.2 Ghz Snapdragon 200 (based on Cortex A7 CPU cores), 1GB of RAM, 4.3” screen, qHD (960x540) resolution, 5MP rear camera, 4GB of internal storage, microSD slot with support for up to 32GB, FM Radio and a 1980 mAh battery, and it runs Android 4.4. It also comes with Gorilla Glass protection, a feature not usually found on such low-priced devices. Motorola also gives the option to pick from many shells of different colors.
In many ways, the Moto E is similar to the recently unveiled Android One smartphones from India. Moto E initially launched as a $129 phone from Motorola, and while the price was reasonable for its features, it didn’t feel nearly as a big of a breakthrough as the Moto G did when it was launched, in terms of value per dollar.
This is why most reviewers were still recommending that users pay $50 more and get the Moto G instead. A price point of $99 would’ve made a much bigger splash in the media and could’ve given the phone a bigger boost in popularity. Republic Wireless appears to understand this, which is why it’s offering the phone at that $99 price point.
The carrier believes Moto E is “not an iPhone killer but a flip phone killer”. Many people still use feature phones, or want a budget smartphone for their children, and the Moto E looks like the right choice for them, especially when coupled with one of the low-cost unlimited plans from Republic Wireless.