(Pocket-lint) - Motorola has announced the successor to its popular Moto E smartphone, improving a couple of the key specifications, as well as introducing 4G LTE connectivity to the budget handset.
The company is calling it the "new Moto E" and while it may be the cheapest in the Motorola Moto family of smartphones, it does take a jump in price from the original, taking it over the £100 mark.
We have crunched the numbers between old and new to see what the 2015 model of the Moto E brings over the 2014 model and where the differences lie to see if the £20 mark up is worth it.
The Moto E (2015) is slightly bigger but offers a nicer design
The Motorola Moto E (2015) model measures 129.9 x 66.8mm compared to the first generation device that came in at 124.8 x 64.8mm so you get a slightly larger device with the new model.
There is also a slight curve with the second generation model, measuring 5.2 to 12.3mm, while the original Moto E featured a depth of 12.3mm so there has been no increase to the thickness. There has been a slight change to the weight however, with the 2015 model weighing 3g more than the 2014 version at 145g instead of 142g.
The new Moto E follows the same design ethos as the latest Moto X and Moto G devices, for a nice neat and tidy finish. It has done away with one of the metal bars across the front, leaving just one remaining at the top of the display rather than one at the top and bottom like the original. The remaining bar is slightly thicker than the original Moto E, but this follows suit with the latest Moto G.
The 2015 model has changed things up in terms of colours too. Rather than a removable back like the original Moto E, Motorola has introduced what it is calling "Bands", that are available in six options and add an edge of colour to the new model's overall design. There are also five "Grip Shells", replacing the seven Motorola Shells that existed for the first generation model.
Bigger but not shaper display on the Moto E (2015)
The Moto E (2015) features a slight bump in display size from the 4.3-inch screen found on the Moto E (2014) model to a 4.5-inch display, which is the same size as the original Moto G.
The resolution stays the same however, with both old and new models featuring a qHD display at 540 x 960 pixels. This theoretically means the older Moto E will have a sharper display with a pixel density of 256ppi compared to the new model's 245ppi, but this kind of difference won't be noticeable to the human eye.
The new model's display is bright and colourful with good viewing angles but we were impressed with the original model's offering too.
Moto E (2015) adds a front facing camera
Motorola has also improved the camera on the new Moto E, introducing a 5-megapixel auto focus rear camera in comparison to the 5-megapixel fixed focus camera found on the Moto E (2014) model. Neither has an LED flash like the Moto G or Moto X however.
The big difference in terms of camera is the front-facing snapper though, as this was previously non-existent on the original Moto E. The company still hasn't gone to town when it comes to the megapixels, but you do get a VGA front camera now, which is certainly better than none, even if it only has a 640 x 480 maximum resolution. The front camera has the same tap anywhere to capture feature as other Moto devices, along with four times digital zoom and burst mode.
Additionally, twisting your wrist twice on the Moto E (2015) will launch the camera for quick capturing, while the original Moto E didn't have anything like this on board.
Faster processor, better storage and bigger battery in Moto E (2015)
Diving under the hoods you'll find a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor in the Moto E (2015) model with Adreno 306 graphics, while the original model has a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU and Adreno 302 graphics. Both models offer 1GB of RAM.
The storage capacity of the new model has also improved, doubled in fact, from the 4GB internal memory of the Moto E (2014) to 8GB in the Moto E (2015) model. There is also a 16GB model available. Both support storage expansion up to 32GB via the microSD slot, which is under the removable band on the 2015 model and beneath the rear cover on the original.
In terms of the battery, the Moto E (2015) model ups the ante here too with a 2390mAh capacity in comparison to the 1920mAh battery found on the Moto E (2014) model, meaning a 20 per cent boost. We found the original model's battery life to be excellent so we would have high hopes for the new model.
Android 5.0 Lollipop on both models
The original Moto E has recently received the Lollipop version update and the Moto E (2015) launches with it from the get go. This means both will have the latest and greatest from Google.
Motorola has added new software experiences, brought from the Moto X for 2015, such as Moto Display for notifications and updates to the new Moto E but both old and new Moto Es will have features like Moto Migrate to make transferring between devices nice and easy.
The Moto E (2015) model is certainly a step up from the original with a larger display, bigger battery capacity, better internal memory and faster processor. The addition of the front-facing camera is good to see and even if the new model is a little heavier and bigger, the design is more refined.
The Moto E (2014) was an impressive device for its £89 price point, but with the addition of 4G LTE connectivity and the rest of the improvements, the extra £20 for the Moto E (2015) model is a no brainer.