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Motorola Logo,Reuters

Motorola, the popular smartphone brand owned by Lenovo, has launched its latest Moto E3 smartphone on Thursday, continuing the success of the ultra-affordable line of Moto E series. The cheapest Moto smartphone, which succeeds the second generation Moto E, brings incremental upgrades at a slightly higher price slab than its predecessors.

Motorola's third generation Moto E smartphone was in the news even before its official launch. The 2016 variant of Moto E smartphone has only been announced in the U.K. for £99 and it will go on sale in September across major stores such as Amazon, Tesco, Argos and O2, GSMArena reported.

International release date or availability was not revealed by the phone maker, but if it does arrive in India, the Moto E3 is likely to be priced around Rs. 7,000, which will be effectively challenge the current rivals such as Lenovo Vibe K5, Panasonic P75, Coolpad Note 3 Lite among others.

In terms of specifications, the price hike for the Moto E3 model is well justified by the significant improvements. Firstly, Moto E3 sports a 5-inch display instead of a 4.5-inch screen with 720p resolution and a "built-in smudge-resistant screen protector," according to The Verge. It is powered by a quad-core processor and a 2,800mAh battery. The handset's design is in line with the latest Moto G series, and the company has added splash-proof construction as one of the USPs.

Moto E3 sports an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and has a 5-megapixel front snapper for selfies. It runs Google's stock Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box. The company is yet to disclose the storage capacity of the Moto E3 along with the chipset that will be used under the hood. But it is clear that the budget smartphone will support microSD card.

In a separate report by Pocket-Lint, Motorola confirmed that the Moto G4 Plus will be launched in the U.K. in mid-August. According to the report, it will cost £129, which is just £30 more than Moto E3. So buyers will have a tough choice to make and it is also possible that the Moto G4 Play might eat into the Moto E3 sales. Only time will tell.