While last year's Moto-e failed to impress in the specs department, its price was hard to beat.
Now this year, Motorola is back with another version of its budget-priced Android handset, the Moto-e 4G LTE.
And not only does the new phone have better hardware, but a brand-new design both inside and out.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and this is Cracking Open.
Compared to the Moto E, the 4G LTEs hardware is a definite step up.
It's 4.5 inch display looks good, although it's not 1080p.
It has a 1.2GHz quad core snapdragon 410 processor and Adreno 306 GPU, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera, a 3290 milliamp-hour battery and of course 4G LTE connectivity.
It also ships with Android Lollipop.
Now those specs aren't stellar compared to most high end flagship phones, but, given the Moto E's $150 US price, they're a pretty good value.
Now along with the hardware changes, Motorola also significantly changed the phone's external and internal design.
Instead of a removable back cover the phone has a removable plastic rim that hides the sim card and micro sd card slots.
Also gone are the external case screws, now to open this phone you'll have to go through the front, so, let's get cracking.
After removing the phone's plastic rim, we can use a heat gun, hair dryer, microwaveable warmer or other heating device, to warm the edges of the front panel.
Just enough to loosen the glue that holds it to the plastic body.
Then, gently pry the front panel and display assembly away from the body.
Disconnect its ribbon cable and ultimately set it aside.
Now next to come out is a thin metal plate that covers much of the main circuit board.
After removing more than a dozen screws, including one hiding under the ear piece and disconnecting the battery cable, you can remove a black plastic bracket along the bottom edge of the phone's case and then ultimately the circuit board.
Now unfortunately the metal shields that cover the boards processor, RAM, storage, and other chips, are soldered in place.
Likewise the battery is glued to the plastic case.
Now if I want to put this phone back together in working order and not destroy it, I'm afraid our cracking open, ends here.
From a teardown standpoint, the Moto E 4G LTE is a mixed back.
On the downside, the front panel is held to the case with adhesive and not screws or physical snaps.
There are more than a dozen screws inside the case, and many internal components are soldered to the circuit board, making them impractical to replace.
Now on the plus side, once you're inside the phone, removing the internal hardware is relatively easy and at least, all the screws are the same size.
Now for more information, on the Moto E 4G LTE, including real world tests and pricing.
Check out Luke Westaway and Jessica Dolcourt's full CNET review.
To see more tear down photos, and read my full hardware analysis, go to techrepublic.com/crackingopen.
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