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Thursday, 23 January 2014 10:29

Motorola confirms $50 phone

Written by Peter Scott

motorola-new-googlerola

Choose your screen size?

Motorola ended the year on a high note, thanks to the Moto X and Moto G. The latter is widely considered the best sub-$200 smartphone money can buy and in some respects it is the cheapest decent phone on the market.

However, at $179 it is still a bit too pricey for some markets. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside believes there is a huge market for even cheaper phones.

“Why can’t these devices be $50? There’s no reason that can’t happen, so we’re going to push that,” he told Trusted Reviews in an interview. 

There aren’t that many sub-$100 phones we could recommend, let alone $50 devices. For example the Samsung Galaxy Star is the cheapest Android 4.x phone in Europe and it usually sells for €60+. For that you get a Cortex A5 processor clocked at 1GHz, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a 3-inch 320x240 display. Actually that’s not too shabby, but we reckon Motorola wants to do better than that.

In addition, Woodside hinted at more customization on high-end devices. More importantly he said Motorola wants to allow users to pick their screen size and add functionality to their phones in the next year or two. This sounds a bit like Project Ara, but not quite. Ara is a fully modular design and it may be years away from commercial availability.

In December Motorola inked a deal with 3D Systems and it appears that it wants to 3D print at least some Ara-like components and modules. However, it is unlikely that Woodside is talking about 3D printed custom components. We can only guess how Motorola plans to go about it – we don’t expect a fully modular design like the Ara, or 3D printed components, either.

In any case it will be interesting to see what Moto and Google can come up with.

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