(WASHINGTON-AFP) – Motorola’s smartphone aimed at cost-conscious consumers hit the US market ahead of schedule on Tuesday, in time for the key holiday season.
The Moto G was made available on Google-owned Motorola’s website at an off-contract price starting at $179.
“We’re giving people plenty of mobile goodness to gobble up this holiday season,” the company said on its blog as it started sales just ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The device is being sold at “one third of the price of current high-end phones, for a smartphone stuffed with plenty of great features,” the blog posting said.
The Moto G had been expected in the United States in early 2014, but Motorola said its versions using GSM networks were being sold now.
It is currently on sale in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Britain, Germany, France, and Canada and will be sold in more than 30 countries by early 2014, according to the company.
The new device is a low-cost version of the Moto X released earlier this year in the United States, lacking some features such as a high-density camera and the ability to access the fastest networks.
But the cost is not as low in some countries. In Brazil for example, known for high electronics duties, the lowest price for the Moto G will sell for around $280, or 650 reals. That is still well below the price of an iPhone, which can cost more than $1,000 in Brazil, or premium phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S4.
The Moto G features a 4.5 inch (11.5 cm) display and all-day battery, and will include the latest versions of the Google Android operating system.
The handset packs in a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 5-megapixel and 1.3-megapixel cameras front and rear.
Some analysts say the handset is not aimed at buyers of high-end devices like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S4, but those who might otherwise buy a low-cost smartphone such as those on the Firefox operating system.