New Moto E phone from Motorola is aimed at first-time smartphone buyers

Associated Press

Motorola is updating its low-cost smartphone, the Moto E, as it targets first-time smartphone buyers worldwide.

Among the improvements over last year's model: The camera now has auto-focusing. The phone has a front-facing camera for selfies, too.

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In the U.S., Motorola will target prepaid customers as well as those looking to buy children their first smartphones. The 4G model will cost $150 in the U.S., while the 3G will go for $120, both without contract requirements.

Motorola, which Lenovo bought from Google in October, has been trying to set itself apart from other phone makers by selling cheaper phones that have some features found in higher-end products. Motorola unveiled its new phone Wednesday ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.