Lenovo and Motorola will inevitably release progenitors in the Moto E series of budget smartphones, and according to prominent leaker Evan Blass, a Moto E5 Play will be among them. Blass has an incredible accuracy rate with his leaks and rumors, and Moto has found some measure of success in the Moto Z2 Play, lending a bit of credence to this rumor. Blass actually Tweeted about this as a response to his previous Tweet about the Play variant making a return in next year’s Moto G series. If these leaks are both true, it will cement a multi-pronged approach to each individual line in Moto’s repertoire, with the possible exception of the Moto X series, which had a Play version back in 2015, but did not get one with the release of the Moto X4 this year.
Moto E devices tend to focus on wringing the best possible experience out of bottom-of-the-barrel specs, but the Play variant in each series is almost invariably a spec downgrade. Since this year’s Moto E4 used a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, it’s to be expected that next year’s Moto E5 will use the newer Snapdragon 435, which is roughly comparable to the Snapdragon 600 found in older flagships like the HTC One M7 and Samsung Galaxy S4. This means that the Moto E4 Play could be a return to the Snapdragon 410 platform that powered this year’s Moto G4 Play and various members of the Moto E family dating as far back as the second generation.
The current generation of the Moto E lineup is represented by the Moto E4 and Moto E4 Plus. The standard Moto E4 boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 processor alongside 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, all sitting behind a 5-inch 720p screen and powered by a 2,800mAh battery. The Moto E4 Plus spices things up with a bigger battery, as well as a 5.5-inch 1080p screen. The cameras are the same between the two phones on the front, with both sporting a 5-megapixel unit, but the stock Moto E4 opts for an 8-megapixel rear shooter, while the back camera on the Moto E4 Plus is a 13-megapixel affair that rivals some older flagships and current budget devices. Phones in the Moto E lineup typically don’t break the $200 barrier in price point.