Motorola usually launches new versions of the mid-range Moto G and top-end Moto X in September, but this year we've been treated to the new handsets a month or so early – and there's a third model to weigh up too. The Lenovo-owned company announced the 2015 editions in a global press event streamed live on its website.
There are now two Moto X models to consider: the larger, more expensive 5.7-inch Style and the smaller, more affordable 5.5-inch Play. Both feature a 21 MP ƒ/2.0 camera that Motorola says is the best it's ever made, though the Style is capable of 4K video recording while the Play tops out at 1080p (probably due to less processing power being available). Both Moto X models have a 5 MP camera around the front.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The Style (above) is the leader of the pack, offering a 5.7-inch Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) screen, a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz and 3 GB of RAM to keep everything running smoothly. With a 3,000 mAh battery (good for 30 hours Motorola says), it's out in September with 32 GB or 64 GB of storage. A microSD card slot is included.
The Moto X Style has some light water- and dust-resistant this year, rated IP52 (protected against water sprays less than 15 degrees from vertical, along with dust ingress).
The Play version of the Moto X cuts back on some of the top-end specs and concentrates on day-to-day use. It trades Quad HD for a 5.5-inch 1080p screen, while under the hood there's an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz and 2 GB of RAM. What's more, the phone has an impressive 3,630 mAh battery that may even get you two days of use on a single charge. Storage options are 16 GB or 32 GB and again that can be expanded via microSD card. It goes on sale in August.
There are also important regional variations. The Style is the only version that will go on sale in the U.S., under the name Pure Edition and unlocked to work on any LTE network – a significant move from Motorola in a country where carrier contracts (and, lately, installment plans) usually dominate. The Moto X Play isn't coming to the U.S., Motorola has said, and prices for both models are yet to be confirmed – though Motorola did say the Style will be US$200-300 cheaper than current flagships (that could mean around $450 full retail) and the Play will be $300-400 cheaper (perhaps around $350).
Then there's the new, cheaper 3rd-generation Moto G, which goes on sale immediately. It has a 5-inch 720p display, and inside you'll find a quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.4 GHz and either 1 or 2 GB of RAM (corresponding to storage tiers). There's a 2,470 mAh battery that Motorola promises is good for 24 hours of use plus 8 GB or 16 GB of internal storage. A 13 MP ƒ/2.0 rear-facing camera and a 5 MP front-facing camera complete the picture.
The Moto G has more significant water resistance compared to its flagship sibling, rated IPX7. That means it's good for immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter (between 5.9 inches and 3.3 ft) in depth.
Prices start at $179/£179 from the Motorola website.
All three phones come with Android Lollipop (5.1.1) on board and can be customized with a variety of different colors and finishes via the Moto Maker website.View gallery - 10 images