After months of leaks and speculation, Motorola finally, officially unveiled the follow-up to last year’s Moto X during a YouTube livestream this morning: the Moto X Style (Pure Edition). Packing an higher-resolution display, faster charging, and “best in class” cameras, the Style looks to be a competitive flagship that meets (or even bests) the competition at a price that substantially undercuts it.
Updated on 08-12-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news of an official September 3 release date.
The Moto X Style (Pure Edition) is an unlocked version of the Style that will be sold at Best Buy and Motorola.com for $400. It will run on any of the four major U.S. carriers. Motorola finally announced in a Google+ post that the phone will go on sale September 3.
The most tangible upgrade from last year’s Moto X is the display. The Moto X Style’s panel measures 5.7 inches and, as rumored, packs 2560 x 1440 pixels in Quad HD configuration. It’s a big screen in a small package, Motorola SVP of design Jim Wicks said — the Style’s tiny bezels give it a screen-to-body ratio better than the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6.
The processor and RAM have gotten a boost, too — the Style packs a Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of memory — but the new cameras are the undoubted headliner. Motorola phones haven’t historically packed great shooters (a fact Wicks acknowledged with a wink and a nod), but that’s ostensibly changing with the Moto X Style. Its 21-megapixel rear-facing camera focuses faster, captures quicker, handles low light better, and reproduces color more accurately than its predecessor, Motorola says. That’s an admittedly low bar to cross, but the phone maker claims that even compared to heavyweights like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Style’s camera stands among “one of the top 3 cameras in the world.” You’ll be able to store those photos in a MicroSD card up to 128GB, Motorola says, or the phone’s internal storage (16/32/64GB).
Of course, it’s tough to take photos when your phone’s out of juice. Motorola touted the Moto X’s power saving and quick charging capabilities last year, and says the Moto X Style’s specs are even better. The 3,000mAh should last at least “a full day,” the company said, and Motorola claims the Style is “fastest charging smartphone in the world.” In conjunction with the new, included TurboPower 25 charger, the Style can get up to 10 additional hours of power after 15 minutes of charging. For the sake of comparison, that’s two more hours than last year’s Moto X in the same amount of time.
Taking a page from the the Nexus 6, the Moto X Style supports LTE bands of all sorts — Wicks said it’ll work on any U.S. carrier. And true to Motorola form, the handset’s will be available in a wealth of backplates and styles at launch on Moto Maker, Motorola’s device customization platform. The company showed off silicon rubber in a variety of colors, Horween leather, “natural” wood, and three new machined metal frames.
One thing Motorola didn’t divulge was an exact price for subsidized models. It did say, though, that the the Moto X Style will be “$200-$300 less” than comparable hardware when it launches on September 3. The Moto X Pure Edition, which is the same phone, but unlocked and sold at Best Buy and Motorola.com, will retail for $400.
Next page: All the rumors leading up to the Moto X 2015 official launch