Moto X Style arrives September 3 with 21MP cam, quad HD screen, faster charging

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

Motorola has yet to announce the successor to last year’s Moto X, but we know it’s coming, because Motorola said so. Will it be as exciting as the original Moto X? There are rumors gathering about the device’s look and spec, so we’ve gathered them all here to make sure you’re kept right up to date. Here’s what we think we know so far about the Moto X (2015) so far.

Updated on 07-23-2015 by Andy BoxallAdded set of leaked images said to show the Moto X (2015).

Is this the Moto X (2015)?

A leak published on the Peru Android Facebook page may have given us a good look at the forthcoming Moto X. The phone has a textured rear panel, a dual-LED flash beneath the camera lens, and most interestingly, what looks like a fingerprint sensor integrated into one of the front speakers. While a fingerprint sensor on the 2015 Moto X has been rumored before, it was speculated Motorola would mount it on the rear of the phone. By putting it in with the speaker, Motorola may have saved space, and been able to maintain a slim profile, and thin screen bezels on the new Moto X.

It’s not known if these photos really show the Moto X (2015), and they could end up being cleverly crafted fakes. However, the design certainly fits with what we expect from Motorola, and with other previously leaked images. We’ll almost certainly find out for sure on July 28, at Motorola’s special launch event.

Pure, unadulterated horsepower underneath the hood

Based on a leaked specification page acquired by STJS Gadgets Portal, we’re looking at a smartphone with the same Snapdragon 808 processor found in the LG G4, an interesting choice of processors given how Motorola threw its support behind the Snapdragon 810. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM, possibly making the new Moto X one of a handful of smartphones to pack that much RAM inside of a handset.

We finally see Motorola forgoing 16GB of storage, giving would-be buyers the option of having either 32GB of 64GB of internal storage. Even though there’s no mention of a Micro SD card slot for storage expansion, previous iterations of the Moto X didn’t have such a slot, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the same goes for the 2015 edition.

The 5.2-inch AMOLED display steps up to Quad HD (2560 x 1440) resolution, while we’ll find a 16-megapixel “Clear Pixel” camera on the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front for you selfie lovers out there. Cameras on the past two Moto X smartphones haven’t performed up to snuff, so we’ll see if Motorola can improve the optics on this year’s model. Peru Android’s leaked images also came with a few specs for good measure, and it stated the camera will have 21-megapixels, but agrees the display will have a “2K” resolution, which we expect to mean 2560 x 1440 pixels.

Finally, the 3,280mAh battery should keep the phone chugging all day, though we’ll have to wait and see how optimized the software is to ensure lengthy battery life.

All of this should be taken with a heavy grain of salt, especially since the outlet notes these specifications aren’t final. As such, we could still see the Snapdragon 810 make an appearance, though STJS Gadgets Portal notes the phone is currently in its testing phase.

Fingerprint scanner might be a go

Chinese website MyDrivers recently acquired an image of a smartphone chassis that is allegedly this year’s Moto X. Even though the image might not look like much, what’s interesting is the cutout right below the camera.

Speculation points to the cutout being intended for a fingerprint scanner, which looks to be in the same place as Motorola’s now-traditional “dimple,” found on the back of its smartphones.

Of course, this is pure speculation, and Motorola hasn’t confirmed the existence of this year’s Moto X, let alone a fingerprint scanner. At the same time, we’ve seen fingerprint scanners pick up steam in Android smartphones as of late, with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, as well as several Chinese handsets incorporating such scanners.

A ruggedized sports variant

nexus2cee_moto-x-2015-sport-maybe

If there’s one thing Motorola has a knack for, it’s surprising enthusiasts and press with unexpected devices. A new image from a Brazilian phone store shows what appears to be a ruggedized device in the style of the forthcoming Moto X (2015). It bears a patterned material not unlike the kevlar on Motorola’s Droid lineup. Reliable Chinese rumor site HelloMotoHK claims it’s a Moto X 2015 Sport.

We could see it and the base model Moto X revealed at Motorola’s special event on July 28. Should the new devices launch soon after, it would seem to confirm that Motorola’s acquisition by Lenovo hasn’t affected its release cycle.

Previous updates: 

Updated on 07-17-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added an image of what appears to be a ruggedized variant of the Moto X (2015). 

Updated on 06-09-2015 by Williams Pelegrin: Added leaked image of the device’s internal components and rumors of a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device.

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