Motorola launches 'most customisable' handset, Moto X Style

  • AFP
  • Updated: Jul 30, 2015 02:24 IST

Motorola has taken the wraps off a new handset, the Moto X Style, which, the company claims, redefines the relationship consumers have with their smartphones. And that's why the Moto X Style is heavy on the things that matter and light on those that don't. It's called the ‘Style' because it is meant to complement the user's personal taste, and Motorola claims it is the most customisable handset in existence, or at least it will be when it goes on sale in September.

Motorola has been busy examining how consumers actually use their devices and what can be done to improve to redefine the relationship so that it's less one-sided.

So as well as a host of customisation options such as natural wood covers or brightly coloured plastics, it has a huge, 21-megapixel camera on its rear -- one of the best in the industry -- plus a 5-megapixel unit with flash on the front. Motorola explains this focus on photography because of the brand's belief that smartphones should be there to help make and share memories.

However, they should also be there and ready when you are, so the Moto X Style has the fastest-charging battery of any phone on the market. A 15-minute charge will give it 10 hours of power.

Likewise a phone should learn your preferences and know when and when not to ring, so Motorola has focused heavily on software features that are contextual and useful such as Moto Assist which will read out text messages as well as transcribe dictated notes and will be able to tell when the user is in a meeting or at home and so will slip into silent mode.

The handset is big on entertainment too thanks to a Quad HD 5.7-inch almost bezel-free display plus front-facing stereo speakers; it packs a six-core Snapdragon processor and 3GB of RAM.

But Motorola also had another surprise up its sleeve: Another new model called the Moto X Play, which offers almost the same specifications as the Style save for a slightly smaller 5.5-inch display, but that boasts a 48-hour battery life. It will be finished in a water-repellent coating (inside and out) to protect against accidents.

The handset offers 4G/LTE connectivity and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. Photo: AFP

Another launch from the company is the new Moto G handset, which continues to build on the winning formula of useful features and excellent packaging at a price that makes the handset accessible to all.

So it has 4G/LTE connectivity as standard but runs absolutely no bloatware or unnecessary apps, offering users a pure form of the latest version of Android instead. However, it does feature one or two gesture features that are absent on other Android handsets. Shaking the phone quickly will launch the camera, for instance.

The 5-inch display is only 720p HD and has been carried over from last year's model, but that's as good as the last-generation iPhone and means that it won't put as much strain on the battery or processor as a full HD or better-than-HD screen.

Where the handset doesn't hold back is in the camera department. On the back is the same 13-megapixel sensor camera found on the latest Nexus 6 handset -- a huge improvement from the 8-megapixel unit on the second-generation Moto G -- complete with dual flash while the front-facing lens offers up 5-megapixel selfies and should be great for video calling.

Running the show is a faster QuadCore Snapdragon 410 chip that can be specified with 1GB or 2GB of RAM -- not everyone wants fast mobile gaming -- and internal storage is either 8GB (with 1GB of RAM) or 16BG (with 2GB of RAM) which can be expanded via MicroSD slot for the first time in the model's history.

What's more, the handset is water and dust resistant and available initially in either white or black with a choice of customized clip on back covers (which will cost extra).

When specified with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, the third generation Moto G will cost $179.99. All of which means it will be very hard to beat for features in that price bracket.

The Moto G is available to order directly from Motorola and Amazon and will hit retailers on August 2.

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