Moto's latest affordable wonder could be the phone to beat at the sub-$200 price point.
It's easy to think of the Moto X — or as it is now, the Moto X series — as the Motorola "flagship." In a lot of ways, though, the mid-priced Moto G is far more important to the company since its rebirth under Google's guidance in 2013. The Moto G continues to be Moto's biggest-selling model, thanks to aggressive pricing, high-quality user experience and the resulting massive success in emerging markets.
Simply put, the Moto G was one of the first cheap Android phones that was also a good Android phone. And successive models built on that, with 4G LTE connectivity and bigger screens.
A new year brings a new Moto G, and this time Motorola's bringing even more premium features to its most popular handset. Join us as we dig deeper into what could be the best Android phone you can buy for less than $200 — and a pretty capable handset by any standard.
Using the simple 'OK Google' voice command, you can now send messages through Whatsapp, Viber, WeChat, and a variety of other apps. Sometimes, you just don't want to pick up the phone and type out a reply, and now you don't have to. You have been able to send Hangouts messages using your voice already, so the expansion is great to see.
Following its recent Material Design update, the folks at HipChat are back with another big update for Android users. Included in this update is the addition of Android Wear and GIFV file support, along with rounded avatars to bring even more personalization to the app.
Motorola's going all out with Moto Maker again for the new Moto X Style, offering a colorful range of grippy rubber silicone backs and a few selections of wood and leather.
The natural materials aren't anything new for Motorola — they offered wood backs on the first Moto X and leather for last year's but for the Style they're bringing a bit more texture across the board. The walnut has a bit more of a grip to it while the cherry and bamboo are slicker and closer to previous editions. The leather, which was an easily-marred semi-gloss finish last year now has a cross-hatched Saffiano leather that will wear much more gracefully. Both the wood and leather backs will run an extra $25 over the base $399 for the Moto X Style.
Notably, the standard backs aren't a soft-touch plastic anymore; they've been swapped out for a diagonally-striped silicone panel that adds a considerable amount of grip. The silicone backs come at no extra cost and in a wide range of colors, from including bright lime greens and teals to staid grays, white, and black.
So you're Motorola. You've made a couple of beloved (if imperfect) Android smartphones over the past two years, part of a major rebirth of the company itself. Meanwhile, you've been sold to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, and still have to contend with two major players in Samsung and LG.
Anyone who thought Motorola would disappear into the Lenovo portfolio after being acquired by the Chinese giant is greatly mistaken. The Moto X is bigger. It's faster. It's got more options for customization. More options for storage. Better pricing.
And this time, Motorola promises, it's got a camera we won't be disappointed in.
In fact, we don't just have one Moto X this time around. We've got two. The Moto X Style, and the slightly lesser spec'd Moto X Play. The Style will be the one we get in the U.S. starting in September, and it'll hit Europe and Latin America as well. Plus, there will be a "Pure Edition" of the Style that's sold outside the carrier ecosystem in the U.S. (And that's actually what we're looking at today.) The Play launches in August in Europe, Latin America and Canada.
The Style (and Pure Edition) is the big one for our purposes so far, so let's take a look.
With the Moto G 2015 now officially official, we've got our hands on Moto's latest affordable handset, and we're starting to put it through its paces. We'll have full hands-on coverage for you soon; in the meantime check out our hands-on photo gallery for a look at this new, more stylish, more customizable Moto G.
Launched alongside the new Moto X Style, the Moto X Play is a slightly lower-end model destined for Europe, Latin America and Canada that has its own draws. It doesn't have all of the highest-end internals compared to the X Style, but it does offer many of the same features and a larger battery.
Motorola updated the Moto G to a 2015 model, sticking to the same model that has served it so well in the previous generations. You're getting a lot of bang for your buck here with solid specs, SD card support, Lollipop on board and capable camera specs.
Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are now offering new $5 and $10 data pack add-ons, allowing you to affordably add more data when you need it. With these new offerings, customers who are nearing their limit, or want to use a little more data, can add an extra 1GB or 2GB for the month. For $5, half of what most carriers are charging, you can add 1GB of high-speed data, while $10 a month gets you 2GB.
Motorola threw a little bit of a curveball when refreshing its Moto X line, giving us two devices instead of one. The higher-end of the two is the Moto X Style, packing lots of high-end specs and a larger size than last year, with some subtle design changes as well. It still offers Moto Maker customization, as you'd expect, and in the U.S. it'll be available as a Pure Edition with no carrier involvement — here are its specs.
Verizon has announced that it has expanded its XLTE service to six more cities across the U.S. Verizon has over 400 total XLTE markets, with the service providing up to double the speed of standard 4G LTE. Phones such as the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 are compatible with XLTE.
Cat today announced the S40 smartphone. It's a tough, durable handset that is able to withstand knocks and accidental drops. Cat is clearly catering for the market of rugged smartphones, closely followed by those who require more durable hardware for the outdoors.
Motorola has announced two new Bluetooth headsets, the Moto Pulse and Moto Surround. Both sets of headphones are available starting today, with pricing at $59 and $69 respectively. The Moto Pulse offers up to 18 hours of playtime per charge, and fits over the ears. They are great for travel, and fold flat. The Moto Surround is the company's waterproof offering, that fits in the ear. This set offers 12 hours of music, and has an integrated mic for hands-free calling.
At its international launch events today, Motorola has taken the wraps off the latest entry in its affordable Moto G series of phones, the Moto G 2015. The newest Moto G is available starting today, and brings upgraded internals and a refreshed design language. It's powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor with 1 or 2 gigabytes of RAM, while both front and rear cameras have been upgraded, to 5 and 13-megapixel units respectively. The new G is also water-resistant, rated IPX7.
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