The Moto G and Moto X are considered some of the best and most popular Android devices, due to their near-stock Android experience, decent specs, good design and excellent pricing. While they have continued to be good choices for people looking for a new phone, the fact is that these devices have been launched in 2014, and are starting to show their age. So, Motorola has finally unveiled their latest generation of Moto devices, and it’s safe to say that some interesting decisions were made. Let’s take a look!
Let’s start with the Moto G, which is the mid-range oriented device from Motorola. Well, things remain the same – the Moto G is still meant to be a cheap, middle-of-the-road device for users that are just looking for a competent device that doesn’t break the bank, but this time, there are 2 different models. The only difference in between the models is really the storage and RAM size – the 8GB Moto G model has the same 1GB as its predecessor, while the 16GB model has 2GB of RAM, which has been one of the most requested and asked-for features of the device since its inception.
In terms of specs, the new Moto G is a little better than the last generation, but there are no significant changes. It has a Snapdragon 410 SoC, same family as the previous generation, and the CPU and GPU get a small bump. However, some of the most interesting changes happen outside of the base specs – for example, the new Moto G has a brand new 13MP camera, a huge upgrade compared to the last generation, with color-balancing flash. It also supports fast charging, allowing you to fully charge your device in a very short time, and it still has SD card support, one of the few modern devices where you can get that feature.
The new Moto G still retains the same 5″ screen of the previous generation, which is more than enough and has actually been praised for the nice contrast and viewing angles. It’s also water resistant up to a meter of depth, one of the more esoteric features, but one that is welcomed and you never know when it may come in handy and save your device. A cool new feature for this generation, however, is the fact that the Moto G now has access to Moto Maker, the popular and unique Motorola customization service, and you can now purchase a Moto G with your own personal colors, wallpapers, greetings, engraving and cover, directly from Motorola.
The Moto X was considered one of the most interesting and unique devices of its kind when it was first unveiled, and that’s a trend that continues with the latest generation. Just like the new Moto G, the Moto X this year has 2 distinct models: the Moto X Play and the Moto X Style, and there are noteworthy differences in between them. One thing’s for sure, though: the Moto X Style is the flagship model.
Starting to look at the specs, you see that the Moto X Syle has the upper hand, and the X Play makes a few compromises, being the cheaper option. Let’s look at the display: The X Play has a 5.5″ screen, while the X Style has a 5.7″ display. The SoC is also different in between models, with the X Play being a Snapdragon 615, and the X Style being a Snapdragon 808, which places it a notch above its cheaper brother.
The X Play also has less RAM, counting on 2GB versus the 3GB available on the X Style, and the built-in storage is also capped at 32GB on the X Play, where it can go up to 64GB on the X Style. Both models support SD cards though, so you can easily expand the built-in storage. And in terms of specs, that’s where the major differences end. The devices both sport the same 21MP camera and a very similar look, although only the X Style has access to full MotoMaker customization, including materials such as wood or leather. Curiously, the X Play, being the cheaper device, actually has a bigger battery.
One thing worth pointing out is that the Moto X Style will be available everywhere in the U.S., through the Motorola website or in non-carrier shops, but the X Play will only be available internationally. This is very likely because of the traditional Motorola agreements with Verizon, where they get an exclusive Motorola device with a bigger battery further down the road – and chances are that the device this year will be a Moto X Play with an even bigger battery. So, the lack of availability in the U.S. makes some sense. In the meantime, you can get the Moto X Style, the flagship model with the better specs and the most options, and I think you’ll get a good device.
In conclusion, the one big takeaway from all the Motorola reveals is that the company has found success in its previous strategies to release affordable devices with near-stock Android experiences. This time around, the company is betting on affordability, even on their flagship model. While companies like Samsung and HTC keep betting on expensive, top-of-the-line specs, Motorola prefers to go a little bit more conservative with the specs so it can get a cheaper device in stores. This reflects on the pricing – the new Moto G retails starting at $179 and the Moto X Style will be available for $399, all off-contract. For a flagship model, that is an extremely low price, and it once again shows that Motorola is carving its own path while everyone else is playing the specs game.