Motorola’s flagship device offers gesture control and more customisation options than any of its competitors
Lenovo-owned Motorola Mobility has shown the world it is capable of giving the likes of Samsung and Apple a run for their money, with the release of the second generation Moto X smartphone.
The 5.2-inch Android 4.4 device is based on the latest Qualcomm chip and offers premium handset features like metal construction, 4G support, voice and gesture interface.
Just like its predecessor, the new Moto X can be fully customised using the Moto Maker – an online studio that gives customers the ability to choose the colour of the device, trim and design elements, engraving and materials for the back of the case, which now include not just natural wood but also genuine leather.
The company also launched Moto360 smartwatch with a circular display based on Android Wear, Moto Hint – one of the smallest Bluetooth headsets on the market and the second generation Moto G – one of the very few smartphones to offer dual-SIM capability in Europe.
All of the new devices were presented to the public at the annual IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.
The new Moto X has a bigger, 5-inch Full HD screen and replaces the plastic case trim with high-quality aluminium. It features stereo speakers and a 13 megapixel camera with a dual flash.
The smartphone is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC with 2.5 GHz quad-core CPU and Adreno 330 GPU – the standard for this generation’s flagship devices which can also be found in Sony’s recently announced Xperia Z3. There’ s 16GB or 32GB of on-board memory, but unlike the new Moto G, Moto X doesn’t include a microSD card slot.
The device can be controlled through custom voice prompts, so the owner will never again have to say ‘OK Google’. And thanks to the introduction of IR sensors, the phone understands gesture commands – for example, users can simply wave their hand over it to stop an alarm or silence the ringtone.
Moto X also supports turbo charging technology that the company says can give it eight hours’ worth of power in just 15 minutes.
The smartphone runs ‘pure’ Android – the distribution built by Google and devoid of any third-party ‘skins’ or software, the approach pioneered by the Nexus family of devices. Because of the lack of modifications, Moto X will receive the latest version of Android days after release, no weeks or months like with some of the other mobile device manufacturers.
At first, all of the new Moto X handsets will be made in the US, but later some of the production will move to China. Motorola promises that no matter where the devices are made, all orders customised through Moto Maker will be delivered in less than seven days.
The online design studio is scheduled to go live before the handset appears on sale, so potential customers will have some time to play around with the options and pre-order a personalised smartphone.
“From our perspective, we don’t think that mobile industry is doing such a good job of giving the consumers the decision-making ability to try and enhance their mobile experience,” said Marcus Ahlqvist, the company’s general manager for EMEA and APAC, during a press event in London.
“Today, you can buy a premium product, obviously pay the premium price, but with hardware and software that has been designed to the liking of the people who actually made it. If you pay a little, you’re going to get a sub-par experience that doesn’t meet your expectations.
“We think it’s time for the industry to become more inclusive, and offer more opportunity for the consumer to participate in the decision-making process. That’s why we’re here – to provide more choice, and to put consumer in control.”
Moto X will be available in the UK at the end of September with prices starting at £419.99.
Meanwhile, the second generation Moto G is a follow-up to the best-selling phone in the company’s history. It features a 5-inch HD display, quad-core chip and stereo speakers, all for a budget-friendly £144.
What sets this device apart is the ability to house two SIM cards, with Moto G automatically choosing the most appropriate one. For example, you could have a separate SIM with a cheap data package, or one from an overseas network operator if you travel a lot.
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