Motorola were not in attendance at this years Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA), however they did hold their very own press event at their headquarters building in Chicago, America. Whilst there they finally revealed the second generation models of the Moto G and Moto X and we also got to see the first incarnation of the Moto 360 smartwatch.
The Moto X can now claim to be a true flagship mode, it has been upgraded with a Snapdragon 801, quad core 2.5GHz Krait 400's, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM and a 5.2" Super AMOLED display. It also has a new aluminium chassis which replaces the older generations plastic casing. The curved shape remains the same with the widest section measuring 9.9mm. The new Moto X comes with a 1080p resolution which combined with the larger screen makes it 12mm taller and 7mm wider than the original Moto X, all this means it is deffinately not a petite device. The camera is now a 13MP shooter up from the original 10MP and is outfitted with a ring around the camera lens housing two LED flash and we also get a 2MP front camera. The Moto X also has three infrared sensors which enable the device to recognise hand gestures to activate commands, and four microphones, two of which are used for active noise cancellation.
Some apparant downsides are the omission of an SDcard slot as the standard internal storage is only 16GB, although there is an upgrade option for 32GB but thats the limit. For heavy media users 32GB is just not going to cut it. The battery is also underwhelming at just 2300mAh, the LG G2 which is a device with similar specifications has a 3000mAh battery and Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact; which has almost a whole inch smaller screen with just 720p resolution, has the same 2300mAh battery as the Moto X. On the plus side the Moto X does support turbo charging so you can apparantly get up to 8 hours battery life from a 15 minute charge. Considering battery life is one of the top concerns for consumers we hope the Moto X is very efficiant, we will wait for battery performance tests to be run before drawing final conclusions.
The Moto X comes with all the goodies one would expect of a premium smartphone such as; NFC, LTE, Bluetooth, Gorilla Glass screen protection, GPS, a full range of sensors and stereo speakers. There will also be several rear panel options, so you can have your very own Moto X with a wood finish or one up your friends Samsung Galaxy Note 4's faux leather back with Moto X's real leather rear panel. I have to admit I rather like the wood option and would love to see more customisable options like these on other brands mobile devices. In the UK the Moto X will cost £420 for the 16GB memory version and £460 for the larger 32GB offering. Moto Maker (now removed, for more information click here) will also be available in UK allowing you to have a custom case with leather, wood or plastic rear, as well as various software options. Prices for the leather and wood versions start from £440 and £460 respectively. The Moto X is available in the European and US markets now. Whether this will take off is another matter!
The new Moto G is the sucessor of Motorola's best selling smartphone. An entry level device which proved highly competitive for its high specifications at a great price. The 2014 Moto G has recieved several changes, the most noticeable being the bigger 5" display, up from the previous 4.5" and a 8MP rear camera, up from 5MP, we also get a welcome addition of stereo speakers which can be seen above and below the screen on the front display panel. Even though the Moto G uses the same design and materials as it's forebearer the device is so much larger that you would be hard pressed to recgognise it solely based on the older version.
The device keeps the same great IPS technology, Gorilla Glass protection and 720p resolution, but as this is now strected across a larger screen the PPI has dropped just below 300. Unfortunately whilst Motorola has given the Moto G a display upgrade it hasn't done much more for its internal hardware, the device is equipped with a Snapdragon 400 chipset with a quad core 1.2GHz CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, 1GB RAM and a 2070mAh battery. These specifications are exactly the same as those powering the original model, now we wouldn't expect top of the line specifications from a device in this price range, but considering the larger screen that needs to be powererd it would have been nice to at least had a larger battery and newer chipset.
The new Moto G is a solid midrange device that won't break the bank, it ships with a stock version of Android 4.4.4 KitKat and Motorola also promises that an Android 'L' update will be available for the smartphone as soon as it's ready. The Moto G is available to purchase now in the United States, India, France, UK, Brazil, Spain, and Germany and availablility in more countries will come before the end of this year. Several retailers in the UK are already offering the new Moto G and currently the price is hovering around the £150 - £180 mark.
The last device we saw from Motorola is a smartwatch that's been officially talked about for some months now. The Moto 360 is the first smartwatch to look like a traditional watch, with a rounded display rather than the square offerings we've seen from Sony's Smartwatch line, Samsung's Galaxy Gear range and the Pebble (now Fitbit) smartwatch. It's also the first smartwatch running on the new Android Wear operating system to be available in the US. The display is one of the smallest on a smartwatch at just 1.56" but because of the round shape and lack of bezels it is said to feel a lot bigger. The screen is LED and the resolution is 320 x 320
The Moto 360 comes with a heart rate monitor attached to the underside which can automatically detect your heart rate, there is no need to activate the function first. Like some other smartwatches it is reliant upon a nesting box to charge, while this is not as conviniant as a micro USB port we're hoping that the battery life is long enough not to require bringing the cradle around with you.
You can get the Moto 360 with a leather strap or if you want to wait; a steel strap in silver or black will be available later this year. Right now the Moto 360 is only available in the United States but it is expected to hit the European markets in late October
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