Motorola Refreshes Android Phones, Offers Better Cameras

28 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hands on with Motorola’s new Moto X Style.

NEW YORK — Motorola is refreshing its Android smartphones with better cameras and other improvements as it seeks to lure customers who want lower-cost alternatives to leading smartphones from Apple and Samsung.These new models — the Moto G, Moto X Play and Moto X Style — will appeal largely to people who have to pay full prices for phones, rather than discounted prices that come with two-year service contracts. A version of the device called the Pure Edition, which comes unlocked and will be sold on Motorola’s website and at select retailers, will sell for $399 starting in September. Motorola hasn’t announced prices for the Moto X models, but they are expected to be a few hundred dollars cheaper than high-end phones, which cost $600 or more without a contract.

In touting improved cameras, Osterloh was careful to say that they will deliver some of the best pictures “at this price point.” Apple and Samsung, in particular, have been advancing phone-camera technology with better auto-focus and low-light performance. Motorola has set up an entire photography station here at its event, and we’ll be sitting through the long line of reporters to check it out very soon.

Like the previous Moto X, customization is also a key feature, with customers able to choose outer casings in a variety of colors and with materials such as metal, wood and leather. If the new one matches it, it will be a quality high-end smartphone retailing for about $200 less than the unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 when they first came to market. I’m still not convinced that I could use this phone comfortably in day to day use — my time with the similarly-sized Nexus 6 was fraught with drops and fumbles — but if you can live with a 5.5-inch phone, you can likely live with the 5.7-inch Moto X. The Style has the signature curve that Motorola puts on all of its phones to make them more comfortable to hold, and it has a nice dimple on the backside to rest your index finger when holding the phone in one hand. That’s sure to be an appealing offer for those that want to buy their phones unlocked and without a commitment, but it remains to be seen whether or not this is aggressive enough to get the rest of the smartphone buying population on board with unlocked devices.

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