Preorders for Moto X second-generation smartphones from Motorola are now being taken by AT&T, with the devices shipping to customers starting on Sept. 23 and being available in AT&T stores beginning Sept. 26.
The new Moto X models come a little more than a year after the August 2013 arrival of the first Moto X devices, which run on Android and are highly customizable by users.
AT&T announced the Moto X preorder program in a statement on Sept. 16. The devices, which will be available in Resin Black, Bamboo and Black Leather colors, can be preordered starting at $99.99 under a two-year contract or starting at $526.99 without a contract, according to AT&T.
The smartphones also can be purchased using a monthly payment plan. A Resin Black Moto X can be purchased for $526.99 without a contract, for $21.96 per month under an AT&T Next 18 Plan or for $26.35 per month under an AT&T Next 12 Plan. A Bamboo or Black Leather Moto X will sell for $546.99 without a contract, $119.99 under a two-year agreement, $22.80 per month under the AT&T Next 18 Plan or $27.35 per month under the AT&T Next 12 Plan. New and existing AT&T customers who activate a new line of service before Sept. 30 with a smartphone on the AT&T Next program can get a $100 credit on their bill, according to AT&T.
The new Moto X includes a 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, which is an upgrade from the 4.7-inch, 720p display of the first-generation devices. The metal-framed phone also includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor and runs Android, along with voice-activated capabilities for a wide range of no-touch commands and functions. The phones include 2GB of RAM, Gorilla Glass 3 displays, a 13-megapixel main camera and a dual LED ring flash.
When the Moto X was first unveiled, it was hailed as the first smartphone that offered a lot of customization options for buyers, including more than 2,000 option combinations. Users could dictate the front and back colors; the accent colors of the power button, volume key and camera ring; the wallpaper; the memory (16GB or 32GB); and much more.
The Moto X was also distinct by being the first smartphone to be designed, engineered and assembled in the United States, according to an earlier eWEEK report.
The original Moto X had an active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) display with a resolution of 1,280 by 720, which was not a full HD display.
In June, Google, which owned Motorola's handset division before selling it to Lenovo, offered a pool of first-generation Moto X phones to consumers under a one-cent, two-week trial offer in a promotion that sold out within about 9 hours. Those who liked the phones and wanted to keep them were then charged the retail price. Those who were unimpressed could return them. In January, Google announced it was selling Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.
The new Moto X phones arrive just as Apple unveiled the latest editions of its iPhones. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones topped 4 million preorders within 24 hours of the preorder process being opened, Apple announced on Sept. 15. Apple is advising customers that many devices won't be delivered until October due to overwhelming demand.
The new iPhones include the iPhone 6 with its 4.7-inch Retina HD display and an even larger iPhone 6 Plus with its 5.5-inch Retina HD screen, according to a recent eWEEK report. The new devices—which come in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage capacities—will also come with many other new features and capabilities, making them popular before they've even hit store shelves.
The iPhones include an Apple-designed A8 chip with second-generation, 64-bit desktop-class architecture, enhanced iSight and FaceTime HD cameras, and the latest iOS 8 operating system. A new built-in Apple Pay secure payments system will be added to iOS8 as an update in October, according to the company.
Last week, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless announced their plans on how customers can obtain the larger, more fully featured phones directly through those carriers, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The offerings are similar, but vary by company and smartphone plans.
Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available in gold, silver and space gray. The iPhone 6 retails for $199.99 for a 16GB version, $299.99 for a 64GB version and $399 for a 128GB version with a two-year contract. The iPhone 6 Plus retails for $299.99 for a 16GB model, $399.99 for a 64GB model and $499.99 for a 128GB model with a two-year contract, according to Apple. The phones are also being sold through select Apple Authorized Resellers, including Best Buy, Target and Walmart.