Motorola has announced three new unlocked international smartphones, including the Moto X Style, a 4G LTE phone that will be known as the Moto X Pure in the United States and features universal LTE banding so it can work on any mobile carrier's network.
Also unveiled during a morning Webcast from Sao Paulo were the company's latest Moto G smartphone, which is now waterproof to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, and the Moto X Play, which has battery life of up to 48 hours and a water-repellent design. The Moto X Play is the only one of the three that will not be offered for sale in the United States.
The three smartphones are part of Motorola's latest attempt to increase sales of its Android devices by offering fully featured phones that have price tags that are hundreds of dollars less than the flagship models of competitors such as Apple and Samsung.
The Moto X Style/Pure, which will sell for $399 exclusively on Motorola.com, BestBuy.com and Amazon.com in September, features a 5.7-inch qHD display, a 21-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 5MP front-facing wide-angle selfie camera, TurboPower fast-charging capabilities (10 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging) and a curved back for comfort. The Moto X Style and Pure models will be available in a wide range of materials and colors through Motorola's Moto Maker customized ordering portal, where buyers can custom create a phone that fits their personality and style. Materials include Saffiano leather and real wood with unique grains so buyers can make their phones unique and personal.
The universal LTE banding in the Moto X Style/Pure means that buyers can use the phone on any U.S. carrier's network, giving them total freedom to switch to any company they choose for mobile service. And by buying the device directly from Motorola, users will get a cleaner version of Android without clutter and bloatware, according to the company.
The Moto X Style/Pure will be available starting in September in the United States and in countries across Europe and Latin America. Distribution in the Asia-Pacific region, including China and India, will come in the future.
The latest Motorola Moto G handset, which is available immediately in the United States on Motorola.com, BestBuy.com and Amazon.com, is a 4G LTE handset that includes a 5-inch HD display, a waterproof design, a 13MP rear-facing camera taken from the earlier Google Nexus 6 smartphone, a 5MP selfie camera and a new rubberized texture on its back for improved grip. The Moto G, which comes in black or white, can also be personalized using Moto Maker to change its colors, accents, memory and more.
The latest Moto G is a direct descendant of the original Moto G that was launched in 2013 and set the company's present strategic direction. The new Moto G starts at $179.99 for 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, with an option to upgrade to 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, according to the company. It will be available in Best Buy stores starting Aug. 2.
The Moto G is available immediately in more than 60 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
The new Moto X Play, which won't be sold in the United States, includes up to 48 hours of battery life and a water-repellent design in addition to a 5.5-inch HD display and a 21MP rear-facing camera. Pricing was not announced for the Moto X Play.
This was the first major Motorola product launch since the company was acquired by Lenovo for $2.91 billion in October 2014.
Tuong Huy Nguyen, an analyst with Gartner, told eWEEK that while Motorola's latest smartphones aren't revolutionary, there is still value in such launches because they provide consumers with more choices in the marketplace.
The new models won't necessarily dramatically change Motorola's market-share numbers, he said, but the Moto G could help particularly in developing markets. "I think there are opportunities there," he said. "Motorola still has that brand cache with consumers for solid, reliable phones, so there is some potential there for them to get a foothold."