Moto Previews Next-Generation Moto G Smartphone Trio

The latest Moto G, Moto G Plus and Moto G Play smartphones will be available in North America later this summer.

Moto, Motorola, smartphones, Moto G, fingerprint reader, Android, Lenovo

Moto will release three new Moto G model smartphones in North America, with the Moto G and Moto G Plus available soon and the Moto G Play launching later this summer.

Moto, which formerly branded its phones as Motorola devices, just previewed the new handsets in a special Moto G Exhibit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to a recent post on The Official Motorola Blog.

The new Android handsets begin with the previously available Moto G, which gets feature updates as well as two new offspring models, the Moto G Plus and the Moto G Play. Each model gives users different features that allow them to choose just the right phone for their needs, according to Moto.

The Fourth-Generation Moto G

The latest fourth-generation Moto G features a 5.5-inch full HD display, an octa-core processor, a thinner profile and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. Also included is a 3,000mAh battery as well as a TurboPower battery boost feature that provides 6 hours of power after only 15 minutes of charging, according to Moto.

In addition, Moto G buyers can use the company's Moto Maker design studio service to customize the colors and coverings of their phone, including interchangeable shells. Prices and additional features and specifications of the three new Moto G smartphones will be announced later.

The Moto G Plus

The new Moto G Plus handset includes all the features of standard Moto G phone, but gets an improved 16-megapixel rear-facing camera that includes two additional rapid focus technologies—laser focus and phase detect auto-focus—to help users get better photos in a wide range of conditions during the day and at night.

Plus, the Moto G Plus includes a fingerprint reader for phone security and quick wake-ups. Users can use the fingerprint sensor to authorize purchases on the Google Play store and through apps.

The Moto G Play

The new Moto G Play smartphone model gets a quad-core processor and is designed to last a full day using its 2,800mAh battery, according to Moto. The handset also runs a "pure, clutter-free version" of Android for good performance, at a lower price than the other Moto G models.

The Moto G and Moto G Plus are available immediately in Brazil, while the Moto G Plus is available immediately in India. Both versions will arrive soon in various countries across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. The Moto G Play will be available later this summer around the world, according to the company.

Earlier in May, rumors also surfaced about two new upcoming Moto X Android smartphone models that will feature replaceable, detachable modules that let users swap out components to gain features for different needs, according to a recent eWEEK story. The upcoming all-metal Moto X handsets, which are being called the Vector Thin and the Vertex, both will reportedly include 5.5-inch AMOLED displays but will differ in many other specifications, according to the rumors.

In January, reports began circulating that Moto would be bringing larger displays, fingerprint readers and other features to its Moto smartphone lines as the rebranded smartphone maker works to compete more effectively in the mobile marketplace, according to an earlier eWEEK story.

For Moto, it has been an intriguing start to 2016. In January, the company, which previously has been known as Motorola Mobility, announced that it will stop using the Motorola brand name as it moves to remove the historic nameplate from its smartphones in deference to its Moto and Vibe product names. The rebranding was revealed at the CES 2016 event in Las Vegas by Motorola Mobility CEO Rick Osterloh.

The name changes come almost two years after Motorola Mobility, the division that builds and sells smartphones, was sold by Google to Lenovo in January 2014 for about $2.91 billion. The company builds its Moto and Vibe lines of handsets for sale around the world. Motorola actually dropped the Motorola name from its smartphone packaging when it launched its original Moto X handset in 2013.

While the Motorola name won't be used for product branding in the future, it will remain the name of the business that designs and engineers Moto and Vibe phones.

Google sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo in 2014, less than two years after Google itself had acquired the handset maker. The sale by Google was seen as a move for the company to firm up its own direction in the mobile space and cut its losses as it continued to focus on the Android mobile operating system. Google had sold off other parts of Motorola Mobility within months after it acquired the company in early 2012.