The New Moto X is bigger, faster and flashier than last year's model while retaining all of its unique productivity-boosting features. This week Motorola revealed that the successor to the 2014 Moto X – dubbed the Moto X Style – will launch in September with a huge 5.7-inch display and an aggressive price point that should make it a tempting choice for budget-minded business users, especially compared with pricier flagship smartphones.
Here's a quick look at the features that make the Moto X Style look like a top-tier work phone.
Phablets – smartphones with screens more than 5.5 inches — aren't for everyone, but they do present some distinct advantages for business users. Specifically, they give you a lot more room for screen-intensive tasks, such as viewing large documents and editing spreadsheets.
Last year's Moto X came with a big 5.2-inch display, but Motorola is pushing the envelope this year with a gigantic 5.7-inch screen for the Moto X Style, making it one of the biggest flagship phones on the market. The display is super-sharp, too, with a quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. That should make apps such as the new Android releases of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint much more comfortable to use on the go.
It would be a stretch to call any 5.7-inch smartphone "compact," but the Moto X feels surprisingly manageable for a device with such a large display. With a footprint measuring 6.1 x 3 inches, and a curved profile measuring 0.24 to 0.43 inches thick, it feels noticeably smaller than the Galaxy Note 4, which measures 6.2 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches. That's a big perk, since the larger your smartphone is, the harder it is to handle.
The all-plastic Note 4 weighs just 6.2 ounces, though, making it a bit lighter than the metal-framed, 6.3-ounce Moto X Style.
In addition to a relatively small footprint, the Moto X Style will also be available with a silicone rubber back. It might be quite as classy as the leather backing that's also available, but the silicone option manages to look good while making the phone surprisingly easy to hang onto, despite its sizable dimensions.
The new Moto X Style is getting a big speed boost over last year's model. It's equipped with a speedy Snapdragon 808 processor and an impressive 3GB of RAM. In practice, that should translate to smoother multitasking and fewer delays while using your phone.
If it’s not broke, why fix it? The 2014 Moto X already has some of the best productivity-boosting software features around, and they're all set to return with the launch of the Moto X Style.
That includes Motorola's unique touchless controls, which let you perform all sorts of actions without ever touching your smartphone, just by uttering a passphrase. I love this feature because it lets me quickly save notes, add reminders and calendar events, access turn-by-turn navigation and a lot more, using only my voice.
Other phones offer similar voice command functionality, but require you to manually activate the command prompt first. The Moto X, meanwhile, lets you use voice commands even when your phone is sitting across the room from you.
Another feature that's set to return is Moto Display, a nifty feature that flashes incoming alerts, notifications and messages on your lock screen, even when the phone’s display is turned off. That lets you gauge whether an alert demands immediate attention at a glance, without needing to stop what you’re doing to fiddle with your smartphone.
Last year's Moto X was slightly lacking in the battery department. Thankfully, Motorola is packing in a beefy 3,000-mAh battery, up from 2,300-mAh in the 2014 model. That should provide a nice battery boost, which is a key feature in a great work phone.
Not only that, but Motorola says the phone comes with quick-charging capabilities, giving you 10 hours of battery life with a brief 15-minute charge. That's good news if you need to top off the phone's battery during a business flight layover.
Compared with other flagship-level smartphones, the Moto X Style will be really affordable. Subsidized pricing through carriers like Verizon or AT&T hasn't been announced yet, but we do know that the unlocked version of the phone will be available to purchase for $399 outright. That might sound like a lot if you're used to paying less for a subsidized phone with a two-year contract, but remember that carriers make up the cost of subsidized phones by attaching expensive monthly data plans to those devices. When you buy a phone off-contract, you can sign up for a more affordable monthly plan and save a lot of money in the long run.
Still not convinced? Consider that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S6 both cost $649 without a contract attached. If you'd rather go the subsidized route with the Moto X Style, check back for official pricing information as soon as we know it.