It’s weird for me to realize that it’s been two years since the unveiling of that mysterious “X” phone that had everybody riled up back in 2013. It was the phone that was supposed to be the “phone to end all phones”, with all sorts of crazy specs and features being thrown around. When it turned out that the almighty X phone turned out to be none other than the Moto X (2013), spirits were… squashed, to say the least.
But we’ve come a long way since then. While the 2013 Moto X started off on the wrong foot with an expensive price tag and (unfortunately) didn’t live up to the rumored expectations, a price drop and the unveiling of Moto Maker (not to mention some of the decent features that the original Moto X actually did feature, such as Active Display) made it a pretty decent purchase a few months following launch. The Moto X wasn’t the instant hit that many had hoped it would be, but it eventually became something worth mentioning. I despised the device at first and then eventually purchased one to use as my daily driver.
The 2014 Moto X was another great device, this time with a larger display (a bump up from the 4.7-inch to a 5.2-inch display) a bump up in specs, and even more options for people to personalize with using the Moto Maker.
Then we come to today, where the newest generation – or generations, actually – of the Moto X have officially been unveiled. There are three renditions of the Moto X this year: The Moto X Pure, Moto X Play, and Moto X Style. Each of them look very similar to each other, each offer different experiences, and each seem to be catered to different parts of the world. For those of us living in the U.S., you’re going to want to focus on the Moto X Pure – which is still fine, because the Moto X Pure is the same thing as the Moto X Style (and is not a pure Android phone, it still has Motorola features) it’s just the name of the variant that works in the U.S. Moto X Pure = U.S. Everything else = Not U.S.
Confusing? A bit. Or a lot.
Really, you just need to know that the Style and the Pure are both a bit different from the Play. While the Play focuses on better battery life by featuring quite a large battery (3630 mAh battery vs. 3000 mAh in Style/Pure), the Pure/Style focuses on having a larger 5.7-inch QHD (515 ppi) and better specs, rather than the Play’s 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display (400 ppi) with mid-range specs.
All Moto X variants feature a 21-megapixel camera on the rear with a 5-megapixel camera on the front. The Style and the Pure feature have the additional front-facing flash, which the Play does not.
As for the rest of the specs, the Style once again takes precedence with 3GB of RAM and a hexa-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 processor. The Moto Play offers 2GB RAM and is equipped with the 1.7GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor. Less power, but the Play’s main selling point is still going to be the battery life. It doesn’t really matter for us here in the States anyway, as the Play won’t be sold ‘round these parts (which is a shame if you were looking forward to a phone that excels in battery life).
All models are expected to feature 32 and 64GB of internal memory with no microSD card slot. As usual, Motorola aims to make these phones affordable. The Moto X Pure will go for $399 unlocked for all major U.S. carriers, while the Play will end up somewhere “$300-$400 below” the price of your average flagship. Each model will have Moto Maker options, with the Style having the most variety available.
In the end, they look like some pretty solid phones. I don’t like how confusing everything was, and I think it’s a shame that the Play won’t make it stateside because I know there’s still a market for A.) a phone that is closer to having a 5-inch display than a 6-inch display and b.) a phone that aims to provide better battery life rather than top-notch performance. The Moto X Pure, however, is still a great catch at $399, barring you enjoy the large 5.7-inch screen.
Being that the phones are so large, it really knocks them out of my league. I’m one of those people who prefer to use my phone one-handed, and even a 5-inch display on most occasions is making an exception. Still, for that price, with those specs, and for the features that you get with the Moto X (I did love my 2013 variant, after all) it really is a great phone to consider this year if you’re in the market.