Hands-on with Motorola’s Style, Play, G for 2015

With the amount of phone news this week, you’d be excused for thinking this week is mobile madness, and Motorola is adding to it, letting GadgetGuy go hands on with three upcoming models.

How’s that old phone of yours going? Is it feeling like we just said — old — and do you think it’s right about now that you might want to upgrade?

If you’re on that frame of mind, you already know how good your choices are, because really we’re all spoiled when it comes to picking a new phone.

That selection is about to get bigger by three, but depending on how much you want to spend and the sort of features you’re going after, it might be a little different.

In fact, with the three new phones on the way from Motorola, the additions aren’t just about what the company can do to compete with others, but what it can do to make you stand out, providing handsets that look, feel, and act a little differently from others.


For starters, there’s the Moto X Style, the top of the line model that Motorola will be bringing to the table in September and replacing last year’s Moto X.

This phone will bring in a 5.7 inch Quad HD display that goes practically edge-to-edge, allowing you to feel like you’re holding merely a display with a backing plate and hardware, and it’s that hardware that Motorola wants to talk about.

High-end would be the name of the game, with the same six-core processor from the LG G4, 3GB RAM, and 32GB of storage plus a microSD card slot (finally!) to expand that.

That’s a fair amount of power packed with a high-end display, and this puts it on the same playing field as other similarly high-end devices out in Australia today, so Motorola hopes to separate it from the pack with a 21 megapixel camera on the back and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera, each arriving with their own flash.

A 3000mAh battery is also provided, providing what should be all-day battery life for the big phone, and there’s support for a TurboPower fast charge option capable of delivering up to 10 hours of battery life from a 15 minute charge.

There’s also a slightly different look and feel to this phone, because while you can get it in black plastic, Australians will also get the opportunity to buy the Moto X Style in wood, with real bamboo on the back.


In the hands, this is a lovely feeling phone, with a slight curve to the back that sits nicely in the palm of your hand, but doesn’t feel like it would wobble too much when you lay it down on a table, which is the feeling you get with some other phones.

The screen looked lovely from our brief play, and the wood is a nice little feature that makes the X Style truly unique, especially as more manufacturers work to metal and glass these days.


Vodafone has this one as an exclusive for a while, however, so if you’re interested in the Moto X, you’ll need to go on at least an $83 per month plan, with this one arriving early September.

Next is a variant of the X Style for people who prefer battery life over those lovely individual looks, with the X Play.

Given the name, you’d expect this one prefers video and entertainment playback over style and design, and for the most part, that’s the general logic behind the existence of this one.

Motorola's X Style on the left, the X Play on the right.
Motorola’s X Style on the left, the X Play on the right.

Essentially, it is a very similar little box to the X Style, with an eight-core Snapdragon processor (615), 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, a microSD slot, and the same cameras, albeit without the front-facing flash.

The screen drops in size and resolution a little here, down from the 5.7 inch Quad HD of the X Style to a 5.5 inch Full HD, making it practically identical to what you’ll find on the iPhone 6 Plus, albeit running Android instead of iOS.

This phone, however, sports a 3630mAh battery, a bunch of numbers that technically equated to up to 48 hours of life, something most flagships can only dream of.


In the hands, this one offers a lovely little textured back with a fair degree of heft, weighing in at 169 grams, but still cupping well in the palm.

Vodafone will take a carrier exclusive on this one again, but you will find it at retail, too, with early September seeing this for either a minimum of $45 per month of an outright price of $569, making it a decent mid-range at the upper end of that category.


After seeing these, you might look at the flagships and say “yeah, they look awesome, but I don’t have the money for something expensive”.

You wouldn’t be alone in this fact, and the biggest sales for a Moto handset don’t go to the X’s. Rather, they’re focused squarely on the G, Motorola’s mid-range marvel that packs in everything you need and little of the extra gimmicks that make geeks smile when a new flagship is announced.


This year, the G aims to be very competitive thanks to a combination of parts like the Snapdragon 410, 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, and a 2470mAh battery sitting underneath a 5 inch HD screen, as well as a 13 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front-facing camera.

Where things get particularly interesting is at the inclusion of a dualSIM — great for people travelling — as well as the IPX7 water resistance, meaning you’ll be able to take this one into water and take photos, using the volume key to fire photos when you’re under water. Also useful is that the microUSB port on this one has been sealed against water, so you won’t have to worry about it when taking it in the drink.


Like the other two Motorola handsets, we did get a good feel fore this one, and while plastic is the main material used here, the Motorola G 2015 feels better than you’d think, with a textured replaceable back, decent heft, and a slight curvature that doesn’t cause it to move that much when resting on a table.

Pricing on the Moto G for 2015 comes in at an outright $369 with availability in September also, which says to us that it will appeal to anyone looking for a good little mid-ranger with resistance to the elements. You can read that as “great for someone who might be a bit clumsy, such as a child or teen”.


We’ll tell you what we think of this later on, as it has entered our review system, so look for our thoughts on the Moto G soon. Until then, September is what you’ll be waiting for.