Thursday , August 24 2017

Moto X Style — Australian First Impressions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Moto X Style is, judging by your comments on Ausdroid, one of the most hotly anticipated and widely discussed handsets of 2015. Certainly in our offices, it’s generated a lot of discussion too, and we’ve finally got our hands on the X Style to take for a spin. While Scott will be writing the full review, I want to give you a quick introduction to the X Style today.

Known in the US as the Moto X Pure, it’s easy to see why it’s picked up both of these names. This is one glorious looking phone. As you can see above, it takes more of its design cues from the Moto G than it does the Moto X Play, which is clearly designed for a slightly different audience. However, that’s where most of the similarities with the Moto G (and even the Moto X Play) stop.

We’ve got our hands on the retail version of the Moto X Style, so let’s take a look.

Hardware

Motorola’s Moto X Style (model number XT1572) is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8982 Snapdragon 808 chipset — a powerful chipset shared by LG’s G4, and sharing a number of similarities with the more powerful Snapdragon 810 used in HTC’s One M9. Motorola’s chipset is a hexa-core processor with 2 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A57 cores and 4 x 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53 cores, following the trend of a couple of high-powered processors for more intensive processing, and four lesser-powered cores for handling run of the mill activity. LG’s G4 used this to devastating effect, with high performance and long battery life. There’s little reason – given the Moto X Play’s performance – to doubt the Moto X Style will be able to do the same.

 

Besides the processing power, the Snapdragon 808 includes X10 LTE, allowing Cat 9 speeds up to 450 mbps, and 3 x 20 MHz carrier aggregation for faster downloads on supported networks. VoLTE support is included, as well as HD Voice, meaning that the next generation of 4G networks will work with this phone.

Wireless connectivity is rounded out with 802.11n/ac wireless with MU-MIMO, NFC, Turbo Charging and Bluetooth 4.1.

As this is a Vodafone exclusive for the time being, this is a single-SIM handset only.

Memory-wise, there’s 3GB of RAM on board, as well as 32GB of storage for the model sold here. This is expandable up to 128GB by use of a micro-SD card, which is really useful.

Unlike the Moto X Play and Moto G, the back cover on the X Style is not removable, so the options for customisation are even more limited here. However, there is a nice clear plastic bumper included in the box to give you a bit of around-the-edge protection until cases become more widely available.

What’s in the box?

We don’t usually do unboxing on Ausdroid; it’s really a bit indulgent. However, given there’s a huge amount of interest in this handset, and what it comes with, it’s prudent to take a little look through the contents. Besides, it’s a beautiful retail packaging.

One of the most frequent questions has been about the Turbo Charger included with the Moto X Style, which doesn’t come with any other devices in the range. This model can put out 12V at 1.2A, meaning it charges your phone damned quick. Alongside the Turbo Charger is a standard black USB to micro-USB cable, Mobile Muster return satchel for old phones, a clear plastic bumper/protector, a little box full of the standard instructions and manuals which no one ever reads, a Motorola-branded SIM tool which is really neat, and a pair of stereo headphones which look cool, but probably aren’t much good (like all other included headphones).

[sam id=”4″ codes=”true”]

A quick look at performance

As with the Moto X Play, we’ve run the Moto X Style through Geekbench 3 and SunSpider, and the results are startling. Geekbench 3 pegs the Moto X Style somewhere near the middle of the 2015 flagships; while it easily bests the Moto X Play and last year’s OnePlus One, it still falls behind the more powerful Snapdragon 810-powered HTC One M9, and well behind the Exynos beasts inside the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

However, on SunSpider, the performance is much better; in fact, the Moto X Style bests Samsung and HTC’s efforts, and is only trumped by Apple’s iPhone 6 in pure Javascript performance.  This thing is lickety-split quick.

 

Benchmarks can only tell you so much, though, and I’m not going to pre-empt Scott’s thoughts on the Moto X Style, except to say this: it feels damned quick, and certainly (in my limited hands-on) doesn’t seem to suffer from any obvious stutter or lag while installing apps or switching between processes.

First Impressions

The Moto X Style is even more of one hell of a phone than the Moto X Play, and that’s saying something, because I am in love with the Play. Probably the only disappointment, if I had to identify one, would be the price; at $792 outright, it’s just a little too expensive, but you DO get a lot of phone for that price.

  • Battery life has not been fully explored yet, but at 3,000 mAh with Motorola’s energy efficiency, it’s going to be good.
  • Performance is tight, and energy efficient.
  • The in-hand feel is as good as the Moto G, despite the bigger size. It feels fantastic.
  • Camera is leaps and bounds ahead of the Moto X Play, which is already pretty good. Low light performance is great.

Scott’s going to take a deeper look into the camera, battery life, real-world performance and more when he does an in-depth review in two weeks, which is why I’ve not talked too much about those aspects here. At this stage, the Moto X Style appears to deserve the praise (and craze) surrounding it, and even a week or two out from the launch of 2015’s Nexus devices, I have a feeling the Moto X Style just might hold its own.

Motorola’s Moto X Style is available nation-wide from Vodafone stores for $3 per month on the $100 Red plan. Other pricing options are available for new and existing Vodafone customers, and outright sale is available until 29 September

 

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

When not writing for Ausdroid, Chris is busy working away at his career within the NSW Department of Justice.

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49 Comments on "Moto X Style — Australian First Impressions"

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firelordscans
Valued Guest
firelordscans

Just wanted to clarify something: Your statement “Camera is leaps and bounds ahead of the Moto X Play”. I thought that both the Play and the Style have the same camera sensor (Sony’s IMX230)?

Chris
Valued Guest

Same sensor. Different lens. Different image processing.

Style is higher quality.

Swee
Valued Guest
Swee

Hey guys, Just a quick question. Does the phone come with those clunky carrier app i.e: vodafone apps or vodafone logo when it boots up etc?

thanks

Chris
Valued Guest

No carrier customisation at all. It’s unbranded.

Swee
Valued Guest
Swee

cool. thanks chris!!

Dave Belling
Valued Guest
Dave Belling

I have a unique requirement- does it handle a MIDI keyboard through USB OTG? I use a fair few music creation apps and I have a few tiny MIDI keyboards that I like to use. I looked at the Moto X Pure and couldn’t find any conclusive information around MIDI. Anybody want to load up SynprezFM and plug in a MIDI keyboard for me? This phone looks lush and I ain’t getting the Note 5…

Chris
Valued Guest

If I had a MIDI keyboard I’d give it a try … but we don’t have one :/

Tones
Valued Guest
Tones

Why no comparison with the LG g4? The closest match in terms of hardware…

Chris
Valued Guest

Good question; just an oversight. We’ve added in G4 scores, and the Style beats it on all measures … but only just. Probably just OS optimisation between them.

Matt Croker
Valued Guest
Matt Croker

i am so happy i finally picked it up. Went to St. Ives store, both George St stores, the QVB store, Chatswood Westfield and both Macquarie stores until I found one. The macquarie store literally had 1 and the lady behind me was really pissed because i beat her to it. The stock android experience is so much better than the samsung or lg skins and im really enjoying the screen and processing speed. No wonder there is so much hype around it because it is a great phone and im so glad to finally get my hands on one

Kosta Markovic
Valued Guest
Kosta Markovic

I did the same, I turned off the sensors and the battery life is great. The idle time being so good let’s me get two days with normal usage. The last time I got 5h 34min screen on time.

Ha
Valued Guest

I got the style great phone the sensors drain the battery so I decided to switch off now I get two days out of the battery. The turbo charger will not be sold separately as I’ve contacted Motorola directly. Maybe if they release it overseas you might be able to import directly.

absolutbgnr
Valued Guest
absolutbgnr

I know a proper review is coming in the following weeks. I would politely request that you guys make some comment about the ergonomics and size of the style and perhaps do a pocket test of sorts?(In skinny jeans too…lol!) The ony thing holding me back from getting this phone is the fact that it may well be too big. I reckon the 5″ or iPhone 6 dimensions are the sweet spot but android manufacturers don’t seem too concerned with making a flagship at that size point.

Member
Hey I have a Moto X style (pure). Bought it 4 days ago. It is easy to hold in one hand, but if you are trying to touch a back button or something far reaching it is a stretch. It is quite a heavy phone as it has a metal frame and trim. So it can feel like it could topple out of your hand if your stretching to tap a far corner of the screen. But this is no different than a iPhone 6 plus, LG G4 or HTC One M9. All the same. It fits well in a… Read more »
absolutbgnr
Valued Guest
absolutbgnr

thanks for your response!

Graye
Valued Guest
Graye

I read the comments here about the problems people are having with Vodafone with trying to buy themselves the new Moto X, and I feel quite disgusted! Having the chance to buy yourself a new phone by a deadline is unreasonable & absurd! Or else only by trapping yourself in a contract with the likes of Vodafone which you wouldn’t normally do is equally absurd! Shame on you Motorola for creating this situation!

Member

After the deadline, look for other people selling them

Graye
Valued Guest
Graye

Thanks toast, though I’ve decided to wait for the Moto X Force. I just hope Motorola handle that phone’s release a lot better than they have the Style & Play. Who knows we might even have access to Motomaker by then!?! I shall be writing to Motorola tomorrow to express my concerns about what I read here. Going by my past experiences with them, I’ve not got my hopes up too high.

Member

I suspect Motorola (& Sony) have optimised Chrome for things like JavaScript performance. HTC and Samsung likely optimise their version if the AOSP browser. My GS6 scored better than the iPhone which uses Apple’s optimised browser Safari.

Markus
Valued Guest
Markus

Chrome on iOS, not quite, any third party browser on iOS is forced to use webkit however, this is where things get weird.
Webkit in the SDK is usually behind the version compiled into Safari but this actually fared better for third party apps as on some occasions, it performed better than newer iterations of webkit.

Member

What are we talking about in terms of performance differential between old and new versions of webkit for Safari and other iOS browsers? +/- 10 or 20% or greater?

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

Any word on when the White version will be available in store?

Member

I’m almost convinced to do the $80 a month plan.
That’s equates to about $50 a month for 8GBs of data.
I can use that much. It’s my personal internet at work to keep from upsetting the IT guys here.

But its 2 years contract….

I’m a just waiting a few weeks see the Nexuses, see what happens after the Voda exclusivity period ends.

But it is the right phone for me right now. The right mix.

Shahid Hasan
Valued Guest
Shahid Hasan

For anyone wanting to buy these phones I’d recommend calling Vodafone to purchase. After struggling to find stock and being lied to in store and all of that hassle I was about ready to give up.

Just now I spent around 10mins on the phone and have successfully ordered two white/bamboo models outright with absolutely no hassle at all! So much easier then having to track it down in store, only downside is I have to wait 2-3 days to receive it.

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

Nice one, so I take it you don’t have to be a Vodafone customer to order outright over the phone is that correct? Thanks in advance.

Shahid Hasan
Valued Guest
Shahid Hasan

Nope! I did have an account there from a few years ago which the guy used to save some time but he was perfectly willing to start a new account for me if he couldn’t find it.

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve
Sigh.. I just called them and I was unable to purchase the phone outright only on a plan etc. I even mentioned that someone else bought the phone outright but the guy said he couldn’t help me. Maybe if I spoke to someone else I would of got a different result or mentioned that it was available outright through Vodafone stores. This seems all to difficult to get the colour you want outright easily and with Nexus(s) getting announced next week it might be worth holding out for another week or so even though the deal ends on the 29th.… Read more »
Member

Shahid bought it thru MPP. MPP means you buy the phone outright from Vodaphone, but the catch is…..you need to sign up with Vodafone’s postpaid monthly plan….so you’re essentially locked in with Vodafone.

What some people have done is buy the phone outright thru MPP, sign up with Vodafone postpaid monthly plan, then cancel after the 1st month. You are then free to insert a Telstra sim (or alternative sim) into it, so you’re not locked in with Vodafone.

Shahid Hasan
Valued Guest
Shahid Hasan

I didn’t have to sign up to any postpaid plan. I did however get one of their sim’s for their sim only-month-to-month deal they have going which is no lock in contract. So maybe it was that that allowed me to buy it, in which case you can pay and extra 30$ for that.

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

Thanks, I thought as much.. that’s too much effort though. I just want to buy the white version outright with no hassles, is that too much to ask? LOL 😉

Shahid Hasan
Valued Guest
Shahid Hasan
I was getting a bit worried as I hadn’t received any kind of email saying confirmation or anything so I just gave them a call. Luckily it’s all good and the order has been placed and everything so that’s fine for me but I did have to do a lot of explaining on my way to see if the order was processed or not. I think I can confirm the only reason I was allowed to get it over the phone is because I had a previous account with Voda and I purchased a new SIM (on their no lock… Read more »
Shahid Hasan
Valued Guest
Shahid Hasan

That sucks! Maybe he was referring to the mobile payment plan when he mentioned that? Because that’s technically how I purchased mine.

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

I think he was referring to their 24 month plans to be honest. I asked him if there’s anyway I could buy it outright and he said no. Maybe I could of mentioned the MPP, but you shouldn’t have to. Cheers!

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

Sweet, I might give this a go then.. cheers mate!

MJ
Valued Guest

It’s a great looking phone, but for me the classic Aussie price hike from $399 US to $792 AUD is just daylight robbery. Even with the current crappy value of our dollar against the US this shouldn’t cost more that $600 / $650 at most and it could have sold like hotcakes!

Matt Croker
Valued Guest
Matt Croker

it is still selling like hot cakes, even with the massive price inflation

mark0Z
Valued Guest
mark0Z

Like many, I’m afraid you’ve compared the base model 16GB $399 USD with the 32GB model which we get here. The 32GB US model is $449 (~$495 post-tax) which is about AU$695, and possibly closer to the RRP here if you added in shipping and distribution costs.

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

There’s shipping and distribution costs included in the US price too – they don’t make them in Texas any more.

Regardless, MJ’s point stands. $792 is too expensive for a phone that’s being aggressively priced in other markets.

Shahid Hasan
Valued Guest
Shahid Hasan

The phone including tax is around $450 USD in the States = ~$650AUD here on pure currency conversion alone. But then you have to account for the extra fees that might come into play e.g. Vodafone’s cut, whoever’s doing the shipping to Australia, not to mention no one actually converts currencies for what they’re worth there’s always extra fees involved. So yes, it sounds like a lot more but I wouldn’t say it’s too far off the mark. Around $700-750 would be more appropriate and that’s probably the price you’ll end up seeing resellers have later on.

BrainBeat
Valued Guest
BrainBeat
On the Point on the Turbo Charger do you know if you can buy one separately? I have a X Play which I am told is also compatible with the Turbo Charger as I asked Motorola’s online support yesterday about it. I asked if they knew if any retailers stock it and they first suggested the major electronics retailers (I checked all their websites and none listed it) and then a online only mobile retailer which seemed to be selling not the Australian version. I have not managed to go in to any stores and could not be bothered trying… Read more »
Jamie S
Valued Guest
Jamie S

S6 adaptive fast charger works fine on my X Play. Not as fast as the Motorola one I’d imagine but not bad. It comes up with Turbo charging when I plug it in.

BrainBeat
Valued Guest
BrainBeat

Cool thanks for replying I would imagine it would be the same charger as my brothers then so I might give it a go the next time I need some charge fast at least until I get a proper one.

dylaneloiarvela
Valued Guest
dylaneloiarvela

Where is the Moto G? Everything seems to have gone cold… Surely the 16gb/2gbram Moto G is the phone most people are after

BrainBeat
Valued Guest
BrainBeat

I was but I got sick of waiting and took the plunge on the Xplay but I am sure many will be after it for sure.

Member
5sNo11

One thing I’d like to say is that if you are switching from a 5 inch screen to Play or Style, please go to your local Vodafone store and just get an idea of how big these phones really are. The pictures are great, but they can really make the phones look less wider than they actually are.

mark0Z
Valued Guest
mark0Z

Agreed, though the X Style is a lot narrower than you’d expect a large phone to be thanks to the slim side bezels. Motorola has made a really nice phone feel in hand with good heft and ergonomics.

BrainBeat
Valued Guest
BrainBeat

If I understand what you are trying to say I agree that these phones are small for 5.5″ screened phones. I have a 5″ phone which I have upgraded from and my X Play is only 1mm wider and about the same length.

Oliver Ward
Valued Guest
Oliver Ward
having previously sold a oneplus one after 2 days because i found it too big, i’m happy to report that after handling both the Play & Style are way less cumbersome. the curve on the back makes them alot easier to handle and you don’t notice their size as a result. i’m currently using a nexus 5 and have what i would call ‘not big’ hands, and would happily use with the Play or Style. comparing the two of them there’s very little difference in screen size, so the bigger battery of the Play would win out for me i… Read more »
Jamie S
Valued Guest
Jamie S

Getting a bit of lag on mine already esp the keyboard. Hopefully a software update can fix it.

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