Wednesday , October 18 2017

Motorola’s new Moto X Style, Moto X Play and Moto G are coming to Australia in September

Moto X Play

Motorola has announced Australian release details and pricing for their new 2015 range of handsets – the Moto X Style, Moto X Play and third generation Moto G. Motorola’s John Demezieres and Sohail Hafesjee were available to answer questions and oversee our hands-on on time with these three gorgeous new handsets, and now we’re able to share with you the local launch information.

Motorola gets smartphones. It isn’t hard, but they get them.

As we heard during the global launch for the handsets, Motorola knows that smartphones are some of our most (if not the most) personal possession we own. They know our secrets, they know where we’re going and where we’ve been, and they hold many of our most personal moments. Motorola says its research showed them that the smartphone would be the thing most of us would try and save first in a fire (after family, I guess), and a surprising number of us have confessed to falling asleep, smartphone in hand. We’re more afraid of losing our phones than we are of shark attacks … well, when Mick Fanning isn’t around, anyway.

We love our phones, and Motorola says it wants to create devices worthy of this love. Our phones should be personal and responsive, and they should be able to be a part of the life we want: water resistant, tough, and yet visually appealing and enjoyable to hold and to use.

Moto G 2015

First Impressions

2015 Moto G

The latest Moto G is a moderately chunky handset, but previous devices in the series have never tried to be super thin so this isn’t surprising. For 2015, the addition of IPX7 waterproofing necessitates some changes the design, but it remains simply a nice handset to hold, and dunking it into a fishbowl full of water is delightfully fun despite the shiver it causes somewhere deep inside you.

The rear of the phone is removable, and Motorola will be selling a number of colourful shells to allow a little customisation in the absence of Moto Maker.

The Moto G feels fast and fluid thanks to the move to 2GB of RAM, which helps system performance and multitasking. The Australian model will also feature 16GB of storage, a welcome decision given the paltry storage we’ve seen on low- and mid-range Moto hardware in the past.

Moto X Play

If you want a phone that has a good chance of lasting all day without compromising on style or performance, Motorola’s Moto X Play might be the one for you.

The ‘mid-tier’ in Motorola’s 2015 range is anything but the second fiddle to the high-end Moto X Style. The Moto X Play has a welcome, solid tactile feel and despite its size it doesn’t feel chunky and overwieght – you won’t believe that Motorola has managed to squeeze a massive 3600mAh battery inside.

The Moto X Play’s screen is quite the looker – it’s bright and showed great contrast indoors at Monday’s launch event. The phone feels fast to use despite the mid-tier Snapdragon 615 processor inside which, coupled with the phone’s 1080p screen may see the phone sip gently from the massive battery.

Overall, the Moto X Play feels every bit a premium smartphone even though Moto isn’t pitching it as one.

Moto X Style

Motorola shows it can go toe-to-toe with the giants of the smartphone industry with the high-end Moto X Style.

The Moto X Style is oh-so-nice to hold – the build screams “premium”, and for a phone with a 5.7-inch display, it’s surprisingly compact in the hand, sitting far more comfortably than the slightly-larger Nexus 6. The rear of the phone has seen a surprising shrink of the famous Moto “dimple” and is now set in a lovely panel with a slight metallic accent around it.

The Moto X Style runs well – really, really well. It’s powered by the same Snapdragon 808 we saw in the LG G4, and its been put to good use here. On first boot, and simply loading apps or swiping around the phone’s home screens, it’s fast – really fast.

Local availability

All three phones will hit the market in early September, so there’s just a few weeks to wait. Motorola’s release cycle has come under some scrutiny in the last couple of years, especially in 2014 when the Moto X was subject to a constantly-sliding release date, alienating potential customers and sending them elsewhere. Rest asssured, the complaints were heard and Demezieres – although not promising the keys to his house this year – promises the phones will be in store on time in 2015.

The Moto X Style will be available exclusively through Vodafone, marking a return to carrier arrangements for Motorola which has long opted for the direct retail offering. The Moto X Style will be just $3 a month on an $80 Red Plan over 24 months, and it’s likely (though not yet confirmed) that an outright purchase will be available through Vodafone stores. The Moto X Style will be available in Bamboo and Black, with no Moto Maker option for Australia just yet and it’ll work on all Australian carriers’ 4G and 4G+ networks.

The Moto X Play will also be available through Vodafone, but it will also be offered for direct sale via a number of currently-unannounced retail channels – likely the usual suspects for Motorola devices, being JB HiFi, The Good Guys, and Harvey Norman. Vodafone pricing starts at $5 a month on the $40 plan over 24 months, and will likely drop on higher level plans. Outright pricing is suggested at $569, though we expect some retailers to undercut this in accordance with usual practice. Disappointingly for those of us who were caught drooling over the orange Moto X Play during the launch event, it’s only available in black at launch.

Finally, as with previous models, the 2015 Moto G will be a direct retail offering priced at $369 and also only available in black, though with removable rear covers you’ll be able to customise your handset a bit via Motorola’s accessories store.

A note on software updates

One of the most appealing factors of Motorola’s handsets in the past few years has been the “stock Android” experience, with the company delivering Android OS updates quickly to retail handsets without being hindered by carriers, sometimes even beating Nexus phones for major upgrades.

You might be thinking that with Vodafone offering the Moto X Style and Moto X Play there could be delays with software updates down the line as they’ll be submitted to carrier certification and testing. Motorola assures us that this won’t happen.

As part of their agreement with Vodafone to distribute the handsets, Motorola says there are streamlined protocols in place to ensure that software updates are timely, and rolled out quickly after they’re released by Moto to Vodafone for testing. No-one would be pinned to a specific timeframe, but we’re reassured that it will be very quick, and shouldn’t impact on the reputation they’ve built for quick updates in the past.

Besides core OS updates, Motorola’s experience on top of “stock” Android is mostly updated through the Google Play Store, so most functional updates won’t need any carrier testing, keeping your handset nice and up to date.

We’re excited to see Motorola’s new phones land here, and happy to see them getting here so quickly after the global launch – something we haven’t seen in a few years. We’ve got a brand new Moto G in-hand for review, and we’re working on getting the Moto X variants to review in the near future.

Are you planning to make one of these new phones your own? Which one, and why? Tell us in the comments!

 

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.

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82 Comments on "Motorola’s new Moto X Style, Moto X Play and Moto G are coming to Australia in September"

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Pumpino
Valued Guest
Pumpino

Any update on when the Play will become available here? Next week? Will it become available for out-right purchase immediately, or will they delay that?

Chris
Valued Guest

Both the Play and Style should be available for outright purchase immediately. The only thing we don’t know – yet – is whether we’ll see the Play in other retailers, or just Vodafone. Given it’s not an exclusive for Voda, there’s a likelihood we may see it at JB HiFi (who have stocked previous Moto handsets), and there may be a little competition on price too. All will be revealed soon, and as soon as we hear, we’ll let you know too 🙂

Pumpino
Valued Guest
Pumpino

I thought you guys said that the Style wouldn’t be available for outright purchase at launch.

Member

Well after seeing Australia only getting the 32gig version of Note 5, the X Style is looking very attractive & no bloatware. Only thing no OLED screen

Member
5sNo11

Would also really like some Motorola accessories come to Australia.

Power packs, cases, key link, surround, hint etc. all look really good but we don’t get them here…

Daniel Tyson
Ausdroid Manager

I’ve raised this (and will continue to) at every meeting I’ve had with Motorola.

Fiddle Castro
Valued Guest
Fiddle Castro

Any update on the actual release date next month for the Moto X Style?

Chris
Valued Guest

Not yet. We’ve asked Moto and Vodafone for updates, and we’ve got a few other queries out too .. but no clear answers yet. Just “soon”.

Daniel Pan
Valued Guest
Daniel Pan

I really want the Moto X Play! Power to the power user with that huge battery and 1080p screen. Hopefully the processor can handle the usage.

Chris
Valued Guest

Our intial hands on indicates the processor can most certainly keep up with just about anything you can throw at it 🙂

leetrevor81
Valued Guest
leetrevor81

If I was buying any of these I would go the play for sure. With near stock software it should be very snappy despite the lesser processor, 1080p is plenty sharp enough, and that battery should be amazing.

It seems like it would be a premium like performance, better battery and a lot cheaper. Many still don’t like big screens, so the fact that the screen is slightly smaller would be a win to some too

Member
5sNo11

What I am wondering now is if I should wait for the new LG Nexus 2015 to come out or go for Moto X Play? Hmmm… Any thoughts?

Level380
Valued Guest
Level380

This!!! I’m in the same boat as well…. If the Play had the same camera as the style, then I would go for the play right now!

But I’ll wait and see what the new Nexus brings, as I know I’ll regret it as soon as I buy a Moto X Play as it’ll have a better camera!

Pumpino
Valued Guest
Pumpino

I’d wait until it’s announced in October (it’ll only be about eight weeks away, and further specs will be confirmed before then). We know the N5 won’t include the Snapdragon 820, and I suspect it will include the 808 like the G4. It might come down to the CPU and price, although the X Play will have reduced in price a little by then.

Level380
Valued Guest
Level380

Knowing aussie stock, it will take 8 weeks for the Moto X play to arrive here anyhow!

phill360
Valued Guest
phill360

That’s disappointing that the Moto X Style is exclausive to Vodafone but do Vodafone always lock their phones or can you by it outright and put a Telstra sim in if the bands are supported?

Enrico
Valued Guest
Enrico

“it’s likely (though not yet confirmed) that an outright purchase will be available through Vodafone stores”

If you buy outright from Vodafone it is not locked. If you are on their contract they will give you the unlock code for free.

phill360
Valued Guest
phill360

I’m looking forward to see these outright prices, hopefully it will be less than $650. I want a bamboo back

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

With the Moto X Play being given a recommended price of $569 I’d say that’s unlikely unfortunately.

phillious
Valued Guest
phillious

I don’t get it… Ausdroid clearly know there’s two variants of the G but didn’t ask for clarification on only being supplied a single price point?

Daniel Tyson
Ausdroid Manager

From the hands On: The Australian model will also feature 16GB of storage – I think we did cover that. You DID read the whole post before you commented right?

Gary
Valued Guest
Gary

lol

Rha
Valued Guest

Such disappointment that Motorola thinks it is a good idea to release the Style on a single carrier and it be contract locked… Once again Australia gets done over for new tech… And Vodafail no less… Worst network in Australia… Sure you can get the phone, but do you have any signal? haha.

Guess I will have to try to import…

Chris
Valued Guest

Oh come now. Vodafone sell most exclusive handsets on outright pricing as well as on contract, and they’re never network locked.

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

If you buy the phone outright from Voda won’t it have their branding/bloat in the software? :

Chris
Valued Guest

Definitely not. There’s an agreement between Moto and Vodafone not to have any carrier stuff preinstalled.

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

Thanks Chris, I like this agreement.. now lets just see what sorta pricing Vodafone are going to do. 🙂

Rha
Valued Guest

No they have agreed (so I hear) not to touch it and to keep it “pure”

freshj1ve
Valued Guest
freshj1ve

Thanks Rha, that’s good to know.. still thinking I might import one from the US so I can use Moto Maker.

Rha
Valued Guest

Yes but they will have “limited” stock and most likely be way over priced…

Chris
Valued Guest

Their previous handsets haven’t been overpriced in recent years, so there’s little reason to think that’d be the case here. We’ll see soon enough.

Jason Murray
Valued Guest
Jason Murray

It won’t necessarily be locked into contract purchases. Nothing wrong with going to a Vodafone store and buying the phone outright is there?

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

Yes but at what price? Traditionally, Telstra/Optus/Vodafone is about the the last place you’d want to go to get a good price on an outright handset.

Chris
Valued Guest

Not so sure about that; JB HiFi (a Telstra dealer) have been quite a good place to get an outright price in the past, and Vodafone’s outright pricing for the M8 last year wasn’t too shabby either. Time will tell.

James Bryant
Valued Guest
James Bryant

As others have stated, releasing the Style exclusive to Vodafone is a mistake. Big mistake. The whole appeal of the phone is the Pure Edition nature of it… That’s now stripped away and it’s on our worst network! Plus it’s crazy expensive… Oh well I guess I’ll just import one instead.

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

Seems like the only thing to do. I was seriously considering the Style – looks like I’ll have to wait for one of the new Nexuses (Nexii?).

Fiddle Castro
Valued Guest
Fiddle Castro

So for those of us wanting the Moto X Style who aren’t, or don’t want to be, on Vodafone we are forced to purchase the Moto X Pure Edition from the USA?

Is there any downside to this? Such as LTE bands missing?

TheBagging Man
Valued Guest
TheBagging Man

Without a US credit card you wont have much luck. I tried to order Pure Edition last year, ended up over paying from eBay.

Fiddle Castro
Valued Guest
Fiddle Castro

Yeah, but I know plenty of people who have done it, so it can be done, although it’s not straightforward.

Daniel Smith
Valued Guest
Daniel Smith

I’m also wondering about this. I’m hoping to run it on optus but now I’m not sure if even the Australian version will support all the bands, since it’s being released on Vodafone.

It’s available from clove in the UK though

Fiddle Castro
Valued Guest
Fiddle Castro

Thanks for the Clove tip. Yep, I want to run it on Optus also. The Clove deal looks like the exact same device they would’ve sold here if Moto were selling direct (LTE Bands etc all look good). $700 including FEDEX also sounds like what Vodafone will probably charge here anyway. Looks like this may be the way to go.

Daniel Smith
Valued Guest
Daniel Smith

$700 seems too high. We don’t pay VAT so the phone is only $542 including FedEx.

Yeah I thought it might be the same model. I’m still not sure though if they support all the optus bands. Need to do more research.

Fiddle Castro
Valued Guest
Fiddle Castro

300 Pounds UK (exc VAT) + 29 UK Fedex = 329 UK = AUS $702.

I wish it was $542 though!

Daniel Smith
Valued Guest
Daniel Smith

Ah, I was looking at the play version

Rha
Valued Guest

Trying to get it here is the issue, options from buying from US are ether Moto direct (they wont ship here or to know freight forwarders, Best buy (same as moto for shipping) or Amazon (not sure on policy there)…

Fiddle Castro
Valued Guest
Fiddle Castro

It can be done with some extra effort. The issue is how well the phone will work here, if the right LTE Bands etc are covered.

Ben Bootsma
Valued Guest
Ben Bootsma

If the Style was coming to Telstra, it was going to be my next phone for sure 🙁

Christopher
Valued Guest
Christopher

The single price point for the Moto G concerns me. Please tell us it’s the 16GB version!

Jason Murray
Valued Guest
Jason Murray

Says in the article it is 16GB, 2GB of storage. So yes, we’re telling you it’s the 16GB version.

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

The Australia Tax strikes again!

Magically, a midtier phone (X Play) now cost comfortably more than the AUD equivalent of what the flagship X Style will cost in the US (USD400).

And the G will cost almost $400 Aussie, which starts at USD180.

And best yet, the flagship is only available from our worst network. Brilliant! No direct sales from Motorola either unlike in the States.

No mention of these disappointments Ausdroid? Or are we meant to count our lucky stars Moto even remembered that we exist? I feel like that’s the tone of the writeup.

TheBagging Man
Valued Guest
TheBagging Man

2gb G is $220USD = $300AUD + 10% Gst $330… Not that much different man

Chris
Valued Guest

Firstly the 180usd is for the 1gb model, not the 2gb we’re seeing here. Once you factor in Australia’s weak dollar against the USD, and a minor cost for Australian warranty and support, the price difference is almost non existent.

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

The flagship X Style, at it’s US price, converted at today’s exchange rate and adding GST, comes to $597. The Australian recommended retail for the X Play, a decidedly mid-tier device, is $569 as reported here. I can only speculate that Vodafone will be asking somewhere betweeen $700-$800 for the X Style outright.

Almost non-existent? You’re kidding yourself, unless your saying that the Aussie warranty is worth 10%+ of the total sell price.

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Valued Guest

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Chris
Valued Guest

When you consider that Australian phones are required to come with a 2 year warranty (when on a 24 month contract), that doesn’t come cheap — there’s service centre costs, support costs and more. Don’t forget the USD cost excludes state sales tax, which you’re almost always going to have to pay, and that gap narrows quite a bit.

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

I’ve included GST in my calc above, which is the sales tax equivalent, and I’m assuming outright purchase to which a 2 year warranty would not apply.

Also note that the warranty costs including service centres etc would also be factored into the US price, it’s not as if they don’t have warranties over there, and while it would cost more to provide that here, we’re not talking exponentially more.

Are you denying the existence of the so-called Australia Tax, or just being a Motorola apologist? I don’t mind either way, I just think the argument is a weak one.

Chris
Valued Guest
Okay, let’s take Moto G 3rd Gen with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, which retails for $219.99 in the US. Now that’s the purchase price, and let’s add sales tax for California (picked purely because I was just there). Let’s call that $237 (8% sales tax). Right there, that’s $321 in AUD, and we’re only $38 off Australia’s RRP. Standard warranty in the states is 1 year. Warranty in Australia for mobiles is almost always pegged at 24 months, to coincide with the most common carrier phone contract term. That’s a decision by the manufacturers, and it’s only reasonable to… Read more »
SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe
That’s a really good write-up Chris, and thanks for the detailed answer. You’d have to concede though that things get messier i.e. the price gap widens when we move up to the Style as the more expensive device, given we can fully expect it to cost $700+ outright. As far as I’m aware, 2 year warranties only apply to phones purchased on contract, and that’s out of the scope of my argument. I’m talking outright here, and every outright phone I’ve ever purchased has had a 12 month warranty only. The consumer protection point is interesting, it’d be good to… Read more »
Chris
Valued Guest
The only comment I’ll make is that the strategies that work in one market don’t readily translate to others; the US telco market is quite different to ours, as are consumer preferences about handsets, how they’re paid for, and what they want included. I will concede, as it can’t really be argued for, that not offering Moto Maker here sucks, and we made that pretty clear to Moto when we met with them. I too am worried about the outright price of the Style, but I’m certainly expecting it to be well below the comparable flagship prices sought to be… Read more »
SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

We certainly agree on that. Samsung price-matching the iPhone is probably the most blatant example of what I’m talking about – price it as high as they think they can get away with, and see how it goes. Then adjust accordingly as sales volume dictates.

I await the new Nexus pricing with baited breath!

richard
Valued Guest
richard

I think the 16gig 2 gig ram version is around 240 US dollars if you convert to Australian $ thats 325 plus 10% gst which makes it 357.50 so $11 difference is pretty good. This takes into account US prices are before tax ours are after and the big thing is if Motorola gives us the 16 gig version or not

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

Yeah fair point, the 2gb RAM version I believe is $220 US before tax, but years of pessimism towards Motorola’s approach to Australia make me fear they’re talking about the lowest spec Moto G here. Happy for them to prove me wrong.

richard
Valued Guest
richard

I really hope that 369 for the G is for the 16 gig of storage and 2 gig ram model

Daniel Tyson
Ausdroid Manager

It is, it’s in the post mate 🙂

phillious
Valued Guest
phillious

Hardly… Just says “…with the move to 16gb…” which is a little ambiguous at best.

Daniel Tyson
Ausdroid Manager

From the hands on: “The Australian model will also feature 16GB of storage”

richard
Valued Guest
richard

ah I see it up the top in first impressions, impatient as always i scrolled down to the price etc my mistake

Thumbs
Valued Guest
Thumbs

Great news! Glad the G and at least the X Play will be available unlocked. I hope we see retail prices around $400-$500 for the XP and $200-$300 for the G at the most though…

When can we expect reviews? 🙂

Pumpino
Valued Guest
Pumpino

Yeah, $369 is a tad high for the G in my opinion. $569 for the Play isn’t quite as bad, but I’d want to see it below $500 before I considered it. It’s one nice phone though, and I imagine it would be supported by CyanogenMod in due course, meaning it could be themed.

Thumbs
Valued Guest
Thumbs

But then wouldn’t you lose all the cool Motorola features?

Chris
Valued Guest

Soon!

Thumbs
Valued Guest
Thumbs

Cool! I’ll post some questions I have about them in advance in the forums. Hope you’ll be able to cover them in your review. 🙂

Chris
Valued Guest

Don’t have an X Play (yet), but can confirm USB OTG works just fine on the G.

Thumbs
Valued Guest
Thumbs

Awesome. I sure hope this means the X Play can be expected to have it too. Ah… I can’t wait to get my hands on these new Motos!

Chris
Valued Guest

X Play has USB otg as well, confirmed with Motorola. Accents and camera surrounds are plastic, but they still look and feel good from my hands on the other day.

Thumbs
Valued Guest
Thumbs

Yeah yeah, sweet! I reckon Motorola have really hit the nail on the head. Metal would have been nice but I’m going to put a case on it anyway, a bumper if I can find a good one to keep the dimple feel. Thanks for answering my questions. Dual sim would be icing on the cake.

Gray Fox
Valued Guest
Gray Fox

Will it have a Micro SD slot and removable battery?
Those are things Australians want as well

Chris
Valued Guest

The Moto G has SD. Removable battery is a no. Will need to confirm SD for the other two, but I believe it’s there. Don’t have the specs sheet on hand.

Mojo
Valued Guest
Mojo

it’s a bummer that they don’t have wireless charging

TheBagging Man
Valued Guest
TheBagging Man

I don’t understand the fad of wireless charging? Its slower, and an accidental knock and the phone stops charging.

galaxyNote4isBoss
Valued Guest
galaxyNote4isBoss

It’s because you’re using bargain basement garbage like the moto g. You won’t get this crap from the s6 or note5. Samsung is android and technology, everything else is so inferior it’s comical. I will be purchasing both the s6 and the s6 edge day 1 of launch. Real men buy with their wallets, little girls whine about their broken moto/lg/nexus toys.

Mojo
Valued Guest
Mojo

I use the Tylt Vu which isn’t easy to knock off like those flat chargers and doesn’t use USB so it’s not that much slower than a regular charger (also does’t matter if you charge overnight).
And has the benefit of being really easy to initial and I don’t need to have some loose wire hanging around when not charging.

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