With only a second-gen $120 Moto E launch and limited second-gen G 4G dispatch to its name in 2015 so far, it’s crystal clear the year is barely starting for Lenovo’s new daughter company. And boy, will things get crazy on the Motorola-branded product introduction front over the next couple of months, if rampant rumors pan out.
We’ve already tackled the juicy 2015 Moto X gossip, at least the parts that transpired until a few weeks ago, but of course, “Lenovorola” has several different market segments eyed for imminent aggressive charges and diversification.
Arguably their most thrilling facelift of a (semi-) successful 2014 device should see the 360 timepiece reach its full potential, going up against the quickly rising Apple Watch with an improved design (hopefully), and longer battery life (pretty please).
Cash-strapped smartphone buyers, meanwhile, are probably bursting with excitement at the mere thought of an even better Moto G. And then you have the tricky high-end handheld niche, where the third-gen Moto X will likely receive aid from a pair of Droids, at the very least. But let’s not spoil all the surprises so early, and take these strapping Android soldiers one by one:
Moto X 2015
When – any day now. Literally, the formal announcement could go down tomorrow. Or next week, or next month, or at worst, sometime in September. By the end of the first fall month, the 5.2 incher should also go on sale, at north of $600 outright, if last year’s hardware compromises are indeed left out.
What – a highly customizable Quad HD powerhouse with Snapdragon 808 inside to expunge overheating concerns, optional leather and wood construction, standard plastic exterior, 3 or perhaps 4 GB RAM, 16 MP OIS rear camera, 5 MP secondary selfie shooter.
Still not enough to give the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 a run for their money, let alone the S6 Edge Plus, Note 5 or G4 Pro? Keep in mind Lenovo will be in charge of advertising and marketing this time around, so gear up for fancy billboards everywhere, TV and film product placement, as well as viral online campaigns.
Moto G 2015
When – roughly a year on the heels of its non-LTE-capable predecessor, so likely in September too. Maybe August.
What – it essentially looks the same, save for the snazzy rear camera – M logo connecting metal… thing, and it’s only supposed to marginally upgrade the processor and snappers without bumping up the RAM count, screen size and resolution or battery capacity.
But here’s the (delightful) kicker: it should offer 4G LTE connectivity as standard, and cost no more than $250. $200 is an outside possibility, while $220 feels like a reasonable guess.
For now – you can purchase the unlocked 8 GB G+1 for $175, the original starting at $139, or the high-speed 2014 version by coughing up $176. Oh, oh, oh, and the OG prepaid Moto G is an unbelievably low $38 with Verizon, but no microSD external storage expansion.
Moto 360 second-gen
When – hard to say, given the erstwhile rowdy “361” rumors suddenly went quiet recently and were never kicked back into gear. Technically, September would seem like the safest bet here as well.
But why uncover everything you’ve got up the sleeve all at once and basically hinder your own spotlight potential? It doesn’t sound wise, so don’t be surprised if the 2015 360 enjoys a “premature” debut, as soon as this month.
What – no “flat tire”, a “perfect” circle, Android Wear 5.1.1 software pre-installed, standalone Wi-Fi functionality (no free web access, though), Snapdragon 410 processing power, sharper, always-on screen and upwards of two days’ worth of cell endurance.
It’s not a fanboy’s utopian wishlist, it’s a feasible inventory of features for the sequel to perhaps the most lauded first-wave Android smartwatch. Fingers crossed this time stellar reviews translate into satisfactory sales numbers. Otherwise, Cupertino may gain an early and authoritative domination over yet another industry sector.
While you wait – not long ago, the “imperfect” first-gen 360 was reduced to an all-time low price of $150. $175 is clearly a worse deal, but compared to, say, the $300 and up LG Watch Urbane, it’s still a bargain. With a cheap stone grey leather band, obviously, as the dark and light metal variants fetch an extra $50 and $85 respectively.
Or you can go the flamboyant cognac leather route, in exchange for $231. Last but not least, swanky champagne gold metal configurations will set you back $260. Being fashionable is expensive, what can we say?
Droid “Kinzie” and “Clark”
When – would you find it annoying if we ventured a September guess for the umpteenth time? Okay, then how about October? That’s when the Turbo turns one, and with the recent Android 5.1 Lollipop update delays, we figure Moto and Verizon can’t quite speed up the follow-up’s R&D.
What – a Turbo 2 and… Mini 2? Ultra 2? Tough to anticipate once again, as 2014 saw Big Red settle for the one Droid roster addition. Personally, I’d like to believe compact flagships have a bright future ahead of them not only as far as Sony is concerned. So, a Snapdragon 808 sub-5 inch Droid Mini 2015 with Full HD display res sounds positively ravishing.
It’d certainly be nice for both new Droids to get global spreads soon after their VZW releases, albeit the so-called Kinzie might cannibalize third-gen X demand with similarly top-notch specs: Quad HD 5.5-inch panel, octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC, 3 GB RAM, 20 MP/5 MP cams.
Right now – the 3,900 mAh Droid Turbo goes for $49.99, $149.99 or $199.99 with two-year pacts in 32 GB metallic black, 32 GB black ballistic nylon and 64 gig black ballistic nylon configs respectively. Or $50 in metallic red. Or between $600 and $650 outright. Not bad as Lollipop further smooths out the zippy Snapdragon 805 chip, 3 GB RAM and 21 MP photography beast.
Perhaps surprisingly, the two year-old Droid Mini is also available at $0.01 on-contract or $400 sans carrier obligations. Worth it? Absolutely not! Just wait.