Motorola is taking a new tack with its next flagship phone by selling the device directly to consumers.
At a global press event Tuesday, the company announced the Motorola X Style, its followup to last year’s Motorola X. A version of the device called the Pure Edition, which comes unlocked and will be sold on Motorola’s website and at select retailers, will sell for $399 starting in September.
The Moto X Style will boast a 5.7-inch quad high-definition display as well as an improved 21 megapixel camera. The device also charges very quickly. In a pre-recorded demo, the phone gained about one-third of its charge back in 15 minutes. Like the previous Moto X, customization is also a key feature, with customers able to choose outer casings in a variety of colors and with materials such as metal, wood and leather.
Last year’s Motorola X was regarded as one of the best Android phones on the market. If the new one matches it, it will be a quality high-end smartphone retailing for about $200 less than the unlocked versions of the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 when they first came to market. Customers who buy the unlocked Motorola phone will also be able to sign up for wireless service from whichever carrier they choose without having software from the carrier already installed on their phone.
“We’re confident that this is the new wave of the future,” Motorola Design Chief Jim Wicks said at the event. “This strategy allows us to take out the middle man.”
Motorola also announced that its popular more affordable phone, the Moto G, is getting a refresh that launches Tuesday worldwide. The improved Moto G has a 13-megapixel camera and 4G LTE. It’s also waterproof, able to be submerged for as long as 30 minutes. The device starts at $180 for an 8GB version.
Motorola also unveiled the Moto X Play, which boasts a 5.5-inch screen and fewer customization options than the Style. The device has a longer battery life, and like the Style, Motorola says it will be considerably cheaper than high-end phones from competitors. The device will launch in select markets in August but has no scheduled release in the U.S.