THE MOTO X STYLE is the latest in Motorola's smartphone line-up, and the firm is not disguising the fact that it's going after the Samsung Galaxy S6.
The firm has equipped the Moto X Style with high-end features, including a 5.7in QHD screen, 21MP rear-facing camera and 3,000mAh battery, along with a modest £359 price tag, and is hoping that this will persuade buyers to ditch the likes of Samsung and Apple and save themselves £200.
We'd be pretty disappointed if a phone called the Moto X Style didn't deliver in the design department. Thankfully, it does.
The Moto X Style looks similar to last year's model, but has taken tips from the Nexus 6 with its subtle curve, and from the Galaxy S6 with its premium aluminium frame.
Thanks to Motorola's Moto Maker design studio, you can customise the Moto X Style to look however you want with different colours and textured backplates, a feature also brought to the new Moto G model.
While it looks similar, the Moto X Style is bigger than its predecessors, featuring a 5.7in screen compared with 5.2in. The phone is noticeably longer, but doesn't feel too cumbersome in the hand, largely thanks to the tiny bezel surrounding the display. It's much more pleasant to use than the Nexus 6, for example, and it's easily the most comfortable to hold 'big' phone we've used so far.
The fact that Motorola is taking aim at the Galaxy S6 with the Moto X Style becomes evident when you look at the handset's 5.7in 1440x2560 501ppi QHD display.
We've yet to put the screen fully through its paces, but on first impressions it's impressively bright and offers great viewing angles. Motorola has opted for LCD rather than Super AMOLED too, which should make for better battery life.
Software and performance
The Moto X Style runs a near-stock version of Google's Android 5.1 Lollipop software, which is no doubt music to the ears of those not keen on the bloatware-loaded phones from the likes of HTC, Samsung and Sony.
Motorola has added some features of its own to the handset. There's Moto Assist, for example, a Siri-like assistant that goes one step further in its ability to read texts to you when you're away from the phone, or to learn to connect to your Bluetooth speaker when you walk into the flat.
Motorola's custom gestures remain in place too, including the ability to twist the phone to fire up the camera, and to display the time on the lock screen by waving your hand over it.
This stripped-back software makes for slick overall performance. The Moto X Style uses Qualcomm's hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor, paired with a hefty 3GB RAM. During our time with the Moto X Style we threw as much at it as we could get away with, and the smartphone showed no signs of slowing down.
The Moto X Style is set to go on sale from £359, but Motorola has somehow managed to equip the phone with a Galaxy S6-rivalling 21MP rear-facing camera.
This camera is fast on first impressions. Open it up (by twisting your wrist, if that's your thing) and the camera is ready and waiting. It coped well under the harsh lights at Motorola's London launch event, but we'll reserve judgement until we've put it fully through its paces.
It's already hard to imagine recommending another phone below £400. Yes, we've yet to test the handset fully, but for those in the market for a top-end phone at a reasonable price the Moto X Style will be hard to beat.
Check back soon for our full review. µ