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Motorola Unveils Next Letters In Smartphone Alphabet

Chicago — Motorola unveiled its second-generation Moto X and Moto G Android smartphones, increasing the screen size of both models and the processor speed of the X.

The Moto X with LTE will be available later this month through select carriers at contract prices starting at $99 and unlocked through at $499. Last year at launch, the original Moto X was available at $199 with contract for a 16GB version and $249 for a 32GB version.

The new Moto G is available unlocked and off-contract today starting at $179 for the 8GB version at and through U.S. retailers. Like before, it’s a 3G phone with HSPA+21Mbps cellular technology. Its predecessor at launch was priced starting at $179 for a 3G version and at $219 for the LTE version.

Both phones use the latest Android OS, which is Android 4.4.4.

The company also began offering its previously announced Moto 360 smart watch with Android Wear OS, pricing it at $249 with leather bands and planning metal bands later this year to bring the price to $299.

The Moto X steps up to a 5.2-inch 1080p OLED display from a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display, steps up the processor to 2.5GHz quad core from 1.7GHz dual core, and offers the same RAM as before at 2GB. It will be available with 16GB and 32GB storage capacities. Pricing on the 32GB version wasn’t available.

Like before, the Moto X will offer a pure Android UI, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 LE.

Other features include water-repellant coating, rounded edges and a metal frame. The new model will also feature optional leather and wood backs.

The new model also offers voice commands to control apps, such as Facebook posting and pausing YouTube.

Consumers twist their wrist to launch the camera app, and the phone takes multiple pictures before and after touching the touchscreen so users can choose the best shot. Ringing can be silenced with the wave of a hand, and the device adjusts its settings based on context. When the phone is in a moving vehicle, for example, it can go automatically into hands-free mode, and when in a meeting, the ringer will be silenced.

For its part, the Moto G steps up the display to a 5-inch 720p display from a 4.5-inch 720p display, but its processor remains the same at 1.2GHz quad core. Wi-Fi steps up to 802.11ac. It will be available in 8GB and 16GB capacities. Other features include 8- and 2-megapixel cameras, less than 1GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and interchangeable color back covers.