Motorola has announced updates to their immensely popular Moto X and Moto G smartphones, which are among some of our favorite phone options for kids and known as among the more affordable choices in the smartphone market.

As expected, the new Moto X and new Moto G devices feature larger screens, better cameras, faster processors, and more. Motorola did not release carrier details but indicated the new Moto X will be available for as low as $99 with a two-year contract. It will be available later this month for $499 off-contract in the U.S. The new Moto G is available today starting at $179.99 unlocked.

Due to the lower prices compared to the competition, as well as a great all-around package, these devices both make great smartphone choices for anyone in the market.

Last year, Motorola surprised the smartphone world by releasing the very popular Moto X. The device was criticized by many smartphone enthusiasts who complained that the Moto X had mid-range specs and couldn’t compete with the top-end 2013 devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG G2.

Despite these concerns, the devices went on to sell very well for a variety of reasons including the introduction of the X8 microprocessor which makes the Moto X capable of things that other smartphones cannot do – such as the ability to always be listening for hands-free operation.

Motorola also bucked the trend of heavily customized Android overlays.  Motorola and others have been criticized for trying to fix what wasn’t broken. By the end of 2011, Google had polished Android with the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which had become quite good out of the box. Motorola’s nearly-stock Android build makes for a more simple user experience, less overhead space needed, and a faster update cycle.

Another reason for the popularity of the original Moto X was the debut of Moto Maker, which lets buyers choose from a variety of different back, front, and accent colors to create unique designs.

Motorola later released the similar Moto G and Moto E devices (but without Moto Maker or X8 support) which followed a similar philosophy and were aimed at the lower end of the market – i.e. people who couldn’t afford or didn’t need the features of high-end devices.

Last year’s Moto X and Moto G, recently featured in our Best Phones for Kids, may now be available at a discount, and they still make fantastic phones.

 

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