Motorola has officially announced its latest flagship smartphone, the new Moto X. The handset keeps its name but now includes high-end specs, a premium aluminum-frame, and $99 on-contract or $499 unlocked.

When Apple released the original iPhone in 2007, the company bucked all of the trends its rivals were using in their devices. There was no physical Qwerty keyboard like BlackBerry's and Palm's Treo lineup and it also wasn't constructed out of plastic like all other smartphones. Apple was focused on bringing a premium smartphone to the masses that was easy to use and had Apple's signature design style in tow, which of course meant it was constructed out of aluminum.

HTC brought premium design to the Android world when it launched the HTC One at Mobile World Congress in 2013. The smartphone featured an anodized aluminum unibody case and quickly became one of the most popular smartphones on the market. Samsung decided to join the metal smartphone case trend when it launched the Galaxy Alpha in August. The company used a metal frame to give the handset a premium feel and now Motorola has done the same to its brand-new Moto X.

Unlike Samsung's Galaxy Alpha, which still uses a cheap plastic case on its rear, Motorola is offering new premium materials, like Horween leather and FSC-certified wood when customers are customizing its aluminum-framed new Moto X using Moto Maker.

The new Moto X features a 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD AMOLED Gorilla Glass 3 display with a pixel density of 423 pixels per inch (ppi). It's powered by a 2.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, and 2 GB of RAM. It will ship with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, no microSD expansion slot, and run Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box.

The new Moto X's camera capabilities consist of a 13-megapixel rear camera with 4x zoom, ring flash that Motorola claims will result in softer lighting, the ability to record 4K video, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video chat. The smartphone includes a 2,300-mAh battery, which Motorola says will last a full day.

The new Moto X will be available later this month for $99.99 when signing a new 2-year contract or $499.99 unlocked. We'll keep you posted on carrier support.


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