Like it or not, it's clear that Motorola's often-leaked upcoming batch of phones will be very different from the relatively straightforward designs in its current lineup. Previous leaks indicated that at least some of the models in the refreshed Moto X (or possibly Moto Z) and DROID series will have add-on modules called "MotoMod" that snap onto the back of the phone via a proprietary interface. It's a lot like the direction that LG is taking with its modular G5.
The brand-spankin'-new LG G5 is certainly interesting, but its modular accessory system hasn't won everyone over, including David Ruddock in his full review. If you still want a new phone but would prefer to return to a simpler time when a leather back plate was the gimmick of the year, one eBay vendor is selling last year's model at a significant discount. The G4, with 32GB of storage and an upgraded (and somewhat divisive) black leather back, is just $274.99.
The Moto X series has been known for being a good deal when compared to other flagship phones. If you're OK with buying last year's model (which is still more than serviceable, and is scheduled to get a Marshmallow update at some point), Amazon is selling it for just $199.99 today. This is the American GSM version, so it should work on AT&T, T-Mobile, and similar MVNOs. It's a new phone featuring the stock 16GB of storage. The price is only valid for the next 16 hours (ending at 5 AM Eastern US time), so get an order in quickly if you want one.
Thanks to the fanatical culture that's grown up around mobile technology, we haven't been truly surprised by a new device in years. Even LG knows this: the company has been slowly revealing its upcoming G4 flagship, piece by pedantic piece, in the weeks leading up to the April 28th launch event. Last night an LG "micro site" was briefly published and removed, and it leaves very little of the G4 to the imagination.
We more or less knew that LG's April 28th event was going to be for the G4, but now the Korean OEM has come out and said it. The G4 will be revealed in just a few short weeks, but that's almost all we know.
Samsung and HTC have already presented their flagships for 2015, and it will soon be LG's turn. The South Korean company just sent out "save the date" emails announcing an event on April 28th. Notice anything interesting? Yep, that looks like leather.
Motorola has really been pumping up the customization option for the newer model of the Moto X, and the exotic wood and leather backs are probably the most interesting part. Today the Moto Maker website in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Mexico has added an option for red Horween leather on the back panel, just in case you want to match up with the soles of your designer shoes.
The upgrade is the same $25 charge (in the US) as the other leather and wood options, and engraving is still available. You can also add a 32GB or 64GB storage option for $50 or $100, respectively.
Like anything concerning the Moto 360, DODO leather bands don't come cheap. These wrist holders will set you back $59.99 a pop.
The DODO strap is available in four colors: blue, green, red, and tan. There are no black or gray bands here, probably because they would look too similar to the Moto 360's existing leather straps (which go for $29.99) to be necessary.
Motorola took the premium materials one step further this year with the option to buy a Moto X clad in premium Horween leather, then someone at Verizon thought it would be cool to slap some football leather on it. The result, as you can see below is kind of ugly. Maybe it looks nicer in real life?
Update #2 9/9/14 1:15pm PT: Back in stock. This time, it "leaves warehouse in 2 - 3 weeks."
Update #3 9/9/14 3:37pm PT: Sold out again.
The Moto 360 has been in high demand, though some early reviews indicatepoor performance and battery life, especially with the ambient display setting turned on (we're talking having trouble getting through a single day without recharging).