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Moto X price drops to $399 off-contract

Motorola whacks the price of its Moto X smartphone from the earlier no-contract price of $579.

Motorola Moto X
The Motorola Moto X and its coats of many colors. Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola is ringing in the New Year with a price cut for its marquee smartphone.

The Moto X now costs $399 off-contract at major US carriers. The new pricing includes customized devices.

The Moto X had been listing at $579 without a contract. With a two-year contract at a carrier such as Verizon Wireless or AT&T, the smartphone starts at $99.99.

"We've been hearing a lot recently from people who want a new premium smartphone at a reasonable price without having to wait for a contract upgrade," Motorola said in a blog post Wednesday. "That came through especially loud and clear during our holiday flash sales."

That's not the cheapest off-contract price, by the way. Republic Wireless has been offering the Moto X for $299.

The Moto X may not win any battle of the specs against hero phones from other manufacturers, CNET's Brian Bennett said in his review, but it is "a scrappy smartphone with enough going for it to bring the fight to the big boys."