The Moto X sat comfortably on top of our top ten smartphone list for quite some time, and deservedly so.

From its plethora of customisation options, near-stock Android experience and genuinely useful software features, it stood out from the rest of the crowd and won over our hearts.

Now Moto's only gone and killed it off. Only it hasn't really - instead it's reinvented it as the Motorola Moto X Style.

There's also a Motorola Moto X Play, which we'll have more on soon, but it's the Style I'm concerned with here.

I spent some time with it at the launch event in London today and my first impressions of it are that it's good. Very, very good...

I put together a rather fetching Moto X 2014 (teak with brass accents, like a tiny yacht) using Moto Maker, and it was received with amusement (“oh nice, a wooden phone!”), bemusement (“really, a wooden phone?”) and many other kinds of musement.

But whether or not you agree with my maritime design choices, the previous Moto X was indisputably a cracking phone. Is Moto’s new flagship every bit as seaworthy?

The 5.7in screen makes it noticeably larger than the 5.2-inch Moto X, and for some hands this will be an issue; it takes the Style into thumb-stretching Nexus 6 territory.

It does feel a tiny bit more finished, though; getting a natural wood back to make a perfect seam with a metal shell is obviously very difficult, but Motorola seems to be getting better at it. The leather-back version, with its smooth feel and nicely finished edges, feels more premium than the LG G4.

There are some nice little design accents around the edges, and the pleasing curves from the previous design are still there, adding up to a phone that sits very nicely in the hand, if the hand in question is quite big.

The screen’s nice, too; it’s sharp and has bright saturated colours, and gets a little closer to the edge than the last Moto X display. Flicking through the demo mode and all the available apps, everything seems very snappy and smooth thanks to the six-core Snapdragon 808 combined with Android Lollipop.

That beefy chip also had absolutely no trouble loading and rendering the games that were preloaded on the demo unit, and a 10-minute Real Racing HD session left the Style only mildly warm. 

This is also, says Motorola, the world’s fastest-charging phone. Unfortunately none of the demo units were low enough on battery to put Moto’s claims to the test, but the Style will apparently guzzle 10 hours’ worth of juice from just 15 minutes of being attached to your electricity spigot.

The Big M is similarly bold in its claims for the Style’s camera; at the launch event there were a number of Styles mounted on tripods next to iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6s, and they appear to offer superior low-light performance and better dynamic range from the new 21MP camera. 

All in all our first impressions of the Moto X Style are positive, and given its US$400 price tag it looks like it could truly be a flagship phone for mid-range money when it goes on sale in September.