Motorola, the now Google-owned company, just unveiled the Moto X, a new Google flagship smartphone, in New York City. The company wants to emphasize the customization features of the Moto X, hence the motto: “It’s not just another pretty phone. It’s your phone.” You can pretty much customize the whole device to your liking. Of course the aesthetic s of the Moto X isn’t what makes it a great, and competitive, smartphone. Motorola and Google showed off some cool new features that focus on “Touchless Control”. They got rid of manual control and hardware buttons, but went for an always-on approach, with the phone being able to respond to voice commands and gestures at any given time. Not to be overlooked: the Moto X will be manufactured in the US, which makes more customization options possible.
The Moto X comes with a curved shell, which makes it feel really great in the palm of your hand. It has a 4.7-inch screen, which takes up around 70 percent of the front side and it’s supposed to be the “sweet spot users want”. The screen isn’t 1080p, the phone being equipped with a 720p AMOLED display, a choice made for getting the best battery life, which we’ll talk about later here. There’s a 10-megapixel Clear Pixel (RGBC) rear camera, with the Quick Capture feature. It’s also capable of shooting 1080p (30fps) video and has a LED Flash. Autofocus and exposure are handled automatically (you can change this in the settings though).
The Moto X’s design is very pleasing, and it doesn’t feel cheap or fragile at all. The plain white and black models look pretty ordinary, but everyone will look at you green with envy when you customize the entire phone. To do this you’ll have to go to the Moto Maker website, which will initially launch with AT&T. There you can change every little detail of the design. You can alter the front color (black or white), the back (cool, neutral and warm) and even accent trims with seven different options. From there you can also pick a wallpaper and create a personal inscription. The base model has 16GB of internal storage, but you can choose 32GB too for $50 extra. Definitely worth mentioning too is that you will be able to get the back of your new flagship smartphone entirely in wood. Yes, you read that right, wood! Motorola is testing four different wood types, to make sure they keep looking slick after heavy use. At this moment they are putting Teak, Bamboo, Rosewood and Ebony to the test.
The biggest innovation this time around is definitely the new interface, which is controlled without touching the device. You can just say “Ok, Google Now” without even unlocking the device. From here you can give a simple command and the phone will respond accordingly. Make calls, search something on Google, get directions from your current location to anywhere you want much, much more. The phone will also notice when you are driving (instead of you just walking or being at home) and will adjust its response to every situation.
Now, I already hear everyone asking: “What about the battery life, with this ‘Always-On’ feature?” Well, Motorola thought of that too. They designed two tiny processors and added them to the Snapdragon S4 Pro. One of these little processors will be used for “Natural Language Processing”, the other one for “Contextual Computing”, which basically means every other sensor in the smartphone. These two processors are built for ridiculously low-power use, which benefits the battery life drastically. Thanks to these two additions, it’s still possible to get up to 24 hours of mixed usage and 13 hours of talk time out of the 2200 mAhbattery.
More operations are possiblewith these processors, withouttouching the screen or a button. You can turn the phone face up and it will display the time and your current notifications. You won’t need to press any buttons, and there is no power-draining backlight turned on. Motorola calls it an “Active Display”, which only lights up the specific pixels needed to show you the time, nothing extra. If you twist your wrist while holding the phone up (like turning a screwdriver), it instantly activates the camera app, reducing the time to getting it out of your pocket and taking a picture to only 2 seconds, so you won’t miss those great moments anymore.
The Moto X packs 2GB of RAM and a custom X8 chip. Inside the X8 chip thereis a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, a quad core Adreno 320GPU and the two small processors we just talked about. It has the new Bluetooth 4.0 technology, the super-fast Wi-Fi standard (a/g/b/n/ac) and its 4G/LTE enabled. It will come with Android 4.2.2.
It’s clear that the Moto X is built to please the majority of people, they made it as mainstream as possible, which is a good thing. The Droid line of Motorola is focused more on early adopters with performance and cool design, the Moto X goes after personalization, approachability and user experience.
The Moto X will set you back $199 for the base model of 16GB, when bought as part of a two-year contract deal. Like previously stated you will be able to opt for a 32GB model for $250. Important to know here is that the prices are without any customization. The device will have a release date starting in late August or early September and will be released in the US, Canada and Latin America. The phone will come with 50GB free Google Drive storage for two years.