Leaked Motorola Moto X promo video shows features, confirms August release
We've been seeing quite a lot of teases and rumors about the Motorola Moto X, but this leaked promo video from Rogers Wireless is the first leak we've seen that gives a real look at the phone, the features, and even confirms an August release date for the device. It looks like Motorola and Google really are focusing on the high experience rather than high specs with this device. And, if you're a Canadian reader, it lets out the potentially bad news that the Moto X will be exclusive to Rogers in the True North.
But, for everyone else, we want to focus on the features, which look pretty exciting. The number one addition in the Moto X looks to be something new that Google first showed off at I/O this year for Search/Chrome: hands-free voice commands. Apparently, the Moto X will be listening at all times, and can be activated with the phrase "OK Google Now..." From there, the device will be able to respond to any normal Google Now command or search without you ever needing to touch your device. We're very excited about this feature alone, because we've been searching for the fastest way to initiate voice commands on an Android device, and this would be it. The only issue here would be battery life, and how much battery could potentially be wasted because the device has to be constantly listening.
Next up, Motorola has done away with any notifications LEDs on the device, because they don't really tell you what you need to know. Instead, notifications will show as a faint, flickering image on your device screen. The example given was a Facebook Messenger icon flashing below the clock. Again, this looks like a nice addition, but it also could have battery concern issues attached. Additionally, we're hoping that notifications can be made more rich than just the app icon, and perhaps show a preview of the notification message.
Lastly are new features for the camera. The camera app can now be launched with a twisting gesture; just twist your hand back-and-forth, and the camera app will launch. That should make it easier and faster to get into your camera app from wherever you are in the system. Once in the camera app, things get a bit strange. It seems as though Motorola has decided to do away with tap-to-focus functionality, because the two features shown would make that relatively impossible. With the Moto X, you can take a photo by tapping anywhere on the screen; or, you can take multiple shots in burst mode by holding your finger on the screen. It's possible that tap-to-focus and taking a picture could be combined, but unless there is solid image stabilization, that could lead to shaky pictures.
The video says that the device will be released on Rogers in August, and Rogers is usually one of the first major carriers to get a device, so that window sounds reasonable for the U.S. release as well. One last strange bit is that the video says the Moto X will only be available in black and white on Rogers, and doesn't mention any other colors or customization options. So, we're wondering how many customization options will be available when you purchase through a carrier, and how many will be exclusive to buying directly from Google.