x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • What to expect with the Motorola X Phone, and is it a real game-changer?

What to expect with the Motorola X Phone, and is it a real game-changer?

Posted: , by Michael H.

Tags:

What to expect with the Motorola X Phone, and is it a real game-changer?
Earlier today, there was a report that the Motorola X Phone, which is expected to be the flagship announcement at Google I/O this year, would be a "game-changer", but as expected, there really wasn't any information on exactly how the X Phone would go about changing the game. So, we strapped on our thinking caps and tried to come up with some possibilities for what Motorola/Google could unveil that would really change the game.

First, we have to make it clear that we are trying to imagine what the X Phone could offer that would be a true game-changer, and not merely just an evolution of current technology. Because of that (not to mention that the software was mentioned specifically in the earlier rumor), it seems pretty safe to say that the hardware will not be anything game-changing, so let's get that out of the way now. 

The Hardware

What to expect with the Motorola X Phone, and is it a real game-changer?
This is a Motorola phone, so we fully expect it to look the part. Based on educated guesses and previous rumors, it seems reasonable to assume that the X Phone will have a 5" 1080p display with an extremely small bezel, a quad-core processor, and a much better camera than we currently see on Google's Nexus line. There will likely be a pretty beefy battery and Motorola's traditional Kevlar backing. Because Google is involved, there will definitely be NFC built-in, and we think it's likely that the X Phone will have induction charging and may even be compatible with the newly released Wireless Charging Orb

There are rumors that the storage options will go as high as 128GB, which is possible, but we wouldn't put it as likely. There are also rumors that unlike Google's Nexus devices, the X Phone will offer an SD card slot, but again, we wouldn't hold our breath on that one. 

Larry Page made a point to mention flexible/unbreakable displays recently when talking about Motorola, but he also said that sort of evolution in smartphones would be happening in "5 to 10 years". Given that we're expecting devices this year with flexible/unbreakable glass, the argument could be made that the first device on the market with such a display would be a "game-changer", but we're not sold on that. 

Ultimately, none of these rumors, or potential hardware specs for the X Phone can be considered "game-changers". All of this is just the standard evolution of hardware. The real potential for changing the game comes on the software side. 

The (usual) Software

The assumption is that the Motorola X Phone will be the flagship device launching with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. We already know a bit of what to expect from KLP, like the addition of support for Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy in stock Android, but otherwise, it's unclear. We would like to see the People app finally work like it is supposed to (read: like the WP People Hub, or the BlackBerry 10 Hub), or a unified messaging app, but those wouldn't be game-changers, just a useful updates. 

What to expect with the Motorola X Phone, and is it a real game-changer?
Similarly, there is expected to be an update to the Android UI with KLP, just like we saw with Android 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0, but it's hard to imagine how a UI change could be a bigger "game-changer" than we saw when Google released Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich back in December of 2011. The jump from Gingerbread to ICS was huge, and while Google and Matias Duarte likely have more in store (Matias famously said that the Android UI is only a third of the way along), it's hard to imagine a jump that big with KLP. That said, we could see a different UI change, like the addition of a desktop UI. Many of you would love to see it, but we're skeptical, because Google wouldn't want to kill off Chromebook support by bringing in Android to the same market. 

There have also been rumors that Google is focusing a lot of energy on making the camera app in KLP much better than what we've seen. Combine that with the rumor of a Sony lens in the X Phone and that would be quite an improvement, and certainly a "game-changer" for Google, but maybe not for the smartphone ecosystem as a whole.

The same would go for the potential that Google could add a profile changer to KLP. This is another feature that users have been asking for, and since Google has already added multiple user support on tablets in Android 4.2, there's no reason we couldn't see the addition of a profile manager allowing for separate setups for work, home, traveling, etc. 

But, again, these are expected updates, and really nothing game-changing, so let's jump into the more radical possibilities. 

The (dream) Software

The key quote from the earlier story is one that talked about the software of the X Phone, and is a somewhat troubling one, because a Motorola source supposedly said:
The software is really powerful and it pulls together Google services like no other manufacturer has done in the past.
The concern we have here is that while this could just be talking about Key Lime Pie, it could also be referring to a Motorola UI layer, which would mean that the X Phone might not feature stock Android like Google Nexus devices. This is a big concern because we don't know if this device is intended to be a Motorola Nexus, or simply the next Motorola flagship, and Google isn't as involved in the process. The way the quote is phrased distances Motorola from Google, which is expected since the two are "separate" companies, but we're wondering if that will lead to the same troubles that other manufacturers hit. 

What to expect with the Motorola X Phone, and is it a real game-changer?
However, one software change with Key Lime Pie that could be a "game-changer" would help to bridge the gap between these two possibilities. It's a feature that many have been calling for Google to add to Android for years, and picked up some steam last October as one of the fake potential features of Android 4.2: the Customization Center. The idea would be that manufacturer UIs would work just like any theme that you can add to Go Launcher or ADW Launcher. Not only would it make it easier for users to customize their devices, but it should make it far faster for manufacturers to update software on devices because things like TouchWiz, Sense, or the potential Motorola UI would be separated from the base system. 

Of course, regardless of if the change is in stock Android or a Motorola addition, the quote does say that the software "pulls together Google services" like we haven't seen before. Google is already deeply integrated into Android, so we're wondering if this points to a boost in Google+ in Android. We've seen Samsung introduce features that automatically tag your friends in photos and allow for easier sharing, and this seems like a feature that Google+ could do far better (not to mention it would be a feature to encourage more people to actively participate in the network.) If there is more Google+ integration, it could mean better group messaging via Google+ Circles. The Google+ Messenger app is already pretty good, but if it were pulled out of Google+ and merged into Android more, that could make for a better experience. The same could be said of Hangouts becoming the default video chat app. 

The trouble with all of that is that Google can't integrate Google+ too much, because Google services are still just a layer on top of Android. This is the reason why there is no unified messaging app. Gmail needs to be separate from base Android, as does Google Talk, Drive, and other Google Apps. But, that doesn't mean that the Google layer can't become more unified. There's no reason why Google Talk, Hangouts, and Google+ Messenger need to be separate apps. 

Conclusion

You could make the case that seeing all of the improvements that we've talked about in one package would be a game-changing device, especially if it comes in at a price similar to the Nexus 4, and launches on multiple major carriers, but we think it would still need to have at least one new killer feature to really claim the title. And, that's where we have trouble, because there are a lot of great updates to existing features that we can imagine being part of the X Phone or Key Lime Pie, but given all of the amazing features already available in Android, it's hard to imagine something completely new. 

What do you guys think? What would be a real game-changing feature for the X Phone or Key Lime Pie?

53 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 13 Feb 2013, 16:54 2

1. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


If it has a landscape slider keyboard and 32GB of storage, I'd dump my SGS3 for it ASAP.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 19:39 3

23. nexus718 (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


I'm surprised no said anything about an increase in integration with Google Now, as Motorola has been talking about it in almost all of its most recent ads.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 08:13 2

40. jinxed (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


True. And maybe this is the phone that integrates with the google glasses. Now that wud be game changing

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 16:55 4

2. CivicSi89 (Posts: 348; Member since: 23 Jul 2011)


Just hoping its no DROID X. haha.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:41 9

13. JulianGT (Posts: 82; Member since: 15 Oct 2012)


Droid Razzr Maxx Super X*

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 19:59 9

24. snowgator (Posts: 3197; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


The original Droid X was a great device in it's day. It was the X2 that disappointed.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 16:59 1

3. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


Key Lime pie will be the game changer. If the specs that are rumored are true, then expect software to be the game changer for this year. May needs to get here already!

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:02

4. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


I think this will be the first phone to get an a15 processor. If it does I would bet on it being a Tegra 4. $350 direct from google unlocked for 32gb storage please :)

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:18 2

11. MrJerry (Posts: 391; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


Cmon

If $350 is the price they are aiming for, i bet the next X phone will absolutely be a crap

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:04

18. Phullofphil (Posts: 800; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


Actually think about the fact that a nexus 7 is 200 dolars why are phones so much money. The price of 200 dollars of contract for a awesome phone like a nexus 7 but 5 inches would be a sure true game changer and profitable let google and motorola make money on content

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:54 6

22. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


The nexus 4 cost $350 and its one of the best phones.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:01

17. Phullofphil (Posts: 800; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


Well maybe you hit on somthing in a way and maybe it has sompthing to do with a new intel chip thats unanounced but thats. Doubtfull. Its not gonna be 3d I guess it could be ddr3 memmory but I doubt that plus not a game changer. I think artical is right and anything hardware wont be a game changer. I also can see it meening just a hyped up layor by motorola that is just a hollow clam as a gam changer like what samsung or any company says about new phones at launch

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:05 4

5. jan25 (Posts: 384; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


Stock JB is already the greatest OS outhere with most of the other features in android skins being either gimmicky or available in the playstore. So i am pretty sure KLP is going to be great as long as Moto X runs the stock version of it. Motorola just needs to equip this phone with a great chipset, one of them big batteries and a nice Sony lens and i will be throwing my money on it in no time.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:12

6. Fallin (Posts: 61; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)


What about implementing Project Roadrunner?

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:12 3

7. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6226; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


It will be a game changer as long the greedy big red verizon wont keep this sweet for exclusive for themselves & not letting everyone enjoy the pure goodness of motorola/google x phone

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 13:13

43. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


There's NO WAY big red would get an exclusive on this phone. Google already learned it's lesson from the Galaxy Nexus debacle.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:13 10

8. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3940; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Definitely the Customization Center would be a game changing feature. You could have the option between having a pure stock experience with little to no delay in updates, or a manufacturer skin with more features than stock but delayed updates.

Snapdragon 600, Tegra 4, or Snapdragon 800 w/ 2 GB RAM

4.7-5" 1080 S-LCD3 or Colorboost display, covered with Gorilla Glass 3

Kevlar body with a steel frame for more durability and splash resistance

3,500 mAh battery

All in a sub-9mm package would be absolutely fantastic. As for software;

Option between stock KLP or KLP with Motorola's custom UI via Customization Center.

It brings everything together; build quality, performance, battery life, durability, and enhanced customization with better software updates.

If Motorola and Google release this on the Play Store for >$500 off contract it would be a steal. Also, make it available on all major carriers, with LTE compatibility. Would be perfect :)

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:15 1

9. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I can see something happening with Google+, I didnt think of that before. Like how that made it needed to rate apps in the Play Store.

To me...the Customization Center would be bigger than Google+ features being more intergrated.

Thats if all this is even true....

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:16 2

10. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


Motorola built a solid phone and Google backer it will be a great phone.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:22

12. o0Exia0o (Posts: 341; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


I thank an FHD screen, quad core processor, mill spec ruggedness, 32/64 GB on board + sd card slot and the biggest battery (3300 mAh +) Moto can find all fit into the smallest frame/ body possable and Moto would have a winner.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:48 7

14. sbmhome (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)


None of you guys are mentioning anything game changing. Those are all evolutions of current hardware and software. Sure 1080p, 8 core, 4 Gb ram, terabyte storage will all be in our pockets someday, but there isn't anything those specs will allow you to do that you can't today.

I've said this to a friend of mine recently, I think we may have hit a wall for anything game changing coming out within the next few years. Almost everything that can be done with this current generation (last 5 years) of smartphones are already done or in the process. (NFC) of brewing done.

One thing that would be a game changer, is if the phones became so powerful that they put home consoles out of business. Think about it, carrying around your console in your pocket. Put it down on the coffee table, pick up a real controller and start playing COD or battlefield on your tv with you phone. That's game changing!

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 23:33 2

33. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Game changers don't necessarily have to bring something "new", it could just combine many top tier things into one stellar package and at a great price and that would change the game easily. No more over priced phones with missing features and gimped abilities.
No I wouldn't give a rats ass about carrying around a phone powerful enough to put my console out of sorts because I have zero urge to play the types of games on my phone as I do on my console. Wasted things like that need to kept to a minimum. Heck my girl uses her SGS3 to control her Samsung Smart TV, that is nice feature but wouldn't replace the smart tv remote with her cellphone though. No who the hell would want to use their phone to play BF3? How would you do anything aside from move the character around? Too many missing functions that you'd have to map to the touch screen and touchscreen gaming is bunk.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:51

15. MistB (Posts: 553; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


True about customization center, that would be a groundbreaking feature that would finally bring all Android handsets from the past two years up to date. Laptop dock with ability to boot into Google Chrome maybe, I'm thinking the revolutionary technology will be a totally bezel free screen that extends to both sides and the ability to feel physical feedback on what you see on the screen, Senseg technology, so what you see as water on the screen translates to feeling a surface that feels like water. This technology was shown way back in 2011 and was rumoured for the IPad last year. As always, could very well be wrong here!

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:30 1

21. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Funny you say this...I was about to post about this:

http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-news/237524-pop-up-button-tech-using-microfluidics-might-touchscreen-keyboard-future.html

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 17:54

16. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2940; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


When the original Motorola Droid came out, it was the most amazing phone I ever had. I replaced my iPhone 3G with it and never looked back. I loved the display, I loved android, and I loved having a slide out keyboard. The design was awesome and solid and I miss it like crazy.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 08:25

41. jinxed (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


now don make me cry

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:08

19. becauseiamawsome (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)


should i expect pie?

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 18:22 2

20. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


I loving everything that's being mentioned in the article despite that none of it was truly gamechanging.

One thing I'll like to see soon.... holograms... we've been dreaming about technology like that for the longest time. Google could make it happen.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 20:06

25. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


I cant belive noone is commentaing about about the manufacturer UI being a skin and thus allowing all phones faster updates or better, removing the carriers form updates in general and having a PC style of updates.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 20:08 2

26. snowgator (Posts: 3197; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


I am at a complete loss as to why some company that is in need of sales doesn't just kick it's UI to the curb and just release a range of devices that have top end hardware for its individual price point and release them with stock Android. Who says only the Nexus line is allowed to run pure Green Robot?

I love me some Live Tiles, but I really am not married to WP. So here is my shortlist for future devices:

1) Nokia running the next major update of WP. If that disappoints, then:
2) Motorola running as close to pure Android as they can get.
3) The next Nexus, depending on specs.
4) Samsung.
5) Sony.

Put this bad, bad Motorola on the market with pure Android?? Will be very, very hard not to walk away from WP. MS and Nokia would have to truly wow me.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 20:09 1

27. jameshoe (unregistered)


Motorola DROID RAZR X

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 20:25 1

28. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


There's a lot of competition from the other OEM's out there... Gonna be pretty hard to claim a title like "game changer".

Maybe at Google I/O, Google will announce that the Moto X will be the flagship of their very own phone service.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 20:32 2

30. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Perhaps the "game changer" has something to do with the chrome-plated Android statue recently displayed at the Google campus.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 20:30

29. a_merryman (Posts: 640; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


A lytro-like camera sensor in it would be pretty game changing, and could be an evolutionary jump in camera tech for phones. (It allows you to change the focus and change the perspective of photos after they have been taken). Also, making it both mil-spec (dust/water/drop proof) and nano-coating protection would be pretty amazing and could help make this sort of technology become standard on electronics. Who doesn't want waterproof electronics?

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 21:32 1

31. marions (Posts: 13; Member since: 19 May 2012)


A real good camera....as good battery as razr max hd....better resolution....nfc....
at least 64 gb storage. 4.8-5.0 inches. thin bezel. gorilla glass 3?...KLP...guaranteed updates for 2 yrs for sure no bs stuff...steel frame durability...purchase directly from google so can use prepaid and not carrier bs prices. Have the damn thing with a good earpiece and speaker so that other people can actually hear you well and you can hear them crystal clear and loud.

posted on 13 Feb 2013, 22:45

32. Sniggly (Posts: 6765; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


My Motorola source did say that the X is completely stock.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 00:21 1

34. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3940; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Is he sure it just wasn't on a stock setting though? Are they allowed to go through the settings and see everything about the device when handling them? Because having the option between stock or skinned would probably be the best thing to happen to Android at this point, it would take away all of the talk of terrible updates and fragmentation. The choice of always staying up to date or being delayed a few months in exchange for more features is a pretty big one; it would be nice if KLP would give us the choice to switch between them at will.

Also, have you got any specifics on the design? Or is the design not finalized yet, so you can only get basic details?

Anyways, thanks for all the information you've been sharing. And excuse me for pestering you with questions, I'm just so damn interested.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 00:21

35. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5558; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


for now.
if it's still in the early stages of development we probably won't see it until September, around the time Moto's last flagship, the Razr HD was announced.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 00:48

36. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3940; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


September? I was hoping for a May announcement during Google I/O with the actual launch in June/July. I really don't want to wait until September

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 02:44

37. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5558; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


me neither but what i'm thinking about is what Sniggly's source had to say about the X he has and how barebones it seems to be at it's current stage of development and that job listing Google just recently had up for the X project. it seems realistic to not expect this at I/O, that'll probably be just for the N7 successor and maybe a quiet and slight update to the N10.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 15:35

46. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3940; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Bah, you're probably right. In that case, I'll just pick up an unlocked Razr HD or Nexus 4, then when the X gets launched I'll sell my phone and try to bury the cost to get it. I can't wait until September, even August is a stretch for me.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 22:44

47. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5558; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


yeah, i actually had the pleasure of playing with a Nexus 4 the other day, it's a very, very nice phone.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 06:35

48. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3940; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


My one concern about it is that a lot of people are reporting the screen being kind of unresponsive due to the in-cell touch panel. Unresponsive as in there's a delay in touch, not that it doesn't recognize it; I've heard it been described as a "numb" feeling.

I also feel like the transition from AMOLED to LCD might be a painful one. But, I'll get some more hands on time with it to see

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 04:25 1

38. funnyguy (Posts: 234; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


If its not Samsung then is NO Good.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 10:42 1

42. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


LOLL, you really am a funnyguy...

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 13:15

44. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Nobody likes a fan boy.

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 07:28

39. soserone (Posts: 6; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


with all the good specs and Nexus 4's price, that would be sure the game-changer :d

posted on 14 Feb 2013, 13:25

45. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


This is the first phone that Google has had oversight on from beginning to end. I don't think it's a given that the hardware won't have to do with changing the game. No one is sure if this thing will even have any of the now typical Moto traits.

One thing I don't think is happening -- I don't think this is the next Nexus. I think Google/Moto will have more freedom to innovate if the software isn't tied directly to android. This way they can differentiate from other OEMs without giving it up to everyone for free.

Another thing I don't think is happening -- customization center. In my opinion, not a chance.

I think the phone's hardware may have subtle changes that take full advantage of all its sensors, and responds more intuitively to gestures than any phone to date. Perhaps even touch sensitivity in new/different implementations (sides? back?).

While I do think that changes to Google+ are imminent and will be a part of this tighter integration to Google services, I think the real game changer will be the advancement of the coolest thing to happen to smartphones since, ever...

Google Now.

This wouldn't even require a bump up to KLP, due to the fact that the Google Search app (which houses Google Now) is no longer tied into base android. While I expect May to bring us KLP, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if it didn't.

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 04:09

49. phissith (Posts: 14; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)


Trust me the game changer mention will be on motion base gesture, without having to touch the phone.

posted on 22 Feb 2013, 20:45

50. JojoGo101 (Posts: 211; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)


The OS will be game changing, the phone will be a poor excuse for a flagship. Cheap $350 crap. Though the OS will be quietly brilliant. :0 (Will never forget that cheap Nexus S)

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 15:16

51. maier9900 (Posts: 257; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


Theren't google buy motorola??? how are they separate companies?... i may be wrong but a reply would be nice.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 17:44

53. j7654321 (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


If the cell radio can be moved on to a user replaceable card to make the phone network independent, that will be a game changer.

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 20:50

54. Vcarvega (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


I'm really not sure what they could do to be a game changer at this point... but I also think the nature of 'game changers' is that they are not predictable. That said, I am somewhat skeptical that Motorola or Google will truly pull off a 'game changer'... but I would love to be pleasantly surprised.

If the hardware is cutting edge and it comes with stock Android, I'm likely to buy it regardless.

Also, what does the People app not do that the WP People hub does??? My dad has the Nokia 920, and I've only played with it briefly... but I certainly didn't notice anything particularly impressive about the People hub. In fact, it was a pain importing all of his contacts over from gmail.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories