All we know about Motorola Moto X: round-up


The hype around the Motorola Moto X is building up. The Moto X is different by design - a device with middling specs, it focuses on function instead. We have seen it appear in benchmarks, images and video, so it’s about time to round it all up. 

Here is all we know about the Motorola Moto X (and the small, but exciting details we yet don’t!).


MOTOROLA'S SECRET SAUCE

1. Customization options galore

If you are tired of same-looking plastic devices (hello, Samsung!) the Motorola Moto X will be like a breath of fresh air. We have seen all sorts of colors leak out for the back plate of the handset, but the level of customization will be much deeper than that.

Motorola is rumored to set up an online portal where you’d be able to practically build the Moto X you want. White plastic like we saw on Eric Schmidt’s Moto X would be the default option, but you’d be able to select exotic materials like wood (yes, wood!) for your phone at launch. Materials like aluminum, ceramics and even fabrics should also become an option shortly after the official roll-out. Of course, there will be a ton of different color options and the number of colors we are hearing is over 20!

Customization options will be plentiful and you can also select the default wallpaper, ringtone and apps so you feel right at home from the very first time you start the device. This might sound more like gimmickery, but thinking again why not save yourself the bloatware and get a very clean Android install? There might be more depth to this than you see on the surface.

2. Always-on ‘Open Mic’

The computer that listens to you at all times has been a sci-fi dream that we were used to only seeing in movies. That is finally about to change as the Motorola X features the unique Moto Magic Voice functionality with Open Mic. Basically, you can opt in to have your phone always ready to act upon your command. The phone is listening to a specific keyword and once a user says it, further commands can ensue.

The functionality has already appeared in Google Glass, but the Motorola Moto X will be the first retail device with it.

The ‘always on system’ has been made possible by proprietary dedicated natural language processor that combines input from audio sensors, noise estimators, noise cancellation techniques and Google’s speech recognition cloud brain. Right now, it seems that it will not become part of the Android project - instead it would probably remain a Motorola exclusive, walled in closed proprietary code. Some heavy custom voice processing has to happen to make this possible without killing your battery in hours and Google obviously thinks it has nailed it.

That is not the only software feature that will impress, though. The Moto X will be contextually aware and it will act upon its whereabouts. We have not yet heard about practical uses of contextual aware actions, but we’d guess that the phone would be able to determine when you are at home and when you are at work for instance and change itself to match your needs.

3. ‘Clear Pixel’ camera

The last but not least part of that secret sauce mix for the Moto X is its 'Clear Pixel' camera. Just a couple of days ago, Motorola teased a picture on Twitter showing how blurry photos at night will no longer be an issue with the Moto X.

How is this possible? We have the topic covered in-depth, but let’s just mention that Motorola might use a radically different camera technology with a new filter array on top of the camera sensor. That new filter will allow twice more light in and that’s where the name ‘Clear Pixel’ camera comes from.

We recommend you take a look at our in-depth coverage of the possible technology behind the new Moto X camera where we explain what is the new Clarity Plus filter array and how it is better than a standard Bayer filter. Those terms might seem confusing, but a look at that article will lift the mystery of that upcoming technology.


Finally, the specs. We are all used to judging smartphones by their hardware these days. How sharp is the screen, how many cores it has, how much RAM. Let’s just admit that for most common use cases we have reached a level where mid-range devices provide for a perfectly smooth experience.

That’s why Google’s Motorola has decided to change the focus on functionality rather than specs. The Moto X might appear like a mid-range smartphone in 2013 (and it is - by pure specs), but it is also much more than that.

With that disclaimer in mind, here are the rumored specs, chances are they won’t differ much from the official ones:

  • 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 pixel display of unknown kind
  • 1.7GHz dual-core MSM8960 Pro (an updated Snapdragon S4 Plus with an Adreno 320 GPU)
  • 2GB of RAM (possibly subject to customization)
  • 16GB of storage (subject to customization)
  • 10MP rear camera
  • 2MP front camera
  • 4G LTE (possibly 4G LTE-A) connectivity, dual LTE (dLTE) Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Smart Antenna 
  • ‘Industry leading’ battery life
  • ‘Pure’ Android, to support ‘fast upgrade cycles’


AFFORDABLE PRICE AND RELEASE DATE SOON

The biggest unknown around the Moto X remains its price. Rumors split on this, but we tend to believe that Motorola will make this an extremely affordable device. Think no contract ties and still price of between $199 and $299.

The Moto X is the first device that would truly show how Google has transformed Motorola and we are very excited about it. Good news is we should not wait long until we get to see it officially. PhoneArena originally broke the story that the Moto X is coming to Verizon on August 23rd, so the official unveiling should come in the next couple of weeks, likely in early August.

The US will be the first to get it in Q3, but other countries including Europe should also taste the kind of innovation Moto X brings in Q4. We expect to see it on all major U.S. carriers including Verizon and AT&T, and it seems that AT&T will have some kind of an exclusive on it - possibly a material or color.

If Motorola manages to deliver on its last big promise that is quick Android updates and stock or near stock experience, this might be a truly revolutionary device. Will the American customer - tied to 2-year contracts - accept the idea of a no-contract phone? And what will be the reaction? That’s something we’re looking forward to see in the very near future.




references: Taylor Wimberly

Related phones

Moto X
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 10 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 2200 mAh(13h talk time)

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32 Comments

1. dre786

Posts: 46; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

all that just another Android please make me WOW

18. dan86

Posts: 298; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

We also know that the Moto-X is going to be a big hit.

24. surethom

Posts: 1730; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

If it was a Massive 5" screen phone them maybe but this is way way more, that mic always on & the clear pixel camera look very good.

25. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Victor, did you really just suggest that the Moto X will be $199 off-contract?...

28. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Timely updates on Verizon!!! WOW! NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE!

2. lndn9

Posts: 8; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

It'll be something more these days than Nexus One was a few years ago. On the other hand, Moto X seems to be too 'small' to make extra love at first sight. It lacks huge screen & full HD resolution these days to make a big mar.ket entry. -- [...] new mobile hero: smartman.mobi

12. noim1

Posts: 297; Member since: May 15, 2012

You don't need a Big display for it to sell...there are many who consider the 4.3-4.7 inch is great for a phone & comfortable for the hands...pushing that higher is considered a phablet (in my opinion) ...

27. panjgoori

Posts: 22; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

agree with you

3. euhm1

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

I pray that the 'open mic' feature actually comes from Wolfson's new WM5110 High Definition Audio System on a Chip. The press release available at tinyurl.com/qyo4zpe states that: "The WM5110, or Wolfson’s WM0010 and WM0011 products, combined with Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree solution, delivers speed, accuracy, reliability and noise robustness in a very small and low power footprint, with minimal impact to handset standby time, enabling a true ‘always on, always listening’ experience for the first time." Wolfson DAC would mean great audio. And it appears this technology has been recently adopted by Sharp for their latest phones: tinyurl.com/oy6jh3a

13. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Zero chance of that. It's Moto proprietary in the Droid Ultra, it'll be identical in the Moto X. Sorry.

4. .KRATOS.

Posts: 442; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

I was hoping for a cpu like the s4 or htc one or newer, jst hoping it'll be smooth fluid and fast, n google should also smooths their software in their upcoming update till it support dual cores n run fast on, like the way on apple n windows it doesn't need many cores to run fast.

5. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

for pure android a 1ghz single core works fine the reason flagships have quads is because of oem skins and carrier ui skins which slow the phone down. dualcore with an adreno 320 would work fine

6. JulianGT

Posts: 89; Member since: Oct 15, 2012

So the Nexus 4 has a better SoC?

7. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Wooo another row of icons incoming! Way to go!

19. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

lolwut

21. HASHTAG unregistered

Wow, you're almost a year late with that comment.

8. rtol1

Posts: 21; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I'll remain optimistic until the device is officially announced, but I'm starting to believe that even these rumored specs for the Moto X at a price of $200-$300 is too good to be true. I'd love to see "industry leading" battery life on this device. Hell, I'd even settle for a 2,500mAh, but something tells me we won't be seeing that. Hoping I'm wrong here.

22. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Look at the Motorola Razr M. From GSMArena's Review "The smartphone managed an endurance rating of the almost unbelieavable 55h" on LTE no less. And it only has a 2000 mAh battery. Motorola knows what they are doing. Don't worry about battery life on the Moto X. It will easily last a day.

9. daniel_bargs

Posts: 325; Member since: Nov 27, 2010

I hope it has removable battery and FM radio.

26. xmusicianguy

Posts: 96; Member since: Jul 13, 2011

Don't bet on it having FM Radio. Google HATES FM Radio. So a Google owned company won't put it in.

10. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Will the Verizon version have a locked boot loader and tons of Verizon craap apps?

17. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

If i remember correctly no, since its not even carrying the "Droid" name. Wasn't there an article on here about even excluding the verizon logo from the front or something?....i can't remember, but I'm almost certain we wont be seeing any bloatware or crap on this phone. Bootloaders another story, I know verizon is tight on that, but google is very lenient with it. I'm guessing since the GNex was easy to unlock the bootloader that this will be to.

11. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Always-on ‘Open Mic’... Wow that's really an amazing feature.

14. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Open mic or big brother listening and watching!

30. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

I want my phone to hear me talking about Orange Amps and as soon as I pick up the phone, I want that Orange Amplifier info on the screen! Not really, I prefer tactile input over voice input. Big Brother would get pretty bored listening to me.

15. fistigons

Posts: 368; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

I'm probably going to end up purchasing this phone if the customization rumors are try. Ill still wait til the nexus 5 rumors start pouring in but so far it seems like a good replacement to my S3.

16. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

it wont be a succes here in the Netherlands. moto is like nokia for the US market...but thn worst.. moto has 0% marketshare here

20. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

is this coming to the UK

23. surethom

Posts: 1730; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

4th Q for UK Nnnnnnnoooooooo That has Always been the problem with Motorola they release 3 - 6 months after America, they NEED to launch within 1 month of America.

29. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

It's ridiculous that they don't launch within a month overseas. A month is a lot of time in the tech industry. That's a lost month of sales and word of mouth. Of course, that month only matters if the device is a good device (which I anticipate the Moto X to be).

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