Moto X4 leaks explained: two distinct phones, each with modular backplate support
posted by Stephen S. / May 09, 2016, 6:10 PM
Motorola leaks have been dominating upcoming smartphone news these past couple days, as images started forming what looked like an exciting picture for the company's near-term lineup. As we compared these new leaks with older ones, and started looking closely at what they revealed, an interesting theory began to emerge: was Motorola about to bring back its old laptop-style docks with the help of a big connector this phone's back panel? According to Evan Blass, the truth is far more complicated – and interesting – and what we're looking at here are actually two new Moto handsets, each supporting an all-new modular backplate hardware expansion system.
Let's back up for a sec and look at yesterday's big leak: we saw both that white handset, identified as the supposed Moto X4 and featuring that rear connector interface, as well as a darker model, presumed to be the same phone. According to Blass, that was our big mistake.
Instead, those two are reportedly two distinct phones, and while they may be outwardly similar, the internals are quite different.
We'll touch base with the rumored specs of each in a moment, but right now we want to dwell on their physical similarity. That's supposedly quite intentional, so that they can share snap-on backplate modules called “Amps” that will deliver extra functionality – in the same ballpark as what LG's doing on the G5, but supporting multiple models right out of the gate.
These Amps would interface with the phones through that connector array, and it sounds like Motorola has some compelling options lined up: Amps that give their attached phones stereo speakers, extra battery life, a pico projector, camera grip (with optical zoom, no less), and rugged case (with its own wide-angle camera enhancement) are supposed to be available at launch time – and we could easily see that selection grow.
As for the phones themselves, launch names are still under debate, but they're reportedly being developed under the codenames Vector Thin (the black render) and Vertex (the white render).
Vector Thin is the one with the flagship-caliber specs, including a 5.5-inch 2,560 x 1,440 (quad HD) OLED display, top-shelf Snapdragon 820, 3GB or 4GB of RAM (Motorola loves customization options), 32GB storage, and a 13-megapixel camera with optical stabilization. And while the phone would only get a 2,600mAh battery, it could be a shockingly thin handset, measuring in at just 5.2mm thick.
Vertex would dial things back a little to another 5.5-inch OLED panel (but this time with a lower 1080p resolution), Snapdragon 625, 2GB or 3GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage, and a laser-assisted 16MP camera. It would end up with a beefier 3,500mAh battery, but measure in at 7mm as a consequence. To be fair, that's still incredibly svelte for all we're talking about packing inside.
What about launch plans? While August 24 (the date you see on-screen here) had been kicked around before, another compelling theory suggests that Lenovo could turn the spotlight on both these handsets and their Amps accessory system at Lenovo Tech World on June 9.
Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012
Why don't they add a stero speaker, larger battery, and better camera to the actual phone instead of those silly "Amps"?
posted on May 09, 2016, 6:58 PM 1
Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 03, 2015
Probably because no one is making money on their hardware but apple. It's a way to make money on higher margin add-ons without bogging down the phone with things that could be considered unnecessary for phone buyers. I don't care about stereo speakers, it's a waste of space, weight and cost. Extra battery power, great. Camera with zoom, interesting. Would I commit to a zoom camera phone out of the box, not likely
posted on May 10, 2016, 9:15 AM 0
Posts: 155; Member since: Sep 14, 2015
Oled = fail
posted on May 09, 2016, 8:20 PM 0
Posts: 1334; Member since: Mar 13, 2016
the back is nice and unique but the front is UGLY. that bottom bezel plus 5.5 inch display. and why does the lower end model offer a 16mp camera with laser autofocus and a better camera?
posted on May 09, 2016, 9:54 PM 1
Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015
The cam may not be better. Personally, the specs may be swapped around a bit. But I'm excited for a legitimate SD625 phone finally. Hope there's a decent looking back with battery for the white one
posted on May 09, 2016, 10:16 PM 0
Posts: 2459; Member since: Apr 08, 2016
Having a 16MP camera doesn't make it necessarily better than the 13MP one. The 13MP one actually has OIS, laser AF, and phase detection AF with bigger problems pixels..
posted on May 10, 2016, 3:22 AM 0
Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015
At the same time, perhaps the 16 MP cam could be comparable, as gsmarena states it'll have pdaf as well. Also, I think the reason why the hi end one has a smaller MP count is because of how thin it is
posted on May 10, 2016, 7:16 AM 0
I'm sorry 2600mAh??? Lol, Good thing there is modular battery packs. They seem to be using their competitors mistakes. HTC M8: Unusually big chin with logo ✓ Samsung S6: Small battery ✓
posted on May 10, 2016, 1:09 AM 0
Posts: 59; Member since: Aug 04, 2015
None of which had modular anything. Moto X 4th gen: huge ass chin but great phone otherwise. Stock Android, shatterproof, etc... Modular, not gonna be a clunker with the modules cuz the damn thing is 5 mm thick. Small battery with battery module= #TBE battery life. Most will get this through Moto maker anyway. Tiny speaker between pins w/stereo speaker module= probably really good sound given the use of Dolby speakers on higher end Vibe smartphone, and the really good sound from motos over the past 2 years. I hate the chin, but I would not let that stop me from purchasing a smartphone with this capability and everything else I want. Even with the large chin, still a pretty good looking device. Maybe the fingerprint scanner cover should be as large as those on the competition to fill up more of the chin, so that the chin doesn't look too big because the scanner is too small. The chin is about as big as the Moto X force but the device looks more balanced than that phone, so when it gets released we should be OK. At least this doesn't look generic like this Oneplus 3 that will come out around the same time. Also notice the size difference in the fingerprint scanner between the two, and the moderately smaller bottom bezel the Oneplus contains.
posted on May 10, 2016, 10:27 PM 0
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