Google X Phone to offer user customizable hardware, heavily subsidized price [update]

by: Chris SmithMarch 14, 2013

Motorola X Phone

Ever wanted to be able to build your own smartphone, just as you’d be able to order custom desktops and laptops from certain manufacturers? A new report suggests that Google and Motorola could soon offer such a feature in its upcoming X Phone.

With just a few hours left until the Galaxy S4 gets official, this new X Phone report comes our way via Android and Me, which had access to some inside information regarding this upcoming Google Android handset.

Obviously, this is just a rumor at this time, and we can’t confirm anything just yet, but the X Phone is said to have some interesting features.

Google is apparently interested in creating a new brand capable to fight the Samsung Galaxy brand, the report says. The phone could be launched in June after the Google I/O event, and will be available to potential buyers via an online store, most likely the Google Play Store. Despite being a high-end device, the phone will reportedly have a heavily subsidized price to attract more buyers.

While hardware features have not been revealed, it’s said that the handset will come with an eight-core processor, with one of them dedicated to Motorola’s “new human language system.” What’s exciting to hear that users will have some freedom when it comes to building their X Phones. Certain customizable features may include the color of the device, RAM or internal storage. Once ordered, the phone will be shipped “in one week.”

As for software, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie wasn’t mentioned, but it was said that Google and Motorola would guarantee at least one full Android update after the phone is purchased. Motorola will apparently deliver the updates without waiting for mobile operators, although it will probably need to throw carriers a bone so they agree to such a concept.

Buyers will also be able to customize their handsets (“pre-load their own wallpapers, ringtones, apps, contacts, etc”) while waiting for them to be shipped, an HTC Get Started feature if you will and the X Phone could let users unlock the bootloader and the SIM, if they so desire.

Are you looking forward to buy such an X Phone?

Update: A second report from the same source reveals more details about the X Phone family.

  • Ignacio Martín

    I don’t know if I’m waiting for it. I had already decided to buy the HTC One when available

    • matty

      Meh, fortunately I don’t have that disadvantage of choosing between handsets. I just buy them outright, no fanboyism from me. HTC One/Galaxy S4/X Phone/Xperia Togari, Windows Phone and IPhone 5s, you bet.

      • Mark Schwerm

        unfortunately i haven’t mastered printing money but i still plan on getting one of these phones (one,s4,xphone no manufacturer fanboyism) and the x phone has made me wait until google io to decide

  • Zero1xy

    Hell yes! But please… Give us a micro sd card slot!!

    • Markus Ressel

      64GB as standard minimum size will do a much better job.

      • Why not make memory-less phones to further reduce the price and rely only on a MicroSD card?

        Offer tools to flash the initial operating system on the new card, then you’re good to go.

        • Because MicroSD’s are painfully slow compared to internal storage.

  • eazi25

    I so desire this device please keep the kevlar backing of the HD

  • William l

    Hell yes, 8 Core, edge to edge, 5 inch 1080p and true artificial intelligence. 2013, it’s only the start.

    • IMO, the screen should be 6 inches!!

      • parllo

        longer than your d*ck right

    • Appogee

      The Exynos “Octo-Core” benches worse than the Tegra 4i and barely beats the Qualcomm 600. The Octo-core isn’t even that, it’s always a quad-core just with dormant cores that together would equal eight. Eight of them are never active all together however. I would rather have the Qualcomm 800 with the Adreno 330 or the Tegra 4i in the Nexus X. Also the big batteries Moto is known for would be nice.

      • rodfuture

        2 things…that “exynos octo-core” (assuming it exists) benchmark you are touting is JUST A RUMOR. You dont have real world facts to back it up so dont pass judgement yet. TBH i dont give a crap about having 8 cores though, its just overkill for what we use smartphones for

      • Alan F

        Except that is a pre production beta numbnuts. Like Adrian whatever his name is for not CLEARLY STATING THOSE BENCHMARKS WERE IN BETA STAGE!

      • markt9002

        With what benchmarks? I haven’t seen a kraken, browsermark, or GLBenchmark 2.5 benchmark for the Exynos 5 octa. Sunspider, quadrant, and Antutu mean nothing. To be brutally honest, the SGX544MP3 @ 533mhz is arguably the fastest GPU in a smart phone at this time. It’s too bad Samsung is so stingy about releasing a proper source for its Exynos SoCs, and PowerVR is apparently not any better. I love what the international SGS4 has to offer, especially the form factor, and AMOLED panel, but I’m holding out for a Snapdragon 800 device. The development community for the Nexus 4 is top notch, and I’m completely spoiled by it.

        I’ll be waiting for Anandtech’s benchmarks before I’m making an assumptions about the intl. SGS4. Also, preliminary bechmarks do not tell the whole story. The Nexus 4 initially benchmarked horribly. However, the benchmarks on 4.2.2. paint an entirely different picture.

  • BumferryHogart

    I have thought for a long time that the next big thing in mobile phones would be the ability to chose your hardware. there are too many phones around today that offer great screens but rubbish cameras or lack of memory or sd card slots. Hopefully in the future, companies will jump on this idea and offer fully personalised phones allowing consumers to dictate WHAT they want. I would pay more for a phone that I know is going to have the hardware I ACTUALLY want/need.

  • rdeleonp

    Make it Nexus-like (pure Android + fast OS updates) and I’ll definitely consider it!

    • It’s a google phone made by google. Obviously it’s going to be stock android.

      • Scott Mills

        Not necessarily, they can optimize the OS for the hardware – something the Nexus range lacks – and include any special features to try and draw people to buy Motorola.

    • mattman

      its going to be stock, Motorola is making all razrs stock now so i will assume this will be stock too

  • cycad007

    This or the HTC One is going to be my phone.

  • Andrew Mezzi

    Motorola is my favorite OEM, and I can’t wait for this phone to come to AT&T.

  • This is good news! Sick of the ugly plastic galaxy crap!

  • john

    Yes, bring back the modularity!

  • tbro4033

    Would have to see all specs before really making a decision, but what I’ve heard so far…wow. If the X phone had comparable battery life to my Razr HD Maxx along with a heavily subsidized price, I would consider getting it, even though I’ve only had my current phone since November.

  • Harry

    A bit like the way that many computer companies offer hardware customization?

    I personally think that’s awesome, but could be unappealing to non-techy users and also make the already-bad hardware fragmentation worse. What good would an unlocked bootloader be if the ROMs must be strictly tailored to your model?

  • Benjamin Collins

    I’ve been using Motorola since the starTAC and have had the Droid, and 2, 3, and now 4. I’ve been waiting for an organic Google/Moto product and I have faith in these brands to deliver.
    As to heavily subsidized: By whom? If Google is trying to bypass the carrier on a lot of things already, why would the iPhone fatigued carriers schlep out more discounts? I would love to be able to get this straight from Motorola, who has rock solid customer satisfaction.
    – if they want my unlimited LTE they’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands

  • android

    THIS IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE :O this will seriously make us android geeks prance with delight

  • carlisimo

    I’m not sure a heavily subsidized price is a good idea… it could end up killing everyone off except Apple and Samsung. But if part of this supposed “customization” means I can get a 4” screen in a high-end phone, I’m in.

  • aCe manayan

    This would be my gift for my mother or sister! hell yeah! :D

  • twisted247

    Been wondering about upgradable hardware on phones. Be able to upgrade RAM or storage. Be able to Mount a secondary memory would be sick.

    • Benjamin Collins

      Add in the legacy-board concept but planning for the future instead of catering the past, unstoppable.

  • Whaaaat, Subsidized too?

    • Benjamin Collins

      Worked beautifully for Amazon

  • Marlon Milligan

    I’m getting the HTC One.

  • Rabid Rotty

    Customers can pre-load their own wallpapers, ringtones, apps, contacts, etc. before the device arrives. This nothing new Nexus device have been doing that. My N4 and 7 both.

  • oli72

    I’m n like Flynn. Google x phone here we go.


  • David Suarez

    Yes!!! Will they go as low as $200 for an unlocked smartphone?

    • Benjamin Collins

      Amazon made billions with the strategy, and $200-$300 for a pimped out version seems like the sweet spot to compete with the carrier contract prices.

  • Danny J.

    This is curious. How will having custom hardware play into software updates? I hope they work out the kinks prior. I’d like to get away from Samsung and back to Moto. Google needs to get it in gear and get us some specs so we have something to hold out for, or the S4’s getting my money…

    • Benjamin Collins

      You had me all the way until the last six words :-( But I think just like a non-crapple machine, the only noticeable differnce in the software will be the standard performance benchmarks we use today.

  • S.z.a

    As an product of a hardcore Apple supporter in my father, I must say the X looks very intriguing. I have always loved Apple and Steve accomplished unbelievable things with the time he had, but now things do not look so good. Google is slowly becoming the “new” Apple. I use that comparison VERY loosely. Anyway I am excited for the X. I still am using my original iPhone4 (strictly because hardware wise it is beautiful) but I am sure the design team will impress with the X. As of now the Google X is a must purchase.

  • As long as it’s not made out of freaking glass, has LTE and costs about the same as I could sell my Note 2 for I’ll be all over it.

  • I can’t f’ing wait this phone from rumors sounds amazing. Also the ability to customize your phone is GENIUS!! Motorola & Google please don’t disappoint!!

  • rodpe

    Too good to be real…

  • tobi flendy

    if this happens i am sold.

  • Lekan Abe

    What would be even better IMO is your given phone that is upgradable by the OEM every 6 months for a fixed ~$20.

    You pick for an upgrade in only component: RAM, GPU, storage, fresh display, brand new housing etc, it would be limitless.

    I can dream, right?

  • Baba Booey

    Looks promising but as for the near future, I am patiently waiting for the LG optimus G pro.

  • Austin00

    To good to be true

  • Customization is incredibly exciting, it lets consumers give feedback on desired features with their wallets. Manufacturers can see first hand which features are truly important to the consumer by observing which part is the least likely to be skimped on and which part is most likely to be splurged on. I would bet dollars to donates that battery is the most desired feature, which motorola is currently the king of. Very exciting

  • Holy crap. I can’t wait to buy this.

  • I wonder if the ‘customizable hardware’ includes the ability to add microSD?

  • CpuKnight

    Maybe smartphones should be like how Computers are today. With companies making individual parts which we can put together albeit about more tedious.Why was casing ever a boundary? Thats why specific motherboard and casing standards like ATX and Micro ATX exists in computers. Casings with support for different things and maybe standards similiar to PCI-Express can exist so smartphones can have add-ons like dedicated gpus and sound cards. Its an idea.

    • Benjamin Collins

      It’s a great idea. Even if you don’t build like us, the contrast between being able to control your own creations destiny against being under the thumb of a Genius Bar hipster is shared by more than a few.

  • Benjamin Collins

    Moto has a nice accessory line though. The only thing comparable is the way Crapple encouraged outside companies to adopt their phone as a standard in media. With Google, DLNA and Moto I think I see and exciting and robust adoption, perhaps even better than we’re all drooling over as it is :-)

  • Jay Leno

    X phone’s success will change Google dramatically, since most of profits from android business originates from hardware sales, rather than softwares.

  • Gnex

    Wow, all of this ended up being true.