Moto X Android 4.3 update and handset performance explained by Dennis Woodside

August 5, 2013
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Moto X hands on

In a recent interview, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside explained why the Moto X doesn’t run Google’s latest Android version, and said that the phone “has top performance where it matters.”

Android 4.3 and timely updates

According to Woodside, the Moto X is running Android 4.2.2 out of the box as Motorola apparently didn’t have access to Android 4.3 prior to its announcement.

Woodside told AllThingsD that the company only saw the code only “after the software was introduced alongside the new Nexus 7.”

That’s certainly surprising, considering that not only does Google own Motorola, but Android 4.3 has leaked quite a few times before its official launch. Not to mention that Google’s Android PDK should have provided Android device makers early access to an upcoming Android OS version such as Android 4.3.

Isn’t Google trying a bit too much to make it look like it’s not favoring Motorola in any way? We’ll probably see the Search giant keep doing this sort of thing until it’s finally comfortable to use Motorola as it should.

Furthermore, Woodside hinted that the Moto X’s Android 4.3 update could arrive in a timely fashion, saying that the company did not make a lot of changes to the OS, in order to ensure a quicker update process.

Android updates are apparently a priority for the company, with the CEO revealing that 85% of the Android devices Motorola released in the past two years are running the latest version of Android – well, not counting Android 4.3 that is.

Moto X

Moto X performance addressed

When talking about smartphone performance, Woodside likened the Moto X to Google’s driverless car – Motorola apparently wanted to build “the first self-driving phone,” just as Google built the first driverless car

Speaking about the phone’s processor he said that the X8 system should be considered as a whole, and people should not focus just on the dual-core processor: “the combination of processor, companion chips and software” allows the new Droids and the Moto X “to always be listening for voice input without sacrificing battery life.”

Motorola’s policy seems to be focusing on features instead of staying in the specs-only race. Woodside “takes issue with the notion that the Moto X is just a mid-range phone with a high-end price.”

The company has invested in certain features including the always-on voice recognition technology, the Active Display but also graphics performance:

Where we chose to optimize, we are getting what we want out of the device.

The Moto X is apparently a starting point for the company – and Woodside did say that other products part of the Moto X family will be launched in the future, including a cheaper model.

Interestingly, the CEO was rather coy about Motorola using Intel components in future devices. He said that Motorola “continues to look for ways to work with them,” without providing any specific details about future plans.

The company signed a partnership with Intel before being purchased by Google, but so far the only Intel-based Motorola device is last year’s Razr i.

Woodside also sort-of confirmed the company’s marketing budget for the Moto X, and while it didn’t explicitly mention the number he did indicate that the company has “plenty of money to do the job.”

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