Moto X: everything we know before launch

July 30, 2013
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Rogers Moto X video leak

Motorola’s Moto X flagship smartphone will be unveiled in just a couple of days, and launched at some point in the following weeks, but the device is hardly a secret anymore.

From design to specs and smart features, we’ve seen them all in an impressive campaign of rumors, leaks and teasers. We have already covered in great details available Moto X rumors, but since then we have received more details about the device. In what follows we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the handset before it launches.

Design

The Moto X starred in a variety of leaks before Google’s Eric Schmidt decided to actually use in in front of journalists at a special event. The exec has basically confirmed that the leaks were accurate.

Eric Schmidt talking on Moto X

Furthermore, we’ve seen other Motorola execs using what looked like the Moto X, at a closed-doors media event that Leo Laporte can’t yet talk about, and soon after a couple of sets of rumored press photos for the Moto X have also been leaked, showing the device in black and white (front, back and profile.)

To have a complete picture, someone at Rogers has conveniently leaked a video showing the Moto X in action. In addition to showing the device and mentioning some of its smart features, the video also revealed that the handset will hit the carrier in black and white – these appear to be standard carrier versions. Customizable Moto X will supposedly be purchased directly from Google.

After we’ve seen the Moto X in all these instances, and various others, we can safely say that the handset will pack an edge-to-edge display, with no physical buttons. The back is curved, with the back camera being placed in the center of the topside, above the flash and Motorola logo. Such a device has been spotted in a leaked video dating back to mid-March, when a Vietnamese publication managed to get its hands on an purported Moto X prototype. The device is also fairly slim as you can see, and will pack a 2200mAh battery according to FCC documentation.

Moto X

Moto X “final” press images | Image credit: @evleaks

According to Taylor Wimberly, who happens to know a lot of things about the Moto X despite not being launched, the handset will feature a Moto Magic Glass display, or a Gorilla Glass sheet molded to a “special polymer,” resulting in a gap-free surface that wraps around the edges of the phone. Furthermore, he added that the device will pack a “laminated aluminum structure for a light weight and high strength design.”

Wimberly also revealed in the past that users will be able to choose between a variety of materials for the Moto X including plastic, metal, wood and carbon fiber, with a variety of colors being available to them as well. Supposedly, plastic and wood cases will be available at launch, while metal, ceramics and fabrics could be available later on.

However, despite the handset being “customizable” in such a manner, the device is said not to sport a user-replaceable battery.

moto x motorola exec Rick Osterloh

Moto exec Rick Osterloch apparently uses the Moto X to take a picture at the event attended by Leo Laporte.

Hardware

There has been much talk about the hardware of the Moto X, but almost all rumors suggested that the phone will pack mid-range specs by 2013 standards. The most complete set of specs has been provided so far by Android Police, as the publication was able to get its hands on an AT&T Moto X unit. Here’s what the device is expected to offer:

  • dual-core Qualcomm S4 Pro MSM8960DT 1.7GHz CPU, Adreno 320 GPU. [Android Police] is still not sure what the “d” stands for in the processor model number, but it’s likely the same as MSM8960T – confirmed by [AnTuTu benchmark]
  • 2GB of RAM – confirmed by [AnTuTu benchmark]
  • 720×1184 4.7″ (about 4.5″ without on-screen buttons) display – confirmed by [AnTuTu benchmark]
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera / 10.5MP rear camera with flash – confirmed by [AnTuTu benchmark]
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (ac made it in, nice!) – confirmed by FCC docs
  • Android 4.2.2 on the unit being tested – confirmed by [AnTuTu benchmark]
  • 16GB internal memory, 12GB of which is user-accessible (on the unit being tested) – confirmed by [AnTuTu benchmark]
  • NFC – confirmed by [images]
  • 2,200 mAh non-removable battery – confirmed by FCC docs and first tipped off by @evleaks
  • 128.5mm x 65mm – confirmed by FCC docs
  • no microSD support

However, we will notice that the processor of the Moto X may be a special Motorola creation, based on Qualcomm’s processor mentioned above. At the Droid event last week, Motorola unveiled the X8 Mobile Computing System, which will power the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini, and which is expected to be found inside the new Moto X.

Motorola’s X8 Mobile Computing System

Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System | Image credit: The Verge

The X8 offers eight cores, without being an Exynos 5 Octa-like SoC. The X8 packs a dual-core processor, a quad-core GPU and two cores that have special functions including contextual computing (one core) and natural language processing (one core).

As for the camera, which is rumored to be a special ClearPixel camera, here’s what the same Wimberly had to say about it the other day:

As previously reported, the Moto X features a 10MP Clear Pixel camera, for enhanced low light performance. The pixel size is 1.4 microns, which is smaller than the HTC One (2.0), but larger than the GS4 (1.1). This special camera module also has x4HD Video capture, which bins 4 pixels together to create one perfect pixel. Video can be recorded in 1080p HD at 60 FPS and played back in slow motion at 30 FPS. Three microphones also enable 3D audio recording.

(Check out the second part of the article.)

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