Moto X phone rumor round up – everything we think we know [Update]

by: Chris SmithJuly 15, 2013

Specs and features

Sadly for some handset buyers that would love to customize the internals of the Moto X, the company is not ready to offer such a thing, at least not with the first-generation model. However, the handset will be able in a variety of storage options, although it’s not clear what that means exactly.

Certain specs have leaked a bunch of times, and it looks like the handset will be a mid-ranger by 2013 standards for flagship devices, even though Woodside did say that the handset is supposed to be an iPhone and Galaxy contender.

Moto x Backplates

Purported Moto X cases | Image credit:

The phone is expected to pack a display with 720p resolution, 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (and other versions), 10-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean under the hood. A recent report also said the phone will pack a dual LTE MIMO antenna for faster LTE speeds.

The screen size of the handset will most likely be somewhere around 4.7 inches, so don’t expect a 5-inch handset here – after all, Motorola wants to make phones that are of the right size.

Update (July 15): A leaked video purportedly showing the AT&T Moto X version revealed that the handset could indeed pack a 4.7-inch 720p display and a 1.7GHz dual-core processor – either a Snapdragon S4 Plus or a Snapdragon S4 Pro, the jury is still out on that.

Interestingly, the benchmark test performed on this AT&T handset version revealed a score that puts the Moto X right on par with Snapdragon 600-based devices, which is certainly puzzling.

Rogers Moto X video leak

Moto X always on voice support shown in leaked Rogers video promo.

A source of ours revealed that the handset would pack a 4.4-inch display with 720p resolution, 16GB of storage (of it 11.9GB available to the users), 10-megapixel camera, 2,000mAh battery life (the source said battery life is great), and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean under the hood

As for the camera, a new rumor says the device will pack a Clear Pixel camera – which goes to show that Motorola, like HTC, is also interested in marketing its camera technology under its own name. While it’s not clear (pun not intended) what a Clear Pixel camera will have to offer, word on the street is that it may feature a RGBW sensor that will let it capture better pictures in low-lighting conditions.

Moreover, Motorola recently took to Twitter to troll – for lack of a better word – all the other smartphone makers by suggesting the cameras on their devices aren’t fast enough to capture great photos of important moments in one’s life. Is the company suggesting that the Moto X will feature a camera that will reduce blur? Or is it simply implying that the Moto X will offer faster access to the camera app than other apps (more on camera features below)?

Moto X CPU Test

Purported Moto X benchmark on AT&T test version of the phone.

We’re certainly more interested in the software of the Moto X, because that’s where the innovation apparently is with the handset. The Moto X will likely run a stock Android version – or close to it – although the device won’t be a Nexus handset.

Update (July 15): The device is expected to run the latest Android version available – test units are apparently running stock Android. The same report taht mentioned the Clear Pixel camera also said that Moto X users should expect a “pure Android” experience and “fast” software updates.

But the handset will come with some smarter features, as Google is reportedly relying on a lot of sensors to create the phone’s already confirmed contextual awareness. The phone will also pack a standalone language processing chip, according to Wimberly, that will likely offer advanced language recognition features.

Motorola X Phone ad

Full Moto X phone ad. The body shapes of the jumpers, combined with a recent rumor, suggest that the handset could be unveiled on July 11.

ABC News apparently confirmed the advanced voice recognition technology behind the Moto X and detailed the kind of context-aware features the phone will pack. The Moto X will supposedly know when you want to take a picture and launch the camera app without the user having to manually do it. The phone would also know when you’re driving, and enable speakerphone functionality automatically.

Update (July 15): The Rogers promo video of the Moto X revealed how some of these smart features will work. For example, a special gesture – twisting the wrist twice – would instantly turn on the camera. Once inside the app, users will be able to take pictures by tapping anywhere on the screen, and they’ll be able to take multiple shots by holding the finger pressed on the display.

The same video suggested that LED notifications won’t be available for the Moto X. Instead the display will come to life whenever there’s a new notifications, and users will be able to act accordingly.

Rogers Moto X video leak

Moto X active updates feature shown in leaked Rogers video promo.

The promo video also mentioned voice-recognition support. The Moto X will be listening at all times, and you’ll be able to search for things, ask for directions, play with settings (and supposedly other things) by simply talking to the device, without turning on the display or pressing any buttons.

A distinct report offered a name for the feature – Open Mic – saying that the technology will help you make calls and even open webpages with your voice. Voice commands can apparently be activated by saying “ok moto magic, [and then your question/demand],” but this default activation mode can be customized by the user.

Our source also mentioned that always on listening feature, and said that the users will have to say “ok Google Now” to activate it – which is how Rogers also tells us to use the feature.

Release date and pricing

After confirming the phone at D11, Motorola did say the handset would arrive this summer. Speculation around purported ad work for Motorola said the handset will arrive on August 1, although there’s no actual indication that’s the date we’ll see the device in stores. Wimberly also said the handset will be available at some point in August in the USA, with other markets to follow in the fourth quarter.

moto x motorola exec Rick Osterloh

The private Motorola event that never was. Moto exec Rick Osterloch apparently uses the Moto X to take a picture.

Considering Motorola’s marketing push around July 4, and the fact that the company has already started taking registrations for the handset on its official website, we would assume the device will be unveiled in the coming days/weeks. A new report says that July 11 may be the date chosen for a special media event, although nothing is official yet.

Update (July 15): The event turned out to be a private gathering for Motorola execs and certain members of the press, but the Moto X has been spotted in a Glass-recorded video on that particular date. A day later, we also saw Schmidt’s public use of the Moto X. 

Moto X Phone

Moto X sign-up page on Motorola’s website

The phone is expected to be quite affordable, with a starting price of $299 or less for an unlocked unit.

In addition to buying it directly from Motorola, the Moto X will also be available from a variety of U.S. carriers. FCC documentation for four distinct Motorola handsets suggest the device will be available from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular.

A recent report also revealed that the Moto X phone will not be included in Verizon’s Droid family, which indicates that Google may be interested in creating its own strong line of flagship handsets.

Update (July 15): The Verizon and AT&T test versions of the handset have apparently been leaked (we have already shown you pictures and videos, respectively) and a new report is saying that Verizon could launch the handset on August 23.

Rogers is also expected to launch the Moto X in August – although a release date is not available just yet – and it looks like the carrier will have an exclusivity deal with Motorola for Canada.

Purported Verizon Moto X model | Image credit: Android Central

Purported Verizon Moto X model | Image credit: Android Central

Speaking about exclusivity deals, AT&T is also rumored to get some sort of Moto X exclusivity deal – although it’s really not clear what that means.

Wrap up

We’ll remind you that few details are actually confirmed about the device: its official name, the fact it’s launching this summer, its context awareness features and user-personalization.

Leading to this summer’s Moto X launch, various Google execs including chairman Eric Schmidt, CEO Larry Page and Motorola design chief Jim Wicks have independently praised Moto’s upcoming creations in mid-April, which looked like a building anticipation campaign for an already hyped-up device, the Google X Phone – that’s what we called the Moto X back then. However, the phone was not even mentioned during Google’s 2013 edition of its IO developers conference.

That said we’ll continue to keep tabs on the Moto X rumors and leaks for you, as we’re waiting for Google to actually unveil the handset.

Will you be buying a device that’s more or less as the Moto X portrayed in these recent reports? Or are you looking for a different kind of flagship Android handset?

Update (July 15): At this point, it looks to us that Motorola and Google aren’t even trying to hide the Moto X anymore. All these leaks look like a controlled marketing campaign, something we suggested since back in March.

Considering that Google is rumored to invest as much as $500 million in marketing the handset – according to the Wall Street Journal – we shouldn’t be surprised to see all these leaks. After all, it’s all free exposure for the search giant.

We’ll update this post once we have more details about the device, assuming that Motorola won’t publicly unveil it.

  • Infinite7154

    I, for one, am excited about the idea. It doesn’t have the highest end specs but the iPhone has proven if you have a quality build and use really good internals the specs don’t matter. I don’t care about 1080p because my eyes can’t tell the difference. I don’t care about quad and octo cores as long as the phone can play my games or my videos, I’m good to go. I can control the color combo and the storage size, and the price point starts at $299. I hope this works.

    • WarGasm

      Internal specs really DO matter though. It is important for the longevity of the device….think about it, the more powerful the specs the more likely it is that the future updates will be compatible.
      Apple makes its devices just powerful enough to run its current release, but as soon as another release, it starts to run funny..slow…making the average consumer think its time for an upgrade…marketing at its finest.
      Not raving with that at all

      • Infinite7154

        I’m no iPhone fan but the truth is the phone can jump at least 1 update sometimes 2 with no issue. It’s no different from an Android going from ics to jellybean. Not all phones will be able to make the jump from ics to klp. A lot of that does have to do with specs but I’m willing to bet the Galaxy Nexus will make the jump jto klp ust fine with no where near the specs the Nexus 4 has

        • WarGasm

          Google released a statement that said KLP will be less resource reliant than its previous releases.
          iPhones can in go further than Apple stops their update cycles, but when it stops thats it….
          I installed Cyanogenmod 10.1 (thats 4.2.2) on a Galaxy S1 for a friend the other day, and believe me, it ran with no hiccups….I was absolutely surprised at this.
          Glad with Android we have an option if manufacturers decide to cut us off.

          • Infinite7154

            Exactly. That’s why I’m less concerned with “specs” and more concerned with build quality and battery life. Running Stock Android usually makes specs
            almost…note almost…a non issue. Now running graphic intensive games or multitasking will require decent internals.

        • SamsaraGuru

          You see there was method to Apple’s “madness” of not changing the iphone to any appreciate degree essentially for all its iterations to date – so it would be easy to update and thus they could avoid the “heartbreak of psoriasis” – I mean fragmentation not to mention: innovation, a bigger screen, faster processors and technologies that Android had for years but which might not have proven compatible with old time tech. Easy to stay current when you don’t change.

      • Alex Murphy

        I’m running a 4.2.2 rom on my GS2 (over two years old now) and I’ve yet to find a single app (besides the newest graphics-intensive games) that I can’t run. The OS itself is a little sluggish, but that’s because A) it’s a rom for an older phone that isn’t optimized 100% and B) Android 4.0+ performs subpar on older handsets. KLP supposedly fixes many of these issues…hell, I bet I could install a KLP rom on my old GS2 this winter and STILL have an acceptable experience.

        I’ve had laptops for 5-6 years that were still chugging along and could perform 90% of what I needed from it. My Mac Pro tower is over 4 years old and still does the professional work I need.

        As for iPhones though, there’s also a tremendous resale market for used iOS devices (much better than Android phones).

      • SamsaraGuru

        I agree. If I buy a phone I would like it to last at least 2 years without it faltering, falling and failing me because it doesn’t have the horsepower, RAM or ROM needed to keep up with new OS iterations.

        I do like to hear it is going to be made in the U.S. – as I try to avoid buying anything made in China on principle – on the principle I feel it is a mistake to buy from a totalitarian nation.

        However, will it have a removable battery & Micro SD card – these are deal breakers for me – lithium ion batteries in case you don’t know generally are only about 1/2 as strong after a year or so of use and if that sucker is seal inside and can’t be changed – doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know there are problems down the road.

        Of course, maybe that is why so many manufacturers are using sealed batteries – they know that it is one way to build in planned obsolescence and move you more quickly toward buying a new one. Nah, they wouldn’t be duplicitous that way would they?

  • Luka Mlinar

    I think the ring around the logo has a big story to tell since it seams to be moving. On one hand it could be a gimmick but on the other hand it could be this awesome notification ring that tells you what ever you want it to tell you. Different pattern for different messengers, battery charge level or simply a clock. We keep turning our phones on and off every XY minutes and wasting battery life just because the 2 or 3 LED light don’t tell you everything or exactly what you want to know. This thing could solve a lot of problems if it turns out to be what i think it is.

    • justsomeguy

      Wow you are quite observant, I never noticed that. That would be awesome if that was the case, and I can’t really think of any other explanation for how the ring changes

    • JSet12

      I’m not sure if there are moving, but more likely this is a identifier of each particular device. It would be used for tracking purposes.

      • turdbogls

        This, companies tend to do this quite often. the different “rings” indicate different devices…so if they wanted to, Moto/Google could see who is leaking this information.

  • rvichar


    • Bjajjull

      Dual-core Snapdragon S4 at 1.7GHz, Adreno 320, 2GB RAM and 1280×720 4.x inch screen.

      • turdbogls

        last i heard it was a 4.7″ device
        also, the CPU info app guy that the above CPU/GPU info came from came out and said it will be the Snapdragon 600 processor….which lines up with the benchmark scores we have been seeing.

        • v0ltaren

          Nah, Snapdragon 400.

          • turdbogls

            I’m just reporting what the dev of the CPU identifier app stated. not sure if he gets more info than what the screenshots show, or if he is just guessing from the benchmark scores or what….thats just what he said.

          • Alex Murphy

            It’s a 600.

  • Klatch

    I’d buy it. I’d rather have a new midrange phone every year, which I can pass down to my wife as I get a new one, rather than a top of the line phone every two years or so. If pricing is along the nexus 4 line and available through play store to Canada I’ll be buying this and giving my nexus 4 to my wife.

  • MrJigolo

    Don’t trust your source, AA.