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.
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.
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.