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A Multitude of Motorola: Moto X (2016), a new DROID, and unknown Moto X "variant" appear

Three different Motorola handset press releases have appeared and wow is there a lot to take in. Are we looking at the future today?

Published onMay 9, 2016

Motorola has been on the minds of many for multiple months, and just this weekend was the subject of a feature that looked at the OEM’s current curious and concerning situation. With the company planning an event in India to be held in just over a week, it would seem that all things be G for thee. Not quite!

Earlier today HelloMotoHK posted these three pics, allegedly of the Moto X (2016 Edition) which can be seen in the center, a new Verizon branded DROID product variant which can be seen on the right, and – according to Evan Blass who promises more details tomorrow – a totally different third handset on the left.

Also of importance: the August 24th date as seen in the simulated screen displays, a possible hint these devices could be unveiled at an event scheduled for that day.

Let’s examine each in detail.

The Moto X (2016 Edition)


This is likely going to be the Moto X (2016 Edition), which some are also referring to as the Moto X4 . The design itself was seen all the way back in December of last year, when this picture leaked:

Moto Metal

The metal frame and body idea then a short while later on HelloMotoHK’s account in several pics:

Finally, just days ago, Even Blass (@evleaks) Tweeted that the original picture from December, mentioned earlier, was in fact the real deal.

Now it’s quite possible that someone simply made a realistic looking press render of the metal phone from December, but but given the professional-level graphic design the picture, coupled with Evan Blass’ track record and the consistency of the evidence itself it would certainly seem to be, it will mean that Motorola is issuing a major redesign for its flagship in 2016.

Several talking points to tackle however:

  1. The render pictured clearly shows an absence of the infamous Moto dimple on the back of the device. The batwing design looks to be just placed on the flat back surface, not unlike what Apple does with the iPhone.
  2. There is a fingerprint sensor on the front of the product, something that has been spotted on the rumored Moto G (4th Edition) and which has attracted a large amount of disgust from some more vocal critics who find the design unsightly and pointless assuming the product uses onscreen navigation buttons.
  3. Two sensors can be seen flanking the fingerprint reader.
  4. With respect to the rear camera, there are two small circles to the left of the large central lens – possibly laser sensors – and two more circles – likely dual-tone LED flashes- located below it.
  5. The small circular holes on the bottom of the back – previously were empty in the original metal leak – are now filled in and metallic. Phone Arena has already hypothesized they might be for a connectivity dock, however they could also be used for a smart case or other such accessory.
  6. All buttons have been redirected to the right side of the device.

Motorola’s decision to use front facing fingerprint readers is definitely something that one might hope the company will eventually explain to justify the location. It’s certainly possible that internal market studies reveal a distinctive dislike for back buttons, but given the (now missing) dimple there was arguably no more logical place to have put it.

The Verizon DROID Moto


This could very well be a follow-up to last year’s Verizon DROID Turbo 2, thus making it presumably the Droid Turbo 3 or else it could be an all new device with an all new name. Once again the holes appear on the back side, the Verizon logo on the front, and what looks like a different shaped fingerprint sensor. In fact, this module looks like it’s a slightly recessed unit, not unlike the HTCOne A9 had. The back side also has what clearly looks to be Moto Maker-style customization.

Will the ShatterShield display make a return? Would it’s implementation be the reason the fingerprint reader is of a different shape and design?

The unknown Moto X “Variant”


While this might initially be assumed to be nothing more than a different shade of the Moto X, Evan Blass – as mentioned – has stated it is a totally different device, and plans to share details tomorrow. It looks quite similar to the device believed to be the Moto X however. Of particular interest is the camera sensor, which here can clearly be seen as prominently protruding from the back side. While this fact could be gleaned from the other pictures in this piece, the extent of which the bulge was visible is now more clear.

Could this be a Moto X Play 2, or something of that nature? Could it be a Moto X Pro, much as how it is widely believed the Moto G4 will also see a Pro variant released?

Moto G4
This is presumed to be the Moto G4.

Matters of Moto Maker

Putting aside one’s individual opinion(s) of the designs, the main concern is just how Moto Maker will factor in. The phone believed to be the Droid Turbo 3 clearly has a different back side. If these products are made of metal however, it is likely the rear design would just be a sticker or some kind of layer covering the surface. It is also possible that the rear panel itself could be totally replaceable and thus allow for totally different materials and simply having a metal frame.

Still, with the Moto X the back side is separated into three distinct panels; perhaps the main – central – panel will be able to be swapped out, or perhaps the colors of all three can be changed. The frame could also be changed in terms of its color.The Droid Turbo 3 picture also has what appears to be a white ring around the front earpiece, so that is another area potentially ripe for change.

While it’s certainly possible that Motorola will continue to offer its Moto Maker service with even this potential new metal X, there is a limit to what can be done with the back side. Previously the company had offered different back sides including leather. Still, it’s possible to change frame colors and the front panel.

Moto G4 Plus leak
And this is…?

Wrap Up

A single picture may be worth a thousand words, but three pictures of as many Motorola smartphones could potentially have enough discussion power for untold amounts of text. Please feel free to take the survey below and then share your thoughts in the comments section after: Are you in love with the new designs? Do you hate them? Sound off!

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