moto x 2014 first impressions (8 of 18)

We are now into the fifth month of 2015 and have already seen major flagships from Samsung, HTC, LG, and (at least in Japan) from Sony. Of course, the mobile industry doesn’t hold still and neither does the rumor mill. It was only matter of time before rumors started to emerge regarding the “later 2015” flagships and now it seems that the first rumor for the Motorola Moto X (2015) has surfaced, though we wouldn’t take much stock in the claims just yet.

The new spec rumors come by way of STJS Gadgets Portal, a relatively small-time site that we aren’t all that familiar with. The specs claim we’ll see a Snapdragon 808 processor, 4GB RAM, a 5.2-inch QHD display, a 5MP front cam, 16MP rear cam, and a massive 3280 mAh battery. Now we’ll be quite clear, we don’t have much (if any) faith in this report and nor should you — at least not without more substantive info to back up the report. Some of the claims like a Snapdragon 808 and even QHD seem very possible, but the ‘source’ reporting to STJS Gadgets Portal could very well be making semi-educated guesses for all we know.

In 2015 we are seeing more manufacturers move towards that same end goal of providing the best user experience possible.

So why mention these alleged specs at all? Because it got us thinking, what should we expect from Motorola this year with the next-gen Moto X? What would we like to see from Motorola going forward?  Starting with the original Moto X, Motorola’s philosophy has been that an excellent user experience trumps raw specs. In 2014, Motorola continued this vision, though the 2nd-gen Moto X did feature much more aggressive specs than the original, lining up better with the hardware that other 2014 flagships were offering. Needless to say, we were impressed with both iterations of the Moto X and are excited to see what comes next from Motorola. In 2015, however, we are seeing more manufacturers move towards that same end goal of providing the best user experience possible.

In 2015, however, we are seeing more manufacturers move towards that same end goal of providing the best user experience possible. Devices like the LG G4 don’t feature the greatest processor on the market, but instead focus on camera experience and software optimization. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge equally focus on software optimization, while also prioritizing camera and aesthetics. Then there’s the HTC One M9, which also is more of a refinement than a spec monster (lacking QHD and other ‘ultra high-end’ features).

With most flagships focusing on premium materials and refined user experiences (camera, performance, etc), we have to wonder what Motorola will do to help set itself apart from the competition. Here’s just a few possibilities:

More granular Moto X options. When Motorola first announced the Moto Maker, there was a ton of talk about how such a program could eventually be extended (in the distant future) to an even greater level, giving users the ability to choose more than just the covers and colors, but stuff like RAM, processor, and more. Obviously there are cost and practicality issues with the idea, but what if Motorola took even just a small baby step forward. For example, a Moto Maker option (at an extra cost) that would let folks opt for a bigger battery, such as the sizes we’ve seen in devices like the Droid Turbo. Sure it would mean a thicker body, but I’m sure there are people that would be just fine with that. Perhaps options for choosing 2, 3, or 4GB RAM as well? Feasibility aside, we think this would be an awesome area of focus for Motorola.

A more premium design. While Motorola gives its users the ability to choose from plastic, wood, or bamboo, additional premium design options would certainly help it stand out from the crowd. Glass backs, metal, and carbon fiber, anyone?

Refining the software further. One area that Motorola stands out from most other OEMs is the fact that it’s ‘skin’ is barely a skin at all. Motorola’s handsets run as close to vanilla Android as you’ll find outside of the Nexus or Android One product lines, but Motorola has added a few great extra features (expanded voice control, Moto display, etc). It’s possible that enhancing these features and adding some more ‘stand out’ user experience elements is more than enough to help set the Moto X (2015) apart from the pack.

Specs. With the spec race slowing down to some degree (although the GS6 is still a spec monster), Motorola could decide to break the trend and go for the most high-end specs possible, while still offering special features like Moto Maker customization and unique user experience features. We have a feeling this is one of the less likely paths that Motorola would take, but you never know.

Obviously those are just a few angles we have considered, and we are by no means mobile prophets, so it’s hard to say what we’ll actually see from Motorola’s next flagship. More important than our theories (and/or ramblings…) are the opinions of our readers. What do you feel is the most important focus point you’d like to see from Motorola for the Moto X (2015)?

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