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The Moto X is expected to launch in late August or early September

Motorola Mobility has finally revealed its first flagship smartphone since being acquired by Google -- the "Moto X" -- and it looks to be an All-American, fully-customized smartphone experience that can't be ignored despite a crowded market. 

Motorola knew it would have to come up with a very different Android-powered device in order to get any attention in a market dominated by Samsung's Galaxy line, and phones by other tech giants like Apple's iPhone. The Moto X seems to be the answer, with customization being the key differentiator.

Customers can make their Moto X all their own, designing the front, back, memory, wallpaper, accents and even engraving. There are over 2,000 designs and colors to choose from, and more are on the way -- including very different ideas like real wood backs. 

Aside from customization, Motorola is proud to say that the Moto X is assembled in the U.S. (more specifically, Fort Worth, Texas). So when a customer is done designing the Moto X of their dreams, the phone can be shipped to them for free in four days or less. 

Motorola has touted features such as Touchless Control, which brings up information on the Moto X like weather and directions just by voice (no touch necessary); Active Display, which keeps important and relevant information on the Moto X's screen without any annoying notifications or without the need to wake it up, and Quick Capture, which allows the user to turn on the camera quickly with just two quick twists of their wrist. 

Earlier this month, it was reported that Google and Motorola Mobility were spending as much as $500 million on Moto X marketing. This is a pretty significant amount, considering Apple spent $333 million and Samsung spent $401 million to market their smartphones last year in the U.S. -- and they're the two largest smartphone makers in the game. 

This goes to show that Google and Motorola are betting big on the Moto X and want to make it stand out amongst the crowd. Think the Moto X might be for you? Read on for the specs, reviews, photos, pricing and availability before you decide. 

Specs
  • 4.7-inch RGB AMOLED display
  • 1280x720 resolution
  • Motorola X8 processor (dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU/quad-core Adreno 320 GPU)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB/32GB storage options
  • 10MP ClearPixel rear-facing camera
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 1080p video recording 
  • dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE+EDR
  • NFC, Miracast, USB 2.0 connectivity
  • 2,200 mAh battery with up to 13 hours of talk time; 24 hours of mixed usage
Reviews

CNET, TechCrunch and Mashable have had a quick hands-on demonstration of the Moto X, and this is what they're saying:

Brian Bennett, CNET:

"Motorola really needed to make a big splash -- or at least a cunning maneuver -- with the Moto X, and that it did. Instead of the traditional tactic of beating potential customers over the head with powerful components and every feature under the sun, Motorola decided to cater to shoppers' softer side -- how they most use their phone every day. Don't get me wrong; the handset certainly packs in plenty of interesting abilities and functionality. When you add up the specs, though, this really is a midrange phone. Hard-core Android enthusiasts likely won't find the Moto X awe-inspiring. The key to the Moto X's fate, as with any new device, is whether its unique blend of capabilities and design will prove valuable to ordinary consumers."

Chris Velazco, TechCrunch:

"I’m reserving final judgment on this thing until I’ve had the chance to play with it for more than three hours, but I actually rather like the X. Do I wish Motorola could have pushed the technical envelope further? Sure. I also think the customization angle, neat as it is, is essentially a ploy to make an unassuming phone stand out in a crowd. And frankly, it’s a little frustrating to see that a solid chunk of what the Moto X can do will soon be replicated by — you guessed it — just about every other new Motorola phone in the works. It’s far, far too early to tell if Motorola has a hit on its hands — especially because the X will ultimately compete with Motorola phones with similar feature sets. If nothing else though, Motorola’s X represents a dedication to creating a smarter breed of smartphones, and I doubt that’s something the rest of the industry is going to ignore."

Pete Pachal, Mashable: 

"The Moto X is an amazing smartphone, just not revolutionary. Its name implies the phone is built in the spirit of Google's X program, which seeks to improve things by monumental leaps rather than increments. The first phone to be designed and built by Motorola as a Google company isn't going to transform mobile communication as we know it (the company's stated goal since the acquisition), but it is a fantastic phone with many great features. My favorite is Touchless Control. Apple likes to talk about the "magic" of its products, but this feature is the most magical thing I've seen in mobile in a long time. With your phone sitting on the table, you can utter the words "OK, Google Now," and it immediately comes alive, listening for voice commands. Ask it the weather, to call a friend or do a Google search, and it'll just do it, and you never have to touch the phone."

 
Photos



 
 
 

 
Pricing & Availability

The Moto X will be $199 with a two-year contract, and will be available through Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. The Moto X is expected to launch in late August or early September. 

Sources: Motorola, CNET, TechCrunch, Forbes



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Kind of a letdown
By retrospooty on 8/1/2013 7:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
when we thought this was going to be $299 it was a fantastic deal. A great midrange phone at a great price. At normal hi and phone price is it just doesn't stand out at all. I don't know what they were thinking... Tired of Samsung's plasticky bloatphones, Moto isn't measuring up. Oh well, either LG G2 or HTC One Max are looking like my next phone.




RE: Kind of a letdown
By flyingpants1 on 8/1/2013 9:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree, it was already let-down at $299 when we found out it was going to be a mid-range phone and not a flagship like the Nexus 4 was. Even more of a letdown when we found out it didn't have the rumored 3300mAh MAXX battery, but that was to be expected.

But the Moto X at the price of a flagship? I'll be running far in the other direction..


RE: Kind of a letdown
By retrospooty on 8/1/2013 9:51:47 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know, it does have some interesting features and optimizations that should make it faster and have better battery life than its specs indicate. But still I thought the whole point was to get a good smartphone at a low price to mainstream people. Usually people buying at the high end price are looking for high end specs. To sell it at a high end price just doesn't make sense to me. We'll have to see how it actually works out though. I like the look, customizations and small bezel. Just not for $200 on contract.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Samus on 8/1/2013 11:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like a fine device, but I think it'd be a real hit at $99, or $399 unsubsidized.

The GS3 still commands $400, and GS4/HTC One retail for $500 (which is likely what the MotoX will cost) so it has stiff competition from Samsung's GS4.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Reclaimer77 on 8/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Kind of a letdown
By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 12:09:42 AM , Rating: 2
That is true... Those who have actually touched it and used it for a while seem pretty unanimously impressed. Me I'm hoping for an X 2 with higher res. Lol.

That and we know X is going to be a brand, not a single phone. There could be high end and low end and everything in between by the time its done. I am still thinking LG G2 or One max for this years phone upgrade though. Maybe next year Moto


RE: Kind of a letdown
By chripuck on 8/2/2013 10:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not arguing for the Nexus 4 being considered a flagship, but "a smartphone without 4G is a bad experience" is frankly idiotic. I purposefully leave my LTE off: it's a battery hog and loading apps and websites .8 seconds faster is not worth the trade off. I have never had a situation where having LTE made something available that wasn't available with HSPA. Yeah, yeah, my YouTube and Netflix videos don't buffer as long and apps download faster. Color me not impressed.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2013 11:01:31 AM , Rating: 1
Okay sure. Hey while you're add it, you don't need broadband. So go back to dialup modems.

Maybe you have the most rocking 3G on the planet, but I sure don't. Latency is SIGNIFICANTLY higher when I'm off 4G LTE, and that makes the user experience bad.

quote:
I have never had a situation where having LTE made something available that wasn't available with HSPA.


Where did I say it made things unavailable? It's faster for sure, but most importantly, it's far lower latency.

Man that had to be the dumbest post I've seen in a while...


RE: Kind of a letdown
By bug77 on 8/2/2013 11:23:55 AM , Rating: 2
I don't have data at all on my smartphone and I'm still alive and well. When you have wireless all around you, 4G is not a must for everybody. Longer battery life on the other hand...


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Reclaimer77 on 8/1/2013 11:19:18 PM , Rating: 3
Who said it was going to be $299 off contract? That's just crazy. You can barely build a phone with these specs for $299, they would have to nearly give the things away.

I wouldn't count the MotoX out yet man. It might not be everything we want in a phone, but I think it's going to have the best user experience out there. Right up there with the Nexus line.

"The Moto X is not the biggest phone out there. It doesn’t have the fastest processor, the most RAM, the largest number of megapixels, or even the most features. It’s a 4.7-inch Android phone with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB of RAM. Nothing about that sentence should sound particularly impressive, and yet somehow the phone manages to be snappier than the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S4. While there’s not been enough time to make a definitive statement, it is entirely possible that this is the smoothest Android phone experience available today. Every menu felt incredibly fluid and every list scroll felt, frankly, like I was using iOS."

http://www.geek.com/android/the-moto-x-is-here-156...

To me this backs up what I know from experience with my Motorola Razr, that Android doesn't need killer hardware. There's just something WAY wrong with Samsung's and HTC's custom UI's, Touchwiz and Sense.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 12:42:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah it's bloat. I have CyanogenMod on my gs3 which is even slower than the Moto X (both CPU and GPU) bells and it's totally smooth at all times.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By themaster08 on 8/2/2013 1:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
To me this backs up what I know from experience with my Motorola Razr, that Android doesn't need killer hardware.
Yet when anyone says this about Windows Phone, you laugh in their face.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2013 2:10:39 AM , Rating: 2
I've never claimed Windows Phone needed top hardware to runs smooth.

I did, however, criticize Microsoft for it's lackluster offerings in terms of phone specs and screen sizes early on. Like last year. Because they didn't seem interested in releasing competitive designs.

Mainly because, for some asinine reason, Windows Phone 7.5 wouldn't support hardware that was, at the time, pretty average.

When you accuse someone of stuff, it would be nice if you didn't purposely take their views out of context.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By nafhan on 8/2/2013 10:06:19 AM , Rating: 2
Actually... early performance numbers put it slightly ahead of the S4: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/performance...

It's also got a somewhat unique SoC (MSM8960DT). So, I wouldn't necessarily call it mid-range.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 10:10:51 AM , Rating: 2
It does appear to have some optimizations built in. Mid-high? That would still put it $99 on contract. That would be easier to swallow. I like alot about it. that and you have to put some weight into reviewers that have actually used it... They all seem pretty well impressed. It seems its alor better than its specs indicate... Which is what Moto/Google was going for. It will be interesting to see how well it sells. I bet it gets bumped to $99 pretty quick though.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2013 10:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
*whistles*

Goddamn, just looking at the hardware list alone, I wouldn't have expected the Moto X to put up those numbers. I guess all those tweaks to the SOC aren't just fairy dust.

And we're calling this midranged? Hmmmm


RE: Kind of a letdown
By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 11:29:00 AM , Rating: 2
You have to trust Arstechnica too... If there are 2 sites on the web you can trust to A) know their stuff/methodology and B) not be biased, its Anandtech and Arstechnica. I know there are others, but those would be the top two in alot of peoples books.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Xplorer4x4 on 8/2/2013 1:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ars called linux an OS a few weeks back, but I guess as long as you aren't holding them to a perfect track records..


RE: Kind of a letdown
By nafhan on 8/2/2013 3:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
Not that I totally disagree with you, but whether or not it's an OS boils down to your definition of the terms OS and Linux. Wikipedia, at least, agrees with Ars:
quote:
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel,
(bolding added by me).


RE: Kind of a letdown
By nafhan on 8/2/2013 12:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I was pretty surprised when I saw those numbers. From a "specs" PoV, it's still missing the higher screen res. that people are starting to expect from a high end phone, though.

On the other hand, fast GPU + lower screen res. means this will have some longevity as a gaming device.


RE: Kind of a letdown
By Ammohunt on 8/2/2013 11:10:43 AM , Rating: 2
I was hoping that i would be able to afford to jump ship away from subsidized phones. Looks like it will be a while.


decidedly average
By GulWestfale on 8/1/2013 9:59:28 PM , Rating: 1
my girlfriend lives near in dallas and her stepfather used to work for texas instruments, so i like hearing that this thing will be made there. but there are many reasons as to why neither she nor me will buy one:

- 720p screen. nice, but i already have that on my current phone. if i were to buy a new one, i'd want something better.

- dual-core snapdragon. nice, but not exactly cutting-edge. the GPU looks decent though, a definite upgrade from i currently have (mali 400, cough).

- customizations are pointless. almost everyone will get a case of some sort, and those come in all shapes, colors and designs you could imagine. so why bother getting a differently colored backplate? and what is this "custom wallpaper" nonsense? you can do that on every android phone... and you can get any metal device engraved at any engraving shop at shopping malls across the world. big deal.

the other features aren't standout either; the only thing from this phone that i would like to have is those 2GB of RAM. other than that, meh. it's basically a rehash of a galaxy S3, with motorola sauce instead of samsung sauce. at 250 bucks this would have been a great phone, because you can get a quadcore nexus 4 for 299...

i'm disappointed. after all the talk about clearing the pipeline for revolutionary products, the best they could do was what every other smartphone maker did last year.




RE: decidedly average
By themaster08 on 8/2/2013 1:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you care for paper specs so much? Every device that's released, you judge it purely on the technical spec sheet alone and nothing else. What is this fascination?

What would you be doing with, for example, a GS4, that you wouldn't be able to do with the Moto X? What applications are you running which make full use of a quad-core processor and 1080p screen?

It's a phone. It's not like you're going to be doing heavy duty video encoding on it or running 3D animaton software. As long as the performance is solid, why does it matter so much to you? If tech specs are all that matters to you, I'm sure you're disappointed a lot in life.


RE: decidedly average
By althaz on 8/2/2013 3:05:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What would you be doing with, for example, a GS4, that you wouldn't be able to do with the Moto X? What applications are you running which make full use of a quad-core processor and 1080p screen?

Every app that involves reading text benefits somewhat from the higher resolution (especially with AMOLED pentile displays).

That said, I mostly agree with the rest, who cares about specs? Unfortunately, it's hard to judge the subjective speed without having the oppoirtunity to try one out for a while. I'm lucky that as a developer I get my hands on quite a few phones (for the record my daily driver of choice is a Lumia), but most people just don't have that chance.


RE: decidedly average
By zorxd on 8/2/2013 11:17:15 AM , Rating: 2
Why stop there? What would you be doing with a Moto X that you wouldn't do with a cheaper Nexus 4 or a used Galaxy S3?


RE: decidedly average
By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 12:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
You could say "OK Google Now, What can I do on a Moto X that I cannot do on a Nexus 4 or Galaxy S3" and get this...

https://www.google.com/#bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=...

LOL


RE: decidedly average
By GulWestfale on 8/2/2013 3:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
i don't see why i should spend today's money on last year's tech, especially when i can have today's tech for the same price. and the voice recognition software? nice trick, but others can do that, too. this is not to say that samsung is perfect, their bloaty touchwiz suckssssss, but at they least they offer decent value and current technology.


RE: decidedly average
By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 5:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
In alot of ways its not last years tech, but I do agree its priced too high. It could have been HUGE if priced better. It probably wont be long before it drops anyhow.

I could easily see a later released higher end model with a quad core + 1080p screen and the same optimizations really being a nice phone.


RE: decidedly average
By nafhan on 8/2/2013 3:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
I know you're making fun of that feature, but it sounds kind of cool for real hands free operation - say while you're driving or something. My wife was actually wishing for something like that the other day as the current process is:
--unlock
--tap Google Now
--THEN start with the voice commands (with an S3).

This would eliminate the need to actually touch the device. The fact that they're able to do it with (supposedly) minimal impact on battery life is also pretty impressive.


RE: decidedly average
By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 4:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
I actually wasnt... I like the feature. It just came out kind of funny, but I wasnt being sarcastic on purpose.


RE: decidedly average
By ritualm on 8/3/2013 7:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
Unlike you, I don't have any problems with the specs of the phone. What I do find jarring is the price. $199 with 2-year contracts for what is a decidedly mid-range phone (Moto X) vs $199 with - gasp! - backwards 3-year contracts (still the norm here in Canada, mind you) for a branded SGS4 is a bitter pill to swallow.

Googlerola's pricing scheme here doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever.


Amazing
By bug77 on 8/2/2013 4:09:24 AM , Rating: 3
So, the US can make a mid range phone for the same $$$ China builds a high end one.

To me, changing the package is not customization at all. Customization is when you can choose a more powerful CPU/GPU, screen size, battery capacity. Plus, releasing without Android 4.3 raises some serious flags.




RE: Amazing
By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2013 11:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So, the US can make a mid range phone for the same $$$ China builds a high end one.


Can we say "duh"? Why do you think everyone else makes stuff in China?


RE: Amazing
By bug77 on 8/2/2013 11:41:28 AM , Rating: 2
Well, at least now we know how much cheaper it is.

It seems the contract free number are in: $575 for the 16GB version and $629 for the 32GB. I checked my calendar to see if it's April 1.


RE: Amazing
By steedsrva87 on 8/6/2013 12:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
all of you have missed the point. the US has made a step forward making ITS OWN electronics while keeping the price relatively down. That HELPS our Economy, especially if more people buy from Motorola and not others. I'm definitely going to buy one, and I say congratulations to whoever came up with the idea and lets see if we can do TVs next!


I thought this an interesting commentary
By Tony Swash on 8/2/13, Rating: 0
RE: I thought this an interesting commentary
By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2013 6:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like the typical confirmation bias based propaganda you fill your head with :)

As far as the "fragmentation" stigma, nice illustrations. But did you make it far enough to see this?

"What is clear from this report is that Android fragmentation, of all varieties, is increasing. Too often this is treated as a problem with Android, rather than a strength, but we feel that this misses the bigger picture. While there are certainly problems associated with fragmentation (and as developers we know them all too well), it is wrong to suggest that it is only a downside. Apple are currently working on a lower-end device, increasing the fragmentation of their ecosystem in the process, suggesting that the Android ecosystem is not only doing something right, but doing something to be imitated."


By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 6:20:57 PM , Rating: 3
Ya, clearly fragmentation is a deterrent. LOL

http://vr-zone.com/articles/android-smartphone-shi...


By retrospooty on 8/2/2013 6:57:26 PM , Rating: 4
"So the question remains is just what problem Motorola Mobility solves for Google. The Moto X doesn’t reduce Android fragmentation."

It's not there to "solve a problem" its a phone. It's designed to sell and gain marketshare, to bolster other services and make money.

"The Android fragmentation is very well illustrated by the infographics here:"

What is the effect of this imaginary problem you keep mentioning? Yes, there are older phones out there and yes, some of the cheap ones arent getting updates. That isnt news that is just how open platforms work on the free market.

Is it affecting sales? Certainly not. Android is at a new all time high of 80% worldwide as I linked in the other post.

It doesnt seem to be hurting customer sat either.

http://www.androidauthority.com/galaxy-s3-note-2-c...

http://www.androidauthority.com/iphone-android-sat...

Or the high end market
http://www.androidauthority.com/apple-premium-mark...

Or apps
http://www.slashgear.com/google-play-app-downloads...

The other "fragmentation" problem you mentioned isnt coming to pass either... Tizen isnt going anywhere... Android just keeps growing and improving while Apple sits on thier butts.
http://www.androidauthority.com/tizen-dead-murtazi...

What is your point exactly ? Please enlighten us.


Outlook for Motorola?
By Tony Swash on 8/2/2013 12:30:51 PM , Rating: 1
If the Moto X is not a success (and of course it could be a big success) and Motorola continues to make a loss do people think that Google will retain Motorola or cut their losses and sell/close it?




RE: Outlook for Motorola?
By bug77 on 8/3/2013 8:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
Objection. Calls for speculation.


RE: Outlook for Motorola?
By ritualm on 8/4/2013 4:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
You're recommending that Google cut the hand that feeds them, yet you'd never say the same for Apple.

Apple tried letting others build computers and run Mac OS on top during the early 90s. Apple fragmentation, anyone?


"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs














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