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Motorola has unveiled its first flagship device, the Moto X, since the company was bought over by Google for $12.5 billion last year. Instead of going for a top of the line spec device, Motorola has chosen to go with modest specification but is counting on the customization options the phone will bring to take on heavyweights like the iPhone and its Android counterparts like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. It looks like Motorola has tried to design a device that people and not analysts and tech bloggers want with this smartphone.
Moto X Specifications
The Moto X has a 4.7-inch AMOLED display and 720p resolution. It is powered by a X8 “mobile computing system” from Motorola that consists of a dual-core Krait 300 clocked at 1.7GHz, a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU, and a dedicated processor to handle voice recognition and quite a few dedicated sensors.
It has 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, NFC, GPS, Miracast and numerous sensors. On the camera side, there is a 10-megapixel ‘Clear Pixel’ camera with an LED flash, and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. It comes with a 2,200mAh battery that Motorola claims offers up to 24 hours of battery life. Motorola says this is possible because it uses a smaller screen than other flagship devices as well as is just a dual core processor.
The Moto X will run near stock Android 4.2.2, with very minor modifications. Google announced Android 4.3 just last week, so it is surprising that this device will not ship with the latest version on Android. Though 4.3 is just a minor update it would have been better to see it with the latest version.
Smarter Operating System
The minor modifications to stock Android include Touchless control, Active Display and gestures to activate the camera. Users can launch the camera app with just a wrist flick and take a photo by touching anywhere on the screen.
The Touchless Control feature is a way to activate Google Now without having to touch the phone. The device is always listening for the “OK Google Now” command. The Active display is a feature that shows important notifications when the phone is in sleep mode. The notifications appear for a bit and fade out. This is to save people the trouble of switching on and off their phone’s screen just to check if they have received something. This also helps with the battery.
The highlight of the Moto X is its customization options. Motorola has set up a dedicated website where customers can go and modify the look of the device. They will be allowed to choose from 18 color cases, black or white face plate and will also be able to add custom text to the rear of the device. The phone will also come with wooden backs at the end of the year.
The phone will also come with support for a new Chrome extension that will allow users to to view and respond to texts right in their browser. For now, this is a Motorola-only feature, and we hope it comes soon to other Android devices.
The phone goes on sale at the end of the month in the US and will cost cost $199 on a two-year contract. It is expected to hit the Canadian and Latin America markets soon after. But don’t expect this phone to come to India or other parts of the world anytime soon as Motorola has exited most countries in the world.
Motorola and essentially Google have definitely tried something different with this phone. They have given customers a phone that will make a difference in day-to-day usage. Other manufactures are all caught up trying to outdo each other with specs and gimmicky features that one would hardly use.
Is Build Your Own Device The Future
We’ve seen this happen to the Personal Computer. Early computers (barring the hobby computers) didn’t give the consumer a lot of choice. You got what the manufacturer or the assembler put in the box. But then, Dell , Apple and others came up with built to order machines that gave a whole lot of choice to the user. This pretty much changed the game for PC makers as customization went mainstream. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Moto phones, assembled in the US, came with options to customize the internals in the near future and other phone makers toed the line.