After a long wait, Google’s Motorola Mobility unit announced the launch of its Moto X smartphone at a press event just now. Being the first smartphone to be developed entirely under Google’s ownership, there are huge expectations with the device, but Google has played clever by making a mid-range smartphone rather than going high-end.
By being in the mid-range segment, Moto X will have a breathing room as there aren’t a lot many great affordable devices around. According to Motorola, Moto X will be available around late August in United States on all major telecom operators. The phone will also be released in Latin America and Canada around the same time.
Motorola’s X8 Computing platform: A key ingredient in Moto X recipe
Moto X runs on Motorola’s custom designed X8 mobile computing platform, which integrates dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, four GPU cores, one natural language processor core and one contextual computing core.
No part of this processor mash-up is normal and found in other smart devices. Motorola has even customised the Snapdragon chip firmware to provide best in-class performance. The dual-core chip might not seem very fancy on paper but if we believe Motorola, a lot of work has gone into it.
Coming to the natural language processor core and contextual computing core, these two have been completely designed by Motorola but the company has not manufactured them. The natural language processor deals with audio, noise estimation and noise cancellation to input the cleanest possible voice commands, which are ‘as you will read below,’ a big part of Moto X user experience.
On the other hand, Contextual computing processor works with the sensors, display and touch interaction and even acts as the primary processor, when Moto X in in standby mode thus reducing power-consumption.
Coming to other specifications, Moto X packs a 4.7-inch 720p HD display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 10MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, Android 4.2.2, and 2200 mAh battery.
Connectivity includes WiFi a/b/g/n/ac with dual-band antennas, Bluetooth 4.0 LE+EDR, USB 2.0, NFC, Miracast, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Software: An improved stock Android experience
Moto X runs on stock Android, but Motorola has included a lot of nifty features to improve the stock Android experience. The best part of Moto X software experience is that it look like any Nexus device and even the additions have been made in accordance to the best Android principles to keep them as close to vanilla Android as possible.
Lets take the example of Active Display, which uses the phone’s AMOLED display to intelligently display notifications by lighting up only the required number of pixels. According to Motorola, the Active Display system uses the exact same notification logic that’s in stock Android.
Other software feature addition in Moto X include Touchless control, Motorola Connect, Migrate, Quick Capture, and Assist.
The carrier-locked version will also come with some carrier specific applications like Verizon version features NFL Mobile, VZ Navigator, Verizon Tones, a voicemail app, a caller ID app, and a setup wizard.
Designed by you
As an industry first, Motorola is giving US consumers (only on AT&T) opportunity to personalize their Moto X smartphone before buying. Customisation options aren’t as many as you would find in a Dell PC but still something is better than nothing.
Consumers will be able to choose between 18 different coloured back panels and one of the two front panels for their phone, they will also be able to get their phone engraved with a message or name. This is not all, there are some software customizations as well – Your Google account can be set up, you can choose front sixteen different wallpapers, and also set up a custom message which appears when the Moto X is turned on.
“Your Moto X is truly yours, because you design it. Through our online studio, Moto Maker, you choose the colors, and decide on the details: front, back, accents, memory, wallpapers, even add a name or a short message. When you’re done, we assemble your Moto X right here in the USA and ship it to you for free in 4 days or less*,” Motorola noted in a blog post.
As the phone is being assembled it US, the company can offer customisation options, which is not the possible when the device is being assembled in China or some other Asian country.
Moto X 16GB version has been priced at $199.99 with the usual two-year contract in the United States. The 32GB will also be sold by select carriers for $249.99 with the two-year contract. It will be sold at $189.99 on Rogers in Canada with a two-year agreement.