Google’s Motorola Mobility launched the Moto X smartphone three days ago.
Although Motorola has released other phones since Google bought the company in May 2012, the Moto X is the first to be designed and built from the ground up with Google’s direct oversight.
It is a phone that is totally designed and assembled in the US exclusively. The Moto X will be sold in the US at the end of this month at $199 with a two-year carrier contract.
Google bought Motorola Mobility 2 years ago at $12.5 Billion USD – one of it’s largest acquisition of all times. When YouTube was acquired, they paid $1.7 Billion USD; they Acquired DoubleClick for $3.1 Billion USD and they made enormous strides with these two acquisitions.
The press community seems not too satisfied with the 4.7inch Moto X phone. They expected something more futuristic and better from Motorola. Motorola’s new management on the other hand are keen on steadying the ship and making Motorola’s phones appeal to not just the engineers and tech geeks, but everyday users.
What are some of the features of the Moto X that should capture your attention? You may reason that Samsung has taken Android to the edge and have made so many changes to the Android OS that other Android makers may not be able to do any magic that is going to surpass the ones that Samsung have already done; still here are some of the things you are to expect from the Moto X.
Touchless Controls: Google Now answers queries, schedules appointments, and Plays the songs you requests for amongst other things. You can make Google Now do all this on the new Moto X without touching your phone. The phone may even be in your pocket. Google Now has been hard wired into the Moto X unlike any other phone. Even the Nexus Phones do not have this Touchless Controls.
Quick Capture Photos: With this feature, you get from “pocket to picture” in about a second and a half. Just check your wrist as if you are trying to shoo a flying insect of it and the cameras comes alive. What is more, every part of the screen is a shutter.
Battery Conservation: Google has built into the Moto X a unique hardware capability that won’t make the phone drain so much when it is trying to listen to your voice throughout the day. This hardware feature is called, the X8 Mobile Computing System–super-low-power component that does nothing but listen to the words “Google Now.” while enabling other parts of the phone to be asleep. If not for this hardware feature, one is going to need three of the batteries in the Moto X to power the phone through the day. Aye! Motorola seems to have gotten their mojo back.
Hands-free Authentication: Unlike me, there are so many of you that have password and lock code to your phone. But reaching out for your phone and unlocking it several times in a day can be a pain. A token that uses NFC and can clip onto your shirt is being prepared, although not available at launch. Within a few feet away from your Moto X, you can unlock the phone with the plastic token.
Customizable design: A website allows Moto X buyers to customize the phone, choosing from 18 different colours and materials as the back of the cover. This is similar to the changeable shells that are possible on some Nokia Lumia phones – like the Lumia 620.
The different sensors, power of the processor and how Motorola has control over the design and making of the hardware components is among the things that has made the Moto X to be in a class of its own. It is a phone you should want to take a look at. However, I doubt that it is going to be officially sold here in Nigeria and some other African countries. The Moto X will be released in the US, Canada and Latin America starting in late August or early September, Motorola said.
There is however one downside to the new Motorola. Unlike the way Motorola was under the old management where they usually churn out many phones, from 30 to 40 different kinds of phones and try to sell them through the Telcos, this new management is looking at something entirely new. They are going to be making fewer types of phones per year – between 4 and 6, according to VP of Product, Iqbal Arshad – “The aim now is going to be a razor sharp focus that will make it easier for Motorola to make a dent in the smartphone space”.
In order to make Motorola more flexible and profitable, they are going to be focusing on fewer markets. What this means for us here in Nigeria is that Motorola phones may not be as available as they were in the past. As the price and offering has also indicated, the phones are going to be sold via carriers in the US for $200 with a two-year contact.
Information also reaching me has it that the Moto X is going to have the pure Google Vanilla edition that won’t be tied to any particular carrier. If that will see the light of the day, Motorola is going to have to struggle like the other OEMs that compete with the Nexus phones for a place in Google’s heart. Motorola is not so Google after all. Google is trying to play nice here.
The Moto X to me is an excellently designed phone. At the moment I am using a Nexus 4. It has been my primary phone in the past few days. It’s just the size of the Nexus 4 that I’m trying to adjust to, coming from a Samsung GALAXY S4 that is 5″ in size. I like the fact that it is pure Google experience. I use Google Now as a service too. If the Moto X is going to allow me have different kinds of communication with my phone as I have seen in this video, it strikes me like a phone many people will like to try out.
But if you are usually paranoid about privacy and being snooped on, you’ll want to stay away from Google Now or the many changes that Motorola is bringing into the Moto X. The phone is not for you then. The phone becomes more useful when Google Now is allow to be talked to; “Okay, Google Now” spoken from a distance wakes the phone up and you can give it myriads of commands like; set my alarm, send a text message and a host of other things that Google Now is already capable of doing.
The phone is going to be running pure Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. The only customisation that Motorola is going to add to it is going to be around its notification, voice activation and camera.
One question I haven’t been able to find an answer for and that I will like to ask the CEO of Motorola is – Is Moto X and future Motorola phones going to get Operating System Upgrades as fast as the Google Nexus phones gets them? If the answer is no, then this is not a Google Phone, but a Motorola Phone.
Spec Sheet of the Motorola Moto X
- Width 65.3 height 129.3mm
- Curve 5.6 – 10.4mm
- Display 4.7″ AMOLED (RGB /HD 720p
- Weight 130G
- Battery 220 mAh. Mixed usage up to 24 hours
- Rear camera 10MP CLEAR PIXEL (RGNC) / LED Flash / 1080p Video (30fps)
- Front Camera 2MP 1080 p HD Video
- Operating System Android 4.2.2
- Architecture Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System
- RAM 2 GB
- Storage 16 GB Standard, [and a 32 GB version available online. 2 years 50 GB storage on Google Drive
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR
- Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/b/n/ac (dual band capable), mobile hotspot
- Bands GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
- 4G – LTE