The buzz about the Moto X should not be surprising. After all, this is as close to a Google phone as we have seen. Unlike the Nexus line of smartphones, the Moto X will be the first smartphone to be produced by Motorola in association with Google and as such the hype is the same as any other new Google product. From what we know, the Moto X will be produced in America, and Google will be looking to capitalise on the obvious marketing advantage as is evidenced through the first publicity poster for Moto X. Speculation has been rife about what specs the device will come with and there are a couple of interesting rumours floating around about the design. Let’s take a look at what we know about the Moto X so far.
Can you spot the phone?
While most Android manufacturers have phablet plans, Google is not going that way with Moto X. From the images seen so far, we can safely say that one-handed usage will be a prime focus for Google. The photos of Eric Schmidt carrying a white Moto X during a recent Google press event further confirm its compact size. Unlike the 1080p behemoths these days, the Moto X will most likely have a 720p resolution on a 4.7-inch display (a la Nexus 4), as we don’t think there’s a full HD panel for as small a display as the X is expected to come with.
This is the big differentiator as Google has promised that users will be able to customise the device. This means that anyone who buys the Moto X will be able to choose the colour and texture of the back panel as well as the side trims. In addition, the phone could come with personalised engravings for some more exclusivity.
In terms of industrial design, the Moto X will have something called Magic Glass, which is regular glass moulded to fit the sides of a handset snugly. The glass will merge seamlessly into a polycarbonate mould and wrap itself around the device. This is Google’s take on unibody design and we will just have to wait and see how this improves handling of the Moto X.
Eric Schmidt flaunting a white X
Rounded edges of the Moto X make it look similar to the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy Nexus, and the onscreen buttons only amplify the effect. In any case, the bezel above and below the display is mercifully less than what we have seen on the Nexus 4. FCC documentations have revealed that the phone will be 128.5 mm in height and 65 mm in width. A recent size comparison also shows how slim the device is.
Under the hood
By all accounts, the focus of the Moto X will be to deliver the best user experience at an affordable price. To this end, Google has gone with Qualcomm’s MSM8960DT SoC. This has a dual-core 1.7GHz CPU and the Adreno 320 GPU, both of which should be able to handle anything Android throws at them. In addition, there’s 2GB of RAM, which should be plentiful for the Jelly Bean experience.
Earlier this month, when the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini were announced for US carrier Verizon, Motorola mentioned that they have a special X8 computing system, based on Qualcomm’s chip. This has two application processor cores, four GPU cores and two special ones to handle Contextual Computing and Natural Language. Both of these could be part of the Moto X package and would certainly help in the performance of some of the software features such as always-on voice commands and contextual app triggers. For example, when you are walking and get into your car to drive, the phone will automatically switch to car mode.
The internals exposed
AnTuTu benchmarks have revealed that the Moto X will have a 10.5 megapixel camera. That sure is an odd megapixel number, but it’s the image processing software that is seen as the key for enhanced images. The pixel size is said to be 1.4 microns, smaller than the HTC One, but larger than the Galaxy S4. Reportedly, the special camera module will have a x4HD Video capture, which binds 4 pixels together to create one pixel, something similar to what the Lumia 1020 features. There’s a 2.1MP front-facing camera, which will no doubt be a key selling point considering Google’s focus on Hangouts these days.
A leaked camera interface revealed swiping gestures to access settings and gallery, and also for zooming. You can take pictures by tapping the screen and burst mode is enabled by tapping and holding.
Besides general cellular connectivity (LTE remains unconfirmed, but is a very likely possibility), the Moto X will get Wi-Fi up to the latest ac band. There’s NFC on board as well.
Unfortunately, the Moto X won’t have a microSD card and will come with internal storage of at least 16GB. There could be more storage configurations in the offing and this could also be one of the things that users can customise based on their needs.
Noted smartphone leaker EvLeaks tweeted that the Moto X will have a 2200 mAh battery as per FCC documentation. That’s not too different from the battery capacity of the Nexus 4 and the less powerful CPU should tax the battery even less, so don’t be surprised if the Moto X actually lasts the whole day. It is also likely that the battery can be charged wirelessly.
The black version of the Moto X leaked earlier
Besides having a stock Android UI, the Moto X will come with Motorola-developed software for some of the much-touted features. Moto Assist will be able to help users switch between profiles and trigger events when the phone is "in a certain context", like the driving example. Moto Privacy will track lost Moto Xs and lock or wipe them remotely.
Moto Migrate will help you switch from your older phone without having to save text messages, call history and even your media separately. Instead of LED notifications, the Moto X will get Active Display and Active Notifications, which light up individual pixels on a display to alert the user. This saves a ton of battery and the alerts can be dismissed with a swipe and the display will continue to remain in stand-by mode. More importantly, the phone detects when it's in your pocket or lying face down and disables the lighting up of the display to save even more battery.
The always-on voice commands present some privacy challenges, but the Moto X ‘s training mode helps your phone learn and recognise your voice. So there’s very little chance of others activating search using voice.
With the unveiling scheduled for tomorrow in the US, we won’t have to wait too long to see what’s so special about the Moto X. In the meantime, let us know which feature of the Moto X are you most excited about.