The $12.5 billion Google Motorola takeover deal was first agreed almost two years ago, and finalised way back in May 2012. It’s been a long time coming, but the first handset developed from scratch under Team Mountain View’s watch is finally here.
Meet the Moto X, a phone that hopes to woo consumers not with same-old top-of-the-range specs (read: 5in 1080p, quad-core, 13MP; there’s no shortage of that), but with a shedload of customisation alongside a couple of fancy software features.
Let’s dive straight into the Moto X spec sheet. It’s been widely leaked over the past few months, and turns out most of those rumours were pretty much bang on the proverbial money.
Starting with the Moto X display, there’s no concealing the disappointment that the 4.7in display is just 720p. To give those figures some context, the HTC One has the same display size but a resolution of 1080p full HD, so that’s 469PPI vs. the Moto X’s comparatively modest (but still entirely reasonable) 312PPI.
As for the Moto X processor, it’s a slightly confusing one. On the one hand, we’re looking at a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, which is a little dated compared to the now-top-of-the-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 800.
However! Looking at the Moto X8 processing system overall, it should in fact yield enhanced performance and battery life of up to 24 hours on a single charge.
Other Moto X specs of note include a 10MP “Clear Pixel” rear camera with LED flash, 2,200mAh battery, NFC (Near Field Communication), and – interestingly – a nano-SIM card slot.
Arguably most disappointing of all is the lack of microSD slot to expand on the Moto X’s base storage, particularly when you consider that the handset will typically come with just 16GB, though a 32GB model will be available through certain channels – AT&T being one.
On operating system duties, it’ll be Jelly Bean Android 4.2.2 as opposed to 4.3 (ah, so it’s not a Nexus phone), with a couple of fancy software features thrown in for good measure.
As recently leaked in video form, you’ll be able to wake the Moto X by saying “Ok Google Now”, so you can technically phone people and Google stuff without lifting a finger. How very American. Scaremongers take note: the Moto X is “always listening”.
There’s also the ability to fire up the Moto X camera with a quick flick of the wrist from anywhere, which saves you going back to the homescreen and tapping the Camera icon and what not. Potentially very convenient.
Last but not least, the real star of the Moto X show, certainly as far as Motorola is concerned, is the potential for customisation. Motorola boasts that some 2,000 Moto X combinations will be possible, including 16 coloured back plates, white or black on the front, a choice of seven colours for your volume and sleep buttons, personalised engravings, and – coming later in the year – wood. Got wood? Yes. Yes they have.
In a further bid to win over customers, Motorola says you’ll be able to return the Moto X within 14 days if you don’t like it – “no problem”.
Incidentally, Moto X consumers in the US will have their customised handsets manufactured right in the States (USA! USA! USA!), with delivery from the Texas plant occurring in four days or less.
IDC’s Francis Jeronimo sounds optimistic, saying: "It's not a question of hardware, it's a question of user interface. The interaction with the phone, the way we speak, the way we activate the functions - it can be done in a different way.
"Users have large screens, they have voice control - so at the end of the day what may attract users to replace their current smartphone is a completely new experience. In my opinion, it's one of the biggest trends of the next year."
Is Jeronimo right? Will customisation and interaction win out over top-of-the-range specs? Over to you, consumers.
The Moto X goes on sale later this month in the US, priced $199 on a two-year contract, and $249 for that AT&T 32GB model.
As for a Moto X UK release, well, don't get too excited. A UK spokesperson tells Pocket-lint it's not happening. Huh?
"It doesn't mean that Europe is not a key priority for Motorola," pleads the unnamed spokesperson. "Essentially, the Moto X is the first device in a new product portfolio, basically a new family of devices.
"Because it is the first one, the Moto X has had a real buzz around it, but the US launch is not about the US being Motorola's priority at all, there are devices coming to Europe. We can't share what they are as of yet, but they are from the same family. They are cool and they are exciting and there is a lot in Europe coming up."
Given all the hype surrounding the Moto X, are you bothered? Were you keen to get your hands on some custom Moto X action, or are you happy to see it pass by in its current form?