When Google bought Motorola Mobility 14 months ago they had a number of public reasons for doing so, most importantly at the time was the patents that came with the deal. We all hoped that they would be able to revitalise Motorola’s line of Android phones and possibly create something entirely new.
Phones take a long time to design and build and now Googlerola seemed finally ready to show off its new devices. The Moto X had been heavily leaked before the event but some things had been contradictory and not clear.
What we finally got a slightly confused launch – there were debates over what time it was and there was no livestream.
From a hardware specification point of view this is a mid-range phone. It has an inhouse version of the Snapdragon S4 Pro, a 720p 4.7 inch AMOLED screen and 2 GB of memory and either 16 or 32 gig of storage. The camera is a 10 megapixel low light optimised version. The selling points are on its visual customisability and software.
Visually the phone looks smaller than you think it should for the screen size. It has a very small bezel and a slightly curved back that is almost reminiscent of the iPhone 3GS. There are 18 plastic colored backs available on launch with wood to be available soon. The front bezel is available in black or white. The ‘accents’ – ring around the camera and buttons – will be available in 7 colors.
The software is in some ways immediately disappointing. Google launched 2.3 last week and this phone launched with 2.2 and no indication as to when it would be updated. The OS is not stock so individual carriers can put their bloatware. The system has voice activation – train it to your voice and you can say “OK Google Now” to launch Google Now.
Thus far we know that the phone is to be available on all 4 carriers in the US in the next month, although the coloured versions will only be available on AT&T. It will cost $199 on contract. There is as of yet no specific off contract price and no indication as to when it will come to the UK. In actual fact they pushed the ‘Made in the USA’ so hard that it looks possible that it will only be available in the US for the foreseeable future. This would be consistent with past Motorola phones which never made it out of the US.
So what do we have in summary? A mid range phone that is very cosmetically adaptable (on AT&T) and which has some interesting software quirks but which is priced to match high end phones and which we have no idea when or if it will come to the UK. Google may have high hopes for this phone but from today’s information they may be disappointed.