After months of speculation Motorola has finally taken the wraps off the Moto X at an event in New York, showcasing the first device to be developed entirely under the supervision of Google.
Rick Osterioh, senior vice president of product management at Motorola, described it as a device “designed by you”, however fans here in the UK will be disappointed to hear that it will not be coming to these shores.
It is the first handset fully designed by the company since Google’s $12.5bn takeover of Motorola’s mobile arm in May last year. It will be manufactured in the US to create stronger ties with one of the world’s largest smartphone markets and give its new offering instant exposure amongst the many other contract mobile phones currently available.
Francisco Jeronimo, mobile phone analyst at research firm IDC, said the company has targeted the basics changing how the handset is controlled. “Users have larger 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.”
Key features of the Moto X
- 4.7-inch AMOLED 720p display
- 1.7GHz dual-core processor
- 10 megapixel camera
- 1080p HD video capture
- 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- Android 4.2.2 OS
- Available in 16/32GB storage variants
Striking a balance
Since rumours of the Moto X started doing the rounds industry experts have claimed that it could upset the Android applecart.The handset could affect Samsung’s dominance as well as taking a chunk of market share off the many other manufacturers currently struggling to make a profit from Google’s mobile platform.
Samsung represents 60% of total Android shipments across the world, so it’s clear that the two companies are very reliant upon each other. But, while Google will obviously want the Moto X to be a success, it certainly won’t want to jeopardise its partnership with the Korean manufacturer.
Before Motorola, Google had no strong experience with building hardware, but now they’re learning how to make innovative, high-end smartphones, giving them the knowledge and skills to specialise and gain even more recognition in the mobile world.
However, the fact that UK users will not get the Moto X is likely to have a slightly negative impact on the brand. Limiting the availability of its wares so early on could set a bad precedence for its follow up devices.
Osterioh said: “We are firmly committed to building a portfolio of products in Europe that show the best of Motorola as a Google company, but at this time we don’t have any immediate plans for Moto X to come to the region.
“Europe remains an important market for us and we have exciting plans in the works. Although we can’t reveal specifics right now, this is just the start.”
Motorola has gone to great lengths to position the Moto X as a customisable handset with voice-activated controls that ensure it is “always listening”, confirming many of the features which have been leaked in recent weeks.
With more than 2000 colour combinations for the front, rear and camera areas – including two types of wood – users will be spoilt for choice in creating a smartphone that perfectly reflects their personality. There’s also the opportunity to add welcome messages to the screen and have your personal Google account pre-installed with Motorola’s Moto Maker, an ordering system that lets you transform your handset however you wish.
The handset’s interface includes voice commands and control gestures so users can activate and communicate with the device simply by talking to it. The functionality is said to work well with Google Now, bringing personal information to the user completely hands-free.
Voice control also extends to the camera with the QuickCapture feature, enabling users to go from “pocket to pictures in seconds”.
If the price is right
Judging by the spec sheet alone the Moto X could easily be positioned at the upper-end of the mid-range market.
The cost of the device is yet to be confirmed, but the US phone maker would be wise to select its price tag carefully. If potential consumers see that they can get their hands on such an impressive level of functionality and innovation without breaking the bank, there is no doubt the Moto X will prove to be a success. It’s just a shame we won’t have chance to sample it in the UK.