Apr 26 AT 2:25 PM Taylor Wimberly 34 Comments

Rumor: “X Phone” will be always connected to Chrome, features creepy intelligence, and casing choices now include wood

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WARNING: If you are allergic to rumors, speculation, or leaked phones, then do not click on this story. We just received another round of hot tips about the upcoming Motorola X Phone, and several other devices that are in the pipeline. Read on for the latest gossip.

This post is clearly labeled as a RUMOR and it includes my speculation, so please keep that in mind before you crap your pants. Like with any rumor, there is always the chance this could be some elaborate hoax, but information from our source has been backed up by reports from external sites. Note: The post image above is of the bamboo ADZero, but we used it to illustrate one of the casing options for the “X Phone.”

There has been a steady stream of Motorola X Phone rumors since last year, but we received our first real details of the secret project only last month. Our sources told us Motorola would offer some type of “user customizable” phone and also mentioned that Google was working on a smartwatch.

Motorola’s Guy Kawasaki hinted at the X Phone customizations rumor and the Financial Times confirmed the Google Watch rumor, so we are starting to believe that our sources can be trusted. Once again we went back to the well and returned with a bucket full of new “X Phone” rumors.

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An early prototype of the rumored Motorola “X Phone”

Rumor: The first “X Phone” is scheduled to launch in August, and another delay is unlikely. AT&T will have an exclusive launch period of three months and then it will appear on other carriers in November.

Response: I seriously hope this is not true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. AT&T has become the top carrier for exclusive launches, so I bet they made some back room deal with Google. We normally think of Verizon as the number one carrier for Motorola smartphones, but we previously reported that there are several more Droid phones in the pipeline for this year.

If this rumor is accurate, AT&T might have allowed Google to ship this first “X Phone” as an unlocked device. This would be similar to how T-Mobile was the “exclusive launch partner” for the LG Nexus 4, but the device was still unlocked and sold online direct to consumers. AT&T has a much larger LTE footprint (and marketing budget), so this might explain why they were chosen over T-Mobile.

Even though the first “X Phone” might be exclusive to AT&T, it could still work on T-Mobile’s LTE and HSPA+ 1900 MHz networks since they share the same bands. HTC just shipped their One Developer Edition as an unlocked device and that still operates on T-Mobile’s and AT&T’s and LTE network, so there is precedent for this to happen again.

Rumor: The “X Phone” will feature an always on listening mode that allows users to issue it voice commands and wake up the device.

Response: Qualcomm already announced an always-on “Voice Activation” feature that allows users to wake up their device, so it is possible we could see this on the first “X Phone.” The only problem with this rumor is that Qualcomm says this feature is slated for their upcoming Snapdragon 800 chip.

We expect to see the Snapdragon 800 appear in devices by the second half of the year, which falls in line with the August launch window, but we were not expecting the “X Phone” to include this high-end chip. Other rumors had suggested the “X Phone” would be more comparable to the HTC One and Galaxy S 4, so we were expecting to see the Snapdragon 600 or 400.

This always-on rumor suggests that the “X Phone” could be powered by a Qualcomm chip, but we are not sure which one. It might be that the “Voice Activation” feature works on other Snapdragon chips, and it is not exclusive to the Snapdragon 800.

Rumor: The “X Phone” will feature predictive intelligence that is able to launch applications and commands based on how you hold and use the device.

Response: This sounds like some hybrid of Motorola SmartActions and Google Now. We are told that the phone will automatically figure out what you want to do before you do it, something described as a little “creepy.” If you take your phone out of your pocket and hold it sideways, it will open up the camera app to take a picture. Pick up the phone with the display facing you and the lock screen will come up and display the time and notifications.

We have seen both HTC and Samsung include actions that were based on movement, but this sounds like the concept has really been fleshed out. I’m curious to see what other common tasks the phone could perform without any input from the user.

Update: A reader pointed out that Google was just granted a patent for a machine learning service that sounds like what our source described. One example includes predicting a phone number to be dialed at the onset of utilizing a phone dialing application, based on location, time, calendar entries, prior behavior, etc. Another example includes generating example photo names and photo album names for a camera application utilizing the mobile platform.

Rumor: The “X Phone” will be “always connected” to the Google Chrome browser.

Response: With Chrome OS boss Sundar Pichai taking over Android, it’s no surprise we will see tighter integration between Android and Chrome. There are already apps like Airdroid that provide this type of functionality, but we would love to see an official solution from Google.

Motorola had similar functionality with an Android app called Motorola Phone Portal, and they also explored the concept with the Lapdock. Chrome Browser already syncs up tabs between devices, but this new feature could allow you to respond to text messages, access your content, and possibly locate a lost phone.

Rumor: As previously reported, consumers will be able to customize their phones with a number of different materials for the outer casing. A new option just added includes wood. An array of color and material options will produce thousands of custom combinations.

Response: Last time we were told that material choices included plastic, metal, and carbon fiber, so this sounds like an extension of that. We have seen some wood phones in the past like the ADzero, but no big mobile devices have ever attempted this and been successful.

Another rumor said the “X Phone” would be available in 20 colors, but it could be much more than that. We are not sure how there could be a thousand different combinations, so it sounds like users might be able to pick the colors of several different parts of the phones.

WRAP UP

Be sure to read up on rumor dumps onetwo and three if you missed our previous “X Phone” reports. Only the customizable RAM option has been debunked, so there’s a good chance that most of the other details could turn out to be true.

I know a lot of this stuff sounds a little bit crazy, but it would definitely deliver the “wow” factor that Google and Motorola are aiming for. Like I said before, I have never carried a Motorola phone as my daily device, but that could finally change if I’m able to customize my own Android phone.

With every passing week, it is sounding more and more like the “X Phone” will not be officially announced at Google IO. There is a chance that some Google employees might be carrying around the device, but we expect that Motorola will hold a separate event in June or July to finally unveil this thing.

Experience tells us that one big leak encourages another, so hopefully more information will be coming soon.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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