Jul 02 AT 7:51 PM Dustin Earley 52 Comments

4 reasons why the Moto X will live up to the hype

Motorola generic

Excitement surrounding Motorola’s upcoming Moto X is reaching a fever pitch. This kind of hype is usually met with disappointment once a phone is actually released, but the Moto X is the real deal. We’ve slowly but surely gathered more and more information on the Moto X over the past few months, and it seems like it’s all coming true. So why do we think the Moto X will live up to the hype? Here’s four good reasons.

1. “The first smartphone that you can design yourself.”

Months ago, we first brought you whispers of a rumor that the Moto X would be totally customizable. From top to bottom, inside and out. Where most phones allow you to customize things like the amount of storage, the Moto X is going to take it to the next level. According to sources with information on the matter, the Moto X will come in as many as 20 different colors, and casing options will include everything from wood and plastic to metal and carbon fiber. We still believe this to be true. And Motorola seems to be confirming it.

In an ad Motorola will be running during the Fourth of July holiday, Motorola mentions that the Moto X will be “the first smartphone that you can design yourself.” If you were merely able to choose between a few different colors and pick 16GB or storage over 32GB, Motorola would not be hitting this customization aspect so hard. We have every reason to believe that with the Moto X, you will be able to create the phone of your dreams. How’s that for living up to the hype?

2. Made in the USA.

Apple is all about their products being “Designed by Apple in California.” But on the back of every iPhone, right next to that it says, “Assembled in China.” Apple houses all of their designers in California, but when it comes to actually making the iPhone, it’s off to a foreign country. This is common practice for all manufacturers, and to be fair, Apple is even trying to back away from it. But Motorola is going to beat Apple to the punch.

Also highlighted in the Fourth of July ad, the Moto X will be designed, engineered and assembled in the USA. This could be absolutely huge for sales. I’d venture to guess most people could care less about where their smartphone is assembled, but they’re going to try to make you. And while they’re at it, Motorola is going to cash in on those who do.

What’s going to matter the most is if the Moto X is still affordable after completely customizing it and building it in the USA.

3. It’s all about the Benjamins.

With the hyper-customization and assembly in the good ole US of A, you’d think the Moto X would cost a ton of money. Right? Not quite. From the very earliest rumors, the Moto X has been slated to be as cheap as $199 without a two-year contract. Yes, without a contract. Google has already subsidized the price of the Nexus 4 down to as low as $299, and that’s with a third-party manufacturer. Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s CEO, said it best:

One of the areas we think is really open for Motorola is building a low-cost, high quality market. Feature phones sell for $30; high-end smartphones cost $650. That gap won’t persist.Dennis WoodsideMotorola

Google has complete control over Motorola now; so much so that Google is in the logo. You can expect Google to do whatever they want. I’ll explain what this means for software in a moment, but for hardware, it means Google can sell things for as cheap as they want in order to drive sales and make money on ads.

The Moto X is expected to launch with a 1.7GHz dual-core MSM8960 Pro, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 720p display resolution, 10MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera.

As for how it’s going to be sold, we’re still hearing through an online store, think Google Play, and through carriers. Which means it will be available everywhere Motorola can make it available. There are still a handful of Droid phones Motorola has to push out before their product portfolio becomes all Google, but the Moto X will show us how they plan to do it from here on out.

Google is placing a huge amount of advertising dollars around the Moto X. Unlike the Nexus 4, people will know it exists. And at around $200 to $350 off-contract, you can expect it to sell like crazy.

4. It’s alive!

How smart is your smartphone? It can sync your bookmarks between Chrome on your desktop and Chrome on your phone, but only after you go through the setup process. Open a few apps, fumble around some menus and press some more buttons. Most of that you have to do every time you want your smartphone to do smart things. With the Moto X, not anymore.

Back in April, we told you how the Moto X will feature “creepy intelligence.” It’s going to know when you want to do things, before you even tell it. And if you do have to tell it, it will always be listening, ready for action. Earlier, we told you the Moto X would launch with a MSM8960pro. But that’s not all. There are actually going to be eight different “cores” making the Moto X a contextually aware information powerhouse.

They break down like this:

  • Four processors cores are dedicated to graphics. By taking this route, you’re going to see Android running smoother than ever before. Paired with stock Android, this thing is going to fly in the graphics department.
  • Two processors cores are dedicated to applications. Let the graphics processors focus on graphics, while two 1.7 GHz processors focus on apps.
  • One processor will be dedicated to language processing. The low-power language chip will focus on audio sensors, noise cancellation and speech recognition. This will allow the Moto X to use an always-on listening mode, but still retain sufficient battery life.
  • One processor will be dedicated to other contextual sensors. During his interview at All Things D11, Dennis Woodside said the Moto X would “anticipate” what you want to do with your phone. Hold it up like you’re going to take a picture, your camera will turn on. That’s what this processor is for.

No one else has a chip configuration like this. It’s exclusive to Motorola and is what will make this phone smarter than any other phone before it. Google has made it clear that Motorola is being given no special treatment, but it’s clear that Google is playing a role in the production of the Moto X. Google makes stock Android, with all the bare essentials. Google is going to make the Moto X will all the little things that they really want in a phone that don’t make it into stock Android for one reason or another. Think of Motorola’s products as getting the moonshot thinking approach. If anything were to kill Nexus, this would be it.

Wrap up

So there you have it. Four reasons why we think the Moto X will live up to the hype. It’s going to be totally customizable, made in the USA and feature never before seen intelligence in a smartphone, all at price that’s almost too good to be true. I know I personally will be buying one. How about you?

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • T1392

    I any wait to replace my gala nexus with this moto x, and finally I may be able to get a red version of a phone I actually want.

    • LukeT32

      If by red you mean Verizon I’m on board with you. My Galaxy Nexus needs to go to phone heaven!

      • aelfwyne

        My G2X needs to go to phone hell. … to each phone its just deserts, I say.

        Looking forward to a Magenta X phone. By Magenta, I mean T-Mobile.

        • OnIn2

          Yep, My G2x is still holding on. I thought for a Nexus 5, but this article makes be reconsider that decision,

          Go MotoX unlocked

      • thekaz

        Another GNex owner here waiting to upgrade. I had my eye on the HTC One, but now this phone has me very intrigued. Especially if I can keep my unlimited data at this price point!

    • Jarren

      For some reason I have an errie feeling that we’ll only be able to “truly” customize our devices if we order them through google play (or the motorola equivalent). This means that the truly customized versions will only work on ATT and TMobile…

      Verizon and Sprint will probably have 4 or so different color options and 2 different options for material.

      With that said, I really hope it’s not true but it would take a hell of a lot of cooperation between the carriers and motorola to allow every consumer to customize their device.

      • Jarren


    • heat361

      Yeah the customization choices are great l. This moto x is going to be the best mid-high end phone there is.

  • Gary Graf

    I think those specs you are referring to are due the DROID ultra not the moto x. I’d hope you be able to customize those as well

  • CTown

    Those specifications sound amazing. Though, if the phone is customizable doesn’t that means Motorola cannot make them in bulk to reduce costs? So, how can the phone be under $300 when the Nexus 4 with the same CPU barely makes a profit?

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      The Nexus 4 required that LG and Google both mitigate risks and bake profits in. Additionally, LG had to look out for LG and the phone took a backseat to their more profitable models.

      Since Motorola is Google, all risk can sit with the one company and you don’t need to hedge bets twice. Also, since Motorola is making a new name for itself, they can afford to lose money on this one product (or is it Google losing money on it?).

      Lastly, a customizable phone also means (very profitable) after-market accessories sold to continue customizing your phone! See how many cases some people buy. Motorola would gladly take that money instead of it going to other companies! Add $40 in accessories on to of a $300 phone and you just made 13% more revenue!

  • jerrbomb

    This phone definitely looks like a winner..

  • renyo

    Holy mother of god! Talk about innovation!

  • Tony S

    Not sure why the “four processor cores are dedicated to graphics” and “Two processors cores are dedicated to applications” is anything special, that’s really just middle of the road CPU and above average GPU. But anyhow I’m excited for the language chip and contextual sensors those sound cool!! And overall can’t wait, just don’t make a normal CPU/GPU sound all fancy when the Nexus 4 will actually be its superior if those specs are true :P

    • Dirge

      The thing is, even though the Nexus 4 has the same CPU/GPU, it won’t behave like the Moto X. What sort of CPU/GPU doesn’t matter, what matters is how it all works together.

  • redraider133

    If they price it at $199 without a contract it will be a no brainer. Hope they get it on all carriers and not the exclusive B.S. Come on Googlrola!!

  • anonymous Mr President, United States

    I approve.

  • uzunoff

    I was hoping for a high end phone that would be a galaxy S4 competitor.
    I don’t think that with those specs and price the phone will be top of the line. And that is perfectly fine. I will still buy it for my family.

    • Vedhas Deshpande

      Only gung ho specs like s4 dont make smartphone s best ! It ought to be the overall uxp of device!

  • Ardrid

    The sentiment that nothing like this has been dome before as it relates to processor configuration isn’t correct. What’s being described is essentially an eight core SoC, analogous to IBM’s Cell or ARM’s big.LITTLE. The four “core” GPU is a standard Adreno 320, as is the dual core Snapdragon. The only unique part of this configuration is the addition of two cores dedicated to specialized tasks, but that only pertains to the smartphone space since Cell was doing this type of thing for years.

  • Max.Steel

    I highly, highly doubt it will feature that amount of customization. This is a smartphone not a car or a house where profit margins are huge. It might feature some customization but definitely not what Dustin is talking about here.

  • Arthur

    Dennis Woodside at D11 did say this was going to be releasing in October, if that is true and it releases before the next Nexus, it might be priced just under $300 depending on if Google phases out the N4 to usher in the next Nexus and we don’t know if the same recipe is going to apply in terms of the third party manufacturer and Google subsidizing the actual retail price of the phone as they currently do with the N4.

    Something that hasn’t really been addressed with all this hype is how much Google and especially Motorola have riding on this phone, obviously this is not a make or break for Google but for Motorola, it absolutely needs to live up to the hype.

    Google investors need to be reassured that Google made the right decision in purchasing Motorola, the reported $12B that Google paid for Motorola is the largest acquisition I can think of in the tech world ever, as much money as Google has, that is an enormous amount of money to shell out and they need to justify it to everyone, investors and naysayers that it wasn’t wasted money.

    Motorola on the other hand hasn’t been relevant in the handset world since the original Droid, everything else from that point has been mediocre at best against the Galaxy’s of the world so they have a lot to prove here. Everyone knows they have the know-how being the first cell phone manufacturer, they have more experience at this than anyone else, if under Google’s wings and with access to all their resources doesn’t help them pull this off than they are a lost cause.

    Next few months are going to be extremely exciting but hopefully we are not disappointed by leaks leading up to the Moto X release.

    • clocinnorcal

      Not to mention the primary reason for the acquisition was patents which didn’t really pan out the way Google had hoped; consequently, pushing the move to fresh hardware.

  • aranea

    None of these reasons include update frequency. It won’t be blur but it won’t be stock Android too. So the main question is how often the Android updates will make it to MotoX.

    • clocinnorcal

      Hopefully not as painfully as other non-Nexus phones since the OEM, in this case, is Google even if they operate as somewhat separate entities.

  • Jeremy

    8 cores and two always on sets of sensors. Sounds revolutionary!

    for the 4 hours the battery will hold out.

    • Arthur

      Traditionally Nexus phones have ushered in the latest Android version but if this is indeed released before the newest Nexus, it might just break that tradition since Google does own Motorola and if any manufacturer is going to break that tradition, it would be them and with the Nexus being released late October or early November, no sense in releasing it with 4.3.

  • acey_zero

    Sounds promising, but it had better have an SD slot if it really only has 16GB storage…




  • donger

    So sick.

  • Bree

    I also am curious about battery life. I have a RAZR maxx, and it is phenomenal.

  • Louis91

    I just bought a Nexus 4 last week because I got tired of waiting for the motor x and kind of lost hope for it -___- Don’t get me wrong I absolutely LOVE my Nexus 4 but if this phone is really what androidandme thinks it is then I guess I’m upgrading a little earlier then I expected lol

  • Yasiel Puig

    I dont care if it can spin yarn into gold with those shitty early 2012 specs i wouldnt touch this thing

  • nicotinemind

    This will not be cheap outside the US:(

    But I’m extremely interested in what MotoX is all about, can’t wait for the unveiling.

  • timoh

    “If you were merely able to choose between a few different colors and pick 16GB or storage over 32GB, Motorola would not be hitting this customization aspect so hard.”

    I completely disagree with this assumption. To the majority of the consumers out there(the target market/cash cow/etc), the color and storage capacity is the only difference between most devices.

    You have certain items that have to remain consistent to pass FCC certification. If there’s anything more than color and storage customization, maybe it will have a screen size or battery option.

    Definitely will not have the “design” factor you’re hyping.

  • surg3d

    I’m curious how “root-friendly” this will be and how fast it will get updates to the latest version of Android. If its similar to the Nexus devices it’ll be killer! I’d have to take it over, say an HTC One, even though specs aren’t quite “top-of-the-line.”

  • Hans

    I hope they let you choose a QWERTY

  • Bradleybones

    Most of it sounds great. However, when you mention 720p display and 10mp camera, I don’t consider that very ‘state of the art’ for modern phones. All the best flagship phones already have 1080P display and 13mp cameras. Yeah, price is a biggie, but not if I have to take a lesser phone.

  • John Patrick

    Yup, VZW GNex user here as well. This could be interesting. So far it’s toss-up between the S4, The Moto X and what I hope will be the HTC DNA-S(Butterfly 2). Maybe even the Galaxy Note 3 If I can hold out that long. I’ve always like Moto’s radios though, and I would expect the signal and call quality to be top-notch. I’m surprised at the 720p screen though when other flagship devices are going 1080p.

    • Jake

      Can you REALLY tell the difference between 1080 vs 720?.. and it would take up more battery usage for the 1080 screen thus making it less efficient for battery life.

      • John Patrick

        i don’t know, guess it depends on the type and size of screen…but probably not. Just noting the spec differences. Hell I thought my Bionic screen looked OK – at least in daylight so who am I to judge? LOL…

      • meam

        I own a HTC one. When u got ur hands on 1080p display. There is no way back to 720p. Seriously.

  • Co1e

    nerd boner alert

  • Kivo360

    How did they reason it will have 8 cores? All I heard was dual processor. Let’s say they do have dual core for applications, they would need a 6-core a7 device in order to meet those specifications and keep the price down. I don’t know of any chip like that. Maybe they made a deal with meiatrek or qualcomm to produce such chips but I really wouldn’t think that. The most logical answer would be to have a quad core S200 chip as the second chip.

  • Ian

    I’m leaving Verizon this week and going to Solavei. I am curious about when this will be released. I’m thinking about getting a Nexus 4, but not if this is being released in 2 months. I guess I’ll have to do more research!

  • one80oneday

    Hope it has 3000mah+ battery and mSD card

  • Nate B.

    The specs are fixed of course. You can’t just ask for anything. Basically you choose the fixed material they have as options and whatever fixed options they have. They’re bidding on a unique choice option for success. It’ll be interesting but I don’t expect much from this. I think they have bigger plans down the road for something serious.

    • jerrbomb

      Of course.. This is just the start.. The appetizer.. Ain’t even the main course.. Better have a stomach for a full course meal.. Because we are in for a ride

  • sam

    720p display? but my current motorola phone (atrix2) is 1080p…

    • anonopotamus

      Atrix 2 is actually qHD (960×540) for the screen. 720p is significantly higher resolution (1280 x 720).

  • pocketdrummer

    They need to double the storage and we’ll talk. 16gb is pointlessly small by today’s standards.

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