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


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.


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.


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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  • Nick

    LOL. Who makes this $#!+ up?! No, just no.

  • Yash Jethmalani

    This post just gave me wood! :P xP

    • koruma

      • herbivore83

        I’m not saying I hate this but… when did A&M become reddit?

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    Wood phone? They always look great but I have no idea how utilitarian that can be. I wish they would just announce SOMETHING already! Fingers crossed for I/O.

  • Arthur

    I am sad to hear about AT&T having exclusivity on this device for the initial 3 months and even though it will technically work in area’s where T-Mobile has refarmed towers to support 1900MHz phones, it will more than likely still have ugly AT&T branding and won’t be as cheap unlocked as an official Google device sold via Play Store.

    As long as Google sells it unlocked in the US with a subsidy to bring the price lower than the Nexus 4 since it seems like the tech on it will be more mid-range than what is found in the Nexus 4 and it is sold at launch with no carrier branding, I will most likely get it to supplement my N4 and hold me off till the next official Nexus due by year’s end with more than likely a SnapDragon 800

    • Nick

      I know for a fact it will not have the 800.

      • Arthur

        Which won’t? The next Nexus or the “X” Phone? “X” is pretty much guaranteed to not have it if the August time-frame is accurate but the next Nexus has a very good chance of having it.

        • Nick


  • CTown

    These phone companies can keep secrets more locked up than most goverments. Where’s Wikileaks when you need them?

  • Nate B.

    I’m just gonna wait and see what this thing really turns out to be. This is to funny. At the end of the day I kind of have a feeling it won’t be stacking up with today’s specs. The wait isn’t to much longer if it is revealed at I/O.

    • Nick

      It will.

      • Jason

        It will what?
        Live up to specs or revealed at I/O or both?

        • Nick

          Live up to specs. May or may not be revealed at I/O because they are working out final kinks. I would suggest that you wait.

  • Andre

    I’m liking the customization we’re hearing so far, I hope this turns out to be true!! If this information is accurate, or mostly accurate, I may be getting a Motorola!… hopefully it’s not an AT&T exclusive.

    • Nick

      Not an AT&T exclusive, and the only customization you would get is color (may be more than other phones) and storage, hope you liked the info… I’m out

  • Co1e

    I just can’t bring myself to purchase a new phone with all of these rumors and the possibility of it being just around the corner. Great time to be in the market for a new phone!

    • Arthur

      I wouldn’t make any phone decisions until I/O is here and gone. Hopefully Google will give enough information regarding the “X” phone and the next Nexus that we can then plan our purchasing decisions around those dates.

      • vforvortex

        Thats my exact view on all these rumors as well.

      • Co1e

        Thats exactly what I was trying to say. Sorry if it didnt come across that way.

  • jnrbshp
  • James

    Yeh sure. Just like your ‘trusted source’ of many years who informed you of project roadrunner. You’re a liar and a douchebag.

    • Ross Pendleton

      Hey, I’m a tech reporter for AndroidDoes, so I know that sometimes you get things right sometimes they’re wrong. It’s virtually impossible to work out what is a genuine leak and what is just a made up story. Androidandme have worked very hard getting these things for us, and they did say at the beginning that it is just a rumour and may not be accurate. So why don’t you keep your pathetic opinions to yourself, because Taylor has worked very hard to bring us this info.

    • shadhussain

      This comment is baffling.

      Clearly calling something a rumor does not amount to a lie. Now, let’s assume Taylor’s intention with these rumors have all along been to lie and fool us all. Even then, who the hell reacts to fun gadget news like that? Did he make you save up money for a toy that didn’t appear and you were left with cash on hand?

      Douchebag? OK, I don’t know him personally. He may as well be, but I wouldn’t know. He’s just a fellow android fan to me, who seems to have a cooler job than mine.

  • Bambang

    running android app from Chrome desktop. it’ll be COOOLL!!

  • Richard Yarrell

    Mmm is love to get some wood

  • donger

    AT&T can move over, no way they’ll get this as n exclusive.

  • Raptor

    That wood reminds me something…. Ahhh, all Motorola phones look like they’ve been made out of wood

  • aranea

    I hope many of those will creep their way into the next nexus phone too.

  • Fiasko

    I enjoy reading these rumor posts just to see what “could” be. I would be happy to see almost all of these be implemented, but not so much with the AT&T exclusive. The point of the X phone was to be able to make choices. If you can choose your carrier whats the point….

  • yourissues

    I want to know more about this phone everyday, I went to T-Mobile to look at the HTC One and asked if they heard anything about a Moto phone and the Manager said nothing solid as far as names go, however it was supposed to have some type of flip screen. I don’t know, but I can’t wait. I really hope they do something amazing cause I miss Moto phones. If they don’t do something great… well.. I’ll be sad

  • Nathan D.

    I just want something on it, a little PR on it would be very welcome.

  • kderentz

    Sounds like Motorola is following BMW’s line of thought with the Mini brand. I really hope all this is true, except for the AT&T part.

  • phineasjw

    The wood rumor not only sounds ridiculous, it sounds like a planted rumor designed to see who’s leaking rumors.

    On the other hand, the idea to automatically fire up the camera based on the phone leaving your pocket and being held landscape sounds absolutely brilliant! I’m guessing it hasn’t been done yet because it would require some sensors to be always on, which will likely effect battery life to support a feature you don’t use that often. Still — brilliant.