Jul 31 AT 8:46 PM Dima Aryeh 26 Comments

New Moto X’s X8 chip details, plus other pre-launch rumors


Tomorrow is the big day: We finally get to see the Moto X announced! Motorola will be discussing the details of one of the most anticipated and by far the most hyped smartphone of the year. We’ll hear things we knew, and maybe Motorola has a few surprises for us (we hope so!). However, there have been a few more bits of information since we last wrote about the Moto X, so to celebrate the day before the launch, let’s get discussing!

The first detail isn’t a rumor, but an explanation of the X8 chip used in the new Motorola products. We know it has eight separate cores, but what exactly went into developing such an interesting chip? We know that two of the cores are CPU cores, and four are GPU cores. Allegedly, the processor used was a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, though others have mentioned the S4 Plus. However, it’s not as “mid end” as it sounds. Not only is the GPU a current gen Adreno 320, Motorola has done some allegedly great stuff with the software.

We've done additional optimizations on top of that such as optimizing the entire Linux user space to move it to an ARM instruction set, cache optimization, Dalvik just-in-time optimization, and we've changed the file system. It's full hardware-software integration to deliver best-in-class performance.Iqbal ArshadMotorola senior vice president of engineering

What about the two other cores on the chip? Well they aren’t even ARM cores at all. They are the “natural language processor” and the “contextual computing processor.” The former will be used for audio recognition and noise cancelling, while the latter will control all the sensors and be the processor used for standby. They’re both custom designed low power processors.

All this optimization and extra cores provides “50 percent better than [the] competition” while also having amazing battery life. Those are some lofty claims, but damn do they make us excited. And the best part is that the whole system can be made with any processor, not just the Snapdragon.

Then, there is a rumor that the small MVNO Ting will be getting the Moto X at launch. The CEO of Ting says that the Moto X will come “almost immediately” to the network. US Cellular will also be getting its own Moto X, which recently went through the FCC. It isn’t uncommon for smaller networks to get high profile devices, but it usually doesn’t happen so fast. Motorola looks to be doing its best to spread Moto X to as many customers as possible, and we’re very thankful for that. And of course, as you know, Moto X is coming to all four major carriers.

What about the design of the phone? We know how it looks, but very little about how it’s built. Taylor Wimberly has revealed that the Moto X will have a laminated aluminum structure for added strength and the front of the device will be covered in “Magic Glass” – a piece of Gorilla Glass that is molded to a special polymer to cover the front and sides to ensure a zero gap design.

There are other small details floating around, like the Moto X having dual LTE antennas and a nano SIM tray instead of the current micro SIM. This adds on top of the stuff we’ve already heard, like the Clear Pixel camera, voice control seen in the new DROIDs, and many more details. However, Motorola is probably saving something amazing for the event. We’re excited to see it, so stay tuned tomorrow! And tell us, what would you like to see from the Moto X?

Source: PCMag, Gigaom, +Taylor Wimberly (2)

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • redraider133

    Here’s to hoping google/moto can get the device out at the rumored 299/349 and on Verizon at the price.

    • TAN5150

      I’m with yah on that one!!

    • geiko

      I might be delusional, but I’m holding my breath for a $250 device. Hopefully they release this with Amazon just like the new Nexus 7, because then I’ll be able to use my points which would be even sweeter.

    • Starship

      sending positive vibes on this, but not holding my breath. I’ve been hurt before.

      • redraider133

        We all have, we all have. Here’s to hoping that google had some power to land this on Verizon and not at higher prices. Cross your fingers lol

        • Daveydog

          Why wouldn’t they. It saves money for them too.

    • elijahblake

      ditto, but on AT&T ;)

  • RonakG

    Please stop using that blurry photo of a prototype Moto X. There are many high quality press shots of Moto X available now.

  • geiko

    I’ve had every single Nexus except for the Galaxy. Like I said yesterday, I lost my N4 two weekends ago, and I couldn’t be more excited. I know that tomorrow will be dreadfully slow, but I need to find something to do after lunch until the show starts at 3:00.

    Anyone else getting this as soon as possible? Are you waiting for the holidays? Anyone selling a new device (S4 or One) to get this?

    There’s nothing I love more than pure Android, and every phone has been a blast to play with. But this one is the most special. Can’t wait until tomorrow.

  • Raul

    So technically this phone is a quad core phone but two of the cores are clocked at a lower speed for small tasks to save battery life. Interesting take, maybe more phone makers will realize that not all 4 cores have to be the same speed and will make their battery life better instead of just having to worry all about battery mAh.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Not quite. That’s what the Exynos 5 Octa does, with eight cores, but separated into two categories (four A15 and four A7 clocked lower). This has two processing cores, no more. None of the other cores are used for general processing. The other two “cores” are not ARM processors, they’re specialized custom processors used for other purposes. Nothing to do with being clocked differently.

      • Raul

        Thanks for clearing that up, the reason i thought that was because on droid life they said “The contextual computing processor deals with the sensors, display and touch interaction, but also may act as the main processor when the phone is in standby mode.” which led me to believe the processor might be able to do the small tasks the main processor usually does but waste less battery life doing so.

        • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

          Not sure why you’re getting downvoted man…
          It can act as a standby processor of sorts, to save battery, but it’s not quite a “processor” in the same way the Snapdragon cores are.

  • Dave

    My Visa is SO READY! Yes, that $299/$349 price range will see me as an initial adopter.

    • Ichigo

      Same here!

  • jamal adam

    Motorola and especially Taylor Wimberly have me very Xcited for the X.

  • Nate B.

    Not the best specs but nice specs indeed. Overall a great experience with the software and hardware makes a phone a pleasure to use. Sounds promising.

  • Morphuex

    There is so much hype and expectations following this phone that it almost has to be phenomenal.

    • SGB101

      With this much hype, it has a long way to fall!

      • SGB101

        You may of down voted me, but as predicted, it didn’t match the hype, (they never do, they never can), it really did fall fast and hard.

        Shame ad if wasn’t for the hype, and price, it’s a nice device.

  • 4n1m4l

    Every LTE phone has dual antennas……..

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh


  • donger

    Later today we will find out.

  • Ichigo

    I really hope that it is available this week for gsm carriers.

  • Rob Jeffrey

    It does look like a very intersting device and I like the fact it’s supposed to be a near vanilla Android experience but all those software optimizations for the processor make me think updates will be a big issue for this phone and with Key Lime Pie just around the corner this would be a shame.

  • david jones richrads

    Motorola’s Website Goes Dark Ahead of Motorola X Launch http://www.mobileosworld.com/2013/08/motorolas-website-goes-dark-ahead-of.html