Aug 01 AT 2:48 PM Dima Aryeh 52 Comments

Moto X announced: $199 on contract, customization exclusive to AT&T for now


The Moto X is finally announced! All the hype, all the rumors, and it’s finally here. And we’ve got the information on the device.  Here’s what the Moto X offers:

  • 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED RGB display
  • Motorola X8 mobile computing system
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 10MP Clear Pixel, 2MP front facing
  • 16/32GB + 2 years of 50GB Google Drive
  • WiFi a/g/b/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Android 4.2.2
  • 129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4mm
  • 130g

Motorola did not focus on specs, but instead has tried to create the “everyman” phone. Don’t be disappointed based on specs alone; that’s not what the Moto X is for. The dual core processor inside the Motorola X8 chip will be fairly speedy, and 2GB of RAM will handle everything you throw at it. They also promise a day’s worth of battery life. And not a “work day,” but legitimate 24 hours of battery life. That’s an exciting thought.

However, the key to this phone is customization! For now, only AT&T offers customization options. Other carriers will get  on the customization wagon later (For now, they just offer black or white). There will be 18 colors for the back, 7 accents (the buttons and the ring around the camera), and two front colors (black and white). Along with a choice of 16GB of 32GB, this gives us 504 possible permutations. That’s pretty sweet and unique. And best of all, there will be no logos on the front. Motorola promised.

In terms of software, Moto X will run Android 4.2.2. It’ll be mostly stock with some light Motorola modifications and all the awesome features of the newly announced DROIDs. This means the device will be constantly listening, so you can talk to it while it’s off. It’ll also light up a part of the screen for notifications, showing more details than an LED notification light. And it’ll be situation aware, like turning on the driving mode automatically when you get into a car.

Strangely, the device will be priced like a high-end device at $199 on contract, just like the iPhone, Galaxy S 4 and One. With a 720p display and a dual core, it’s not quite $199 worth of phone in terms of specs, but it also includes customization. And don’t forget, it’s assembled in the US! It will be coming to all four carriers by the end of the month or early September.

So now that the Moto X is announced, what do you think of it? With mid range specs, customization, meticulous design, nearly stock Android and a small form factor, it’s both everything we thought it would be, but also not quite enough for some of us. Is the price fair? Are the specs good enough? And most of all, will you be getting one? Leave a comment!

Dima Aryeh is a Russian 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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  • halo0

    Well that’s disappointing. :( Was hoping for ~$350 off-contract.

    • kazahani

      My thoughts exactly. I was hoping Google and Moto were going to further shake up the 2-year contract model of business.

    • Dima Aryeh

      There’s still a bit of hope. Google Play edition for cheap maybe?

    • MC_Android

      Pretty much called it. “Made in USA” translates to “No way in hell it was going to be $350 off-contract without being subsidized by Google”. Is anyone actually surprised by this?

      Nevertheless, it should not be priced in the same range as the S4, One, Xperia Z. It should be at most $450 unlocked…

      • redraider133

        I agree. I think $99 on contract would have been much more manageable. I think the whole customization thing is another reason for the higher prices since they couldnt get the low prices using one type of materials.

  • redraider133

    What a complete and total letdown. So much for the game changing part of it. They are turning into apple, mid range specs and high end prices..

    • Nate B.

      What did you expect the specs to be after all of the leaks?

      • Jeff

        It’s not just the specs, it’s the price. When the specs were leaked, people were saying “Oh well, at least it’ll probably be affordable for what you’re getting.” Nope.

      • redraider133

        I’m not disappointed at all with the specs. They were what I was expecting and ok with that. Everyone was saying it was aimed to be affordable which is what I and many others were hoping for. I know it’s not all about specs but I was looking for a cheaper device to keep unlimited on verizon( as many other around the web were as well) Just saying it should be somewhat cheaper than the “flagships” because this isn’t a flagship.

  • sandwich

    Somewhat disappointed that the purely superficial customizations are the focal point. What’s the price off-contract, anybody know?

    • Prince77

      What I am reading from others is $575 16GB $650 32GB

      • halo0


      • Mix



        Hopefully one of those works….

  • Justin

    Kind of a let down. The motomaker looks very cool, but it is too bad that it is for ATT only at the moment. It could have been much better if it was offered off contract for a reasonable price online with the ability for any buyer to use motomaker to customize the phone.

    • R.S

      Even though the different colored back plates could pRobably be purchased on their own from AT&T, the exclusivity really annoys me.

      Why can’t manufactures understand that carrier exclusives do more harm than good. Very few people will switch carriers for a phone, let alone a different color.

  • pedrowatson

    Motorola/Google, I am disapoint.

    • Nate B.

      I’m disappointed in the way they went about it for carriers. The phone itself is fine. I wouldn’t get it personally, but I wasn’t expecting something to compete with the HTC or S4. We heard the specs and everything before hand. This device is to simply get a solid user experience and unique customization. Now if they can put that into the next Nexus but use the Google colors along with black and white.

  • Nate B.

    I can let the fact it doesn’t have a 1080p screen and bigger battery slide, but making it exclusive to a single carrier for customization is really dumb. How do you even benefit from that as a company? That’s one of the most unique things about this phone. So why would you single that out to one carrier and not all at the same damn time? I really dislike when companies do these exclusive things. It’s nearly old news or a part of the reason why their success never skyrockets.

    • Dima Aryeh

      Yup. They had the hype, they had the attention, and they blew it with a few minor details they messed up.

  • Nick Gray

    Nothing to see here. Better luck next time Motorola.

  • William

    Wrong price $199 vs HTC One and S4 for a Duo-Core, 720p screen, and a locked bootloader.

    Don’t believe the hype is what they said.

  • MrMrMan

    No sd card slot, no 1080p display, no removable battery, midrange specs. No purchase. Especially not with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Oppo Find 7 coming out. This phone is already out classed by current phones. Both the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One are better phones. Completely over hyped.

  • NamelessTed

    As far as all the specs go, I am completely happy with the Moto X. It seems like all the leaks we have gotten over the last few weeks have been very accurate. But, the pricing structure here is just insane. Before today I was fully on-board to purchase the Moto X based on the rumors and the rumored price point of $300-400 off-contract.

    But now they announce a full priced $200 on-contract phone which is as expensive as the HTC One or GS4. What the fuck are they thinking? First off, there is no way that I am going to buy a phone with a contract, so that option is straight out the window. Secondly, if they end up pricing the Google/Dev Edition of this phone around $600 they are absolutely insane and it would be impossible for me to justify purchasing it.

    I almost bought the HTC One for $600 when if first launched on the Play store, but I wanted to wait for the Moto X as I wouldn’t mind having a phone that wasn’t quite as fast, or as high-end if it means having it cost half the price. But if both of these phones cost $600 there is no justification to get the Moto X. The HTC One has a faster CPU, much higher quality display, crazy build quality with its machined aluminum body, and the front facing speakers are sweet. The only thing that the Moto X would seem to win on is the battery life.

    $600 for the HTC One makes total sense, and it justifiable. Machined aluminum isn’t cheap, and pair that with the high-end internals and the 1080p display. So, how can Motorola justify the high price point of the Moto X? Specs aren’t bad, but they aren’t top tier. Screen is 720p AMOLED. And the body is plastic. Im not saying these are all bad things, but I just don’t see how the two phones could ever cost the same.

    It feels like Moto is charging the same price as a high end phone because they want people to notice it and not dismiss it as the “cheap” phone. Who knows, maybe they are just having a more expensive on-contract price because that market would dismiss it and then they will still only charge $300-400 off-contract. I think I remember seeing the Nexus 4 go for $200 with a few different carriers when it launched, right?

  • Ben

    I currently have a S4, was waiting for the event with the intention of selling knowing the specs would not be as high but the OS tweaks any integration are more important with the specs of hardware being so high now. However seeing that Motorola have decided to shut out anyone except the US is a total fail! Bye Bye Moto X. Stupid move

  • mattcoz

    Disappointed that they didn’t announce any off-contract pricing, and of course with the exclusivity on customization. My contract isn’t up until October though, so hopefully that will run out before then.

  • RayM

    Confused about why I should pay high-end price for mid-level phone. Certainly nothing there to make me choose this over the Galaxy S4 or the HTC One, for the same, or more, initial acquisition price. If the off contract price is in the $300-$350 range then maybe, but still just maybe. From what I know right now I would go with the Nexus 4 instead!!!! Disappointed to say the least.

  • jamal adam

    Talk about disappointing. I thought being a Google owned company would make them into something but I guess it’s just the same old story.

  • jamal adam

    The customization was one of the key selling points and having customization options exclusively on AT&T for however long is utterly disappointing and a bad move. This is one of those look but don’t touch devices.

  • apo

    Screw you Motorola.
    Nexus 5 waiting time.

  • Vance

    No. Just no. Designed for average consumer, priced for phone junkie. That’s what we call out of touch with the end user.

  • Paul Atreides

    What a joke. Glad I didn’t get my hopes up high.

    • Paul Atreides

      Hope people don’t buy this on launch and it ends up with a huge price drop to where it should be. Vote with your wallets brethren!

  • masterpfa

    The only disappointment for me is the pricing. I have never been able to come to terms with the US pricing model where almost every phone (except when on special deals) is priced at $199 on contract.

    A true indication of pricing would be the off contract price.
    The phone I am interested to have a look at and having only just read this I am not aware if the phone will available outside of the US at all

  • GrendelJapan

    Pretty solid looking phone, but as others have mentioned, the price seems awfully high to me. I don’t see how you can go for Apple level markups/margins in the current smartphone landscape. Look at what Samsung has to do and spend in order to be as competitive as they are. I was seriously thinking of upgrading my Wife’s NS with a Moto X, but I just don’t see that happening now.

  • steve

    So its a Google Phone that doesn’t even have the latest version of Android? Thats encouraging. What happens if Android 5.0 is released in the Fall? Moto X wont get it?

    And the big idea is that one carrier ATT will have customization.

    I dont see anything exciting or wanting to make someone buy this vs some thing else.

    Is there a skin?

    Also makes me wonder if the Nexus if there is a new one in the Fall will be anything exciting – same with Key Lime Pie…I may finally go to iPhone.

    It is interesting Im watching various shows like Bloomberg West, which I watch often, and all the reporters always bring out their phones and they all have IPHONES and then are talking about Android features. I was in a waiting room today where everyone was bringing out their phones and I was the only one with an Android. This repeats itself every day no matter where I am

  • Alaska

    $199 on a 2 yr contract? Sounds like Google/Motorola just joined AT&Ts “Screw the Customer” plan. I was rather anticipating the Moto X’s release, but a mid range phone with a non-removable battery and no additional storage at superphone price? I really don’t think so. Plus you still get the carrier crapware, and have to wait for the carrier to “decide” to upgrade the OS; AT&T and Verison both are infamous for their terrible records with allowing their phones to be upgraded, even their latest models.

    I think that I will wait and see if it rolls out on GooglePlay. Even so, unless the Google Play version has the kind of price point Motorola has been hinting at, I’ll pass.

  • slimx30

    this is shit.. 32GB and customization exclusive to at&t? what a dissapointment. I won’t be getting this phone. my nexus 4 is good enough. moto sure knows how to screw themselves. lol this phone probably won’t even be in the top 5 selling phones on at&t and they limit all the best options to them. this somehow reminds me when moto released the xoom for 800 dollars thinking people would actually buy that pos at the time lol.

    • jack of all tirades

      is it worth buying the Nexus 4 right now?

      • Fiasko

        Personally, I would buy it over this for the price.

  • Reuben Daniel DeVries

    Yeah I think I might pass, I was hoping for about $300.00 outright, especially after I heard that it cost only $225.00 for Google to make this phone. I’m a little disappointed, maybe the price will drop once it goes for sale in the play store, but who know when that will be. As a Canadian, i’m still waiting for the S4, HTC One and the Nexus 7 2nd Gen to go on sale from the playstore.

  • Fiasko

    For the price I would still buy the Nexus 4 that I have had for 8 months now. really don’t get it. maybe the extra Google now features cost a lot to include, but not worth it to this guy

  • James Roots

    This is the first phone in a series of phones.

    There will be a high end version of the phone. Just wait a bit.

    • Jorge

      Yeah, maybe that one will go for 399.00 with 2 year contract and your firstborn for the GE.

  • Pravas

    Out of reach …

  • Van

    Well, being made in America, we should’ve known that it would be more expensive than a phone made in China.

  • Gopi

    Google got every ones hopes high because of the mid-range specs and lower s

  • Prince77

    Think about it. Do you guys really think Google was going to let Moto make a phone that would be better than the present Nexus or the one planning to come out???

  • donger

    Needs price drop asap. Yeah it’s cool to customize the phone. But is everyone going to run out and buy one just for that? Hoped for better specs.

  • James Roots

    Nonsense, it’ll go for the same amount as usual, $299 with contract, $500-700 off contract. The way has been for forever.

    The price of phones is artificially set, the phones prices are not subject to the free market.

    Just because a cheapo phone is $700, doesn’t mean a flagship will be more expensive than the cheapo. Case and point, the HTC One, is a better phone than the Moto X, and yet is cheaper than than the X.

  • david jones richrads