Google unveils flagship Moto X – but it’s not for you

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Last night Google finally lifted the veil on the much rumoured and anticipated Moto X smartphone. It’s the first major Android device to be designed and built by Motorola since Google acquire the company in 2011 for a massive $12.5bn (R125bn)

Looking at the early reports, it’s a good phone. Designed and built in the US, it has 18 different customisable covers for the back and a 4.7inch screen around the front with 1280×720 pixels crammed into it.

Described by the Motorola CEO as “the relaunch of Motorola”, it looks good, but is actually a fair-to-middling device in terms of raw specs. There’s a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro doing the grunt work – just like the Sony Xperia Z – rather than one of the new superchip 800 series, and the rear camera is ‘only’ 10MP. The most intriguing piece of hardware, though, is a built-in natural language sensor for processing Google Now requests without relying so heavily on the cloud, something Motorola think will be a winning feature for them.

It’s got a curved back – like the very comfy HTX One – and a fairly spacious 2200mAh battery inside.

Surprisingly, it will also run Android 4.2.2 at launch, rather than the newer 4.3 which is now available on Nexus handsets.

Like Samsung, however, Motorola is now prioritising software features above raw specs. So there’s touchless control and a gesture to switch to camera mode rather than a button, for example.

Is the Moto X the superphone we’ve been waiting for or just another also ran in a market saturated by high end smartphones? I’d be very curious to hear your opinion on that below. However, it doesn’t really matter – not only is the Motorola as American made as a muscle car and thus avoids those pesky sweatshop problems that plague the industry, it’s also a US exclusive for the time being – just as the Nexus 4 was. There’s no plans to release it even in Europe, let alone Africa.

Look, but never touch:

(Via Guardian and Forbes.

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.

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