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: