Motorola announces their first “Google-y” phone after being acquired by Google last year. Customizable, fast and voice responsive, can the Moto X thrive in the already crowded smart phone market? After a stellar week last week in which Google announced the Chromecast and the new Nexus 7, Motorola (a Google subsidiary) announced their first “Google” phone, the Moto X. Since getting purchased by Google last year, Motorola has been releasing products that, “were already in the pipeline,” since before the Google acquisition. The Moto X is the first phone designed and released with a Google influence.
It goes without saying that the smartphone market is a crowded space. In order to gain a foothold, Motorola has done a few things differently in order to stand out. First off, the Moto X is highly customizable, at least on the outside. You can choose from eighteen different colors and accents for different parts of the phone; more than 500 different combinations in all. You can also choose to have the phone engraved and the hardware itself comes in either a 16 GB or 32 GB version.
The phone sports a 4.7 inch display running at a modest 1280 x 720 (720p) resolution and it comes with a 10 megapixel camera. The Moto X also comes with special processors designed to handle natural language processing. In other words, you can talk to this phone.
I’m not lucky enough to have a Moto X to play with, but generally, reviews of the device are positive. The fit, finish and design are top notch. The phone runs stock Android and it’s fast. If you haven’t used Google Now style voice commands, those are really great too. You can ask the device questions and generally speaking, it understands you pretty well. It also understands context sensitive questions. For example, you can say, “Ok Google, how old is president Obama?” Google will respond with the correct answer. Then, you can say, “How old is he?” Google Now understands that “he” refers back to the previous search.
The Moto X will be available on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. There will also be an unlocked version available directly from Google. It will reportedly cost about $200 with a two year contract. No word on how much the unlocked version will cost. Included with the Moto X is 50 GB of storage on Google Drive for two years.
Even though the hardware specs on this phone are somewhat middle of the road, early hands on reviews are nothing short of glowing. Gizmodo has a good “hands on” review. This could well be the best pure Android experience phone available. When my current contract is up, I think the Moto X could be a serious contender.