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Motorola X now official - $199 with an eight-core processor and customizable colors, launching on all major carriers

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday August 01, 2013.

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Motorola Moto X
Motorola Moto X

The Motorola X Phone is now Moto X and its now official. After two full seasons of leaks, Motorola today introduced the first smartphone created since being acquired by Google. So is the Moto X a good phone with Google influences, or just another Android device?

The Moto X has a 4.7-inch AMOLED display with 720p resolution. The phone has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, though a 32GB model will be available for $50 more. Motorola designed its own X8 architecture for the Moto X. The baseline is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.7 GHz dual-core processor. The S4 Pro handles standard app processing, but the always-listening Touchless control has a dedicated core for real-time, alow-power consumption in order to make the battery last longer. There's also a contextual computing core that exists solely to recognize the phone's state and deliver certain features. For instance, the contextual core recognizes how fast someone is traveling so it knows whether someone is driving, and it can tell from the accelerometer if someone is cycling.

Similar to the DROID products unveiled last week, Moto X has a "Touchless control" system that's always listening for commands. With a key phrase, someone can say "Ok, Google Now, call Alicia," and the phone will recognize that it has been prompted to make a phone call. Obvious use cases for that feature are getting hands-free calling or navigation when driving, but it can also be useful in cold weather, while opening a door, cooking dinner, or at a desk. The system is trained to respond to a user's voice, so only the device owner's voice can trigger it.

The Moto X introduces a new Clearpixel camera set-up to capture more light and reduce blur. The 10-megapixel camera injects a white pixel through the RGBC sensor. This gathers about 75 percent more light than typically seen in smartphones. The shorter exposure times also reduces blur and stabilizes items in motion. Clearpixels aid the set-up, but there's also an LED flash on the back for nighttime photography. The Moto X can record 1080p HD video with the rear camera or the 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

Android 4.2.2 powers the software on the Moto X. Motorola includes its own user interface that is lightly skinned in appearance but includes some proprietary features. Active Display automatically shows indicators of important notifications like missed calls or new emails. The lock screen automatically appears when the user engages with the phone, and someone can hold down on an indicator to see a Peek that shows more information. In other words, holding the email indicator will show some of the message, and dragging up will allow users to respond. It also has options for which apps appear in the display.

"Made for you" is a recurring theme of the Moto X. Motorola tried to make the phone as compact as possible but still support a large screen. The curved shape has an integrated 2,200mAh battery that contours along the shape of the device and makes it last longer. It also follows the NikeID route by introducing customization for materials and colors. The new Motomaker lets consumers choose colors for the back, front, or accents (buttons), and add a signature. The site also has accessories and options to create a custom welcome message. Customized colors will be made with resin materials, but Motorola says it's testing a wooden rear phone but it has no confirmed release date for that device.

Unfortunately, the Motomaker option will be exclusive to AT&T. Black and white standard colors will be available at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon for $199 in late August or early September. Motomaker phones ordered will be manufactured and delivered within 4 days.

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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