Moto X: Motorola’s First Post-Google Acquisition Phone

Written by Shawn Ingram — Today, at an event in New York City, Motorola revealed its brand new flagship phone, the Motorola Moto X. The Moto X is the first phone Motorola designed and built after Google acquired the company last year.

The new phone is very similar to the recently-announced 2013 lineup of Droid phones, but with a few key differences. The most-apparent difference is the design itself. Motorola spent a lot of time researching what size phone users want, and built the phone around their feedback. As a result, they fit the largest display possible into the Moto X shell.

The product is a 4.7-inch display in a phone that feels more like a 4.3 inches. The phone is easy to use with one hand, and the specially-curved back makes it comfortable to hold.

Motorola Moto X 4.7-inch display

All image credits: Shawn Ingram


In its research Motorola found that smartphone users really want the option to customize their phones. So, they cut out the case-making middle men and will let consumers customize their own phones via the Moto Maker website.

The website will let users choose from 18 different colors for the back of the phone, seven different accent colors, and black or white for the front of the phone. The colors look great, and the variety means there should be at least one favorite color choice for everyone.

.Motorola Moto X 7

Unfortunately, not everyone will have the option to use Moto Maker at first. The website will only be available for AT&T customers at launch.

Motorola will introduce a wood option for the back of the Moto X sometime in Q4 2013. The company will also have Facebook polls to see what color options it should introduce in the future.

Software Galore

On the software side, the Moto X includes a new Active Display feature that lights up part of the 720p OLED display to alert users of new notifications. Active Display will pulse the time and icons for notifications on the screen when the phone is asleep, so you don’t have to wake the phone to check anything.

Motorola Moto X

The Moto X will also use the Touchless Control introduced in the most-recent Droid phones.

Users can train their Moto X to wake upon hearing a phrase like, “Okay Google Now.” This will launch the voice-command features of Google Now.

Touchless Control works as well as Google Now in practice, and Motorola assures us the phone only listens for the phrase locally, with no data sent to Google until it’s activated.

Motorola also wants to give users quick access to the 10MP “Clear Pixel” camera of the Moto X.┬áThe camera launches with a simple twisting gesture, and tapping anywhere on the screen will take a photo with autofocus and autoexposure.

This camera app is simple to use and took some nice-looking photos in the few minutes we had with the device.

The Motorola Moto X will come to several U.S. carriers at the end of August or early September. The company only had AT&T and Verizon models on display, but it should come to T-Mobile and Sprint as well.

The phone will sell for $199 on contract for the 16GB model. A 32GB model will also be available.

Information and photos courtesy of Shawn Ingram @ the Motorola Launch Event

Based in Brooklyn, NY Shawn Ingram is a freelance reporter who spends his days immersed in the latest smartphone and video game news. When he’s not playing with some new gadget or game he’s usually found in front of his laptop plugging away at some new short story or novel. You can find him on Twitter at @shawn_i.