Mobility

Fact sheet: Moto X (official details)

With the Moto X, Motorola and Google are attempting to jumpstart smartphone innovation. Here is a one-stop shop on all the latest details.

moto-x-cnet-hand-08012013.jpg
 Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

This fact sheet will be continually updated with the latest details as we learn more about the Moto X. You can check back and refresh this article to get the latest updates.

What we know

  • Availability: Late August to early September (in U.S., Canada, and Latin America)
  • Carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and more to be named internationally
  • Base Price: US$199 with two-year contract
  • Display: 4.7-inch AMOLED, 1280 x 720 pixels, 316 pixels per inch
  • Storage: 16GB and 32GB versions
  • Camera: 10MP rear and 2MP front-facing, both shoot 1080p video, camera is optimized for low-light and has motion-blur prevention
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 2.0, GPS, GLONASS, Miracast Wireless Display
  • Processor: Motorola X8, an eight-core CPU that uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (1.7GHz dual-core Krait CPU and a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU). To accomodate two of the Moto X's signature features, one low-power core will just to listen for voice-commands at all times and one low-power core just to keep sensors like the accelerometer active at all times.
  • Battery: 2200 mAh, optimized for always-on voice and always-on sensors
  • Android version: 4.2.2 (not the newly-announced 4.3) stock Android, with customizations for voice commands, notifications, and camera software
  • Touchless Control: A new hands-free voice search and virtual assistant is the primary innovation in the Moto X. A user activates it by saying, "Okay, Google Now," which wakes up the phone and goes into Google Now mode where it can launch searches or reply out loud to common queries like “current weather.”
  • Active Display: The Moto X also builds upon Android's notifications system and Google Now to give you quick, low-power notifications on-screen without having to wake up your phone.
  • Quick Capture: You can wake up the Moto X and immediately put it into camera mode with two quick wrist-flicks, and then click anywhere on the screen to take the photo. Motorola claims that Moto X takes half the time to snap a photo compared to other smartphones.
  • Design Customization: Using the forthcoming Moto Maker site, users will be able to "choose the colors, and decide on the details: front, back, accents, memory, wallpapers, even add a name or a short message. When you're done, we assemble your Moto X right here in the USA and ship it to you for free in 4 days or less," according to Motorola's press release. "Choose from more than 2,000 possible combinations, with more to come. We'll be constantly exploring new offerings, such as real wood backs, starting later in the year." Customization will only be available with AT&T at launch, but Motorola is working to bring it to other carriers later in 2013.
  • Accessories: Motorola has a history of paying a lot to accessories and it's going all out with the Moto X. It stated, "We've partnered with the most innovative brands in the world including SOL REPUBLIC to create an ecosystem of accessories for your Moto X. We call it M4DE Motorola. These include headphones, speakers, cases, docks and more."
  • Headphones: Moto X will offer two headphone options. The company stated, "You can even match your headphones to your Moto X. They come in all the same custom colors of the phone, in two different styles. On your ears: SOL Tracks HD headset with a V8 sound engine that has deep base and high quality. In your ears: SOL JAX earbuds with controls for calls and music, plus free ear tips for life."
  • SIM: nano-SIM
  • Moto X will be made and manufactured in the U.S. Motorola has called it, "The first smartphone designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA." The company views this as a big competitive advantage. Speaking at the D11 event on May 29, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said, "When your manufacturing is thousands of miles away from your engineers and your designers, you actually lose the ability to innovate. You lose the ability to make fast changes to how you're manufacturing things." The 500,000 square-foot plant where Motorola is building the Moto X will be near Fort Worth, Texas and will employ about 2,000 people. The facility was previously used by Nokia and at its peak it employed 6,000 workers. Clearly, not all of the components in the Moto X will be made in the U.S. but it is significant that Motorola sees a competitive advantage in returning some high-tech manufacturing to the U.S. in order to improve product development. This is a similar story to what GE has trumpeted recently.
  • It will be broadly available across many different wireless carriers. Motorola has a history of working closely with carriers and delivering them unique devices that the carriers often re-brand. The most well-known, of course, is the Droid series with Verizon in the U.S. With the Moto X, it appears that Motorola will follow the lead of the iPhone and later the Samsung Galaxy S series by producing one phone with the same brand name across all international wireless carriers. Woodside remarked, "The Moto X is going to be broadly distributed, which is a first for Motorola in a number of years."
  • Sensors are its killer feature. "It's more contextually aware of what's going on around it and allows you to interact with it in very different ways than you can today with other devices," Woodside said. "Motorola has always been really good at managing the power on the device. But, Motorola has also been really good at managing ultra-low-power sensors--so the gyroscope and the accelerometer--and keeping those on all the time so that the device knows different use states. So it knows it's in my pocket right now. It knows when I take it out of my pocket I might want to do something. I might want to take a picture, so it knows to fire up the camera. So it anticipates my needs in a much more powerful way... But, more important, imagine you're in the car. The device will know--whether it's on or off--that it's traveling at 60 miles per hour. It's going to act differently so you can interact with it safely."
  • Google is giving Motorola the freedom to experiment with leading edge innovations in mobile. Google's mandate when it bought Motorola was to "take it back to its roots in innovation" and "build devices that have the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people," according to Woodside. Motorola hired a tech industry rock star, Regina Dugan, the former Director of DARPA, to lead its "Advanced Technology & Projects" group. As an example of the boundary-pushing kinds of things they are working on, at D11 Dugan demonstrated two new seamless authentication options that could see their way into a future version of the Moto X and other Motorola phones: 1. An electronic tattoo (non-permanent), and 2. A non-toxic swallowable pill that turns your whole body into an authentication token.

Again, we will continue to update this page with all of the important details about the Moto X, including launch dates and international carriers.

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 Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

13 comments
mia954493
mia954493

How great are the photos though? Photography is big in my life and that is what im looking for in a phone.

Thumper33
Thumper33

A device that is always listening and aware of everything I do?  And unlike the Kinect this device goes EVERYWHERE with me?  And this 'technological marvel' is linked to Google's super servers which are linked directly to the NSA datbase to comb my data to determine if they feel I have commited a crime?  Or stored so that if a new law is passed they can investigate me for my past actions even if they were legal at the time?  Nevermind all the malware that has been found that uses control of the sensors to collect data for committing crimes and stealing identity.


Yeah.....I'll pass.  Let me know when powerful devices come without strings that will be used on your gallows.

TG2
TG2

Skins?  the outside.. god are you people just a flash and flair over substance.. 


I want to be able to control what APPS are on my phone.. not starting from the base of what my phone carrier wants to force upon me.. that treasure hunting "poynt" or what ever it was called.. never used it on my old phone, and doubt I ever would have ... 


and youtube player? no.. disabled now that I've unlocked and rooted my phone, airG chat, flickr, google play movies, google+, talk, twitter, virgin mobile live.. ALL disabled.. if only I could uninstall them all together!


now THAT would be customization.

ITOdeed
ITOdeed

In general, Motorola phones have had powerful radios. If this Moto X phone has the same power, I'm in.

cquirke
cquirke

You can still customize desktop PCs today.

You've only lost that option for a decade if you bought into the notion that laptops must replace desktops, and/or that PCs have to come from large manufacturers who "add value" by limiting your options.  Even laptops can have hard drive and RAM upgraded or replaced to repair, alternate OSs (co-)installed, etc.

Ultra-thin laptops and especially tablets are another story.  There's a reason why we didn't make e.m that small in the first place   :-)

Tablets are more like the pre-PC home computer era; intensely tribal, with serious lock-in.  In contrast, PCs are open devices both in terms of hardware, and choice of OS(s).

O Bloody Hell
O Bloody Hell

}}} it is significant that Motorola sees a competitive advantage in returning some high-tech manufacturing to the U.S. in order to improve product development. 


It's called "re-shoring", and it's been going on for over 5 years now, as wages have steadily risen in the "fourth world". Welcome to the second decade of the 21st Century, TR!!
sperry532
sperry532

"The device will know--whether it's on or off--that it's traveling at 60 miles per hour."

If the device is "aware" that it is going 60 MPH, then the sensors are active and the phone is ON and consuming power as well as pinging towers.

bmontr
bmontr

If it has a battery life like the MAX, I'd definitely be interest, as I am weary of plugging in my current HTC twice a day, and the iPhones aren't any better for power consumption.

Lightning Joe
Lightning Joe

This sounds more like a way to adapt people to the phone, than the phone to its user. Sure, "the phone will know" just what's going on, but how and WHY?

Swallow a pill, for painless authorization? Gimme a break! What a brain-dead concept! Pretty soon, your "authorization" is swimming down the sewer! 

Wash-off authorization tatoos? Again, the re-up problem; what do you do when it no longer reads? Get a new phone?

And the phone won't work right in a car? Even if SOMEONE ELSE IS DRIVING?

And note that the GPS will be on ALL of the time. Turning it off will NOT be an option. Frankly, this product seems ill-thought out, judging from the hyperbole and rash ideas.

bpotterton
bpotterton

@O Bloody Hell US made must have Apple running scared, That explains why they have been using the "Designed in California" slogan a lot lately.  I guess they are hoping that people will assume "Made in USA" too.  I am sure the deception will work for some.

O Bloody Hell
O Bloody Hell

@Lightning Joe 
Ya: 
It's going to act differently so you can interact with it safely."

Ah-huh. Nanny state solution to an admitted problem. Let's make the phone not work if you're in a moving car. How it's going to know (as Joe asks) if you're not the driver is an interesting question.

Yeah, give me more nanny state!! I need YET ANOTHER nanny telling me how to run my f***ing life because SOME assholes aren't smart enough to run their own lives correctly.

chunkles
chunkles

@O Bloody Hell - Easy big fella, this isn't the Nanny State, this is a private company looking for a competitive advantage.  

You don't know how it's measuring your speed.  You don't know how or even IF the phone will interfere once it knows you're moving.  If it turns out people want to buy a phone with these features, they're free to buy it.  If they want another phone they can buy another phone.  

Nanny has nothing to do with it.