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Motorola Debuts Customizable Moto X; Focus On Personalization

MotorolaMotorola has finally announced the much awaited Moto X Android phone since its acquisition by Google for $12.5 billion in 2011.While many expected Google to announce a device with a magical hardware specifications, Moto X turns out to be just another smartphone handset when compared to hardware specs of competing Android handsets.

That said, even though Moto X is a mid range phone, Motorola seems to be focusing on the experience of the phone rather than tech specs like Apple does. On Motorola’s website as well, the hardware specifications are listed at the bottom of the site titled under tech geeks.

moto x

Customization: Motorola offers 18 backplate covers available in various colors, seven accent colors that one can combine with white and black faceplate. Custom colors are available for on and off buttons as well. Essentially, around 504 combinations will be made available to users.  Users can also add custom text to the rear like one’s name or email address. It also allows one to select a greeting on power on, pre-defined wallpaper and Google+ Login into the phone at the time of purchase.  This customization can be made through a website called Motomaker, which is currently available only to AT&T subscribers. (Check out the video)

The customization is also available on accessories such as charger and headset. Motorola has partnered with SOL Republic to provide customized Jax earphones. Note that these customization are only available for AT&T users, while other carriers only get black and white components.

Software: The device is powered with two Motorola processors for handling language interpretation and contextual computing. This will allow the device to better the Google Now performance without the battery drain. Another interesting feature is that the device comes with Touchless Control. One just needs to say the phrase “Okay, Google. Now.” and the device will turn into an action mode. For security reasons, the company claims that the device will be trained to user’s voice and will activate only once the device recognizes users voice. This is a similar integration that Google had with Google Glass where the device responds to user commands with phrase “Okay, Glass.”

The Touchless Control feature will work just like how the Google Now app works, however, users will not need to press any voice button and the process will be entirely hands free. If you ask me, even if the device doesn’t appear to be a monster when we consider its specifications, this one enhancement brings endless possibilities. Imagine the possibilities with Google Glass and Moto X phone will work together – users will be able to do things even without removing their phone from their pocket.

That said, the device also comes with Quick Capture that allows one to activate phone’s camera with two twists of the wrist. The device will also be on an always-on mode powered by the contextual processor providing information that can be glanced on the lock screen.

Hardware & Specifications: Moto X runs on Android 4.2.2 and comes with a 4.7 inch 720p AMOLED panel, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage, 10 megapixel clear pixel camera on the back end, and a 2 megapixel camera on the front end. Both the cameras can shoot a 1080p video. The device is powered with a 2,200mAh battery, which the company claims will offer up to 24 hours of mixed usage. For connectivity, the device comes with Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, WiFi, GPS and GLONASS, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Miracast Wireless Display, NFC, and a nano SIM (used in iPhone 5). Users will also get 50GB free storage on Google Drive for two years.

The device is powered with a custom SoC, a Snapdragon S4 Pro with a 1.7GHz dual core Krait CPU and a quad core Adreno 320 GPU. It also includes two Motorola processors for handling language interpretation and contextual computing.

The device will be made available for $199 by the end of August on US carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon under two year contract. While AT&T customers will also get an option to buy a 32GB version for $299. It’s unclear whether or when the device will be available in India.

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