Moto X

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This article is about the smartphone. For the form of off-road motorcycle racing, see Motocross.
Moto X
Moto X (11236439494).jpg
Manufacturer Motorola Mobility
Series Moto
First released August 23, 2013; 10 months ago (2013-08-23)
Related Moto G, Moto E
Type Smartphone
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions 129.3 mm (5.09 in) H
65.3 mm (2.57 in) W
10.4 mm (0.41 in) D
Weight 130 g (4.6 oz)
Operating system Android 4.2
(upgradable to 4.4.4)
CPU 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
GPU Quad-core Adreno 320 @ 400 MHz
Memory 2 GB of RAM
Storage 16, 32 or 64 GB
Battery 2200 mAh
Display 4.7" diagonal 1280x720 (316 ppi) AMOLED with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Rear camera 10.5 megapixel
Front camera 2.1 megapixel
Sound Mono speaker on back
Connectivity

GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC,

Bluetooth, USB

Moto X is a flagship Android smartphone developed and manufactured by Motorola Mobility. Released in August 2013, it was among the company's first new products after its acquisition by Google in 2012. Initially developed as the "X Phone", Moto X was primarily aimed at mainstream consumers, distinguished by features taking advantage of voice recognition and contextual awareness, the ability for users to custom-order the device in their own choice of color options, and emphasizing the fact that the phone was being final assembled in the United States.[1]

Moto X was met with mostly positive reviews, with particular praise towards its hardware design, Motorola's new approach to customizing Android, along with its suite of contextual features, and the influence of its "mainstream" targeting on its overall performance, user experience, and battery life. Its camera, while praised for having a simple user interface, was panned, however, for having inconsistent image quality, and a lack of certain advanced features for the sake of simplicity.

History[edit]

On August 15, 2011, Google announced its intent to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion;[2] At the time, Motorola had its fifth straight quarter of losses, plus Google also wanted to have access to the company's portfolio of 17,000 issued patents as a means of defending its Android mobile operating system.[3][4] Following the closure of the acquisition in 2012, rumors began circulating that Google and Motorola were developing a device known internally as the "X Phone", which would be the company's next flagship device. Reports indicated that the device was to have a focus on unique functionality in an effort to compete against Apple and fellow Android vendor Samsung, and that the company had experimented with curved screens and ceramics as possible hardware aspects. While Motorola's new CEO Dennis Woodside declined to comment directly on the X Phone project, he did mention that the company now had the "resources to do big things" because of its acquisition by Google and that Motorola was "investing in a team and a technology that will do something quite different than the current approaches."[5]

At a press conference hosted by AllThingsD in May 2013, Woodside publicly teased a new Motorola device known as Moto X. Although Woodside did not present the device (which he claimed was in his pocket), he did reveal that Moto X would be "contextually aware", and had two special processors which would allow it to do so while maintaining sufficient battery life. Woodside also announced that the phone would be designed and manufactured in a factory outside of Fort Worth, employing 2,000 people, and would be released by October 2013.[6] Later details revealed that the phone would be available across all four national carriers in the United States, and that Motorola planned to spend $500 million on marketing Moto X.[7] The device was designed to appeal to mainstream users as determined by focus groups and surveys, with a focus on unique functionality and ensuring long battery life as opposed to a focus on reaching high-end specifications. Motorola design head Jim Wicks stated that Moto X was "really not about being intimidating and tech, it's really about being human and comfortable."[8]

Moto X was revealed publicly for the first time during a press event on August 1, 2013, where it was announced that the device would be released by all major U.S. carriers, while Rogers Wireless later announced it would exclusively sell the device in Canada.[8][9][10][11]

Motorola specifically stated that it would only release the device in North America, and had "[no] immediate plans" to release it in areas such as Europe, although the company hinted that it had "exciting plans" for a separate device tailored to the European market (Motorola later announced the entry-level Moto G in November 2013 with a broad international release).[12][13] However, in January 2014, Motorola announced that it would soon release the phone in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. In particular, Motorola scheduled a British release for February 1, 2014.[12] The Moto X began retailing in India on March 19, 2014.[14][15]

A "Developer Edition" with an unlockable bootloader was released in late-September 2013.[16] On September 19th, Republic Wireless announced that they would offer Moto X without a service contract at a significantly lower price compared to the Developer Edition and other models sold without a contract.[17]

Specifications[edit]

Hardware[edit]

Moto X back cover

Moto X uses a polycarbonate-based construction with a slightly rounded rear. The device is powered by a chipset branded as the X8 Mobile Computing System, which consists of a dual-core, 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro system-on-chip with a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU, a custom-designed Natural Language Processor core and Contextual Awareness Processor core (for a total of 8 cores), and 2 GB of RAM. It uses a 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED display; Wicks referred to the size as a "sweet spot" for phone displays, and argued that using a 1080p display like other recent high-end phones "would just suck battery and nobody would know the difference." The display is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3[18] for scratch resistance. The device includes a non-removable 2200 mAh battery, which Wicks claimed could achieve full-day battery life. The device also includes a 10 megapixel camera with "Clear Pixel" technology that the company claimed could take in 75% more light, improving performance in low-light conditions.The device is available with either 16 or 32 GB of non-expandable storage.[8][19]

Moto Maker[edit]

Users can custom-order their Moto X through an online service known as Moto Maker; which allows users to choose between black and white colors for the front of the device, 27 color or 4 real wood options for the rear cover, 7 colors for "accents" (including the camera ring and bezel buttons), the option of a custom engraved message on the rear cover, 16 or 32 GB of storage, custom text on boot-screen, and to pre-configure the device's Google account and wallpaper. Devices customized through Moto Maker are shipped within 7 days of purchase. On launch, Moto Maker was only made available to those purchasing the device through AT&T, with all other carriers only carrying the device in black and white versions.[9][20]

On November 11, 2013, Moto Maker became available to Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers.[21] On December 17, 2013, the bamboo wood rear cover option was released on Moto Maker. On January 21, 2014, additional wood rear covers--walnut, ebony, and teak—were released on Moto Maker.[22] On April 1, Moto Maker was opened up to Republic Wireless users as well.[23]

Software[edit]

Moto X initially shipped with a stock version of Android 4.2, but enhanced with several additional features. Among these features are a voice recognition system; taking advantage of the on-board Natural Language Processor, the device can be trained to recognize the voice of its user. Once configured, the phone will automatically respond to the phrase "Ok Google Now" (even when in sleep mode) and launch a voice assistant which can be used to perform various tasks.[24] The Active Notifications feature wakes the phone to display notifications received by the user on a special white-on-black lock screen—the feature also takes advantage of how the device's AMOLED display operates, as the color black is rendered by not turning on the pixel at all (thus conserving battery power). The Assist feature can automatically enable or disable certain modes, such as silencing the ringer, auto replying to text messages, or activating voice controls, depending on certain scenarios—such as when a user is in a meeting as determined by their calendar, or driving. The device's camera software uses a minimalistic interface with few options, as the software automatically optimizes itself for each photo. The camera can also be accessed by performing a special twisting gesture.[8][19]

In late-November 2013, U.S. carriers began pushing an update to Android 4.4 for the device.[25] Among other changes, it expands the amount of Touchless Control functionality that can be used without unlocking the phone, and allows users to speak their PIN to unlock the phone.[26]

Reception[edit]

The Moto X has received generally positive reviews. Its design was generally praised for appearing well-built; Joshua Topolsky, Editor-in-chief of The Verge described the Moto X's exterior as "a solid—if somewhat anonymous—slab of space-age plastics, soft-touch surfaces, and crystal clear Corning glass."[27] While Joseph Volpe of Engadget panned its design for resembling a Fisher-Price toy, this criticism was defended by considering the phone to be as durable as one. Its display was considered acceptable, but a noticeable downgrade from recent phones incorporating 1080p displays. Although it was acknowledged that the Moto X had relatively lower performance in comparison to quad-core flagship phones, the Moto X's performance was generally considered to be sufficient for "real world" users, with Toposlky remarking that "for now, our phone hardware is clearly more capable than it needs to be; mid-range seems to be just fine in this case."[28][29][30] Its battery life was also praised; while not as good as Motorola's own Droid Razr Maxx, the Moto X's battery was able to meet and exceed the company's own estimates of "24-hour" battery life on a single charge under real-world usage scenarios.[28][29]

The Moto X was praised for its emphasis on seamlessly enhancing the stock Android experience as opposed to heavily modifying it (as the company had done in the past with its Motoblur software). The Touchless Control and Active Display features were praised for their intuitiveness and usefulness, with Volpe going as far as dubbing it "Motorola's new killer Android feature". However, Volpe criticized Touchless Control for feeling like a gimmick, while Toposlky criticized it for having inconsistent voice recognition, and for being "rendered nearly useless" if locks are enabled on the device, noting that "you can still use it to make calls, but everything else requires that you unlock your phone, which requires that you pick it up and interact with it… meaning you just defeated the whole idea of 'touchless controls.'"[29] The Assist feature was praised for being the best demonstration of the device's contextual awareness capabilities, with Topolsky stating that "I’m not sure what impressed me more: the ease of this function, or the fact that I didn't have to think about where I was and what mode I was in."[28][29]

Volpe considered the Moto X's camera software to be "basically idiot-proof," allowing users to take photographs without needing specialized camera knowledge, letting the camera adjust itself for each photo automatically, However, Topolsky discovered that "somehow the Moto X’s post-processing is so aggressive and so ubiquitous that it ruins as many shots as it saves. There’s terrible artifacting and noise even in well-lit photos — like you cranked the JPEG settings way down." The camera was also criticized for having inconsistent focus and exposure, and for lacking certain advanced options.[28][29][30]

In conclusion, although Volpe criticized it for being too expensive for a "mid-range" device, the Moto X was generally considered to be an innovative device. Topolsky gave it an 8 out of 10, stating that "the Moto X is not a perfect phone, but neither is any other phone on the market right now. What it is, however, is a pretty damn good phone — and one I can recommend." Alex Roth of TechRadar gave the device a 4 out of 5, noting that "if only the camera were better and Motorola's apps were a little sharper, I'd give it a no holds barred recommendation. As it is now, the Moto X deserves to be in the conversation when discussing the best Android has to offer, but a few key flaws keep it from being called an excellent phone."[30]

Patent litigation[edit]

In July 2014, a German court ruled that Moto X and Moto G infringed patents on the use of LPKF Laser & Electronics's patented Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) process in the design of their antennas. Unless an appeal or settlement is reached, the company may now ban the products from sale in Germany.[31]

Variants[edit]

Motorola X has several variants to support 3G and 4G networks of different carriers:

Model FCC id Carriers/Regions CDMA bands GSM bands UMTS bands LTE bands Notes
XT1049 IHDT56PB2 Republic Wireless 800/1900 Quad 850/1900/2100[32] 25 The GSM/UMTS network functions have been disabled by firmware and are SIM locked[32]
XT1050 IHDT56PB1 US Regional (NVC,[33] Inland Cellular, Illinois Valley Cellular, etc.) 800/1900 Quad 850/900/1900/2100 4/13
XT1052 IHDT56PA3 Europe, India N/A Quad 850/900/1800/1900/2100 3/7/20
XT1053 IHDT56PA2 T-Mobile US, Developer Edition (GSM) N/A Quad 850/900/1700/1900/2100 2/4/17 Developer Edition is not SIM locked and is compatible with AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US networks[34]
XT1055 IHDT56PB3 U.S. Cellular 800/1900 Quad 850/900/1900/2100 4/5/12
XT1056 IHDT56PB2 Sprint Corporation 800/1900 Quad[32] 850/1900/2100[32] 25 The GSM/UMTS network functions have been disabled by firmware and are SIM locked for US carriers[32]
XT1058 IHDT56PA1 AT&T Mobility, Rogers, Claro (Puerto Rico), Movistar, Claro Brazil, Vivo Brazil, Oi Brazil and TIM Brazil N/A Quad 850/900/1900/2100 2/4/5/7/17

This model is also manufactured in China and in the USA, and it is available as a retail model (unlocked) and also in all carriers in Brazil (unlocked but customized by each carrier).

XT1060 IHDT56PB1 Verizon Wireless 850/1900 Quad 850/900/1900/2100 4/13 Developer Edition is also available though Motorola's website.[35] It claims it only supports LTE band 13, Verizon lists both[36]

All variants support four 2G GSM bands 850/900/1800/1900. All customized phones, non-customized AT&T phones, and 32GB are assembled in US. All rest (non-customized and 16GB) are made in China.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Topolsky, Joshua (2013-09-11). "Made in America: a look inside Motorola's Moto X factory". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  2. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (August 15, 2011). "Google agrees to acquire Motorola Mobility". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ Mick, Jason (May 2, 2012). "Motorola Bleeds More Cash as it Waits for Google to Save It". DailyTech. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ Cheng, Roger (August 15, 2011). "Motorola struggled before the Google deal". CNET. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Google Designing 'X Phone' to Rival Apple, Samsung". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Farber, Dan (May 29, 2013). "Moto X smartphone is real and will be launched by October". CNET. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Efrati, Amir. "Google to Spend Up to $500 Million Marketing 'Moto X' Phone". The Wall Street Journal. 
  8. ^ a b c d "This is the Moto X. Can it save Motorola?". The Verge. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Moto X preview: A Google phone assembled with you, the user, in mind". Engadget. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Honig, Zach. "Moto X finally official: Motorola X8, 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED, custom finishes, assembled in the USA from $199". Engadget. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Moto X coming to Canada as a Rogers exclusive priced at $190 on a two-year contract". Engadget. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Google to launch its Moto X smartphone in UK, France, and Germany". Financial Times. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "No Moto X launch for the UK as Motorola touts 'all American' device". TechRadar. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Moto X Is (Finally) Launching In India On Wednesday, March 19th For 23,999 Rupees At Flipkart". Androidpolice.com. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  15. ^ "Moto X coming to India on March 19 at Rs 23,999 - The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  16. ^ "Moto X Developer Edition now on sale for $649.99, works with Verizon and GSM networks". The Verge. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  17. ^ "Republic Wireless offers Moto X for $299 off-contract, unlimited data for $25 per month". 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  18. ^ Moto X by Motorola - Corning Inc.
  19. ^ a b "Moto X review". The Verge. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Motorola pulls custom Moto X engraving while it deals with quality control issues". The Verge. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Moto Maker brings customizable Moto X phones to all major US carriers". The Verge. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "A phone as unique as you: Now Featuring Bamboo for Moto X". Motorola Blog. Motorola Mobility LLC. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "republic: Surprise! Moto Maker Coming to Republ... | the republic". Community.republicwireless.com. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  24. ^ "How to get started with hands-free control on the Moto X". TechHive. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Android 4.4 KitKat now rolling out to Moto X on T-Mobile and AT&T". The Verge. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  26. ^ "Moto X Touchless Control update lets you speak your unlock code". Engadget. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  27. ^ Duhaime, Arielle (2013-08-05). "Moto X review". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  28. ^ a b c d "Moto X review". Engadget. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  29. ^ a b c d e "Moto X review". The Verge. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  30. ^ a b c "Moto X review: Google and Moto almost made a truly standout Android phone". TechRadar. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  31. ^ "Google faces German Motorola phone patent ban". BBC News. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  32. ^ a b c d e Emc test report, TEST REPORT 1, FCC, p. 3, IHDT56PB2 
  33. ^ "Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC)". NVC. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  34. ^ "Moto X Developer Edition - A Google Company". Motorola.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  35. ^ "Moto X Developer Edition for Verizon - A Google Company". Motorola.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  36. ^ LTE B13/4 700/1700."Verizon Moto X Device". Verizon Wireless. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 

External links[edit]