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Moto X Announced: The Device You Can Design Yourself Is Here

by Brandon Russell | August 1, 2013

Motorola wants your phone to reflect your personality and style, like a pair of wacky sneakers or tie dye shirt. That’s exactly why the new Moto X device exists—it’s a handset being aligned as the industry’s first “Design it Yourself” smartphone, an accessory that has pocket computer capabilities. If you’re fed up with the tedium of black and white handsets—or prefer not to wait for special pink, maroon, or brown editions that come out months later—Motorola’s new device should be on your radar. Because why shouldn’t your phone reflect your unique wardrobe?

Basically everything we’ve heard about the Moto X device is true: there’s a 4.7-inch 720p display, 10-megapixel ClearPixel camera and the added ability to dictate what colors (front and back) your phone is. By using an online “studio,” buyers have the option to choose from sixteen different colors for the Moto X; you can even add accent colors—there are 7 in total—to the power button, volume rocker and camera ring. Something we hadn’t heard of is the ability to add a custom Wake-up message, where you’ll seemingly be able to add an inspirational quote when your device boots up. Amazing. “#YOLO.”

Other additional specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, 2GB of Ram, Android 4.2.2, 2,220 mAh battery (hurray!), Bluetooth 4, and 16GB and 32GB (32GB is exclusive to AT&T) options. Not the most bleeding-edge specs, but adequate to be sure. The company says the handset has been designed to be unlike “any device” Motorola has offered before—when compared to its recent Droid devices, that certainly becomes apparent.

The real meat of the Moto X, other than the option to customize it with a “unique” wallpaper or adding a short message scrawled on the phone, is a series of software enhancements we previously saw in that Rogers video, including touchless control and a quick capture feature. With touchless control, users have the ability to perform actions like check weather, get directions, make a call or Web search just by saying “OK Google Now.” Motorola says the device will learn and tune to your voice, and your voice only, and will be at the ready should you need assistance.

The Quick Capture feature allows you to flick your wrist in such a way that launches the Moto X’s camera, where you can then tap the screen to take a photo. Additionally, there’s an Active Display feature, which efficiently displays information on the screen—”It doesn’t interrupt and it’s battery friendly,” Motorola says. The company designed the feature so you don’t have to wake your device constantly just to see the time or messages, which actually sounds hugely convenient.

For AT&T customers, you can register through the carrier’s Moto X website starting today for a chance to be one of the first to purchase a customized device; the carrier says it’ll randomly choose a select few users with Gmail accounts. Once the handset does launch later this month / early Sept., it’ll run for $199 for the 16GB iteration and $249 for the 32GB iteration. AT&T says users who prefer not to customize—don’t be a stiff—can pick up a plain old black or white model, or wait for the opportunity to choose from “unique materials” in the future, such as wood. All devices are being assembled in the U.S. and shipped in four days or less once they’re made available.

The device will also be available through Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular soon, though AT&T is getting first dibs on customization options.


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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...