The Moto X phone should be great, an important evolution of the smartphone in some substantial ways and a resurgence for Motorola. How have I come to this conclusion? Let me explain…
A couple of weeks ago I bought the Motorola RAZRi which we reviewed here. This phone was released in the UK in October 2012 and was considered by many reviewers to be a mid-range phone – certainly near the top of the medium range but no challenge to the flagship Samsung Galaxy S3, iPhone 5 or even Nexus 4. Compared to a lot of modern phones it has a small-ish screen at 4.3 inch. These days that does feel a little ‘Hobbit-like’ compared to some of the big boys being announced (Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3) and even at that size, the ratio is thin and long rather that wide and stumpy. Svelte you might say.
The battery management system is sublime. The Motorola exclusive app Smart Actions can be set to make the phone perform the most appropriate battery saving action, that which makes most sense, automatically. A great way to get around the fact that Android currently puts great demand on battery life, this app really appeals to me and is the best app of its kind I’ve ever used. Considering apps in general it has a couple of other Motorola created apps and apps in general positively zing along thanks to the single core 2GHz Intel Atom CPU and 400MHz graphics processor. The device has Gorilla Glass up front and the back is made from DuPont Kevlar, which has a soft rubber-like feel but is tough enough to withstand scratches and scrapes. It apparently has a splash-guard coating which I have so far had no experience with but sounds pretty good, all in all you feel confident that you are holding a robust yet advanced mobile phone and although it was released running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich it has subsequently been updated to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Not as cutting edge as the most recent Android version is 4.2.2 but the difference between the two (both called Jelly Bean) is minor and incremental.
All very positive, so what connection to the future?
Cometh the next generation, the oft mooted ‘Motorola X’! As we previously reported a full-page advert was published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and The New York Times:
The Motorola X seems to be squarely aimed at the mid-range in a similar way to the RAZRi. It will be the first Motorola phone ‘designed, engineered and assembled in the US’ with Dennis Woodside, the CEO of Motorola stating “… every Moto X sold in the USA will be assembled in Fort Worth, Texas” . This sounds (to my ears) like a patriotic cry aimed at the working class Joe with many pundits suggesting that customers will able to personalize their handset via a customisable back-cover. Presumably ‘The Average Joe’ shelling out for a smartphone does mean he wants it to be a decent investment, he wants it to last. Larry Page, CEO of Google, has stated one of the main issue he wants dealt with is improving the frailty of mobile phones, a direction the RAZRi really shows positive progress towards.
This completely makes sense. If you are an internet behemoth like Google your main aim is surely to get as many people decent, reliable access to said internet, along with a number of incredibly useful apps/services that intrinsically link them to your site. The reason Google (and by extension Motorola) want to put tougher, better devices in people’s hands, ones that are much faster and more intuitive is so they can continue gaining more users. It’s that simple. Of course by making your phone a bit cheaper than High-end devices and thus aiming at a larger demographic, you are simply using a blunderbuss to ensure you hit has many targets as possible.
This is the long game being played. The aim is to create customer loyalty, a rediscovering of a brand and a new trust in Motorola. A lot of this is clearly speculation but considering the state of the world economies and Google’s recent history it seems to be a sensible, clever tactic that will produce some amazing products at reasonable prices. Anyone seen my Nexus 4 anywhere?
The Moto X event is happening on the 1st August and we will keep you updated on developments.