After months of waiting, Motorola yesterday unveiled… the same phone they did a week ago, but with a new name and casing. It’s not as slim as the Ultra, as small as the Mini, or as long lasting as the Maxx, but you can buy it in any one of 500+ variations. If you live in the US and are on AT&T.
The phone itself seems nice enough, if unremarkable. It’s running a dual core SnapDragon S4 Pro with 2GB of RAM, 16/32 GB of storage and has a 720P SAMOLED screen. It’s widely been labelled as mid-range, but the specs are more than good enough, if not in GS4 territory. Given the similarity to the Nexus 4 internals, performance should be great. If this is mid-range hardware, I don’t have any issue with it. What I don’t like though is the price. Do Moto really expect people to pay top end prices for year old hardware? At an actual mid-range price, the X would be very tempting.
I still don’t see the need for 1080P panels in phones, the difference between 300+ and 400+ PPI isn’t something that most people will notice or care about. I agree with Moto that I’d rather have the battery life. And although I prefer LCD, the use of SAMOLED seems well justified by the active notifications that I hope will be coming to Android proper at some point.
More disappointing, though not at all surprising, is that the X comes with Android 4.2. Even though 4.3 is a dud, It’ll still be interesting to see how fast an update is released. On the plus side, at least it’s virtually stock, with the customisations actually appearing to be useful and very well integrated with native Android look and feel. This is the way customisation should be done. I’m not sure that I’m even interested in the always listening voice recognition or the gesture operated camera. But they’re easy enough to ignore.
The Moto Maker website also seems well thought out. Without being amazing, it’s nice that you can customise the colours, choose a boot up message and even have the phone pre signed in, Kindle Style. Google should be doing this stuff with Play Store hardware.
I couldn’t care less that it’s made in the US. That would probably go the same for made in the UK in all honesty. What’s more important, is that it’s only available over there. Google keeps doing this again and again. By the time it’s available anywhere else, it could be very well be completely irrelevant.
So all in all, a solid enough, if unexciting, phone. I actually quite like it, but let’s not pretend that it’s going to set the world on fire. It likely won’t even outsell the 3 year old iPhone 4, let alone the 5S/6. Customisation aside, I can’t really see much to differentiate it from last week’s Droids. I’d rather have a Maxx with double the battery life. Google would have done well to play down the hype