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Moto X

Moto X
Manufacturer
First released
August 23, 2013
Successor
Related
Type
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 Curve 5.7 -10.4mm
Weight
130 g (4.6 oz)
Operating system
Launched with Android 4.2
JellyBean, currently running Android 4.4.4 KitKat
(upgradable to Android Lollipop 5.0)
CPU
Modified 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System (8 cores)
GPU
Quad-core Adreno 320 @ 400 MHz
Memory
2 GB of RAM
Storage
16, 32 or 64 GB
Battery
2200 mAh Mixed usage up to 24 hours
Display
4.7″ diagonal HD 1280×720 (316 ppi) AMOLED (RGB) with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Rear camera
10 megapixels CLEAR PIXEL (RGBC) - Quick Capture – LED flash – 1080p HD video (30 fps) – 4X digital zoom – Slow motion video – Burst mode – Auto HDR – Panorama – Control focus/exposure
Front camera
2 megapixels 1080p HD video
Sound
Mono speaker on back
Connectivity
Bluetooth® technology 4.0 LE + EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/b/n/ac (dual band capable), mobile hotspot, 2G/2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE bands 850/900/1800/1900 Networks GSM/GPRS/EDGE - UMTS/HSPA + up to 42 Mbps - 4G LTE 3G UMTS bands 850/900/1800/1900/2100 4G LTE bands 800/1800/2600MHz (B20/B3/B7)
Development status
In production
Website
Moto X is an 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 had final assembly completed in the United States.
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.
The Moto X was succeeded by the second generation Moto X on September 5, 2014.

Development

On August 15, 2011, Google announced its intent to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion; At the time, Motorola had its fifth straight quarter of losses, and 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. 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."
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. 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. 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."
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.
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). 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. The Moto X began retailing in India on March 19, 2014.
A "Developer Edition" with an unlockable bootloader was released in late-September 2013. On September 19, 2013, 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.
In May 2014, Motorola ultimately announced that it would wind down operations at the Fort Worth plant due to the high costs of domestically producing high-end smartphones like the Moto X at it in relation to the device's overall sales. The decision was unrelated to an announcement earlier in the year that Motorola Mobility would be acquired by the Chinese company Lenovo Group.

Specifications

Hardware

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 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.

Moto Maker

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, 26 color or 4 real wood options for the rear cover, 10 colors for "accents" (including the camera ring and bezel buttons), the option of a custom engraved message on the rear cover, 16, 32, or 64 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.
On November 11, 2013, Moto Maker became available to Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers. 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. On April 1, Moto Maker was opened up to Republic Wireless users as well.

Software

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. 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.
In late-November 2013, U.S. carriers began pushing an update to Android 4.4.4 for the device. 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. Android Lollipop 5.0 will be soon rolling out to Moto X by the end of 2014.

Reception

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." 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." 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.
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.'" 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."
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.
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."

Patent litigation

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.

Variants

The Moto 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 US
800/1900
Quad
850/1900/2100
25
The GSM/UMTS network functions have been disabled by firmware and are SIM locked
XT1050
IHDT56PB1
Regional US (NVC, Inland Cellular, Illinois Valley Cellular, etc.)
800/1900
Quad
850/900/1900/2100
4/13
XT1052
IHDT56PA3
Europe, Asia, Australia
N/A
Quad
850/900/1800/1900/2100
3/7/20
SIM Unlocked
XT1053
IHDT56PA2
GSM Unlocked US, GSM Dev Edition US, Nextel México
N/A
Quad
850/900/1700/1900/2100
2/4/17
SIM Unlocked and compatible with most GSM networks including AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US; The GSM Unlocked variant ships with a T-Mobile USSIM
XT1055
IHDT56PB3
U.S. Cellular US
800/1900
Quad
850/900/1900/2100
4/5/12
XT1056
IHDT56PB2
Sprint US
800/1900
Quad
850/1900/2100
25
The GSM/UMTS network functions have been disabled by firmware and are SIM locked for US carriers
XT1058
IHDT56PA1
AT&T US, Fido CA, Rogers CA, Claro Puerto Rico, Movistar, Claro Brazil, Vivo Brazil, Oi Brazil, TIM Brazil and most Latin American carriers
N/A
Quad
850/900/1900/2100
2/4/5/7/17
The AT&T variant is manufactured in the USA and is SIM locked whereas the non-US variants are manufactured in China and are SIM Unlocked.
XT1060
IHDT56PB1
Verizon US
850/1900
Quad
850/900/1900/2100
4/13
Developer Edition is also available though Motorola's website. It claims it only supports LTE band 13, Verizon lists both
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.



Back to Motorola Mobility
Last updated on 7 November 2014 at 15:05.


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