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Motorola Moto X

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 Motorola Moto X Available now
1st August 2013

The current giants of the smartphone world are Samsung and Apple, who between them have a hefty and very profitable share of the market. But when it comes to Android smartphones, the problem is that you can't beat Samsung by copying Samsung, and you certainly can't hope to emulate their enormous range of devices. For Samsung's rivals, the way forward seems to be about being different, something that the elegant HTC One clearly demonstrates.

Motorola's approach is different again. At first glance, the specifications of the Motorola Moto X seem a bit mundane, but the Moto X does offer something that no other manufacturer can, which we will explain later.

 Motorola Moto X Firstly, a quick tour around the technical specifications is in order. The Motorola Moto X is an Android 4.2.2 smartphone with a 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixel display, a 10 megapixel primary camera with a 2 megapixel secondary one, a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU with 2GB of RAM plus 16GB or 32GB of flash storage plus a microSD slot. The Moto X is LTE capable and supports NFC and it comes with a 2200 mAh battery. These specifications are not a million miles away from the new DROID range being offered on Verizon Wireless.

Now, if you want one of these then you can simply buy a white or black model with Motorola's signature woven pattern on the back from your bricks-and-mortar retailer. But if you really want something different from what everybody else has, then you can get your Motorola Moto X custom-built to order with 18 different colours on the back, two different colours on the front and 7 different colour accents, either in the 16GB or 32GB configuration, plus there are colour options for the Moto X's accessories too. Motorola also indicate that there may be wooden back panels available as well, which is not something that any other mainstream manufacturer offers.

These customised devices are built in Motorola's factory in Texas and are then shipped out to customers in a few days. The drawback is that those customers have to be in North America or parts of Latin America to get it. Motorola haven't announced any plans to bring the Moto X to Europe or elsewhere, and given Motorola's patchy track record of releasing phones on other markets then we wouldn't like to place a bet on it happening.

 Motorola Moto X This is more that just a midrange phone with a pretty cover. Google and Motorola say that the Moto X has advanced voice recognition functions, so you won't need to touch it at all for many operations. The camera has an improved sensor arrangement to let in more light, plus it comes with a burst mode to select the best possible photo. Full HD video recording is included, as you would expect. Plus the Moto X make clever use of its onboard sensors by knowing when it has been picked up, is in a bag or with "two quick twists of the wrists" the Moto X can fire up its camera mode.

Ergonomically, the back of the Moto X has been shaped to make it easier to hold, and the Gorilla Glass display on the front is curved. So, although the Moto X isn't radically different from other phones in most respects, it's just a little different all around to make it distinctive. Motorola have also been busy pointing out that the Moto X is designed and assembled in the United States, which may well appeal to customers in their home market.

Motorola say that the Moto X will be available on all US carriers, although it may well be that Motorola will be rolling up some of the contract bundles themselves, especially with T-Mobile. If taken with a new two-year contract, the Moto X will cost $199 and it should start shipping in North and Latin American countries in late August or early September.

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Motorola Moto X at a glance

Available:

Q3 2013

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

CDMA 800 / 1900 + UMTS + LTE

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA+ + LTE + WiFi + EVDO (CDMA models)

Screen:

4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels

Camera:

10 megapixels (main)

2.0 megapixels (sub)

Size:

Medium/large smartphone

126 x 65 x 10.4mm

Bluetooth:

Yes (4.0)

Internal memory:

16GB or 32GB

Memory card:

MicroSD

CPU:

1.7GHz dual-core

RAM:

2GB

Java:

Optional

GPS:

Yes (plus GLONASS)

OS:

Android 4.2.2

Battery life:

Not specified (2200 mAh cell)

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