The Moto X Has Arrived: Will Google's $12.5 Billion Bet On Motorola Pay Off?

motorola moto X home screenThe Moto X.

Motorola hasn’t been shy at all about teasing its newest flagship phone, the Moto X, in recent months.

It has good reason to. This is the first phone from Motorola since Google bought the company. It’s Motorola’s first chance to prove that it can compete in the high-end smartphone market with the likes of Samsung and Apple. If the Moto X turns out to be a dud, Google will have a $12.5 billion mess on its hands.

So, the stakes are pretty high.

Today, we finally have all the official details on the Moto X.

Click here for photos of the Moto X >

The Moto X will launch at the end of August or early September on AT&T, Verizon, and a few other carriers. It’ll cost $199 for the 16 GB model and $249 for the 32 GB model with a two-year contract.

It’s not an astoundingly gorgeous phone like the iPhone 5 or HTC One, but it’s definitely not ugly either. The Moto X has a 4.7-inch screen and a pleasantly curved rubbery back that fits your hand perfectly. Unlike most Android phone makers, Motorola didn’t modify Google’s software too much, so it operates a lot like one of the Nexus phones. That’s a good thing, since Google’s version of Android is the best one out there.

There are also a few exclusive features that make the Moto X stand out. Unlike what we saw on Samsung’s Galaxy S4 earlier this year, the Moto X’s features actually feel useful and not at all gimmicky. 

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Notifications

motorola moto X peek at notifications

When the screen is switched off, the Moto X will give you a digest of your incoming messages, tweets, etc. when you pick up the phone. You can then tap the screen to “peek” at more details. For example, if you have a new text message, you can either decide to ignore it or jump right into the texting app and respond.

Photos

motorola moto X camera app

You can launch the camera app by twisting the phone in your hand. From there, you snap a photo by tapping anywhere on the screen. This makes it easy to take a photo at a moment’s notice.

Voice Controls

motorola moto X voice controls

The Moto X’s microphone is always switched on and ready to accept voice commands. However, it only works if you start with the phrase, “OK Google Now.”

From there, you can give it any command from making a phone call to finding directions to looking up something on Google. The feature taps into Google Now, which is Android’s voice assistant that’s better than Apple’s Siri.

You can also train the Moto X to learn your voice, so theoretically, a stranger won’t be able to control your phone.

customisation
That about does it for the exclusive software features. Beyond all that, the Moto X is your basic Android phone.

But there’s one more thing: customisation

motorola moto X colours

The Moto X will launch in white and black on most carriers, but AT&T customers will have the option to customise their device through a special website called Moto Maker. 

Moto Maker lets you change the colours of the phone’s back casing, buttons, camera lens trim, and front cover to just about anything you’d like. You can also add a personalised message with a laser engraving. The phones are assembled at Motorola’s new factory in Ft. Worth, TX and ship within four days.

Click here for photos of the Moto X >

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