Motorola Moto X unveiled: first look preview

After months of rumours, Motorola has officially unveiled the Moto X, its newest flagship smartphone. Though Motorola unveiled a new Droid lineup just last week, the Moto X is the next big thing for the company.

It is "the first device that was built from scratch after the Google acquisition," Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside told reporters today, and is effectively the "relaunch of Motorola."

The Moto X sports a 4.7in, 1,280 x 720 pixel display, making for a 316ppi density. Rick Osterloh, Motorola's senior vice present of product management, said the company spent time "studying peoples' hands" to see which size feels most comfortable in the hand.

"Our primary goal was comfort," Osterloh said, and the resulting Moto X screen "was the one the majority of smartphone users wanted to carry."

Motorola tried to get as much screen "as humanly possible" on the device and finished with a display that covers over 70 per cent of the surface of the phone, he said. The Moto X features a curved back, which Motorola selected because "your palm is not flat," Osterloh said.

The device will run Android 4.2.2 at launch; spokespeople did not have any timetables on a possible bump to Android 4.3, which launched last month on the new Nexus 7.

On the inside, the Moto X sports the new Motorola X8 mobile computing system that includes several chips: a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, as well as a natural language processor and a contextual computing processor that handles the sensors, both developed by Motorola.

This computing system, according to Osterloh, "makes new and cool things happen at very, very low power." Doing so via the software would burn through a battery in two to three hours, but the Moto X boasts a 24 hour battery life, or 13 hours of talk time, via its 2,200mAh battery.

Those "cool things" Osterloh referenced include touchless control, which lets you speak to the Moto X from across the room using the command, "OK, Google Now." Osterloh instructed his Moto X to call a friend, asked whether the New York Yankees won last night, and requested directions.

The Moto X will also pull up the camera app in under two seconds with two twists of a wrist. There's no dedicated photo button—just touch anywhere on the screen to take a photo. The camera includes auto-focus, but that can be adjusted depending on your photo-taking needs. There's a 10-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing snapper.

Meanwhile, the Moto X will include something known as 'active display', which shows the time and other selected alerts without having to wake the phone up from sleep. If a phone is face down and you turn it over, or you pick it up off a desk, the phone will display pertinent information for a few seconds.

Made for you, designed for you

Image 1 of 23

original_slideimages/Moto_X.jpg

original_slideimages/Moto_X.jpg

Image 2 of 23

original_slideimages/330378-moto-x-camera.jpg

original_slideimages/330378-moto-x-camera.jpg

Image 3 of 23

original_slideimages/330379-moto-x.jpg

original_slideimages/330379-moto-x.jpg

Image 4 of 23

original_slideimages/330380-moto-x.jpg

original_slideimages/330380-moto-x.jpg

Image 5 of 23

original_slideimages/330381-moto-x-back.jpg

original_slideimages/330381-moto-x-back.jpg

Image 6 of 23

original_slideimages/330383-moto-x-green.jpg

original_slideimages/330383-moto-x-green.jpg

Image 7 of 23

original_slideimages/330384-dialer.jpg

original_slideimages/330384-dialer.jpg

Image 8 of 23

original_slideimages/330385-wood-moto-x.jpg

original_slideimages/330385-wood-moto-x.jpg

Image 9 of 23

original_slideimages/330386-moto-x-apps.jpg

original_slideimages/330386-moto-x-apps.jpg

Image 10 of 23

original_slideimages/330387-moto-x-colors.jpg

original_slideimages/330387-moto-x-colors.jpg

Image 11 of 23

original_slideimages/330388-p8010019.jpg

original_slideimages/330388-p8010019.jpg

Image 12 of 23

original_slideimages/330389-moto-x.jpg

original_slideimages/330389-moto-x.jpg

Image 13 of 23

original_slideimages/330390-moto-x-back.jpg

original_slideimages/330390-moto-x-back.jpg

Image 14 of 23

original_slideimages/330391-motomaker-com.jpg

original_slideimages/330391-motomaker-com.jpg

Image 15 of 23

original_slideimages/330392-moto-x-apps.jpg

original_slideimages/330392-moto-x-apps.jpg

Image 16 of 23

original_slideimages/330393-moto-x-pink.jpg

original_slideimages/330393-moto-x-pink.jpg

Image 17 of 23

original_slideimages/moto-x-bottom.jpg

original_slideimages/moto-x-bottom.jpg

Image 18 of 23

original_slideimages/moto-x-colours.jpg

original_slideimages/moto-x-colours.jpg

Image 19 of 23

original_slideimages/moto-x-left-side.jpg

original_slideimages/moto-x-left-side.jpg

Image 20 of 23

original_slideimages/moto-x-next-to-iphone.jpg

original_slideimages/moto-x-next-to-iphone.jpg

Image 21 of 23

original_slideimages/moto-x-right-side.jpg

original_slideimages/moto-x-right-side.jpg

Image 22 of 23

original_slideimages/moto-x-top.jpg

original_slideimages/moto-x-top.jpg

Image 23 of 23

original_slideimages/moto-x-touchless-control.jpg

original_slideimages/moto-x-touchless-control.jpg

Osterloh conceded that many of these features are available on the new Droid lineup. So, why opt for Moto X? Customisation.

Moto X buyers can go beyond the standard black and white flavours and choose from almost two dozen colours. Accent colours also line the camera, buttons, and wallpaper. You can also engrave a message or name on the back of the gadget and customise a special welcome message whenever you turn on your phone. In partnership with Sol Republic, Moto X users can also get earphones to match their phones.

Since Motorola is assembling the Moto X in the US, Osterloh said that American users should have their coloured Moto X within four days of placing an order. An {ATT&T exclusive) 32GB Moto X will be available for $249.99 (£165), while the standard 16GB model will sell for $199.99 (£132) and should hit the market in late August or early September, depending on the carriers. Bear in mind that these are on-contract prices based on Motorola's US roadmap.

So what of international rollout? Little information is available on the matter, but we hope to be able to bring you an update shortly.

However, Motorola did say that the Moto X will eventually be available in Google Play, and unlocked and developer versions are also on tap. Motorola also promised 50GB of free Google Drive storage for two years.

Elsewhere, the Moto X also sports 2GB of RAM, NFC, and support for Bluetooth 4.0.