By Stephen Schenck | August 1, 2013 3:01 PM
Rumors of the Motorola “X” phone go back months. This summer, all that speculation started crystallizing in to something much more real, and amidst all the leaks, Motorola official announced the handset’s name as the Moto X and got started with some pre-launch advertising. Most recently, we’ve been looking forward to today’s press event for our opportunity to get the full story on this Android. Sure enough, the curtain has now been pulled back, as Motorola gives us our first official look at the Moto X.
One big unknown about this hardware has been the nature of the user customization it would offer – that had been a part of the rumors all along, but the details kept changing. Would it just be about colored backplates, or something more significant – maybe different materials, too?
As it turns out, users will be able to choose colors for the phone’s back, front, and accent pieces, and while it won’t be available right out of the gate, alternate materials like wood (below) will very much be choices – look for those later this year. All told, there should be over 2,000 ways you could combine all the options.
Price has also been a big question for the Moto X? Would it be a cheap no-contract phone like the Nexus 4? We’re still waiting for full details, but what we’ve learned so far doesn’t make it seem like that will be the case.
The Moto X will sell for just about $200 on-contract, with retail sales becoming available for users of carriers AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, and Verizon.
Motorola will also sell the phone directly through its website, which will be the avenue you need to take to get one of those custom builds. Here, you can additionally get the phone for T-Mobile, but there’s no further mention of price – hence, we’re not sure if Motorola will be doing off-contract sales, nor if the customization process will affect phone pricing.
One quite nice bit to the customization arrangement: if you don’t like how it actually looks, you have two weeks to send it back and try again.
Look for the basic white and black Moto X to hit stores in the US, Canada, and Latin America late this month and into September.
What about features and specs: the Moto X guts have much in common with the new Droid Ultra, to little surprise. That means a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro at 1.7GHz powering the phone, as part of Motorola’s X8 system, along with 2GB RAM. The display is a 4.7-inch 720p OLED component. There will be 16GB and 32GB versions of the hardware available, as well as unlocked developer editions, including a Google Play edition model.
That Active Display system we heard about is present, delivering notifications to the screen even when your phone is sleeping. In the same vein, the Moto X features no-waking-required voice control, thanks to some of that extra X8 circuitry.
The same 10-megapixel RGBC camera from the Droid Ultra is back, along with Quick Capture mode to help you avoid missing important shots. Where will you store all those shots? Users will get an extra free 50GB Google Drive storage.