When you mention “Android” to someone who uses a smartphone powered by another operating system, they usually respond with something like “laggy” or “slow”. To be fair, I’ve used more than a few “slow” and “laggy” Androids. In my experience, those phones have been the exception, not the rule, and they are usually always the “free” or “cheap” phones that a carrier gives you when you sign up with them, or re-up your contract.
To avoid having a sub-par experience, one could simply buy the latest Android-powered flagship device from any of the major OEMs. Unfortunately, these devices typically carry a fairly high price tag. Once subsidies are factored out (or the premium per-month plan charges are factored in) these phones usually cost upwards of US$600 — sometimes more.
Google, however, has been doing something different. It’s been releasing phones in the “Nexus” family which are fairly affordable, but not quite “cutting edge”. They look good, they function well, but they may not have the latest and greatest hardware specs. Some people consider this a problem, others see it as an opportunity for users to get high-end equipment without paying ridiculously high prices. For example, I’m still using my Nexus 4 when the Moto X, Galaxy S 4, LG G2, and HTC One are all available, and carry with them faster hardware. And that’s okay.
Lines on a spec sheet
Every manufacturer wants to be the “best”, and who can blame them. When someone goes into a store and asks for “the best phone” or the “fastest phone” on the market, sales people can easily say “this one” and point to its spec sheet.
Looking at raw numbers is a very easy way to differentiate one product from another. This one has a bigger screen. That one has a faster processor. This one has more storage space. That one has a better camera. But once you put them side by side and actually use them, those specs melt away. The devices seem to perform just as fast and fluidly as their competition. This negates the spec sheet (to a certain extent), and puts the emphasis where it should be: whether or not you like the device.
The Nexus strategy
Google’s Nexus family of products is doing something that the other OEMs aren’t: making higher-end devices affordable.
Other than online advertising and in-store displays, Google isn’t spending much money to market its products. Sure, Google doesn’t sell as many Nexus 4s as Samsung sells Galaxy S 4s, but that’s okay. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to compare the revenues from each of these phones, compared to their expenses.
Google’s strategy, however, seems to be pure genius: use almost the latest and greatest hardware, and drive the cost of the device down. This, according to certain rumors, could be exactly what Motorola is trying to do with the DVX.
If these rumors hold true, the Motorola DVX will come with a 4.5-inch, and will be powered by the X8 SoC. Compared to the Moto X, the SoC seems identical, but the screen is slightly smaller than the Moto X’s 4.7-inches, and will likely be something less than Super AMOLED.
Another difference could be what seems to be interchangeable back-plates on the DVX. Unlike the Moto X that you can customize when you place your order, you may be able to change how your DVX looks just by swapping its back-plate. This could also be used for adding other accessory options like flip covers, Qi charging, etc. Or it could just be to change the color.
Here’s the kicker: the Motorola DVX is rumored to come with a price somewhere around US$200 to $250 — off-contract. Not only would that be a great price for a great phone, once you factor in subsidies, all those cheap and laggy phones won’t stand a chance.
Yes, if the DVX lives up to what the rumors say it will be, this is the phone I wish the Moto X would have been — especially if it meant everyone who wanted a new phone could get into a relatively high-end Android for a very reasonable price!
Image Credit: FCC