The new Moto X rumor roundup: previewing Motorola’s next flagship
It’s happening. One of the best phones of 2013 is getting a refresh, and the whole tech world seems quite excited about it. With last year’s Moto X, Motorola brought thinking that was way different than many of the other OEMs out there – it proved that phones didn’t have to have top-tier specs and a boatload of software features in order to shine. It proved that a great phone doesn’t have to look great on paper, so we’re naturally looking forward to the successor to that product. The new Moto X (or perhaps the Moto X+1, as it may be called) is only a few days away, so we decided to consolidate everything we’ve published up to this point into one big Moto X rumor roundup. Let’s get right to it.
Hardware rumors of the new Moto X have been going strong for months now. The first solid rumors were written up at Pocketnow in early April, and since then it’s been an on-and-off whirlwind. The good thing is, we know pretty much exactly what to expect in terms of internals – though questions are still being asked about the external features of the phone.
First of all, let’s dive into Moto Maker. Multiple new material options are rumored for the device customization service that was first announced with the Moto X, but of the two that have been rumored by fairly credible sources, leather sounds the most likely. The first we hard of a leather option was in early April, and then about halfway through the month we first saw the beauty you see to the right, an alleged list of all Moto Maker options for the new Moto X.
Earlier this month, denim was also added to the mix. The source behind this report from PhoneArena says that Motorola is simply evaluating whether a denim choice would make sense though, so it’s unclear whether this option will launch alongside the new Moto X (or even if it will launch). If this comes to fruition, though, we’re told to expect the material to be composed of a denim outer layer connected to a plastic substrate.
Custom wood backs are also probably returning, if a leak out of Android Police in late July is to be believed. There also appears to be aluminum on the top, bottom, and sides, and it’s quite possible that will turn out to be a Moto Maker option as well. Also in this leak is a look at the camera sensor of the phone, and there appears to be no typical LED flash. We’re expecting the flash to be directly incorporated into the camera ring, and other leaks support this reasoning.
Next up on our list of rumors, leaked renders of a version of the phone allegedly bound for Verizon Wireless. You see them – probably the clearest look yet we’ve had at the new Moto X – in the header image above. The item of note there is the fact that there are four little dots in the corners of the front side of the phone. Many have speculated that those could be used for an elaborate 3D screen effect not unlike the one we saw on the Amazon Fire Phone, though it’s possible the evidence has deceived us on this point.
The next item is a leak of the front panel of the new Moto X coming to us from HelloMotoHK, where it is compared to the original Moto X. You can see it’s slightly bigger –there are rumors suggesting this is a 5.2-inch panel– and you can clearly see what look to be cutouts for the front-facing speakers.
With that all said and done, let’s jump right into specs. First off, we’ve got a “leak” right from Motorola exec Punit Soni. While trying to assist a Moto X owner who was having a problem with his device, Soni posted a screenshot to Google+ – except the screenshot he posted was 1080p, and Motorola has never made a 1080p smartphone before. This seems like pretty solid evidence that the screen will have a full HD resolution.
The 1080p claim is backed up by a specs list from Brazilian retailer Livraria Logos, which claims that the panel measures in at 5.2 inches. This leak also says there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, a 12MP rear-facing camera, a 5MP front-facing shooter, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage (with expansion supported through microSD), and a 2900mAh battery. These claims are even further backed up by a Geekbench benchmark, which says there’s an MSM8974 processor – which could either mean a Snapdragon 800 or 801 – and that it’s clocked at 2.5 GHz. This benchmark also states that the RAM size is 2GB.
Going into further detail regarding that 12MP camera, TK Tech News reports that it employs 4K video capture abilities, though that’s pretty unsurprising since most of this year’s Android flagships have offered it. The camera is even tested out in a video, so you may want to check that out if you were looking for what could be a very early look at a prototype phone’s camera abilities – basically, don’t expect what you see here to be representative of the retail X. Said camera will also apparently offer optical zoom according to another leak.
That same leak mentions something about 3D – while the true meaning is lost in translation, it’s quite possible that this could have something to do with the screen. This could be tied in again to the four little dots on the front of the phone, but we don’t know for sure at this point.
Disappointingly, the software features of the new Moto X haven’t been leaked in detail. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing though – there’s exactly one morsel we dug up in our archives you can begin to get excited about: the renders shared by @evleaks (which can be found in the header image) show off a Google Now Launcher-esque home screen, but we learn not much aside from that.
It’s pretty safe to assume that trademark features from the original Moto X, like Touchless Control and Active Display, will make their way over to the new X, but we can’t say for sure if there will be anything more than that (or even if those features will get ported over). We’ll simply have to wait for the announcement to learn more about the software, unfortunately.
What many people hated the most about the Moto X last year was its price. Originally, the device sold at $199 on-contract – the same price as many of the other flagships available at the time – and offered less in terms of specs alone. Many argued that the performance and experience of the phone made up for the price, but that argument is still going on today. Motorola did eventually drop the prices over multiple fire sales through the end of last year and the beginning of this year, bringing Nexus-level pricing to the phone, though only for limited times.
It’s pretty safe to assume that the price of the Moto X+1 will start somewhere around the $199 on-contract price the Moto X had, but it’s entirely possible that we’ll be thrown a curveball and that the price will end up cheaper.
As far as carrier availability goes, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are almost certainly confirmed. When placeholder pages were found on Motorola’s website earlier this year, all three carriers were referenced, though T-Mobile was missing at that time. Later, @evleaks mentioned that all four major US carriers would be getting their hands on the phone, and those claims were later matched yet again in a set of leaked Motorola codenames.
But when should you expect the device? We have some sort of an idea for a launch date, but only for the Verizon version for the time being. Droid Life had reported that Verizon was preparing to launch the device on September 25, though in the renders of the Verizon models, the date is September 17 – though that second date could mean absolutely nothing, it’s something to keep in mind for sure.
Now that we’ve covered the major rumors, it’s time for some closing thoughts before we head into the press event. Number one, the name “Moto X+1” has been tossed around since early April – even on official Motorola webpages – but it is by no means an official name. A credible leak from a Verizon computer system suggests that the name may simply be “The new Moto X,” which is the name we decided to go with in our roundup.
Also, the new X isn’t all that we are expecting at the Chicago press event. In the teaser image that Motorola sent to the media (which you can take a look at below), you can clearly see that a new Moto G and the Moto 360 will also be guests of honor. While we won’t be giving either of those products the in-depth rumor roundup treatment, you can check-in with our coverage of those products: hop over to this page for more on the new G, and this one to learn about what we’re expecting from the 360. We’re also expecting a rehashed Motorola Skip; the FCC leaked that one for us, so learn about it here.
That’s all for now, folks. We’ll have our very own Adam Doud live at Motorola’s September 4 Chicago event, and will bring you any and all news – along with hands-on coverage – as soon as we’re able to.