Mobile Phones Guide
Motorola Unveils 4.7-inch Moto X, Comes with 10MP ClearPixel Camera
After numerous leaks and media publicity (1) (2) (3), the Motorola Moto X is finally official. It will be available on all the major U.S telcos by end August or early September, and there are plans by Google to bring it to the international market soon after its U.S debut.
Here's a quick rundown of its specs:
- 4.7-inch AMOLED display (1280 x 720 pixels)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core 1.7GHz processor with Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System
- 2GB RAM
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- 16GB or 32GB internal storage (no memory card slot)
- 50GB free Google Drive storage for two years
- 10-megapixel rear ClearPixel camera
- 2-megapixel front-facing camera
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 4G LTE
- 2200mAh non-removable battery
- 129.3 x 65.3 x 5.6 - 10.4mm
With camera technology an increasing focus point for phone makers, Motorola came up with its own innovation dubbed ClearPixel. ClearPixel refers to the special RGBC (red-green-blue-clear) filter of the camera sensor which allows more light to pass through.
The size of the pixels on the 10-megapixel camera is 1.4 micron. In comparison, the pixel size of the UltraPixel camera on the HTC One is 4 microns. The Nokia Lumia 1020 features a 1.1 micron BSI pixel in its 41-megapixel camera sensor. The larger the pixel size, the more light reaches the sensor, and the better the image quality. The Moto X should take better low-light and blur-free daylight images.
While the Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor seems dated especially when the latest Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor is soon available in consumer devices, Motorola adds its X8 Mobile Computing System, which includes a dedicated natural language processor and a contextual computing processor to the Snapdragon processor.
The contextual computing processor not only handles the sensors, display and touch interaction, it also doubles as the main processor when the phone is in standby mode. As the name suggests, the natural language processor deals with the audio, noise estimation and noise cancellation.
Motorola claims that its X8 Mobile Computing System helps to boost battery life and improve performance by up to 50%. The 2,200mAh non-removable battery in the device is said to provide a full day of usage.
As "the first smartphone that you can design yourself", Motorola allows you to customize how your Moto X look and feel via Motomaker. You can choose from 18 back colors, 2 front colors, 7 accent colors, 16 unique wallpapers, engraving for the back cover and custom boot messages. In addition, there are over 300 "M4DE" accessories that are officially certified for the Moto X.
The Moto X also comes with unique software features such as Touchless Control, Active Display and Quick Capture Camera. Touchless Control lets you control the phone using voice alone, and it is no surprise that Google Now is the main component of this feature. Some of the functions include setting alarms, checking the weather and getting directions.
Quick Capture Camera is a gesture-based shortcut that starts up the camera quickly with a flick of your wrist. Once the camera app starts up, you can touch any part of the screen to capture a shot.
Active Display is Motorola's take on the notification system on the Moto X. Instead of alerting you via a notification LED, the Active Display feature will light up certain pixels of the panel to display different notifications. As AMOLED displays allow certain pixels to be turned on at a time, this feature should not affect the battery mileage of the device.
The Moto X is available off-contract at US$575 (16GB) and US$630 (32GB) although it is likely locked to the U.S telcos. If you want to get an unlocked version, you have to wait for the Google Play edition to arrive. At point of publication, Google and Motorola did not reveal the price of the Google Play edition. It is also unclear whether the Google Play Edition is customizable.