Motorola Moto X Smartphone Unveiled By Google

Now Under Google’s Ownership, Motorola Unveils Moto X Android Smartphone.

Will it be a New wonder or another flop?…

Motorola has unveiled a new smartphone that consumers can personalise with a choice of colours and materials, hoping to stand out in a crowded market and justify the $US12.5 billion Google paid for the ailing handset maker.

Moto X Smartphone Unveiled By Google
Photo: AP

Owners will be able to customise a number of the parts on the highly-anticipated Moto X, including various colours and materials such as wood. In total, more than 2000 combinations can be made.

Moto X: Users can choose from 18 different back covers

Users can choose from 18 different back covers – wood is an upcoming option, Google said – and they can choose black or white for their phone’s front cover. Additionally, users can also choose the colour they want for smaller parts on their phones, such as the volume buttons and the rings around the camera lens. Users can also choose between 16 and 32 gigabytes of storage, and they can also put an engraving on their device.

“Your Moto X is truly yours, because you design it,” said Motorola in a statement.

Aside from that, the Moto X will feature a 4.7-inch screen. It will also be responsive to voice commands, meaning users can speak an instruction and it will carry the action out without the user having to use hands.

It is the phone maker’s first flagship device since Google bought the company in 2012, and is its latest attempt to break into a smartphone market dominated by Apple and Samsung.

The Moto X will go on sale in the US at the end of August or the beginning of September for a suggested retail price of $US199.99 to customers who sign a two-year contract at five of the biggest US mobile telcos. There is currently no word on an Australian release date and price.

Google faces a steep climb in its effort to revive the mobile phone pioneer.

By emphasising the ability to personalise the device, Motorola is taking a different tack than many of its smartphone competitors, which battle over specifications such as screen resolution and processor speed.

“They’re not playing the ‘mine is bigger than yours game,'” said Avi Greengart, an analyst with Current Analysis. “Their approach is that this is what consumers actually need.”

“I have no doubt there are people who want to customise their phones. The question is how many of them,” Greengart added.

Once the global No. 2 phone maker, Motorola’s market share was down to 2 per cent in the second quarter, ranking it 12th among smartphone makers, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Another phone launch

Rick Osterloh, Motorola’s vice president for product management, said consumers have shown that they are interested in putting their personal stamp on a phone, seen in the popularity of phone cases featuring various colours and sparkly surfaces.

Motorola is still working out which wood to use, he said. Aside from cosmetic concerns, the decision will have technology ramifications because different woods “respond differently” to radio signals.

In addition to industrial design changes such as a curved back and the choice of colours, the phone’s key features found in its camera and a touch-free user interface are the same as what Motorola introduced in its line-up of new Droid devices last week.

Since it bought Motorola, Google has promised that it would rationalise the company’s phone range, which included as many as 45 phones in 2011. Along with the Moto X and three Motorola Droid phones, Motorola will likely have just one more phone launch this year, Osterloh said.

While the Moto X will mark Google’s most significant effort to get a foothold in the smartphone hardware market, Google’s Android mobile operating system already leads the pack. The software, which Google gives away free to companies including Samsung and HTC, is featured on three out of every four smartphones sold worldwide, according to analysts.

Google primarily makes money from Android via online advertising when consumers access its services on Android-powered devices.

Motorola said it has yet to establish a price for customers who want to pay the full retail price without signing a contract.

Reuters/Los Angeles Times