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Friday, September 5, 2014

New Motorola Moto X announced and available today for $99 on contract or $499 off contract


Motorola Moto X (2014)

Motorola has been working on the successor to their Moto X for some time now, and the device has been finally unveiled. While many of us though the device will be named the Moto X+1, Motorola has chosen to keep the name as it was simply referring to their new flagship as the new Motorola Moto X.

Hardware

So what does the new Moto X offer? For starters you get a 5.2 inch AMOLED display with a 1080 by 1920 pixel resolution. You also get up to 32GB of internal storage, a 13 megapixel rear camera with an F/2.25 aperture, a 2 megapixel front camera, and a customized 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM.

The device measures 72.4 x 140.8mm (~2.85 x 5.54-inches) and the width ranges from 3.8 mm (0.15-inches) at the edge to 9.9mm (0.39-inches) at in the middle, and it will weigh 144g (5.08oz). The edge-to-edge design means that Motorola has been able to fit a slightly larger display in the same device width as the Samsung Galaxy S5.

As far as the device itself, it is bigger, but Motorola says that it is still easy to use with one hand, and has been designed carefully to give the same sense of "balance" as the original. The device has almost no bezel, giving a great screen-to-device ratio, and has the same curved back as the original to make it feel secure in the hand. The device has a water repellent coating; and it adds one more microphone, bringing the total to four, to allow for better call quality. Also aiming to boost call quality is a new metal frame around the outside, which gives a more premium feel and doubles as an external antenna to boost reception. Motorola even takes a very late swipe at Apple by touting its Dynamic Tuning, which adapts to how you hold the device and optimize which part of the antenna to use.




Software

On the software side you get Android 4.4 KitKat, with the popular Motorola apps and customization which made the device a hit. Active Display is now called Moto Display, and works much like before allowing you to "peek" at notifications, while only lighting up select pixels on the AMOLED display. But, it has been extended with Moto Actions, which uses infrared sensors above the display to give you gesture controls. This means the device will sense when your hand is reaching towards the device and will turn on the display; and, you can use a wave gesture to do things like silence a phone call or an alarm. Motorola says that this system is better than others because its IR sensors can capture gestures that are 4 times farther away than other systems.

Touchless Controls, is now known as Moto Voice, and bring new customization options. Now you can customize the trigger phrase to anything you want, and are no longer restricted to using the phrase "OK Google Now". It also brings new commands to post a status to Facebook, or send a WhatsApp message.

Moto Assist is back and working the same as before to allow custom actions based on context like when you're driving, sleeping, at home, or in a meeting. The quick gesture to open the camera is also back, but once in the camera, there are some improvements. The biggest there is Highlight Reel which groups together pictures based on location or time, and automatically create a video collage set to music, which you can then share with others. It sounds a lot like one of Google's Auto Awesome creations, really. There is also a "best shot" feature, which will capture extra shots in the background, and pull another Auto Awesome type move to check for blur, smiles, or blinking and edit the pictures accordingly.


Moto Maker

Motorola is adding in an option for leather, in along with the wood and colorful plastic options on the Moto Maker. The leather is said to be from the Horween Leather Company, which is one of the oldest leather companies in the U.S., located in Chicago. The leather backs will be available in Natural (aka brown), Congac (aka red), Black, and Navy. The wood options are the same with Bamboo, Ebony, Teak, and Walnut, but this time around Motorola is touting that the wood backs are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure that it is sourced in an "environmentally-friendly and socially responsible manner".

Moto Maker will once again be available in the U.S., Mexico, and Germany, but it will also be made available in France and the UK, on select carriers. In Mexico, that means Telcel, Orange in France, Phones 4U in the UK, and Phone House in Germany. Unfortunately, in the US, Moto Maker will only be available for Verizon and AT&T officially, although we expect an unlocked version which essentially covers T-Mobile as well. It looks like Sprint customers will be left out.


Accessories

Motorola is bringing back the M4DE for Motorola program, but is also releasing a few accessories of its own to help you get the maximum out of your new Moto X.

First off is Moto Hint, which is the Bluetooth headset that was part of the teaser image when Motorola sent out its event invites. The Moto Hint is essentially an earpiece that extends the Moto Voice (aka Touchless Control) commands. When you pair the Moto Hint, you'll be able to use voice commands at any time, as long as your Moto X is within range, meaning Google searches, sending messages, and more.

Moto X accessories

Next up is the Motorola Turbo Charger, which is an interesting device that Motorola claims will be able to give your device 8 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging. This is an emergency tool though. The claimed benefits are only available when your battery is "substantially depleted", and the charging benefits will slow down as the charging progresses. It is a cool addition though, and a nice alternative to a software hack that will give you a ton more battery life by severely limiting your phone's functionality.

Also on the battery life theme are the new Motorola Power Pack and Power Pack Micro, which are essentially mobile battery packs to charge your device and give you extra juice. The Power Pack is sized to fit in your pocket and add "extra hours of use", while the Micro will fit on your key chain and add an unspecified amount to your battery. The Micro also uses Motorola's Keylink feature to let you find your phone with the Micro, or find your keys with your phone. If you misplace both, you'll have to resort to Android Device Manager, we suppose.

Motorola also has a range of earbud headphones and the new JBL Micro Wireless portable Bluetooth speaker for your audio needs. All of the accessories come in a range of colors, and will be available for purchase soon. No word yet on pricing.

Moto X accessories


Pricing and Availability

The new Moto X will be available in the U.S. for $99 on contract or $499 off contract for the 16GB model.  The 32GB variant, which will be exclusive on Moto Maker will cost $549. The device will be available for purchase later today, September 5th on Verizon, AT&T and U.S. Cellular.


source - Motorola | AT&T | Verizon
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