The Moto X is quite a good phone. It may not have great benchmark results to impress, or a spec-sheet to show-off, but it is an embodiment of what a modern-day smartphone should be. Although it might have been showered with critical acclaim for unique features like Touchless controls and Active Notifications, it wasn't a commercial success. The clear takeaway is that people don't want to pay a high-end price for a phone with mid-range specs, no matter how good it is. Which is why the Moto X is finding more takers now at sub-$400 price points than its $600 launch price. As we near its one year anniversary in August, the leaks for its successor have begun dripping from the cracks. Till now, we know that it would be called the Moto X+1 and may come with even more colourful back covers compared to its predecessor. But beyond the looks, here are the five things that I think should make the Moto X+1 story watertight.
High-End Specs Treatment As said before, the Moto X could never go head-to-head with the Galaxy S4/S5 and the like because of its mid-range specs. This time around, let’s hope the Moto X+1 comes with the latest and greatest Snapdragon 801 chip, that'll keep it on par with today's flagships like the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, and the XPERIA Z2. Also, upping the display resolution to 1080p will shut the pixel junkies up. Continuing the use of an AMOLED panel will be paramount to retain the 'Active Notifications' feature that Moto X users have come to love.
Improved Camera The Moto X's camera was universally accepted as its weakest link. The 'ClearPixel' sensor that was supposed to deliver better low-light performance turned out to be a clear hogwash. Motorola should be cautious to not 'do an HTC' here and improve the camera on the Moto X+1 compared to its predecessor.
Increased Battery Capacity No doubt the co-processors in the Moto X enable always-listening and gesture-tracking abilities without putting a big dent on the battery life. But that doesn't mean the battery life on the Moto X is good. The Moto X lasts a typical working day with active use, just like any Android phone with a 2200 mAh battery and similar specs would. Obviously the ultimate answer to better battery life is to fit in more capacity, as is evident with the compliments the 2800 mAh-powered Galaxy S5 or the 2600 mAh HTC One M8 are receiving.
Please, please, No Messing Around With Stock Android This is probably my worst nightmare — where clean, lean UI will be replaced with the now-company-owner Lenovo's hideous overlay. The untouched UI on the Moto X is a big reason why it got updated to Android 4.4 KitKat faster than other smartphones except for Nexus. It's probably also the reason why a comparatively slower chipset can still make the Moto X seem almost as fast as any flagship bearing the best silicon.
Retain The Dimensions The major reason I like the Moto X is due to its compactness. Despite packing in a reasonably well-sized 4.7-inch display, it comfortably first the palm. This makes using the Moto X single-handedly an easy affair. I really hope Motorola doesn't change this in an attempt to follow the industry trend. We're anyway hearing rumours of a Moto phablet in the works — great! Create a separate product to cater the needs of people wanting big-screened phones. Don't mess with the existing ones.
If you've read through the points above, you'll realise my extreme urge to retain all the things that are good about the Moto X, and instead fix the first two pain points that turned people away from paying a premium for it. Everything else is a cherry on the cake — be it the wider variety of back-covers, water-resistance, wireless charging, fingerprint scanner, InfraRed or anything else they might add.
Rohan Naravane heads the content and product teams at PriceBaba. As it would have been clearly evident in this post, he's absolutely in love with his Moto X. He can be found rambling Tech on Twitter @r0han.