Google's Motorola subsidiary has just announced the brand-new Moto X, which they somehow let Verizon spoil last week with their incredibly similar new Droid announcement, but which is interesting enough that it certainly deserved the second, more encompassing look. Phil Nickinson of Android Central has already gotten a Moto X hands-on and here are his first impressions:
The Moto X is the first phone designed and built from scratch since Google acquired Motorola. And the end result is a phone that's as simple as it is complex. Its design is as understated as it is attractive. There have been so many assumptions about what the first Googlerola phone should be. It should be "Pure Google." It should have NASA-level hardware. It should have at least as many features as the droid line.
What Motorola's done is taken solid hardware and attractive design and married it to a fairly stock version of Android — with some interesting features thrown in, as well as a number of customization options. It's coming to five U.S. carriers in a few weeks and worldwide later, retailing for $199 on contract.
It's not yet the Google+ Now phone of my dreams, the natural-language-first interface that brings the Iron Man movie's Jarvis one step closer to life, but it's certainly a great sounding phone. The customization options are interesting, if a little cheesy - it looks like you can get it in wood veneer! That's never worked for anyone before, not Dell, and not case makers, but Motorola seems to have a solid enough device here that the gimmick shouldn't matter. It's not lipstick on a pig, it's frosting on a cake.
Google will likely have a new Nexus (4?) later this year as well, and perhaps Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie (seriously?) to go with it. Combined, it'll be an interesting new generation of competition for Apple. We've already seen iOS 7, which really is revolutionary in its take on dynamic, gameified interface, but if Apple holds to pattern, they're in a "tock" cycle for hardware this year. Will an iPhone 5S be perceptively different enough to excite consumers, even with fingerprint scanners, better cameras, and other, less obvious enhancements?
Check out Android Central's full Moto X coverage and then you tell me.