Since being announced by Motorola, the Moto X has continued to generate as much Internet buzz as it was prior to its launch. Some are criticizing the specs of the device, especially when compared to top devices from Samsung and HTC, and some are even claiming the Moto X is not innovative enough. Iqbal Arshad, a top engineer at Motorola, has taken umbrage to the remarks and granted an interview with CNET in which he explains how Motorola is passing by Samsung and HTC when it comes to innovation.
One of the issues that particularly seems to get on Arshad’s nerves are the claims that the Moto X is using processor technology from “last year” because the Qualcomm processor is only a dual-core unit instead of a four- or eight-core chip. Arshad explains that the X8 system designed by Motorola is actually more advanced than anything Samsung or HTC is doing with their chips, despite the apparent differences on paper. This is because the Moto X shifts certain functions off the main processor onto other individual processors to handle specific functions. Two notable chips are the low-power “contextual computing processor” that handles gestures and the “natural language processor” that handle voice-recognition chores.
By using these separate, low-power units, the Moto X is able to provide an “always on” experience that won’t drain the battery. This leads to innovations in the way users interact with the device, like the ability to speak commands without actually handling the unit, even when it appears asleep. Arshad says Motorola could have done things the Samsung or HTC way, but it would have resulted in the need for a battery three times the size they have in order to provide the same user experience. Arshad also points out that their studies show these big processors tend to be severely underutilized and really serve no purpose in making devices operate better.
Arshad also responded to criticisms about the screen only being 720p and 312 pixels per inch, less impressive than say the Galaxy S 4′s 1080p, 441 pixels per inch. Arshad points out that the human eye is unable to discern resolutions beyond 300 pixels per inch, so anything over that makes no difference to end users. However, the human eye is capable of detecting differences in color saturation and color reproduction. It is in these areas where he says Samsung and HTC are falling short. In HTC’s case, he says they are using an inferior technology with their LCD screens and Samsung is not really producing true 1080p because the PenTile display drops a pixel and uses more power than Motorola’s solution.
At the end of the day, Arshad argues paper specs don’t mean much. He claims there is too much focus on “numbers” and this just further enables marketing to drive the impressions of a device rather than how it actually performs. Instead, the focus should be on the user experience and how a device is able to positively impact the way a user goes about using their smartphone. To do that, Motorola focused on doing things in a different way than what Samsung or HTC have done.
What do you think of Arshad’s defense of the Moto X and its specifications? Let us know in the comments.