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Google's Moto X mimics latest Droids

Agam Shah | Aug. 2, 2013
The Moto X, which has a 4.7-inch screen, will be available through U.S. carriers for $199.99 at the end of this month.

The smartphone also has the X8 chip system, a set of processors including the CPU, graphics processors, sensors and cores that is also used in the Droid smartphones. In the Moto X that includes a dual-core Qualcomm S4 Pro chip code-named Krait, which is similar to the chip found in the new Droids, Google's Nexus 4, LG's Optimus G and Sony's Xperia Z. Qualcomm in January announced the Snapdragon 600 and 800 chips, which will succeed the S4 Pro.

Another common feature with the Droids is the Active Display, in which bits of information, like time and notifications, are provided on the screen when the phone is in idle mode. Users will be able to see email, text messages, social network notifications and calendar information without putting the phone in active mode. Motorola has implemented a custom screen buffer for the information to be displayed on the black background. This is another feature shared with the new Droids.

"Not only can I see stuff as it arrives, it takes me into the message so I can respond," Osterloh said.

The handset incorporates camera technology called QuickCapture, in which a user can quickly take a picture without pressing a specific on-screen button. The camera automatically autofocuses and users can touch any part of the screen to take a shot. The camera sensor is able to capture more light, which allows for good low-light shots and less blur, Osterloh said.

Verizon will sell a developer version of Moto X, which can be unlocked through Motorola's website, though the price of that phone was not available. The developer edition will also be available through Motorola's website at a later date. Developers unlocking the smartphone will break warranty, though.

The phones for the U.S. market will be made in Fort Worth, Texas, Osterloh said.

"People want a phone quickly," Osterloh said. "We realized if it was going to take two to three weeks [to ship], it wasn't going to be enough."

Making the phones in the U.S. also keeps manufacturing close to the design and engineering teams, and the company can react quickly to market trends, Osterloh said.

Motorola is also testing a Moto X with a wooden frame on the back. That smartphone could be available in the fourth quarter, though Osterloh said "we're not sure what we'll end up with."

 

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