Motorola officially unveiled the Motorola X Android phone in New York today. The company is taking a unique approach with this phone, offering several customization options and adding some clever software tricks on top of Google Android. However, many of its internal components are middle-of-the-road and the Motorola X is priced like a high-end phone. Will the Motorola X dazzle consumers with its color choices? Or will it be snubbed in favor of more powerful Android devices? Kindly vote in the poll below and let me know what you think of the phone in the comments section. In the meantime, here’s a brief rundown on the Motorola X, binary style.
Good: The most novel thing about the Motorola X is that its physical appearance can be customized. Using the Motomaker (video below), consumers can mix and match different components. The front, back, volume-rocker, and camera-lens plastics can be mixed and match, for hundreds of different color combinations. For mainstream consumers, this is a fun and fantastic option.
Bad: Unfortunately, AT&T has a timed exclusive on Motomaker customization. People that want a Motorola X at launch for Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular will have to settle for black or white.
Bad: While customizing the look of the phone is pretty sweet, the choices for internal components are limited. You can have 16GB or 32GB of storage.
Bad: This is definitely not a phone for tech geeks. The processor is considered mid-range now and will seem like a fossil a year from now. Motorola opted for a 720p screen, rather than a 1080p screen, which is the trend for high-end phones.
Good: Motorola wants to get away from the spec wars and focus on the experience. The company is positioning the device as something that just works and is cool, rather than something that beats out HTC or Samsung phones on paper. Obviously Apple has been hugely successful at pushing the “experience” of the iPhone instead of focusing on what’s inside it.
Bad: Unfortunately for Motorola, that’s not how the Android world works. Apple can successfully push the experience because it controls everything — hardware, operating system, and services. It can offer something unique because it’s the only company that has iPhone, iOS, and iTunes. I don’t think you can get away with a mid-range Android phone — at least to tech nerds — by pushing an experience. Aside from customizable plastics, there are too many Android phones that offer experiences similar or superior to what the Motorola X brings to the table.
Good: Some of Motorola’s Android customizations are pretty clever. The Motorola X can pull off some neat tricks with its always-on voice recognition and sensor detection. I really like that you can see notifications by just tapping the screen instead of turning the whole screen on; the “active” notifications take advantage of AMOLED’s ability to only power a certain amount of pixels. It’s fast and efficient.
Bad: Some of the Android enhancements are gimmicky. Some tech pundits are also concerned about always-on voice recognition and sensor detection running down the battery.
Bad: My biggest issue with the phone is the price. AT&T has listed the 16GB model for $199 and the 32GB model for $249 (contract pricing). Considering the mid-range internals of the phone, that’s too much. I’m sure that some people will be happy to pay those prices just to mix and match plastics, but tech savvy consumers will surely opt for more powerful phones.
Your Turn: Anyway, those are my initial thoughts on the Motorola X. I’d love to hear yours! Fire away in the comments section and vote in today’s poll (please).