Motorola. A Google company. It's time to commit that to memory. With the Moto X, a 4.7-inch phone going on sale later this summer for $199 on contract, the company has officially started the shot clock for the "new Motorola"; this is the first Moto product designed from scratch with Google's direct oversight. And it shows, from the packaging to the messaging to the features aimed at mainstream users. Most importantly of all, there's Moto X's standout feature: personalization. We've been hearing for years from various OEMs that smartphones are a personal statement, a reflection of the individual, but aside from the occasional color option, the wallpaper and case have been the only real opportunities for personal expression. Well, you can kiss those days goodbye. Motorola's keyed in to a core part of the user experience -- self-styling -- and we expect its rivals to follow suit.
But all of that backstory can wait. We need to talk about the Moto X. The company never explicitly said so when it showed us the phone behind closed doors today, but this is clearly a mainstream phone (it's geared towards the "majority of users" several execs told us). To that point, its spec sheet and feature list (Touchless Control, Active Display, Quick Capture) won't dazzle the technorati. And, from what we can tell, it's not supposed to. To hear the company tell it, the Moto X's journey began one year ago with a whiteboard listing all of the most common user problems, ways to address those issues and a plan to get the device into as many hands as possible. You won't be able to assess that for yourself until the phone launches on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular later this summer. For now, though, if our initial hands-on time is any indication, it appears Motorola's succeeded.
Gallery: Motorola Moto X preview
Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile, Google