Motorola Moto X (Sprint)
Motorola today announced the College Collection, a series of pre-designed Moto X handsets that reflect the colors of more than 40 colleges and universities. Motorola also added nine more back colors and three new accent colors to allow for further customization of the Moto X. In addition to the expanded color palette, Motorola is selling clear cases with school logos and team names, which can accompany the matching handset. Last, college students who register with a .edu email address will receive a $60 discount on the price of their College Connection Moto X. The Moto X can be customized for $399, but is available for just $49 with a two-year agreement with select carriers.
Motorola made a small update available to its Touchless Control application. The improved software adds several new features, chief among them the ability to respond to a "What's Up" or "Read Notifications" voice command, prompting the device to read new notifications aloud. The notifications feature is available in English, Spanish, and Italian, with other languages are supported in beta. The update also improves the software's ability to detect the end of speech for better accuracy and faster responses. Touchless Control is available to the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Max, and Droid Mini. It requires Android 4.4 KitKat.
Motorola today updated the Gallery application that's installed on its Android smartphones. The app has a refreshed design that offers larger thumbnails and faster, simpler navigation between galleries and photos. The Motorola Gallery, which is free to download from the Google Play Store, is available to devices running Android 4.4 KitKat, including the Moto X, Moto G, and the Droid Ultra, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx.
Motorola today reduced the cost of the wood-backed Moto X by $75. The wooden backs are now a $25 upgrade rather than a $100 upgrade. Further, three more wooden options will become available beginning January 25. Motorola is issuing $75 rebates to those who already paid $100 for the custom wood backs.
Motorola today dropped the off-contract price of the Moto X to $399 for the 16GB model. This new price point is available to customized devices that work across all the major carriers. Motorola believes the unsubsidized Moto X is a good alternative for those who may be ineligible for upgrade pricing due to their contract, or for use with prepaid or month-to-month services. The Moto X has been available since August. The new price does not apply to the bamboo model, which starts at $499 for the 16GB model.
Motorola today began offering bamboo as an option for customized versions of the Moto X. Though the company originally said a handful of different wood materials would be available, bamboo is the only option listed on the site as of today. Choosing bamboo instead of plastic adds $100 to the cost of the Moto X and 14 days to the manufacturing time. Motorola did not say if more wood options would become available. Aside from the wooden back covering, all the standard options are still available for customizing the Moto X.
Motorola today updated the Touchless Control application that's found on the Moto X. The improved application accepts more Google Now commands without requiring users to unlock their phones first. According to Motorola, personal information, such as emails and messages, are still protected by the PIN code, but users can speak their PIN code to unlock the device via Touchless Control. The app also offers a new alert tone when users say "OK Google Now." This version of Touchless Control is available only to devices running Android 4.4. KitKat and up.
Motorola has provided an update to its camera application for Android devices. The camera app, which is the one that comes on the Moto X, for example, now lets users control focus and exposure manually by dragging the focus ring around the viewfinder. The app now locks exposure during panorama capture and adds more languages. The update also fixes several bugs. The Motorola camera application is free to download from the Google Play Store.
The wood-paneled variant of the Moto X should hit Motorola's Moto Maker site in the coming weeks, according to Reuters reporter Sinead Carew. The Moto X was first announced this summer and can be designed with custom colors, accents, wallpapers, and inscriptions. Once available, customers will be able to select from several different woods to form the rear cover of the phone.
Motorola has made its Moto Assist and Moto Connect apps available to more of its devices by publishing them in the Google Play Store. Previously, they were only available on select devices, notably the Moto X, as preinstalled apps. Moto Assist is a tool that lets device owners set certain times when they shouldn't be bothered, such as when sleeping, in meetings, or driving. Moto Connect is a utility that let's people see incoming text messages and calls in their computer's Chrome browser. Both apps are compatible with the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini. Motorola also recently made the Moto X Camera and Touchless Control apps available in the Play Store.
Republic Wireless today announced that the Motorola Moto X is now available for sale. The device costs $299 and is being offered without a contract. In addition to the new handset, Republic Wireless is making new service plans available today. The first plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data on Wi-Fi only for $5 per month. The second includes unlimited talk and text on Wi-Fi and cellular, and unlimited data on Wi-Fi for $10 per month. The third includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 3G cellular for $25 per month. The fourth includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 4G cellular for $40 per month. Republic also still offers its original $19 plan only to the Motorola Defy XT. Republic Wireless, which is a Sprint MVNO, uses a combination of cellular data and Wi-Fi to pass VoIP-based calls through the internet rather than through traditional voice networks. The Moto X includes improved voice call quality over Wi-Fi, and makes significant improvements to call hand-offs between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Motorola has expanded the availability of its Moto Maker tool to customers of Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Moto Maker lets people customize a Moto X smartphone online and have it delivered to their house. The Moto X offers a range of different back panels, accents, and screen-customization options. Motorola says there are more than 2,000 unique variations of the Moto X. Orders will be assembled at Motorola's Ft. Worth plant and shipped to most customers in four days. Moto Maker was an exclusive to AT&T customers for several months. Further, the price of the Moto X has dropped from $199 with a contract to $99 with a contract. Last, Motorola confirmed that the Moto X will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in the near future.
Motorola's support site revealed that the handset maker plans to update some of its more recent smartphones to Android 4.4 KitKat. Among those to be updated are all variants of the Moto X, as well as the Droid Mini, Ultra, and Maxx. The latter three are sold by Verizon Wireless. Older phones, such as the Droid Bionic, RAZR Maxx, and Droid 4, will remain on Android 4.1.2. Timing for the update will depend on the carrier and the exact model in question.
Google today published the Motorola-developed camera application for the Moto X as a stand-alone app in the Google Play Store. By pulling the app out of the operating system and adding it to the Play Store, device owners will be able to update the camera without being beholden to system updates, which can often become bogged down in carrier approval processes. The app, which is free, has been updated with a brightened camera viewfinder so it's easier to see, enabled Quick Capture for businesses, and bug fixes.
Republic Wireless today announced that it will soon offer the Motorola Moto X for $299 without a contract. Republic is an MVNO that uses Sprint's network and offers unlimited everything for $19 per month. Republic Wireless uses a combination of cellular data and Wi-Fi to pass VoIP-based calls through the internet rather than through traditional voice networks. The Moto X includes improved voice call quality over Wi-Fi, and makes significant improvements to call hand-offs between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Republic did not say exactly when the Moto X will go on sale. Republic Wireless also announced that it will be overhauiling its service plans in November. The first plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data on Wi-Fi only for $5 per month. The second includes unlimited talk and text on Wi-Fi and cellular, and unlimited data on Wi-Fi for $10 per month. The third includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 3G cellular for $25 per month. The fourth includes unlimited talk, text and data on Wi-Fi, plus 4G cellular for $40 per month. Once the new plans launch, Republic will continue to offer its original $19 plan only to the Motorola Defy XT.
Sprint today announced that the Motorola Moto X will be available online and in stores beginning Friday, September 6. Sprint is charging $199 for the 16GB Moto X, but will offer a $100 credit toward the purchase of a Moto X to those who port their number from another carrier. The promotion runs for a limited time. Sprint is selling both the black and white variants, and said that its customers, too, will have the opportunity to customize their Moto X with Moto Maker in the months to come. Sprint was not more specific about Moto Maker's availability.
Motorola today announced Skip for the Moto X. Skip is an accessory that makes maintaining device security a little easier. Skip is a wearable, thumb-sized clip that pairs with the Moto X and unlocks it with a tap. The device is paired to the Moto X and set up as a "safe device" with the Touchless Control feature of the Moto X. Motorola is pitching the Skip as an alternative to using passcodes or PIN locks to secure the Moto X. The Skip comes with three "dots" (NFC tags) that can be placed in spots such as an office, car, or nightstand for easy unlocking. According to Motorola, only Skips that have been paired with the Moto X will unlock it, and they can be unpaired at any time. The Skip and Skip dots will only be available directly from Motorola.com. Motorola said that they will be included free with Moto X's that are custom designed with Moto Maker, but only for a limited time. Motorola didn't say how much the Skip will cost.
Motorola today provided more information about planned developer editions of the Moto X. The consumer versions of the Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular Moto X variants will ship with unlockable bootloaders. Motorola will offer two developer variants, a Verizon Wireless Developer Edition and a general North American Developer Edition. Developers will need to purchase the developer editions directly from Motorola via its developer web site. The devices will need to be manually unlocked. According to Motorola, unlocking the bootloader, even on the developer edition handsets, voids the warranty.
Motorola claims the new MOTO X was made just for you. It is a curious phone that offers useful new software features and some compelling hardware options. Here is Phone Scoop's first look.
Motorola today announced MOTO MAKER, an online tool that will let people create their own, unique version of the MOTO X smartphone. The MOTO X is being sold in either black or white from most carriers, but AT&T customers will be able to use MOTO MAKER to choose from 14 different back panel colors, several different accent colors, and other options that make the MOTO X their own. Verizon has announced that it will get the option later this year. MOTO MAKER does not cost any extra money to use, and Motorola says most custom-designed phones will ship within four days. This is possible because the MOTO X for the U.S. market is being assembled at a facility in Ft. Worth, Texas. Though components come from all over the world, including 16 different states, Motorola says the MOTO X is an American-made product.
Motorola today announced the MOTO X, a smartphone that was "designed for you." The MOTO X represents the first device created by Motorola from scratch after it was acquired by Google last year. Motorola and Google focused on developing several key features for the MOTO X that they believe will delight users. First, the phone's size and shape were calculated to fit the average hand as comfortably as possible. It is thin and lightweight. The X includes what Motorola calls Touchless Control. With Touchless Control, owners can speak a catch phrase to wake the device and initiate a voice command. The voice command can be to make a phone call, ask for directions, read emails, and so on. Motorola developed a special, low-power processor that is able to enable this feature at all times without draining the battery. The X has a Quick Capture camera that can be woken up quickly with a gesture. The idea is to pull the phone from your pocket and be ready to take a shot within two seconds. Another key feature is the Active Display, which Motorola recently showed off on its Droid smartphones for Verizon Wireless. Active Display lets owners see the clock and certain notifications on the lock screen. Last, the X can be custom-ordered with various colors and accents (AT&T model only). In terms of specs, the MOTO X has a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720p HD display and a 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM. It includes Motorola's X8 architecture, which has a separate GPU and contextual core to handle extra processing tasks for the sensors. The main camera rates 10-megapixels and the user-facing camera rates 2-megapixels. Both can record 1080p HD video. The X has a 2200mAh battery that is sealed in. Storage options include 16GB or 32GB, but there is no expandable memory. The X supports dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, GPS, and NFC, and will be sold by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The 16GB model costs $199 and the 32GB model costs $249 with a contract. It will be available in late August or early September.