The "Moto X," Motorola's first smartphone made by Google offering innovations like voice operation, split-second picture taking and user customization, may garner enough excitement to surpass leading phones in the market. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
In such a crowded market, it takes a lot these days for a smartphone to launch and garner some excitement.
The "Moto X," however, Motorola's first smartphone built from scratch since taken over by Google, qualifies.
What can this entirely made-by-Google phone do?
For starters, just about everything the phone can do can be done without even laying a single finger on the screen.
"You can use it without actually touching it, and you can do it in a number of different ways," says Cathay Bi from Motorola. "One of the ways is voice, so I use a trigger phrase, "OK, Google Now," and it recognizes that I'm actually talking to it."
The other big innovation is that developers say users can go from pocket to snapping a picture in two seconds or less.
Twist the phone like a corkscrew to launch the camera, and then touch anywhere on the screen to snap a shot.
The third big difference between the "Moto X" and so many other smartphones is that users can go online and completely customize their device, choosing the color for the back, the front, the buttons and the accents. Eventually, even a couple of different types of wood will be available among customization options.
The phone is also being assembled entirely in the United States, specifically in Ft. Worth, Texas, which while appealing to customer patriotism, is actually being done for another reason.
"That means that when you customize a device online, we can actually deliver it to you in four days or less," says Bi.
Are these new features enough for the public to clamor for a "Moto X" as much as it does now for current front-runners like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy?
"Whether or not there will be enough situations for them to remember the varying voice commands that are necessary to work it I think is arguable, but considering how many pictures are taken by people with their phones these days, I think the twisting of it to wake it up is something that will be very very attractive," says Stewart Wolpin from www.ubergizmo.com. "The only problem is, of course, it's also something that's easily duplicable by other phone makers."
The "Moto X" will be available on all the major carriers, some by the end of this month, and others at the beginning of September.
Prices start at $199 plus the cost of the service contract.