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Rumor: Moto X to Feature “Clear Pixel” Camera?

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A new Moto X rumor is making the rounds this morning courtesy of our friend Taylor Wimberly, who used to own and run the site Android and Me. In the rumor, Taylor claims that the new Motorola flagship will sport a camera with “Clear Pixel” technology that can be controlled by gestures. What exactly does that mean? He only offers an explanation of ”dark, blurry pics and lack of details” will be “things of the past.” 

The Moto X camera is rumored to be a 10MP sensor, which is an odd size if you look at the typical sensors in the mobile industry. But if we attempt to find references to “Clear Pixel” technology, the only mentions out there include Kodak and 5MP cameras that shoot 720p video from a few years back. That doesn’t necessarily scream new technology, but it’s out there.

A commenter in the G+ thread from Taylor gives us the following as well:

Since they can’t afford to waste battery life on high-power flashes, camera phones have a tough time handling low light. A new imaging sensor design from Kodak addresses the problem using a different kind of pixel. Today’s cameras detect light with an array of red, green and blue pixels–which each see just one color. That means each pixel is ignoring two-thirds of the incoming light. The new sensor adds a panchromatic or “clear” pixel that detects all wavelengths of visible light, making it much more sensitive to the overall light level.

By using a mix of clear and color pixels, the new sensor becomes two to four times as sensitive to low-light conditions. The specific pattern of how the four kinds of pixels are distributed can be varied depending on circumstances–a cameraphone, for instance, might use a pixel pattern that doesn’t require much computing power to reconstruct the image from the incoming light data. Another benefit is that greater light sensitivity allows faster shutter speeds, reducing the blur in action shots. The first prototypes are expected early in 2008.

In terms of gestures combined with a camera, your guess is as good as ours in trying to figure out what that means. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said that the Moto X would contain new advanced sensors, and also try to predict your needs. In a recent report out of ABC News, sources claimed that a simple flick of the device could activate the camera without having to unlock or wake it. No matter what, I’m excited for this phone even if the current rumored specs are nothing to write home about.

Normally, rumors like these are ignored by us, but Taylor has led the charge for Moto X rumors for months now and been spot-on from what we can tell. He was one of the first to talk about the phone being fully customizable with a variety of color choices, something that has now been confirmed by Motorola.

Via:  +Taylor Wimberly

  • janagggg

    @Loise, you make $27h thats great going girl good for you! My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online, seriously I couldn’t be happier I work when I want and where I want. And with a little effort I easily bring in $35h and sometimes even as much as $85h…heres a good example of what i’m doing, http://www.Pro67.com

  • hawkeyeaz1

    It sounds like they basically use a prism (aka a “clear pixel”) to break the light to the R, G, and B sensors (the “color pixels”).

  • Steve

    This reminds me of a bunch of tech company’s licensing of Kodak patents. Google, Microsoft and Apple were in the mix.

  • feztheforeigner

    Sounds like an Ultra Pixel…

    • neowiz73

      Ultra Pixel uses pixels that are much larger than normal Pixels to essentially do the same thing. But the methods are totally different. This method would essentially be much better because you would be able to have much higher mega pixel ratings as well. but of course it boils down to the processor and sensors and how it turns out in every day use.

  • Michael Bassett

    Need a business phone, not a tween phone. How do I sell this phone to my boss with “you can pick what color it is and it’s wallpaper.

    That Galaxy S4 is looking better with it’s business grade encryption.

    • Alan Fortte

      You might as well wait for the Note 3…

      • Michael Bassett

        Our company is sticking with Motorola, the only way I can swing a GS4 is because of the encryption bullet point.

        No one would go for the note 3 as most of the users are old school and think the RAZR HD MAXX is a “big phone” already.

        • Alan Fortte

          How big is the RAZR MAXX HD? And for all we know, the phone comes with 4.3, which possibly adds performance enhancements and will make it snappier. And they most likely won’t offer any business grade encryption, on the Moto X.

  • Captain Spaulding

    I’m tired of waiting, I wish they would at least show and tell. This is like waiting for Detox.

    • NorCalGuy

      Ya and the mixtape “look out for Detox” ended up being way better!

      • Captain Spaulding

        Detox still hasn’t been released.

        • djw39

          schnorrer

  • Elliot Kotis

    Doesn’t HTC One use similar technology?

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      It would be a nightmare to develop for a phone with fully customizable internals, so there will likely be two lines (split by screen size and maybe the larger with an upgraded SoC, but that just adds development time so maybe not), each with at least two storage size options (please, for the love of Google, be 32GB minimum), and then the color/engraving/picture options on top of that.
      As for Nexus, look elsewhere, Motorola is a wholly owned subsidiary, and Google has noted countless times that they are running themselves with little to no oversight. They may win a future Nexus, but they’ll be in the pot with everyone else for that chance.

      And no, the UltraPixel camera on the HTC One swaps resolution for larger pixel size in addition to its optical image stabilization to increase its low-light performance. This “clear pixel” tech changes the sensor’s pixel arrangement to increase sensitivity without sacrificing a significant amount of resolution and detail. Coming from Kodak, I’m inclined to think that this tech will be pretty impressive.

      • Elliot Kotis

        Didn’t Kodak shutdown? They should have started using this tech early, might have saved them. Ah, Yeah I hope they have a X Phone variant that is top range phone and one mid-range, I would really love that, top-range with a 4.5/4.7″ screen, and better internals, I’d be happy with that and yes atleast 16GB minimum! I love this, and if they can release updates like it is GED phone, man this would be soooooooo good.
        TL;DR second half, Moto please make a top-range version, with updates as fast as GED and Nexus!!!

        • Steve

          They did, but before the bankruptcy they auctioned their patents off to multiple tech companies. Google, Apple and Facebook were among those receiving patents from them.

          • Elliot Kotis

            And Google got this good clear pixel? Awesome. It’s funny because Apple then sued them after they went backrupt!

          • Steve

            They tried, and failed. Kodak counter sued them and had the court tell Apple to lay off. I have a feeling that some of the management of Kodak didn’t want Apple to do crude things with their patents. Another interesting detail is that there’s some interesting display technology too.

          • Elliot Kotis

            What is this new screen tech, by kodak or on the Moto X, or both?

          • Steve

            From Kodak, I don’t have any real details. Apparently there’s some LCD invention they created in sponsorship with Apple prior to the smartphone era. There’s the chance Google has it.

  • I_Am_Roy_Halladay

    I feel like this is one of the most hyped phones of all time, I wish they would just officially announce it already

    • http://twitter.com/savagejeep SavageJeep

      Can you say BIONIC? I hope I’m wrong but with Moto, you never know.

      • napes22

        Hypebeast.

      • Steve

        Seeing they have Google’s Quality Control, I don’t think they would have such a monstrosity -also my current phone- happen again.

  • Dave

    “cant afford to waste battery life with high powered flash?” How many pictures do they think someone is going to take in poor light on a single charge. This will come in handy when I take 440 flash on photos daily….never.

    • Diablo81588

      You’re missing the point. In order to have great low light pictures, you would need a brighter flash, which potentially uses more battery. Current phones don’t use high powered flash, hence the terrible low light pictures.

      • Dregur

        Flash has nothing to do with it, really. It’s the size of the sensor, and how much light the sensor catches that allows for good low light photography.

        • Diablo81588

          Lack of light has everything to do with it. Why do daylight pictures look so much better than dark pictures? A brighter flash would add more light, eliminating the need for a more sensitive sensor.

    • asten77

      That’s not Motorola’s wording, anyway. It’s presumably a release about the technology from Kodak from years ago.

  • HTC DNA man

    looks VERY similar to the HTC DNA

  • terry12s

    All of these Moto X rumors have been going on forever now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited to see what options the Moto X team provide and deliver on, but good grief – these Moto X rumors keep going, and going, and going, just show us the device and options please, let’s get this all over with! :)

  • mikeym0p

    Motorola’s camera have been hit or miss, but when they hit, the pictures look great. I’m hoping this phone turns out to be a worthy upgrade, or at least comparable to the N4.

    • Blue Sun

      The Droid X, not to be confused with Moto X, was the same way. Took forever to snap a picture. If the image was a still, it was perfect, if the object was moving, good luck on predicting 3 seconds in advance when to snap & where to focus.

    • DainLaguna

      When were they ever hits? Back when feature phones were all the rage?

      Make no mistake ; motos camera sensors thoroughly blow. I hope this changes that.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I’ve had a few really good pictures out of my Razr and my Bionic, but given that pictures from custom ROMs are much improved over the stock camera app, I’d say that it is Moto’s lackluster camera app that is more the culprit than their sensors being poor.

      • Steve

        My sister said Bionic photos are better than the S3 when the lighting is good, but when the lighting is low, the pictures end up crappy.

  • kixofmyg0t

    Expect the camera to have it’s own dedicated core as well. Since the X has multiple chips controlling things.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      oh my. sounds good.

      • kixofmyg0t

        We’ve been hearing rumors that X will have multiple CPU’s…then we hear that it has a dual core S4 pro. That got me thinking, what if you could break down the things that choke the main CPU the one responsible for UI and foreground apps to dedicated, specialized chips. What if it does indeed have a S4 Pro dual core, but other things like voice(as rumored) commands, camera, wifi(has to be since we know it supports 802.11ac yet the S4 Pro dual core doesn’t according to qualcomm) etc.

        What if Moto had an idea like Ti’s now dead OMAP5 or even Samsung’s Exynos Octa…lots of cores, or even specilized ones. That could be a real game changer. I mean sure a dual core sounds midrange(Umm Nexus 10 is midrange now i guess) but what if those 2 cores didn’t have to deal with anything that say the dual core in a RAZR HD does? I certainly wouldn’t consider it midrange then.

        X needs to hurry up and get here dammit.

        • Daeshaun Griffiths

          Well bang, cheap and not mid range.

        • Steve

          That’s my thought pattern too.

  • jamief

    “The first prototypes are expected early in 2008.”

    Huh? What year am I in?

    • MikeCiggy

      That line was referencing the ‘clear pixel’ technology. Sometimes things like this take longer than you would think to develop and then finally be used in practice.

      • jamief

        Five and half years to bring this to market? It had better be a life-altering game-changer. Anything short and those people wasted their lives.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          For mobile photography, it might just be. You do realize that R&D projects for this type of tech commonly last for years right? They not only have to perfect how the sensor works after vetting the theory, they have to figure out how to mass-produce the sensors, with some new tech requiring fab processes that doesn’t exist and must be built from the ground up. All of that takes significant time and investment, so given that the first prototypes weren’t made until early 2008, I can easily see it taking 5 years to start up mass production, and a further 6 months to get it into a consumer device.

      • michael arazan

        Since Kodak was sold off, they new owners having been selling the name off and slapping it on everything if you look around. Maybe Motorola was able to buy or license the software for clear pixel since kodak is grasping at straws to make money.

  • Defenestratus

    Moto X = most hypebeasted for no reasons whatsoever phone in history.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      Who’s review did u read?

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    MotoX, please be everything I want you to be. You are the first Moto phone released since the logo change. This means a lot.

    sincerely, a first day OG DROID owner.

    Rumors get me worked up and my imagination goes insane and then i expect too much.

    • Jeremy Aplaca

      Good God I hope your name is authentic

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        I actually got my droid the day before release because wal-mart didn’t care.

  • breadable

    After taking a whole bunch of Blur™ shots with my Droid 4 this weekend my next phone will need to have a decent camera.

  • Artune

    Is there a good chance to have a Moto phone with vanilla OS since google owns it? I’ll be leaving my Gnex in august and just can’t go to UI skins. My phone before was the Moto Droid so I’ve been spoiled.

    • Samvelavich

      same here buddy, i need a stock phone HAHA. If the Moto X doesnt have stock UI, then I’lkl have to wait for the new Nexus

      • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

        It will more than likely use the Motoblur that is currently on the Droid Razr HD lineup. But IMO it is about as close to stock as anyone would ever want or need because there is no crappy Motorola made music apps, gallery app or even clock app – they are all the stock AOSP apps from Google. Not to mention they got rid of the majority of the extra bloat such as Motoaciv, Motoprint, Verizon on Demand, etc. in the latest versions! If anything the new Motoblur taks what is on stock Android and improves upon its weaknesses (the most obvious is the improved camera app).

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          The only thing I see them dropping is the Razr M/HD launcher. With the quick-settings in the notification shade in 4.2, having a custom launcher just to incorporate them in a different way seems like a waste of resources. I’m thinking it will be more like the OG Razr with the Circles widget + 1 or 2 others.

    • Raj Bhatt

      I’m in the EXACT same boat. OG>GNex>? I’m loving some of the stuff I hear about this Moto X, but I hate that it has mid to low end specs. Maybe there will be a powerhouse version to come out at the same time.

      • michael arazan

        Even at mid range specs it is a step up from the Gnex. I too went from OG D1 to Gnex. I think I’ll wait till october for the Motorola Flagship/ Hero device.

  • bogy25

    They had better do something because the RAZR cameras are terrible,

    • anywherehome

      but replaceable battery please!
      otherwise it’s not a smartphone for traveling…… stupid unibody

      • Tyler Durden

        I Agree. Unless its 3300 mah

      • LionStone

        Disagree. I travel across the country all the time with my DNA, never had it die. I bought an external charger for emergencies, haven’t had to use it yet during travel. I have let my companion use it for her iphone though :-)

        • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

          With all due respect, it sounds like you’re probably not a power user. To be clear, the power user I’m speaking of browses, texts, calls, uses various apps rapidly for at least 3 hours a day; background data and processes are going almost constantly (even when the screen is off). For those of like this, a removable battery is almost a must. External chargers are significantly more bulky than a backup battery or two. Additionally, it’s very inconvenient to have a charger hanging from your phone for an hour to charge it back up. When it boils down to it, having a removable battery is also much nicer for regular users, too. I watch my built-in-battery pals (who AREN’T power users) constantly have their phones die on them, worry about getting to a charger, etc.

          • LionStone

            That would be presumptuous…some days are heavy, mostly moderate, and sometimes low usage. Whatever the case I have no problem keeping my phone’s power level where I need it. And I am regularly browsing, texting, streaming music, streaming ball games thru MLB At Bat, taking/sharing pics/vids, also being uploaded to G+, plus regular phone calls 30-40 min a day and regularly tether to my N7 or other. It’s really simple power management that’s all is needed, not really a removable back, for me anyway.

        • anywherehome

          than you don’t travel properly ;)
          gps, photos, videos, internet about sightseeing,…..
          voila ;)

  • mercado79

    Android and Me was recently bought by PhoneDog Media. Maybe this is what Kellex is referring to.

  • Samvelavich

    Moto X, Please be good! I hear all of these things about you, but I dont know what to believe!

    • EvanTheGamer

      I still think Moto is pulling the ultimate RICK ROLL! I bet on the day the Moto X launches, Rick Astley will jump out of a giant Moto X and then yell, “YOU’VE BEEN RICK ROLL’D! #DealWithIt”.