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More Moto X Customization Details Rumored – Ceramic, Wood and Fabric Custom Backplates

eric schmidt moto x

Will there be anything for Motorola to announce once they finally decide to pull back the curtain on the Moto X? At the current pace of leaks and pictures of the device, that would be a big “nope.” Previous reports have shown that Moto’s next flagship will have intense customization enhancements, allowing customers to choose from many different colors for the phone, as well as custom engravings. Thanks to another small leak of info from ex-Android and Me owner, Taylor Wimberly, some material options have been highlighted for the Moto X as well.ย 

According to Taylor, not only will customers be allowed to choose from a custom color, but will have the ability to choose from different custom materials. Materials like ceramic backs, fabrics and various wood grains would be available to choose from, marking the first time a smartphone buyer could choose from such a wide selection.

Taylor gave the following tidbit over on his Google+ page:

Plastic is the default material, but wood is also an option that should be available at launch. Other materials like metals, ceramics, and fabrics should become available after the August 23rd launch. AT&T has some kind of “exclusive” thing for the Moto X launch, but I don’t know if it’s an exclusive material/color or something else completely different.

Sign me up for some oak. Any material you are hoping to see available?

Via: +Taylor Wimberly

Cheers BananaTroll, Kevin, Walt and Justin!

  • Jess

    Wood? Sounds right up my alley.


  • Jonasz Sowada


  • Alan Fortte

    I’d like a navy blue one with Kevlar, if possible.

  • jaybar

    Once it’s actually released, and if it is this customizable, I might need to pick it up full retail… if it’s not priced too high…

  • Gnex

    Wow, all the ridiculous rumors from a few months ago are coming true. Multiple colors, materials, all major US carriers.

  • Trevor

    Obviously 100% swarovski crystals. And unicorn piss.

  • XvierX

    Porcelain in a milky gray would be so smooth. Ima need that in 2-3 weeks. Thank ya kindly

  • XvierX

    Porcelain in a milky gray would be so smooth. Ima need that in 2-3 weeks. Thank ya kindly

  • chris420o

    this…is a really cool rumor

  • Bionic


  • Patrick Crumpler

    Bamboo or teak. Turned aluminum would be sweet. Lucite

  • Erik Parshall

    I’m thinking a solidified blood backing. Perfect for any sucker.

  • Sirx

    Not interested in wood whatsoever. Well, maybe if it was Mahogany…

    …And not just any Mahogany, but Mahogany from the planet of Malchior 7, where the trees are 300 feet tall and breathe fire!!! Made using the ancient blood rituals of the Malchior people, of course.

    Thanks, teamfourstar! I’ll see myself out…

  • Justtyn Hutcheson

    Anodized aluminum in an array of colors…./drool

  • Steve O

    how about Brazilian Rosewood?!

  • Rodeojones000

    Fabric? Maybe there’ll be a tight fitting denim option so indie hipsters can have a phone to match their skinny jeans.

    • JMonkeYJ

      it’ll match your cutoffs ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • michael arazan

      Bearded Fedora option, or a PBR aluminum back

  • Rodeojones000

    Titanium. Like the Terminator (and also the reason I chose it as the material for my wedding ring).

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      OMG that would be ridiculous expensive. Though give the choice I’ll take tungsten carbide (though its technically not a metal, but moving on…). The darker gray and super high gloss is more appealing to me ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Rodeojones000

        Expensive? Probably. But worth it just to say you have a phone made out of titanium. Tungsten carbide is also a great idea. So many possibilities here. Can’t wait to see what’s actually available.

  • Joseph Barrientos

    clear plastic and u can see the insides!!!!!

  • Zach Deneris

    I’m hoping for some black wood type deal with white trim.

  • Joe

    Boobs, FTW!!

    • Bionic

      so back boobs?

      • Joe

        Hahaha! No!!! Front boobs on the back!!

  • I-Troll-U

    Human Skin?

    • Diablo81588

      Comes with a bottle of lotion.

      • Erik Parshall

        It rubs the lotion on it’s phone or else it gets an iPhone.

  • Ivan Bayu

    I want silk backcover.

  • Paul Hansen

    So um… I know I may be in the minority but am I the only one that’s hoping for a Kevlar backing option?

    • LiterofCola

      Not a bad idea actually

      • Paul Hansen

        I loved the kevlar backing on my RAZR series phones. It was damn near impossible to damage.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          I agree. Kevlar is a fantastic material for a phone backing. It even feels silky to the touch, but pleasantly grippy as well.

          • Not to mention if the back cover is removable, with a kevlar back there is almost no way to break it by bending the sides when trying to pry it off (I have taken the back off of an old Droid Razr and you can completely bend it and twist it with no adverse effects).

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Absolutely. I have a feeling the frame is what will give this phone its heft and rigidity, with the back “skin” providing the style, so it can be thin and flexible. I remember one of the pictures showing what I assume to be the frame, and it looked nice and rigid, made out of some type of plastic (high grade polycarbonate, hopefully).

          • Paul Hansen

            Can we resurrect the frame from the xt912 (razr). That frame was extremely rigid and tough. I was disappointed to see them shift to plastic for the HD. The frame might have even been carbon fiber but I don’t recall the marketing materials from 2 years ago. All i remember is dropping it time and time again and never having it do anything more than scratch. Dents/cracks were unheard of. The HD…. not so much.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            They used stainless steel as the internal frame, as that’s about the only material that would be rigid at the thickness they needed, as well as being able to hold their tolerances.

            I would love to see a stainless steel frame, but it won’t be on any kind of budget device, as stainless is quite expensive. For the flagship rumored, I’d go for it if I was them.

    • Alan Fortte

      I totally agree with you, maybe there will be an option with Kevlar, I sure hope so!

  • T4rd

    Mine also smells of many leather bound books..

  • hkklife

    All gimmicks. The gestures, I am sure, will also be gimmicky (or at least unintuitive & too much of a hit on battery life to be left on permanently). Margins aside, this is almost on par with a diamond-encrusted Vertu phone with 5-year old specs. Given Google’s dreadful history with processing orders and customer service, I wouldn’t touch their customization with a 10ft pole. And remember sending 3G Xoom tablets back to Motorola? No thanks! A replacement battery door or a $10 colorful case offers enough personalization for me while also preserving my device’s resale value.

    I’ll only consider customization a “real” benefit if we can pick a juiced-up SoC, more internal storage or something that might distinguish a pricier, limited production specialty handset that differs from whatever the everyday version is on the carrier’s shelves. For example, what if we could order a limited-edition 64Gb GS4 Nexus Experience Edition for Verizon? Or a 64Gb N10 with a bigger capacity battery? Heck, even a Nexus 7 with the higher-clocked Tegra 3 from the TF700? THOSE would be true “custom” devices I’d pay for.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Wow, aren’t we just a little ray of sunshine? I’m not sure when Motorola personally came and ruined your life, but its probably about time to let it go eh?

      Hate will only lead you to the Dark Side. And not the fun Dark Side with the cookies, the one with the loss of limbs.

  • enigmaco

    So this means motorola is getting a woody?

  • KleenDroid

    Depending on the area of the country the moisture content would be about 12รท

  • 1MPR0BUS

    We are about to have an influx of hipster android users …..

    • Eyebolt


      • 1MPR0BUS

        Prepare for the stench of B.O. and a terrible excuse for “music”

        • Eyebolt

          I need to capitalize on this…does anyone know if there is a Thrift Store locator app??? (I suspect that about 80% of the Apple App Store is made up of such things)

          • 1MPR0BUS

            There also needs to be a Schwinn Bicycle Locator App and an endless supply of European Cigarettes.

  • Eyebolt

    Sorry…that’s just my woody in my pocket.

    Kinda curious about these ceramics…

  • Kevin

    i’ll only accept wood from giant sequoia trees

  • Zeke

    Surprised I haven’t seen any requests for hemp….. id like a nice stained oak or cherry finish.

  • AJH

    Because wood probably wouldn’t be very strong at that thickness, I would expect the back to be plastic or metal, with a wood panel on the back. The panel would probably have plastic underneath it, making it so you have normal protection and making humidity a non-issue.

  • cj

    pulling your wood out of your pocket all day long. hmmmm.

  • Weber

    I want mine to be made out of Key Lime Pie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Guest


  • JB

    I wanna know if the backs could be swapped out. I think that would be cool

    • I agree. I’m a little worried that won’t happen, if it has NFC and wireless charging plates in the back…unless they put that under a second layer…then that would be awesome!

  • Tyler Durden

    I’ll take plastic

  • BRIM

    MOTOROLA really needs to make this a high end phone.

  • Toasted_Cracker

    Will insurance protect against termites or do I need to call Orkin?

  • Mallahet


    • Kevin

      haha i was about to say bacon, then i saw your comment.

  • Weber

    Carpet, or berber for heavy-duty applications

  • mechapathy

    An interesting plus to a wood phone: it smells good under high load.

  • jose

    I don’t care what material it is, as long as they can engrave a penis on it.

    • Weber

      Anyone will be able to do that to your phone if it’s made of wood.

      • enigmaco

        Glad my gfs dad has a laser engraver this is gong to be awesome.

        • deadpenguins

          If he has a laser engraver, then this is the last phone you should care about. This phone is for people without laser engravers!

          • enigmaco

            He has engraved on wood, and ceramic before and it came out well its not one of the high powered ones, and that is even if the case is removeable. I wouldn’t do it if the case is non-removable.

          • deadpenguins

            Pretty much guaranteed non-removable D:

          • enigmaco

            I will have my engraved case oh yes I will have it.

      • OCSportsGeek

        I see what you did there…

  • Jag28co

    I love the customization idea but I am afraid that the bootloader is going to be lock. No CM is not worked. If they lock this one and people get it we will never win the bootloader battle.

  • cashclay

    Carbon Fiber!

    • jaybar


  • Walter Partlo

    If the phone weighs less than a duck, then it will float, which means that it is made of wood, and is therefore…. A WITCH!!!

    • zepfloyd

      How do we tell if the phone is made of wood? – Build a bridge out of it.

      • Ry Sav

        ahhh, but can you not still make a bridge out of stone?

        • OCSportsGeek

          Who are thou that are so wise in the ways of science?

    • Joshua Bailey

      Another SHRUBBERY!

      • Walter Partlo

        Not too big though, maybe go for a tiered effect.

        • Mark Mann

          place it here next to the other one, but slightly higher, and to the left so as to create a nice path!


  • I’ll take mine flubber-backed please ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Walter Partlo

      Are you on AT&T?

  • Vantucky

    Marble would be really unique

  • Kiril Vatev

    If it is real wood, then yes. I don’t think it would be real wood though; real wood is not durable enough at such thicknesses that we expect on phones. It would be way too thick if they were to add an all wood encasing. It will likely be a wood-like finish, wood paper mounted on plastic, or something similar.

  • EC8CH

    Is this phone made of…


    • Mitch Joa

      Can you imagine the look on an iPhone user’s face?

      • Erik Parshall

        Next they’ll have the iWood. Though it appears they already have that for Apple products.

    • Futbolrunner

      Edit: double post

      • kixofmyg0t

        You’re too young to remember.

  • jimsilverman

    fabrics? what.

    • Mort

      I’ll take one in corduroy, please.

      • EC8CH

        that comes with a missing button though.

        • mustbepbs

          Gotta stay edgy.

    • Steve Benson

      How about burlap?

      Is that a bag of potatoes or a Moto X?

      • Mark Mann

        i don’t know that i’d want burlap, burlap has oil in it…thus making for more fingerprints on the screen, and stains on any surface or in the pocket

      • Erik Parshall

        Why not make it out of Potatoes?

    • EC8CH


      • Erik Parshall

        Bringing back the 80s.

  • Steve Benson

    You guys keep mentioning Taylor as the ex-owner. What happend? Did he sell it or what?

    • Sold it. We just want to make sure everyone clearly knows Taylor’s place in the industry. He has a past and isn’t a random guy leaking misc. information.

      • Steve Benson

        Of course. I’ve followed Taylor through the years but never heard anything about him selling his site. Thanks for the info.

        • hkklife

          Just happened recently. PhoneDog Media bought out out A&M and Taylor and his brother are moving on. The rest of the A&M staff are staying put as far as I know.

      • EC8CH

        “isn’t a random guy leaking misc. information.”

        Me wonders who so ever this describes???

        • Steve Benson

          Not Bionic. He no longer qualifies as a random.

  • Walter Partlo

    Flubber backs will be an AT&T exclusive.

    • Derek Lockovich

      That would be so amazing.

      Can you picture it?

      Owner: “Hey guys! Look my phone is indestructible!”
      *drops phone on pavement*
      *phone bounces away into the distance”
      Owner: “NOOOOOOOOOO!”

  • pastaguy

    If you’re lucky and it falls on the rubber back and bounces, you’re giving it another opportunity to fall on the front.

    Also, where’s the heat going to go?

    • But if you’re REALLY lucky and it falls on the rubber back and bounces, it lands back in your hand ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ll take mine flubber-backed please ๐Ÿ™‚

      • pastaguy


    • Flat_Stanley

      The heat will go the same place it goes when using plastic or wood. Unless the back is metal or thermally conductive ceramic, they are ALL insulators.

  • SmokeNMirrors

    A wood smartphone! Yeah, the future is finally here!!!

    • Kyle

      It’s classic yet modern

  • Kyle

    wonder if termite damage is covered on the Assurion protection

  • B

    Diamond backing.

    • zurginator

      You wouldn’t want that, would be very easy to shatter. Also expensive.

      • Joseph Pojunis

        If I’m not mistaken, diamonds are one of the hardest materials on the planet. They can only be broken with other diamonds.

        • zurginator


          Diamonds are the most rigid material on the planet. They can only be *scratched* by other diamonds. They can be shattered by a standard hammer and a very slight amount of force.

          Basically it’s what happened with Gorilla Glass — extremely good against scratches, but easy to shatter. Plastic screens would rarely shatter, but they would be scratched by everything.

  • zurginator

    1- rubber does scratch and scuff
    2- there wouldn’t be enough of it to do anything, although it would absorb impact better than metal
    3- This could actually be bad. You’re insulating the chip, increases overheating chances.

    • Esmegma Medieval

      If they are supposedly going to spend $500 million on marketing, I suppose they have the money to come up with some type of rubber compound that has all the good stuff and minimize any negatives.

      • zurginator

        There isn’t a such thing, this is physics. There isn’t enough material in a backplate (usually <1mm) to 'give', so it can't really do much.

        Rubber is soft. The softer the material, the less likely to shatter — but the more likely to scratch. See also: Plastic VS Diamond.

        And well, rubber is an insulator. You can't change that, without making something that isn't rubber, which defeats the entire purpose of having a rubber backplate.

        Edit: love all the downvotes, sorry I took 4 years of engineering.

        • Dude…I’d take 1mm give any day over the 0mm give of glass or some other type of brittle material! Even my G-Nex with its .001mm give in its plastic shell has survived more bumps and drops than a glass phone would ๐Ÿ™‚

          • zurginator

            I agree completely. I’m just saying the expectations here are a bit high.

            It’s also worth pointing out that rubber might increase the chances of a screen shattering, because the chassis would have more flex (not the same as ‘give’ listed above). Flex is the easiest way for glass to shatter.

            Plastic is pretty much the perfect material for a phone. It has some give, some rigidity, and is light. Aluminum and Rubber stray too far to either side. Just nobody likes it because it’s, well, plastic.

          • KleenDroid

            I don’t think expectations are as high as you think. Otherwise therewwould be customization requests for inproved processors, screens….

          • zurginator

            I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but people have been commenting about customizable SoCs on other articles.

          • It depends on which type of glass they decide to use. I have seen Corning demonstrate Gorilla Glass and the way they do it is by completely twisting the ends and putting immense amounts of pressure on it. It’s really amazing because most of it doesn’t break until it is at the point of looking like a bowl! Oh and there was talks about Corning coming out with a new product called Willow Glass wich would be completely flexible (designed to go along with flexible displays).

          • MK17

            I have a feeling your measurements are slightly off…

        • pastaguy

          Maybe Andy Rubin and Google X are working on a way to change physics?

        • Esmegma Medieval

          Yeah, because the world is not moving forward. Inventions are not being made every day. Discoveries in science and engineering do not happen every single week. Especially by a company like Google. What we have/know today is the way the world is going to be forever.

          /Extreme Sarcasm

          • zurginator

            I don’t think you realize what exactly I’m saying. It’s not possible by the laws of physics on earth.

            Even if you make a ‘rubber’ compound so soft that it gives all the way through, that’s still less than 1mm for it to travel. You can’t absorb the impact of a fall that fast. In addition to that, having a compound that soft means lots of flex, means broken glass.

            Illustration of flex vs give: Grab a stack of paper. Putting it on the table and pressing on the center is give. Grabbing 2 opposing sides and twisting is flex. More give always translates into more flex, but more flex does not always translate into more give. Rubber is actually a good example. Lots of flex, not a lot of give.

          • Eyebolt

            Wait…are you telling me that a software company can’t come up with a brand new material that could still be called rubber but shares none of negative physical qualities of rubber and only super enhanced positive qualities (with some new ones added in) and still make it consumer friendly for the casing a customized mass produced product??? #sarcasm

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Just wanted to say cheers from a fellow engineer. Your comments regarding the relevant material science are nearly spot on. However, you could have a “rubber” (using the term loosely to reference hard to medium-hard, resilient, thermoform plastics) that does indeed help absorb the impact of a fall from pocket height @ 1mm thick. However, the greater part of the impact will be absorbed by the internal frame and the rigid front glass section., so the casing material is, well, immaterial to the durability of the handset, and only significantly affects the durability of the casing itself. That said, you are also correct that the plastic material would increase heat generation, but that should have been taken into account during the initial design phase when they proposed a plethora of materials for the rear cover.

          • zurginator

            I do not claim the “engineer” title — I simply took quite a few classes in the matter.

            Good to know I’m not too far off though, so thanks for that.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            4 years of courses…that’s at least a minor. Besides, engineers are born, not taught ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • zurginator

            Unfortunately I never got anywhere… I get to deal with Dyscalculia.

          • chad

            They could make the back cover out of foreskin and it wouldn’t change the rigidity of the phone. Ex: every galaxy phone

          • FamousAmos

            lol @ the idea of Google discovering how to make rubber stop being an insulator.

          • Flat_Stanley

            lol @ the idea that you guys think wood and plastic are not insulators. He’s obviously just desiring something more “soft-touch”, a la Palm Pre or something. Soft-touch plastics feel like rubber (soft and grippy, like velvet).

          • zurginator

            Neither of us said that. It was simply an argument against his original post that listed it as a positive.

            And plastic is definitely better at heat dissipation than rubber, but it’s by no means good at it.

            Easy way to determine if something is a good heat conductor is by it’s temperature when touched. The colder it is, the better it is at conducting, assuming said object is not artificially heated/cooled.

    • Flat_Stanley

      Wood and plastic are also insulators though.

  • Stewie

    unlockedbootloaderum – a metal we all could live with!

  • Tony C

    This ๐Ÿ™‚

  • zurginator

    Doesn’t seem to have been engineered with it in mind, so I bet there will be a significant signal drop (a la GS3/4 metal backplates).

    • zwieblekopf

      Except they were planning on have a metal backed option, so it may have indeed been engineered with it in mind

      • zurginator

        Well there are 2 options for this to work, neither of which seem to be the case:
        1) radios get shuffled to the edges of the device (iPhone)
        2) radios get shuffled into the backplate (One, and a few other devices I can’t think of off the top of my head)

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          its antennas are around the edges according to the FCC filings. And metal doesn’t have to be all metal, I could go for a stainless steel insert in a soft-touch black plastic towards the edges.

  • Eric

    I would love to rock a quadanium steel back

  • Shaunwin

    I’m looking for the Adamantium version!

  • LiterofCola

    Metal please

  • Blue Sun

    “Liquid metal alloy.”

  • MichaelFranz

    just announce the damn phone already….i want to hear big big news and OFFICIAL big big news at that