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What if the Moto X is $300 Off-contract?

eric schmidt moto x

The Moto X is coming next week, on August 1. We know that much. We also know the specs, what the camera UI looks like, and some of the new features that Motorola will use to try and make the phone stand out from a crowded market. But what about the price? Could Motorola do something crazy and offer it at Nexus 4-like price points? They might. 

Recent rumors that are circulating the blog-o-sphere suggest that Motorola may introduce the phone at $299 off-contract for the 16GB version, while also releasing a 32GB variant at anywhere from $350 to $399. We’ve had sources suggest that it could be as low as $200 off-contract, but I’m not going to lie, that sounds insane. Only 16GB versions are floating around in the wild for testing, so the 32GB variant rumor is just that, a rumor.

But let’s talk about low prices – is it even possible to go that low for such a new phone? Well, sure it is. Dennis Woodside – Motorola CEO – said himself in a recent interview that his company is interested in the “low-cost, high quality market.” They see this huge gap between feature and smartphone pricing ($30 to $650), and they feel as if they can bring that gap closer together or at least dive right into the middle of it. You could call that a hint or a vision of the future, but Motorola seems poised to make something radical happen today.

But think about the specs. We’re talking about a processor that is technically a step behind that of the Nexus 4, which was a phone that sold for $299 at launch. For those not familiar, the Nexus 4 sported a Snapdragon S4 Pro, but was the quad-core version – the Moto X is running a Snapdragon S4 Pro that is the dual-core version. The display is a 720p panel, which we would assume could be had for quite reasonable prices these days now that the standard has become 1080p. The rest of the make-up is pretty standard smartphone stuff these days in terms of hardware.

So why not? If Motorola wants to do something wild and really grab attention, an insanely low price would help do that along with a push for experience over specs. Get people this phone without a contract at a great price, let them customize it, have it learn their patterns, and you may have a winner.

What would a $300 off-contract price mean to you?

  • Tim

    I just don’t see Verizon letting the Moto-X go for $300 off contract when it is better than the Mini Droid that supposedly is going for $500 off contract. If Verizon wants to push Droids (which they do) what sense would this make. Why even make the Droid Mini if this was going to be an option for the Moto-X? The Moto-X looks better…and will have all the same options as the MIni, plus maybe be unlocked. Something doesn’t add up right…but I guess we will see Aug. 1st. I hope it is true though!

    • iamme

      verizon loves selling phones off contract….any time they dont have to worry about the subsidy they are all for it

      • Sean Bello

        every carrier loves it. SALESMEN hate it. to a carrier it means no risk, in the case that the phone gets sold or contract gets terminated early. to a salesman it means no commission.

        • iamme

          very true salesman do hate it….unless its a new line full retail then they still get a new line out of it….commissions will more than likely update soon to accommodate full retail sales/installment options

          • Sean Bello

            I would hope so, but my sales mgr hasn’t even acknowledged that Next exists yet lol

  • I currently have a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and my Upgrade at Discount date is 02/03/2014. That’s obviously useless as I don’t wanna renew my contract with VZ anymore. What are my options if I want to get myself some MotoX. Advices on ETF, Carrier and plan to pick etc are welcome.

    • iamme

      since this article states that you may be able to buy the phone full retail for only 300…..you are not restricted to a specific date if you are buying full retail you can buy it whenever you want…full retail also does not extend contracts

      • I think I didn’t ask properly. I don’t think MotoX will work with VZ, right? It’ll be like N4; GSM, no CDMA (Unless I’m horribly wrong). Even if it has a CDMA version, I would rather have the GSM version now; which can be used internationally. So, I’m thinking terminate VZ contract and pick up TMO uncarrier after getting MotoX from Play Store.

        • iamme

          moto x is launching on vzw as well

  • d-rock

    If it’s this cheap, it will be through the play store and not likely will a Verizon phone sell through the play store. Pipe dreams guys. The mere fact you want it so bad, probably means it won’t happen.

    Possible though to see a GSM version that cheap though.

    • I think it will happen this time — otherwise, it will be a snap in the face of all the “customization” hype.

  • Jordan

    I currently have the Galaxy S4 and LOVE it. It replaced my Galaxy Nexus when it started performing sub-par. I am really interested in the Moto X however! If the Moto X was priced at $299 off-contract, I would probably jump on board also.

    The only thing I find odd is how low the rumors list it for. The Droid Maxx will be coming out for $299 ON- CONTRACT and you’re telling me Motoroloa is gonna release a similar (if not better) phone for $299 OFF-CONTRACT? Something fishy is going on here.

    I wouldn’t expect the phone to be priced that low. Motorola would have to have major balls to introduce it for that low.

  • Mvrcel Lgt

    Since I am in europe, I think 200€ would be far enough (it gets directly converted, which means it costs 260$ here). They need to go as low, since the Nexus 4 is still round the corner with its 300$/€. The MOTO-X may be advanced in Soft, but not in Hardware. Since smartphones are a quite fixed market with samsung and apple dominating it…they should go as low!
    I would buy it directly if it’s 200€ off contract. But exchange my N4 for something worth the same? No way.

  • Jeff Badger

    At $300 per phone, I would definitely consider it as a way to keep unlimited data for both my wife and I. Considering the new Droid Mini is $500 off contract, a Moto X at $300 is a no-brainer.

    Also, I don’t think Verizon would care all that much if I bought the phones from Google/Motorola for a couple of reasons: (1) Verizon is not going to lower my plan just because I bought it off contract, (2) Verizon is not going to pay anything for marketing, and (3) the phone will probably have a higher price if bought through Verizon rather than the Google Play store (see the Nexus 4 and T-mobile).

  • Ground Level

    Currently own the Note 2 on Verizon (DAMN YOU BUTTON LOGO), but I am extremely intrigued by this phone for a number of reasons…

    1. Near stock experience. Or at least as close as you can get without actually being vanilla. That’s good enough for me, considering I have completely changed my GN2 to resemble vanilla Android as much as possible.

    2. Solid build quality. I’ve always loved Motorola’s build quality, going back to my Droid X, but the software is always what holds me back from getting a Motorola phone.

    3. From what we’ve seen, this phone is beautiful. The white one is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m really interested to see what customization options are available.

    4. “Allegedly” optimized to the max for the hardware. We’ll see if this holds true, but I would assume with the less than stellar specs (let’s be honest, these are 2012 specs compared to what we’re currently seeing, and will see for the rest of 2013) that most of their focus has been on making this phone run as smoothly as possible. THAT is what’s really important here.

    5. Battery life should be ample. With the aforementioned specs and optimization, I would expect the battery life on this thing to be better than the 2200 mah would suggest.

    6. 4.7 inch (4.5 usable) display is the perfect size for me personally. I got the Note 2 for the sheer power of the thing, and I have gotten somewhat use to the size. Even still, the only dings and nicks on this phone are from it falling out of my pockets. I wear basketball shorts a lot of the time, and it’s just too big for the pockets and slips right out. Also look kind of ridiculous with it up next to your head, but that’s all just personal preference.

    7. Finally, the $299 off contract price… absolutely beautiful.

    Now, I’m probably to get ahead of myself and assume this phone would end up on Verizon at the price, but at the risk of making an ass out of u and me (HA), let’s pretend that’s what will actually happen. Why wouldn’t you want to support this venture by Google and Motorola? What I’ve just described is a basically vanilla experience, with good build quality, beauty, brilliant optimization, ample battery life, at $299, off contract. Sounds like the phone every Android fan has been dreaming about for years. If it does come to Verizon and everything is as described above, this is no doubt a day one purchase for me. Specs be damned. I’ll buy this phone for the functionality, and to support Google and Motorola for making such a bold move forward, and changing the future of smartphones.

  • AbbyZFresh

    Verizon is definitely not gonna let the Moto X in their system if this happens. They know they aren’t gonna make money if they are sold unlocked and knowing the greedy bastards they are, they will do everything to make sure the Droid lines are pushed to the max.

  • Higher_Ground

    A $300 off contract price would mean to me “you get what you pay for”
    I don’t want mediocre specs on a phone, period. If I did I certainly wouldn’t be reading D-L and I’d probably have a used i*hone!

  • Brandon Golway

    The Moto X will be the new Galaxy Nexus that everyone has, the “which phone do you have polls” will now be dominated by “Moto X” lol

    I think the addition of the other specific processors make up for the lack of a quad-core CPU, but we’ll have to see!

    • Mike Hilal

      That X8 tech should boost performance plenty to make it a nice upgrade from the Gnex

  • Chris B


  • sski66

    According to Android Community & other sites the Moto X is coming to Verizon, I think they wrote all of the big {4}. I”T stated $300. for the 16G & $350 for the 32G. This would be groundbreaking, to be able to keep my unlimited data & buy what looks like a kick-ass phone for $350 OFF- CONTRACT, yeah I’m IN. Just look what Google is doing, It looks like i can pick up the MotoX & the brand new N7 for under $550. & keep my unlimited data, BRING IT ON !!!

    • Mark Roan

      32 GB version of both Moto X and N7 for this guy! Then hopefully we can use our SIM card in the N7. Pinch me, I’m dreaming.

      • sski66

        That would be Awesome!!!

  • Jared B.

    I would instantly buy this phone at $299. I am looking to leave Verizon regardless, so if they made this phone compatible with T-Mobile 4G it would rip the other options out their new ones (I was looking at a BLU phone, but the MotoX would be so much better)

  • Eyebolt

    According to the benchmarks seen…it’s a step up from my GS3…so I’d be willing to possibly throw down $300 for a new phone off contract. After all…I paid that much for my GS3 a few months back off of Craigslist. Although, I would likely be comparing it to prices of other high end used phones though…gotta hang onto the Verizon unlimited data.

  • Stephen Gabriel

    a $300 off contract price at Verizon means I get it and keep my unlimited plan without breaking the bank for a new phone. Hope it happens.

    • d-rock

      Doubtful. I don’t even think you’ll see the MotoX come to VZ. Moto just announced their VZ phones for the year. Wishful thinking though!

  • Rob Kein

    I think I’d buy it.

  • speraider430

    There is a 0% chance it’s less than $650 off contract

  • Ryan Stewart

    If on Verizon/Sprint and it comes there then it matters, otherwise not so much because the N4 is superior and the same price.

    • Tim242

      Glass back, huge bezels, and horrible touch sensitivity is not superior.

      • Steve Benson

        Can’t argue with that.

      • sagisarius

        Ugh, most breakable phone ever… if this Moto phone is all everyone says (even if it’s slower) I’d buy it just for being more durable.

      • Ryan Stewart

        LOL. Touch sensitivity has been great on my phone, bezels one whole MM wider (no taller) and a glass back that hasnt broken on my phone or my girlfriends phones. Guess I will have to live with the faster CPU and better screen.

        • Tim242

          Pinch to zoom. Nothing happens until your fingers are about 2″ apart. That is not great sensitivity. It is a known issue. The Nexus phones have huge bezels, despite having on screen buttons. As far as CPU, you won’t tell a difference. Better screen? Amoled screens are much better. I could not stand the gray blacks on the N4.

          • Ryan Stewart

            Pinch to zoom works fine on mine and the girlfriends phone. Oh, your complaining about the top-bottom bezels, other than the fact that they are no bigger than anyone elses bezel (and smaller than most) but because the buttons are on the screen call it a ding. OLED screens are subjective, if you like blown colors then its the screen for you.

          • Tim242

            Blown out, huh? True blacks, no blown out colors.

  • dragonflyr

    At $300 off-contract .. I would buy this phone just to support the shakeup it would cause. It would be a game changer. . . kinda like the Nexus 7 of the tablet world.

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    I still say its gonna come out at 200.

  • Simon Belmont

    If it came to Verizon, this would be my top recommendation to my sister who is STILL rocking a Droid X (so she can keep her unlimited data). Yeah, I know, old school, but still cool.

    As for unlocked GSM, it’d be tempting for me, especially below $300. However, I think I’ll still hold out for the Nexus 5 to replace my trusty G’Nex.

    • samari711

      I’m still limping along with a Thunderbolt that lost touch response on the right side of the phone and wifi doesn’t work. I’ve got some bad blood with Samsung and don’t want to give HTC more money after this phone experience. A reasonably priced Moto Phone that’s an u pgrade and lets me keep unlimited data? that’s just what the doctor ordered.

      • Kenny Larson

        Don’t forget LG. They’re getting pretty good.

      • Simon Belmont

        I agree. If it’s priced well off-contract and has decent specifications (and good optimized performance) then it’s something to be interested in.

        I think my sister would definitely be interested in it. Though, the Droid Mini may be more up her alley because she wants to keep the 4.3 inch screen size.

    • rickd

      Nexus 5 will not be on verizon..

      • Simon Belmont

        Uh. If you reread my comment, you’ll see I’m on a GSM carrier, so a Nexus 5 is in the cards for me, and I never said the Nexus 5 will be on Verizon.

        I only mentioned Verizon in regards to the Moto X for my sister. Try reading more carefully next time, bud.

    • d-rock

      Droid X is still a sexy phone 😀

  • sc0rch3d

    I’d get it to support the cause if it came to ATT. Also, that’s a great price point for a phone if yours get lost/stolen/damaged. I would stop carrying insurance altogether.

  • AndrewScottRox

    It would mean kicking my Gnex to the curb so I can keep my unlimited data with Verizon. I’d be more interested in a 32gb version though and even at $400, it’s cheaper than the competition with the same storage.

  • jddunkley

    I would sell my Galaxy S4 and get this. If it’s a CDMA option since I’m on Sprint… So I’m not getting my hopes up too high unfortunately.

    • Steve Benson

      That wouldn’t be a smart move. The S4 is a way better device.

      • elvisgp

        Software wise? probably not. Hardware wise, it probably is, but specs aren’t everything.

  • shecalledmejay

    First there was the OD DROID, then came the GNEX, and now it’s the MOTOX. this is the 3rd coming lol

    • Steve Benson

      Sadly, this is true. This is Verizon’s only shot at a near stock device.

    • d-rock

      Moto just announced their VZ lineup….I wouldn’t expect to see the MotoX anywhere near VZ.

      Could happen, just probably won’t.

  • Brian

    Why is it crazy? From what we’ve seen it looks like a mid-range phone anyways.

    • Steve Benson

      Because even mid-range phones go for $500+ off contract normally. Moto X is a bargain at this price.

  • DanWazz

    Could be a stop gap for my aging GNex unitl my contract is over and I go T-Mo and Nexus.

  • Mark Faustino

    If this is the case, then my wife and I may have a chance in keeping our unlimited data plans. Paying +$1300 on phones for the both of us is a lot (with most phone off contract costing $650 or so).

  • Kenny Larson

    If it comes in at $300 off contract for 16gb than I would assume that the Nexus 5 would come in at $400+ off contract. I can’t see Google selling a semi-premium (some would call full premium) phone right next to a powerful, albeit midrange, phone.

  • Arve

    The newest droids are also equipped with dual core cpu’s. They call it x8-computing system or somethng. I bet this phone will be flying!

    • Trueblue711

      No. They’re octa-core, hence X8.

      • Arve

        8core soc. In details (from android police): Verizon slide mentioned 2 processor cores, 4 GPU cores, one contextual computing core, and one language processing core.

        • Trueblue711

          Yes. Even though 2 are only for processing, it takes the workload from the rest of the phone away from it. Therefore, it’s not comparable to a dual-core processor that has to handle everything in just 2 cores.

          • Simon Belmont

            Actually, it pretty much is. Other phones didn’t have contextual and language processing done even on the regular application CPUs.

            No one has had a phone with an open microphone processor installed until this one. So since the new “cores” that process context and language are included on a phone that actually uses context and language, you could still call it a dual-core because it’s a level playing field (also, GPU cores shouldn’t be counted in addition to CPU cores, as they’re different).

          • Trueblue711

            If other phones that have microphone listening while sleeping (GS3/4) don’t have a mic processor, then where is that processing done?

            Also, having 4 GPU cores is still more than most dual-core phones now. Therefore, the original comment’s point that this processor is no better than existing ones in older phones, is not valid.

          • Arve Svendsen

            So, what you are saying is that note 2 has a 12core chip with the gpu added? I am sorry, but you just don’t make any sense right now. Wait and see, the octacore will be equipped in the moto x for sure =)

          • Simon Belmont

            Yes, but no other phone has the microphone listening constantly when it’s asleep. So, it’s not comparable.

            I don’t think you understand where I’m coming from. I’m not downing the Moto X (God forbid anyone do that, right?!). I’m merely stating that calling it an 8-core processor is a bit misleading. People will think it means 8 application cores, and not the varied assortment of cores that we’re actually dealing with.

          • Arve Svendsen

            But it is still a dual core cpu

  • Corey Foltman

    I’d really like one until the Nexus 5 comes out.

  • William_Morris

    If MotoX is $300.00 off contract, I will buy it.

  • James Hill

    Should be 229.99 off contract for the 16g and 259.99 for the 32g just like the Nexus 7. The material costs should be about equal for the parts. I also think it’s cool to have U. S. Made phone.

  • Kindroid

    The Droid Mini is $ 99 on contract. That leaves the Moto X free on contract. A phone that can do what 90% of users need and want perfectly…..for free. Enough said.

    • Jay W.

      How much extra does that 2 year contract cost you though?

  • fd2blk78


  • Richard Albert McKenzie III

    This phone has a processor that’s not as good as the Nexus 4, but does it perform better overall? Is it worth it to buy it now or wait for the next Nexus device?

    • Richard Albert McKenzie III

      Personally, I’m thinking it’s a better idea to wait for the next Nexus, but I really love the back of the Moto X..and the name…Moto X…just has a nice ring to it. 🙂

    • A.Miller

      Depends on what carrier you have.

  • Ronald Bernard

    Any chance Moto-goo is trying to low ball this first version to show people what they are doing as far as software enhancements then release a higher speced device?

  • paul_cus

    If I’m going to buy something off contract that doesn’t have top shelf specs, I’ll probably go with the Huawei Ascend P6. I like the design more and that Emotion UI looks interesting. Moto X is shaping up to look and feel pretty plain Jane.

  • icyrock1

    I’m good with my Nexus four for the next few years. I won’t need an upgrade for a while.

  • PowersUSA

    Yes If:
    a non-pentile screen
    and the camera is truely exceptional (or at least not crap)
    and Verizon LTE
    and $300 or less
    and I get to keep my unlimited data plan

  • SilentSpring

    Well with the profit margins being what they are on cell phones, I’d say Moto could very easily sell this phone for $300 if they don’t join the corporate greed machine.

    The iPhone costs apple around $200-$230 to make, they sell it for $650, $750 and $850…$$$$$

    Moto is using older and cheaper tech and instead of using the latest and greatest are instead concentrating on software enhancements and user experience…whats the cost of that I wonder

  • TheWenger

    It will be $50 more on VZW because of CDMA.

  • Christian Felanopolis

    It’d be an upgrade from my Rezound at $300 OTD, I’d be in.

  • ahhh yes

    well it would mean i would still buy a NEXUS 4. might think about the 32GB for $300…might.

  • Let me try to explain. When you buy a phone on contract, you pay the initial upfront fee (usually $200) and over the course of two years, you pay off the phone for it’s full retail value through the monthly service charge. If the Moto X is being sold for $300 unlocked on all the major carriers, there is literally no difference than buying the phone on contract for $99. Either way, the customer has to pay the monthly service charge. So actually, Verizon is making MORE money by selling an unlocked device. Since you’ve already payed for the device in full and part of the monthly fee is meant to count toward paying the subsidy, Verizon is actually charging you more than buying on contract. Just my $0.02.

    • ahhh yes

      i agree but if you use prepaid plans it would make sense. I bought a N4 and use tmo’s $30/month plan. unlimited text/web (5gb 4g) but only 100 talk. which works for me.

      • Brendan Owens

        This is what I plan to do with the Moto X. What happens if you go over the 100 minutes?

        • ahhh yes

          its only $.10 / min not bad. I dont talk much and usually use around 60 / 70 mins.

          • Brendan Owens

            Wow not bad at all for overage charges

        • Richard Albert McKenzie III

          it’s just the 10 cents a minute, but be aware that you have to put money into the account before making the calls(after the 100 min is up) because they won’t allow you to make OR receive calls when you’re out of minutes so you have to add money to your account(which is easy/fast)

          • Brendan Owens

            That’s actually a good thing so you don’t accidentally go over without knowing it. This 30 plan just keeps getting better

    • Brendan Owens

      That is true, but if you buy it off contact you could take it to t-mobile who does not include subsidies in their regular monthly charges.

      • True, but that’s not why I wrote this comment. People are saying that Verizon would never offer a phone for $300 off contract. I’m saying that it’s very possible for people who want to keep their current plan and buy the phone off contract.

        • unlimited data

        • Richard Albert McKenzie III

          a lot of the people that want to buy off contract are wanting to do so to keep the unlimited data that’s tied to their previous contract, if they sign a new contract they have to sign to the 2gigs for $527 a minute.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        Actually, you couldn’t take a phone with CDMA radios to T-Mobile, but you could potentially take it to pre-paid carriers that work with CDMA tech.

    • well worth it if you get to keep unlimited data and u have a dying galaxy nexus

      • calculatorwatch

        That’s where I am. Assuming Verizon doesn’t do something evil and take away everyone’s unlimited data (which they probably will), the amount of money I can save by not having to sign up for one of their terribly overpriced data plans will far outweigh paying for a subsidy that I’m not using.

        • capecodcarl

          The earliest Verizon would cancel unlimited data is when then last of all the legacy grandfathered contracts expire… sometime in summer of 2014. They aren’t going to risk giving all those people a free out of their ETF to switch to another provider.

  • Ryan Hansele

    if it is 300 off contract i imagine it would only go to T-Mobile because of their no contract yet still “contract” plans. Until ATT and Verizon and Sprint switch it makes no sense for those carriers to essentially offer a device with no contract. It sounds great from horrible from a business stand point with the current plans.

  • 655321

    At that price point what would be the carriers’ incentive to sell it? The hardware is just the carriers’ incentive to customers to sign a contract with them for 2 years. It’s like giving away the razor to make your money on the blades.

    • blix247

      I think they’ve realized customers are largely sticky without the contracts. People find the carrier with the best signal in their area and are pretty much forced to stick with them. Plus they get to keep the hardware subsidy that is built in as pure profit. So even if you only have that customer for 6 months to a year, you get the hardware subsidy as pure profit.

    • 655321

      I have unlimited data on Verizon, still using a Droid Incredible (the original!). It’s only 3G-capable. If hypothetically I’m able to get an off-contract CDMA Moto X would I have to have Verizon switch on LTE network access for me, or is it automatic?

  • SDTM

    Marcus replied I am in shock that any one able to get paid $6824 in 4 weeks
    on the computer. have you read this site link..www.Pro67.ℂom

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      LMao, this is a good one. Still gets downvotes.

      • ahhh yes

        no kidding! i love the ones with chopped english….

  • Charlie R.

    If this ends up being true, I see no way Verizon let’s this happen with their version, especially for people with unlimited data plans. Verizon won’t let a phone be sold outside of them and it’s definitely not going to be at that price. This is Verizon, after all.

  • John Clausen

    If Verizon offers this phone for around $300 of contract, I’ll get one just out of sheer intrigue.