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Motorola Engineer Defends Moto X: Jabs at Samsung’s “Not True 1080p” Display, Calls HTC’s LCD Inferior to AMOLED, and More

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The Moto X has been both praised and criticized over these short few days since its unveiling. The praise seems to have come from those who have used the device (mostly press), while the criticism arose quickly from consumers once they saw the price ($199) Motorola had attached to a phone that – at least on paper – appears to have inferior specs to phones like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One. I don’t want to necessarily say that Motorola engineers and executives have been in damage control to defend the phone, but they have certainly been vocal in trying to explain their reasoning behind their hardware choices.

One of Moto’s top engineers, Iqbal Arshad, sat down for a Q&A with CNET today to discuss his thoughts on the Moto X, why he thinks it has “world’s first” type of features, and why the technology used in the GS4 or One are inferior to what they have accomplished. This is certainly worth a read. If anything, at least jump to the last question where he talks about future customizable features through MotoMaker.  

Arshad on why you don’t need a quad-core CPU, and why their dual-core CPU is not “last year’s”:

For one, we are not using last year’s Qualcomm processor. It’s this year’s processor. It is a dual-core processor, but the thing people have to understand is that in mobile devices, more CPUs don’t necessarily mean better or faster devices. In fact, in most instances no more than two CPUs are being used at any given time. In order to save power, the algorithms controlling the device are often trying to turn off CPUs.

In the stress tests we have conducted on competing devices, we launched 24 websites at once on the device, and none of the devices used more than two CPUs at once to do this.

On changing how smartphones work, and the first dig at Samsung:

If you think about it, the market has been relatively stagnant. Everything is built on these standard chips and displays. And we are all trained to respond to those small incremental changes in these components. But Motorola’s vision is to really change how smartphones work. The small computers we carry around in our pockets aren’t really “smart.” I mean what can you do with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that you can’t do with the Galaxy S4? The answer is nothing.

We aren’t developing technology for technology’s sake. But we are trying to make mobile computing more intelligent.

On how innovative X8 architecture is and why no one else is doing it (Samsung and HTC):

We have come up with a new processing architecture that allows us to do things like touchless control without sacrificing battery power. For a Samsung or HTC device to offer the same kind of functionality would require three batteries. And that is the reason why no one else has done touchless control. Nobody has done it because it kills the device’s battery life.

None of those other processors could do all the noise cancellation and offer the same level of intelligence and still be low power. What we have done with the Moto X has not been done before. It’s the world’s first.

On defeating the spec war that chip and display manufacturers have created:

It’s hard because people are programmed by the industry to look at things like how many cores a chip has or whether the display is 1080p. That’s how chip and display manufacturers differentiate their products. But we’ve spent thousands of engineering hours building a new kind of processing architecture that will really change how people use their phones.

On the Galaxy S4 “beating” the Moto X’s display in terms of pixels per inch:

First of all, what Samsung has done with the GS4 screen is not true 1080p. Instead, Samsung is using a PenTile display. Each pixel is made up of three color sub pixels. It’s missing one of the pixels. We are using a true RGB pattern custom display that gives true color reproduction without wasting battery life.

Samsung is using a graphics processor, but they’re using it the wrong way and their performance is actually worse than ours. They are burning more battery life. In the case of HTC, they’re using an LCD screen, which is simply an inferior technology.

Also, the human eye cannot discern resolution beyond 300 pixels per inch. And we exceed that. So the eye can’t even see the difference. But the human eye can see big differences in color saturation and reproduction. In fact, I’d say that is even more important than resolution. So we decided to focus on that aspect instead.

On adding future customizable features to Moto X (like RAM, screen size, processor, etc.):

We do have a road map for extending the capabilities of the device and customization in the future, but I’ll talk about that in the future.

Yeah, I’d say Arshad has heard about enough when it comes to criticism of the specs of his Moto X.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to read our Moto X review.

Via:  CNET

  • ChicagoBob

    Oh there is so much wrong with this article.
    First, multiple cores and their use.. What is he saying? Is he saying Google and everyone else are terrible application developers?
    He might as well spit at the software community because now he dared us to start writing COOL apps that use all the cores.
    Droid programmers and GOOGLE you were insulted. Its either your OS or your apps.
    Next comes the fabrication that more dots don’t matter?
    Ask yourself why all printers are not 300 dpi if that’s the case?
    Why did they go to over 1000dpi?
    WELL that bunch of malarkey he spewed was basically wrong. We can resolve to around 2000 dpi by eye. The excess resolution adds text clarity at small sizes,
    which all phones are cursed by small screens, so PPI matters.
    Color is one thing that all video compression formats THROW away. They keep LUMA which is the black and white contrast but DV 4:1:1 YUV 4:2:2 Blue Ray MPEG etc all CRUSH color.
    In fact Blue Ray is 4:2:0 which tossed out an entire color band. I am not sure where he got the idea pixels don’t matter but I bet it was from the marketing department, no they do advertising and pay big money to print at high resolution.
    After this article I suggest developers go out of their way and start using four cores.
    Render faster load browser pages faster do more background processing and by all means allow us to run two apps at once? Can MotoX even do that?
    If you get a phone every two years, do buy it for all it can do now or all that you want it to do for the next 2 years? Remember software gets updated all the time hardware not so much..

  • Adam Schadt

    So tell me more about how being able to see your screen in sunlight is inferior.

  • Texazzpete

    Really difficult to take this man seriously when he dismisses HTC’s LCD efforts as ‘inferior tech’ while touting Motorola’s efforts at color saturation and reproduction, two areas HTC’s SuperLCD and LG’s LCD tech excel in.

  • Crickerman

    I’m liking the screen, 720p RGB amoled > 1080p pentile any day… I wonder how bright the screen is for outdoor visibility because the sgs3 and 4 both are pretty bad…. The battery life is pretty amazing too especially since it has a 2200mah battery which is nice in itself since it will charge faster than the larger ones used in more inefficient devices…

    I’m interested in the device, once it comes out unlocked I may just end up buying it. It fulfills my requirements for what I need in a phone: battery life, screen quality, reception, light computing, gps, music, etc.

  • Runner15

    The Moto X sounds and looks incredible! Would you all recommend waiting on it, or going ahead and purchasing the Galaxy S4??? The Moto X has really gotten my attention now since I’ve learned about the battery storage, voice control, and smooth interface. I’m in high school too, so which do you think would be more of an asset to my studies and athletics? Thank you all! 🙂

  • Aaron Ellis

    My only problem with the entire device, and most of the high end devices of the day – Non-removable batteries. The weakest link in the device needs to be replaceable. I will take the extra 1mm (guestimation I don’t need equations and schematics on how much space it really takes to add this in) thickness.

    • flosserelli

      Agreed. That is why I will not buy another phone without a removable battery. It could make bacon and wipe my ass for me, but if it runs out of juice by mid day, then I don’t want it. And I refuse to carry a charger everywhere I go. Give me a full days’ worth of real-world usability, or give me a removable battery. Nothing less.

  • CreeDiddy

    What this means is that Android manufacturer’s are infiltrating marketing tactics that show meaningless performance gains in real world experiences, but only demonstrate gains in benchmarks.

    Plus this becomes a Android dog eat dog world. We like to hear the 80% marketshare, but you have Motorola beating up Samsung about RBG Pentile displays and true processing power. What a contradiction to success?!?!?

  • CreeDiddy

    That means Android manufacturer’s are infiltrating marketing tactics to unveil meaningless specs that don’t provide any performance gains, but only towards benchmarks.

  • Damian Allen

    All that bashing doesn’t justify the price of the device. Less cores?…Less dollars? Smaller screen?…smaller price? Like I’ve said before, either Motorola is charging way too much for this device, or HTC/Samsung is not charging enough. This coming from a guy that has a DNA and is looking to get something different. Sorry, the Moto X just won’t be it…

  • Taglogical

    “they’re using an LCD screen, which is simply an inferior technology.” -rofl, GG Engineer; kindly qualify that statement lest you look like you do. Aside from that, there has never been any question in my mind (going back to the first “smart phone”) that dedicated, task handlers on a core ala the X8 is the way to go in a mobile computing platform (where batteries are involved) and that Motorola was immediately kicking everyone’s ass who’s racing against each other to plug the next incremental “over 9000 series” chip into their new phone – bravo Moto for doing what everyone should have been doing with these things for many years now.

  • skzion

    In other news, my mom just said I am the best son ever.

  • Higher_Ground

    1 – no mention of pricing?

    2 – I think he meant “What can you do on an S4 that you can’t on an S3?” Otherwise it doesn’t make any sense.

    3 – “But the human eye can see big differences in color saturation and reproduction. In fact, I’d say that is even more important than resolution. So we decided to focus on that aspect instead.” – Well you f’d up because looking at the phone pictures next to the One and S4 the colors looked horrible. Maybe we can’t resolve over 300 ppi but we can tell the difference between two products when we’re looking right at them side-by-side.

  • AxemRed

    He probably just said it backwards. I assume he meant to switch those two.

  • Steven Elliott

    Awesome. This just solidified my resolve to get one in November when I can upgrade.

  • Aleksandr Ivanov

    I totally disagree about screen – IPS is the only way to go at the moment.

  • crazed_z06

    Did this Moto engineer have any hand in the development of the Droid Bionic? I Bet he thought that was a superior device.

  • AxemRed

    Moto doesn’t have to justify the processor and screen to me. I’m on board with those. I agree with everything that was mentioned above. But my two biggest concerns were not mentioned:

    1. Battery life – I’m impressed that Moto was able to add features that would typically suck up a lot of battery and still keep the battery life on-par with the competition. But I’m disappointed that battery life is only on-par with the competition. I really want a phone that can last from when I wake up to when I go to bed under heavy use. I find myself considering the Droid Maxx, but it’s an ugly beast. :

    2. Camera – The clear pixel thing interests me a lot. But I’m not sure how I feel about simplifying the UI to the point where there are almost no options. There are just certain scenarios where you just can’t get a good picture without being able to choose the point to focus on. If you don’t believe me, try to stand outside, hold an ice cream cone at arms length, and take a picture. When 90% of the frame is distant and you’re trying to focus on the 10% that is close, autofocus has problems.

  • woodraskam

    Headline: Moto X developer Coughs….more details to follow

  • Mike

    Insulting superior companies, telling the customer what they can or cannot see. Okay Apple…

  • The Truth

    So now I’d say the only thing the are not doing right is business… you have no idea how to market or sell your products because you are being smoked by both HTC and especially Samsung!

  • csd5

    i really want a droid maxx because its really all about the phone lasting all day on heavy usage, but goodamn who wants to walk around with a 5 inch screen

  • Joh

    Any answer on how the Snapdragon 800 chip has all the same low power touchless features the entire X8 chipset?

  • rfranken

    all i know is droid life showed the screens side by side of this and sgs4 and the one…and the moto x looked bad. whites were yellow.

  • legaceez

    Amen to that. Spec whores please do some research instead of flaunting them Mega Pixels…

    • Mike

      Garbage display is garbage, look at it next to ANY other flagship…its crap

      • legaceez

        Do tell me. You have it in your hand right now to compare all the flagship phones? Is your bionic eye permanently set on 10x zoom? Give me a break…

        Every professional review I’ve seen said they can’t even tell the difference.

        The display itself is not garbage. The technology behind it is on par or better than the screens on the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. Samsung’s is PenTile for goodness sakes so it’s effectively lower resolution than advertised…now that’s garbage.

        But hey I guess all that matters to some people is the higher numbers and it’s impossible to convince the uninformed otherwise.

        • Mike

          Im referring to how terrible those yellow tinted whites are. Everything else is close but you must be blind If you don’t notice the yellow tint.

          • legaceez

            Only noticeable if you have something purely white to compare it to. It’s a compromise for the truly black blacks. It’s a valid complaint though I suppose.

            Any AMOLED screen will have that issue. Even Samsung’s to some extent although masked somewhat ironically by it’s biggest flaw, PenTile. I mean the tech has it’s advantages and disadvantages but overall it’s a better technology. Not garbage by any stretch of the word. You get better color saturation and overall more vivid color generation. Better battery because of truely off pixels. Etc…

            I don’t get the way people label something as not obviously the best automatically garbage. Like there’s no in between. By that definition everything out there is garbage.

          • legaceez

            Don’t know what happened to my other response but too lazy to retype it.

            Basically it’s a trade off for the truly black blacks. It’s barely noticeable unless you have something truly white to compare it with. Even Samsung’s display has a similar issue just masked ironically by it’s biggest flaw, the PenTile display. No one display has it all, not even the best IPS LCD’s.

            Once again garbage is really a stretch … by your definition every display out there is garbage because none of them produce colors 100% correct.

          • legaceez


      • NeedName

        phonearena had the Moto X right next to the G2 in a video and they looked nearly identical. . . and that’s the point at this screen size.

  • Aweso

    “what can you do with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that you can’t do with the Galaxy S4? The answer is nothing.”

    err… isn’t that a good thing? o_o

    • chris420o

      for the s3

      • Aweso

        If anything, that statement just claims that the S4 makes no feature compromises over its predecessor.

  • bionicwaffle

    I would rather have the extra two processors of the Moto X/Droid Ultra than a conventional quad core. I like what they’ve done with those and the battery life gain. They were smart to use the S4 Pro for the faster graphics engine but there was no need to move to a quad core processor.

    I totally agree when it comes to the resolution, RGB verses PenTile, but disagree about the display tech. I’d much rather have a conventional LED notification light and an LCD display than an OLED display and the on screen notifications. This is for two reasons, the LED uses less power then lighting all the pixels needed for the notification, and LCD is much brighter and uses less power for a given brightness in most situations.

    I’d take the Droid Maxx, or even Ultra for that matter, over the Moto X any day because of the larger battery and the off screen buttons.

  • Jimmy Leang

    What cant you do with the S3 that you couldnt do with the Moto X? Every darn phone looks the same nowadays. Why are they all trying to put down one another?

  • Clearly he’s just hating on Samsung. Motorola wishes they could be as big and successful as Samsung. At the end of the day, the Samsung Galaxy S4 reigns supreme over all smartphones. It’s merely talking about the side of his neck. Oh and FYI the Galaxy S3 uses pentile display, not the Galaxy S4!

    • chris420o

      all these korean manufacturers with thier overly n unnecessarily large displays and phones are just overcompensating for their physical shortcomings…they can keep em

  • azndan4

    Umm.. No. There is no excuse for using outdated technology and charging the same price as competitors who use current technology. The human eye can’t tell the difference between 300 and 460 ppi? Give me a break. Just because he is blind doesn’t mean that everyone else in the world can’t tell the difference.

  • Jamin

    I truly love this phone. The design is beautiful and the specs are more than what you need (except there can’t be a too big battery).
    That they offer real exterior customization is just awesome. Maybe they offer a similar offering in Europe next year and I won’t be shy to spend a few more bucks to stand out of the crowd.

  • Kanaga Deepan N

    I can agree that 441ppi pentile is about <300 ppi in theory… But calling One's display as inferior can't be agreed, imho…

  • Vini a.k.a SThrill

    Im I the only one super excited about always on? For me what motorola has done with motox is the next big thing in mobile tech since iphone. X8 and always on and customization awesomely brilliant. Yes it lacks 2 cores that rarely get used and some pixels we hardly see. I can totally imagine the excitement in the engineering depart when they made the x8 system. I am flabberwhelmed so many are missing the big picture. This is JARVIS in the making. What is sad is we have been brainwashed to think spec before this happened. Motorola will have to strongly market this.

  • Bobby

    I dont know about you guys but working for Verizon and selling phones all day, I can definitely tell the difference between a 315 ppi screen compared to a 450 ppi screen. HTC’s LCD screen is a beautiful thing and I think looks better than AMOLED and more realistic. Just my 2 cents.

    • Avery Dejuan Herron

      Does working for Verizon give you phones that airn’t even on the network yet? Does it also let you sell them? Because apparently what droid doesn’t verzion does! …. and yes I started a sentence with because.

      • Bobby

        I have nothing relevant to respond to that weird reply…

        • jpxa

          lol, they barely even get a discount. an exclusive employee edition every once in a while. even then they gotta buy em.

    • Tim242

      You cannot tell the difference in pixels. What you can see the difference in, is color reproduction. LCD screens show blacks as gray. That is not realistic. Samsung’s Amoled displays allow you to choose your color saturation, and you get true blacks. You might want to familiarize yourself with settings menus. Set to movie mode, it looks very natural.

    • Tim242

      You cannot tell the difference in pixels. What you can see the difference in, is color reproduction. LCD screens show blacks as gray. That is not realistic. Samsung’s Amoled displays allow you to choose your color saturation, and you get true blacks. You might want to familiarize yourself with settings menus. Set to movie mode, it looks very natural.

  • Kane Desousa

    Yup my gs4 definitely looks worse then my nexus 7 2013 because amoled. Doesn’t really bother me as I love the phone but can’t deny that he wasn’t right about everything.

    • Tim242

      This will make your GS4 display better than LCD.

    • Tim242

      This will make your GS4 display better than LCD.

  • Donald Motley

    Even granting that all he says is so, the Moto X still has no SD slot and a nonremovable battery – either of which by itself is a deal-breaker. The Samsung GS 4 is my only prospect right now.

    • hkklife

      Same here. Such a disappointment they axed microSD on the G2. I SO had my hopes up after seeing the leaked manual a few days ago.

      Why the F doesn’t Sandisk or one of the other large flash medias companies start petitioning the handset manufacturers to not jettison external storage?

      • CoreRooted

        Because, it’s Google that is leading the charge against SD. The *only* reason Samsung hasn’t caved into it is because they are looking to go full Tizen by 2014. They want to compete with Google whereas the other manufacturers have no such plans or desires.

  • KleenDroid

    Ok, let’s hear what a Samsung engineer has to say.

  • Kizaru Hiruko

    I find it interesting that Motorola makes jabs at Samsung for using PenTile when they used PenTile screens for their own phones in the past. As a matter of fact, the displays on the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR HD are from Samsung.

  • James Hill

    How many cores does Facebook use? This, I would like to know.

  • Daniel Marcovici

    If they want the Moto X to blow the rest of the competition out of the water, then they need to hurry up and offer customizable specs like ram, processor chips, screen size, storage etc. And they need to do it fast!

  • Knlegend1

    He’s correct these phones are using two cores. Download cpuz and it will show you.

  • crazed_z06

    It’s all fine and dandy if Moto has decided they dont need the sheer horsepower of the GS4. The problem is they’re charging the same amount as Samsung. It’d be like Ford charging 50k for a Mustang GT. At that point, why not get a Corvette? Yea, you might not use all the Corvette performance, but if I’m paying for something, I dont mind more performance on tap… just in case.

    • NeedName

      You need to read more. The Moto X outperforms the GS4 in every real-world task I’ve seen thrown at the two side by side, and it’s getting 2x the battery life of the HTC One under similar situations while giving the user on-screen notification and touchless control. . . .

      They are charging for their work, like every other company. Just because that work has gone into the X8 architecture Vs buying an off the shelf S800 does NOT mean they should not be charging for it.

      FYI, Moto’s profit margin is lower than Samsung’s on handsets.

      • crazed_z06

        As a consumer I couldnt care less about Moto’s margins. I dont work for them and I dont own their stock. Once again, according to the review posted on this very site, the battery life is NOTHING to get excited about. It was just like every other smartphone. And where can I see these “real world” tests against the GS4?

        • NeedName

          This site is the ONLY review I’ve seen where battery wasn’t excellent, and I stated real world comparison Vs. HTC One.

          Again, you need to read more!

  • crazed_z06

    lol He mad..

    Someone should link him to the Droid Life review where this thing gets the same battery life as the Bionic.

  • Tony Stark

    While you guys argue about dual core vs quad core without any real knowledge of Operating Systems and/or context switching… Someone explain to me why that xphone is laying flat on its screen on dirt?!

    • Knlegend1

      Because Google develops software and the hardware was developed by LG.

      • Tony Stark

        But if the whole goal of the N4, like Larry Page stated, was to deliver a high end experience without a high end price, why not drive the price even lower with a dual core if performance does not suffer?

        Besides, you know very well that Google handpicked the LG and that hardware.

        • Knlegend1

          What part of what I said didn’t say LG made the hardware and Google software lol?

    • brkshr

      The MX has two additional cores that unburden the “dual-core” immensely. This tech didn’t exist when the N4 was made. The MX is very different from the dual-cores available at the time of the N4 or even any other dual-core now. They went with the best processor available at the time of the N4.

      • Tony Stark

        You do realize that the apps running on the two additional cores are coded to run on the extra cores, right? They have to ask the OS for that permission. Otherwise, they would be running on the primary cores just like they would on any other device. My point is, if Google Now was coded to work on the secondary cores instead of the primary onees, then you could practically emulate the X8 architecture on any quad core device!

        I think Google was future-proofing the Nexus 4. Not to say that the Moto X is not future proof, since as you elegantly pointed out, there are 2 additional cores.

        • brkshr

          Yes, I do realize that. You would take an immense hit to battery life if you did port most of these new features to any other phone (besides the new Droids). That’s why they made the two separate low power processors to handle these things. I forget how low a voltage they said the add-on cores are, but I think it was around 10% or less than normal processors.

          • Tony Stark

            Not necessarily, that’s where software engineering and optimization of the app would come into play. But it is easier to just throw on a couple of lower voltage cores than to rewrite your code to be more efficient…

  • Ron_Swanson

    better keep the damage control coming….this phone is gonna get beat down in the coming months by the G2, the Note 3, the S4 still, the HTC One and HTC One Maxx

  • Johny M

    In most instances only 1 core is active. Does that mean we should just put a 5gig single core in it?
    True answer;
    In most instances most people won’t know the difference so we are cutting cores, saving our money and increasing margins.

  • Nazzi_Muhammad

    That’s the reason(s) I’m getting this phone.

  • Sporttster

    Screw Moto. Used to love em but they ditched sd slot and HDMI support. Not wasting my time with em anymore…

  • sk3litor

    Alright everyone says their phone is the best. Someone’s lying dammit. I’ll call the police.

  • Brian Wolfman

    Its kinda like the argument, why buy a car that goes 0-60 in 4 seconds with a top speed of 180mph. You will never go anywhere close to that and yea, maybe once in a blue moon youd love to have all that power to accelerate onto the highway, but otherwise, youll never use it 99.9% of the time. Or you could buy another car that does 0-60 in 5-6 seconds and a top speed of 130mph, which is still fast and most people would never notice difference. A lot of people are going to buy the faster Porscheanyway, just because it can, even though you really never do.

  • justjmatt

    While “specs aren’t everything” is debatably true (and the Moto X does look impressive and I would totally get it), I honestly don’t like where Arshad went with this. I feel like this kind of response is kinda immature (to be very bashful of the competition) and somewhat uncalled for.

    • calculatorwatch

      I just wanna say I really like your re-purposing of the word “bashful” here. Mainly because your use is almost a complete 180 from the original meaning.

  • Malav Desai

    well said Arshad! I couldn’t agree more! It’s sad how the smartphone industry is driven by purely a CPU and Display standard; more focus needs to be put on software development aspect.

  • turb0wned

    Sorry guy, do not talk about the HTC One’s screen, its by far the best in the market.

    • NeedName

      unless you want on-screen notifications and decent battery life — The Moto X, in tests, is getting twice the battery life of the HTC One while giving the user on-screen notification and touchless control. . . . just sayin’ “the best” is a very relative thing.

      • turb0wned

        Your response had nothing to do with anything I said.

        • NeedName

          You made a declarative statement of fact that the HTC One’s screen is “the best in the market.” I simply pointed out that “best” is relative to what you want it to do for you. Therefore, your statement is absolutely false, unless you wish to define what you specifically mean by “best” in this instance.

    • Tim242

      Gray blacks does not equal best display.

  • C C

    seems like an elegant, intelligently designed phone …. not just throwing unnecessary hardware in there for the sake of the spec sheet

  • Joe Blo

    Hell…I want it just for the “OK GOOGLE NOW” functionality , and the way it reconfigures itself for car use , pocket use , home use , etc. Brilliant.

  • Joe Blo

    Phone reviews should not list specs…just tell us how useful it is , how it makes your life easier , and how well it works , and BATTERY LIFE !

    • Tim242

      We do not wish to be ignorant iOS users.

  • Robert Willis

    Wouldn’t it have been just easier to keep the X8 architecture and neat features while still using high end hardware? THEN they would really have something.

    • kixofmyg0t

      Not really. It wouldve increased cost of manufacture for one. But also heat. X is a small device. They would have risked hitting thermal ceiling and even less battery life with more powerful hardware in there.

    • Sqube

      I think the whole point of something like the X8 architecture is that you don’t NEED to do stuff like that anymore. So you can save money on hardware because you don’t bleeding-edge hardware to get the same levels of performance. And since you’re not using the top-shelf hardware, your battery life should be much better.

      If my eye can’t tell the difference in the screen, and the performance of the device is the same, can you give me a valid reason to get a quad-core and a 1080p screen?

      • Robert Willis

        So you are paying for smarts instead of specs. Got it.

      • Tony Stark

        I doubt Motorola designed the xphone to end the spec war as they’d like you to believe. They used a dual core in their x8 architecture in order to maximize profits. Don’t forget that they initially tried to sell this as a 8-core phone.

        You put the quad core S4 pro in the x8 architecture and this discussion would’ve never happened. You put the S4 pro and the complaints wouldn’t be as loud regarding pricing.

        • Sqube

          Well, I certainly remember there being a rumor to that effect. But I think every rumor under the sun was attached to the Motorola X at one point or another.

          Anyway, look down at @kixofmyg0t:disqus and what s/he posted; specifically, the CPU utilization. If no one is optimizing for quad-core stuff, having quad-core devices doesn’t seem excessively useful.


    Wait, which phone does he use?

  • ConCal

    He does make some good arguments, but I’ll still take the Snapdragon 800 over the X8 any day.

  • lord snooty

    All very interesting but it smacks of ‘post event rationalization’. Irrespective of the specs, however, is the fact that the Moto X is a US only device; its not available in Europe or Asia (which include some pretty important markets). And not forgetting that any genuinely innovative features will be available from the competition (whether Android or iOS) within a quarter. So, basically, Moto have around 1 quarter to recoup their investment in technology and supply chain (that customization plant in Texas, for example) before the Moto X is overtaken by the competition and they are entirely reliant on one region (the US) to provide all the revenue. Frankly, its not going to happen.

    Contrast the Moto X launch with the LG G2 launch; LG rolled out a genuinely high spec device, which is globally available.

    Despite Google’s billions, at this rate Moto are increasingly going to become a marginal player very quickly indeed.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    All hail moto x.

  • teevirus

    Why isn’t it cheaper?

  • moelsen8

    i want one

  • chris125

    Yep you’re fighting an uphill battle. Hope the spec war is over but doubt it is and don’t think this will sell as well as they hoped, unless the price drops.

  • Dave

    In a related story: Samsung’s head engineer came out, pointed to a sales chart, and said “scoreboard.” Not taking sides, but it’s too obvious to overlook.

    • chris125

      Ha that or they can say show me the money since they are raking in profits. Moto can’t say that.

      • Dave

        I was going to say something like the CEO came out dressed like a clown and ran bags of $100 bills thru a wood chipper while singing and dancing.

  • Mike

    Motorola says Motorola is the best.

  • Gr8Ray

    I’m still in a wait and see mode on this one, but I have to say that Samsung has a history of marketing sexy specs and utterly failing on delivery. After 2 consecutive Galaxy branded phones, I think I’m ready to try something different. Motorola has a history of phones with fantastic radios. Maybe my next smartphone will be somewhat lacking in the specs department, but actually work as a phone.

  • jim

    He kept trying to put into everyones head that we save your battery and everyone else burns your battery, said it over and over, ive not heard anyone complain about the S4’s battery

    • crazed_z06

      Not to mention the Droid Life review here showed Meh battery life. My Note 2 absolutely smashes the Moto X in battery life.

      X8, SchemX8

      • Tony Stark

        Exactly, I expected premium battery life for the premium cost of the xphone. Especially considering you didn’t get a premium processor. Thank you DL for that battery consumption review.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Sounds like a lot of bitching and crying coming from Motorola. They need to seriously look in the mirror at there overall sad standing and pitiful market share on the android platform. Every product Samsung has made for the last three years has made Motorola products useless to say the least. If he thinks that pitiful offering they just came out with in the Moto X is better than the S4 he must be on some serious drugs. Bottom line here Samsung is top dog for a reason and Motorola is below 5% market share for a reason as well.

    • guesswhat

      samsung is top dog because of marketing ..

      • Tim242

        Well, you are about to be proved wrong when Moto spends more on marketing, and still sits at the bottom.

        • guesswhat

          Samsung spent 11 billion dollars last year for marketing .so rumoured Motorola 500 million dollars is nothing compared to what Samsung spends ..

          • Tim242

            You should check your numbers. I don’t know what Samsung spent worldwide, but that is not even relevant. Moto has a 500 million dollar marketing budget, for its US only Moto X. Samsung spent 402 million on marketing in the US last year.

    • ARP

      I have a Note 2 and probably am going to switch to a Moto X.

  • tharealoc

    This guy makes solid arguments on all the points listed above. The one issue I have is his comment about color reproduction in screen performance.

    From all the reviews I have seen thus far, the screen has a pink or yellow tint to it (depending on the reviewers eyes). To my own eyes the images and videos I’ve seen show the screen to have a pink tint. I wouldn’t mind this if it weren’t so noticeable on the white version. I hope they figure out a way to adjust the hue of the display to produce more accurate colors, while still saturating the screen to a degree.

  • joejoe5709

    Even if he’s right, it doesn’t matter. They should have found a way to at least keep with the “spec war” rather than taking a step back. Even if performance would have been 5% better with a quad core – that’s what you do on a flagship phone. Sometimes being the best is all about the bragging rights.

    Anyway… just a time when we were all actually calming down about this whole thing and accepting the Moto X for what it is he feels the need to come along and open the wounds back up. Bad move. He should have just left it alone. Now I feel like Motorola is being defensive and that completely turns me off.

    • CoreRooted

      Why keep with the spec war? I’ve been able to get better performance with older devices and better written ROMs than with some of these “flagship” devices. My S2 (which I was running cm 10.1 on recently) was getting BETTER benchmarks than a stock S3 and a few other “flagship” devices.

      This whole thing about “I have a quad-core processor!!!” needs to die and the manufacturers need to start looking at device performance rather than just throwing in the highest specs they can and hoping it’ll perform well. Give me a device that can last 14-16 hours out of the box WITHOUT having to have a huge 3000+mah battery and can still perform. Then I’ll be happy.

  • blix247

    “In other words, being owned by Google gives us a great opportunity to build devices like the Moto X, but it doesn’t give us an advantage or access to the software before any other Nexus partners. We saw a huge opportunity to deliver Android and Google services in the way that Android was meant to be, while also changing the way mobile computing is done.”

    I find his answer to the question of whether Motorola gets special treatment a little curious… Is it just me or did he say they are a Nexus partner? I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I thought that the company working on the next Nexus gets access to the source even before standard partners.

  • Rob Schoenfeld

    “I mean what can you do with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that you can’t do with the Galaxy S4? The answer is nothing.” Galaxy S3 50 bucks and the Galaxy S4 is 199 16 gig, 249 32 gig. One huge selling point “exchangeable batteries. How useful is “OK Google Now” or “Active Screens” when your low juice (not to mention gimmicky),

    “We have come up with a new processing architecture that allows us to do things like touchless control without sacrificing battery power. For a Samsung or HTC device to offer the same kind of functionality would require three batteries.” OMG you added two additional processors in addition to the SOC. Not earth shattering, smart however. If you think for one moment that Samsung or any other OEM doesn’t have the engineering talent (or access to) to counter the x8 archetecture. I have some far northern beach front property to sell you.

    “First of all, what Samsung has done with the GS4 screen is not true 1080p. Instead, Samsung is using a PenTile display. Samsung is using a graphics processor, but they’re using it the wrong way and their performance is actually worse than ours. In the case of HTC, they’re using an LCD screen, which is simply an inferior technology.” At 440 ppi the pentile argument is a very moot point. The browsing experience on 1080p is supperior to 720p. LCD is not an inferior tech. it offers several benefits over OLED, including more realistic color saturation.

    He’s a mouthy fucker considering Moto couldn’t make it on their own. Not to mention the goddamn ATT exclusive basically ruins this product right out of the gate.

    • blix247

      I think Samsung, LG and the like will hang back a bit to see what reception of this device is like. Assuming its very well received, you can expect them to copy (and iteratively improve) nearly everything about this device. Whats wrong with that? Thats the definition of capitalism. This device does a lot of things I would like to see more of in the market:

      – no freaking ugly front logo/branding
      – customization
      – contextual intelligence (device wakes when you take it out of your pocket, pick it up, etc)
      – alternative input (its across the room and you can still command it)
      – minimal alterations to stock android

      • Rob Schoenfeld

        Not saying the stuff they are doing isn’t innovative (The Droid Maxx is making my G4 look old and busted). I just think that mud-slugging is pretty lame and makes them look desperate. Especially sense their last two generations of devices used pentile amoled.

  • Caleb Boerner

    That’s all well and good but I’m still not buying a phone with a tiny little screen

    • CoreRooted

      4.7″ is a tiny, little screen?

      • Caleb Boerner

        yep, the 4.6 on my Gnex does not even come close to cutting it anymore

  • John

    Read my lips…we’re not in damage control mode.


    Bill Clinton
    Bryan Braun
    Lance Amstrong
    Richard Williamson

    Whoever’s in charge of the Surface project
    et al.

  • Neruda

    A couple of things: Iqbal is off-the-charts smart. And an all around good guy, which is often not true of off-the-charts smart people. He is also credited with being the person behind the OG DROID. I think he knows his stuff. I like Moto showing a little edge. Hope it continues.

  • SmokeNMirrors

    In the future here customizing my new Moto-Z:
    Configure memory: 4G RAM, 128G Flash
    Configure CPU: S800 quad +X8
    Add the optional SD card slot
    Add the optional HDMI/MHL/Slimport (something on a wire)
    Add the beefy 4000mAh battery
    Add the optional wireless charging pack
    Add nano+waterproof coating
    Make it Teak with chrome trim

    Add to cart…

    $2499.99 off contract. Nice!

  • RoadsterHD1

    On adding future customizable features to Moto X (like RAM, screen size, processor, etc.):
    We do have a road map for extending the capabilities of the device and customization in the future, but I’ll talk about that in the future.

    SO, what you’re saying is the Moto X and Droid MAXX may come out with a Snapdragon 800 processor next year?

    • sdny8

      Snapdragon 600.

  • banditball

    He’s a salesman…..sell what u have. If moto x had quad cores 1080p display he would sell that. Do ur own research and don’t rely on manufactures for facts. Xoom was a game changer they claimed……umm…nope….honeycomb…disaster. Droid life community is knowledgeable …I take responses in comments section much more serious.

  • HotRodJohnson

    If battery life is truly about 24 hours with normal use and Motomaker was available I’d buy this on launch.

    • crazed_z06

      It’s not. We just saw the DL review showing meh battery life.

  • S.Scott Turgeon

    Snap,time for you boys to put the ruler away he told you!

  • Xcalibur1011

    I worked for a market research company and we did a focus group on 720p vs. 1080p, 70% of the respondents couldn’t tell the difference between the two. So I could care less about a 1080p screen on a 5 inch display.

    • Tim242

      I think you mean “couldn’t care less.”

      • n900mixalot

        Your standards are waaaaaaay *too high*


    • JetRanger

      70% of the general public can’t tell the difference between a DVD being upconverted to 1080P on and HDTV vs. a BluRay at full 1080P 24fps either. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a noticeable difference. It just means most people have no idea what they are looking at and don’t pay attention to details. You can apply this to alot of things in life … People don’t pay attention. They just want stuff to work. For the other 30% it does matter and they will have to make their decision if the pros of the software out weigh the cons of the hardware …. For Moto’s sake, they are luck those 70% are out there. Hopefully this sells well and the sales margins on the phone are higher than normal for them. They have been bleeding cash for too long.

  • Jonathan Ly

    Convenient he forgot to mention that the bulk of touchless control is rendered useless if the device has any security like a lock screen / lock pattern.

    I mean you might not be able to tell the difference between resolution on screen, but all of the screen comparisons make the Moto X colors look bad.

    • n900mixalot

      Lord, don’t bring that up. People tend to freak out around here when you bring up important, but totally glossed-over points like that.

    • guesswhat

      you are right but motorola did offer a solution for that that most reviews did not cover, if you connect to bluetooth your device will remain unlocked ..So thats useful in car if you are connected to your car bluetooth ..So its one way to authenticate your phone

  • Gnex

    He kinda comes of as a douche, but I agree with him for the most part.

  • I really see where he is coming from but I disagree with what they said about LCD screens! To me it seems like more of a personal opinion with LCD being much brighter and AMOLED screens wow people with the superior blacks (half the time you can’t tell the difference between the side bezel and the screen when its showing a black background!). Now the only AMOLED screens I have used are PenTile but I noticed the color reproduction being over saturated and almost “cartoony” (not sure if this is an AMOLED thing or PenTile.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      LCD tech is very old, it has been developed for the last 20-ish years. AMOLED is almost at parity in quality, and well ahead in power consumption, despite only being 5-7 years old.

      And it is the calibration that makes it oversaturated, not the subpixel matrix.

      • Also from the AMOLED screens I have seen, almost all of them have black splotching that looks almost like ink that was spilled on the display. On my Droid Razr its only noticeable when in low light conditions and the image is dark.

    • Tim242

      You decide your color saturation.

      • n900mixalot

        Hell, with Adapt Display, IT ADAPTS TO WHERE YOU ARE AND YOU’RE SURROUNDINGS … but it’s from Samsung so it must be a “gimmick” …

      • Not every phone has that, heck my Droid Razr lacks any type of color calibration adjustments!

        • Tim242

          It’s on all Samsung phones. Colors are not over saturated on Moto’s Amoleds. They calibrate them differently.

  • LiterofCola


  • NeedName

    It’s sad to say, but “Android fans” that have been bashing the Moto X seem like iFans, unwilling to look at a device for what it really is, and act appropriate.

    • Tim242

      Ironically, Moto is coming across sounding like apple, bashing other products and defending their own inferior product.

      • NeedName

        I agree that he ought not attack other devices. Simply state what’s good about your device and end it with, “just put our device through it’s paces compared to the competition and see how our user experience and battery life compares, we think it’s top notch and believe you will agree once you have actually used it.”

        The problem, all the bitching is coming from people that are looking at numbers only and have never used it. The people that have used it seem to really like it, despite the spec numbers. Kinda like iFans bitchin’ about Android devices they have never touched. . . now that’s ironic.

        • Tim242

          The people that have used it, have an obvious agenda. All of the bloggers trashed the S4, and praised the One. Notice how Tim and Kellen both are using the GS4 now. Just because they have used the Moto X for a few days, doesn’t mean a thing.

        • BrandonC

          Well the problem is that TODAY the motoX appears to run great. Now a year from now (halfway into your contract) how is the thing going to perform. My OG droid ran fine for the first year or so but before long I was doing all I could to get the poor little guy past the end of my contract and onto something bigger and better.

    • Jeremy Martin

      I just care about the price. The specs look great to me..rumored price off contract looks like a crap pile.

      • NeedName

        Price off contract looks like every other device except the Nexus. . . just sayin’

        People that think Google or Motorola are supposed to be making them a free phone need to get a grip. Yeah, $300 is pretty much free as that’s pretty much just the parts and assembly.

      • calculatorwatch


        Someone else posted this article before and I wish DL would do some research on it. If Motorola is really charging carriers so much less than Apple and Samsung, how come their off-contract prices are the same?

        If Moto wants to convince all the geeks that are bashing their phone to give it a chance, lowering the off-contract price to something more reasonable would be a damn good place to start.

        • PhillipCun

          who said they wont? Do you expect a carrier to sell it at a lower off-contract price but at a high on-contract price? So if the GS4 is $600 off contract (this is just a fake number) and $200 on contract and should the Moto X be $350 off contract and $200??? What would consumers think?

          I will put my money that Motorola.com or Google Play will sell it slightly cheaper than the S4 and HTC one off contract.

          • calculatorwatch

            The thing is, most consumers are just gonna buy it for 200 and not even look at the off-contract price. Those people are also gonna assume it’s a premium phone because they paid the normal price for one and it performs to their expectations.

            It’s the geeks who upgrade their phones all the time and worry about staying grandfathered in to unlimited data who are the ones that refuse to get the Moto X because of its “inferior” specs. I’m not saying $350 is reasonable but put it in the $450-$500 range (16gb) and they’ll satisfy a lot of the people who are badmouthing their phone and sell a lot more of them in the process.

    • zoloft_us3r

      I will admit to doing some bashing toward the Moto X, but myself and others thought Google would have become revolutionary again with making the phone the more affordable price of $300 off contract.

      Don’t get me wrong, the Moto X looks great, but that price is what is keeping this device from flying off the shelves.

      • kelly

        It isn’t even out yet? Of course it isn’t flying off the shelves… yet. This is a direct competitor to $199 iPhone. iPhone doesn’t allow customization, but Americans love customization and will choose Moto X for the customization. Normal consumers will think they are getting a greater value by being able to customize their phone for the same price as an iPhone. At least that is what Motorola is thinking. It will be interesting to see how their marketing plan will pan out.

  • Kyle Wilkins

    What can I do on the Moto X that I can’t do with my Galaxy Nexus? Nothing. Saying it would take 3 batteries in a SGS4 for touch less controls is outrageous. Nice marketing scheme to help sales and will probably eat his words once Samsung releases similar software. I’m not saying Motorola is wrong in not having the newest specs but should have something that is cutting edge. If everyone else drops back in specs the mobile advancements will slow and I don’t want to see that. From what I see people aren’t pissed about the specs. They are pissed about the pricing with said specs. If it was at $99 on contract and $400 off I would have zero complaints. Price is a huge factor enthusiast or not.

    • blackjaguar25

      You can’t have your Galaxy Nexus last all day. Or stay connected to radios. Or make it look super pretty. 😉

    • NeedName

      WOW. . . did you just write that????????????????????

      Maybe you need to look at the features the Moto X brings to the table because you can’t do them on any other device.

      • Futbolrunner

        The new Droids can

        • Needname

          got me there!!!
          but the gNex sure as hell can’t!

          • Kyle Wilkins

            Don’t underestimate the community. These features will be reproduced on phones that use custom ROMs. Will it work on my Galaxy Nexus flawlessly? Probably not. Will it work? Yes. The features that are useful and stand the test of time will be brought over.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            These features already exist. I had touchless control on my Gnex when Dragon Naturally Speaking’s Android app came out. The problem is it ate about 20% of my battery life on my GNex Extended battery just by having it on.

          • NeedName

            You clearly are NOT understanding Moto X’s implementation of these software features via hardware.

          • blix247

            Of course they will be reproduced. But will they be reproduced in a way that doesn’t significantly impact your battery life, and isn’t a significant drop in quality in comparison to Motorola’s implementation? Thats the real question.

        • LiterofCola


        • Daryl Dela Cruz

          the new Droids have the same processor. Of course they can.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Specs are only a part of mobile computing advancement. They have gotten to the point that desktop PCs have: sure, you can build a computer that runs Crysis 3 on 4 monitors at full settings, but the average user can get by with a Chromebook. And innovation there doesn’t really seem to be stagnating at all.

      And people are pissed about the price because they still consider it a “mid-range” device, when it isn’t. Specs are only part of the story.

      As for Samsung, I’ll be happy if they can figure out how to put touchless controls, Assist, Quick Capture, and Active Notifications in their device, because it means Motorola was onto something with that.

      • Kyle Wilkins

        I’m not saying things are stagnant right now. Everyone is pushing the limits and packing in the latest hardware and software to attract customers but if the SGS5 and HTC Two (arguments sake) stick with the same hardware as the SGS4 and One and focus on software advancement like Motorola has done then why would Qualcomm feel the need to pump out some new hardware when there are no buyers? That was what I was trying to convey.
        I’m sure we will see Samsung follow some of Motorola’s model here with separate chips with specific functions and that is fantastic. I don’t think people would be making a big fuss about the Moto X looking like a mid range phone if it was priced like one (even slightly higher for US assembly) but I don’t feel the X8 system is a justified reason to price it as a top tier phone.

        • EC8CH

          what does the X8 lack other than 2 cpu cores that are of questionable value.

          • Kyle Wilkins

            I’m not saying the X8 lacks anything. I’m saying the X8 isn’t a justified reason to price the phone as it is. The deal they got from using hardware that isn’t the newest should offset the cost (if any since the masses haven’t torn the software and such apart and we are basing all this on what Motorola says) plus add a slight bump for assembled in the US. That’s my thought about this phones price. Plus I would have assumed being a Google company now they would under cut the competition just to get more of these devices out there and establish the new brand. It has shown success with the Nexus 7. I supposed instead of cutting the cost for consumers they are trying to make up for it with MotoMaker. Idk. I’ve let this set in before jumping boat, even after the initial let down of pricing (I was hoping for $400-$450 16GB and $450-$500 32GB. Seemed reasonable and rational).

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Their proposition is that its day-to-day performance is better than its competitors, and it includes specialized features that are currently completely unmatched, so it should be priced the same, and they have the data to back it up.

          As for innovation, Qualcomm will continue pushing because if they don’t someone else will. There will always be a market for more power, but the pace they’ve been running is impossible to sustain. It will end up the same as the PC market, with reasonable gains from generation to generation, but nothing remarkable, so they’ll need to push into other areas, of which there are a great many unexplored on the mobile front.

          • WalaBing

            What are the features that are completely unmatched though? I’m serious. Other than being incredibly customizable, what is a completely unmatched feature? The active notifications come from the amoled display. And the touchless control, as I’ve seen it, is an always listening google now.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Quick Capture can’t be done without constantly polling the sensors, which would kill your battery, the same with Assist. And, point out another device that makes Google Now even remotely as useful as not having to touch your phone to have it work. As I said,

          • Kyle Wilkins

            On the whole innovation argument I think you are missing my point or I am not explaining it well. As best as I can put it is if the demand for better hardware is not there, because Samsung and HTV don’t keep pushing for the best and stick with the S800 for another year the rate at which we will see cutting edge hardware will drop off quicker than expected. Regardless of who makes it Qualcomm or anyone else if the demand is not there then it won’t be made.
            The X8 may be the first to see day light but coupled with mid range specs isn’t a good reason to price it as top tier. That’s similar to having a mid range device with a bangin good camera above the rest. One feature isn’t good enough for that kind of price hike.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Demand for high-end specs is exceptionally low for PCs and laptops, yet Intel and AMD are still pushing out ever faster chips at the top end of their range, if for nothing other than bragging rights. Then, that tech is used to improve what everyone else uses in their machines. There will always be someone who demands the bleeding edge and is willing to pay for it. So, the prices go up but the innovation continues.
            What we are seeing now is a technological disruption. Motorola has proven beyond a doubt that more power does not mean better anymore, as it was until the Moto X. Considering that products are in development for a very long time, it will take at least a few years before there is any major response from anyone else, if they even care. It is entirely possibly that HTC and Samsung will fight for the top end, and Motorola will sweep in to claim the mainstream. And that’s not a bad thing either.
            And, as has been stated ad nauseum, the SoC is not mid-range. Plus, they aren’t using anything but its real-world performance and useful features to sell the device. Specs are just numbers on a page that are about as useful to determine performance as benchmarks. A general indication, but ultimately tell you nothing useful. The Moto X will be worth every penny to everyone who purchases it, of that I am certain, and at the end of the day, if they are happy then does it really matter what they “could have gotten”?

          • Kyle Wilkins

            The mobile market is much more limited than the PC market. I can assemble my own PC and demand high end equipment. I cannot do that with my mobile phone. The demand for high end PC hardware and mobile phone and tablet hardware come from different places (PC = mostly user, Phone/Tablet = all manufacturers.) The SGS4 and HTC One are significantly more future proof than the Moto X. Yes it may run better now but once Android OS has caught up (could be 4.3 could be later who knows) and is utilizing all four cores there is only so much manipulation the X8 can do before it is no longer buttery smooth like it is at it’s current state. All phones are buttery smooth out of the box but as time goes on they all gradually drop in performance, either because the OS has out grown the hardware, the user bogs it down, new apps, or a combination of any, so with higher end specs you will see less of a drop and the quad core will be a factor.

          • NeedName

            IMHO Android devices have never been the main driver of the spec wars. It’s was Apple. They came out with a touch oriented smartphone, companies followed. They added a better screen, companies followed, Their SoC kicked everyone’s ass, companies stepped up.

            Apple may hold back on features, hardware and software, to push adoption to the next model but don’t kid yourself about how much they drive other companies to compete against them.

            Android devices, until the Moto X, needed to be spec whores to keep up with the iphone — not only in specs but in UI fluidity. Instead of cleaning up the software, throw more cores at it. . .

            Not every Android handset needs to be a spec whore anymore.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Kyle, Think about future proofing in another way. What if Android 5.0 comes out and touchless control is a new feature? The Moto X has a hardware chip to process that without it taking any CPU processing power to do so. That would be a feature both the S4 and HTC One would have to use their CPU to process. Or maybe Android 6.0 comes out with new forms of contextual awareness in a year. Again, the Moto X has a hardware chip to process that where as the S4 and HTC One’s CPUs would have to take on that processing burden. You can argue that they have 4 CPU cores so that won’t be a problem, but that takes processing time away from the other software you have running on your phone, that uses a processor that eats more battery life to get the job done. Maybe future proofing isn’t in the CPU cores, but in what the SoC can process without having to use the CPU.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Kyle, I think you are forgetting that cutting edge hardware doesn’t always mean faster. Take AMD’s octo core CPUs not being able to process things faster than a dual core Intel i3 CPU as an example of this being seen in the technology world. Cutting edge in the technology world means adding new abilities to the hardware. This is what the X8 chip is doing. It is allowing the architecture to process information using low-power, dedicated cores, instead of firing up a the CPU to process it through software. Hardware having the instruction set to process this information is faster and more efficient than software doing this. Hence why GPUs, Sound Cards with Built in Decoders, network cards, and other chips are created. It’s a hardware chip with a specific purpose, freeing up the CPU. If Samsung and HTC stopped going for Cores and GHz, Qualcomm would have plenty of demand to step up their architecture. If everyone must have Touchless controls now, you will see chip makers adding that to their hardware to free up the CPU to do it’s job. Much like Qualcomm already had coming out in the s800. Next, I bet we see Qualcomm create an SoC which can process the sensor data without having to fire up a CPU core.

  • Tim242

    He sounds like Apple, trying to defend an inferior product. U mad bro?

  • samosa king

    He actually seems pissed with these answers given.

  • If it had a lower price (and no exclusives) I seriously doubt there’d be as much complaining. Why are they even bothering with 16GB? 32GB minimum. Storage is cheap.

    • Jeff

      Agreed. I’d jump carriers for this phone if it wasn’t as expensive as it is, especially with the 32gb option being only on one carrier right now. As it is I’ll hang out on V-Mobile with my custom ROMed HTC Evo V 4g and see what phone comes up next.

    • NeedName

      There will be all kinds of discounts. Companies prefer to sell via sale and discount as that makes consumers want to purchase instead of just setting a low price out the gate.

      • Many of us never plan to buy a phone from a carrier again, much less get tangled up in a contract. Those off-contract prices never seem to go down. The price is too damn high, lol.

        I can’t afford to buy any phones on-contract. Over the life of the contract, I’ll pay 2x – 3x more than the *off-contract price* of the phone, if forced onto VZW’s Share Everything plan. I could care less about unlimited minutes (combined we use about a third of our plan’s 700 minutes shared across 5 phones). I’m not going to start worrying about data overages. I can’t afford it.

        • NeedName

          Sounds like you picked the wrong hobby 😉

          I do understand your plight however, the “average user” purchases on contract in the USA and that’s who the Moto X is designed for. It probably isn’t the phone for you, but a new Nexus isn’t too far off.

        • Michael C.

          Why go off-contract? If you plan to stay with the phone carrier for 2 years wouldn’t it be better to just sign a contract? Since if you buy a phone off-contract you would still have to pay for the monthly plan

          • Bryan

            If you are on a great grand-fathered plan on Verizon, you’ll lose that if you sign a new contract. For some of us, it’s not the contract that’s the problem, it’s the fact that the new plans are way more expensive than what we currently have.

          • Why go off-contract? Let’s say I buy a VZW Moto-X at the contract price of $199. I’ll be switched to the Share Everything plan. I’ll get unlimited minutes (BFD), but I’ll have limited data, and in order to cover the amount of data we currently use on 3 smartphones, as well as the added monthly cost ($19.99 vs $9.99) for 2 feature phones, and I’m now looking at spending anywhere from $80-100 more per month, to get that $199 phone.

            Over the life of the contract that’s an extra $1920-$2400 out of my pocket. To buy a $199 phone. No, thank you.

            I could buy 2, or maybe even 3, phones, off-contract and still be ahead of the game AND keep my unlimited data.

            If the off-contract prices are more than I want to pay, then I’ll do what I’ve done a couple times when I’ve needed a replacement phone (or an upgrade). I’ll buy second-hand or from Ebay.

            I am not giving the carriers any more money than I have to.

        • Bryan

          We are in the exact same boat. Unlimited data at $10 a month. The most reasonable Share Everything plan for us would be another $80 a month over what we spend. Way more than the cost of the phone off contract.

    • Daryl Dela Cruz

      There’s 50GB of Google Drive storage for 2 years included. As well, the bundled headphones are $40 separately. There’s some value to be had in the Moto X.

      • Tim242

        That 50 GB is only free for two years

        • kixofmyg0t

          Coincidentally that’s the same as a user contract.

      • Caleb Boerner

        yeah, so after 2 years when you have migrated everything that you would have/could have stored locally to Google Drive you either start paying (exactly what Google wants) or you have to download all your data to a local device again.

        • TomStieger

          I believe you just can’t add anything more if you are over your current limit. When your 2 years expire and you drop back to the 15GB limit your 50GB of data is safe but you can’t add anything new. Until you are under your current limit of 15GB.

          • Caleb Boerner

            Oh, nice. I didn’t know that.

  • JeffColorado

    Oh NO she di’nt!

  • timmy

    If you have to defend a product this intensely, then you’ve failed a little. If nowhere else at least in the perception of value arena.

    • brkshr

      I wouldn’t say defending, so much as educating people that can’t/don’t/won’t understand how this new technology works.

  • Jon

    I think he forgot the fact that the s4 can control TV and Yea you can do that with a s3 but you’d have to make sure it’s connected to wifi and has to be a servers app which won’t control volume or input setting. I’ve also used dual core and I can tell the difference compared to my quadcore

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The quad-core chip is clocked faster than any dual-core other than the Moto X, so its kind of hard to make that comparison.

      Also, we are talking about an optimized dual core versus a non-optimized quad core. There is not one single review yet that has had anything but immense praise for the performance of the Moto X.

      I will however concede that the GS3 lacks an IR blaster. Woopdeedoo.

    • Bryan

      And I would be certain that the performance difference has nothing to do with number of cores but has to do with an improved architecture on the CPU. You would probably see the same speed increase with your new chip if it was dual core but still kept the other underlying architecture changes.

    • CoreRooted

      I have to agree with +Justtyn Hutcheson. There isn’t a thing ASIDE from the IR blaster that the S3 cannot do as equally as the S4 can. Regarding the processor; I guarantee you that 99.5% of the time, only 2 cores are ever being utilized. You might be experiencing a placebo effect or seeing the extra .5ghz kicking in, but if you take a close look at any CPU performance monitor on any quad-core device, only 2 are ever used at the same time and in less than .5% of the time will you ever see all 4 utilized.

  • samosa king

    It kinda makes me laugh that he implied that the SGS 3 can do everything the SGS 4 can. HA!

    • n900mixalot

      No, he implied that the S4 can do everything that the S3 can … read it again … he is higher than a mufuhhhh!!!

      • samosa king

        My bad. Sorry.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Please name 3 things the GS4 can do that the GS3 cannot. Note, any software features have already been backported by ROMs.

      • samosa king

        Smart Scroll, Smart Pause and Floating Touch. But I can admit that these features are nothing but gimmicks.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Well played, I stand corrected, as I had thought those had been backported already.

          • Cory_S

            IR Blaster, pedometer, remove people from pictures..I could go on and on

        • CoreRooted

          Those are all software (TouchWiz) features. The ONLY thing different between the S3 and the S4 are hardware changes.

      • n900mixalot

        You mean that the S3 can do that the S4 cannot, because that’s what that idiot said … not the other way around.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          So, what, anyone who makes a mistake in an interview is an idiot?

          It is pretty easy to figure out the intent there.

          • n900mixalot

            He should know exactly what he is talking about if he’s going to bash the competition.

            He is an engineer … they are supposed to think logically … this guy clearly does not.

          • calculatorwatch

            I think he knows exactly what he’s talking about and he just said it wrong. I think 90% of the people who read it knew exactly what he was talking about too and didn’t even notice he got the numbers out of order. Also the original article has fixed it already so it was probably just a bad transcript by the interviewer

            Really the kinds of conclusions people draw from one little slip of the tongue confound me. Talk about fundamental attribution error!

  • 0101010101

    LCD might be an inferior technology, but LCD+IPS screens generally have better color reproduction than these AMOLED screens do.

    • samosa king

      Thank you for being on my side!

    • brkshr

      I agree, but I would gladly give up LCD for Active Notifications, necessitating AMOLED tech.

    • Tim242

      Wrong. Gray is not the new black.

      • Butters619

        Besides black, LCDs do generally have better color reproduction. AMOLED displays are over saturated and a bit cartoonish.

        • Tim242

          That is not true

          • Butters619

            Lol. Did you just take a screenshot to show color reproduction?

          • hoosiercub88

            No he was showing that screen color/calibration can be changed on the fly with Samsung Galaxy devices with AMOLED screens like the S3/Note2/S4.

          • Butters619

            That makes more sense.

          • Tim242

            Nope. I took a screenshot to show you that you can control the car reproduction. You obviously don’t use Samsung phones

          • kixofmyg0t

            I wish I could control the car reproduction.

          • jose

            He’s a special kind of stupid.

          • n900mixalot

            Thank you!!!!

            But remember, it’s from Samsung so it’s just a “gimmick”

        • Gnex

          That’s because Samsung calibrates them like two year olds.

        • hoosiercub88

          This is true, after using my Galaxy Nexus and my Note II for the past couple years, I’ve come to realize that I got used to it. After picking up the new N7 a few weeks ago.. and using it so much I almost neglect my phone, everytime I pick my phone up it’s like *BLAM* almost jarringly different.

          • Butters619

            People get used to AMOLED displays and some people definitely prefer them. I’m not going to knock anybody that does. But LCDs still reproduce colors better and still are brighter. AMOLEDs use less battery and have infinitely better blacks.

      • jose


    • Butters619

      They are traditionally brighter and better in sunlight as well, but use a whole hell of a lot more power.

    • onlygoodtime88

      for me the HTC One 1080p are the best screen i have seen. check out this the S4 vs LG G2, Htc one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5syZ3w9M-8

  • Derek Duncan

    I like this. He is right on nearly everything.

    • kixofmyg0t

      Especially the part about stuff only using two cores.

      • NeedName

        sadly it doesn’t seem that people understand that not only does the OS need to take advantage of multiple cores but so does the app. . .

        • Kamesen

          He makes good points. I’m still going to wait it out until they put out the next iteration of a Google/Moto handset. All of their statements and press will point to Moto X being their very best to justify the price. That’s just the way a company works, and to state otherwise would equate commercial suicide.

          Us tech enthusiasts know they’re holding back because they’re proofing a lot of technology with this device. It’s like the salesman telling you “this is the absolute best price anywhere” before they put the product on sale the next day to make way for the new stuff. Or a carrier saying “we have absolute exclusivity on this phone” until it gets announced for another carrier a week later.

          They’re job as a company is to SELL THIS PHONE even if they have to withhold some of the facts from interviews. It’s the nature of the business and we have to accept it for what it is – business practice. Let’s just sit back and wait.

        • michael arazan

          Kind of like an 8 cylinder engine only needing 4 cylindes even speeding down the highway

          It seems until software in mobile devices start being made/ and used to be utilized like software for PC’s and laptops there isn’t going to be any good usage for the hardware being provided. IDK if that’s good or bad, because the software in mobile devices uses less power than pc’s and laptops. I can almost imaging mobile devices taking over and surpassing desktops and laptops in the next 5 years.

          • Idon’t Know

            Specs are practically meaningless and if you read the article above you can see that they have added many new features not available on other phones without higher specs.

        • Idon’t Know

          Very common..lots of people think they have to have quad core when really all it does is use more battery and generate more heat.

          • malcmilli

            using more battery is debatable, i have not really seen any difference in battery life between last year’s s4 (dual core) and s4 pro (quad core)

      • MetroGnome711

        Isn’t that the point of the 4 graphics cores, though? I’m not certain, but he’s speaking of the 2 processing cores only right?

        • NeedName

          yeah, he’s talking about the two cpu cores and how four cpu cores don’t get used, only two of them do.

          GPU is another story, and the Moto X rocks in that department, no doubt about that.

        • kixofmyg0t

          Yes. He’s talking about CPU cores not GPU cores.

          BTW for those who are curious, that screenshot was taken on the ASUS MeMO Pad HD7. It has four A7 cores. So it’s weaker than Tegra3, and FAR weaker than a Snapdragon 800. Still only 2 cores a used even in games.

          • Robert Boluyt

            If the OS in a quad core device is only using 2 or the 4 cores at intensive tasks, that a failure of the OS optimization, not a knock against the quad core CPU.

            I still want to go hands on with a Moto X, but I still firmly believe that is priced wrongly for what it brings to the table. With last year’s specs, and they are last year’s specs despite what Moto wants buyers to believe, they cannot charge the same price as an uber high end Snapdragon 800/1080p devices from Samsung, LG, etc.

          • SparkysShocker

            To bad the Android does have the ability to use 4 cores, apps however may not and that is not the fault of the OS but of the developer.

          • brkshr

            Do some research on how apps & OSs work. It will all become clear.

          • samari711

            If an app is single or even dual threaded, there’s no amount of OS optimization in the world that can make it use more than one or two cores respectively. Threaded programming isn’t trivial to do either and sometimes there’s really no advantage to it depending on what your app is trying to do.

          • asten77

            I would agree if it were about specs. It’s not. Not to most of the phone buying public.

          • Raven

            I already posted this above, but again, the main processor may be a dual core, but you seem to forget about the 6
            other custom processors in the X8 architecture. Do you think that they
            just threw them in for free, not to mention the R&D costs to
            utilize them effectively?

          • Skittlez

            why would that be a problem with the OS? The OS works just fine on 2 cores. it’s the manufacturer who’s putting unnecessary quad-cores in phones, and the 3rd party dev’s who don’t make apps that are optimized for quad-core

      • RoadsterHD1

        Is that an app? The CPU core use…

      • RaptorOO7

        If true blame that on Google for not actually making use of the technology in the OS.

        • D4niel

          Uh, no. For an app to take advantage of multiple cores, it has to be designed to do so. The same is true of traditional desktop apps. Android provides the ability for apps to do this, but it’s up to 3rd party developers to actually do it.

          • capecodcarl

            That’s not true. On a desktop, even if an application is single-threaded, if you’re running 3 or 4 copies of it the OS is intelligent enough to distribute the load across multiple cores. The application has no control over core affinity (on a desktop). Whether this is different on Android, I don’t know.

          • Tony Stark

            Good comment.

            And by desktop, I assume you are referring to Windows.

          • D4niel

            I was referring to a single instance of a single app. My apologies for not being explicit on that point.

            Yes, if there are a bunch of active processes (even if they’re the same executable), the OS will schedule them across different cores. Though, even in the example of multiple instances of the same single-threaded application, each instance will only take advantage of one core. If the app is designed to communicate between or manage multiple processes and run multiple instances (Chrome on Windows is one example, Apache on *nix is another), then it is actually designed in such a way that it will take advantage of multiple cores.

        • brkshr

          Android does do this. That’s why we have multi-tasking. It’s still up to the apps to use multiple cores when present. Android cannot intelligently know what tasks to delegate to multiple cores in a single app. They need to be designed/coded this way.

          • Tony Stark

            Well, yes and no, the OS/kernel is responsible for pointing a program to a core. It is the application’s duty to ask the OS (android in this case) to use a separate core than the primary one(s). The OS will then decide whether to grant this or not.

          • mrwufpack

            My understanding of RaptorOO7’s comment wasn’t necessarily about third-party apps. After all, the engineer in the article didn’t even mention apps. He specifically said that their stress test was opening 24 browser tabs. Since the browser is Chrome, it seems to me it is completely up to Google how they utilize cores. At least in that example.

            As an aside, I’ve often wondered why my Galaxy Nexus lags terribly when it auto-updates. Couldn’t it assign 1 core to update and 1 to whatever I’m trying to do? Seems like common sense to me.

          • ChicagoBob

            That’s 1/2 true. Apps spawn threads and the OS decides which core to run them on unless you specify but how are you to know what else is running? So its usually the OS’s job to optimize the process. In this case Motorola is blaming Google for writing a junk OS.

        • DroidFTW

          You are completely missing the point here. The hardware has completely outpaced the ability or need of software developers and their software. The days of developers wanting to do real cool things but being limited by hardware are over and thus the spec wars are dead. The only things that really needs hardware are things like video editing and compiling. People who “need” to use that type of software are not doing so on mobile devices. They buy things like Mac Pros or custom built PCs. For those guys the “spec wars” actually mean something, for 99.9% of human beings the spec wars are dick measuring competitions that are just embarrassing at this point.

          • ChicagoBob

            The days of developers wanting to do real cool things but being limited by hardware ??
            You can 3D render on this phone in real time with 16 bit color per channel really? You can drive 166MB/sec uncompressed HD from the phone?
            Don’t take working with the limitations of the sand box you are given as a days of the developer not being limited. Why are we going to Google for voice recognition? Why are the fonts rendering so slowly? etc..
            I would say there is plenty of room to work with increase but the thing in your hand is limited so why try to write apps that y ou can not use with the limited thing in your hand?

      • victorvics

        “In fact, in most instances no more than two CPUs are being used at any given time. ” you missed the IN MOST INSTANCE part

        • kixofmyg0t

          You’re absolutely right. For example, 99% of the time on my Nexus 7 cores 3 and 4 are asleep. They wake up for a split second when I open Instagram.

          Yep, def need a Snapdragon 800 for that.

          Have 10 apps open in the backound and streaming music from iHeartradio? Cores 3 and 4 are stil asleep. Core 2 wakes up if I take a screenshot.

          Hmm. Maybe I need a Snapdragon 1200 then.

          • capecodcarl

            Sounds like an OS problem. The operating system should be intelligent enough to use the unused cores for background running tasks if the first two cores are being heavily utilized. If the first two cores are not heavily utilized then obviously they should be used first instead of using two extra cores to save power.

          • kixofmyg0t

            That’s the thing, they’re not heavily utilized. Running 10 apps in the background and even streaming music barely takes any effort from one core, let alone 4.

            I posted such a screenshot in another comment below.

          • Tony Stark

            Not necessarily, while the other cores do not “appear” to be doing anything, that just means their processing levels were not high enough to be registered.

            So no, your secondary cores were not sipping rum & coke on a beach somewhere.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Umm. No they weren’t. They were offline. If they were online it wouldve shown the clock speed they were running at. The stepping goes offline them 384Mhz, they were offline.

          • Tony Stark

            Really? What’s the lowest clock cycle you’ve seen your cores at? And how long are these cores “offline” for?

          • kixofmyg0t

            The lowest speed they can operate at is 384Mhz. And the 3rd and 4th core stay offline for 99% of the time. In fact the 2nd core is offline for a good 50% of the time.

          • Tony Stark

            CPU cores can operate at a lower frequency, it’s a matter of what frequency the kernel sets it to. Or you can always modify that using an app such as No-Frills CPU. I believe the lowest “safe” speed for a qualcomm is around 192Mhz.

            I don’t know enough about the CPU monitoring app you’re using, but if 384Mhz is the cut-off for the app, it won’t register any frequencies lower than 384Mhz, and that was my point.

          • kixofmyg0t

            I don’t know what else I can show you to help you understand. the lowest frequency that a core on the S4 Pro in my Nexus 7 can operate at is 384Mhz. The CPU monitoring app I used can detected frequencies lower than that, as evidenced by my Xoom which is 216Mhz. Also my RAZR HD which can go as low as 96MHz.

            It’s set to read each slot the CPU can scale to.

          • Tony Stark

            cpuspeed in Linux is configured by default to set “nice” programs and “waiting for IO” programs as idle CPU. But, that doesn’t mean that your CPU is actually idle or “offline” as you call it. This is why you see sudden spikes on your 3rd and 4th cores. No need for snarky comebacks.

            I only asked about the lowest frequency registered to know if the app could register anything lower than 384Mhz. The question was aimed to learn more about the app than anything else. Either way, thank you for your response.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Well it seems you don’t know the difference between a idle CPU or one that is C stated, or “offline” AKA “sleep”. You also don’t seem to understand that cores can have independent clocks and sleep states.

            When I said “offline”, I meant offline. As in the core was at least C0. That is different from idle. Core 0 can be idle, and is some of the time. It will never sleep. Core 1 can and will sleep, or wake up and be idle. Core 2 and 3 remain in C state for 99% of the time. The stock Nexus 7 kernel goes from C state straight to 384Mhz and them up from there. Since I’m typing all this on my Nexus 7, currently Core 0 is at 10% load @384Mhz, core 1 is going from offline (sleep) to 1.0Ghz with 28% load. Core 2 and 3 are offline entirely. No spikes. When they come out of sleep they report online.

          • Tony Stark

            Hehe, did you even bother to look up the man pages and/or notes regarding cpuspeed? Sleep, clock and control of grouped cores are all referenced to. That’s the entire purpose of cpuspeed. The fact that you would question my knowledge, when you are typing on your tablet with expectations of seeing the secondary cores turn on, is laughable! You’re referencing kernel controlled CPU frequencies (C-states) when I’m referring to OS controlled frequencies. Two completely difference concepts and we’re obviously not on the same page.

            I don’t doubt that the N7’s CPU is set to a minimum frequency of 384Mhz. Why you keep bringing that up is beyond me.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Wow…..just wow.

            I don’t know where to begin.

            You don’t understand why I keep bringing up the minimum frequency? Are you serious? Is your memory THAT bad that you can’t even remember what YOU said? Let me get this straight…

            “CPU cores can operate at a lower frequency, its a matter of what frequency the kernel sets it to”

            You said that. Followed by,

            “You’re referencing kernel controlled CPU frequencies (C-states)when I’m referring to OS controlled frequencies.”

            LOL. So not only do you not understand what a sleep state is, you can’t even remember what we’re talking about in the first place! Good god man you need to go see a doctor or something. Here let me remind you, you didn’t think that a core could be offline, you implied that they were still active just idle. I explained that, no they were asleep. You couldn’t comprehend how a core could possibly be offline and questioned what frequency I’d seen my cores at. That was later followed by you babbling something about its frequency “not being high enough to be registered”.

            I’d love to know what frequency is low enough that the kernel doesn’t know about it. That would be fun for you to explain. I’d also like you to do some homework and read about hotplugging cores.

            Oh what am I saying, I know you’re just trolling. You know damn well what I’m talking about. You just want to argue. Good one. You had me going there for a bit.

          • Tony Stark

            I’m not arguing, but don’t quote me because it’s obviously confusing you 🙂

            I don’t know what sleep state is? Lol, you wouldn’t even know what the syntax is to call a sleep command looks like without the use of Google. Hell, you were perplexed at my mention of man pages. What a joke!

            Hehe, don’t put words in my mouth, I was merely bringing up the fact that just because your cores registered as “offline” on the app, it didn’t necessarily have to mean that they are actually off. I questioned whether the app considered anything idle or under 384Mhz as “offline”, which is why I asked what was the lowest frequency you had seen. Is it really that hard to understand? You said that your razr saw lower speeds using the same app. Kudos, thank you making the only comment that was actually needed from you. You could have left it there, that’s all that was of interest to me and that’s all I needed to know. But you had to incorporate a snarky response followed by a ridiculous example of typing on a browser and not seeing secondary cores spinning up. That certainly proves you don’t grasp the concept as well as you think you do.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Don’t quote you? Why because it shows that you can’t even remember what we’re talking about? What a joke!

            Its painfully obvious you dont know what a sleep state is. You still put quotation marks around my mention of offline shows you’re still in disbelief that a core could actually sleep.

            But I do like you trying to fire back at me for my mentioning of my then current core state. Holy crap dude what a joke! Its like you have extreme short term memory loss or something.

            Either that, or like I said before you’re just trolling. You’re acting stupid just to get a rise out of people. You know damn well what the freqs that a S4 runs at, its per core sleep states and during normal use 3 of the 4 cores are asleep anyway. You can’t be THAT stupid. So why even bother with this? Does it turn you on or something to argue with someone and put on this show like you don’t know anything? If so that’s pretty sad dude. For real.

            I won’t entertain you any longer, as I know you’re just acting stupid for the sake of argument.

          • Tony Stark

            Huh? Who are you trying to kid? It is evident that you’re a knowledgeable person, but you’re severely out of your league on the software front.

            This is pretty clear considering how you keep rehashing the same minimum frequency topic without even touching my Linux statements. I already told you I didn’t doubt that the CPU cores on he N7 are set at a minimum frequency of 384Mhz. Are you done? LoL

            Anyway, you’re obviously getting way too upset. No hard feelings.

          • Jason B

            For the most part, these ultra-low power SoC designs have aggressive hardware clock gating and power saving modes that automatically powers the cores down when they’re not needed. A lot of the power saving is actually done in hardware. Battery life and high performance are mutually exclusive.

            Most SoCs have an even lower power multimedia section of the die that has hardware codecs, hardware encoding/decoding, etc. Playing music is handled separately and takes 1/100th of the CPU’s time. Even playing videos in a supported hardware format won’t tax the CPU or GPU that much because of this.

            Turn off all hardware acceleration though, and you’ll see the CPU being tasked big time. Or use a software codec to decode an unsupported video format, and the CPU will need to multi-thread in order to not drop frames.

            Encoding video, like when you’re recording video with the camera in 1080p, is taxing because of the I/O performance needed to write the amount of data in the right amount of time. But the encoder will still need to independently task each core since videos don’t like to be spread across cores.

          • Jason B

            Also, it’s more efficient to task 2 cores higher for a shorter amount of time than to task all 4 cores for an equal or slightly longer amount of time (in the case of an app not optimized for quads).

            If each core draws 0.25V for a total of 1V, isn’t it better to draw 0.50V than to draw the entire 1V? The 2 cores at 0.50V will be tasked higher and finish faster than all 4 at 1V. Only when an app is coded to use all 4 cores effectively will using all 4 cores at 1V be beneficial. The app will finish faster then and the cores will enter power save faster.

            There is such a thing as inter-core latency and bandwidth as well, which most will fail to understand.

            Eyes glazed over yet? 😉

          • Kenton Douglas

            well said.

      • Quick question, if you were to say have an app running in the background while playing a game, would you see CPU3 and CPU4 activate or would they still be offline while CPU1 and CPU2 spike? Just wondering because I typically run Google Music or iHeartRadio in the background while playing games or doing miscellaneous activities on my N7.

        • kixofmyg0t

          Does that answer your question?

          • I’m sorry but I think you forgot to post a link or an attachment. Or were you referring to a different comment in this thread?

          • kixofmyg0t

            It doesn’t show? I reloaded the page just to make sure, but it shows for me. I can load it up to imgur if you want.

          • Reloaded this page with Safari and it showed! Thanks for posting!

            I guess Android just isn’t ready to use CPU3 or CPU4 quite yet! I was really hoping it would unload some of the smaller tasks to the offline cores while playing intensive games seeing as multitasking (whether it be gaming and Google Music or calendar and iHeartRadio) is one of my biggest requirements in a device.

          • kixofmyg0t

            Well the 3rd and 4th cores DO fire up from time to time. Opening Instagram for example(yeah that’s the best I can do). But honestly they’re asleep for 99.99% of the time.

          • That kinda sucks especially since the majority of the time my device is on charge so battery the power consumption to me would be null. It certainly would be nice to have the added punch of performance for multitasking or even cutting the load times for games down!

          • Bryan

            The thing is some tasks really can’t be multi-threaded. It may not speed up game loading times because some things just have to run in sequence and can’t be split up. In other words, 9 women can’t make a baby in a month.

          • Ok, so I got curious as to just which apps can use all of the four cores on my N7 and downloaded the CPU monitor app you linked above (it’s awesome BTW!) and fired up some of my favorite games! First off was Beach Buggy Blitz (Tegra Optimized version seeing as the N7 has a Tegra 3), all four cores remained active through out the game with 30-50% usage per core, there was only a few instances where CPU 2 and CPU 4 would go offline but never simultaneously. Next up was Real Racing 3 which I believe is NOT Tegra optimized, during play I noticed the cores were going offline a lot more and CPU1 seemed to be doing the grunt of the work (never going offline and averaging around 90% constantly). Also I noticed it seemed to stick with switching CPU 3 and CPU4 off mainly (different from the last game turning off CPU2 and CPU4). Lastly was Dead Trigger (Tegra Optimized version), this game averaged the lowest CPU usage but it seemed to present the most lag with noticeable dropped frames and sporadic input lag, again CPU3 and CPU4 were coming online and going offline quite frequent (I did load up Google Music in the background for this game which seemed to kick CPU3&4 online when it changed songs).

            Sorry if that was long but it was rather detailed.

          • Probably not, sense their nexus devices hardware generally are specific for the software and the nexus 4 was only 2 cores. But to contradict myself (here i go) wasn’t last year’s nexus 7 quad?

          • Actually the Nexus 4 was a Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 (Krait CPUs) and yes, the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7s run Quad-core chipsets however I can tell you from personal experience that the 2012 Nexus 7 SUCKS at multitasking!

          • Wait a minute, everybody is hating on the MotoX cause it’s dual core and saying “last year’s processor like the nexus 4”. Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro. I looked on Qualcomm’s site and it’s still confusing.

          • Jason B

            Qualcomm doesn’t list it as an official SoC because it’s custom made for Motorola.

            Basically, they’re using the S4 Pro dual core die (basic dimensions and internals), but 1) the cores have been updated to Krait 300 cores from Krait 200 cores (just like the S600), 2) the Adreno 320 GPU is a different revision or stepping that allows higher clocks (i.e. updated/refreshed; same as the S600), 3) WiFi supports 802.11ac like the S600.

            You can also think of it as a dual-core S600, if such a thing existed. It’s not entirely accurate since the 8960Pro (8960DT) still uses LPDDR2 RAM, but everything else matches up perfectly.

            If anything, Qualcomm and Motorola should just call it that.

          • Kenton Douglas

            Interesting. What’s your source on this info’?

          • JMonkeYJ

            it’s rare that i see someone actually know what they’re talking about with this stuff, but you do for the most part 🙂 the only nitpick i have is that i doubt these are binned Krait cores, because Moto is the only one getting this SoC, so they get no use out of parts that are binned higher (DROID Ultra also uses the same clock speed). so it seems like the X8 was designed for this lower frequency for whatever reason (quite possibly quicker/cheaper engineering effort).

          • asten77

            unless they’re holding onto the 1.9GHz capable ones for a different device. 🙂

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            It is very possible that they are in actuality a binned 600 chip. All the rest of the specs line up, but these are chips which have 1-2 faulty cores (happens all the time manufacturing any CPU). Plus, if they have spare 600s around, they can relabel those, and lock out the extra two cores with no loss, similar to how some AMD dual- and triple-core chips were actually firmware-locked quad-cores.

            However, this is all rampant speculation, and largely irrelevant. 🙂

          • BetterWithRoot

            Thank you for explaining this. +1 to you!

          • Elliot Kotis

            On windows cores get to 60percent use and it will lock there, and start on the nt one(I disable this) , I am surprised android doesn’t do this.

          • kixofmyg0t

            That is;

            A: Not True.

            B: Android is completely different from Windows.

          • Elliot Kotis

            Can’t you see all cores are below 60% apart from the last one?

          • kixofmyg0t

            Yeah I can. That right there proves that you don’t know what you’re talking about. I could take a bunch of screen shots to show what my chip does. It in no way locks at 60% then loads another core like you said. You don’t understand what you’re talking about.

      • ImmaDroid

        what game is that?

      • Jason B

        Finally people are beginning to see the light.

        A lot of Android apps are ported from iOS. Ahem, the iPhone 5 is a dual core; the 5S will probably be a dual core. Most developers want to get the app ported quickly, so they won’t code the app for additional cores, even if present. It’s more time consuming and bug hunting is much more difficult as you’ll have 4 separate threads of the program running and doing independent tasks. Mobile apps aren’t that intensive to NEED that.

        Benchmarks show the potential of multi-threading, but real-world use always shows the reality of the situation.

        • Idon’t Know

          The cpu is dual core and the gpu is 3 core where it makes sense. On the iPad 4 the processor is dual core and the gnu is four cores and it obliterates every other 10 inch tablet including the Nexus 10 by a wide margin.

      • Avery Dejuan Herron

        This has nothing to do with this post really but I swear that modern combat 4 and three online and single player modes look better than Call Of Duty: Declassified for playstation vita a dedicated gaming system, it alot let more people play in one game.

      • Saul Viayra

        Yes in deed and that’s exactly why it shouldn’t be $199 for a dual core phone everything is good but the price

        • Raven

          The main processor may be a dual core, but you seem to forget about the 6 other custom processors in the 8x architecture. Do you think that they just threw them in for free, not to mention the R&D costs to utilize them effectively?

          • Saul Viayra

            So if this other 6 processors are so good why benchmarks show something different

          • Skittlez

            it is good. it shows the X8 chip at the top above the 600

          • Saul Viayra

            Show me where Android Central and Android authority show the different not that they did a test on it since is prohibited by Motorola but they have leak images of it and like I said I like the phone very responsive and well build just not for $199 on contract but if is under the $500 price tag w/o contract I’ll get one

          • Raven

            Most benchmarks show the Moto X beating all current phones, but more importantly, benchmarks do not take into account the dedicated processors used for speech, background noise filtering, sensors, etc. Yet real world use of your phone like actually making calls, looking at notifications, using Google Now, using navigation, taking pictures, pretty much anything besides playing games and video encoding are going to be improved, and even those things will get some benefit because of the processing of the other things as been offloaded to the secondary processors.

          • iH8sns

            @Saul Viayra
            The battery life on the Moto X has benchmarked beetween average and good. If you had other phones doing the same “always on” monitoring for Voice Commands, Notifications and turning on the camera, they would only last a few hours.

            There’s your benchmark outperformance by the X8

          • Saul Viayra

            Lol battery wow so that’s it better battery haha Ok

          • iH8sns

            @Saul Viayra
            I guess you can’t read, it’s called adding FEATURES without losing battery life. The ONE, S4 and G2 don’t do any of those things, and even if you programmed them to, it would be a total failure because they lack the proper hardware.

          • NeedName

            Saul, you should look at some real world tests done by reviewers.

            They have shown, in real world tests — web browsing, loading games, converting video, etc. — the Moto X outperforms the HTC One and S4, consistently, while getting twice the battery life of the HTC One. That’s pretty freakin’ impressive IMO.

            e.g. converting a video file took the One & S4 ~7:30 while Moto X did it in 7 minutes — realize this isn’t screen dependent either.

            And, no it isn’t just because the Moto X has a 720p screen. When the devices are outputting (to a monitor or tv) 1080p the Moto X still comes out on top. No one has been able to explain why this is, the guesses usually point to the X8 architecture, optimization of Android and or the firmware.

            Nonetheless, the Moto X does pretty decent balance between features, specs, performance, and battery life. Not to mention not having to deal with a bloated fubared skin over Android 😉


      Did you expect him NOT to glorify his product?

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I suppose I could see that viewpoint. However, it doesn’t make his statements any less correct.

    • EC8CH

      s800 has touchless control built in as well according to Qualcomm.

      But he does have good points on everything else.

      • NeedName

        supposed to but do we see it in the LG G2? Nope!

        • EC8CH

          yes.. that was an interesting omission, that I was specifically watching for.

          • NeedName

            but you can double tap to wake your device……yiiiipppppeeeee

          • kixofmyg0t

            Pffft. You can get that with the ElementalX kernel.

      • Render

        Given that the LG G2 does not have the touchless control built-in, that “feature” might not be ready for primetime yet…and may simply be a marketing gimmick and here is why:

        He says they use the application cores, and built-in DSP to allow for their implementation of touchless control. Motorola does not use either, instead they have a NLP (Natural Language Processor).

        Also, the S800 and S600 both have the extra DSP, so this “feature” is also capable on the S600 (based on what is said in the video). If it was so trivial to implement on their processor and didn’t sacrifice battery life then both the GS4 and the LG G2 would have it.

      • PhillipCun

        the s800 is CAPABLE of it. Why do you think Moto worked w/ Qualcomm to build this chip? They already had the technology for the S800 and implemented in their chip for the Moto X and newest line of Droids.

    • Bryan

      And for anyone that says they are concerned about future proofing and wanting 4 cores, let’s be real. By the time apps and the OS start making use of all 4 cores, you’ll want the newest 4 core cpu and will ditch your current 4 core CPU that you just had to have for the future flexibility. The people that are the loudest about future proofing are the same ones who ditch their current tech the most often for the latest and greatest.

      • jb

        seems like google may be going in the opposite direction with that wsj report that came out saying the they are testing out KLP for low cost devices…

      • n900mixalot

        That doesn’t explain why they didn’t use existing S800 … power consumption?

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Because, as they said, they decided that the “dual-core 600” was plenty of processing power to handle the majority of apps over the device’s lifecycle.

          So, if the quad-core 600 is overkill, the 800 is ridiculous overkill. Not to mention, half of that SoC is redundant to their system (voice recognition processing, etc.), so why spend the extra when they developed their own solution? Not to mention, the Krait 400 is based on a newer process (22 vs. 28 nm iirc), so given that they will only have so much yield as the process is spun up, they would probably much prefer to use their newest process for the highest-cost chips which is their own quad-core 800.

          I’m actually hoping that their comments about the X8 it being compatible with any processor means they’ll be looking somewhere other than Qualcomm for their next flagship. I know the Snapdragon 800 is a beast, but someone else needs to give Qualcomm some competition since TI stepped out (poor Nvidia is just getting stomped, but bless them they keep trying). Intel’s new Atoms seem promising, as do the new AMD chips (I would kill for an AMD-powered Motorola phone).

      • Roy Furious

        When apps start actually using 4 cores everyone here will want the latest 16 core devices with 4k screens that cost $100 off contract.

        • tomn1ce

          4k screen will be here next year in the 2nd half of the year -_-

    • NexusMan

      what is he wrong on?

      • carlisimo

        Some reviewers have complained about the Moto X’s color calibration, calling it too warm.

    • jose

      Except for the LCD screen. Inferior tech or not, LCD’s still produce the BEST displays we’ve seen to-date. Not just on phones, but everywhere.

      • CoreRooted

        True, but they are also known for killing battery. It’s basically a toss-up of visual versus stamina. TBH, I prefer LCD, but not at the expense of a shorter runtime.

      • Captain_Doug

        I would much rather look at an LCD screen but Amoled is the future of smartphones. It can be made in thinner panels, uses less power and can be optimized to produce just as accurate colors as LCD panels while displaying much better blacks. However, all of this can be ignored by OEMs and they can throw out any old amoled panel and make it look really bad. Especially with pentile displays. It’s an evolving technology but I’m sure it’ll be perfected very soon.

        • bmg1001

          Not only that, AMOLEDs don’t need backlights, so they can make flexible screens with this, and they already have.

      • SparkysShocker

        Id take my Plasma over LCD, at least in terms of Television.

      • Trick

        That is because LCD is a matured panel technology. While OLED is still a baby. When OLED matures, it will have the benefits of LCD displays while getting rid of the weak points (backlight, power usage, fake blacks, etc.)

    • Dave

      It’s exactly what I’d say if my competition outsold me almost 20 to 1 globally.

    • Jonathan Bunch

      Hmm, wonder why he had nothing to say about google’s new tablet being the highest res 7 inch tablet in the world? odd.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        true, but the display density is….~300ppi. So, his statement stands, that anything too far over 300ppi is simply a waste of power and hardly noticeable.

    • Revolving_1

      He is right on nearly everything. But MARKETING.

      Galaxy S4 SPECS + non-exclusive MotoMaker +excellent launch event + worldwide launch + always ON and cam features = Moto X being a hit.

      Sales will show that SPECS matter a lot, and your device MUST have TOP specs AND your own engineering/software tweaks/FEATURES.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        Sales will show that marketing works. Samsung didn’t make it to the top of Android because of specs, they are on top because they have spent more than anyone else in the world on advertising, and have done so in an effective manner.

        Specs are just numbers on a page. People will buy what they are told to by the person who has the best marketing, because most don’t care enough to do actual research.

    • jessica702

      just as Leroy said I’m shocked that anybody able to make $6040 in four weeks on the computer. did you read this web page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

    • Idon’t Know

      Except continuing the Motorola lie that they are using a processor they designed instead of a standard chipset from Qualcomm.

    • Dean Politis

      He is wrong about LCD being inferior to AMOLED. While AMOLED screens look gorgeous, they do not create true colors. LCD screens are truer in color reproduction. This becomes a matter of preference not superior technology. I have owned devices with both technologies. I own an HTC One and the screen is gorgeous.. I do find that LCD seems to be more readable in direct sunlight.

  • samosa king

    But LCD screens show true colours and AMOLED is just too saturated. I still think that the Moto X should have had an LCD screen. But he is mostly right on everything else.

    • Derek Duncan

      if they used an LCD screen, the notification display would not work as well

      • samosa king

        Fair enough then. I suppose that the AMOLED screen was the choice then.

      • NeedName

        stop with your logical!!!

    • Scott Huddleston

      I’ll take saturation over a washed out look any day.

      • samosa king

        You’ve probably never seen an LCD screen before.

        • Scott Huddleston

          Weren’t they all LCD before amoled. Other than IPS.

      • brkshr

        I said that at one point too. Then I got my N4 & I much prefer LCD now. My new N7 is just plain gorgeous.

        With that said. I would gladly take an AMOLED necessary for the Active Notifications any day.

        • Tim242

          The gray blacks on LCD drive me crazy

          • brkshr

            That was the hardest thing for me to get over too. I’m over it now though.

      • onlygoodtime88

        HTC one 1080p has the best screen go see one in the store

        • NeedName

          True but the Moto X in tests gets 2x the battery life under same conditions and still allows for on-screen notifications.

          It’s all about choice and what you want your device to do.

    • Even though I am a picky IPS lover, I have to disagree. The Active Notification function justifies the choice, as it is very functional. They didn’t use AMOLED just to make your eyes barf rainbows at the colors.

    • Tim242

      So black is supposed to look gray? If you set the Amoled display to natural, or movie mode, you don’t get over saturation, and real blacks. I can’t stand gray blacks on LCD displays.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The AMOLED in the GS4 is just as accurate as the SLCD3 in the HTC One in its “movie” mode. However, its default setting is highly saturated.

  • n900mixalot

    He left out the part where S800 is likely to outperform the S600 *for a longer period of time* rendering devices running S800 that much more “future-proof”.

    Using the S600 was just a ploy to save money, and to make sure that they have everyone’s attention for when they come out with an S800 version in a few months.

    • NeedName

      doesn’t everyone here upgrade every year?

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      They didn’t use a 600, they used a custom chip that’s probably a binned version of the 600.

      However, I doubt seriously if they will release a new flagship before next summer.

      • Higher_Ground

        I’d almost put money on a Q1 release… or a MOTO X MAXX 😉

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          They would have to be monumentally incompetent. Besides, the CEO already stated their next project is an extremely low-cost device for emerging markets and prepaid carriers. So, that’ll likely be the Moto X Mini.

          A Maxx version wouldn’t hit until very late Q1 at the earliest, which is still 6 months out. However, I’d fully expect them not to supplant their flagship device until at least Late Q2 to ensure that they have enough time to make sure they have all of their respective ducks in a row, and make sure they can take advantage of any new OS version that goes out in Q4.

          • Higher_Ground

            I hope that’s the case. I have to wait until next summer anyway, at which point I’ll probably want to see what the 2014 nexus looks like

    • E. Tasche

      More future-proof? Motorola’s software features depend on constantly updated apps via the Market. Everyone elses features depend on them rewriting Android every time it is updated. In most cases, a lot of devices simply won’t get updates after a short while, or they won’t get updates until after the update is superseded by two versions.

      It all comes down to how you define ‘future-proof’.

      I’ll take a single core 1ghz processor and faster (or at least existent) updates over not receiving updates and a beast of a processor. But my use for a phone is to use it as a phone – I don’t rely on it to be a gaming system.

      • NeedName

        I’ve been talking about the software update issue constantly when referring to the Moto X and this “future proof” argument — it’s all ridiculous.

  • zaggs

    Guess Google must have thrown in alot of pot with their purchase of Motorola.

    • n900mixalot

      Hahaha, wait a minute, WHAT?

      “I mean what can you do with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that you can’t do with the Galaxy S4?”

      That don’t make no damn sense, and that’s the kind of bass-ackwards thinking they have going on at Motorola.


      • E. Tasche

        Elaborate please.

        • PhoenixPath

          Read it again and keep a close eye on the order of the devices…

          • n900mixalot

            Thank you. See, this is why I can’t believe I get into arguments with people on the internet … who can’t even *read*.

          • brkshr

            I don’t think he was trying to argue. I think he was trying to understand you. I didn’t get it at first either, until Phoenix took the time to elaborate for you.

            Edit: probably why you got so many down votes

          • n900mixalot

            I got down voted because people can’t read … heheh. Ahhhh, the Internetzzzzzz …

      • hoosiercub88

        Camera features alone…

        • Sirx

          No! He said CAN DO, not DOES DO! If Samsung wanted to release their S4 camera gimmicks to the S3, it would have the processing power to easily handle them all.
          Or do you think removing a person from a photograph requires an entire extra core?

      • Sirx

        Yeah, no, I’m pretty sure he’s specifically describing people like YOU who are easily blinded by razzle-dazzle and spec-dropping and forget to actually look at the functionality of the device. He’s absolutely right–if you stuck an IR blaster on the S3 and hooked that summbit into the processor, there would be not a dam thing the S4 could do that the S3 couldn’t.
        You just defended S4 cause “OMG SHINEEEEYYY!”

        • n900mixalot

          Nope, read closely PLEASE:

          “[W]hat can you do with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that you can’t do with the Galaxy S4?”

          That means: what features are on the S3 (the *older* device) that are missing on the S4 (the *newer* device).

          Poor attention to detail is not a redeeming quality in an engineer … THAT’S why this is funny, and that’s why I’m railing on him.

    • Tim242

      Haha he’s def smoking something!

  • Thomas

    Funny, he didn’t bash the S4 camera..lol

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      I don’t think he thought about the camera… he’s talking about basic device performance based on architecture

      • Thomas

        He didn’t think about the camera b/c Motorola phones have never had a good one.

  • teevirus

    He left out the part about how he uses an iphone and his next phone will be an iphone.

    • NemaCystX

      yawn… its been played to death already

      • teevirus

        Probably, they cant all be winners.

      • Fresh360

        I disagree I think this joke still has legs lol

    • You should probably get over this.

      • Tim242

        If Ron said this, he needs to go.

    • LiterofCola

      Hahahaha, no.

    • RoadsterHD1