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Android 4.3 Fastboot Files Leaked for T-Mobile Moto X, Features Updated Camera Software

moto x

Files taken from a system dump of a test device on T-Mobile’s network, show that Motorola is working on an Android 4.3 update for the Moto X, featuring a fix for the device’s camera software. The files are flashable, thanks to some work done by a developer on XDA, but your device will need to have an unlocked bootloader. 

The developer notes that this build is clearly for test purposes, as it performs a bit slower than the stock Android 4.2.2 build that the device currently runs. What has us quite excited is the potential of updated camera software. The device is known for having a somewhat lackluster camera experience, so hopefully this fix will go out to the Moto X across all carriers.

If you are unlocked and interested in giving it a try, feel free to follow the via link. Be careful when attempting these flashes, though.

Via: XDA

  • md202020

    I don’t understand why you can’t share a contact via text messaging? I could do that on my iPhone, why is that not a feature here?

    • Holly

      Have you found a workaround for this issue? I too have tried to share a contact via text and haven’t been able to. Prior to the MOTO X, I used a Motorola atrix and was able to share with text.

  • chris125

    I am most interested in the updated camera. The 4.3 is minor but if they can correct the issues with the camera i definitely will pick one of these up, thats the only thing holding me back right now

  • ddevito

    I’ve sorely missed Motorola after the GNex for almost two years. They make the best radios

  • NexusMan

    I so hope this will fix the camera!

  • Thomas Cholette

    I bought my Moto X based on the reviews I’ve read here and I absolutely adore it. The camera may not be great, but I don’t buy a phone to be a camera, I buy it to be a phone. The battery life is great, it lasts me all day. It is easy to hold in my hand and operate with that one hand. Plus I love stock android. This is the first phone in a long time I haven’t felt the desire to root.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Yes. We need this

  • La2da

    This is probably a stupid question, but is the camera on this or the Droid Maxx a noticible step up from the Gnex camera? It just has to be, right?

  • edmicman

    So say comparing the MotoX camera to an iPhone 5 (dare I even compare to 5S?), how does it compare? Are whatever problems MotoX’s camera has purely software, or is the hardware not up to snuff, either?
    I guess somewhat related – does anyone do side-by-side camera comparisons or reviews of smartphones? Like Steve’s Digicams or DPReview or something?

  • iNomNomAwesome

    I love my Moto X so much, it improved everything that I liked about my G-Nex, plus the Active Display is awesome.

  • ddevito

    I liked the Moto-X so much I returned my Nexus 4 back to Google and bought one for me and one for the wife and kept Verizon.

    This phone is incredible.

    • moelsen8

      really? that’s interesting. i’m so torn. it’s such a beautiful phone. i was so ready to make it my next, but the camera reviews immediately put me off. i’m so tired of having a bad camera and missing so many moments, and i’m taking so many pictures of the family these days, my next smartphone has to have a good camera. n4’s is crappy, crappy, crappy. the n5’s looks like a beast, especially since all the reviews of the g2’s camera sound pretty good.

      • Robert Macri

        Camera isn’t really that bad… its actually good, but the metering is off. It does crazy things in direct light

        • moelsen8

          sorry, but what’s that mean?

          • Paul Hansen

            When the camera software tries to analyze the image before it takes the shot is probably the easiest way to explain it. The software isn’t interfacing with the hardware (which is actually pretty good) so the images aren’t coming out very well.

          • Shin77

            I have been able to take some exceptional shots with it, but it takes a little bit of patience for the senor to adjust for the light correctly…as Robert said, the light really f’s with it. For example, it might apply a incandescent bulb type filter when you have perfectly clear daylight so the tones don’t look right. I’m exaggerating a bit, but that’s the basic issue. Haven’t tried low light, and I’m coming from GNex…but I have had shots come out that are on par with an iPhone for sure, really clear. It seriously struggles if there is too much light coming at the phone to have proper shading on the subjects, but I’m betting the fix will address these issues. The hardware appears to be certainly decent enough, the software just needs tweaking.

          • kixofmyg0t

            “The hardware appears to be certainly decent enough, the software just needs tweaking.”

            That’s exactly what it is.

            I’ve taken some beautiful shots with my Ultra, and I’ve taken some shots that needed +42 saturation. It all depends on how long you let the camera decide on what to do. Since you have basically no options, you have to let it figure it out. Sometimes it’s a simple as waiting a additional second so the camera has it’s own “AH HA!” moment.

          • MicroNix

            But don’t expect Moto to ever fix it. As least that was my experience with the D3.

          • bonix

            In really low light situations the HDR really shines. I won’t even be able to see the subject on my screen but when the image processes you see everything. There is a bit more noise when it is dark but I will accept that with the fact it was able to see anything at all.

      • hans wee

        its really not that bad. the wrist gesture also helps you get those pictures faster too. i mean its better than my last 2 phones (droid razr m and galaxy nexus). it does some weird things if its having a hard time with light, but right now in daylight its pretty good.

      • ddevito

        It’s hard to explain to anyone why it’s so great. I honestly think it’s a combination of everything.

        The Form factor, the tiny bezel, the way it feels in your hand, the great display, the active notifications, touchless controls, Moto Assist app – are all great.

        What makes this phone better than all others (in my opinion) are a few things that make it stand out even further:

        1. Radios – as a GNex owner I never realized just how awful its radios are. I get full LTE in a ton of places.
        2. Speakers – pure quality we expect from Moto.
        3. Call Quality – hands down the best call quality in a cell phone I’ve ever tried. Ever.
        4. Trusted Devices – this is the most underrated feature of this phone. I have two Bluetooth trusted devices – my Livio adapter in my car, and my work laptop. When I connect to them I don’t have to use my PIN/pattern to unlock the phone. This is one of those things that makes you wonder why no other company has done this yet. Brilliant.

        • moelsen8

          wow nice, thanks for that. i’m so tempted. seems like everyone says the same thing about bluetooth trusted devices. is the camera a lot better than the nexus 4 at least? that’s the comparison i really wanted to see in a review and just hadn’t seen anybody talk about it too much. i don’t expect perfect professional shots, but this camera flat out sucks.

          • GentlemanScholar

            Don’t jump just yet. I suspect I may still get the Moto X, but it’s almost October, so Nexus news should be around the corner. I wonder if any of the Moto X only features will make it into the new Nexus.

          • ddevito

            I honestly only took a handful of shots with both, as I only had the N4 for a week. But in the few I’ve taken the X’s photos are slightly better, if not less consistent. The N4’s were about the same.

            The X’s hardware is undoubtedly better than the N4, and as others have pointed out here it seems the software is to blame.

            The one feature the X doesn’t have (and it’s honestly the ONLY thing I don’t like about the phone) is the absence of the photosphere functionality – I love taking those stupid pics and sadly I can’t on the X. But I’ll get over it.

          • moelsen8


            I was thinking about all this again this morning, and remembered what my friend with an HTC one said about not having photosphere.. when the Google play editions hit the scene, you could install their versions with no root. Could work for you and others missing it….

          • ddevito

            Sweet! Thanks!

          • MicroNix

            Do yourself a favor. Go to Verizon, AT&T or wherever and try a Galaxy S4’s camera and compare it to the X. If you ever had a question about how a camera should work on a smart phone, you will have your answer then.

        • Taglogical

          My Bionic has Trusted Devices ^.^ and they automatically return your device to a locked state when you hang up

      • MicroNix

        I was hoping that once Google took over Motorola that they would have straightened out the camera department. Looks like that never happened from all the reviews. I can’t say that I miss Motorola’s dismal camera experience. So disappointing…

    • edmicman

      I want to get one but really want 32GB. I know the developer phones just came out and maybe I can go that way, but I don’t really like the white face on that one. Come on, Verizon…I want a Motomaker MotoX on Verizon with 32GB!

      • ddevito

        Yeah, I got my wife a white one – and although she loves it, she really wanted a colored and customized one. After one full day she honestly doesn’t care anymore, she loves the phone that much. She has never loved a device since her Palm Centro back in the day.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        The dev edition is black front/white back. I really like it, so that is what I’m going with. Plus, unlockable bootloader 😀

    • The one reason I didn’t wait for the Nexus 5 is because it probably won’t be on Verizon. The Moto X was an instant sale for me.

  • MichaelFranz

    I’m hoping the release it for droid line (maxx really) and it doesnt fix the root exploit. I would love better camera even though i think it is good (compared to razr hd which i had prior)

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      jcase has pretty much stated that 4.3 plugs the exploit he used, and that 4.3 would be tougher to crack than 4.2 was. So, be warned.

      • moelsen8

        i’m guessing that 4.3 is going to present some major challenges to rooting phones in general, judging by the issues and workaround needed on nexus devices

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Probably. SELinux is a vast improvment security-wise, so I welcome it, as long as the hacks I put in place before updating stick 🙂

  • Jordan B.

    I’m actually somewhat bummed. I was hoping with the nearing release of 4.4 that the Moto X might skip 4.3 and just get 4.4 in the semi-near future.

    • PhillipCun

      Since moto doesn’t get special treatment, it will take them some time to get onto 4.4… so maybe if they release 4.3 soon, they’ll show the world how dedicated they are to pushing updates

      • Jordan B.

        Good point. I could still very much be on board with 4.3

    • Walter Partlo

      It still could. 4.3 hasn’t been released for the X.

  • moelsen8

    the next thing i want to read on DL is that the camera is vastly improved and wildly different than what was written about it in the reviews. i think that would be my tipping point..

    • GentlemanScholar

      That or an announcement about the Nexus 5.

      • moelsen8

        touche, good sir.

      • PhillipCun

        with Verizon (even though the possibilities is slim to none)

        • GentlemanScholar

          I think I’m jumping ship from Verizon once the Nexus is announced. I don’t have unlimited data, so it’s T Mobile or AT&T, assuming both get the Nexus 5. It’s down to the Moto X and Nexus 5.

          • Greyhame

            If I didn’t have unlimited data, it wouldn’t even be a question whether or not I’d leave VZW. I’d already be gone.

          • Travillion

            I just switched to AT&T and was planning on waiting out for the Nexus 5. Then I realized that AT&T likely wouldn’t subsidize the phone–so it would be $350 for 16GB–wouldn’t offer me a cheaper plan for having an unlocked phone, and reading about the troubles people had getting high data speeds on the Nexus 4 (with AT&T), I just went with the Moto X. Have really enjoyed it. Of course, if the Nexus 5 has LTE then there shouldn’t be any trouble getting high data speeds on AT&T. And, if you’re on T-Mobile, then it makes more sense to have an unlocked phone.

          • GentlemanScholar

            Do you know how AT&T is with updates to phones? After the debacle that was the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, I don’t want to be subject to the whims of the carriers for OTA updates. I’ll likely get a rootable phone either way so it’s not a deal breaker, but I’m curious.

          • Travillion

            The Moto X is my first phone on AT&T, so I’m not sure :/ My understanding, though, is that Verizon is the slowest on updates. Plus, I’m thinking that since AT&T is GSM it should be fairly easy to port ROMs from the developer editions or Nexus devices (as Google loves GSM phones). One reason the G-Nex on Verizon was so frustrating is that there were always incompatibilities between the immediate updates for the unlocked GNex (GSM) and the Verizon version (CDMA). As good as the developers were, they couldn’t make up the CDMA radios, etc. But I’m not a hacker/developer, so, who knows if my theories are good 😉

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      I wouldn’t expect “wildly different”, the interface and sparse controls were intentional designs. However, “vastly improved” is a definite possibility, I have a feeling we’ve only really scratched the surface of what the new sensors are capable of. As far as I know, changing from the RGBC colorspace that the sensor sees to the Bayer (RGB) colorspace that the software needs to work with is still a new-ish process, and will take a while to pin down. That said, I’ve already seen some pretty incredible shots, so when they get it right it will likely be one of the best out there.

      • moelsen8

        eh, i’m ok with the simplified interface.. meant wildly different with regards to quality and people’s initial disappointment.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          GOtcha. /agree then, carry on 🙂

  • Manthas

    Wonder if a similar update is in the works for the latest Droid series based on the same internal hardware.

  • kixofmyg0t

    It does indeed have a updated camera, however its not finished yet. So please hold criticism.

    Also, 4.3 builds for Ultra should be arriving soon. Since the differences between X and Ultra builds are minor.


    Doubt it will improve the photos, but I would like it to stop flipping the screen whenever I want to slide over and view the photo I just took in landscape view

    • mgamerz

      Sort of related: I REALLY wish AOSP would turn off screen rotation when taking a picture. I think some older versions of the AOSP camera just rotated the buttons to match where you were. Just animate teh shutter button to the other side. It takes like 1-2 seconds to rotate, then rotate back when you realize it’s not what you want… It’s just a huge waste of time and can ruin the moment. It shouldn’t do system rotations.

      • JRUIV

        why the down votes? I believe it does just rotate the buttons. My issue is I’ll take a photo in landscape, then slide over to view the photo. When i slide over, the screen has to like adjust or something, it’s not smooth. It is smooth in portrait though.

        • mgamerz

          I didn’t downvote you.

          And I’m talking about in the camera. I’m not sure how the slide to see gallery (you’re talking about that right?) works on the Moto X (I use stock AOSP). But when in the viewfinder, rotating your device will still change the screen orientation on 4.3. I understand this is for the nav button placement, but the lag on rotation when snapping a picture and the changing position of the shutter button is so annoying.

          • JRUIV

            I just tested it. At least on my Moto X, the screen orientation does not change, the buttons just rotate.

  • Ryan B

    YESSSSSS!!!!! (maybe in a year I’ll get the VZW update!)