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Interview: Motorola Talks Big 2013 Moments, Choice, Value, a Love for Stock Android, and the Future

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During last week’s CES, I had a chance to sit down with Motorola executives Steve Horowitz (SVP software engineering) and William Moss (director of corporate communications) to talk the year that was, what they took away from all that happened in 2013, their thoughts on wearables, and where we are headed in 2014. Our chat was a brief 30 minutes, but we managed to cruise through all sorts of topics including how they managed to update the Moto X to Kit Kat in under three weeks.

I think you’ll notice a theme quickly emerging throughout that most of you will all be fans of:  Motorola wants to do more of the same, which means continuing to provide value and choice with a stock Android experience anchoring it all. While they wouldn’t give up their roadmap for 2014 (don’t worry I tried to get it), I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see MotoMaker stick around, new choices of materials will be a part of the scheme, new features will be added onto their suite of Touchless Control and Active Display, and prices will remain as good as ever.

Let’s run through it. (Sorry for the delay, but man, do I have new love for professional transcribers.)

Question:  As far as 2013 went, do you have a favorite moment whether it be Moto X or something else?

Horowitz:  It’s been very interesting to see people start to understand the value in doing less and not focusing on the spec wars and escalations of bigger screens, how many cores, etc. We really are pleased to have seen a shift – by no means are we done – and a momentum that’s really picked up with the products we’ve launched. X and G, not only do they have their legs under them, but we’re really pleased with how things are doing, Moto G in particular. It’s hitting a price point for performance that is really resonating with consumers. Everybody learns, so we’ve learned a lot, but we’ve learned that our core tenants of choice, value, and a nice pure, simple experience, really are starting to win over consumers. We’re very happy with that.

Question:  Goal going forward with core experience, to add on top of Touchless Control and Active Display?

Horowitz:  That’s exactly right. We started off a year ago and started from scratch. We’ve got years of legacy built up in our codebase – we’re getting rid of all. We’re literally going to start with a fresh drop of Android, and we’re going to simply add in the minimal things we need to be carrier, legally, and geographically compliant, which is a small set of things if you really boil it down, and then we’re going to add experiences that are complementary of Android, not in competition with Android.

I know the [Android] team very well, I was an engineer there for 3 years when we first built it. I know the talent. I’ve always been a believer in a pure Android experience and the basics. I don’t think anyone’s ever sold more phones because their calendar had a better search box than the stock calendar or their launcher was just a little bit better. Instead of focusing on differentiating and competing with Android, we focused on things that are complementary to it and getting out of the way. That’s been one of these kind of virtuous circle things, that by taking that fresh approach with our code base we’ve been able to execute on upgrades at a pace I think nobody really expected. In addition to that, we’ve also done things with our experiences to make them market upgradable, Play store upgradable. And again, all these things are enablers for us to move really, really quickly.

Moss:  You were asking for single moments for us from the past year, and I think being the first OEM to come out with a Kit Kat device was a huge moment for us. As you may recall, our reputation, say a year, year and a half, two years ago – was such a turn-around in how we were able to approach the software experience and the upgrade experience. Members of the public feel differently about that, but there is definitely a core for whom that is super important and we had heard from a lot.

Question:  On that note, when you guys announced that Kit Kat was rolling out for the Moto X, it was under 3 weeks (19 days to be exact according to Horowitz), how did you guys do it?

Horowitz:  There really are two fundamental things that enabled us to do that. When I say “two things,” I mean two categories. One is this core Android experience that is just fundamentally more pure and less modified than anything we have ever done. And I would argue anything that any other OEM has ever done. So we started with a true pure Android approach. That is a facilitator, and that coupled with challenging the team to think really hard about making as few modifications as we possibly can enabled us. We then had to go to our partners – because it’s not something we can do on our own – we had to work with Qualcomm and Verizon, AT&T and Sprint and say, “Guys, let’s take a different approach to this. Let’s not treat this as business as usual where cycles happens in the following way with the following deadlines. Let’s rethink this from scratch.” And so they were great partners for us in doing that. As you said, it did require these two fundamentally different things to happen. But we proved to our partners as well as to consumers that it can be done. And I think we set a new bar and can be even better.

Question:  Moto X specifically – wood or natural backs – initially when you first announced them there were other materials. Still plans to do those?

Horowitz:  Yeah, I think you’ll see a lot of additional things in the domain of consumer choice, and new materials, and things like that in Moto X. I think one of the things you’ll see that’s consistent in this area is we also want to be careful and not try to do things that will lower the quality bar. We want to make sure we do fewer things really well. We started off with Bamboo so we could make sure – even then, Bamboo is technically not even a wood, as I learned myself – but each material has its own set of challenges both in terms of how you ensure the quality level, the manufacturing, the drop testing, the rigidity, the antenna. There are a lot of different factors. And then there is also the sourcing. We also want to make sure we’re responsible on the sourcing and making sure it’s sustainable and things like that. As we’ve learned – because again these are all learning processes for us – we have wanted to just do this carefully. But you’ll definitely see some other materials come into play.

Question:  MotoMaker – here to stay?

Moss:  Rolling it out from – you know it started on AT&T – to all the other carriers was a very big step for us in the last couple of months. That really helped to drive adoption of broad customization to a much bigger audience and we were really glad to be able to roll it out more. It’s going to be a big priority.

Horowitz:  The way I would characterize it is I would say it’s part our bigger story of consumer choice and options. We really expanded that beyond just carriers. Our direct to consumer channels and some of the sales we’ve had for some of the unlocked devices over the holidays were incredibly successful for us. Even if you look at Moto G – which isn’t a MotoMaker product – has choice. You can still have backs. It is arguably even more customizable than X because, my daughter can have 3 different backs – what’s her outfit look like today – “well I can use my blue back or my purple back or my yellow back.” Consumer choice is important, so I think you’ll really see us accelerate in areas like that.

Question:  Touching on price – Moto X is now $399 – is that another focus going forward? Initially, phones launching at a reasonable price point that people can get off contract?

Horowitz:  The way I would begin characterizing that is it’s about value to consumers. Really our goal here is very aligned with Google – we want to get phones and information access to billions of people out there that don’t have it. The first thing you have to do is get devices at a price point that can reach different kinds of consumers. Really what you’ll see us is us focusing on value. And that isn’t just value in terms of cheaper or lower cost phones, it’s value at every segment. Moto X we think is a great value at that price, and you’ll continue to see more of that with us.

Question:  Project Ara – how are things coming there?

Horowitz:  Things are going well – we don’t have anything really new to announce in that domain. As you might expect it has generated a lot of talk. Even internally we were surprised at the way that that’s resonated with – obviously not the broader consumer population – but it just goes back to choice. Consumers, ultimately there is not a one size fits all, and something like a Project Ara will allow people to specify not only at order time, but even dynamically. Like, I’m going out on vacation and maybe I want to rent a super high-end camera module or maybe I need to optimize for battery, so I put 4 batteries in the various slots so I can have extra long battery life. So consumer choice not just at product conception but depending on the individual use case is incredibly possible.

Moss:  I bumped into the technical project lead for Ara yesterday in the office before I left and had a quick chat with him. They are definitely making progress – stay tuned – there will be more to come.

Then things got interesting for a moment when Moss asked me a question, basically giving me the power to tell them what they can do better. He wanted to know what it would take to get their product into my pocket as a daily driver, since I showed up to the interview with a G2 and Nexus 5 (Whoops!).

Question (from Moss):  You have a couple of different devices out here (on the table). Where do you see where we are at now? When you look at our devices and how they fit into the competitive environment – as somebody who follows Android closely – where are we good and not good? What would it take so that you are carrying our devices around as a primary device?

Me:  I basically told them to do more of the same, but that some people do still care about specs as much as the Moto X helped slow down the spec wars. I also told them that we focus a lot on cameras these days because the camera on your phone often times is all you have and it needs to be awesome. It’s the little things that make a smartphone great, since almost all smartphones are good these days. And last, I told them that the Moto X (with Bamboo) is actually my daily phone, but that I was using the G2 in its place for the extra battery life while hotspotting during CES. They joked about me being one of the few that are buying Bamboo.

We then moved casually onto Moto G. Both shared some thoughts.

Moss:  You also asked about things from the past year that had been big moments for us and I think the other thing (other than software upgrades), when we put G out and we saw the reception to it – we were optimistic about the product and we felt that there was a good strategic case for it – I think we were pleasantly surprised by how positive the reaction to it was from reviewers but also just from people who appreciated somebody putting out an affordable phone that wasn’t crappy. And you know, the response from consumers has been very good and we have been very, very happy with that. I think that was a big lesson for us – Steve talked about choice before, in terms of how we bring different kinds of choices to people and I think that formed very much our decision to do off-contract Moto Xs for $399 and give people more choices around value and around options that aren’t driven by contracts. So that was a very big deal for us.

Horowitz:  I think Moto G really shows – you talk about specs, and there obviously is as you say, is going to be core group of folks [who cares], which is fine, great, because the world needs variety – but what Moto G, we’re hoping it shows, is that by doing less, by having a more pure experience – again this is part of my Android championing part that says the product can do great things if you don’t get in its way. And that’s what we think we have done with Moto G. We have created the kind of experience that is – there are still some great Motorola experience stuff in there – but it’s a pure Android experience on a phone and it shines, given the relatively [lower] specs. I would put even the Moto G up against some of the highest end smartphones today and I would challenge you to tell the difference in many cases.

Question:  2014 – plans?

Horowitz:  Well, our product roadmap is… (jokingly)

I think thematically you’ll see just more of the same which is, we want to continue to do fewer things and do them very well. We want to offer things that are of value to consumers and increase the accessibility of the internet. We want to have more and more choice. We want to build things that we feel have resonated. We have done a lot of things over the last year, made a lot of changes, and we have been surprised in a lot of cases. Like anybody will learn with what resonates with consumers we’ll see more of – I know I’m being very generic here – nonetheless, themes of choice and value will be accelerated.

Question:  Wearables – the hot topic right now – you guys at one time did the MotoActv, so any plans to think about going back in there?

Horowitz:  As you can imagine, we’re not going to announce anything, but really it’s an area that we’re [thinking really hard about]. When we do something we want to make sure we are careful about and don’t want to just do it for the sake of doing it. Clearly it’s an area that we think is resonating with a certain subset of consumer. Even though the bands and the fitness part is a broad consumer thing, I think having a more interactive experience with wearables is still a much smaller market as people learn to integrate.

And that was our chat!

As you can tell, they weren’t about to give up dirty little secrets or specific plans for the future. However, if you were a fan of what Motorola did during 2013, I think you should be excited to know that they are going to continue to focus on using stock Android, giving us great pricing (hopefully out of the gate this time), bringing customization, looking into wearables, and updating phones faster than they did last year.

  • Jill

    Not a single peep anywhere (in this interview or in the comments (at least not that I saw) about a QWERTY slider. I’m so sad!

    Pleeeeeeease Motorola… give us just one dumb QWERTY slider phone. Just one. Throw us a bone. Pleeease don’t make us buy a Playskool ^H^H^H^H^H LG.

    And: this is where everyone tells me to get with the times. Save your breath, I’ve heard it and know I’m in a minority. Just wanted to whine. :)

  • michael steinmetz

    oh man i would love if they offered an extended and extreme extended battery options to the motomaker system and i would be willing to lose some slimness for it its like 90% of why ive gone with the n2 and n3 for my last 2 phones i can actually make it all day or really close without having to be on the charger

  • kevin

    I love Motorola right now. And thank you for telling them to fix this terrible camera!!!

  • Jeff C

    I freaking love my Moto X, never any slowdown or hiccups. Blazes fast through everything I throw at it. Excellent battery life, 5 hours of screen time (auto brightness) is easily achievable within a 16 hour period.

  • SmokeNMirrors

    I’d still like a SD slot and a HDMI port. Hopefully they’ll give me that choice!

    • chris_johns

      yeah the hdmi port was the best on my other moto phones…im truly upset they got rid of this feature…used to use it to watch netflix at my gfs house when i was there before she got her droid 4

      • LSH99

        I apologize in advance for my ignorance, but doesn’t Chromecast allow for essentially the same functionality as an HDMI port as long as you’re on a WiFi network?

        • SmokeNMirrors

          Not exactly, no screen mirroring is the big one and limited app support. There’s Miracast that can do more but it can add a lot of lag so would be poor for gaming. Not to mention Miracast dongles are flacky and cost over $60. There’s still no true substitute for a $4 HDMI cable. I have them hanging off my TVs as do my friends and I keep one in my travel bag for use in hotels. I don’t need to keep a dongle in my pocket along with it’s USB power cable. These casting devices are great in some situations but not a replacement for true HDMI support.

      • Raven

        I still keep my old Droid 4 with its micro HDMI out and 32GB MicroSD around just for such reasons. I have over 60 movies in my VuDu collection and I watch them via my good old Droid 4.

  • Froggy

    Wow! I managed to learn absolutely NOTHING about Motorola after reading this. Horrible interview. Maybe if you weren’t fanboy gushing so hard at the opportunity to speak to them and actually prepared some well-thought-out questions that went beyond your jock riding fascination with the Moto X we could have gotten some better information..

    “So ummmmm like, Project Ara – how are things coming there?”

    This dude could have given a better interview lulz:
    http://static2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110911113011/muppet/images/a/a9/Reporter_Kermit_1.png

    • chris_johns

      what would you have asked mr wizard?

  • dapoktan

    im antsy to upgrade my nex4 to the moto x.. but i wanna hold up a bit longer so i can get the successor.. a bit better battery life would be ideal.. i just dont want to upgrade my phone so often… must have stronger will power.

    • needa

      not enough of a dif between the n4 and moto x to upgrade. you should wait until the successor.

    • Hothfox

      I think if you’d consider upgrading to the Nexus 5, the Moto X would also be a viable choice.

  • Ian Smith

    Favorite quote: “I know the [Android] team very well, I was an engineer there for 3 years when we first built it. I know the talent. I’ve always been a believer in a pure Android experience and the basics. I don’t think anyone’s ever sold more phones because their calendar had a better search box than the stock calendar or their launcher was just a little bit better. “

  • chris_johns

    Id love a moto x slider….ill be honest since i got my moto x i still cant get over that im not running the latest n greatest quadcore processor bc ive never had a phone work so fluidly

  • EC8CH

    Go Moto!

    Moto X is straight up awesome, and at a great price. Keep on doing what you’re doing. FINALLY a device manufacture that understands what they can do that actually adds value for their customers.

  • Godzilla

    X 10 architecture is the next step. I’d say at best it’ll be Snapdragon 600 based. The Moto X uses X 8 architecture.

    Motorola nova.

    • needa

      per sarge.

    • hkklife

      Right now the most logical step up from what’s currently in the X is a quad-core Snapdragon Pro (not the old Krait 200 quad found in the Droid DNA but rather the Krait 300-based Snapdragon Pro downclocked 600 that’s found in the N7 2013). Or they could go all out with a full-blown 600. I definitely don’t see them pushing the envelope with an 800 or faster.

      I am still waiting for a no-holds barred Android phablet. Snapdragon 800 or better, 5.5″ to 5.7″ with virtual buttons, a GREAT camera, massive battery, tons of internal storage (32GB minimum, 64GB preferred) and stock or Moto style close to stock with good update support. Looks like I’ll keep on waiting a long time.

  • Tomek G

    And there goes my dream for keyboard on the phone, maybe make it accessory?

  • s2knj

    I activated the Moto X I bought when Amazon screwed up their pricing a few months back. Just a temporary switch from my LG G2. In all honesty, if the G2′s camera wasn’t so unbelievably good, I would never switch back. With 4.4 on the Moto, it’s very snappy, I love their basic approach to android, and the touchless control is pretty damn cool. The one and only reason why I will not use it permanently is because of the camera. And that’s a shame because this phone just feels great to use.

  • James Jun

    I’m not gonna lie, the typography and contrast for the articles could do a lot of work. It’s too hard to read easily.

  • bolox

    “Moto X we think is a great value at that price,”… yeah oh, and let’s sell it at more than $600 to the European moron, they deserve to pay more and we should make money on them selling them made in china moto x as we lost money on the “proud to manufacture it in the US” moto x!! Evilorola doesn’t disappear outside of the US as he still doesn’t give a damn about us, European customer !!!

    • bolox

      oh and it’s 429 € ($586) and/or £380 ($622) for the16 gb and without motomaker version ….

    • Franklin Ramsey

      Well there are shipping costs, tariffs, and the like that have something to do with an increased cost in European markets.

  • jbdan

    I’m more excited about Moto this year than any other phone manufacturer, by far. I owned a X and choose the N5 over it…. for my needs/uses. But got my sister one for Christmas (her 3 daughters and husband all iPhone owners) and its amazing how all 4 of them now want a X. My sister is not tech savvy AT ALL, I set it up for her and she’s ecstatic and thinks its the coolest thing since sliced bread. In a way, I agree! Go moto!

    • NexusMan

      I am too. I have not been as excited about a phone/manufacturer since the Galaxy Nexus launched.

  • victor mena

    They should update their old phones to KitKat…my droid RAZR HD is running on its last leg… Its on android 4.1.2…buttery performance my ass.

    • Matthew Merrick

      Hold your horses, it’ll come. KitKat update has been guaranteed, which is amazing for a phone that age/specs

      • hkklife

        It’s not that old (October 2012)! This isn’t HTC we are talking about, remember!? Samsung GS3 beat the RAZR HD line to market domestically by 4 months and still features a larger screen, better camera and 2x the RAM (crucial spec) and is likely getting KitKat (with the usual TW bloat, of course). I still say that the delay in between the release of the RAZR and the RAZR HD cost Moto badly in the US market. The GS3 launch absolutely sucked the life out of everything in the 2nd half of 2012 and early 2013.

      • victor mena

        All I know is that I’m going to an LG G2

        • Matthew Merrick

          What’s truly funny is they should get Kitkat at about the same time :P

          • victor mena

            Tell me about it…

  • PearDaddy

    Make the DROID Maxx into the Moto X with a camera as good as the S4. Big screen, big battery,great camera, good looks and feel. The Maxx is awesome if you remove the camera and looks from the equation.

    • NexusMan

      That would be a Moto X Maxx.

    • needa

      BETTER than the s4.
      the s4 camera isnt all that hot. the color accuracy is really bad. it does pick up much more detail though. my thing is… if they cant make clear pixel any better…. they need to dump it now and call it a loss.

  • dwboston

    Didn’t think to ask them about tablets? My Xoom is getting long in the teeth. A mostly stock Motorola tablet with a few customizations, that still gets Android updates quickly, would be compelling to me.

    • Matthew Merrick

      Imagine, say, a 9″ galaxy tab pro competitor. With active notifications, touchless control, and moto maker. Moto X style body, maybe squeeze in front facing speakers.

      I’m drooling over here =P

  • schembfs

    One more thing Moto… I know that not all people need removable batteries and expandable storage. But I don’t think it would hurt your bottom line too much if you added back those options. It would make some people give you guys a second look and not push them away unnecessarily.

    • Sporttster

      I was diehard Moto until this recent batch. They removed too much. If you’re going to take away sd slots, at least have a 64mb option. If it had a bit bigger screen, sd slot or higher internal storage and specs that will be good for at least two years, I’d buy one. Battery power is extremely important as well as I wouldn’t bother with a Moto X but would be interested in a Maxx.

      • Matthew Merrick

        I would never buy a 64MB option. I mean come on, how much space would actually be left after the OS? room for one photo? If even? =P

        A 64gb model, however, I would be all over =P

      • NexusMan

        What exactly are you storing on your phone? I, too, store tons of stuff…more than anyone I know, but 32gb is completely adequate for me.

        • flame mee

          Its easy to rationalize that ‘you don’t need’ certain things. Some people might need them. Point is that those features the other guy said should be kept ‘optional’. If you don’t need more storage or replaceable battery, good for you coz you won’t have to do anything. Motorola should keep them optional to avoid turning away potential customers. These are just desired optional features. Nobody’s being forced into using them. In the grand scheme of things, it should add only a few bucks to the cost of manufacturing these devices but potentially add more interested customers.

          • NexusMan

            Did you read my post? Never said I “don’t need” certain things. I asked a legitimate question, out of curiosity, regarding exactly what Sporttster is storing on his phone because I too, store much, but don’t hit those numbers. My post was not about me, but solely about him, which is why I’m not really sure why you’re even responding to it.

          • flame mee

            By saying 32gb is completely adequate, you were basically saying you don’t need more than that. But that’s really non of my business. My beef is your questioning of other people’s need to have more and you seem to be implying that 32gb should be enough for everyone. I get it. Its enough for you and obviously thousands of other moto x buyers. But the amount was really not my point here. Whether its adequate or not was not the point either. Its the freedom of choice to add more if one needs more than what’s built-in into the device to widen the appeal of the product. I’m sure that if you ask moto, they wanna sell MORE of these things.

          • Walker Citterman

            Project arra?

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Think of it this way, which way appeals to the most amount of people. A lot of average consumers want the whole uni-body type phone. Geeks and Power users tend to like replaceable batteries, storage upgrades and the like. by allowing for a removable battery they could turn off a majority of users. I don’t think they didn’t add the options because it would cost a few more dollars to add the option (though, in the large picture, let’s say it cost 5 dollars to allow people to have the option, 5 dollars times 1 million or more phones starts to add up in cost). I think they didn’t add the option because they were trying to appeal to the average user and the Majority. Trying to appease everyone just isn’t an option until technology gets to the point you could have modular phones.

          • schembfs

            blah blah blah…”by allowing for a removable battery they could turn off a majority of users…” REALLLY?!?! Could you please explain that one? I’m not Samsung fan. I despise fanboys, even those of current brands I’m using. But the fact is Samsung is one of, if not the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. It also happens that they are one of the few left to offer removable batteries. Now I don’t think that that is the only reason why they sell more phones than almost everyone else. But I think that having “options” is one of those reasons.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I’d be happy to describe Majority of users. I know more people that own iPhones than Samsung devices. I know a few users of the HTC One, some Nexus 5 users, and a few that have an S3 or S4. Personally, I’m still on a Gnex, but in the USA, iPhone still has over a 50% market share and over 50% is MAJORITY. So at least in the area that Motorola is currently targeting with the Moto X (USA) my majority comment stands. In the rest of the world, I understand Android is a bigger player, and I realize the S4 is a huge seller, I just had to help a user setup an S4 today, her big complaint was when she drops it, it breaks apart and she has to put the battery and everything back together, unlike the iPhone she had before. She isn’t the first person I’ve heard complain about that.

          • schembfs

            The Camry is the best selling car in the US. Is it the BEST CAR sold in the US? Many would argue that it’s not even better than the Accord, it’s closest rival. Popping back covers or not, one should never ever drop a phone because of other more important things that could break like the front glass. Nobody’s perfect so accidental drops are unavoidable which is precisely why it should be in a protective case. Aluminum is not exactly an indestructible material. Besides, people should also worry about the electronics solder cracking inside due to the shock. IPhone’s best selling status is not a sign of it’s absolute technical superiority. It’s mainly Apple’s unparalleled marketing propaganda machine and iOS’ tilt towards an oversimplified UI designed to appeal to mostly non-tech savvy audience (pick an icon to run an app even your dog can use it and to the form-over-function types who pick their tech based on what’s “cool” and what their also non-tech peers told them to get.) You can cherry pick iphones history and point out things they did first. But it’s a fact that apple also copies from others but fanboys choose to be totally oblivious to those. 3G, LTE, multi-core SoC, multitasking, drop down notification/config bar, mobile device video conferencing, built-in voice recognition, even the touch screen smartphone itself (to name just a few), are not original Apple ideas.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            First off, I don’t like iPhones. Don’t even like the design and don’t even get me started on iOS, so my using Apple as an example in no way means I think they are doing things right. They are just an example of the majority. No where did I make an argument that a unibody phone was better than a phone with removable battery. I prefer phones with removable batteries and have never had one without one. I also never made the argument people should drop their phones. I’m stating reasons why some users like unibody phones over phones with removable batteries/backs.

            So, I have no idea what argument you are trying to make since nothing you said pertains to what I said.

          • schembfs

            To support your majority argument, you brought Apple in. My original point wasn’t even “against majority”. It was about designs that cater to a wider audience without unnecessarily pushing some people away. OPTIONS! I believe motorola could kill two birds with one stone. I mean, for example, doesn’t MOTO G have removable back covers already (to change the colors). How much more effort/cost to make the battery removable right under that cover?

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I brought Apple in only as an example of a unibody phone people prefer that doesn’t allow choice. Something you are arguing against. Not as a supporter or Apple.

            From a design and engineering standpoint, a battery that is removable does increase the cost per phone over just a removable back cover. Instead of having a connection to the battery that doesn’t break, you need contact pins. This increases the thickness of the phone slightly and also requires that you have pins that will bounce back into place after each removal and insertion. Now, granted, it would probably only increase the cost of making the phone slightly higher (maybe a dollar or so), but companies look at the total cost of making a phone and multiply that by how many users they might sell to. I know if I take a proposal to my boss for a system that costs $100 dollars per user or $101 dollars per user, the first that allows a user to do what they need and the second allowing the user to do what they need and a few things they might want to do, my boss will choose the first option every time and we only have a few thousand users. Multiply that on Motorola’s end by producing hundreds of thousands or millions of phones, and they want to cut costs wherever they can. So adding a back plate that comes off vs. being secured in their design costs them maybe a couple pennies of glue, whereas adding the contacts and termination points in the phone for a removable battery is going to cost them even more.

          • schembfs

            I thought unibody is an automotive term. This is the first time I’ve heard it used to describe phones. I don’t think people buy iphones because it’s “unibody”. and apple did not exactly give people the choice between a non-unibody and a unibody iphone so you cant be sure which hypothetical variant would have sold better. if you asked them now, i’m sure the fanboys in them would say, “I like it exactly the way it is.” they buy iphones because they simply prefer iphones, unibody or not. I also don’t think that most people walk into phone stores and say “show me only unibody phones because I can’t stand non-unibody phones”. Maybe YOU would not have bought your current phone if it happened to NOT have a unibody construction. Were you a traumatised owner of a bad batch of OG droids that had falling battery covers? As for your obviously unscientific observation that apparently shows most android (leave apple out of this for now) would strongly prefer unibody phones, then moto x, htc one, lg g2, sony z1 should collectively outsell the GS4 and the Note3 by a wide margin. Do you believe that’s the case? By the way, is the MOTO G a unibody(customizable backs) or not? A hybrid perhaps? I’m not a moto hater. In fact, I was just throwing in ideas of things they can do to increase market share by widening their appeal (not to please everybody which is impossible. even apple couldn’t do that). Larger local storage capacities and extended battery life or battery life that can be extended are REAL things that people look for. Even apple sells 128GB ipads and 64gb iphones (at premium prices) proving that there’s a market out there for larger cap devices. okay sorry for bringing apple in. Anyway, one of the most desired moto phones or features are the MAXX series. Ever wondered why? If 2200mah (moto x) is “good enough”. why also sell the 3500mah maxx? It’s pretty rare now to “run out of juice” while in the middle of an important conversation or to have 15% left at 3PM but it could still happen especially as your battery wear out as you get closer to the end of your 2yr contract. I dont think that everybody would agree that the ONLY solution should be to stop using your phone and plug it in if it dies. They may be a “minority”, yes. But win-win solutions are possible to please both sides so it doesn’t make any sense to count potential customers out. Motorola should realize that what worked with apple wouldn’t necessarily work for them because of competition within the android ecosystem. ‘Sides, it’d be hard to match the late S.J.’s jedi-like mind bending powers. Every little effort to nudge new (and returning) customers their way should be explored and taken advantage of.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Well read some of the reviews and you will a lot of reviewers call the single slab type phones unibody.

            Let me point something out to you though, because you keep arguing the same points which have nothing to do with with the points I’m making. You appear to be arguing that choice and options are a good thing and hence Motorola should put as many options as possible in their phones. At the same time, it appears you think I’m arguing AGAINST options. I’m not arguing against options nor did I ever say choice and options are a bad thing. MY current phone (as I’ve already stated) is a GNex. I prefer phones with removable batteries (also as I’ve already stated). I like choice! Do I think phones should have choice? YES!

            The thing I am arguing isn’t that there shouldn’t be choice, I’m just saying why I think Motorola decided to leave choice out. You seem under the impression that Motorola can afford to design phones with a lot of different choices. Designing a phone costs a lot of money. Testing out the designs also costs a lot of money. Motorola is a big company, but after so many quarters where they lost money, they are trying to build an infrastructure that allows for options while keeping costs down. A Unibody type phone allows for that. It cuts down on design and build costs. Lots of people seem to think since Moto Maker is out there, it would be easy to throw in more design choices, but the fact is, if they had more choices such as a bigger batter, more memory, or whatever, those things have to fit in somewhere, which would lead to a redesign of the phone. A larger battery takes up room, so do more memory chips. That also requires testing of those configurations. Would more memory cause those units to overheat? Would a larger battery get in the way of antennas? All that testing costs money. Do I wish Motorola had the money to do all that testing? Of course! I’d love to get a Moto X or Maxx, but I don’t because they don’t have removable batteries (which I prefer). I’m arguing that Motorola is limiting customization to colors of the plates because that doesn’t cost them money to redesign the phone or test anything. If they have one type of plastic that can be dyed in multiple different colors, that doesn’t cost them a redesign of the phone to implement! They can keep costs down having everything integrated, build up their infrastructure and their name by building phones that many people do want (I’ve seen people on here arguing that they want a phone with a removable battery, but that they love their Moto X). As I stated in the first part of this conversation with you, I don’t think Motorola will release these types of options until Aria comes, because that will be modular.

            Again, I’m not arguing that choice or options are bad. I’m arguing that Motorola most likely isn’t doing it because a majority of users don’t care as long as they have a phone that does what they want a majority of the time, and that is what they are already building.

          • schembfs

            If Motorola follows that business approach, they’ll stay as a small and distant number 4 or 5 niche manufacturer perhaps just catering to the patriotic “gotta buy American types” (not that there’s anything wrong with them. In fact I admire their courage and conviction to support local American jobs. Unless the motivation is something else despicable, like racism. Nothing wrong to love own’s race, I just think it’s possible to do that without hating others.) This somewhat convinces me that Google bought Motorola with really no intention of trying to make them number 1 again. They only did it to acquire Motorola’s patent portfolio. I just lament the days when Motorola could design devices with excellent form without compromising function. They sold, what, more than 200 million RAZR’s? (the feature “dumb” phone not the android one). That was friggin’ IMPRESSIVE!!! That device had pretty much everything the competition had, and then some. Stunning looks, portability, battery life, powerful radios, build quality (mine still works flawlessly to this day), function (some models like the MAXX V6 even had a front camera for video calling). That’s why it became a massive success and left the competition in the dust. But then they became complacent, cutting features (i’m sure by rationalizing that they’re not needed by the ‘majority’. Remember the ROKR E1, the first iTunes/phone device? It could only hold 100 songs even though it was technically/economically possible for it to have more storage. I’m sure somebody in Motorola reasoned “nobody needs more than 100 songs so let’s save a couple of bucks more for each device we make.”) and research/development to cut costs. It backfired and they got left behind. The rest is history…

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Actually, I prefer having options, but the majority of people that I know prefer unibody phones. In fact, it would seem the majority of smart phone users in the United States agree with me as Apple still has above a 50% market share. Above 50% is a majority. So, there is justification of using Majority. On a Global scale, I realize Samsung sells more phones, but keep in mind Samsung is also a much bigger company than Motorola. Samsung can afford to make a ton of different models with different options and sell them all over the world. Motorola doesn’t have that kind of reach as it doesn’t have the type of resources necessary, yet. So if a majority of users in the United States (where Motorola first targeted) prefer phones of a unibody design (iPhone) of course they are going to go with a phone designed similar to what a majority of people use! It’s lunacy to think otherwise. Of course Samsung’s having options allows them to sell more phones. Motorola doesn’t have that luxury yet, so it has to target the largest groups of people it can over giving each user an option.

        • schembfs

          3 minutes of 4K UHD footage from the note3 video camera = 1GB. Do the math. I know, I know. You don’t need 4K. People have said they didn’t need 720p, 1080p either. Others before have said wifi, 3G, 4gLTE, broadband internet(they were happy with dial-up), GPS(papermaps FTW!), smartphones with screens bigger than 3.5″ (now 4.0″ Is this proof of human evolution? longer thumbs?), RAM more than 640KB, harddrives bigger than 1GB, mini-tablets, etc. etc.. were all NOT NEEDED!!!

      • Michael Gillenwalters

        I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you used it for your daily driver.

    • NexusMan

      Don’t think it’s necessary. I have always been unflinching on my stance that phones should have removable batteries, however my Moto X has NEVER died on me, and that’s something that NO other smartphone I’ve owned can claim.

      • flame mee

        That’s because you’re only thinking in terms of how long it lasts on a given day right now when its still new. A problem that will not be obvious until later is batteries gradually lose charge capacity over time. Typically after 500 or so recharges or about 1.5 to 2 years of typical use, a significant reduction in capacity will be an issue especially to heavy users. The solution to upgrade every 2 years is not always an option for all users. Some heavy users are not necessarily performance users. They simply just constantly stream audio/video media with the screen always on. Point is, they don’t necessarily want or need the fastest/latest handsets. For example a 3 yr old galaxy s 2 is perfectly fine for Pandora, Netflix, YouTube streaming, video Hangouts, Skype, etc. Why replace it and be tied to a new contract?

        • NexusMan

          You’re right about battery degradation, but the answer is to not make every phone with a removable battery. If you plan on keeping a phone for 3 years, there are other options out there for you. If you don’t and plan on replacing your phone in 2 years or less, as many people do, this is one for you. However, battery issues will not be the only performance/compatibility issues with a 3 year old Galaxy S 2.

          • flame mee

            You’re obviously satisfied with your device right now. My point is from the perspective of motorola to be more successful as a business by expanding their customer base by catering to a wider audience. Face it, you’re just one customer. Your own personal wants and needs doesn’t represent everybody’s. You probably would have still bought your moto x if it had a replaceable battery and exp storage. But motorola would have sold more (to those who wanted those features). The goal of every business is to not simply profit but to maximize profit by increasing revenue, market share, repeat customers.

          • Hothfox

            I think you’ll find the people who keep their phones for 2+ years and are worried about the longevity of their batteries are the MINORITY. Most people replace their phone every 2 years per their contract with their carriers to get an update at a “discount”. Most people keep their devices only just long enough to barely see the effects of a non-removable battery.

            And power users / users typical of Droid-Life / XDA / etc. are typically replacing their phone frequently, at least once a year.

            Clearly it’s all personal – I didn’t miss non expandable storage in my GNex, and I do not miss it in my Moto X. Google Drive provides 15GB of free cloud storage to all Android users (by default), so there’s an extra 15GB right there for you. I can even install an app from a .apk file I upload there, apply a wallpaper, etc. It really doesn’t behave any differently than on-board storage in my experience.

            Fact of the matter is that there are a lot of other choices out there besides the Moto X, and if a removable battery and SD card are requirements for a user, they can choose one of those devices.

          • schembfs

            You’re looking at this from the perspective of a consumer. But from a business perspective, that “MINORITY” were potential customers who had to look elsewhere. +15% is +15% (if I have to put an estimated number into it) Sealed battery is a business strategy to have an unadvertised (of course) “expiration date” for your device so that you’d be forced to buy a new one every 2 years. This is sound strategy for a brand with a lot of fanatically loyal customers. But it’s risky for Motorola because of competition from within the Android ecosystem.

          • Hothfox

            There’s no pleasing everyone. The Moto X could/should have came with about 50 extra features that it didn’t, depending on who you talk to. Motorola made the choice that they made. Seems to be working out decently for them, if they’re talking about the future of the device and its successors.

            Yes, I looked at it like a consumer, because I am one. Motorola tires to think like a consumer when they come up with this stuff, too. If a removable battery is something someone must have, there are lots of other devices out there, and there are external portable charges that can help as well (that will bring in extra money for Moto, since they have some available on their site).

            I am glad it doesn’t have a removable battery. Now 5 different pices don’t explode all over the floor if I look at it cross-eyed (like the OG Droid and it’s battery, sim card, sd card, and battery door did). I like having everything all sealed up, without eight extra doors and slide out slots hanging off my device.

          • schembfs

            Agreed. there’s no pleasing everyone. My point was increased appeal to a wider audience. Do they want to sell more or not? I only talked about 2 features (not 50) that they have already done before for pete’s sake. If you’re a constant dropper, better get a case soon. You should be more worried about that nice GG in front. They’re not crack-proof, y’ know? You’ve been lucky so far (if you haven’t cracked it already.)

          • Hothfox

            I have a tempered glass protector on it. I have dropped it once. I also had a tempered glass protector on my Galaxy Nexus and dropped that a couple times. Neither phone has/had cracks. Thanks for your concern!

          • schembfs

            Your previous post implied that you drop devices more than just “once” or a “couple of times” hence your strong preference for non “disintegrating” phones like it’s some kind of a solution for a persistent issue. That tempered glass protector is just a first layer defense from scratches. Your phones have been unscathed because you were lucky enough (so far) that they didn’t land in the “wrong” position (front corner first) on a hard surface. Tempered glass is even more prone to shattering (instead of just cracking). Most modern car windows are tempered glass. For safety, they want it to shatter into little bits rather than crack with big long sharp edges and injure the occupants. By the way, your Galaxy Nexus has a removable battery in case you haven’t noticed. It’s one of those “disintegrating” phones. I have one too (verizon version). And I know for a fact that if used even moderately, it’ll be dead by 3pm. It’s LTE chip is a power hog. It’ll drain in less than 5 hours if used heavily. Fortunately, it has an OEM extended battery option 2200mah instead of the stock 1850mah. It’s also compatible with T-Mo GS2 hercules and AT&T GS2 skyrocket batteries.I still use mine as backup, car HUD, remote video monitor/webcam, etc. If it had a sealed battery, probably would’ve had to get rid of it long time ago.

          • Hothfox

            The one or two times I dropped my OG Droid, it exploded its internals all over the floor, yes. I have dropped both the GNex and the Moto X on their corners (I know, because the corners are scuffed a bit), and they have both been fine. The GNex shattered the tempered glass protector only, obviously, not the glass underneath. I simply bought a new tempered glass protector. The Moto X’s protector is fine after the drop.

            I can barely remember why this was relevant. We’ll just have to agree to disagree about removable/expandable storage, I guess, and buy devices and accessories that suit our needs.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Yes, the goal of business is to maximize profit. I know more people now that want unibody phones than who want removable batteries. Heck, iPhones don’t have them and look how popular they are. Did you ever stop to think that maybe they are maximizing profit by not allowing for removable batteries. IE, 1 million people don’t want it, but we are going to increase the cost of making the phone by a couple dollars to allow for a removable battery for the 100 people who want it, possibly alienating the people who don’t want it in the first place. Yes, I like removable batteries in my phones. I’ve never had a phone that didn’t allow me to replace the battery, but I know far more people with phones that don’t allow them to, and who like the design that way.

      • schembfs

        Many popular apps like 3d/fps games and mobile hotspot are known to drain batteries in a matter of a few hours. You’ll probably say that you don’t need these apps. But to many, it’s precisely the point for getting these powerful multifunction devices. Work and play. I pay for the hotspot service to share my unlimited data to my family members (who have tiered data). With an aftermarket Zerolemon INTERNAL 7,000mah battery (I have 2), I can keep the hotspot running much much longer. While it’s true that there are dedicated hotspot devices, why carry (and pay much more for) extra stuff if it can be had in one device? I only pay $24/mo (20%) for the Verizon hotspot service. I have used as much as 30GB in one month (during a roadtrip last summer). 4 family members streaming slingbox, netflix, crackle, youtube, pandora, adds up! Plus I had my work laptop connected via VPN to keep an eye on things at the office.

      • Raven

        Mine would have died on me this weekend during an important time. I was shooting video of a high school robotics competition. I ended up shooting 26 1 minute long HD clips, but my Moto X was down to 20% when it was only half over. Fortunately I had my wife bring my old external battery brick that I used with my last phone so I was able to get by being tethered to that. It would be nice if I could shoot a half hour of video without killing my phone. A replaceable battery certainly would be nice at times.

  • leo

    Excellent interview. You hit the nail on the head by mentioning the camera when asked about your primary device. The vast majority of users still commit to 2yr contracts when buying phones (myself included) for various reasons and as such I don’t want 2 years of crappy photos of my kids (thanks Moto Atrix 4G). Apple, Samsung, and Nokia get it and their phones show this. The Moto X could be free, pure Android, unlocked, etc and I wouldn’t care one bit. At the end of the day, I talk on my phone, text, email, maybe video chat via Hangouts, check FB, and take photos/videos. Only the last item(s) nowadays leaves room for differentiation. Not to say Moto stinks but a good camera, no wait, a REALLY good camera is a requirement before my family of 4 even considers going back to them.

    –S4 owner

    • hkklife

      Personally, I would have hit Moto with some pretty hard-hitting questions but I understand about not biting the hand that feeds. Still, just food for thought:

      -Any future for QWERTY sliders? IS/when BB dies, Moto is the ONLY logical successor for releasing a de facto, no-holds-barred business/email user device. Half-baked efforts like the Droid 2 (Blur), Droid 3 (Blur, no LTE or ICS), Droid 4 (weak screen & battery) and Photon Q (gimped storage & screen, Sprint) made the demise of QWERTY sliders a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      -How hard is it to juggle transitioning from the last of the old Jha era devices (RAZR HD etc) and supporting them while forging ahead with the new roadmap

      -Why does Moto historically struggle so much with imaging/cameras?

      -Was there any internal debate about gimping their products so severely and making them Google/Apple-style (no expandable storage, limited internal storage, small screens)

      -Are they going to stick to the 18 month update cycle that Google has sort of settled on as far as guaranteed OS updates?

      -Any future Moto tablets? Why are they so resistant to producing a phablet?

      -Comments on Moto’s status for Nexus devices?

      -Wearables are a fad. Project Ara is such a pipedream it’s not even funny. I wouldn’t have even bothered asking about it. AT&T didn’t even allow the original Atrix to let its keyboard dock piggyback on its data plan. They throttle and cap at every opportunity. They bitch about subsidies on one hand while forcing contracts and subsidized handsets down customers’ throats on the other hand. The Asus PadFone continues to meet resistance in the US market. Carroers stifle updates, churn out bloatware and won’t approve “rogue” devices (LTE Nexus 7 on VZW, anyone?). Does anyone REALLY think that anyone with less clout than Apple can revolutionize the industry overnight with a modular, upgradeable handset? The carriers wouldn’t know how to treat such a beast and it’d probably be doomed by Motorola Lapdock-style exhorbitant pricing if it did arrive. I sent in an Acer laptop for warranty service a few years ago and they denied warranty service on it because I had doubled the RAM myself and cracked open the access port on the bottom.

      Until we have carriers that are nothing more than dumb pipe providers, this kind of hobbyist & modular stuff will never see reality or at least not widespread acceptance and not worth of Moto’s limited R&D efforts & $. Not to mention the potential bottlenecks and fragility of the interconnects. Heck, we are still dealing with damaged microUSB ports and finicky Qi charging mats.

  • hyperbeatser

    My only issue with the Moto X, the camera. Keep doing the same but make the camera shine and you’ve got a hands down winner

  • YourFriend

    Hey Moto, please put microSD card slots in your phones again. The Moto G would have been perfect if it had expandable memory.

    • NexusMan

      Out of curiosity, why exactly do you want a microSD slot? What would you use it for?

      • flame mee

        Why have 32gb internal storage? Why not just drop it down to just 8gb or even 4gb to save a few more bucks? In fact, just go all out, reserve local storage for the OS only. Store everything else in the cloud baby!!!

        • Hothfox
          • schembfs

            nothing new… Cloud is nice but like everthing else, it has gotchas too like the requirement for a constant data connection, increased battery usage, and that unshakeable feeling that your stuff out there is available (all the time) to be looked at by you know who. I don’t have anything to hide but I have a problem with people looking at my stuff without permission. While they can probably do the same thing to my stuff in the device, at least I can control it’s accessibility (turn if off, airplane mode, encryption of my choosing, etc.)

          • Hothfox

            I find coffee will help with that yawn. You can control access to cloud storage pretty easily, and if you can’t, maybe you shouldn’t be on the Internet at all. Of course, data breaches are always a possibility, but so is losing your phone out of your pocket and someone picking it up who’s smarter than you and knows how to break past your security. There are things you can do to prevent access in both scenarios. I assume you bank online? Pay bills online? Order online? Why are you okay doing those things, but scared someone might break into Google and steal your pictures of your vacation?

            “Cloud storage is potentially a security threat and we should never use it, ever!” is the mantra of people who don’t understand security and are scared of change.

            And where are you that you don’t always have data? Even if you have a clever answer, the solution is saving, say, a picture to your internal storage for now, and then backing it up to the cloud later, and deleting the local copy to get your precious space back.

          • vzwuser76

            There are plenty of places where there isn’t a data connection, but I assume you’re in a metro area.

            Cloud is fine but with capped data plans you may end up spending more than an sd card. I’d rather use my connection to be on the internet, not shuffling my media around. The main reason I am for an SD card is that things like photos, music, and even video don’t need to be on the device’s memory to playback reliably. And really, how much does the micro SD port cost these OEMS? An 8GB option would be workable with an SD card slot, but with many higher end games taking 1GB+ of space, 16GB + an sd card should be the absolute minimum, and 32GB should be the minimum without a card.

          • Hothfox

            I live in a suburban area. My parent’s live in absolute middle of nowhere Upstate NY where there are more cows than people. We both have 4G LTE from Verizon. And you would shuffle your media around when you get back to WiFi, not on the go in whatever remote corner of the globe you’re living in.

          • vzwuser76

            Just because there are two places that you go to have LTE suddenly everyone does. I live in the Midwest and even though their maps say everyone has LTE, that isn’t actually the case. There are plenty of dead spots and fringe areas all around the midwest. I have relatives on the west coast who’ve told me they run into that as well. So while you’re lucky in that you and your parents both have strong LTE, that doesnt mean that’s the case for everyone.

            I understand you can shuffle stuff on WiFi, but again, it’s not everywhere. My point is, the cost to have an SD card slot is minimal, the dangers pointed out in the Android Central article aren’t as big as they make it out to be. And file transfer using MTP is nowhere near as smooth as what we had before. While they bring up all these things that could go wrong using FAT, there are plenty of things that could go wrong with cloud storage as well. You make it seem like data breeches aren’t that prevalent, but I’ll bet that they happen more than we know. The only reason we hear about some are because of liability issues. You can bet the last thing Target wanted to do was report their breech, but if they didn’t and things went south, they could be facing criminal charges for not reporting them. Many companies gamble that the fallout will be minimal and don’t report the incident, because it has a tendency to tarnish reputations. But what the article fails to mention is that carriers can make big money off of cloud storage.

            My point is that with the size of apps growing all the time, along with the OS itself, that leaves less storage for the end user. And most people don’t want to devote a chunk of their lives moving stuff back and forth between the cloud and their device. I went to the only option available to me, a Meenova Card Reader, which basically is an external solution for devices with micro USB ports. The problems with it are that it hangs off the device which opens it up to damage (either the reader itself, the charging port, or both), and second, after the KK update the OS no longer recognizes it. So then you need an app to bring that functionality back, which requires using their interface and limits the apps you can use for media playback. These companies seem to think that these devices are still theirs, but once I give them money, it’s mine and, call me crazy, but I should be able to use it how I want, not how they think I should use it. They’re almost getting into Apple territory there, rather than giving the customer the choice, making the choice for them because they know better.

  • schembfs

    Hey Moto… Please do a better job in optimizing UI performance. My Droid Bionic started off as somewhat of a speed demon (first dual core LTE device in the US). But then it went downhill from there. You’d think that it would have gotten faster as it progressed from software update to software update. Now, even my kid’s Sammy Exhibit II 4G (only single core 1ghz with 512mb of RAM) seems less laggier. And this is with absolutely no widgets running on the homescreen. I do appreciate what you did with the RGBW pentile screen. I don’t look at my devices with magnifying lenses so it didn’t bother me. But it’s unparalleled brightness (700nits) due to the white(clear) pixel made it a pleasure to use outdoors in bright sunlight. As a 1st gen dual core LTE device, it’s battery life was also pretty good probably because of the LCD backlight which didn’t have to work as hard as in regular RGB stripe LCDs.

    • hyperbeatser

      This has to be a joke

    • NexusMan

      They did that already…it’s called the Moto X and G.

    • flame mee

      Ah the Bionic. Though it was a decent product if you look at it with an open mind, it seemed to be a product that was doomed to fail and to be forgotten into oblivion. So many bad things happened or was done to it right from it’s conception, to it’s initial announcement, then development, then release, then after the sale support. In Motorola’s rush to be the first to release a dual core and 4glte smartphone, they announced and demoed it prematurely (during CES of January 2011) before the basic design was finalized. It was initially conceived with a Tegra 2 SoC (not necessarilly a bad choice compared to it’s contemporaries). Unfortunately, it was discovered during testing that the Tegra 2 did not “play nicely” with contemporary LTE baseband modems at the time. So Motorola had to go back to the drawing board. At that point, they should have just killed the “Bionic” name and started from scratch or just skipped it altogether and focused on releasing the the Droid RAZR earlier(released 2 months after the Bionic). Anyway, the Bionic was released on September 2011 as a totally new device with almost nothing in common with the product demoed in CES nine months earlier. The SoC was a TI OMAP 4430. It had 1GB RAM instead of 512MB. It looked completely different. Not necessarily bad things. But the delays due to the redesign had already left a sour taste in peoples mouth. Then they gave it an RGBW pentile matrix LCD without sufficiently explaining away its CONS and emphasizing its PROS (really bright images without increased backlighting) during marketing. This only gave haters more ammunition to nitpick the thing by showing it unique (meaning “ugly” to some people) dithering alogarithms (vs RGB stripe) in blown-up and magnified images which can’t be seen under normal naked eye viewing from 10 to 12 inches away. These alogarithms would tend to show straight lines with jagged edges (but smoother curves) under magnification. All the haters have to do is to pick and show magnified images of only straight lines like the letter “I” or a solid/pure red, blue, or green color. How often do you look at solid pure R,G, or B images? Even green leaves aren’t pure green but have different gradients of green. Then the mad rush to get it out the gate caused them to release it with a half cooked camera software like not using the LED light to prefocus dark scenes which produced blurry photos. (the camera, though not as good as Sony BSI designs, actually produced decent photos when focused or in good lighting conditions). Then they released the Droid RAZR (their new baby) TWO months later!!! Then they forgot to properly support it. (Probably just a couple of ofshore guys who were given a couple of weeks to produce, optimize, and test the 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update.)

  • DJ SPY

    I guess I’m one of the few that has a bamboo moto x.

  • needa

    hey moto….
    camera, camera, camera! i dont care if my phone is a couple mm thicker if it means a better camera. fill the rest of the space with a battery. while i am totally impressed with my all day every day battery life…. two days wouldnt hurt.

    an option to send our phones back in for a bamboo back would be nice? but let us send it to a different address so it doesnt take six or eight days for you to ‘receive it’. and maybe be as quick with the .1 updates as you are with the major ones. if the $200 moto g is capable of getting the google bug fixes… why cant my $726.50 moto x get it.

  • Guest

    Let me use Motomaker for hardware and then the game is yours to win.

    • kg2128

      That would be amazing though it seems like having different colors and backs is hard enough to pull off. Maybe someday way down the line.

  • http://www.gizmorev.com/ Jasper Molina

    I’m really impressed how Motorola was composed in 2013 by not joining the specs war. I just hope they continue to bring more custom-made product like the Moto X to consumers outside of the US.

  • jack584

    I’ll happily buy a Motorola phone when they release one with a screen size of 5 inches or bigger. The Moto X, while I would love to have one, is just too small for me. That’s why I unfortunately had to go with Samsung and the Note 3.

    The screen resolution would also have to be 1080p because the lagger screen = less pixel density. The Note 2 had a 720 screen and it didn’t look so hot because of the size.

    • Matthew Merrick

      I’m with you completely. A moto X just falls out of my hands. 5.2″ is my minimum, and you can really see the difference between, say, my note 2 and an LG G2 when it comes to resolution. A moto phablet would be amazing – everything the Moto X is, but bigger, sharper, and more battery <3

  • Rich Robinson

    Great interview. Perfect phone is G2 Hardware with Moto X software. Funny how you brought a G2 for extra battery life as it really is that good. The X should also take notes on its camera and speed.

  • ddowner001

    Retro-fitting wood backs would be a beauty!!

  • kg2128

    Glad Kellex got a chance to mention the hardware. Look I can live with Motorola not using the the absolute newest cpu/gpu. I can’t live with using a cpu that is essentially half of the not newest cpu (snapdragon 600). 720p there is no excuse for imo, it was 2013 when the phone came out, catch up already Motorola. Decent specs is EASY I just don’t see why people defend Motorola for their screen/cpu/small battery. Making a phone great is hard, but the specs part once again is EASY. I want Motorola to succeed, to provide real competition to Samsung and to show that stock Google works. I will probably always flash custom roms if possible, but it would be nice to have a choice of not doing anything and still having vanilla Android. But if the Moto X is the way Motorola is going to do things for a long time, I would rather they fail. Comeon Motorola Nexus with legit hardware for Verizon (I can dream can’t I?)

    • bored_guest

      That’s why there’s the X8 computing system in the phone. Not only that, a Moto X costs somewhere between an IPhone and GS4. Now imagine putting a newer processor (not talking about the newest but say a 600) Motorola will have to raise the price of their phones even higher because of the addition of the X8 (which is something they are preventing) Without that X8 the Moto X won’t do half of what it could do. If you want that stock experience with legit hardware get a nexus 5. And yes we can dream about a Motorola Nexus.

      • Brandon Jiang

        the moto x is cheaper than both the gs4 and the iphone 5s. that’s a good thing

      • kg2128

        the x8 is a gimmick when it includes anything other than cpu cores. If it raises prices that much they could have taken it out and put in the 600 and kept it the same or even cheaper, don’t see the point of it. I mean the Nvidia tegra 3 has 12 gpu cores, should we go back and call the 2012 Nexus 7 a x16 computing device? You make a fair point about the price, but the Moto X isn’t that cheap. If it was free on contract from the beginning and like 250 off contract then I would agree with you but it’s marketed as a high end device and peole who have it on this blog defend it to the death like it is a high end device. A high end device should have really good hardware (the best hardware works too).

      • flame mee

        Motorola should use the SD 800. Not because of its excellent performance (that’s actually just a bonus). One of the most overlooked qualities of the msm8974 is its power efficiency (especially compared to the 600). This is due to 2 things. First is the 28nm hpm process. The 600 is also 28nm but not hpm. Hpm allows for higher clock for the same power requirement of the non-hpm 600. Secondly which is even more important, the 600 requires a separate baseband chip (mdm96x5 gobi) for the radios. Meanwhile, the 800 (8974) has everything (WiFi 802.11abgnac, CDMA, gsm, hspa, lte-a, Bluetooth 4le, GPS/glonass, etc) built-in into the same SoC. 1 chip uses less power than 2.

        • flame mee

          There are currently three shipping variants of the 800. 8974(2.2ghz), 8974A(2.3ghz) in the n5/g2, 8974AB(GPU is 100mhz higher than the A variant@550mhz instead of 450) in the mi3/note3. One upcoming variant is the 8974AC (2.5ghz). Then the 805 with the adreno420 GPU and hardware codec for 4k/uhd video. The 800 actually supports 4k but uses older h264 codec(high bitrate/large files).

          • hkklife

            This 100x. The 800 is a fast chip but it’s the awesome little extras just like its power-sipping efficiency and cool operation, always-listening features (if you care for such things) and, my favorite, the fantastic QuickCharge 2.0 4K support is just future-proof icing on the cake.

    • dizel123

      Congrats, you win the Ignorant Comment of the Day award.

      • kg2128

        Actually compared to your comment it would be the Genius comment of the day. What did I say that was a lie or exaggeration? I had a Galaxy Nexus in 2011 that had 720p screen. Now that I think about it I had a dual core then too. The processor in the Moto X is a dual core that is krait 300 like the snapdragon 600 but it only has 2 cores. I’m guessing you have a moto X and you think it’s oh so perfect and everyone else is “spec-chasing?” Just because you are okay with the lower res and half the processor doesn’t mean everyone else is or should be.

  • Daniel Russell

    Love the article, interviews and questions. Good insight and the fact that they asked you questions makes me feel better for my droid maxx purchase. I didn’t want it to be neglected like my bionic was….

  • Dave

    I can’t wait to see what they bring for 2014. I loved the idea of the Moto X, but ended up selling mine after 3-4 days. Specs aren’t everything, but it wasn’t even as quick as my 14 month old GN2, and honestly even with TW, navigation smoothness was the same. I’d love a screen around 5″ or a hair larger and better battery life (I’ve never had to charge a phone for 14 months besides at night). If these happen, I’m all aboard the Moto train.

  • ddowner001

    Hopefully they unlock AT&T and Verizon bootloaders

    • trixnkix637

      developer edition… No?

      • ddowner001

        Non DE unlock would be nice. I’m not sure if it is something carrier controlled or not. I’m honestly super happy with my AT&T Moto X. Dev community is awesome.

    • Scott

      They won’t.

  • trixnkix637

    I ditched Motorola back when I had Droid X.. That’s when I hooked up with Samsung for the S3. After seeing what Samsung has transformed into after the success of the S3, I’m glad I’m back to Motorola. They keep up this roll their on and they can have my money for a long damn time.

  • Morlok8k

    Why didnt you ask about a Droid 5 or sliders in general?

  • Geekout

    I am the guy still having a functioning relationship with my Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. I am due for an upgrade but I am holding off. I was thinking of getting a Moto X but I didn’t pull the trigger because I didn’t like the relatively small screen size. I wanted the Nexus 5 but Verizon refuses to cooperate. I was hoping that Motorola would make a Moto X successor with a 5 inch display. Hopefully that happens sooner than later…

    I played with a Moto X the other day at the store and was blown away, So much improvement over the MotoBlur trash they used to have. The Droid X was one of the worst devices I’ve ever had but Motorola has seems to have made a 180 degree turn to the right direction. Keep it up Motorola!

    • Kevin

      Doesn’t the Maxx have a 5″ screen?

    • TC Infantino

      If the only thing holding you back from the X is screen size, you might take a look at the Droid Maxx. It is essentially the same phone with a bigger screen, bigger battery, and 32gb storage.

      • Geekout

        Droid Maxx is skinned. I was looking for a vanilla (or near vanilla) experience.

        • Walker Citterman

          Doesn’t it have a DE?

        • vzwuser76

          I have the Droid Maxx, it is no more skinned than the X is. It has a few Verizon apps on it, and with the KK update they kept the Holo Blue color in the status bar. Otherwise, there is no difference. A skin is Sense, Touchwiz, or whatever LG is calling theirs. The X and 2013 Droid series is as close to stock android as you’ll get on Verizon, or this side of a Nexus or GPE on other carriers. It all no is down to a few more apps and the Droid command widget being the differences between the X and the Droid series.

      • Higher_Ground

        I feel the same way about screen size but the customization of the Moto X is more appealing to me than a lot of the software aspects. I’d be happy if they just ditched the Droid lines (minus perhaps the MAXX) and spent their efforts on the Moto X/G lines

    • LP @ThisisEther

      Crazy that a 4.7 inch screen is considered small…. I remember I grabbed the DROID X on the first day it came out, and everyone thought it was a tablet (4.3 inch screen)….

      • Geekout

        Once you go big, there’s no going back! I get really frustrated when using the cramped screen of my friend’s iPhone 5S.

        • LP @ThisisEther

          But you have a GNEX, the Moto X is the same size screen….you won’t notice a difference, unless you just want a larger phone…..the 5S is like 4 inches, so its a baby phone..

          I came from Droid X—>GNex–>Moto x (rhymes)….

          • Geekout

            Yup, I was looking for a larger screen. Now even my 4.7 inch seems too small after playing around with 5 inch devices and the Galaxy Note

    • Abgar Musayelyan

      360 degree turn. the OG droid was completely stock android.

      • Hothfox

        Everyone seems to forget the one device Motorola did right (until this Moto X).

  • Colton

    Personally hoping for a GS4 sized Moto X successor with whatever other upgrades Moto has in store of course.
    BUT regardless, I’m stoked to see what Moto does this year! Interesting read droid-life, thanks.

  • Christopher Young

    Awesome interview, I love what Motorola is doing. My Droid Maxx has been exactly what I wanted, and my girlfriend loves her Moto X.

  • Philip J. Fry

    Motorola has come ALONG way as a company in a short period of time. Congrats Moto, I know you’ve made my dad happy with the Moto X. With that said…..
    http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/500x/44879027.jpg

    • Matthew Merrick

      No way. A moto nexus would loose touchless control and active display – aka the two biggest reasons to get a moto x

      • Philip J. Fry

        Well I don’t have those things on my nexus 5 so I can’t miss something I’ve never had. Plus moto build quality + nexus following = awesome.

        • Maximus

          Imagine…a Motorola Nexus….with a Kevlar back…and Maxx Battery…I just peed on myself a lilttle

          • JBartcaps

            I could do without the Kevlar, maybe bring the customization a Nexus

          • 4n1m4L

            people like kevlar?

          • Maximus

            It’s a back that doesn’t dent or shatter.

      • Hothfox

        You know, I’m with you on this. Moto added just enough of their own customization to make AOSP even more useful. If they were to do a Nexus, you’d just get stock, bare bones Android, and might miss out on the next big awesome thing they have in store for their own lineup.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Or they could add a Nexus Device they make to be able to download those options from the Play Store.

          • Hothfox

            Can the Google Play Edition S4′s download the Samsung apps restricted to the S4/Note line? (Speculating – I don’t own an S4 of any kind.)

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Well Samsung doesn’t release their Features in the App store, they release it baked into the phone only. So if they want to update their things, they have to push out an OTA update. They COULD release their apps to the play store like Motorola does, at which point they COULD do this, but they don’t.

          • Hothfox

            Hrm. I thought they had a couple proprietary apps in the Play Store. Must be mistaken.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I believe they do have a couple, like a remote control for TV, but their main feature apps like eye tracking and the like, they don’t.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        And yet, aren’t most of those add on options people like in the play store now? Only available to those select Moto Devices of course. What’s to say you don’t have a Moto Nexus, and that could be one of the devices that have access to download them from the Play Store. It wouldn’t come pre-loaded on the device, but they could make it an option to download.

        • usaff22

          That would be AWESOME.

        • Matthew Merrick

          Yeah, no. Of it were that simple XDA would have got them working perfectly on other devices long ago.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            You forget the other devices don’t have the x8 chipset in them. It doesn’t surprise me that XDA can’t get them working in other devices that don’t have the hardware to use it.

        • MikeKorby

          With the modular nature that Google and moto are adopting regarding apps, I could see AN and TC becoming available through the play store onto any device that has an X8/voice processor. That way they could make a nexus AND still allow their awesomness through!

    • Render

      Project Ara will be far more important than a Motorola Nexus…

      • Philip J. Fry

        meh….another nexus is only about 9-10 months away.

  • Scott

    Excellent read.

  • Kailua

    I love my Moto X. I use to be a spec chaser but after looking at all of the different phones, it’s about engineering. Whenever I get the chance I taunt my coworkers who all have iPhones. GO MOTO.

    • Scott

      I get mine Saturday. I hope it’s awesome!

    • Colton

      I’ve always been a “spec chaser” as well and this is legitimately the first phone (Moto X) that makes me not care as much. Unfortunately I bought the Galaxy S4 before that though (still a great phone, love it). But this just goes to show that Moto is doing something right. Not just because it appeals to me, but because it really does have a lot of appeal without “top-tier specs.” No arguing with that.

      • trixnkix637

        Agreed.

      • Ej McCarty

        I like how everyone praises Moto when they do but talk ish on apple when they have done the same thing for years. Hippocrites. It honestly makes me laugh.

        • Colton

          I’ve always thought the iPhone has been a very good phone. No denying that. It shows in sales and it really is a beautiful phone (aesthetics and performance), no doubt. Anyone who denies that is exactly what you said, probably a hypocrite. But I DO love android and that’s what steers me away from an iPhone. I definitely agree with you and I assume that wasn’t directed personally at me.

          • Higher_Ground

            I agree, the iphone has been a nice phone aesthetically speaking. I can’t say the same for the software but the phones themselves look nice. Unfortunately they’re tiny these days.
            I would love to get a wood backed Moto X – but I’d also like it to have a slightly nicer screen.

          • Colton

            Yeah I just meant the phone performs well on the software side. I love android and the customizations too much to ever go away from that (I know there’s jailbreaking, blah blah blah). DEFINITELY agree on the size though. GS4 is perfect size to me (current phone) and if there was one closer to this size….

        • me

          “… apple when they have done the same thing for years”

          And that is the problem. The iPhone has not really changed since it’s original inception and introduction by Steve Jobs as an “MP3 dumbphone with internet capabilities”. That’s how he introduced it and even the 1st slide shown was a joke slide of an ipod with a keypad on it. Somewhere along the lines the apps became fancy enough for people to start referencing it as a smartphone. But if you look up reviews for the original iPhone, everyone called it an MP3 phone. Don’t get me wrong, basically all modern “smartphones” are just “dumbphones” with fancy touch friendly apps now, including Android.

          But the iPhone has not really introduced new and innovative features, only one gimmick after another (e.g. Siri). And as Apple tried to add more capability to match competitors the phone has become more unstable and more delicate as they make it thinner and lighter. I had an iPhone 4s and hated it. Emails never pushed through, froze every now and then, etc. If you used it for work at a company with a large enterprise and IT solution, you got constant emails not to update to latest iOS because it jacks everything up and to wait until they give the OK after Apple resolves new issues introduced with the update. So yeah, my iPhone was always 1-2 updates behind, which is why I roll my eyes when people say iOS is not fragmented.

          iOS, while simple to use, is too crippled and frustrating when you want to just “do something” but can’t. And being forced into iTunes is a no no. Most Android devices, tend to over do it with custom skins and myriads of buttons and menus and useless features blah blah blah (*cough* touchwiz). The Moto X is the first phone I’ve had that I didn’t have an ounce of buyers remorse because it not only offers a great, simple user experience that exceeds iOS, but it retains Android functionality while adding useful features like touchless control and active notifications. Even my coworker with his iPhone 5s was drooling at my phone and wants to switch.

          • pappy53

            One gimmick after another? LOL!! What are you smoking?

    • MicroNix

      Yes, so when are they going to engineer a camera and software that is better than Samsung?

      • John Legere

        Samsung doesn’t make great cameras. The Note 3 is alright at best

        • Ej McCarty

          I’ve been comparing my note 3 pictures to my iPhone 5s pictures. There’s honestly no comparison. The iPhone blows them out of the water.

          • Nikuliai

            Did they fix the yellow saturation? cuz last time I checked that camera was a pretty crappy one.

          • hkklife

            Agreed. IPhone 5S is leaps and bounds ahead of everything else on the market (aside from Nokia) for camera image quality. But Samsung & the G2 are definitely better than Moto, HTC and the rest of the Android handset manufacturers. I wouldn’t call my Note 3 camera “bad” by any stretch. I just wish it was a tad faster at times. But the 1080 60P and 4K video recording modes are phenomenal.

          • flame mee

            Really? You have a note 3 AND a 5s? Yer ballin’ dude!

        • flame mee

          The cameras in most high end Samsung’s including s4 and note3 are made by Sony. So are the cameras in Iphones since the 4. Samsung might switch to in house ISOCELL cameras this year though.

        • Michael Gillenwalters

          You’re on a troll, I mean roll.

          • John Legere

            Because i tell the truth about pos cameras? Okay buddy

  • MrOrange645

    It’s good to see they are actively listening to not only the general consumer base, but also to the enthusiasts and are implementing our ideas and addressing our concerns. Motorola is definitely headed in the right direction, and they will do great things as long as they stay on this track and maintain this mindset.

    GREAT interview/article.

    • kashtrey

      Yeah, they seem to have learned their lesson in regards to being responsive and listening to their consumers. The trouble they had was largely due to falling into the big market leader syndrome of feeling they could dictate what their customers would want while relying on past successes and reputation.

  • Josh Meade

    haha im on a moto x right now. GO MOTO

  • Michael swaim

    That was a GOOD read Kellex…Thank you.

  • MustWarnOthers

    I’m probably going to end up with the Nexus 5 simply because I tinker too much (and I also bought a Tylt wireless charger on Cyber Monday despite not owning a device I can use it with yet) but I have to tell you, no phone in recent years has had me drawn to it as much as the Moto X. I went to Best Buy at least half a dozen times to hold it, check out the colors and feel how well they implemented the stock experience. Motorola knocked it out of the park in almost every way with that phone considering it was their first device with the new stock feel.

    It finally felt like the cries of the users who really invest the time to get to know Android were heard, considered and then implemented. It’s a huge win for consumer choice for even the average user to get a great user experience from Android without having to root, flash etc.

    I’m sure Google had something to do with these changes, and I hope Motorola knows that us consumers really like what they’re doing. After dealing with my Galaxy S2 being supported by independent Cyanogenmod maintainers, I had all but sworn off any phone but a Nexus. Motorola’s Moto X variants will definitely be on my radar going forward, which is a drastic change from me usually waiting for what monster specced Samsung or LG product is going to hit in the coming months.

    My parents were recently inquiring about staying off contract but getting away from a junky dumb phone, and the Moto G was the first thing I thought of. Keep up the good work Motorola.

  • Franklin Ramsey

    I can’t wait to see what they release in 2014. I’m thinking they could incrementally update the X too a snapdragon 600 or 800, increase the battery a little and update the camera and they would be great. I don’t think they need to jump up to the snapdragon 805, or a more modern chip as they can keep the price point down and still give a beast of a phone.

    • John Legere

      Hopefully 5in+ and 1080p. At a price of $400 or less. And on Verizon. Then they have a good chance of being universally successful.

      • Kevin

        Hopefully not 1080p.

        • John Legere

          Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean everybody doesnt. It’s 2014. Might as well have it. It appeals to a larger market and people will stop buying galaxies and crap

          • Kevin

            You don’t think I like it? I like 1080p on my phone if it didn’t compromise the battery. Having 1080p on a 5 inch screen isn’t worth it at the cost of battery life.

          • John Legere

            My G2 says otherwise.

          • kg2128

            The snapdragon 800/600 and exynos octa dramatically improved power consumption compared to the past. Future cpus/gpus should improve that even more, efficiency is important to Samsung/Qualcomm/Nvidia even if power obviously is too. And 1080p has to be the standard in 2014, most of us aren’t willing to sacrifice and go back to 720p for some improved battery life. I don’t mind resolution for phones stopping at 1080p, but 720p is a little to 2011.

          • michael arazan

            Ina couple more years batteries ar going to be doing a lot more. The studies right now are showing that the newer forms, more like capacitors will hold 100 or 1000 times more power. They are gearing them up for electric cars right now, where most of the research is being funded for.

          • Dave

            They’ll have to blow people out of the water with something to put a dent in Samsung. Apple and Samsung account for just under 90% of global mobile sales.

          • Marjorie William

            my&nbspneighbor’s&nbspstep-aunt&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­κ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­82/հ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­r&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspl­­­­­­а­­­­­­р­­­­­­τ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­р.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspout&nbspof&nbspa&nbspј­­­­­օ­­­­­ƅ&nbspfor&nbspnine&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspincome&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­21396&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κing&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspl­­­­­­а­­­­­­р­­­­­­τ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­р&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­rs.&nbspRead&nbspmore&nbspon&nbspthis&nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮,
            … &nbspWW&#x57&#x2EGiftpresidentsDay2014washingtonget&#46&#x71r&#x2E&#110&#x65&#x74&#47&#109&#x57qZ&#47

            ❀❀❀❀ ❀❀❀꒶❀❀ ❀❀❀❀ ❀❀꒺❀❀ ❀❀❀Motorola is definitely headed in the right direction, and they will do great things as long as they stay on this track and maintain this mindset.

          • Philip J. Fry

            Nice tits

          • michael arazan

            Touchless controls and almost a vanilla android os blows samsung out of the water for me.

            If Samsung would just use stock android, and make all the added software into apps, they could update their os faster at No Cost to them.
            And if their apps are desirable they could sell them in app stores and make even more money off of them. Win, Win, Win

          • Render

            Samsung will kill a large portion of their marketshare by believing that Tizen is better than a google controlled Android…

          • MikeKorby

            Personally I will accept a 720p screen for greater battery life, and I’m a maxx owner.

        • David Narada Brown

          why not make a screen capable of 1080P but add an option in the device menu to toggle between 720P and 1080P? then u could opt for lower screen resolution to save battery, and 1080P to watch videos or do some reading! I think that would be the best. besides, us android folk love choices!

          “us android folk” yea im country as hell!

          • Render

            It would have to be a moto maker customization as having the option in software means you have the same number of pixels as a 1080p screen, and thus there is no benefit to only displaying 720p

          • Jason B

            Not displaying at the display’s native resolution is just a waste because you still have the physical pixels being lit by either a backlight or individually like AMOLED. So, even though you’re downgrading to 720p, you still have the same amount of pixels being used, just with less workable space because of the resolution. The main advantage would be for the SoC since the GPU wouldn’t have to work as hard displaying a lower resolution, so you could save some power there.

            The screen, however, would use the same amount of power at 1080p as it does at 720p because you can’t change its physical construction (amount of pixels). The OS will just scale the density to match the resolution

            This would be useful for games, however, as you could select a resolution that’s playable at 60fps.

          • David Narada Brown

            i thought amoled only lit up pixels it needed, i thought thats what made the moto screen notifications possible without using a ton of battery. it wouldnt be the same for this is what ur saying? guess thats why no one has done it.

          • Jason B

            So, you’d want 1080p to fill the screen and 720p to only use the necessary pixels (not fill the whole screen)? I was referring to toggling between 1080p/720p on the fly via a system option.

            I’d rather have 720p use the entire 1080p capable screen (overscanned and scaled accordingly).

          • David Narada Brown

            my idea wasnt well thought out, just an idea. your explanations show just how complicated this could be. thanks for not being an ass about it. i think i learned something!

      • guest

        $400 or less? only in your dreams LOL

      • Franklin Ramsey

        I’d be OK with 1080p if it doesn’t hurt the battery life, but I’m not sold on 5+ inches. I really like the size of my Gnex and I like the size of the current Moto X. I’m thinking a 5 inch screen could be OK, but I just don’t get bigger screens. If I need a bigger screen, I’ll grab my laptop or Nexus 7.

    • Neil Fujiwara

      I say find a way for the Droid Maxx batteries to the be standard. Improve the camera sensor, maybe ask the folks from Leica for help :-P. 1080P seems like the direction is going since the “flagship phones” will be rumored to be 2K. Keep the form factor the same for at least two generations.

    • Stnkycheezman

      Nobody wants a tablet from these guys? I would’ve loved to hear if they were developing anything on that front.

      • MikeKorby

        For now, there might still be the residual “bad taste” for many left over from the xoom and xyboard line.That said, this new motorola definitely has the potential to make the “x” of tablets, but I think they will focus first on rebuilding faith from their consumers in the smartphone realm. I could see as early as August for a premature release, or a practical one by early next year.

    • Render

      We might see a Moto X2, we might not…right now if I had to guess the brightest people inside Moto/Google are working on Project Ara, as that is where they can truly change the game in the smartphone industry and kill Samsung/Apple’s stranglehold on the smartphone market.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        Oh I can tell you there will be some follow up to the X2 and probably an X3 before we see Ara. Technology isn’t quite to the point where Ara can exist. They are trying to create standards for the interconnects between the modules, all the drivers for all the modules would have to be in the OS or a way to load them would have to be implemented, and other problems exist. Even at the main website for it, they say they are spending the next 6-12 months just getting people to help them try to figure out the direction Aria should take. http://www.dscout.com/ara Ara won’t be coming for at least 2 years, and that’s if they can move quickly and get Google and chip makers to help with the aspect of driver integration into Android (if they even use Android as the OS).

    • Kevin McLeod

      Delivering a “beast of a phone” has really dropped off my priority list. The experience on the moto x is exceptional. if you have a 250 HP engine moving 2,000 lbs and a 500 HP engine moving 4,000 pounds, what’s the difference? The 500 HP engine sounds cooler and guzzles more gas. Who cares?

      If we really got technical we could compare driftability to handling, etc, but let’s just accept the metaphor as it is.

      I think we should stop asking for the “beast” and start asking for the experience.

  • RoadsterHD1

    wheres the video