The Moto X has yet to arrive at its one-year birthday, but Motorola is on the move. Details about the next smartphone to come from Motorola are making their way across the Web. We here at Inferse want to give you the latest on what may turn out to be a more competitive smartphone this time around.
Second-generation Moto X to be called Moto X+1
Twitter leakster Evan Blass (@evleaks) is spot-on in the majority (if not all) of his leaks, so we take his word seriously. Back in April, the leakster noted on his Twitter wall that there would be a new Moto X, but it wouldn’t be called Moto X2 – instead, the name of the new Motorola device would be called “Moto X+1”: “Motorola Moto X+1: Coming Soon,” is what the message said. This is an interesting label indeed, because Motorola released an American Independence Day campaign ad in a number of popular national newspapers in the US that featured a guy jumping in an “X” fashion with a woman who appeared to pose in a position that appeared to be a “1.” Most people called the 2013 smartphone the “Moto X,” but it could be the case that the full title of last year’s smartphone was the Moto 1X or Moto X1 (if you believe Motorola wanted an algebraic label for its smartphone).
Moto X+1 will have leather back plate options
The following day, @evleaks returned with yet another tweet regarding the Moto X+1: “2013: wood::2014: leather,” it said. What this means is that the 2013 Moto X had a wood back option, but the 2014 may have an even more premium feel than last year’s Moto X. A leather option would certainly be welcome; while some criticize Samsung’s plastic back covers, there’s no denying that the Galaxy Note 3 with its faux leather is a nice smartphone to touch regularly.
One week later, @evleaks returned to Twitter to provide more information on the leather backplate options. He simply posted a list of options on his Twitter page. While the neutral, cool, and warm colors are not a surprise (neither are the wood options that currently exist), the “leather” options are. According to evleaks, there will be four leather options: black, red, gray, and blue.
If Motorola can take its MotoMaker software and give it to all four national carriers in the US (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) without making it an AT&T exclusive this year in the States, the Moto X+1 may build more American pride than ever before. MotoMaker was a “troublemaker” last year, sitting with only AT&T customers for two or three months before becoming available for the other three large national carriers in November. Even if the Moto X+1 promises customization, no smartphone (no matter how gorgeous) will sell if the customization isn’t accessible to all. Here’s to hoping that Motorola’s learned its lesson with the Moto X MotoMaker disaster.
Moto X+1 benchmark score sheet fills in the remaining details
So, we know about the leather options and the name – but what about the other specs and features? A recently leaked GFX Benchmark score sheet provides all the remaining answers for us. A device bearing the model number “XT912A” was said to feature a 5.2-inch, 1920 x 1080p display with a 2.3Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor as well as a 2MP front-facing camera and a 12MP back camera.
First, the device has a model number that matches the Moto X from 2013: the Moto X has a model number XT-1000 (last digits differ depending on carrier or lack thereof), and it’s not far-fetched to think that the XT912A is close enough to be the next Motorola device. Next, the device bears a 1920 x 1080p screen resolution, has a 2.3Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor – two features that are now the minimal requirement for a high-end smartphone. The Snapdragon 800 appears to be a bit behind the times, as many smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S5 have a Snapdragon 801 processor and many other smartphones will emerge with a Snapdragon 805 by year’s end. Last but not least, the back camera is a 12MP camera, and Motorola doesn’t yet have a 12MP camera available on any of its smartphones. The closest back camera we have is the 10.5MP camera on the Moto X. The 12MP camera appears to be a “bump” from the 10.5MP, so the idea that the 12MP camera is a feature of the Moto X successor makes sense.
The quad-core processor in the GFX Benchmark score is interesting in and of itself, and continues a discussion surrounding the Moto X line from 2013. In a defensive interview last year after the Moto X’s arrival, Motorola engineer Iqbal Arshad claimed that the Moto X was better in color reproduction than Samsung’s Galaxy S4 (with true RGB as opposed to Samsung’s Pentile AMOLED display) and was a new feat in technological innovation:
“I think people who are hard core about comparing specs simply don’t understand the design of the product.” When pressed about the dual-core processor in the Moto X (when a quad-core was more desirable) as well as the 720p viewing experience, Arshad had this to say: “We are not using last year’s Qualcomm processor. It’s this year’s processor. It is a dual-core processor, but the thing people have to understand is that in mobile devices, more CPUs don’t necessarily mean better or faster devices…We have come up with a new processing architecture that allows us to do things like touchless control without sacrificing battery power. For a Samsung or HTC device to offer the same kind of functionality would require three batteries, none of those other processors could do all the noise cancellation and offer the same level of intelligence and still be low power. What we’ve done with the Moto X hasn’t been done before. It’s the world’s first. And we think it will change the way people make phone calls and use their phones.”
Motorola’s Moto X may have had a dual-core processor with additional processors last year, but it seems as though Motorola’s changed its tune – if the above benchmark sheet is correct. It turns out that quad-core processors may not be as impressive as most consumers deem them to be, but social media protests regarding the Moto X’s 2012 specs, not to mention the phone’s disappointing sales have now reached the eyes and ears of the company. And Motorola’s finally listening.