When people talk about rumors and you know the truth, it’s hard to keep your mouth shut. But that’s exactly what I had to do for the past 3 weeks having signed a non-disclosure agreement with Motorola and Google on the new Moto X phone. Yesterday, the embargo has been lifted and I can now share what I know.
Android forums and various websites were speculating early in July that Motorola and Google will be releasing their newest phone (the first Motorola phone since Google has acquired the company) on July 11 given rumors of a secret meeting with Guy Kawasaki and his friends at the Google HQ.
Well, that’s not exactly true. Read below for what is true about the event and the Moto X.
I had the opportunity to visit the Google Headquarters and personally meet Guy Kawasaki, a few Motorola executives and engineers (we called them “geniuses”), some celebrity guests (Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican!) and some fellow bloggers. I was exaggeratedly excited about it all because I got to enter a Google building and I met some really awesome people!
Upon entering the area for the event, we saw this amazing staircase with the guests’ names scrolling on them. You’ll see my name on the 3rd blue step (from either the top or the bottom). It was too amazing that I didn’t even think about taking a snapshot of it! So thanks to TerriAnn of Cookies and Clogs for this photo.
The event started with some cocktails and lots of chitchat with Guy Kawasaki (adviser to Motorola), Rick Osterloh (Motorola’s VP of Product) and some Motorola engineers and directors. We were then ushered into a small room with this amazing audio-visual equipment where the presentation is projected on 3 sides of the room giving you a 180 degree view.
Guy did a welcome talk, gave a brief overview of the Moto X, and introduced Rick, who did the Moto X presentation. Then we all had a chance to get our hands on some demo units so we can try it for ourselves.
There are a lot of amazing things about the Moto X and it boils down to 3 main points — it’s responsive, it gives the user the Google experience, and it’s personal. Here are 7 things I love about it!
1. Touchless Control. Just say “Ok Google Now” and it will do what you ask — unlike the iPhone where you need to take it from your pocket, unlock it and activate Siri (which I never really use because it’s not very accurate). The Moto X’s accuracy is very impressive. Check out Marques Brownlee’s video towards the end of this post so you can see it in action!
2. Voice Recognition. You might ask, can anyone just use my phone as long as they say “Ok Google Now”? Nope. You will need to configure the phone with a 3-step training process so that it recognizes your voice. It has auto-cancellation of noise so it can filter your voice. Cool huh?
3. Active Display. Did you know that people turn their phones about 60 times per day? And a lot of those times, the only thing they do is check the time or their notifications. To check the time on your current phone, you’ll need to “wake” it up, and to check your notifications, you’ll most likely need to unlock it especially if the notification exceeds the maximum characters in your lock screen. With Moto X, the time will be shown even when it’s on “sleep” mode, and to check your notifications, just long press at the center of the screen and you’ll see them all. It only lights up the areas of the screen needed to show the time and notification so that it doesn’t drain out your battery.
4. Quick Capture. Need to get a snapshot right away? Simply take the Moto X out of your pocket and give it a little twist. Voila! The camera is activated! No more missed moments!
5. SKIP. You can wake up the Moto X without needing a password if it senses an authenticated or trusted device (like the SKIP and a Bluetooth device).
6. Hardware Design. I think the Moto X is a wee bit bigger than my iPhone 5 but the display screen is a lot bigger. It has a 4.7″ display that goes almost to the edges due to very little bezel. The curved back makes it comfortable for users when holding it.
7. Personalization! Using the Moto Maker, you can choose the color of the back, the front, the accent and the signature! You can also choose other accessories like speakers, headphones, and cases if you wish!
My reaction while all the features were being discussed: “Wooooow… This makes my iPhone 5 look like trash…” I’m a big Apple fan but I love being able to try out and experience other gadgets too. The Moto X just has so many features that aren’t in my iPhone that it makes me want it RIGHT NOW!
I remember telling the Motorola engineers before the presentation started that I’ll be looking for features that will be unique to the Moto X — things that other phones aren’t offering, and things that can make my life as a mom easier. And those 7 things I mentioned above were what I was waiting for. Then again, I’ll have to actually use it everyday so I can really assess its performance. I’ll update you with my experience with my own Moto X in a month or two.
The Moto X can be purchased for $199 (16GB) with a 2-year contract and will be available on the 4 major carriers in the US by the end of August.
I encourage you to watch this awesome video by Marques Brownlee. He explains everything so well!
Oh and since it’s my first time at the Google HQ, I just had to take photos as we ended the night! Thanks to my dear friend Icar of My Charmed Mom and her family for giving me a mini-tour of “Google Land”!
What do you think about the Moto X phone?
Check out more event and phone photos in Robert Scoble’s Google Plus album.
*I was invited to the private event at the Google HQ in Mountain View, CA and will receive my own Moto X phone. No other compensation was received for this post.