2013 was definitely a good year for a company that was at its peak a leader in the mobile industry before the rise of rivals like Nokia and Blackberry shoved it into oblivion and near extinction (a fate that those two would also undergo not long after). Thanks to Google, Motorola was able to bring to the market two affordable smartphones that emphasized the importance of cutting the spec hunger and instead focusing on purely function at a pocket-friendly price. That was the Moto X and later the Moto G. The two were joined much later by the Moto E and all three devices have gone on to cement Motorola as a force that can’t be ignored particularly in emerging markets like India and Brazil where the Moto G has outsold every other smartphone at its price. The Moto X didn’t do quite well in developed markets where the user base prefers better specced devices but it got positive reviews across all your go-to tech media channels and how it managed to work well despite mid-range specs is something only Motorola has been able to do as far as the big OEMs go. A year later, Motorola is looking to reignite that flame it lit last year with a new generation of mobile devices.
Last year’s Moto X focused primarily on getting the best user experience using mid-range specifications and it achieved just that. The design was on point as was the software. Infact, we were introduced to a whole new concept of customization that is not limited to just removable back plates thanks to Motorola’s MotoMaker program. As much as every reviewer loved the Moto X’s near-stock build of its Android OS, frequent and fast updates and other nifty add-ons like Active Display, Touchless Control (OK Google everywhere), Quick Capture in the camera app and others, there was always that question of the specs being mid-range. From a usability standpoint, that’s not an issue because the Moto X performed just fine. However, it’s always an issue when someone has something better than you even if not everyone will say it. You know what they say about measuring contests? Yeah, right.
There are notable upgrades to the hardware and a few on the software side. The Moto X now has an aluminium band all across the device (like the Galaxy Note 4) in place of the plastic that rocked last year’s model. The screen also got a bump in size. It grows from the hand-perfect 4.7 inch to a 5.2 inch display. Motorola also does away with the X8 custom architecture it had in the first generation X for a snappier Snapdragon 801 SoC that will take just about anything you throw at it.
Enough with that, see all the notable specifications below:
- Size & weight: 140.8×72.4×9.97 mm, 144 grams
- Display: 5.2 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels… 424 ppi) Super AMOLED
- Processor: Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.5 GHz and backed by an Adreno 330 GPU
- Memory: 2 GB RAM/ 16 or 32 GB internal storage
- Camera: 13 MP main camera with dual-LED flash/ 2 MP front-facing camera
- OS: Android 4.4.4
- Battery: 2300 mAh
- Others: Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi
The Moto G was Motorola’s hero device for a large number of users than Motorola anticipated. This is because thanks to the device’s low pricing and reasonable specs, it was able to capture the attention of buyers in emerging markets like in India, Mexico and Brazil. I’m still wondering why Motorola has never bothered to bring this device to Africa where the likes of Tecno have been on a roll in countries like Kenya and Nigeria with their low cost Android devices. Hopefully the arrival of Android One based smartphones later this month in India and other targeted countries will convince Motorola to finally find new markets for its budget devices. New owner Lenovo has quite a foothold in Africa and we expect Moto will follow suit.
- Size & weight: 141.5×70.7×10.99mm, 149grams
- Processor: 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core, Adreno 305 GPU
- Display: 5-inch HD (1280 x 720 pixels… 294 ppi)
- Memory: 1 GB RAM/ 8 or 16 GB internal storage (expandable via microSD upto 32 GB in the 4G LTE variant)
- Camera: 8 MP main camera with LED flash/ 2 MP front-facing camera
- OS: Android 4.4.4
- Battery: 2070 mAh
- Others: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G, microUSB 2.0
This is the first round Android Wear smartwatch to be unveiled. Though it has only made cameo appearances in the past, a development that has seen LG outsmart Motorola to avail to the market a round smartwatch first, the Moto 360 is finally going on sale. You’ll now be able to get one. For $250 (more expensive than the Moto G). For many, it is the smartwatch that was worth waiting for. Whether it will be able to steal the thunder from Samsung’s extensive Gear smartwatch lineup is something we’ll have to wait and see (hint: it won’t).
The Moto 360 has a 1.56-inch (320 x 290 pixels) display, 512MB RAM, a 320 mAh, 4GB internal storage and is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 chip.
It’s an earable. Well, there’s nothing like that but you get the point. It’s a wearable for your ears. If you want a better understanding of it, just imagine it as an earphone (a wireless one for that matter) that has extended capabilities. It pairs with a smartphone and from then on will listen for voice commands from the user. You can use it as a speaker and a microphone. This is something that traditional earbuds do but the major difference is that the Moto Hint won’t be just limited to being used as a microphone when receiving or making calls. It’s always listening. It is the Moto X’s Touchless Control feature brought to your ear!