The Moto X is here. Yes, Google and Motorola have finally unveiled their heavily-leaked new assault on the mid-range smartphone market - and while it's not up there with the Galaxy S4s and HTC Ones of this world in raw specs, it's a pretty intriguing device.
Unfortunately, not for us: the Moto X will not receive a launch in the UK, Google has confirmed.
And we can't help but be jealous. The phone has some seriously cool features that we'd love to see on this side of the pond.
- Customisation. And no, we don't just mean a choice of storage options. The phone is literally build-it-yourself, with a dedicated website allowing customers to choose the colour of their case, buttons and camera decals. There are apparently at least 504 combinations, with thousands more promised.
- Made In The USA. The Moto X is assembled in America - which might not seem like a huge deal to those of us in the UK, but given recent revelations about working conditions in some farther-afield factories it could be the start of an important shift. Let alone for the US economy.
- It's always listening. The Moto X can be used hands free - and that includes when the screen is technically turned off. If you say "Okay Google Now" the phone will light up and take your voice commands, or provide information about your waiting messages.
- It's cheap. The phone lacks the 41-megapixel camera or super-high res displays of some competitors, but will cost199 at launch, off-contract.
Here's what the tech press has made of it so far:
Engadget: "This is the first Moto product designed from scratch with Google's direct oversight. And it shows, from the packaging to the messaging to the features aimed at mainstream users. Most importantly of all, there's Moto X's standout feature: personalization."
The Verge: "A $199 phone with mid-range internals is a big bet... But Motorola’s betting that the future of Android isn't about spec sheets. The company thinks we'll stop being concerned with cores, and gigabytes, and megapixels, and that we'll start caring about how our phones feel, how they make our lives easier, and, maybe most importantly, how long they last."
Techcrunch: "It’s far, far too early to tell if Motorola has a hit on its hands — especially because the X will ultimately compete with Motorola phones with similar feature sets. If nothing else though, Motorola’s X represents a dedication to creating a smarter breed of smartphones, and I doubt that’s something the rest of the industry is going to ignore."
T3: "Sound too good to be true? Well sadly for UK Android fans it is as the Moto X will only be available in the US for the time being. Motorola have confirmed that there will be higher-specced handsets on the way featuring the new Google ethos so it's not all bad news."
Pocket-Lint: "The Moto x has a two-part shell construction that's curved, so it fits into the palm of your hand nicely, while the back feels cushy, rubberised and durable. Motorola said it thought a lot about the mass market when designing the Moto X and wanted it to appeal to everyone, and it sure does look enticing."