It’s high time Motorola stepped up its game and stopped catering merely to cash-strapped audiences or power users on Verizon. That’s not only our view, and everyone else’s in love with the company’s unique designs, dedication to customization or stock, clean as a whistle Android.
Lenovo’s big cats, including CEO Yang Yuanqing himself, have recently made a point of getting that exact message across, teasing a number of “exciting” future Moto launches. Of course, one of those will likely be the second-generation 360 smartwatch, and for many, a new Moto G phone with a similarly low price as last year’s version, but higher-end specs would definitely qualify as exciting.
At the end of the day though, the most thrilling 2015 addition to the American-based yet China-owned product roster should be a sequel to the 2014 Moto X. Ideally, accompanied by global Droid Turbo and/or Ultra follow-ups. Alas, that latter part is a stretch.
Fortunately, a premium third-gen X feels extremely feasible, on the back of a steady stream of fantasy-stimulating leaks and rumors. Here’s a quick roundup of all the inside information purportedly revealed, as well as hunch-reliant confidence ratings:
Late summer announcement
The OG Moto X, available in a developer factory unlocked GSM edition on Amazon at $299.99, went official in August 2013 and hit (some) stores the same month. More than a year later, a vastly improved 5.2 incher went on sale, now going for $399.99 and up.
A logical sequence of events would call for a September or maybe October X+2 unveil/commercial rollout, especially since the second-gen was far less of a dud than its predecessor. Only new management has new, bolder goals, and they likely require speedier development, swifter turnouts and wider spreads. Hence, we feel like August is the most plausible ETA. July is also possible, but we’ll grade the final month of summer with 7 confidence points out of 10.
Revamped design; but how so?
There’s probably no reason to go nuts with aesthetical changes, despite both Samsung and LG having drastically renovated their flagships recently. People love metal, but they also dig wood and leather… and choice, so perhaps more options would be better.
How about an all-aluminum Moto X 2015 variant and a few plastic models with swappable back covers? One can certainly dream, though lacking any substantial visual evidence makes us rate our (semi-) educated guesses a four. Five, tops.
Snapdragon 810? Red alert
Look, we have nothing personal against Qualcomm (though we’d have liked it if they didn’t monopolize mobile chip supply), but when you mess up, you mess up and you won’t get a free pass from us just because you knocked it out of the park so many times before.
Ah, the good old days of fast and furious yet cucumber cool Snapdragon 800, 801 and 805. Now, it’s S808’s moment in the spotlight, like it or not, with system stability a bigger focus than scorching raw speed. 7 confidence points for Snapdragon 808.
Also, 6 for 3 GB RAM and 4 for 4. Not only as it sounds fitting, but because Asus hasn’t managed to convince us phones need so much random-access memory. For what, simultaneously playing Angry Birds, Temple Run and Cut the Rope?
Quad HD overkill? So what?
Unlike 4 gigs of RAM, mobile consumers have started warming up to tiny, pixel-packed 2,560 x 1,440 screens. And since Motorola Lenovo will probably go with a sizable 5.2-inch piece of AMOLED glass here, there’s almost no alternative to 2K resolution.
No more crappy cameras
Quick, what’s your number one gripe with the first two Moto X editions? Well, sure, lack of software support as far as the original is concerned, but next up, we bet it’s underwhelming photography prowess.
It’s embarrassing how far behind the S6 or LG G4 the 13 MP rear shooter on the X2 is, but luckily, a more than welcomed upgrade to 16 megapixels is being cooked up in addition to OIS inclusion and dual-LED flash enhancements. Also, you’ll get 5 MP for selfies. Trust us on that, we’re 90 percent certain of the cam improvements.
Give them the finger
So, HTC squarely treats its Chinese fans to biometric authentication functions, LG acts like they’re not a thing, and Samsung almost never mentions Galaxy S6’s fingerprint sensor in promotional materials. Tough one to predict, so let’s say there’s a 50 – 50 chance Motorola will integrate a fingerprint recognition solution somewhere underneath the 16 MP camera, possibly as part of the Batman-like M logo.
Iris, retina or any other kind of eye identification? You can file that under too soon to support technologies, next to reversible and universal USB Type-C connectivity. They’re simply not ready for mobile primetime yet. Iris recognition, definitely not, USB C, probably not. Let’s give the latter a 4 trust level, so as not to shatter all your sweet fantasies. It’s not impossible, it’s just unlikely.
Turbo-like energy? In your dreams
Camera notwithstanding, we’ll bet second-gen Moto X proprietors are peeved most by below-average autonomy. With a skinny 2,300 mAh cell backing a Snapdragon 801/FHD system, what do you expect? Once again, Lenovo has its sights set on big revisions, albeit X3’s ticker will still fall short of Droid Turbo endurance figures.
At roughly 3,300 mAh capacity, rumor has it, you should get a nice couple of work days’ worth of continuous life. Particularly if Android 5.1 Lollipop smooths out the UI, which will 100 percent be the case.
Any bad news to wrap up the Motorola Moto X 2015 preview and keep your feet firm on the ground? Sadly, microSD storage expansion capabilities and a user-removable battery remain hundred-to-one shots. More like ten-to-one, but you get the picture.