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Motorola Moto X Review Roundup

A lot of (virtual) ink is currently being spilled by the online media in regards to the Motorola Moto X, the newly unveiled smartphone that some consider to be the start of a new era for Android, while others, and I quote, “the underwhelming cure that Apple may have been looking for”.

moto-x-front

As usual, I like to take the cautious route when talking about a device that I’ve yet to handle or personally make the acquaintance of. In theory, I don’t think the Moto X has what it takes to challenge the Android big guys of today and tomorrow.

But just to be on the safe side and make sure I come off as objective as I’d like, I’ll give the floor to people who’ve actually gotten to test the thing out. Namely, people from reputable online publications such as Engadget, CNet or The Verge.

They’ve thoroughly reviewed the Moto X, and, because I know very well time is of the essence for most of you, here are their conclusions and impressions in short:

Engadget

The good:

  • Stellar battery life (over 11 hours of continuous use in video reproduction test and probably more than 24 hours in real-life);
  • Silky smooth software, sans a lot of pre-loaded junk, but with plenty of killer Android features like Active Display;
  • Excellently optimized hardware to take advantage of software features such as Active Display, Quick Capture or Touchless Control;
  • Solid overall performance, in spite of the custom processor’s running of just two cores (18,000 AnTuTu score, close to 9,000 points in Quadrant, roughly 2,500 in Vellamo).

moto_x_software

The bad:

  • Price is too damn high ($200 with two-year contracts);
  • Moto Maker restricted only to AT&T version for starters;
  • Obvious speed disadvantage compared with similarly priced phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S4 or the HTC One, not to mention the expected oomph of the upcoming LG G2 or Galaxy Note 3.

Motorola_Moto_X_colors

Bottom line: “It’s the smartest smart object” around, but it can’t compete with devices rocking higher-res displays and faster processors. Not when it doesn’t offer customization options to all its potential buyers.

Cnet

Pros:

  • Well-crafted design, with softly rounded curves, Kevlar backing and a screen that’s decently sized, but not colossal;
  • Surprisingly capable 10 MP rear camera, both indoor and outdoor, in direct sunlight or in more challenging lighting conditions;
  • Close to stock Jelly Bean interface, but with neat added goodies like voice command capabilities;
  • Endless variety of customized designs;
  • Solid battery life: 10 hours and 9 minutes of continuous use when playing HD movies (more than the HTC One and just 20 minutes less than the Galaxy S4).

Moto-X-camera

Cons:

  • Fast enough for a dual-core device, but not screaming fast: 8,500 points in Quadrant, roughly 3,500 less than the HTC One and down almost 3,000 points compared with the GS4;
  • No expandable storage;
  • The 720p OLED display, while crisp and vivid, is not as sharp as Full HD screens used by Samsung or HTC on their latest flagships.

MotoX

Verdict: It’s a definite contender, especially in respect to design, battery and software, but it’s obviously short of perfection.

The Verge

Strong points:

  • Moto X’s build quality is great, despite not rocking a metal chassis, and is as good-looking as it is comfortable to hold and use;
  • It’s one of the first ever “clean” Android devices that will hit all major US carriers in that form;
  • Aside from being pure and neat, the software includes enough exclusive features and functions to make the users feel special for choosing it;
  • Day to day performance in gaming, multimedia or browsing shouldn’t be a problem, in spite of the using of mostly mid-range specs;
  • It ran for more than 7 hours on a single charge in the website’s traditional battery test, which puts it clearly ahead of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 and it also lasted 15 hours of heavy real-life use.

Moto-X-marketing

Weak points:

  • A middling 720p screen with over-saturated colors makes the Moto X look far from premium in this particular department.
  • Despite being zippy and delivering crisp pics in no time, the phone’s “Clear Pixel” shooter suffers from severe post-processing issues;
  • It feels underwhelming compared with direct opponents in its price range, lacking a certain “wow” factor.

motorola-x8

Bottom line: “It’s not a perfect phone, but it’s pretty damn good”. The design and customization are what really make it stand out from the crowd, though they still don’t make it any better than the GS4 or HTC One.

SlashGear

The good:

  • It’s sturdy, solid and, while it doesn’t breath elegance from each pore, it sits somewhere in the middle of the whole “metal or plastic” controversy, with build materials that don’t feel cheap in any way;
  • More hand-friendly than the norm in terms of size;
  • Runs almost pure Android, but it’s the “thoughtful” tweaks and special features that actually make it better;
  •  The battery lasted for over 21 hours of “typical use”.

moto-x-wood

The bad:

  • The camera, while overall pretty capable, has a couple of subtle flaws;
  • It’s pricey;
  • The speaker is often loud and suffers from distortions.

Moto Maker

Verdict: The Moto X “deserves a chance to convince”, being in almost every way as impressive as its rivals, even if on paper that may not seem the case.

Final wrap-up

Four reviews are hardly enough to convince me the Moto X is this way or that way, worth its money or not, but a few things seem clear-cut nevertheless.

moto-x

A. The battery life is stellar, B. The Moto X sports an award-winning design, even sans all the color options and so on, and C. If it would get a price cut tomorrow, it should skyrocket to the top of each and every one of your shopping lists. The rest is still up for discussion.

Motorola Moto X – A New Kind of Flagship Device or a Colossal Flop?

We were warned. Ever since the rumor bonanza began or at least pretty close to its start, numerous trustworthy “insiders” told us Motorola had “something else” in mind for the Moto X. The X was not going to be a high-end device, a spec-buster in the true sense of the word, but rather an upper mid-ranger with a different personality.

motorola-moto-x

And that’s exactly what we received yesterday. A smallish phone (by high-end standards), with a dual-core processor (modified and optimized, but still dual-core), “just” a 720p display and a battery and camera that, on paper, don’t look like much.

But also a device that strikes all the right cords in the connectivity department, that runs almost stock Android, with only a few tweaks that actually add value for a change, and a device that’s highly customizable.

Again, we were warned not to expect customizable hardware, so on that note being able to practically design your own phone, choose from a very wide palette of colors and accessories and so on and so forth is a huge step up compared with most other premium Android smartphones, which, between you and I, look too much alike.

Moto-X-2

With all that in mind, emphasizing it’s way too early to fully evaluate X’s real potential and purely on a theoretical premise, does the phone have what it takes to become a blockbuster or will it be forgotten in just a few months? Let’s weigh in its pros and cons, shall we?

The Moto X is a winner because:

  • It’s different

Different is not always better. For instance, the Moto X packs a “different” processor than its competitors, which, according to pre-release benchmarks, is not as zippy. But on the whole, this baby has the potential to stand out like no other.

moto-x-front

It has pizzazz, it’s slim, elegant but also robust and it should provide a unique user experience. Sure, right now that doesn’t mean a lot, being something that Motorola uses in its ad campaigns to boost the hype. But what if it’s true? What if everything is really tailor-made to fit the needs of actual users?

No more quad-core this, Full HD that, but instead a CPU whose speed you can feel, a warm and crisp display and a solid battery. Wouldn’t that be something?

  • MotoMaker

Since I’ve already mentioned this, I’m not going to insist too much on it. MotoMaker is the tool that you’ll use to make the Moto X your own. The combinations of colors, build materials and accessories are practically endless and Motorola promises to continuously add new ones in the near future. Do I really need to tell you why that’s so cool and why it makes the new phone special? I don’t think so.

Motorola_Moto_X

  • The specs are not bad

There were many people that went for Moto X’s throat moments after its unveiling, saying it’s not a heavyweight contender based on its specs and features. And it’s not. But, gosh darn it, it’s not an entry-level gizmo either.

The rear snapper is equipped with a more than decent 10 MP sensor and something called Clear Pixel technology that brings a lot of goodies to the table (more details here). The 4.7-inch display boasts a still winning 1,280 x 720 pixels resolution.

MotoX-camera

The battery is 2,200 mAh and should be able to run for a whopping 13 hours of talk time between charges. You get 2 GB of RAM, 4G LTE and NFC. And are you honestly telling me that’s not enough? Then you must be out of your mind.

The Moto X is a loser because:

  • It’s expensive

No, I’m not suffering from short-term memory loss. And I know I just said Moto X’s specs are or should be enough for any mobile user in their right minds. But at the same time, asking $200 with contracts for something that’s not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One on paper is not right. Period.

moto-x-wood

And yeah, I get it, all those different customization options probably cost a penny or two, but what if I just want a plain, regular black Moto X? Shouldn’t I get some sort of a discount?

  • AT&T

If preposterously pricing the X at $200 with contracts and $575 sans pacts wasn’t enough to fill you with rage, Motorola also announced the MotoMaker was going to be made available exclusively to AT&T… at first.

Again, I get it that Moto probably has some debts to pay off to AT&T after so many years of favoring Verizon, but don’t you find it ironic (I’m trying hard to not say moronic) that, with all this marketing talk of freedom, people won’t really be free to get their Moto X as they want it?

Moto Maker

And yes, the customization tool will likely hit Verizon, Sprint and all the others in a month or two, but it may already be too late at that point. Why? Because:

  • It comes at an inopportune time

Samsung Galaxy Note 3. LG G2. Sony Xperia Honami. Apple iPhone 5S and 5C (or 6 and 5S). Maybe even Nexus 5. Those are all names of smartphones set to see daylight in 30 or 60 days from now, max. And, as much as we’d like to give Moto X’s “unique user experience” a real shot, it’s unlikely to be enough to overshadow that entire army.

LG G2

I mean, come on, the Note 3 will come with S Pen support, a 5.7-inch Full HD screen and 3 GB of RAM. Then there’s the G2, with a unique design of its own and equally as impressive specs. And what about the Honami, which rumor has it will pack a 20 MP camera in addition to a 1,080p panel and Snapdragon 800 processor?

I’m sorry, Motorola, but it’s not looking like the X will stand the test of time.  

Some Moto X Specs Revealed

moto x  launch date

Fresh off the news that Motorola will reveal the Moto X on August 1st, The Verge has found a source with details on the specs. According to them, their source used a CDMA variant, which means it will be out for either Verizon, Sprint, or both, including the rumored GSM versions for AT&T and T-Mobile.

Apparently the Moto X will have a 4.5″ display running on top of 2 GB of RAM, and a dual-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon MSM8960T processor (a Snapdragon 400 Adreno 320).

It will also have a 1500 mAh battery, which is really low for a smartphone, even with all the optimizations it’ll be getting. And the back of the phone, which will be made out of Kevlar, will be removable, either for the customizable backs, a battery, or both.

Since Android 4.3 isn’t out (yet), The Verge claims that the Moto X will come with Android 4.2.2. The “always-on” listening mode (seen in a now-pulled video by Rogers in Canada) will be turned off by default for privacy concerns, but you’ll be able to turn it on and even train Google Now to respond to your voice.

The wrist-flicking feature (also seen in the pulled Rogers video) will also be onboard and the camera will have an “auto HDR” mode.

Finally, similar to the Galaxy S4, when you pick up your Moto X, you’ll be able to see a summary of the notifications you missed along with the current time.

August 1st is a little less than two weeks away (at the time of writing), so we don’t have long to officially see the device.

Source: The Verge

Moto X to be Unveiled August 1st in New York

Finally, after weeks of rumors, leaks and speculation, Google has revealed that the Motorola ‘Moto’ X phone that promises to change the smartphone market forever will be unveiled on August 1st in New York.  Mark your calendars and set reminders people, this is just 12 days away!  This will be a few days after Google’s expected launch of the refreshed new Nexus 7 tablet on July 24th.

moto x  launch date

Motorola’s next flagship smartphone and Google’s project got an official teaser by Motorola reading: moto X August 1 New York and a link to RSVP.  It further says ‘Come experience the new Motorola’ clearing the many rumors and speculations on when the phone, which has been dominating the rumor pages of blogs worldwide, will be coming.

We have covered a lot about the Moto X.  We know it is going to be different and will bring one or many new things to the smartphone industry.  This much anticipated device is the first built by Motorola under Google’s watch and because we know how Google often brings new stuff and aspires to be different, it is with a good reason that everyone has eyes on the launch.

We expect that the main focus will be Moto X’s customization features including the option to choose the rear cover color.  During launch, the fact that Moto X was wholly created and finish in the US, proof of which appeared on Motorola’s assembly plant in Texas, will be another point of focus by the two companies.

Besides the confirmation of the date that the Moto X will be coming to Cellular, you should also be happy to know that the phone will be available on all carriers and the unlocked version will also be on sale in many places.  It is largely expected that the off-contract and unlocked price of the phone is expected to be as little as $199.  Rumor also has it that the Moto X will be launching with Android 4.3 out-of-the-box.

 

Source: The Verge

Motorola X, Droid Razr Ultra, Maxx and Mini: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Guess who’s back, back again? Moto’s back, tell a friend. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. On a more serious note though, Motorola does appear to be back in business.

motorola-logo

The business of making smartphones, that is. And specifically, the business of making smartphones like no other OEM. True, that hasn’t always been a good thing, with the company’s recent financial woes standing as a witness.

But ultimately, how can you not root for the inventors of the iconic “Droid” term and the impressive (at the time) first members of the family? Not to mention the makers of the Maxx devices, one of the few that have focused on battery life at least as much as on cute designs or raw power?

Motorola

Still, a glorious past can’t guarantee a bright and prosperous future, which is why you can say Motorola’s fate depends on one thing and one thing only – upcoming product launches. Namely, the releases of the legendary by now Moto X, plus the rumored new trio of Droid Razr phones.

The four are just about confirmed, but at the same time remain awfully secretive for gadgets that are likely one month (or less) away from their formal intros. That said and without further ado, here’s everything we know about them:

Moto X rumor roundup

Right off the bat, every report, tip and leak revealed in the past months has emphasized one thing: the Moto X (or Google X Phone, as it was previously codenamed) will not be a high-end device. Therefore, it will not directly fight the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z Ultra and so on and so forth.

Moto X-2

Instead, what Motorola is trying to do with the X is offer a budget alternative for tech-savvy folks that simply can’t afford to pay the piper on one of the above mentioned “monsters”, but still want a solid, premium (-ish) user experience.

And that actually brings us to what we think will be the main focus of Motorola’s future marketing efforts – experience. Not specs, not numbers, not cold facts, not hardware, but subjective user experience.

Sounds like a tough sell, I know, but that’s where that whopping budget should kick in, trying to make people understand that, through software optimizations and wise design choices, the X will feel like no phone released before. It will be easy to hold, smooth as butter, elegant, filled with sensors that you actually need and void of the bloatware that makes UIs like HTC’s Sense so annoying.

Moto X

That doesn’t mean Moto X’s specs will not be in any way important or will put this at the bottom of the Android food chain. Not at all, as rumor has it the phone will come with a 720p display (probably a 4.7-incher), dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, 10 MP rear camera, 4G LTE speeds and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean in tow.

Now, can you imagine all that in a customizable, slim and sleek package costing a mere $300… outright? And can you really tell me you’ll give a damn it’s not quad-core, Full HD or doesn’t pack a 13 MP camera at that point? I didn’t think so.

Droid Razr Ultra

Okay, spec junkies, this one’s for you. Initially thought to be a budget-conscious mid-ranger too, the Ultra is now believed to go head to head with all the Android giants in terms of cold numbers.

Rumor has it the thing will be a 5-incher with Full HD screen, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and 2 GB of RAM. A 10 MP rear camera is also in the mix, though that doesn’t sound so spectacular, to be frank.

Droid-Ultra

Then again, the design looks like a winner to me, being reminiscent of old Razr phones, but at the same time a very clear step towards the future. You will get Kevlar backing and a solid overall exterior, plus a fairly slim profile.

Most likely to be unveiled on August 8 alongside its “cousins” (to be detailed below), the Razr Ultra might land in Europe besides America, of course sans the “Droid” branding.

New Droid Razr Maxx

Just like last year, Motorola is tipped to unveil two high-end phones, one “regular” and one with extra battery juice. Given the 2012 Razr Maxx was a 4.3-incher with a ginormous 3,300 mAh battery, we can’t even begin to imagine what kind of ticker the 5-inch follow-up might pack.

Droid_Maxx

4,000 mAh? 4,500 mAh? 5,000? Nah, that’s just crazy. Or is it? Anyways, aside from the battery bump (and the added heft that will go with it), chances are the Ultra and Maxx will rock the exact same specs.

Droid Razr Mini

What, you didn’t really think Motorola was going to pass the booming “Mini” market niche, did you? Of course not. Unfortunately, we don’t know very much about this Razr Mini, other than it will probably sport a 4.3-inch screen.

Droid Mini Ultra Maxx

That would put it on par with Samsung’s GS4 Mini and HTC’s One Mini in terms of size, so we could be seeing quite a brawl between the three for a big piece of the mid-sized, mid-range phone pie.

In the words of the great Porky Pig, that’s all folks, but it’s also only the beginning. What do you guys think, will we be saying hello again to Moto following the releases of these four phones or a soapy farewell?

Motorola hello again

Could the Moto X change how we view the “spec war”? Will the Razr Ultra, Maxx and Mini be able to take on Samsung and HTC’s big players? Let us know down below.

Motorola Denies Rumored Moto X July 11 Event

A couple of hours ago, many blogs and websites reported that Google and Motorola had booked an event for July 11th and enthusiasts and ‘experts’ quickly went ahead to predict that Motorola, owned by Google, was going to finally unveil the much anticipated Motorola X Phone.  Rumors of the Moto X have been dominating the communications industry on the internet over the past two or so weeks but unfortunately, Motorola did not book any event for the 11th of July as many blogs reported.  although the Moto X has been listed as ‘Coming soon’ and its teaser has already been posted on Motorola’s website, the unveiling date is still a mystery.  The latest rumor that Motorola had a private press event scheduled for July 11th is false.

Motorola X

Shortly after Motorola launched a teaser page that confirmed the coming of the Moto X last week, a product page that displayed Motorola’s new Logo went live, combining the ‘X’ and ‘I’ which most interpreted to be roman numerals ‘X’ and ‘I’ adding up to 11, hence the 11th date of this month.  After blogger Leo Laporte confirmed that there would be a private event exclusively for about 50 press members to be held on the 11th of July, the rumor got stirred up and many a number of bloggers concluded that Motorola would be unveiling the ‘Mother of all customized smartphones’ Moto X on July 11th.  Leo said on TWiT yesterday (Monday) that Motorola emailed him with the details of what to expect from the Motorola event, along with a non-disclosure agreement that he had to honor, hence he could not disclose what the contents of the email.

This was the day Motorola fans expected to see the actual specs and features of the Motorola X.  as it turns out, 11th of July is the day Guy Kawasaki, a Motorola employee formerly an Apple evangelist, is ‘having a private gathering of friends’ and there will be no official launching of any Motorola products.

There are many rumors revolving around Motorola X but unfortunately, there seems to be no date set for official announcements as of now.  We expect that the launch of this mysterious smartphone will be a big event and we will definitely know in advance, so keep checking back here and we will update you on any new developments or rumors we come across.  For now, just know that the Motorola X Phone will not be launching on July 11th and Motorola will not be hosting any official events on the date.

Courtesy: Ubergizmo

Motorola X Front Fascia Leak Reveals More Features

Details of Motorola’s next smartphone have been leaking, one spec at a time, for weeks now.  Earlier today, we learnt that the phone will be launched in Canada ‘soon’ and will be carried exclusively by Rogers and while almost everything important about the phone is still a mystery, we now know that it indeed is fully ‘customizable’ as Google promised it would be.  A few images of the phone’s front fascia, which for most phones is not removable, leaked today alongside the rear cover which was in different colors.

Motorola X Front Fascia

Rumors that the phone will be highly customizable in that the user can get to choose exactly what they want.  The phone also boasts of it being ‘Made in the USA’, probably to appeal to the many patriotic buyers who feel that almost everything in their home is made in China.  We also learnt earlier this week that the Motorola X will offer a wide variety of customized engravings, a special color trim and 16 pastel colored panels.  What is unclear now though is whether the leaked front fascia images mean that users can also buy different colors of the front fascia at will and change when they need to or the panel is part of the phone.  With modern touchscreen phones, it seems impossible to have a phone with an interchangeable front fascia.

The leaked images show the front fascia in two colors – black and white – both with the new Motorola logo.  There haven’t been any reliable leaks or rumors regarding other specs of the Motorola X Phone but speculators reckon it will have a dual-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC – which is just slightly faster than the processor the US version of Samsung Galaxy S3 came with and 1 GB RAM.  The images show that the phone will most likely have a 4.7 inch full HD display and a very thin bezel.

We will update you on any new specs of this new phone as soon as we hear anything.

 Source: GGames

Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 7-2, HTC One Max, LG G2: The Best Is Yet to Come for Android in 2013

Don’t look at your calendars now, but we’re halfway through 2013 already. That means we’re officially in the year’s second half or third quarter. Q3 is notoriously slow for most technology top dogs, but then as the holiday season closes in, everyone gets out its big guns.

android_world

You might wonder by now, if you’re into Android as much as we are, what could the big kahunas of the industry have up their sleeves going forward to make us forget about the great achievements of H1 2013. The truth is you can’t even begin to imagine!

The Android army got more than a few worthy recruits from January to July, including Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and LG Optimus G Pro. But that can’t compare with the troops set to be deployed in the near future. Several sizzling hot gadgets will duke it out for the rank of general and, because we want you to be prepared for war, we’ve rounded up some of the usual suspects:

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

With roughly two months to go until the Note 3 will see daylight, there’s only one certainty about it – it’s going to be big. Literally, but also figuratively. Unlike the Note 2 though, it will have much stronger competition in the “phablet” arena (see below), so Samsung needs to bring its A game to make it the kind of box-office hit its predecessor has been and the GS4 is right now.

galaxy_note_3

Based on existing rumors, that’s likely to happen, although there are reasons for concern tied up mostly to the design department. Sammy doesn’t even want to consider ditching plastic, which might cost the Koreans dearly.

HTC One Max

If Samsung fails, HTC can pick up the pieces and get back in the spotlight. The company’s One has already given the GS4 a run for its money in many ways, but it’s the One Max that will show once and for all if the Taiwanese are to stay in the elite.

HTC-One-Max

Also known as the T6, this thing is far from confirmed, but chances are it’ll become official at around the same time as the Note 3 and should score big points exactly where we’re expecting the Note to fail – design, robustness, build quality.

And with a snazzy Snapdragon 800 processor, plus an ultra-crisp 6-inch Full HD screen, it could be just what most Android aficionados need.

LG G2

Riding Nexus 4’s success wave and following up on that hit has proven a little tricky for LG, but, if you ask me, the Optimus G Pro is the most underrated Android gem of 2013’s first half. What’s next? An Optimus G2, only it won’t be called that way and instead be shortened to just G2.

LG-G2

Not really important, what is important is LG is rumored to be experimenting with several design innovations, including the placing of all physical buttons on the device’s back. That would allow the front part to be almost entirely screen, which I know will instantly make some of you drool.

The big question is if LG is ready to compete with Samsung or HTC in the marketing area as well.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Honami

Unlike the competition, Sony still has two flagship devices to launch in 2013, one that’s been formally introduced already and another that should become official in a matter of days. The duo intends to cover both the “phablet” and “regularly sized phone” niches, but Sony’s big problem remains its shady reputation in the West.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Well, not so much reputation as ties with the carrier community. The Xperia Z is not available on any of America’s biggest networks, so what Sony needs to do first is make sure the Z Ultra and/or Honami will be easy to score for the everyday user.

Second-generation Nexus 7

Android tablets in general don’t have a great reputation and are mostly viewed as cheap and clunky alternatives to Apple’s iPads. That’s save for the Nexus 7, of course, a slate that’s cheap but doesn’t look it.

Nexus 7-2

And the Nexus 7-2, which rumor has it will also start at an incredibly low price, should look even better. Heck, the specs we’re hearing are worthy of a high-end slate, so if Google can pull all that off and still keep the pricing bar low, the sky is the limit for this thing’s sales numbers.

Nexus 5 and Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie

A phone and a piece of software may appear to have nothing in common, but the N5 and Android 5 will most likely come together or not at all this year. There are conflicting reports about both in the media, with not even a shred of evidence pointing at N5’s existence and very little confirming KLP’s, so you shouldn’t be too disappointed if they’ll be delayed until 2014.

Key Lime Pie

If they are coming in 2013, we only know Android 5.0 will look to limit fragmentation in the ecosystem by working even on outdated devices, while the Nexus 5 is unlikely to be manufactured by LG. Or is it?

Others

The Motorola Moto X is to be introduced next week, along with a bunch of mysterious Ultra devices. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 should get a follow-up sometime in the fall, though the rumor mill is very quiet about that.

Asus probably has a few slate aces up its sleeve, Acer likewise, plus there’s HTC’s One Mini and a number of Windows/Android hybrids from Samsung. And don’t even get me started on the once upon a time “small” Chinese OEMs (Oppo, Huawei, ZTE, etc.) that are looking bolder and bolder by the day.

In a nutshell, expect the unexpected from Android, the mobile OS that keeps on growing and growing in both quality and quantity. After all, they don’t say it’s an Android world for nothing.  

Motorola XT1058 (AKA Google X Phone) Spotted in Another Benchmark, This Time with a Snapdragon 800 CPU?

A new Google X Phone-related story has emerged just hours ago on the web, prompting us all to ask ourselves when is the whole thing going to end. This time, the Motorola phone carrying the model number XT1058 and thought to be AT&T’s version of the X has been spotted in GFX Bench’s records.

It’s not the first time we’re seeing a variation of the X benchmarked, but, unlike those suspicious past AnTuTu tests, this GFXBench is a lot more credible. Sure, the thing can still be faked, but we have to remember the XT1058 has also been seen getting FCC’s certification of late, so chances are the baby is real and getting ready for a Google I/O unveiling this week.

Motorola XT1058

The first thing that caught my attention in this latest “leak” is the phone’s Android OS build fingerprint, which includes the magic word “ghost”. Several tipsters told us in the past that was one of the inside codenames of “Project X”, so this is yet another piece of evidence that confirms we’re not looking at just any Moto gadget, but something really special.

Unfortunately, the specs revealed by the GFXBench listing are not that special, though we have been warned numerous times the X Phone is likely not going to be a record-breaker in terms of speed or display crispness.

The screen is now almost set in stone at packing a 720p (aka not Full HD) resolution, while the CPU, unnamed in GFXBench, is clocked at 1.7 GHz. Based on earlier stories, the processor is either an oldie, but goldie Snapdragon S4 Pro unit or a newer Snapdragon 600 model.

But here’s where the plot thickens. The Motorola XT1058 has had its graphics performance measured in two of GFXBench’s specific tests and both of the results are… well, off the charts. The thing not only beats every S4 Pro-powered device to the punch, but it also crushes all Snapdragon 600-based devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Moreover, the XT1058 is very close to topping the two tests’ charts, having to face defeat only against NVIDIA’s Shield, the upcoming gaming console running on a Tegra 4 CPU. So, knowing all that, we can only assume one of two things. Okay, maybe three.

A. The X Phone will be the world’s first device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip. B. The thing “only” has a 600 inside, but the display’s lower resolution or some mysterious software optimizations allow the CPU to perform so incredibly well. Or C. The scores are fake and we’re getting goose bumps over nothing.

Call it wishful thinking or whatever you want, but I’m going to side with A for the time being. The chances of the benchmark or its scores being fake are very slim in my view and I just can’t see Snapdragon 600, paired with an Adreno 320 GPU, reaching those scores. And that’s how an intriguing device becomes one for the ages!

Via [GFXBench]

Google I/O 2013 Rumor Roundup: Nexus 5, X Phone, Android 5.0, Android 4.3, New Nexus 7, Nexus 11

Say, what do you think was 2012’s biggest tech event? What do you mean CES? No, it wasn’t! And Samsung’s Unpacked events revealing the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 weren’t either. Instead, it was Google’s I/O conference.

Just think about it. Google introduced the Nexus 7 during the conference, as well as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Project Glass. Right, and the Nexus Q too, but boy, was that a flop.

Google-I-O-2013

Regardless, Google I/O 2012 should remain a historical event in Android’s evolution, as it brought us the first real iPad challenger, but also the most stable and beautiful version of our favorite mobile OS.

As you can imagine, expectations are riding high as to whether or not Google can follow on the 2012 I/O with a similarly spectacular event this year. Naturally, every piece of hardware or software to be revealed during the conference is for now covered in mystery, but we have more than a few hints.

The rumor mill has been grinding for more than half a year already, with at least four Android devices in the mix for an I/O intro, plus a new version of Android. It’s highly unlikely though that Google will be making more than two or three big announcements between May 15 and 17, so let’s round up the usual suspects and see which ones are more likely to be the stars of the show.

Nexus 5

Only five months have passed since Nexus 4’s release, out of which at least a couple have been crippled by limited supply, but an N5 unveiling is definitely in the cards for this May.

The latest word around the block is the new Nexus phone has been “delayed”, but can we really be sure after so many rumors, speculations and “leaks” in the first few months of 2013? No, we cannot.

Nexus-5

But if the N5 is to come so soon, does that mean it won’t step things up too much compared with its predecessor? Not necessarily. For one thing, the new handheld might not be manufactured by LG, but instead HTC. In which case chances are the Taiwanese have been working at the thing for more than six months.

As for the N5’s spec sheet, different sources have been telling us different things, but the surest bets are a quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2 or 3 GB of RAM, 4G LTE speeds, a 16 MP camera and a monster 3,300 mAh battery.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

X Phone

After popping up in an AnTuTu benchmark, the mythical Motorola X Phone seemed like a sure I/O bet, but the same tipster that claimed the N5 has been delayed said the X is not coming very soon either.

If you ask me, there’s no chance in hell both phones have been pushed back, but I think Google will be looking to intro just one of them at I/O. Which one remains to be seen…

X Phone

In terms of specs and features, things are even more confusing for the X than for the N5. One thing seems certain nevertheless, and that’s this thing won’t exactly be a top of the line device to take on the giants of today.

Instead, it will likely be what the N4 was in late 2012 – a budget-conscious upper mid-ranger with a couple of flaws, but many more aces up its sleeve.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

Second-gen Nexus 7

By far the surest bet in terms of hardware launches at I/O, the second-gen Nexus 7 is likely to push the envelope a little further in terms of speed, display size, but also pricing. The most credible rumors so far paint the picture of a 7.8 or 7.9-inch new N7 with a Tegra 4 processor and likely a Full HD screen. Does that sound awesome or what?

google-nexus-7

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 75%

Nexus 11

This is more of a long shot, but, if a Nexus 5 is due out just six months after the N4’s release, why wouldn’t an N11 also come very soon after the N10? Still, chances are Samsung has other things to worry about at the moment, so even if an 11-inch Full HD Nexus tab with an octa-core processor is in the pipeline, it will probably not be introduced earlier than next fall.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 20%

Upgraded 32 GB Nexus 4 with LTE

This sounds more like a back-up plan for Google if both the N5 and X Phone will fall through (which I don’t think is the case), but who knows, maybe such an underwhelming “new” handheld is in fact what’s coming.

What’s certain is Google will be disappointing a lot of Android geeks if the only phone debuting at this year’s I/O will be a modest rehash of a 2012 device.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 30%

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie

A near certainty until just last week, the debut of a whole new version of Android is now said to not happen until the fall. In all honesty though, 4.1 Jelly Bean was a major upgrade, despite the incremental look of its version number, so it would make sense for Google to take a little breather.

android-5-0

After all, 4.0 ICS was launched in December 2011 and JB came a mere eight months later. At the same time, Jelly Bean is the most praised Android version to date, so taking a little more time to work the kinks of the next big upgrade would probably be the wisest thing.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Obviously, if Google won’t bring Key Lime Pie to I/O, it will intro a new, slightly tweaked version of Jelly Bean and the other way around. Again, it would make sense for 4.3 to come instead of 5.0 for a number of reasons, including the Android distribution chart that still doesn’t look great for the newest versions of the OS.

Only over 15% of all Android devices run JB, close to 29% are on ICS and a whopping 44% remain stuck on Gingerbread, so maybe Google wants to limit fragmentation a little before throwing its hat in the ring with Android 5.0.

Chances for an I/O unveiling: 50%

Others

Besides the major releases and announcements, Google’s bosses are likely to take the San Francisco stage for a bunch of other more minor unveilings. A couple new Chromebooks could be introduced in May, as well as new versions of software products like Chrome, G Drive, Docs, Gmail and so on and so forth.

Though it won’t exactly be minor, I think a Glass announcement is in store too, likely the official announcement of the gizmo as a consumer product and maybe its slating for a commercial debut later this year.

That’s all I can think of for now, but keep in touch with us over the next couple of weeks and especially around May 15 to see exactly what surprises Google has been preparing.

Android 5.0-Powered Google X Phone Gets Benchmarked, Looks Dubious

Although we heard just a couple of days ago that the mythical X Phone and Nexus 5 were not slated for Google I/O debuts this May after all, a new report is emerging to debunk all that speculation. A mystery Google X device has apparently been benchmarked, looking ready to hit the market in the near future.

Before going any further, we have to underline there’s no possible way to verify the legitimacy of this AnTuTu result at this moment, so treat all you’re going to read below with extreme caution. Ready? Here goes… nothing.

Google-X-benchmark

The Google X spotted by a keen eye from Japanese blog RBMen is apparently running Android 5.0.1, the unreleased new version of the mobile OS that everyone thinks will be dubbed Key Lime Pie. No surprises there, even though there have been rumors going around of a possible Android 5.0 delay as well.

So far, so believable, but here’s where things get fishy. The mystery X packs an undetailed 1.5 GHz processor, but only manages to score 15,479 points in AnTuTu. That’s not only light years away from Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One’s results, but it’s barely worthy of a place in today’s mid-range smartphone niche.

And let’s assume for one moment the score is legit. That means Google decided to equip the X Phone with, what, a dual-core Snapdragon S4? A Snapdragon 400? An NVIDIA Tegra 3? No friggin way! I mean, come on, even last year’s Nexus 4 scores around 18,000 points in AnTuTu, so what would be the point in the releasing of a device with such underwhelming hardware?

Bottom line, there’s definitely something off here, but who knows, maybe the Google X Phone is legit and it has really been tested in AnTuTu, but the score has been photoshopped to throw us off the scent and assume the device is no big deal.

Remember, no one knows if the Motorola or Google X Phone is real, with basically every related story reported on in the last few months debunking a previous one. Some said the X is a 4.5-incher with a 720p panel, while others claimed the handheld will be a much more impressive 5-incher with a Full HD screen.

According to a number of sources, Google is planning to release the thing with customizable hardware, while others say you will only get your choice of color with the X. Other rumored features include anything and everything from Snapdragon 800 to Tegra 4 CPUs and from bezel-less body to monster 3,000 mAh battery.

Good thing Google’s I/O conference is just three weeks away, because I personally can’t take this rumor-fest much longer.

Via [RBMen]