The unexciting Moto X thread

Supposedly going to be officially launched today.

I’m an almost exclusive Apple user at this point (at least on the consumer side of things) but i am… well, i almost feel guilty, let’s say, not buying a Moto X that is both Made in USA AND made in Texas.

Website is up: http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/Moto-X/moto-x,en_US,pg.html

You can choose a custom color for the front, the back, and the accents/buttons.

Well, if you want to feel better, they ain’t paying much.

No removable battery, no sale.

Well, that was a lot less amazing than it could have been.

Hmmm, $200 ON contract and to begin with AT&T is the only one with real customization options and to have the 32GB version.

Big old WTF here Google.

Wow. Based on the leaks I expected this to be lackluster and yet I’m still underwhelmed relative to my already low expectations.

Take a mid-ranged spec phone, add in some cheesy colors for the plastic…flagship phone!

What?

If they’d come up a little cheaper and not locked the memory/color options to AT&T I’d be a lot more interested.

As it stands, I’m sort of scratching my head. There have been sales for the HTC One for $100 and BOGO right now for Galaxy S IV for Sprint, both feature more expensive hardware… Who do they expect to sell this thing to?

It could have been a mid-range slam dunk at a lower price, but this…

Reading between the lines it seems more like a play to get Motorola back into AT&T. Judging by the marketing they’re squarely aiming at the latte and hipster (ie iPhone) crowd (where the Droids seem to appeal to the Monster Energy / Nickleback demographic). If you read Brian Klug’s overview at Anandtech he does mention somewhat interesting things going on with the camera, but it doesn’t seem as “Google” branded as it ought to have. I thought this was going to be the new flagship Google phone.

Weird. I went back to look at the ad again and the incorrectly used “That’s what she said” part has been removed, along with the penis size reference.

This isn’t a Nexus. So far, there’s no word that the no-contract price will be any less than other no-contract phones. $550-650 bucks.

What’s crazy about that is that the hardware is “2012”-ish, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be cheaper.

I agree, and think that it would be enormously more popular if it were free on contract.

On the other hand… Motorola does have a lot of custom engineering in that, what with the always-on voice processing and gesture stuff. And while tech-heads aren’t taking it seriously as a high-end phone right now, its pricing does signal that it aspires to be thought of in that market. Coming out at a lower price could make it seem like a bargain, or it could make it seem like they can only make cheap, low-end phones.

Cell phone costs are tremendously inflated because consumers have become inured to high prices. Manufacturers can get away with it. Most estimates, from a year ago, when the process was no doubt costlier, suggest that a 16GB iPhone 5 cost Apple about $170 to build. You sell those for $300 or $350 that’s still an amazing profit. I’m sure current HTC/Samsung/Motorola phones are in a similar ballpark.

I’m more or less of the opinion that by making another OEM/Carrier tailored phone, Google has squandered their billions of dollar investment in Motorola (aside from the billions spent for patents).

If you’re gonna buy Motorola, use it to make official Nexus phones, and sell them for $300 off-contract. To simply make another phone with the same pricing and OEM/Carrier software limitations standing between the device and stock Android does nothing to justify the investement.

The thing is that Google only bought them about a year ago. The lead time on these projects and the contracts that oems have with the carriers be extreme. While this phone doesn’t interest me at all, I think it’s a little early to be sure that this is really part of Google’s long term vision with what they want to do with Motorola Mobility. It’s very likely that a most of this was well underway before they started steering the ship.

Nexus phones have a purpose, and Google will certainly keep selling them. But a) they’re never going to be very popular because the carrier model is too entrenched here, and because it’s literally impossible to make a phone that even works with Verizon and Sprint that way; and b) they are committed to not ruining their relationships with other OEMs.

So if Motorola is dedicated to making mostly-stock phones with good hardware available widely across carriers, y’know, I’m okay with that. And the Moto X is very close to the sort of phone I’d want to see. It’s just got a bad screen and a mediocre CPU. Maybe their next one will be better.

The moto X is $199 on contract, so it competes directly against the flagship HTC One and SGS4, which makes zero sense. It should be $100 on-contract, $300 off.

Well, yes. Worth noting is that on Verizon for $49, you can get the HTC Droid DNA. That’s a phone that has the same Snapdragon S4 Pro processor as the Moto X, the same 2GB of RAM, and a much better 1080p screen. From a pure specs perspective, this $199 flagship phone is worse than the $49 bargain phone. (Which, honestly, illustrates nothing quite so much as how high-end “cheap” subsidized Android are these days…)

But it’s clear that Motorola is not competing on specs. Like Apple, they are trying to market this on the basis of the total experience. We’ll see how that goes for them, I guess, but I think it’d be a lot easier if it weren’t for the high-end, high-experience HTC One sitting out there.