5 Thoughts on Google’s Motorola ‘X Phone’

While there are rumors aplenty regarding several big name smartphones for 2013 including the Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5S, HTC M7 and more, we hadn’t seen anything leak about a high-powered Motorola device, that is, until about a week ago when a device from Google and Motorola , dubbed the ‘X Phone’ partially revealed itself as a potential contender in 2013.

If a report from the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, and it’s generally a good source of accurate information, Google and Motorola are planning a device that will almost assuredly be competing against the likes of the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC M7, Nexus 4 and offerings from companies like LG and Sony. Information about the device is extremely light but here is what the report claims.

Motorola is apparently collaborating on a smartphone with Google. That device is currently dubbed ‘X Phone’ and evidently the companies were looking into a number of different technologies including flexible displays and different materials that would make for more color options and a stronger device. Motorola also apparently “wanted top-notch features for the phone’s camera and photo software, such as better color saturation and the ability to take panoramic shots.”


The ‘X Phone’ could replace the Droid RAZR HD as Motorola’s high-end device. But will it be a Nexus?

The company also wants to incorporate technology from one of its acquisitions, Viewdle, adding imaging and gesture-recognition to the device’s software. None of those features panned out it seems, though, Motorola is still working to get the phone out in 2013. Just what this ‘X Phone’ might be though is completely unknown at this point and is the subject of quite a bit of speculation.

I wanted to speculate even further with some thoughts on this supposed ‘X Phone’ from Google and Motorola. Here are five of those thoughts about a phone that could potentially wind up being Motorola’s biggest launch of 2013.

Motorola Nexus, Yes Please

Ever since HTC released the Nexus One, I’ve been waiting for a Motorola-made Nexus smartphone from Google. Unfortunately, over the years, my dreams have been dashed by the likes of Samsung and LG. Next year though, if this ‘X Phone’ is indeed a collaboration, it could be that Motorola finally brings a Nexus to the market in the form of this phone.


A Motorola Nexus sounds fantastic.

With Motorola hardware and pure Android software, my Android dreams would be realized. I’ve always loved the build quality of Motorola phones but hated the software on board so for me, this would be the best of both worlds.

Heck, it might even tempt me on Verizon, that’s how strongly I feel about Motorola hardware.

Motorola’s On a Roll

Something that also has me excited about the prospects of this phone is the new and improved Motorola which has really undergone a transformation with its leadership changes over the last few months. It’s communicative about major Android updates now and it even has rolled them out sooner than expected. It’s fantastic watching a company that really struggled with software turn it around and turn it around so quickly.

And I think that 2013 is really going to be the year that we see the fruits of Motorola’s new leadership and I think one of them, fruits I mean, will be this new high-end smartphone that really might put its previous releases, the Droid RAZR series included, to shame.

Release Date

Google I/O 2013 is going to be taking place in May instead of June or July and given that Google’s showed off a piece of hardware last year during Google I/O and there will likely be rumors that point to a ‘X Phone’ appearance at the event. Google will likely be announcing its new Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie operating system at this year’s Google I/O and because it announced the Nexus 7 last year alongside Android 4.1, I think it’s a possibility, but unlikely.


A Google I/O introduction is possible but in my opinion, unlikely.

The Nexus 4 is selling very, very well when it’s actually on sale so Google won’t need to rush into selling a new Nexus. It can focus on revamping the Nexus 7, which also sold well in its six months, instead of opting for a brand new Nexus.

Of course, if Google is able to figure something out with a carrier, it would be fantastic to see it release a 4G LTE Nexus in the middle of the year to not only compete with other devices but to complement the Nexus 4.

At this point though, I think Google I/O is too soon and if this device is a Nexus, it will arrive to replace the Nexus 4 late in 2013.


No doubt about it, this ‘X Phone’ will be feature rich. There is no possible way that Motorola, especially if it’s collaborating with Google, will release a flagship phone in 2013 that doesn’t at least take advantage of a few of Android’s big name specifications.

I think quad-core speeds are a given and it would be extremely odd to see the device launch without 1080p resolution given that the HTC Droid DNA is already out on the market and has been since November.

One area that I think Motorola really needs to focus on is the camera. The Droid RAZR phones really were letdowns in terms of camera quality so I’d hope that the company really focuses on that with this new phone. And given the fact that it originally set out to do just that, I bet it’s able to find some compromise that doesn’t absolutely kill the battery life.

Speaking of that, expect high quality battery life. Motorola has proved that it is keen on offering high-powered batteries, and it would be odd to see it revert to putting small batteries inside of its phones. The battery sizes are what has helped the Droid RAZR MAXX and Droid RAZR MAXX HD sell well and I think that trend will continue in 2013.

Don’t Get Too Excited

I am trying extremely hard not to get too excited about this phone given that the report suggests that it’s a collaboration which I think to mean Nexus, given that Motorola makes fantastic mobile hardware and given Motorola’s turnaround at the end of 2012. The report itself was extremely light on the details and it said that Motorola is aiming to get this phone out in 2013 not that it will.

I find it strange that we’ve heard about all of these big name smartphones already from Samsung in the Galaxy S4, iPhone in the iPhone 5S, HTC in the M7 and so on but we haven’t heard a peep about a Motorola device.

That could definitely mean that something big is coming but as I’ve learned in the Android world, rumors don’t always come to life and there’s no sense in getting worked up about something that only barely exists on paper.

At least not yet.