Google gives Moto X fresh start with X8 chip

Customization is the buzz word around the Moto X, the first smart phone turned out by the Texas factory of Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility. The phone will be available in the United States within the next five days.

Google is offering covers in 18 different colours as well as a choice of seven different metallic accents effectively giving users 252 possible style variations for the Moto X. But the first smart phone to be assembled in the U.S. is also making its mark with the new X8 chip system embedded inside it.

The X8 is a package of processors in a chipset which Google hopes will Moto X and Droid units more power-efficient and interactive. The X8 enables the Moto X to constantly be on the alert for the owner’s voice. When the unit hears the phrase, “Ok, Google Now…” followed by a command such as “Call home,” the phone will wake up from standby mode and execute the command.

According to Google the chip is focused on “listening” and so it doesn’t drain the battery by keeping the main processor running constantly.

Google and Motorola spent a lot of time developing the X8 with the goal of extending battery life while making the chip small and inexpensive, according to Peter Prunuske, product manager of Moto X. He said the goal of the chip was to address challenges such as making it easier it use phones.

This includes the touch less control feature in the Moto X which allows the phone to respond to a user’s command with the user activating any buttons.

The Moto X will retail in the U.S. for $200 with a contract and is expected to be available in Canada and other countries by end of August or early September.

The phone comes with a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED touch screen and looks very much like other Droid phones.

The unit measures 5.07×2.56×0.41 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces.  Apart from the X8 which handles speech recognition, the Moto X base model has a 1.GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro paired with 2GB RAM to handle sensors, the display and touch interactions.

It comes with a 10 megapixel rear-facing and a 2-megapixel front facing camera and is capable of taking 1080p videos. The Moto X features Bluetooth 4.0 LE+EDR support, dual-band 802.11a/g/b/n/ac Wi-Fi, GPS, Miracast Wireless Display and NFC. It has 16 to 32GB internal storage but no microSD card slot. Users though, get a free 50GB Google Drive storage for two years.

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