Ever since the WSJ dropped a hint about the mythical 'X Phone' back in December, the rumors have not stopped flowing. Which is great because, according to Motorola's CFO, the 18 months of product pipeline that Google acquired weren't exactly wow-ing anyone. However, according to Moto's design chief Jim Wicks, the next generation of hardware will be fantastic.

The handsets have been in the works for the last eight months (so since around August, for those counting), and will target the segments of the market that's looking for a "just right" screen size. Said Wicks:

"Certain people like a large screen, but there's a sweet spot for consumers that we're currently exceeding in the market. There are some people that like a big display, but there's also a lot of people that want something that's just about right."

As a bonus, Wicks says the phones will run "the unadulterated version of Android." Which isn't quite an explicit guarantee for an AOSP-based batch of software, but it does sound like Motorola is interested in sticking pretty close to Google's image of what Android should be.

The manufacturer is also hoping to get away from the carrier exclusives that have made it so hard to get devices into the hands of consumers in the past. Verizon will likely not be pleased. Of course, lines like the Droid and RAZR will still be developed, but Motorola wants to create a more universal brand, similar to the HTC One or the Galaxy S IV. Yet another hardware maker looking to break the carrier stronghold on its marketing.

We still don't know exactly when these new devices will land, though describing the timeline as the "second half of 2013" does not give much hope that this phone will be released in July or August as certain rumors have claimed. Usually, when a company is only two or three months away from a product launch, it doesn't make estimates as vague as half-years.

Source: PCMag

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • atlouiedog

    When asked how focus groups responded to the phone sizes, Wicks reported that he 'hadn't heard any complaints."

  • PhineasJW

    Any guesses on the sweetspot? I'm going with 4.3".

    • Bob G

      4.5 but with on screen buttons so the actual screen size will be around 4.3 :)

    • SUAVE21

      4.8 or 4.7 (16:9 aspect ratio) with on screen buttons. I would be happy.

    • Jason Bailey

      I'm guessing smaller than the 4.7"-5" popular ranges. 4.3" to 4.5" to keep the device small and compete more directly with the iphone.

  • fixxmyhead

    anything 4.8 and down is a fail

    hate on me people

    • SUAVE21

      Go buy a Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, if you want it bigger.

      • fixxmyhead

        No it has crappy specs. If it had high end specs then yea

        • SUAVE21

          Wait for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (6.3") and buy it. You will be happy.

    • Jeff Weatherup

      That's completely subjective. Some people want a smaller screen, like me. Some people want a bigger screen, like you. It's not so much a "fail" as it is a personal preference. I'd like something that easily fits into my pocket, but that's nice to browse the web and Facebook with. 4.3-4.5 is perfect, in my opinion. But it's just that: AN OPINION.

  • Chris

    I would imagine 4.3, 4.5, or 4.7 inches.

  • http://twitter.com/joshptyltd Joshua

    My dream phone:

    Screen Size: 4.0"
    Stock android, and receives updates soon after google releases them, for atleast 2 years
    Screen Res: Same as iPhone 5.
    RAM: 2GB
    CPU: Whatever the latest is at the time.
    Camera: 8MP
    Battery: lasts 24 hours
    Thickness: Up to 12mm


    • SUAVE21

      Go to http://www.cultofmac.com/ you will be happier there.

      • SetiroN

        omagad beware! he wants a 4" screen with that resolution!



        • http://twitter.com/joshptyltd Joshua

          Most android 4" devices are low-mid end, and have screen res's around 800x480. All I'm saying is I'd be pretty happy with a screen res similar to the iPhone 5, since it has a 4" screen. I've used android continuously since early 2010. I've never owned an iPhone. Cheers.

          • SetiroN

            If it wasn't clear enough, I was defending your point of view.

          • http://twitter.com/joshptyltd Joshua

            Yeah, I accidently replied to the wrong person! I deleted my original reply, but for some reason, it didn't fully delete, only my name disappeared.Thanks, I did realise that :)

        • ElfirBFG

          That resolution is stupid though. WXGA(or +) or HD(or +) make much more sense.

          • SetiroN

            Come on man, the point wasn't the EXACT SAME resolution.
            Anyway stupid according to what? Standards?
            Because the Nexus 4 actually is 1232x768, and I don't see anyone complaining about it. Android handles any resolution without effort.

          • ElfirBFG

            It's 1280*768, which WXGA, a standard for many years. It will remain 720p even with onscreen buttons when horizontal if the button height is 48px.

          • SetiroN

            Only while viewing images and videos.

      • http://twitter.com/joshptyltd Joshua

        Most android 4" devices are low-mid end, and have screen res's around 800x480. All I'm saying is I'd be pretty happy with a screen res similar to the iPhone 5, since it has a 4" screen. I've used android continuously since early 2010. I've never owned an iPhone. Cheers.

        • ElfirBFG

          In February 2011, did you buy the Atrix? It was a 4" flagship with a qHD(960*540) display. It also had dual-core before everyone and packed 1GB RAM before it was the norm. Hell, it even had a 1930mah battery and a slew of other bits of techno-wizardry that _still_ aren't standards today. If you didn't buy the phone that Moto made to 'please everyone', why are you entitled to have Moto build a phone 'just for you'?

          Your requests are silly for 2013; they just won't happen. 4.3"-4.5" is now small, and having gone from the 4" Atrix to the 4.3" RAZR, I can tell you that there is minimal difference, even less with 2013 bezel sizes.

          However, having gone from the 11mm thick phone to the ~7mm thick phone, there is a huge difference. I would never cart around something so thick again, but with thinness comes the need for rigidity and overall build quality. I always found the GS2 too be too thin, but after getting the RAZR, which _is_ even thinner, I'm sold. So again, a 12mm thick phone from Moto _just_ won't happen in 2013 because it hasn't happened in years.

          Vanilla Android would be awesome, I totally agree there, but again, won't happen. Google doesn't want to merge Moto and itself, nor do they want to make Moto devices into Nexus devices, so you can expect some form of custom UI. Good news is, that Blur(/ex-Blur/Motofication) on 4.0+ has been far less intrusive/bothersome/ugly, especially if you use a custom launcher.

          Battery life is one place where you don't even need to ask Moto to provide. Atrix sucked on Froyo despite the 1930mah pack, but on GB and later custom ROMs, I could easily squeeze 12+ hours. With the standard RAZR, I'm coming home from 8 or 9 hour shifts(10-11 hours unplugged) with 50% battery and that's with near continuous music play back and all radios on.

          • http://twitter.com/joshptyltd Joshua

            1. I did not buy the Atrix. I own a Desire.
            2. I never said I feel entitled to a phone from Motorola.
            3. Not everyone wants a giant phone. Hence, the subject of this article. I have small hands, and I don't want to have to use 2 hands to operate my phone.
            4. The reason I mentioned the thickness was that I would be happy if it was up to that thickness so they could cram high end components into a relatively small body. Off course a thinner handset would be good. I agree that it is extremely unlikely Motorola would make a phone 12mm thick.
            5. Your other points are good.


  • wideopn11

    I'm more concerned with the overall device size. Max the screen out edge to edge.

    • GuilhermeMendes

      i totally agrre with you. I feel my one x a bit bigger than i like, but there are models with 5" slimmer and smaller than the one x, so the borders are the big problem. For me they should make more devices with 4,5", it's a good step from 4,3" and not a big downgrade from 4,7".

  • Drayon

    4.6" with on screen buttons and 8mm bezel on top and bottom

    • http://twitter.com/Rodrigost23 Rodrigo Tavares

      That's still large...

  • http://profiles.google.com/jricardo.de.leon.s José Ricardo De León Solís

    I'm hoping for a device with a 4.3 inch display with tiny or no bezels and hopefully as good looking (if not better) as the HTC One.

    • SUAVE21

      If you want that forget about removable battery... and perhaps MicroSD Card Slot....

      • LewisSD

        Droid Razr M has a 4.3 inch screen, very little bezel, and a micro SD card slot. You might be right about the battery though...

      • SetiroN

        Nothing new from Moto.

  • LewisSD

    Edge to edge on all 4 sides! leaving only enough room on the top for a camera.

    • Jens Knutson

      How do you hold it without constantly activating the edges of the screen? How do you put a case on it without blocking the screen edges?

    • Qliphah

      No, no that's not enough. We need screens wrapped completely around the phone.

  • imneveral0ne

    Just right for me is 5.5 inch...

    Guess you can't please everyone though!

  • Ryan O’Neill

    I wonder if any of these Google-instituted software improvements will trickle down to older Moto devices?

  • sid_m

    I'd guess the "right size" is a 4.7"-4.8" Full HD Screen with on screen buttons.

  • Qliphah

    Here's hoping it's a return to the good ol' flip phone. Perhaps a static ereader type screen on the front for time/calls/notifications that uses next to no battery. Just please get away from large exposed glass screens, they are an eye-sore not 2 months after casual use. And no matter the screen protector you use, if you don't have a full body case on it 99% of the time the screen will still look ugly.

    Edit: Like to point out Otterboxes specifically, they do protect the phone so if your idea is to resell it as new 3 years from now great. But those 3 years you're using the phone it looks like a scratched up fisher-price toy with a screen that has the responsiveness of an 80's touchscreen kiosk.

  • blam

    It will look more like a sammy s4. ;)

  • Justin Moore

    The thing is that Motorola owns the name Razr (as opposed to Droid, which is owned by LucasFilm/Disney and licensed by Verizon). They could build that into a real, carrier-independent brand icon.