After all those months of leaks and rumors, the Moto X is now a real phone that we can talk about and find fault with. Feels good, right? The device is going to be for sale through all the major US carriers, but that's not your only option. For a more Google-y experience, a Google Play Edition Moto X will be up for sale in the not too distant future.


The Moto X has reasonably good specs toward the medium high end, but does a lot of neat things with it's power-efficient X8 computing platform. The phone won't be completely stock if purchased from carriers, but the Google Play version should be free of carrier crapware and influence. Some (or all) of the color customizations might fall by the wayside, though.

If the other Google Play Android devices are anything to go on, the GPE Moto X will be an unlocked GSM device for AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. Pricing and storage options are not available. Better start saving your pennies now just in case.

[The Verge]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Di Lu

    Price is key, currently the off contract price for Moto X is $575$/625 for 16/32G, completely not competitive against the $599 HTC One Gpe, I might even prefer the $649 GS4 Gpe if I need the SD slot and 5.0" screen size.

    • bd1212

      Off-contract pricing hasn't been announced yet, the $500-$600 price is just a rumor, but nothing has been confirmed by Motorola. That being said, this NEEDS to be $300-$400 off contract, anything higher than that and it's not worth it, especially when the Galaxy S4 and HTC One are nearly the same price.

      • BrianLipp

        if its $200 ON contract, theres no way its going to be less than $500 OFF contract.

        Also, Verizon needs to get VoLTE and ditch CDMA so Google can release GPE phones on them

        • bd1212

          Posted this over at Droid-Life and I feel it's relevant here as well, but I have a feeling you're right. If this is somehow only a $100 more for off-contract, I'll be VERY happy:

          The only thing giving me hope that it'll have a somewhat-low off-contract price is Dennis Woodside's comment that he made at the All Things D conference. He said he doesn't understand why manufacturers must charge such high prices for off-contract phones and questioned why they need such huge margins. He said the Moto X would be priced competitively and that Motorola didn't need such huge margins. Then again, though, going based off what was announced today, I'm not expecting much. If this is $300-$400 off contract, I'm still buying, but if it's $500-$600, there's no point.

          • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

            $299 off contract for the 16Gb is acceptable, but just $100 more than the on-contract price? Never heard of it.

          • bd1212

            That's exactly what I'm hoping for, but honestly, with the lackluster announcements that we saw today, I'm not expecting much. One can dream... I guess. :/

          • Kenny O

            That's how the Nexus 4 was when it came out. T-Mobile inflated the price.

          • Ruben

            What about the $200 on contract T-Mobile Nexus 4 right after the phone got released?

        • Goldenpins

          "if its $200 ON contract, theres no way its going to be less than $500 OFF contract."

          They sold the Nexus 4 on contract for $200-$250 on T-Mobile. Its possible they could have an off contract price for $300-$400.

      • Stylus_XL

        The pricing of this device was extremely important in terms of putting the mid-range specs into perspective. I can't see many people choosing this over a One or S4 if they're priced in the same bracket.

        It's a nice device but no way in hell is it $500-$600 nice.

        • bd1212

          Completely agree. Google, a company known for pricing things low and not caring much about margins, should've (or should be, since they haven't announced off-contract pricing yet) been able to influence Motorola into pricing this in the $300-$400 range, I mean they do own them.

  • mgamerz

    Nobody seems to factor in the "Assembled in America" part of the cost. All I see is whining about a company being different.

    • Wazzifer

      It was the company's decision, not the consumers'. I don't give two shits about where the phone is assembled as long as it works like it is supposed to.

      • sivkai

        Precisely. We aren't donating to a charity, we are purchasing a product from a corporation that only has one purpose: serve the customer. Anything else beyond that is superfluous, regardless of how noble it may be.

      • deltatux

        Unfortunately, there have been a lot of people demanding that electronics assembly be returned to the US ... that they don't want China to hog all the manufacturing jobs. Part of the US assembly move is a stunt for companies to say, "buy my product, we support the local economy" which a good portion of Americans will likely fall for.

  • Matthew Merrick

    Google play edition = pure stock Android.

    The ONLY reason to buy this phone are for Motorola's cool software modifications. Strip those out and this device is actually nearly identical to the Nexus 4 - but WITHOUT instant Nexus updates. No thanks.

    • nebula

      nope, the nexus 4 has better specs

      • Eli Staroverov

        Except nexus is LCD and has crap camera.

        • Chris

          Lol actually your wrong. The camera isn't crap, it's actually comparable to cameras a year ago... when the phone was released.

          And it has an IPS display.


          • Eli Staroverov

            I don't need a lmgtfy I've been using/reading/rooting android for 3 years I keep up with news daily if not hourly. Ymmv but I've seen nexus 4 photos taken first hand and they are NOT compare to camera phones from last year. Even more proof is that someone from Google, the name escapes me, said the camera was not good, but there would be more focus put towards that for the next nexus phone.

            AND FYI IPS is still LCD. why don't you google that next time.

      • Casin

        Except for the camera, battery life, and actual performance. The S4 Pro dual outperforms the version of the S4 Pro in the Nexus 4.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        As big as the disappointment is, the Nexus 4 does not have better specs than the Moto X. The processor of the Nexus 4 may have Quad cores while the X only has Duo cores, but benchmarks had shown that the X actually beats the Nexus 4. X's GPU is also a lot faster than the Nexus 4. On top of it, the X's camera is also better.

        But $199 on contract and AT&T exclusive customization is a big disappointment. I can't believe how every rumor has this wrong. At the very least, Motorola's PR should have done something to "inform" news outlet that such rumor was "very wrong". Instead, they just let it get out of control. Now, pretty much everyone is disappointed at it.

        • nebula

          Nevertheless performs the S4 pro better. And the gpu is the same.
          Furthermore has the nexus 4 a higher resolution, but it's just LCD.

  • Tamadrummer94

    What a massive disappointment. This should be running pure Google software to begin with, at least be shipping with 4.3. It's mid-range but high-priced, the customization is limited to AT&T, and having a Google Edition just shows the device's pitfalls. Software also looks gimmicky and poorly executed. Really can't see any good in this.

    • Casin

      Seems like no one cares about optimization, battery life, camera, or features. The only thing that determines whether a phone is high end or mid range is specs, specs, specs.
      I never see people say iPhone is mid range. But when Motorola does what Apple did right....

      • InvaderDJ

        For as much crap as Android fans like to give Apple for specs, the iPhone isn't midrange. The GPU for instance in the iPhone 5 is better than I think everything below the Adreno 330.

        • Nomaan


          no its not....iphone 5 has PowerVR SGX 543MP3....sgs4 international has 544mp3......in many tests sgs4 U.S version with adreno 320 beats sgs4 international version (hich has better gpu than iphone 5) .....both gpus are comparable but neither the iphone 5 nor the gs4 international has new features like opengl es 3.0........look it up on anandtech and more sites....though i guess series 5 powervr will get some APIs to keep up with new opengl es 3.0 games i read that somewhere...

      • Ruben

        You're absolutely right! If they can accomplish making a snappy phone by user experience instead of bulking up a device with unneeded cores that's a good thing. I don't really get why everyone is complaining...

    • ItlnStln

      Other than maybe some carrier crapware, the Moto X's interface going to be pretty much stock by default. Some of the other articles I have read suggested that an unlocked device would be available on Google Play, not there would be a Google Play Edition like the One and S4.

      • Tamadrummer94

        That's just going to confuse consumers. It makes me mad that 6 years after the first iPhone set the right example, OEMs and carriers are still doing stupid moves like this. Finding a stock (read: upgradeable, fast, no bloat) phone is the exception, not the norm. Google needs to do something, because it's a subpar experience for their users.

    • wampdog29

      Everybody keeps bringing up stock OS and locked bootloader arguments. This isn't a Google or Nexus phone. It's a Motorola phone. Google HAS to keep Motorola separate from them even when it comes to how they develop hardware. This will help keep the OEMs of other phones at bay. You can't compete with hardware makers that buy your software.

      • deltatux

        They don't "buy" Android software. Android is given away for free for anyone to use. Google gives the software away in hopes of people buying apps and services through Google Play store and other Google services.

        As for locked bootloader and stock OS, that is true, this is not a Nexus device and shouldn't be expected to be one but I think everyone's so caught up with spec sheets instead of user experience these days.

        • Chris

          You are failing to the miss the point. The phone itself is great. The specs, meh, it's on par with mid-range but not mindblowing. The battery is low, but we hope to see some decent software optimization and apparently, hardware optimization as well.

          Now, where you're failing to see why everyone is disappointed, is when both Dennis Woodside & Larry Page claimed that this phone would eliminate the heavy cost that manufactures burden their consumers with and would try to hit that 'just-right' price tag.

          $200 for 16GB and $250 for the 32GB model ON contract is going to, and maybe I am wrong, lead to an expensive retail value. I guess we can only hope.

          If they sell this phone OFF contract with a $350 base price, than I guarantee that this will be in my hands within the next few months.

          • deltatux

            They can still sell the phone at a $450 price point and it'll still be considered cheaper than the Galaxy S 3 (currently going for $550 in Canada), HTC One ($650), Galaxy S 4 ($650-$699) and the iPhone 5 ($699). Also, carriers tend to sell their devices more expensive than at other stores. They tend to command a higher markup than other retailers too.

            The phone is meant to be a device that improves on user experience without relying on brute power. Also, the battery included in the Nexus 4 is weaker than the Moto X. The Nexus 4 only had a 2100 mAh battery while the Moto X had a 2200 mAh. Little difference but Nexus 4 also didn't have any battery optimizations like its Optimus G cousin which had the same battery capacity but had better battery life. While the Moto X is largely stock Android, Motorola has optimized their software stack and added features that improves user experience like their lock screen.

            Software optimization plays a huge part, the BlackBerry Z10 only has a 1800 mAh battery but lasts longer than a stock Nexus 4 (without running after market kernel) due to their battery optimizations BlackBerry has included for BB10.1 on the Z10.

    • nxym

      of course it's a massive fucking disappointment. you people hyped the living shit out of this thing like its some sort of a fucking messiah!

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      Don't NEED a quadcore, have you seen the benchmarks? Also, 1080 on a 4.7" is overkill, drains the battery faster.

  • zephiK

    I'll save my money for the Nexus 5. Its so close that the Moto X GE isn't worth it. The development won't be there.

  • Eli Staroverov

    Personally couldn't care less about quad core and screen resolution everyone is whining about. Have had a Galaxy S2 for 2 years now and not a single manufacturer has given me a good reason to upgrade even though I've had the money. Google, give me a good camera, great battery, and $300-$400 unlocked with Tmo LTE and I'll be saying Hello Moto!

  • Mike

    So does this mean that it can't be using on Sprint's network?

    • Rob

      A GSM phone will not work on Verizon or Sprint networks.

      • CoreRooted

        It's not just a GSM phone though.

        • Rob

          I made no such statement of the Moto X being only GSM. Since this article was about the GSM, unlocked Google Play Edition I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that Mike was asking if the GPE model would work on Sprint, which it will not do if it's a GSM variant.

          • CoreRooted

            Ahhhh, gotcha. I get it now. I had a "duh" moment. :)

    • kstagg

      No - it will be available on our Sprint network mike. It just means like Henry Ford says - you can have any color you want, so long as it is "black or white".

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

        Well... he ALMOST said that... :D

  • Willie D

    Saying a device is "assembled in America" is like Apple saying "designed in California" it means nothing. Unless the device was designed, manufactured, and assembled in America, none of it matters.

    • Thomas Decker

      ^^^I bet 2200 employed folks in Fort Worth, TX beg to differ.....

      • PhillipCun


      • Eli Staroverov

        +1000 if it creates jobs in the states then it definitely matters

  • ItlnStln

    I was under the impression that Google was going to have an unlocked device available on Google Play, not that there was going to be a GPE Moto X. In other words, an unlocked Moto X with it's version of Android; not a totally-stock-Android version.

  • InvaderDJ

    It will be interesting to see what the price is of the Play edition and if the phone is only available on at&t and T-Mobile like the other ones. But as it stands now the X is a DROID Mini that costs $100 more than the Mini on contract that you can customize the colors on. And that's not good.

  • TechGuy22

    FOR 600

  • PhillipCun

    No carrier will sell a phone any cheaper off contract. Carriers want their customers to be on-contract. Offering a cheap flagship phone is against their business model. T-Mobile sold the Nexus 4 off-contract for $500 even though customers can buy it directly from Google Play for $350.

    Motorola cannot control off-contract prices, they are dictated by the carrier. Even if it was $1, the carrier will mark it up regardless.

    My thoughts on pricing: Motorola might sell it cheaper on Google Play (GPE) version OR sell it cheaper direct on Motorola.com at a later date.

  • The Calm Critic

    I'll take an internationally available Droid Maxx GPE over this thank you.

  • Tony Byatt

    Unless it's between $200-$300 off-contract, no thanks...I'll take the next Nexus...

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      I hope so too... But sadly a Nexus isn't a option for me...

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      That's what I was hoping for too. Waiting for the next Nexus now. Hope they don't make another mid-range BS again and call it Nexus. Jack up the price a bit if you want to.

  • Zach Mauch

    I was hoping that the moto x would be the beginning of real change. The first major manufacture selling their flagship online, unlocked, and for non-inflated pricing. Instead, we get the same carrier locked and over-priced BS.

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      I was very busy today in work and didn't get to read any news. Came back from work, very excited, and started reading all the news related to Moto X. Don't remember when was I last disappointed this much.

  • Iggies

    Why does everyone assume the next Nexus will be priced at $299 off contract?

    • Thomas Decker

      Because the current one is...maybe they jack it to $329......

      • Iggies

        Exactly. I mean, we just saw that they released the new Nexus 7 at $229, so it's not like it's against precedent (now) for them to release a new device at a higher price.

        • tsonga

          but you are comapring an 8GB device to a 16GB device (the 8GB was 199, this year there is no 8GB). In fact nexus 7 has gotten cheaper (since the 16gb last year was 249).

    • MaFo

      Why wouldn't it be $299 off contract?

  • Monj

    i'm tired of seeing google play edition...

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      Why? I think it's great to have that option...

  • TonyArcher

    Not Sprint tri band LTE. No one on Sprint should buy this. It will be the last major Sprint smartphone without it.

    This would be worse than phone on Verizon without AWS LTE.

  • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

    What is this X8 computing platform all about, and what does it do?

    • MeCampbell30

      It's a dual core S4 Pro with a special add on chip to do sensor processing and voice recognition.

      • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

        So it's meant for battery efficiency?...

        • MeCampbell30


          • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

            Ok... Thanks...

    • Chris

      It's an optimized S4 Pro SoC with a better GPU.

      • MeCampbell30

        All S4 Pros have an Adreno 320.

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    The Moto X been revealed as an Northern American only product. What would be news would be GPE - Google Play Edition devices going overseas or updating the bootloader so it can run both the GPE version as well as the skinned version much like MoDaCo.Switch (http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/07/26/modaco-switch-flips-between-stock-and-customs-roms-now-in-public-beta-for-the-htc-one-coming-soon-for-galaxy-s4/ )

  • Phill_S

    Anyone else remember back in the first quarter of the year and later when the One and then GS4 etc were launching and people were like "I will wait for the X Phone, tyvm"? Good times.

    • CoreRooted

      Seriously. The hype machine for this phone went WAY overboard. Now, those same people are complaining because "spec-wise", it's a mid-range device.


      • Phill_S

        The funniest part is the specs really are nothing like mid-range. The only thing that could possibly be considered less than flagship is the 720p screen which has an almost identical PPI as the Nexus 7 everyone was raving about last week as the sharpest tablet screen ever.

  • Peter Blanco

    Dat price.

  • fred

    These phone companies need to sell to the consumer, not the carrier. Its the consumer using the phone not the cellular carrier. Would you like to buy your next computer from the internet carrier? That would be crash!!!!

    And to those who don't care where your products are made........ Shame on you! America is in its position because of people like you........

  • Daniel

    This isn't the next Nexus smart phone is it? They will still release the improved Nexus 5, right?

    • Tony Sarju

      Google Play Edition devices are separate from the Nexus program.

  • Hamish Edmondson

    Is that wallpaper available anywhere?

  • Zak Taccardi

    Is the Google Play Edition going to be Stock 4.3?

    I feel like the whole point of the Moto X is Motorola's software enhancements, because it's already very close to stock but with a few useful enhancements.

  • JH

    maybe the Nexus 5 = Moto X GE? :)

  • Corrector

    All I hear is whining over Nexus phones. Good God, get over it. This Moto X appears to be a phone worth looking at. It's not all about specs anymore. The new X8 computing with processors doing different tasks will greatly improve battery life. You spec boys need to let your erection subside.

  • Alijah Simon