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Android Headliner: Is the Moto X Google’s Attempt at a Mainstream Nexus?

July 17, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

The Moto X is quite easily one of the most anticipated smartphone releases of 2013, maybe not in the same way the Galaxy S4 and HTC One were but, it’s safe to say that the Moto X has enough Hype to grab a lot of attention. With leaks left, right and center there’s more than enough buzz around this device. A lot of you have been chatting over on Google+ about the specs of the device and how they really aren’t anything special and if the rumors end up being true, then the Moto X really won’t be winning any awards for speed or performance. I don’t think that’s the point though, I don’t think that was ever going to be the point.

As much as we all love Android, think back throughout all of the flagships, the cool devices and the super-powerful ones we’ve seen over the years, how many of them have been “for everyone”. Of course, this is exactly why the Galaxy S line from Samsung is so incredibly popular – you could give one of those phones to everyone and they’d love it. Try that with a Nexus 4, and after much head-scratching and furrowed brows you might get a similar reaction but, let’s be honest, stock Android is hardly the most “appealing” of smartphone operating systems. Before anybody in the comments calls me out as an Android hater, know this: I run stock Android on my One X (built right from AOSP itself) and since my HTC Desire back in the day that’s all I have used. I love stock Android, I love the freedom, I love the fact that it makes my phone feel like my phone. However, if I hadn’t taken the time to tweak it a little with new wallpapers, different apps and got to grips with the OS I would have felt a little left in the dark. Which is the point, I think, of the Moto X – Android for everyone.

With all of this talk about the Moto X shipping with customizable back plates and an appealing, yet simple design, I can’t help but think this is an attempt by Motorola and Google to create a more popular Nexus 4. The Nexus 4 from LG was – and still is – a great device, it came with a unique design and was fantastic value for money. For some people, the real killer is that it came with stock Android and of course, the ability to do whatever the hell you want to the software but, for most people they want a smartphone that works – and does what they want it to – and they want one that’s easy enough for them to use, which is why the middling specs in the Moto X might not matter.

With Samsung pushing their own services in their Galaxy S smartphones, there’s even more of a reason for Google to be pushing the Play Store, the Moto X is just another device to enable them to push the Play Store, but this time around with a device from a brand people know and trust – even if it has been absent a while – and not some strange Nexus thingymajig, the Play Store really will look and feel like iTunes to the general consumer, at least in terms of content.

The Moto X, to me, sounds very much like a Nexus 4 for everyone from Google and Motorola, with the rumored $500 Million they’re going to be spending on marketing, and the customization aspect, all signs point to Google trying to make Android an OS for everyone. I can’t wait, can you?