Motorola is starting a new age with the Moto X. It's an age where their phones start using near stock Android, with a lot of focus on Google's services, and especially the Google Now capability. This is why Motorola has added new hardware features in their chips, so it's well optimized for that kind of experience – the Google Now experience.
It seems Motorola is going to promote this phone as a really good in-car phone, too:
"Google is the first to commercialize the self-driving car," says Woodside. "This is the first self-driving phone."
I could see how they would play this angle in their commercials, and really tout the advantages of voice commands and Google Now for the Moto X, especially when used in a car. This would also help the popularity of Google Now in general, which means more customers will be asking Samsung, HTC and Sony to show them the Google Now functionality on their phones, instead of removing it or hiding it so you can't easily access it, like some OEM's are already doing.
Woodside, the new boss of Motorola, says the Moto X is really the first phone that's made completely from scratch under the stewardship of Google:
"It took us a year to re-tool the company," he says. "We came in and literally started at the white board. We started thinking, 'What are the consumer challenges that we see in the smartphone world?' And we sat at the whiteboard and wrote them down. 'Why do I have to touch my phone to control it?'
One of the main innovations for this phone, is that it can be customized quite heavily, and it gives you a choice of many colors, which I think look pretty good, not as some of those cheap colored casings you see on some lower end phones. I've been saying that this is a growing trend in the smartphone market – to offer multiple color options, and it seems Motorola is at the forefront of it.
This won't have the same specs as some other phones at this price, but so far benchmarks are looking great, and you have to remember that if everyone just thought about evolving the phones in terms of "specs", we wouldn't really get anything else other than improved specs from last year. It's what ultimately killed the old smartphone market and operating systems, too. They focused too much on improving what they already had year after year, and missed the opportunity to create something very different (even if it had lower specs at the time) like the iPhone. I think Motorola is going for the same thing now.