Google Moto X: A bargain smartphone

Announcements made at a conference in America this week herald a brand new smartphone but at a budget price. Google’s new Moto X will cost significantly less than an iPhone, Motorola has claimed, but will change the way people use their mobiles.

The new phone is said to use advanced sensors to anticipate the behaviour of the user, and Motorola’s Dennis Woodside said that the Moto X would change the way users “engage with how the devices are designed”, and that the “broadly distributed” phone would provide “experiences [that] are unlike other experiences out there.”

Google Moto X - Motorola Razr I

Motorola Razr I

Motorola’s latest smartphone is the Razr I, but Google confirm that the Moto X will be very different. Google purchased Motorola back in 2011 and this is the very first product that they will release since the acquisition.

Motorola manufactured the first mobile phone, and the Moto X is said to be an attempt to drive the costs of smartphones back down to a reasonable level.

Woodside, who was brought in to oversee the 2011 acquisition, said that despite the bargain price of the Moto X, it would be manufactured to target the top Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One as well as the iPhone.

Woodside said the Moto X “is more contextually aware of what’s going on around it. It allows you to interact with it more than other devices today. It anticipates my need”.

So how exactly will this work? Reports suggest that the new smartphone will probably capitalise on the features already available in Google’s ‘Now’ search product, and will try to anticipate what a user intends to do next and automatically carry out that task without the user having to do it manually. This could include the device sensing that it is traveling faster than normal and suggesting the phone enters into a ‘car mode’, or if the device is pointed at an object for a length of time the camera app may open.

The Moto X’s main selling point however seems to hang on its price, as it is known that Woodside has stated that it is Google’s intention to sell the smartphone at a lower price than other telecommunications companies, such as Apple.

Woodside did not target any specific company, but it is thought that the iPhone will be one of the smartphones that could be affected. Woodside told the D11 conference, “Those products earn 50 per cent margins. We don’t necessarily have those constraints. Those [margins] will not persist.”

Woodside pointed out that other technological devices such as computers and televisions had seen massive price drops in recent years, but smartphones had retained their high prices.

It is difficult to gauge the cost of a smartphone however, as many are hidden within expensive monthly contracts in which you do not actually pay for the phone itself, however it is known that Samsung and Apple have always made profits from the devices.

Google’s new Moto X will be in direct competition to Samsung and Apple but will also affect LG and Sony. Google have not yet announced the purchase price of it’s new flagship phone but reports suggest that it will be significantly less than a standard smartphone in today’s market.

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