While we’re certainly relieved to see that – possibly, for now – the term “iPhone-killer” seems to be retired from the mobile tech blogosphere (only to be replaced by the much more sinister “killer iPhone”), CNet’s Roger Cheng nevertheless dubbed Google’s new Moto X “the first true anti-iPhone.”
What Cheng means by that is that the new Moto X “illustrates the contrasting philosophies between Apple and Google. Whereas Apple seeks to maintain control of the products it manufactures as well as the software those products host, Google likes to turn over much of the creative work to independent users and developers, to “throw things against the wall to see where they stick.” (It’s the benevolent dictatorship versus the scrappy democracy, in other words, and if you’re interested in what a war between the two might look like, Slate’s got you covered.)
So one thing we should certainly expect from Moto X is user customization, and it looks like it’s going to deliver. Buyers will be able to choose between eighteen back-cover colors (there’s even a wood cover in the pipeline), seven accent colors, a custom message for the back of the cover (your e-mail, for example, should your phone get lost), in short, there’s quite a lot you can do to personalize the phone before you buy it, and all of that is free.
There are a number of other features that give us an idea as to where Google is taking its phones in the future. There’s Touchless Control, for example, an always-on listening feature that allows a Siri-like exchange that starts up once you say “OK Google now.” (And before you start panicking about the security implications of a phone that’s permanently listening to you, bear in mind that this is an optional feature, and that the default is the “off” position.) Users also have access to the phone’s camera with a mere flick of the wrist, and photos themselves can be taken by pressing anywhere on the screen, which might very well make this the quickest-draw camera of all smartphones currently on the market.
Of course, there are some who remain underwhelmed by the Moto X (specifically because it doesn’t run the newest Android OS), but we’ll have to wait and see how the Moto X fares once it’s released either late this month or early September.