Google to take Apple’s iPhone head on: August 1 Moto X media event is a go


Several big media reporters and technology blog editors confirmed receiving invitations from Google concerning the long awaited Moto X announcement.

The invitation-only event will be held in New York City on August 1, cunningly a few weeks ahead of Apple’s rumored iPhone and iPad refresh.

The “Moto X” tagline on the invite leaves no room for ambiguity. The teaser graphics even shows Motorola’s actual Android flagship in black and white, down to its distinctive curved top ridge. At any rate, this will be a watershed moment for the struggling handset maker.

The upcoming super phone, as Google CEO Larry Page likes to call it, is thought to feature an always-on assistant, a staggering 4,000mAh battery, a ten-megapixel camera and either a 4.3-inch of five-inch screen…

Check out the invite graphics.

Moto X August 1 presser

So, what’s to get excited about Motorola’s first major handset built 100 percent under Google’s watch?

For starters, expect major innovation on the durability/battery front.

Per Google CEO Larry Page:

Battery life is a challenge for most people. You shouldn’t need to carry a charger around with you to make it through the day. If your kid spills their drink on your tablet, the screen shouldn’t die. And when you drop your phone, it shouldn’t shatter.

Build quality aside, if Motorola has made real advances in battery technology Google will admittedly have a major edge on competition as heavy smartphone users don’t appreciate carrying an extra battery pack just to get through the day.

Its always-on assistant may be another biggie: to activate Google Now, you’ll simply say “OK Google”, without even having to touch the device. And because it has a fast chip and a massive battery, the phone will be able to authenticate the user just by the sound of his or her voice.

These should make for nice bullet points in marketing collateral.

moto x

If a series of tweets by the rather accurate @evleaks is anything to go by, the Moto X will run a 1.7GHz dual-core MSM8960 Pro (Snapdragon S4 Pro) chip with 2GB of RAM, its display will be 720p and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean will be preinstalled.

Google snatched up Motorola Mobility in August 2011 for the reported $12.5 billion. The struggling handset maker has since failed to produce a flagship device worthy of taking the iPhone head on.

This is partly because Google had to essentially drain eighteen months of Motorola’s roadmap and start completely from scratch. Besides, the search giant was also busy trimming the headcount at Motorola and swallowing its losses.

They did find the time to flatten the Motorola logo, though.

Motorola logo (full size)

In June quarter alone, for example, Google’s fortunes took a hit as the otherwise solid profits were shadowed by Motorola’s $342 million quarterly loss.

Google proudly says the Moto X is assembled in the United States and “designed by you”. People in the know claim that buyers will be able to customize their phone prior to checkout, with options ranging from the colorized backplates and side bands to the screen size, the CPU and RAM.

I’m not sure ordinary buyers will fall for that trick, though the customization thing would presumably be a dream come true for a few power users and ultimate geeks.

The Moto X should launch across all major U.S. carriers, probably priced at $199 after a two-year contract.

What’s your opinion?

Is it going to be a breakthrough phone or just another Nexus-inspired handset?