Motorola Ad Teases Customizable, U.S.-made Moto X Phone

Motorola is finally teasing consumers waiting for its Moto X smartphone with a new patriotic banner advertisement. It will be the first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the United States, it reads, the first smartphone that you can design yourself. The text indicates that the ad will go live on Wednesday, July 3, saying that customers will eat burgers and watch fireworks tomorrow, July 4.

"Today you should have the freedom to design the things in your life to be as unique as you are," the ad states. "And this is just the beginning. Imagine what will be possible when you have the world's best design, engineering and manufacturing talent located here in the USA."

"We knew this would be a challenge," the company says. "In fact, some people said it couldn't be done. But we're not just any company. And nothing this exciting ever comes easily."

Sounds like a good time to light fireworks and ignite the pit, no?

According to Motorola's VP-global brand and product marketing Brian Wallace, this ad will reportedly run as a full-page spread in the July 3 editions of The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. The ad – along with the product and Motorola's new logo – is putting an emphasis on freedom… just in time for Independence Day.

"Smartphones are very different than other tech products a consumer owns," Wallace told AdAge in an interview. "They're closer to shoes or a watch. You carry it with you everywhere you go. Everyone sees what phone you're carrying and they judge you on it. Yet, it's the one thing you carry that's the least customizable."

In June, Motorola head Dennis Woodside said Moto X will be built in a 500,000-square-foot facility – formerly owned by Nokia – located outside Fort Worth, Texas. This will be the first smartphone manufactured in the United States although the SoC will be shipped in from Taiwan and the OLED screens from Korea. He said 70-percent of the phone will be assembled locally in the Texas plant which currently employs around 2,000 local workers.

He also said Moto X will be loaded with sensors that draw very little power and are tightly integrated into the phone. He offered some examples, saying that it will know when the user takes it out of a pocket, and will act differently when the user's car is traveling 60 miles per hour (for safer use).

For a while the device was dubbed as XFON or "X Phone". One model that appeared back in May was running Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean" and had 32 GB of internal storage, 2 GB of RAM, but no SD card slot. It also had a screen size around 4.7 inches and a very, very slim bezel. Overall Moto X is expected to launch on all four U.S.-based carriers and offer over 25 different color options.

That said, the Moto X customization seems limited to the phone's casing. Just recently @evleaks provided some hardware specs, revealing a mid-range Moto X phone sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 28 nm SoC clocked at 1.7 GHz (MSM8960 Pro), 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, a 2MP camera on the front, a 10MP camera on the back, and Google's Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean" OS.

If the phone is using the S4 Pro chip, it will support 1080p HD video, and possibly 3G/4G world/multimode LTE connectivity. Other features include an Adreno 320 GPU which supports higher resolution displays, support for cameras up to 20MP, USB 2.0 OTG (480 Mbps), integrated Bluetooth 4.0 and integrated dual-band Wireless N.

The specs seem a little lackluster for a new flagship phone, but the phone's primary feature is the loaded sensors Motorola has yet to fully disclose. The company is seemingly getting out of the specs game to provide a device with stock Android that knows its user. Google began this journey with Google Now, but Motorola is likely bringing this personal assistant to a new level.

The Moto X is expected to arrive in the first week of August… along with a new Motorola.

  • hannibal
    The Goodle did say that they will focus on long usage time and durability. It will be interesting to see what that means when we are talkin about new Motorola phones!
    So, not having very bleeding edge flagship hardware in here is not an issue.
  • DarkSable
    Well, I got all excited, and then... I wasn't. If some of the hardware was customizable, I'd still be interested, but there are things in there that worry me, such as the sensor to tell if it's in a fast-moving car. That's probably going to be using GPS, and if it is, then it's going to be a constant drain on the battery.
  • aicom
    I'm not worried about the battery life aspect, but I absolutely hate it when devices decide that they're smarter than their users. This whole driving sensors thing screams of this.

    Take in-car navigation systems for example. The designers decided "hey the driver probably shouldn't be typing things in when they're driving," so they disable parts of the interface, but they never take into account that there may be someone who isn't driving that's using the nav system. Now to work around the poorly thought out restricts, I have to stop driving so that the passenger can update the nav route.

    If the Moto X phone decides that it's going to dumb down the UI when it's moving at speed, well what are the passengers going to do when all of their Moto Xs enter car mode?
  • kenyee many people want to customize their phone?
    Looks like they wasted money on that Guy Kawasaki guy...that's what you get when you hire an internet marketing person to design a phone. And he copied Pentax's DSLR colors idea so it's not even that new :-P
  • madjimms
    Made in Merica? Sorry, Will not support a bunch of redneck factory workers in the south.