Moto X

I'll take my Moto X free of any carrier shenanigans, please

Like most everyone here, I was pretty excited to see exactly what Motorola had to tell us yesterday. After months of hype and countless rumors, I was curious about what they would, and could, offer up with the X Phone and how it would differ from all those rumors. You just knew they all couldn't be true.

As the news came in, I was pretty happy with the parts that were true. The specs and the new X8 computing system is something I'm excited to have a go with, allowing buyers to pick their color may sound silly but it will be a big hit with plenty of folks, and even the 720p screen was something I'm fine with. A screen is more than the ppi. But the killer feature, and one that matters most to me, was just not to be. That broke the deal.

Motorola (and Google, since they write the checks) made this one all about the carriers by not selling it themselves.

The AT&T-only color customizations, and the all-important 32GB version exclusivity, made me want to kick something. I am a little disappointed with the price, but willing to accept that smartphones are a luxury item and we'll see big markups on them. My $600 and me would have parted ways as soon as I was able to buy one, except I'm not buying one from AT&T or Verizon.

"I'm a firm believer that you can't make anything better by adding heavy amounts of AT&T or Verizon to it."

I look back on Motorola's previous phones, some of which I really liked, and realized that the experience of every one of them was made worse because they were tied to a carrier. I'm a firm believer that you can't make anything better by adding heavy amounts of AT&T or Verizon to it. Needless to say, I was really disappointed at the news of how and where I can buy one.

I can't help but remember the limited launch of the Galaxy Nexus, where the US version was tied to Verizon. Google took a shot and held hands with Big Red, and look how that turned out. Verizon sold more than a few, and the people who bought one soon started complaining about Verizon's control over the device. And I don't blame them, it was (and still is) ridiculous. 

Oh we know they are coming. Motorola told us as much. Dev editions and unlocked models are in the works. We hope they will have access to all the colors and 32GB of storage, but most of all we hope they come timely.

I am really interested in the Moto X, and still want very much to buy one — a yellow one with "Fatal if swallowed" engraved on the back if at all possible, but even a model in basic black would be fine. But at heart, I'm both a consumer and a tech-geek. My attention span is pretty short, and that $600 won't last long. I'm not going to give it to AT&T, so if you want my money you'll need to offer me the phone you showed us, free of any carrier foolery now and in the future.

I thought you knew better.

 
There are 196 comments

"You ever dance with the Devil in the Pale Moon Light?"

DeerSteak says:

One of the better Jokers, IMO. Jack is slightly behind Mark Hamill and slightly above Heath Ledger and Cesar Romero. Come to think of it, those were all 4 very awesome Jokers.

wpavlik2 says:

Mark Hamil's Joker was great, but I really think that Heath Ledger had the best of the Jokers out there. He played it so well. I often wonder how Nolan would have used him in the Dark Knight Rises.

soldierblade says:

"I ask that of all my prey, I just like the sound of it."

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GrillMouster says:

Where does he get those wonderful toys?

lightyear420 says:

THis is still, to this day, the best quote from a Batman movie!

AceXMachine says:

+1

aapold says:

R - "Gosh, Batman. The nobility of the almost-human porpoise."

B - "True, Robin. It was noble of that animal to hurl himself into the path of that final torpedo. He gave his life for ours."

MERCDROID says:

This.

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Tyler Paul says:

Come on, quit talking about the Moto X already, we need more baseless speculation on the Nexus 5 damnit!

^This^ Lol

rabidhunter says:

+1

kcsween74 says:

^^^ Roger that!

eahinrichsen says:

I hear it's going to dual-boot iOS.

Dissident26 says:

+1000

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oneillperson says:

On a serious note, who's to say it will be called the Nexus 5? They kept the same number on the new Nexus 7. Personally, I'm hoping it will be a new Nexus 4 because I prefer the more moderate screen sizes :)

Jamaar White says:

Because people are expecting it to have this year specs. They name their devices by how many inches the screen is. Which is why the New Nexus 7 still has the same name. We think it is called the Nexis 5 because people want a 5 inch screen. Not me personally I'm only 15, and I prefer the smaller 4.65-8 inch phones.

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Um the Nexus 4 was named the Nexus 4 because it was the 4th Nexus phone: 1 Nexus One 2 Nexus S 3 Galaxy Nexus 4 Nexus 4. Only the tablets got their names from the screen size.

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Channan says:

And you know this how?

Darth Spock says:

Because it's not called the Nexus 4.7...

Hunter Petit says:

Google never really specified that. But its possible.

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MajorTankz says:

The Nexus 7 is the 1st nexus tablet. They called it the Nexus 4 just to fit the naming scheme of all their other Nexus devices.

crxssi says:

Actually, the Xoom was the first Nexus tablet, just not named as a Nexus. But in every way other than name it was.

4" phone = Nexus 4
7" tablet = Nexus 7
10" tablet = Nexus 10

It is extremely likely that if the next phone is close to 5", it will be the Nexus 5 and if it is closer to 4", it will still be a Nexus 4.

lightyear420 says:

Wow...you are just wrong in so many ways, I don't know where to start.

I guess with the N4. Its screen is not 4". It's 4.7". The Nexus S had a 4" screen, and if the naming scheme had anything to do with screen size in the phone family (not talking about tablets here) they would have named the NS the N4, and possibly the GN would have been the N4-2012. Technically, by your logic, the current model would be the N5 if they were to round to the closer whole inch, wouldn't it, since 4.7 is closer to 5 than 4....or have I been wrong since second grade?

The Moto Xoom is OFFICIALLY NOT A NEXUS device...they have said this on several occasions. It's only an AOSP device, similar to how an S4 or HTC1 aren't Nexus devices, but rather AOSP. So all AOSP devices are now Nexii, just because they have unsecure bootloaders and AOSP firmware? No. Google names the Nexus devices as they see fit. For whatever reason they held off on naming it a Nexus, and I personally think it's because tablets were so new to android at the time....but that's neither here nor there. It's not a Nexus.

hmackenz says:

Yeah that naming scheme will make a lot of sense in two years when we're talking about rumors for the nexus 7 phone (sarcasm). It'll be called the nexus 4 again if it's 4.x" and the nexus 5 if it's 5.x". It would be ridiculous for Google to fragment the naming scheme for nexus devices by naming one based on generation and the others based on relative screen size, and having the names of tcoincide

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crxssi says:

And they THEY HAVE ALREADY DONE EXACTLY THAT.

What do you think the "Nexus 7" is? There are now two of them now, both with the same stupid name. At the least they could have called the new one the Nexus 7.2 or something. Sounds like a rerun of the "New iPad". "New"????? Will it be "New" in a year? Two years? Five? After the next model comes out? Yeesh.

droidhead_1 says:

It started with the Nexus 7. Then came the 4 and 10. So very possible the changed the names to reflect screen size.

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hmackenz says:

*the names of multiple products coincide. In my opinion, of course :)

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crxssi says:

Sorry, but it was a Nexus in everything but name, exactly as I said (the Xoom WiFi, that is). It was designed to Google's spec, was the first device to use Android 3, was unlocked, was running stock Android, was updated by Google, was one of the first devices to be updated several times more. And please show me ANYTHING in print, from Google, where "they said" it was not a Nexus.

And no, ASOP devices are not "essential a Nexus"- none of them were designed per Google's specs. None were only offered with ASOP. None of them were reference devices for a version of Android. None of them have full hardware support in Android.

But if you want to argue semantics passionately, feel free.

Pollster says:

I don't care what it's called. Just tell me it's coming. Make it a big event where it's announced that it's will have 5.0 KLP, and I will scream like a little girl!

Hunter Petit says:

+1

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aapold says:

I hope it will be called Nexus 6, and it will be indistinguishable from other models except it will be faster, stronger and it will self destruct at the end of a 2 year contract.

Hunter Petit says:

Yes! My sweet spot for a phone is 4.5-4.8 inches and 5.0 inches tops. Anything over 5inches is a phablet.

Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App

Wouldn't be surprised if it's called the Nexus G to show its roots from the Optimus G series and now just G series from LG. Similar to the Nexus S being named after the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Nexus after.

MERCDROID says:

This!! Dammit!!!

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Hunter Petit says:

+1

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Orion78 says:

I'm with you on that! I already had enough of the Moto X. Bring on the next Nexus rumors!!

Droid Stew says:

Agreed. Had high hopes for the Moto X, but I'm moving on. Let's start discussing the Nexus 5 and which carriers will have it.

oflife says:

Nexus 5 is made by LG. 100%.

benhmadison says:

Brilliant write up Jerry! I think you said what a lot of us are thinking.

the1m.polo says:

I have verizon ...but I agree it should have been theeee hippie of all phones(freee from all the b.s)... and it wasn't... I would have purchased a customized 32g if immediately available at launch. ..to 1 support a USA based phone 2 have Google's 1st in house phone... but they screwed it up

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crxssi says:

A USA based phone? It is probably 99% non-USA and just *assembled* in the USA.

drokssilva says:

I believe it is made in the USA. But I'm sure its not made completely in the USA. And I think the moto x was a victim of hype it was supposed to be the best at first and then we got this, which is a fine phone but not enough to be the killer device moto wanted it to be.

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No they used the word assembled.

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snookasnoo says:

It is certain,y not made in the US since most if the parts arent made here.

gary keels says:

I may give the X a try on verizon once I get to compare it to the Droid.

mule0331 says:

This is just MY humble opinion, but strictly speaking of VZW customers, I don't really see why anybody would want the X. The Ultra has a bigger screen, bigger battery, the new zap picture sharing feature, along with all the voice / screen / notification features the X has. The Maxx has all these plus wireless charging, 32 gig memory and that big beautiful monster battery.

To add to your statement, the DROIDs have been doing a near stock experience for a while. While I can't say how much more or less stock-like it is compared to the MotoX. I can say that it is vastely closer to the stock experience than others.

robertopod says:

The Ultra has a smaller battery and bigger screen. Less battery life.. presumably

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tech_head says:

It's about look and accessories.

I know people who buy phones for accessory availability. They have an iPhone because they buy all the cool swag.

So my guess, just like the HTC One, S3 and S4, that the X will have plenty of stuff available for it. If that is true, they might sell a significant amount because of the accessory market.

Droids don't get the coolest of swag because they are tied to a single carrier.
Look at some of the cool machined bumper and such for the S3 and iPhone; you will never see them on a Razr.

worknman says:

But does the Ultra come in wood? :P

swimmaholic says:

Bring on the new Nexus and 5.0!

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Hunter Petit says:

+1!!!

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unccmyway says:

Completely agree with this. The carrier bloatware, delayed updates, and Verizon stupid persistent wifi notification are deal breakers. Hoping for a developer or Play Edition on Verizon.

Google Play edition isn't going to cut it for me. I want exactly what we saw, the same software, but without some bozo in a cubicle at AT&T deciding how and when software updates and features will roll out.

icebike says:

Where did you hear that the carriers have a vote about updated on Google Play editions Jerry?

The verge says otherwise.

I mean I don't want the "Stock" Android experience on the Moto X. I want it as is.

±1

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jomcty says:

Indeed!

jonathan3579 says:

You have just said what's exactly on my mind. I don't want a phone stripped of it's bell or whistles. Sigh... I'm waiting for a final off-contract price.

Rigelian says:

I've already decided that I'm jumping from Verizon to T-mobile about 6 months ago. Just waiting out the end of my contract period. Which means I am buying this phone direct from Motorola if I decide to buy it. I assume that it will have all of the Motorola software tweeks. The three questions that remain are when? how much? and will it have the customization features available?

In essence T-Mobile may have done me a favor. For those who have to labor under AT&T's, Sprint's and especially Verizon's heavy hand, I feel your pain.

Ellett says:

Rigelian, welcome to T-Mobile. I love the carrier, and one of the big reasons is that they've made it so straightforward and economical to use an unlocked phone.

As you probably noticed, AT&T's and Verizon's new plans are either a bad joke or a con job, double charging you when you buy a phone "up front".

Right now with T-Mobile I'm responsible for upgrading my phones, but I'm also getting voice, text and data for 4 lines for less than $125 a month. For me, that's an honest value.

crxssi says:

It is too bad their coverage is just so limited in most areas. If it weren't, I might have jumped to it. So staying with Sprint for now (on LTE, thank God).

Adam G1 says:

Crxssi, you're statement is not true. Tmobil's network works in most places.

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crxssi says:

All national networks work in most places. But T-Mobile's network works in the *least* number of places of the top four networks.

Rigelian says:

I've used T-Mobile before I jumped to Verizon. Their coverage is just fine where I live and visit.

crxssi says:

It really does depend on where you go.

Adam G1 says:

Agreed; however, t Mobil may have at&t beat at this point but that is subjective.

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jomcty says:

Yes, I did the same thing 2+ years ago and haven't looked back. If they have the coverage you require in your area, you won't regret it.

eahinrichsen says:

Precisely. This is the first of this generation of flagship phones whose gimmick features really interest me. I give zero shits about videos that pause when I look away, home screens that aggregate social media, etc. But the touchless notifications and motion-activated camera? I would use those features many times every single day.

If those features can be made available to the Play Edition model (similar to how the Smart Cover works with the PE Galaxy S4), I may throw my money at it.

Hunter Petit says:

I like the head pause thing on the GS4.

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MERCDROID says:

This. Fuck that guy in the cubicle lol

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Jamaar White says:

There might STILL be features from the MOTO software on the GPe. Like how there is still Beats audio on HTC One GPe.

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ReggieTee says:

Amen!

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I have heard otherwise. According to this, there will be a Google Play edition:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/1/4579278/google-play-edition-moto-x-anno...

sfreemanoh says:

Screw the Google Play editions. How much self hate do you have to get a device built to run a custom version of Android, with hardware only supported BY that custom version of Android, but not RUNNING that custom version of Android?

I'm going to withhold judgement on that until we get more information. It may be that future "stock" versions of Android do support the Moto X hardware. We're just speculating at this point since we don't have all the information yet.

planoman says:

I dunno, my S4 Google edition is pretty damn sweet! Kick my Nexus 4 in the a$$ and I always have my ATT S4 if I want to swap them out.

I am on AT&T so I am good with this...even though I will pass on the Moto X...

droidhead_1 says:

Moto x software is nice stock with the new Blur or whatever it will be called. So many don't want it with stock android, they and I would like a carrier unlocked stock moto x.... No features lost...

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planoman says:

ok...I was responding to another poster with some anger issues toward the Google editions...They are sweet and the phones where not built for vanilla android...I do not much care for the moto X regardless of OS on it.

benhmadison says:

You haven't used the Google Play Editions of the ONE or S4 yet have you? While I haven't had my hands on an "official" model of either I have ran the rom on the S4 and have fully converted my ONE and in my opinion they are both better on stock android especially the S4.

Hunter Petit says:

Yeah, Touchwiz really slows the GS4 down.

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Phil was in the same briefing. If it was confirmed it would have been on AC.

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Phil said in the podcast thats not what he heard. I believe his impression was just that it would be sold in Google Play.

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kcsween74 says:

Whoa what? You heard otherwise what? What are you negating in this article exactly or is this response to posted comment? Nowhere in the article did he say that there were no plans for a GP edition, as a matter of fact, he said that we know it's in the works (Dev and Unlocked versions reference is that I'm speaking on).

icebike says:

Plus 1000.

At least one on our plan is due for a new phone, but I'm not buying any phone from a carrier.

If anything, this just looks like a play by Google to wrest control of the market back from Samsung, by making a phone in the US that is free of import ban threats.

But turning that over to the carriers to screw us once again is a dumb move. Some way and some day we have to wrest control of phones out of the hands of the carriers.

I don't buy my TV Set from CBS or NBC, and I'm not buying my phone from AT&T.

t0ked says:

You might not, but if hbo offered to subsidize a brand new latest sammy 70" flat screen to the public for $400-$500 and a 2 year subscription, I bet you a lot of people would take the offer. I would since I get their service anyway.

Motorola and google are in a win-win situation. Att gets customizations and vzw get the Droid Ultra lineup (which I'd rather have anyway). And customers can choose whatever phone and carrier we want.

crxssi says:

But then the rates would go up by double the amount of the subsidy... so how is ANYONE better off?

Subsidies and multi-year contracts should be banned as anti-consumer and anti-competitive.

koalayummeee says:

Only if you are ready to ban mortgages and auto loans too...

I perdonally use Straight Talk on my unlocked phone, but then not everyone can afford a nice phone outright. Financing and subsidies aren't always smart, but consumers know what they are signing up for. Hopefully it changes, but right now most American consumers want subsidies, long term consequence and simple math be damned.

crxssi says:

Mortgages and auto loans are just that... LOANS. They are not service providers.
And mortgages are done by banks, not home contractors.

And although consumers might know what they are signing up for as far as initial payment and monthly payment... very few REALLY know what they are paying overall or all the details of the contract.

I can't help but wonder if some of the opaqueness on Moto's part about the unlocked price and availability is because they had to go through the traditional carrier channels to make the MotoX available to the great unwashed that will only buy their phones subsidized in a Verizon/Sprint/AT&T store, but at some point they will start selling it unlocked, at at a price that will surprise us. Maybe wishful thinking, but to me the question has never been whether or not Moto can make a nice phone (questions about specs aside, this seems to be that), but about the business side - how people will buy it, for how much, how will it be delivered and marketed? In that sense, the MotoX isn't a Nexus phone - the phone Google uses to demonstrate what it thinks the Android experience should be. Rather, Motorola is the Nexus OEM - the OEM it uses to demonstrate how it thinks the business of selling smartphones should be conducted. Just a thought. I hope I'm still right.

Vance14 says:

Bravo.

And, further, what is the likelihood that a Play Store version that works on Verizon will be available? Zilch.

sfreemanoh says:

Yeah, Verizon customers are getting screwed left and right lately (well, for a while, really). And I realize it's mostly Verizon's fault, but Google (and the device manufacturer's) get a piece of the blame also. The ONLY thing carriers should have a say in should be related the actual radios and any related hardware and firmware necessary to support the radios. Google lets the carriers completely bastardize their OS (and I'm not even talking about Blur or Touchwiz necessarily, I'm talking about removing or changing base functionality, like being able to freely download WiFi tethering apps if you're on an older plan), and the manufacturers bend over backwards to let Verizon sell their products by giving into various exclusives (like the Moto X 32GB version).

Pollster says:

+1
If a Google Play edition of this shows, then as soon as the next Nexus comes it's a straight decision between wanting Verizon or wanting the phones I'm actually interested in. The fact that one of the phones I'll be interested in will be available on Verizon, only hobbled, just adds insult to injury.

svenEDGE says:

Maybe I'll buy the X through Costco for Verizon and then use their 90 day return policy to return it once the Moto Maker thing comes to Verizon and get myself a 32GB wood one. Sounds like a good idea to me :)

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tr-1 says:

Agreed.
I thought this would be the phone to finally break out of these carrier specific deals. After all, this is probably one of the reason Moto is struggling... because they aren't selling freely like iPhone/Samsung.
They also decided to have a unique feature - customization. But then they limit it to only one carrier? Really?!!! How stupid is that? I was excited to buy this phone (I'm on VZW) because I can pick a cool color combination (and other small reasons too), but now I just don't want to. Not only I can't choose colors, it comes with VZW bloat and I can't even buy the back cover separately to replace it.

Google made a really good phone here but they immediately put a lid on it by making absolutely stupid marketing decisions.

Excellent write up Jerry....it really saddens me to see the "Exclusive" tag on any new android device Post G-Nex fiasco going fwd on a "Hero" or "Flagship" device. Multi-Carrier & semi-simultaneous release(ie. Samsung Devices) is what should be aimed for by OEMs. I like samsung but as much as I like them they need to b knocked down a notch, plus I enjoy having a choice or @ least multiple good choices like an HTC One. It would only strengthen Android as a whole to have 4 different "Flagships" on all 4 major carriers @ one time, which in turn would cause Apple & MS to really work harder in order not to get overshadowed. Prob never happen & I'm thinking of a fantasy hahaha

p08757 says:

Jerry -- I hear you. At least you have carrier choices other than Big Red where you use your phones. I'm stuck up to my neck with Verizon until some other carrier expands where I live, work, and play.

However, I can see a day in the distant future where your dream may come true.... I hope. VoLTE may save us all.

roaddawg24 says:

Jerry,I bet they're catering to most people, those who don't care about bloatware, or don't know the difference like we do.I left Verizon and the galaxy nexus for at&t in November and couldn't be happier, I had the note 2,now the OG Pro,it's all about phone choice and the best LTE coverage for me,the bloatware and OEM skins don't bother me cause I can change them any time to any launcher and theme on the play store,so I have no complaints with any of this stuff BECAUSE I switched to at&t.

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NoNexus says:

once again, How could you think any differently. This is not Googles phone, it is Motorolas. Two separate entities but one owns the other. Motorola is no different than Samsung, HTC and LG when it comes to stuff like this.

As per the purchase agreement, Google cannot give Motorola an unfair advantage, they have to treat Motorola the same way as everyone else. This goes for pricing as well.

For the next 4 years at least, this is what you will get. Period.

That being said, it really sucks what the carrier do to us/phones in general. They really need to be like the electric company, provide the service and that is it. But of course where a buck is to be made, there is no passing it up....

Where do you get the impression i want any sort of special treatment from Google on this? I just want Motorola to sell the damn thing unlocked on the web. It cuts none of their profit from carriers, and allows people who don't want to trust AT&T with vital security updates to be able to buy it.

I don't want another Nexus. If i did, I'd buy two of them with the money I've set back for this phone. I want what was advertised, without AT&T having any say in the sale or customer service.

I waited almost a year for a patched web browser on My Galaxy S II from Samsung and AT&T/T-Mobile. Screw that. I'm never doing it again.

NoNexus says:

I have no issues with the unlocked thing that is totally reasonable. People expecting the price break, carrier bloat to be gone and everything else is just silly. Even the exclusives. Motorola has it with Verizon on the Droid line, ATT had one with Samsung (or was it HTC?) and now this. It is par for the course for OEMs

There should be an unlocked version without a doubt but I don't think that courtesy would extend to the customizations

MERCDROID says:

I could care less, for the customizations. I just want the ability to buy it unlocked. I'm not a fan of carrier-branded handsets anymore.

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+1

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Why not? If you are paying full price up front you should have all the special treatment.

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jedah says:

These are actually my thoughts exactly. If the custom colors and the 32GB were available on T-Mo for a decent price, then this would be the phone for me. But at 16GB only on T-Mo, I think I'd rather have an HTC One (I know people may say it's the better phone anyway, but one of the biggest appeals of this phone to me is the size and fit in one hand).

What carrier do you prefer to be tied to?

I don't. I pay them after they have provided me my money's worth at the end of a month. If they haven't I will move to another. I'm not tied to any of them.

You carrier is just a dumb pipe for voice and data. The minute they try to be more, I've no use for them.

NoNexus says:

It SHOULD be a dumb pipein 100% of the cases, sadly it isn't in 99% of the cases

bhatech says:

I like you more and more. New to android central and good to know that you hate contracts and the useless evil carriers :)

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MERCDROID says:

This. +9000

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planoman says:

until more...many more are willing to give up the subsidy for a new phone and just use the carrier for what it is (a service provider), the carriers will rule in this industry. Too many will not or cannot buy a phone outright and need the subsidy.

crxssi says:

Then they should get a credit card or a line of credit or something. My TV cost $2500, which is a hell of a lot more than a phone, and my Cable TV company didn't raise my rates and "subsidize" it with a two year contract. AND THEN HAVE THE AUDACITY TO CONTINUE TO CHARGE THE SAME RATES FOR THOSE WHO OUTRIGHT BOUGHT A PHONE OR FINISHED THEIR CONTRACT.

And my ISP didn't subsidize my computer.

And the water company didn't subsidize my dishwasher.

And the electronic company didn't subsidize my dryer.

And the gas company didn't subsidize my hot water heater.

MERCDROID says:

Touche, crxssi, touche...

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Kinglo says:

ISP's do subsidize cable boxes and cable modem used to access them.

Water companies subsidize water heaters and hard water treaments in many markets.

Electric companies subsidize thier meter for those who want internet connected versions

Every Utility will subsidize equipment that is needed to access thier services if they can get you to pay.

crxssi says:

Maybe some do... but none of those apply where I have ever lived. ISP's cable companies here either rent you equipment or you buy it from somewhere else. I have called utilities here and none have any type of subsidies.

Beenyweenies says:

You really kinda answered your own question there. The reason the carriers win is because Americans feel so entitled to luxury items that, if they cant afford them, they are fully willing to get buried in debt or bad deals to have them. People who can't afford a high end smart phone probably should be using a more basic device. The system that's in place to enable a welfare recipient to be hauling around an iPhone is screwing the rest of us over.

Beenyweenies says:

If everyone considered them to be merely dumb pipes (which honestly most people do), then they have no brand and must compete on price which is, in every case, a race to the bottom. That's what they're fighting against.

The truth is, this is the main problem with Android in general. The Galaxy Nexus was the last android phone I've owned because the carrier delays and interference passed me off so bad that I sold the device and never looked back. What leverage did Apple have when the first iPhone came out that allowed them to deflect carrier branding and influence? None at all. They just had the balls to stand up for themselves and their vision for the device, something Android device manufacturers don't seem capable of.

I was so excited about the possibilities for the Moto X when it was announced, I thought it would be my return to an Android phone at last. But the exclusives and other carrier BS have totally ruined it for me.

Great article!

Eric Rossman says:

@Beenyweinies.. I disagree with your assertion that Apple stood their ground against the carrier interference. They just didn't interfere with iOS on the surface. Apple has only controlled the UI layer and update schedule by forcing a specific release dates for updates. I cannot give Apple a pass to the fact that they (teamed with AT&T) created the "smartphone" model for all US carriers to follow. Carrier subsidies, data caps, data service coupling (not being able to BYOD without being coupled to a data package -for instance), are all a highly profitable concoctions of AT&T and Apple.

You are correct that US carriers do not want the "dumb pipe" model. I recall that landline ISP providers withheld the "dumb pipe" model for years and years til sufficient competition and public outcry changed that. I believe we should all focus our voices and attention on changing this on mobile networks.

-good times in the magical age of gadgetry we live in :)

jeffe007 says:

Exactly man! Exactly! They are a freaking pipeline and no more! Hence why I use t-mo and a nexus 4....(for my law practice I'll be getting either a other N4 most likely or an iphone5 since everyone else in my family has one...)

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bhatech says:

Awesome article Jerry.. nailed it. Screw you carriers.

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NeosCoeus says:

Hi Jerry Hildenbrand. Can you confirm the price of $600 you're stating is the official off-contract price? I wasn't able to find that in any other publication. Thanks.

MERCDROID says:

It varies by carrier.

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NeosCoeus says:

Hi Jerry Hildenbrand. Can you confirm the price of $600 you're stating is the official off-contract price? I wasn't able to find that in any other publication. Thanks.

bhatech says:

I think it was just a figure based on what other phones sell off contract ...you can expect it sell anywhere between 500 to 600. My guess is $550 for the 16gb one.

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fam617 says:

Amen brothah!!!

the1m.polo says:

I was very disappointed myself... U can't have me wait till the end of the year to take advantage of all the perks of the phone for a mid range device. ... iphone 5s .. note 3 .. lg optimus g2 will all be here soon ... common sense tells u to start the moto x hype on all carriers now..

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Magellan says:

I have seen nothing in any current smartphone that makes me regret buying a Nexus 4.

thebizz says:

I agree with jerry this would have been so much better if Motorola would have released this phone gsm unlocked without all the carrier ties. But at a slightly refused price. I would be fine paying 450 for this phone but 600 is too much. Then when you tie in the carrier ties this phone becomes overrated

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bxojr says:

I'm a little confused. This isn't a Nexus, it's just another Motorola phone. Why should we have expected it to be sold under a different model from every other Motorola (or Samsung, or HTC) phone?

the1m.polo says:

Its not just another Motorola. ..not at all. Its thr first phone from Motorola under Google's authority. All other Motorola phones were in process prior to Google's acquisition of Motorola. Its also the first smart phone manufacturered in the USA (if I'm not mistaken).. its basically Google's first phone manufactured by a Google owned company. ...like Apple makes the iphone

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bxojr says:

That's not particularly relevant. Motorola and Google have said since day one that Motorola would continue to operate as just another manufacturer. Sure, Google people were involved in the design of the phone. But that doesn't change the nature of Motorola's business relationships with carriers. No one, at any time since the acquisition was announced, has ever suggested that it would.

MERCDROID says:

Still, it doesn't change the fact that Motorola officials kept reiterating that the X would be priced competitively. That's kinda deceptive, if you ask me.

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Hunter Petit says:

I guess they meant competitively to the on and off contract GS4 and HTC One.

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MERCDROID says:

Your guess is better than mine.

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ameadows252 says:

Because Google owns Motorola, and this was the first phone Motorola phone produced under Google's umbrella.

NoNexus says:

But as I said in this comment section, Google owning Motorola means absolutely nothing. They have to treat Moto just like they would any other carrier...

Because HTC and Samsung can sell unlocked devices right on Amazon. Even Sony can now. 

Camilo4gomez says:

I agree if they dont sell the Play version with access to Moto Maker soon, I might as well just stay with the Nexus 4 until the Nexus 5 comes out.

jbuggydroid says:

Verizon wasn't the only one with the galaxy nexus. Sprint had it and did a better job not screwing with it plus bumped the size to 32gb

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gabbott says:

At launch it was a Verizon exclusive

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butane87 says:

From what I've been hearing...there is a GPE version on it's way.

No thats not what they said. it will be sold in Google Play and the two are not synonymous with each other.

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No thats not what they said. It will eventually be sold in Google Play. The two are not synonymous.

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GrillMouster says:

I REEEEAAAAAALY wanted this to be awesome. The reason, partly, was because I wanted to support the whole "made in the USA" thing. However, more than anything I was rooting for Motorola to return to its former glory, because, after all, it was Motorola that gave us the first handheld mobile phone. That photo you see everywhere of the white-haired old man holding a brick-sized early mobile phone? That guy is Martin Cooper, the "father of cell phones". He was the engineer at Motorola.

The company has such a rich history. It started in Chicago in 1928. It created the first successful car radios, developed the cathode ray tube, created the six-sigma quality improvement process. Neil Armstrong's famous "one small step" phrase were delivered from the moon over a Motorola transceiver. It made the Star-Tac, the best flip phone ever (things started going downhill after that with the Razr).

Hunter Petit says:

Yeah, me too. But non tech people might actually buy it. For the customization.

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I have to commend you for not telling us that everything is okay and that this is best phone and best deal ever for consumers, especially knowledgeable techies.

miknxn says:

I wasn't surprised, just had a feeling.....

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ser_solace says:

Amen, Jerry. I think Motorola got scared and did not have the guts to break away from the carriers.

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jdm4u says:

My sentiments exactly. I was interested in it as soon as I saw the "Ok Google now" features and I also like the way they customized the camera app. Would've been nice if an unlocked version was offered from the moto maker site, even if it would've only been 16gb. That to me was the biggest let down, giving At&t exclusivity on the device and customizing it.

estebancam says:

Aaahhh yes. This is the age of want want want want want.

Look, we may or may not agree with their decision, but it was a business decision nonetheless.... Meaning that something good for them had to come out of it.

The market is consistent competition between the consumer and business. The business wants to get the most money out of you and its partners, while the consumer wants cheap.

A deal is when you buy a product because you meet in the middle. Don't like moto x because carriers are in it? Don't buy it. Just like you say.

However, they probably DO know better than you or I. Name once when an unlocked, non-carrier branded phone sold more than their counterparts.... That's right, you can't.

I don't like carriers as much as you, ans my current line of work is pretty much to make carriers more consuner focused. However, what I read here, as I have read in MANY of Jerry's posts are simply a "I don't like the big guy" kind of hippie post. They are ok, but point is: they DO know better.

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Pretty sure the Nexus 4 outsold the Optimus G.

Positive that the Galaxy Tab outsold the Verizon Galaxy Tab

So yeah, I can. 

And you're right. I don't like the big guy. He has plenty of people paid to look out for him, and to like him. I care about me and you. I hope that's OK.

In any case, how does anything you said negate the fact that they could sell at least one more phone at the full MSRP if they sold them on Amazon? They're going to do it anyway -- they've said as much. Why not let us know a little more about it instead of catering to AT&T?

 

Beenyweenies says:

Android fans could band together and refuse to buy devices like this, letting the manufacturer know directly that they can't keep doing this any more.

But you know what? Most android phones are sold to numbskulls who don't know a thing about android, don't care, don't want to pay for apps etc..

Knighthammer says:

Honestly (and not even trying to troll here) but Google's "let the carrier dictate" is pissing me off to the point where I'm really tempted to get the "other" phone.

At least Apple has the balls to tell the carriers - here is the phone, you want it its OUR OS & Phone - not yours!

MERCDROID says:

Bye lol

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Hunter Petit says:

+0.5

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kelayz says:

im a tech agent for att, we havent gotten anything regarding this when its available etc etc. i know we are a bit silly and what not. but dont hate to much on us, not all of us are 100% dope stupid, i know alot of us are but regarding myself i know im not :x

Nope. You guys and gals work hard, and deal with shit every day that would make me go insane. Bravo for you, and the people like you who have to put up with a rain of crap for a paycheck.

It's more the corporate borg-mind I have a problem with, not even the decision-makers themselves, who are probably intelligent, decent folks, too.

kembry says:

My reaction was pretty close to yours, Jerry, but I see the logic of it. How many people foaming at the mouth for the Moto X are going to sign their contracts and hand over their money AFTER they hear about a $300-400 unlocked Moto X in the Play Store. This is a money grab, and Motorola had to dance with the devil because they watched the Nexus 4 sell like hotcakes in the Play Store and die on the vine at T-Mobile. They wanted penetration. I don't like it, but I see the reason.

That said, as so many have said here, I'm still uncertain the Moto X is the phone I want now. The Android treadmill always has a newer, better phone on the horizon, but I'm thinking the Nexus 5 may have what I want. I wanted to like the Moto X, but I see it as a primarily mainstream phone, and not necessarily a tech enthusiast phone. Always on voice control is the big selling point for the Moto X (making this the "Google Now" phone). I'm unconvinced it will be as exciting as they claim.

T Well says:

I'm on sprint and 16gb is a deal breaker for me I don't like cloud storage all the time

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crxssi says:

+1

It is totally stupid-ass to have ANY exclusive with ANY carrier that would limit everyone else to a measly sub-16GB storage in mid 2013. Unacceptable.

MERCDROID says:

+9000

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vor says:

I get the rants on carrier bloat, availability, etc. But I don't get the price push back. Someone let a rumor fly and people salivated. But why should hardware = $ justification but not software innovation? And is the X8 a free CPU?

MERCDROID says:

Great post, Jerry!! I completely agree!!!

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BigShel82 says:

And so back under the covers for a few more months to dream about my brand new Nexus 5 off contract. I'm grandfathered with unlimited LTE on vzw but I know better now. They will never have me in their clutches again. Gerry Hildebrand our day is coming patience my friend.

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BigShel82 says:

Jesus, let's try that again Jerry Hildenbrand. Reading is fundamental.

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valapsp says:

What would be the difference between the dev edition and the Google play edition?

wakazuki says:

You've nailed it Jerry.
If I may add : screw you Motorola and nexus 5 here I come !

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tech_head says:

I'm willing to go back to the good old days of cell phones.
With my first cell phones, ~1995, I had to pay retail to get them.
There were no subsidies. When I wanted a new phone I walked into Office Depot and bought one.

The T-Mobile model is as close to that as possible, but their plans still aren't the greatest deal.

If there was a good pre-pay carrier, I'd jump ship. Metro-PCS plans cost the same as the T-Mobile plans. Suprise....

For me, giving up Verizon unlimited is a non-starter.

Orion78 says:

I don't agree with you at times but this is a great write up. Bravo Jerry....bravo!! I wasn't interested in this phone but this exclusive crap that at&t constantly do is very annoying.

PRELUDE_777 says:

there will be a Moto X Google edition, here's the Tip from Russian website www.4pda.ru they'r 99% of the time legit.

http://4pda.ru/2013/08/02/110267/

BBSeattle says:

Moto (Verizon) made my decision for me....hello HTC One.

grayzweb says:

Well said !

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toddjy says:

I was seriously considering buying a Moto X off contract for T-Mobile, knowing it would be available out the gate. But if I have to wait for it, forget about it.

Heck, I don't think we even know if there'll be a t-mo variant. Or if the unlocked version that eventually comes will work with t-mo's LTE.

So the Moto X is $600 off contract? That's a bit steep for a phone with mid level specs. Don't get me wrong the specs are great and good enough, but I'd get a Nexus 4 for $350 which has similar specs and runs stock android.

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Butthurt much?

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Getting the all white model on launch day.

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SgtMijo says:

Hear hear! Well said Jerry.

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garciaop says:

i was going to get the moto x even knowing that is going to be built in the most racist state of all Usa but now i have so many more reasons and my mind goes back to the GALAXY NOTE 2

MazoMark says:

Jerry, I agree with your approach, but also would point out there is a large group of us who just don't have this option. I live and work in an area with very poor GSM options. I've tried all prepaid options - AT&T, TMobile, Straight Talk, Red Pocket, etc. The only one I can get any signal on from my home is Straight Talk, and that is a weak, marginal signal that drops calls frequently. And since I'm self employed and use my cell phone for business, dropped calls are not acceptable.

Verizon gives me not only a usable signal, but I can pick up LTE data signal as well. So while it is the most expensive option, it is my only option. I would love to have options, but I don't.

So my only alternative to signing a two year contract is buying outright (either developer phone or carrier version) and using Verizon prepaid. But that limits me to 3G service only. So I bite the bullet, and sign a Verizon contract.

I'm probably going to look closely at Moto X once Verizon has Motomaker option. I'll either go for that, or an HTC One as my next phone.

I'm in the same boat bro

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...That's horrible...But if you have to swallow the Verizon poison, you light as well take it with the best thing (soon to be ) available: The HTC ONE (M7).

gburns says:

Well said!

pagger says:

Hearing all the bickering and blame over this phone makes me laugh ! Was only a few days ago every one was how awesome its going to be ! Yeah right keep it I will stay nexus !

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jomcty says:

Word!

Abionic says:

The X label implies something experimental, something that pushes the limits of technology and science. At least to me.

Like the X-planes, such as the X15, a rocket plane. This is what I felt like, or the name, x phone, conjured up an image of a top of the line x plane type of phone, instead we got a Cessna.

This phone is not worthy of the X moniker, instead it should be called, the Civic, or something more appropriate like that.

As for me, I will have to hang on to my Bionic a little while longer and hope the HTC T6 comes to Verizon, and soon.

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This phone is simply getting pummeled on many sites by posters. Why? We, who had been resigned to the mid-range specs BUT still looking forward to this phone, were banking on the most important (as it turned out WRONG ) leak: $299 Off-Contract price. The first BIG RED flag was that they wouldn't release the Off-Contract Price at the Release Event!...Never heard of that happening! They knew that $575 Off-Contract Price was going to declare that big NY coming out party! If they had priced this phone OFF-Contract at $299, 90% of the NEGATIVE posts of this phone would evanesce! We are much enraged!

SORRY, ANDROID Typo: "...was going to DEFLATE that big NY..."

SORRY, ANDROID Typo: "...was going to DEFLATE that big NY..."

sacherjj#AC says:

I learned all I needed when Motorola shafted me with an update that locked me on 2.3, after they promised an upgrade to 4.0. I would have loaded a ROM myself. It will be a while before I trust them ever again.

adnaan146 says:

Now this is someone who talks 200% sense!!!

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Cubfan says:

Root and debloat. That's my approach. I do that in the first hour with any device from any carrier. Besides, I have to root to install the Titanium backup from my last device.

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Matt Love1 says:

http://YouthEarning.com/index.php?refer=907

Guys check this out, Get paid over 1000$ a week possibly by posting a link. See information in the link above!!

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jean15paul says:

I agree with you in principle Jerry, but it just can't work that way. You're forgetting that Motorola is not Google. Google is a advertising company that will give you stuff for free or at cost to enable you to see more of their ads. Motorola is a hardware company that needs to make money by selling hardware. The reality is that in the US people ONLY buy from carriers (except for the small minority of us nerds). If you want to sell hardware, get in deep with the carriers. Motorola is simply making the best business decisions.

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lethalgorman says:

Amen to that

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