Motorola's handset division is rumored to be hard at work building not just the next big thing for the smartphone market, but Google's "X Phone," according to a post earlier this week in the Android Central forums. That post has grown some legs with a story today from the Wall Street Journal. The "X Phone," undoubtedly a code name (but that'd be a kick-ass retail name) is rumored to encompass everything from a bendable screen for durability to a ceramic unibody (though that might possibly be along the lines of that micro-arc oxidation treatment we've seen on the likes of the HTC One S), it is to be the phone to change the way we interact with our smartphones.
This might not be a Motorola Nexus, but something new and different. Running stock Android at its core, there will be a set of applications and a UI that is modular and runs on top of the OS -- meaning no extra time for updates, according to our tipster. These features are said to be things like new voice commands and gestures, and the "ultimate" camera software plus -- get this -- buttons on the back of the phone -- one for the camera, plus volume buttons.
Google and Motorola can freely play and innovate here, without having to modify the stock Android build underneath. This is huge, as current OEM layers are deeply built into the Android system and are not stand alone. This causes plenty of delay when it comes to software updates.
From our rumored devices forum:
Apparently this phone is called the "X Phone" or something along those lines and has buttons on the back of the phone. He said that a camera button is in the middle of the phone with volume up and down buttons on both sides of it all on the back face of the phone. He said it is supposed to be more ergonomic while holding the phone.
He also talked a lot about the phone having a ton of new voice command features and swiping gestures to accomplish tasks. He said the idea of this phone is to completely change the way we ergonomically have to interact with our phones. I.e. that it would take less than two seconds from the phone being in the pocket to using the camera. These features would be built on top of android as a stand alone proprietary suite app so that moto can be dedicated to updating to all new google updates in 3 months or less.
The hardware is said to be no slouch either, with "every premium piece of technology that Moto has" being used. We can expect a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM minimum, a huge battery, and Motorola's legendary cellular radios.
While this is still just a rumor, it makes sense for Google to use Motorola to finally take the reigns of Android and release a consumer oriented device that fills their vision of what that device should be. We see and hear about the benefits of controlling both the hardware and the software from Apple and Microsoft, and we think Google can do it better. If things turn out as rumored, expect a big push in mid-2013, and the device we've all dreamed about to follow soon after. Google I/O might be pretty interesting this year.
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