Motorola Mobility, a subsidiary of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), will officially announce the Moto X phone on Thursday in New York City, along with a release date and specifications for the device. Some details have leaked about the Moto X phone ahead of Google and Motorola’s Aug. 1 event, including several photos and specs, as well as rumors regarding pricing for the phone.
One report priced the Moto X identically to the Nexus 4, which costs $299 for a 16GB model and $349 for 32GB. But since the device will be made in the U.S., unlike the Nexus 4 from LG, the Moto X price could be higher than the Nexus 4. Many consumers in the U.S. (more than 80 percent) as well as abroad are willing to pay more for devices considered made in America, according to a 2012 survey from the Boston Consulting Group.
The release date for the Moto X could be as early as the announcement this week. Taylor Wimberly, former owner of the Android and Me blog, reported that an unverified source said the Moto X was shipping to U.S. carriers on Monday. That would allow carriers to sell the device as soon as it is announced on Thursday, or shortly afterward.
A Moto X release date of Aug. 1 would follow the trend of Google releasing products the day that they are announced, much like the 35 Chromecast HDMI streaming dongle.
Twitter user and phone information leaker @evleaks also claimed in June to have the Moto X specs, which at the time seemed underwhelming: a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 720p resolution OLED screen, 2GB of RAM and a 10-megapixel camera. The Moto X model that “evleaks” reported on at the time also had 16GB of storage and ran Android 4.2.2.
Motorola moto x: 1.7GHz dual-core MSM8960 Pro, 720p, 2GB/16GB, 10MP/2MP, Android 4.2.2
â€” @evleaks (@evleaks) June 15, 2013
More details regarding the processor and screen for the Moto X have emerged, telling a more intriguing story than another phone with a dual-core processor: the Moto X will likely incorporate Motorola's X8 Mobile Computing System, which means the phone will have eight processing cores.
The X8 system on a chip (SoC) was introduced last week with the new Motorola Droid lineup of phones exclusive to Verizon Wireless customers, including the Droid Ultra, Mini and Max. The Moto X will also incorporate the SoC with a 1.7GHz processor for applications, a quad-core GPU or Graphics Processing Unit, one core to handle language processing, and another for contextual computing.
That makes for a total of eight cores inside of the Moto X, likely what Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside was referring to when he said the device had "two processors" and was "aware" of its surroundings. The language processing core will tackle the Moto X’s “always on” voice control, which listens for the command “OK Google Now” and then can give information and complete tasks hands free.
The “contextual computing” processing core will help the phone determine whether it is lying flat on a surface, in a user’s pocket or on the move. Both the contextual computing and language processing cores will be low-power processors, to minimize battery drain or what Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside called the “huge problem of battery life.”
The Moto X will run on the recently updated version of Android (4.3) with a gesture-based camera function that allows users to twist their wrist twice to turn it on, even from a lock screen. Several features have leaked online, including a partly functional version of the custom camera app.
Taylor Wimberly also released photos purported to be of the upcoming Moto X on his Google+ page. They show that the Moto X will boast a specially laminated Gorilla Glass called Moto Magic Glass. This specially made "continuous surface" will allow the Moto X screen to wrap around the edges of the phone.
The Moto X phone’s carrier availability may have been revealed in filings with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The Moto X was previously approved with with radios compatible with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and now T-Mobile can be added to the list.
Thomas Halleck is a tech reporter for the International Business Times, covering Google, wearables, product reviews and mobile news....