Motorola Updates Moto X Assist; European Release Announced For American-Assembled Phone

 @tommylikeyt.halleck@ibtimes.com
on January 14 2014 2:01 PM
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Motorola has updated Active Assist to allow Moto X users to respond to texts with their voice while driving, just in time for the phone's European release. Motorola Mobility

Motorola is updating Assist, an app made exclusively for the Moto X smartphone that allows drivers to respond to texts completely by voice. The Google-owned manufacturer also announced Tuesday that it would start selling the Moto X throughout Europe beginning next month.

Assist enables the Moto X to perform a set of actions when it detects certain user behaviors, whether the user is, say, driving, sleeping or in a meeting. The latter two examples allow the user to make muted phone calls.

When the Moto X detects that a user is driving, the phone can be set to read aloud all incoming text messages. With Motorola Mobility's updated Active Assist, drivers have the option to respond to texts entirely with their voice, without having to look at their smartphone.

Moto X Set For European Release

Motorola announced Tuesday that it would release the Moto X in the U.K., France and Germany. The U.S.-assembled smartphone had previously only been available in the U.S., Canada and some Latin American countries.

Moto X models sold in Europe will be SIM-free, and Motorola said Tuesday it will release the phone on Feb. 1 in the U.K., and later that week in France and Germany. The European Moto X release will not feature Moto Maker, the company’s customization suite that allows users to choose one of several color options for the phone’s rear shell, including a premium Bamboo wood back that costs $100 extra.

In the U.K., retailers Carphone Warehouse, Amazon and Techdata will sell a white Moto X model with 16GB of storage for £380. Phones 4U also has an “exclusive” black model for the same price. Carriers offering the Moto X on contract will offer the phone for £25 with a new contract.

In Germany, Motorola will sell the Moto X at Phone House, O2, Amazon.de, Media Markt, Saturn, Expert and Sparhandy.de for 399 euros. The Moto X will be sold in both black and white 16GB models at all German retailers.

The International Business Times selected the Moto X as the best Android smartphone of 2013, and it reviewed the top 11 best (and worst) features of the Moto X.

In Europe, the Moto X will run the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 4.4.2. The Moto X specs include a dual-core main processor with two low-power cores to power features like Active Assist and Touchless Control. It has a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display, 2GB of RAM and a 2,200 mAh battery.

In the U.S., Google bundled a free Chromecast device with a purchase of the Moto X, a promotion that ends on Tuesday night at 11:59 p.m. EST. The price of the Moto X in the U.S. has been lowered to $399 for the 16GB model and $449 for the 32GB model.

Follow Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey

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