Over the next few weeks I will be covering new phones that I think offer great features for busy parents. The first is the new Moto X by Motorola. I was invited by Guy Kawasaki to a media event at Google a few weeks ago to learn about the Moto X. Guy is one of my favorite social media role models, so when he gets excited about a product – I want to learn more! He started with a few opening remarks followed a presentation by Rick Osterloh, the SVP of Product at Motorola Mobility. I must admit, I had arrived on the Google campus curious how Motorola could differentiate a new smart phone from the really good Android phones already available. Well, the presentation helped me appreciate some new features that are perfect for busy parents (and everyone else!).
The unique features of the Moto X were discussed during the media event. Listed below are some of the key points. I will update my blog when I have a chance to spend more time using the phone.
Touchless Control: The Moto X responds to your voice (there is a 3 step training process) and is always on listening mode. To engage the controls, you just need to say “OK, Google Now” (for example “Google Now, navigate to 1234 Smith Drive, Mountain View CA”). Even when the screen is off, the phone is still in listening mode. The architecture of the phone allows it to be in listening mode without draining the battery.
Quick Capture: With the Moto X, it only takes a few seconds to take a picture. With two twists of your wrist when holding the phone, the phone goes right into one-hand operation camera mode. Then press anywhere on the screen to take photo or video. The quick shutter speed is perfect for catching kids on the move. During the demo, the pictures appeared very clear on the phone’s screen.
Active Display: A feature called “Active Notifications” allows you to turn the phone over and see texts, calls and other content on the screen without going into the specific app. Another convenience is that you can listen to recent calls on your desktop using the Chrome Extension.
Hands Free Authentication: Devices that are authenticated can be connected to your phone without typing in a password.
Fits in your hand: Motorola did studies to find a form factor that fits nicely in your hand.
Assembled in the US: Always great to bring more jobs to the USA.
Custom Colors: Here are details from the Motorola press release “Through our online studio, Moto Maker, you choose the colors, and decide on the details: front, back, accents, memory, wallpapers, even add a name or a short message. When you’re done, we assemble your Moto X right here in the USA and ship it to you for free in 4 days or less (*Subject to parts availability).” I am happy that the colors include my favorite TechMama Turquoise (well that is the name I call it at least)..
Lots of Accessories: I was trying to take quick notes during the media event, but there is an extensive list of accessories available from brands including: Belkin, Sol Republic, Speck, Incipio, Lifeproof, Otterbox, Casemate, Griffin, Powersupport, M4DE, So-earphones & deck bluetooth, JAX headhpones and speakers….
Price/Timing: Check carriers for specific pricing, but the Motorola press release stated price of $199 for the Moto X with a 2 year contract. Moto X will be available in the US, Canada and Latin America starting in late August/early September.
For detailed specifications, check out the Moto X website.
I did have a chance to play around with the phone for a while (and so did my social media buddy Kimberley Clayton Blaine).
I’ll be posting additional information on the Moto X after a trial run with the phone. I’m excited by the opportunity to have a smartphone that actually listens to me. Maybe my kids will take notice and follow the phone’s example, responding obediently to the verbal command, “OK Kids Now”. What do you think?
Disclosure: This was a media event.