No, the Moto X doesn't beat the Android competition on specs, and no it isn't cheaper than the flagship HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. Then again, you could say the same thing about the iPhone 5, yet folks buy it in droves. While Moto might have a serious case of hubris thinking they can rival Apple for user experience and design, we give them credit for trying. In fact, with the Moto X they've done something Android sorely needs: they've paid attention to you and me and how we actually use the phone rather than cramming it with more pixels than the eye can see and more CPU power than we have a use for.
That doesn't mean the Moto X is drowning in software features (ahem, Samsung). Apple doesn't do that, and Motorola, now a Google company, has learned that less can be more. You get a very clean Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean user experience with no UI frosting or 12 background apps to slow things down. The software and hardware customizations come in the form of Touchless Control, Active Notifications and Moto Assist. The phone (if you wish) is always listening for your command so you need not pick it up, unlock it and press the voice command on-screen button to tell it to call someone or look up something on the web. The lock screen shows info such as messages, emails and appointments: no need to press the power button and unlock the phone to see if you actually need to unlock your phone and look at it. This saves battery power and time. Assist can silence the phone at night and automatically switch to driving mode in the car (it uses the GPS to know when you're driving). It's good stuff that actually makes the phone much more usable. It makes the phone feel personal, something that Android hasn't been so good at.
Then, for AT&T customers, there's the Moto Maker customization to make it even more personal. At no additional charge, you can design your own 16 or 32 gig Moto X in your choice of 18 colors and 7 accent colors. Textures will come some time in the future, and I know several of you are eager for the wood finish. There's also an engraving option, which is more of a silk screen. Moto Maker might come to other carriers, though Verizon has opted out since they're focusing on their exclusive Moto Droid trio for the fall of 2013. The customized colors have a matte polycarbonate back and the stock black and white woven models stocked in stores are a Kelvar composite.
The Moto X will be available on all major US carriers and it has a 1280 x 720 AMOLED display, 1.7GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU with custom processors to handle voice recognition (Moto calls this their X8 processing platform), 2 gigs of RAM, 16 or 32 gigs of storage, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR, NFC, a front 2MP camera and capable RGBC 10MP rear camera.
Here's our Moto X video review. Our full written review will follow.