Posts Tagged ‘moto’
Motorola’s next flagship phone is called Moto X, will be built in former Nokia plant in Texas (updated)
Outside of possible FCC filings, Motorola has largely been coy about just what its next major smartphone will be — until now. The firm’s Dennis Woodside just revealed at D11 that the new flagship will be called Moto X (previously rumored as the X Phone), and that it will be built in a Fort Worth, Texas factory that was once used to make Nokia phones. Woodside isn’t giving away many details at this stage, although he teases that the smartphone will “know what you want to do before you do.” Oh, and he has a Moto X in his pocket… not that he’s about to show us anything just yet, of course. If you’re curious about Woodside’s actual quote, it’s below:
“It’ll be the first Motorola smartphone built in the United States. It’ll be built in Texas — we’ll employ around 2,000 people. It’s right outside of Fort Worth in a 500,000 square foot facility that was previously used to build Nokia phones.”
Update: Woodside had two extra nuggets while on stage — he mentioned that the Moto X will be “broadly distributed” across numerous carriers, a rarity for Motorola smartphones in recent years. Specifically, he noted: “The Moto X is going to be broadly distributed — that’s a first for Motorola in a number of years. The support of the carriers has been fantastic.” In other words, this won’t be a Nexus device, and you can count on some amount of skinning and bloatware to muddle things up. On the issue of battery life, Woodside said: “I’ll save the details for later, but [the industry issue of] battery life is a huge problem. Motorola has some of the world’s best engineers and systems designers who spend their lives on that problem. There are two processors in the device that creates a system that allows you to do such a thing.” Two processors, you say? Fascinating!
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This morning, Motorola dropped a bit of a surprise with the MOTO ACTV, an iPod Nano-esque thimble of a device.
Does the world need another tiny, crappy audio player? Probably not. But what about a tiny, Android-powered audio player that focuses on gauging exercise? Still, probably not — but hey, it’ll be fun to hack!
Now, lets be clear: the idea of a device that gauges your athletic ability isn’t a new one — nor was it new when Apple introduced the new iPod Nano with Nike+ integration. As they tend to do, Apple just made things suck less, introducing a somewhat-flashy device that just about anyone could comprehend. Motorola wants to go deeper.
The ACTV is a bit more focused, diving far deeper into the niche that is hardcore athleticism. If the iPod Nano is 90% media and 10% exercise, the ACTV is split 50/50. Whereas the Nano is mostly a tricked-out pedometer, the ACTV has things like GPS, a heart-rate monitor, and a snazzy cloud-based backend for monitoring all of your stats over time — plus fancy tricks like Bluetooth pairing (allowing you to screen calls while gettin’ your run on without having to sweatily paw at your handset.)
I spent some time with the ACTV this morning, albeit in a tiny office rather than out on the track. Read on for my impressions.
- The design is, to use a positive word, minimalist. It’s… a black square. That’s it. There are a few buttons on each side and a 3.5mm jack on the top, but the design is forgettable.
- Remarkably light.
- The screen was considerably smaller than I would have hoped — a massive chunk of the face is dedicated to the bezel and the capacitive back button.
- The ACTV is built to be switched between a watch band, an arm strap, and a few other accessories that MOTO is working on. The watch band comes in the box, while the rest are optional add-ons
- When slipped into the watch strap, the thing feels a bit huge on the wrist. With a heart rate monitor built in, though, it’s still considerably less cumbersome than a chest wrap.
- It’s Android-based! That said, it’s not like any build of Android you’ve seen. They’ve boiled things down to the bare minimums here, ditching the likes of the apps drawer. Don’t expect to find the Android Market here. Its primary interface is essentially just a homescreen, with each page dedicated to one big icon/widget.
- Once you dive into the built-in apps, it’s a bit more obvious that it’s Android. Menus scroll smoothly, and share most of its design cues with vanilla Android. Compared to most smart watches I’ve tinkered with, it’s pretty dang easy to wrap your head around.
- One neat trick: based on your pace/heart rate during any given track, the ACTV will learn which songs get you pumped. One tap of the “Fit song” button will start up a track it knows will queue up a song to motivate you.
The key feature here is Motorola’s backend, which the device automatically syncs with (via WiFi) to provide reports on your efforts. Have you gotten faster over time? Is your heart in better shape now than it was a month ago? This is the deal maker/breaker; if its not good enough, it’ll be hard to justify a separate, dedicated $ 249 device when a $ 199 iPod Touch (which, in an armband, is hardly more noticeable) has access to apps like Runkeeper. Sadly, this feature seemingly wasn’t ready for a preview just yet.
To step away from the intended use case here for a second: man, do I hope Motorola didn’t go out of their way to lock this thing down. If the trends we’ve seen with iPod Nano are indication, hackers/modders will have an absolute field day with this thing.
What do you think? Any gym/track rats out there already breaking into a sweat over this one?
Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) is a data communications and telecommunications equipment provider that succeeded Motorola Inc. following the spin-off of the mobile phones division into Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. in 2011. The company is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.
Motorola Solutions is composed of the Enterprise Mobility Solutions division of the former Motorola, Inc. Motorola Solutions also previously had a Networks division, which it sold to Nokia Siemens Networks in a transaction that was completed on April…
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Android’s always had a best friend forever (or, for the time being) in Verizon. Together, the two companies were able to establish Andy Rubin’s mobile OS as a serious platform competitor, fighting back against the then threat of AT&T’s exclusive iPhone juggernaut with Moto’s Droid. Flash forward to present day and it’s no wonder Big Red’s SVP John Thorne is giving a public-facing, albeit tentative, thumbs up to Google’s Motorola Mobility acquisition. Thorne’s official line on the deal concerns the “stability [it might bring] to the ongoing smartphone patent disputes,” but the executive declined to comment further, citing a lack of known details for the proposed buyout. Certainly, the wireless operator has good reason to keep a close eye on the takeover, as a recent Chitika survey pegs it with a commanding 41 percent share of active Android handsets. So far, only Nokia has come out from behind Microsoft’s shadow, hailing the move as a boon for WP7 and casting shade on Google’s intentions. As for the rest of the industry, it appears they’re all making heavy use of that nifty statement generator. Hit the more coverage link to see what we mean.
The Motorola Xoom has made the rounds to various events, but Moto has yet to reveal the price or release date. But a Grand Rapids, Michigan Best Buy might have just ruined the surprise party. According to a post on their Facebook page, the tablet will hit their store on the 2/24. Now this doesn’t specifically mean that the Xoom’s official release date is the same as Verizon stores could get it a bit earlier, but at least it’s coming this month. For how much, though?
It was first shown at CES where it was the headliner for all things Android 3.0. Then just earlier this week, Google used a few Xoom tablets during the Honeycomb developer’s event. Yet Motorola kept to themselves, not stating when the tablet was coming or how much it would cost. Chances are the former of those two would be determined by suppliers and manufacturers while the pricing could still be a game-time decision since Motorola knew the Xoom wasn’t dropping immediately after its debut. They wanted to see what others were going to do. [Facebook via Droid-Life]
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