Details on the first Motorola smartphone designed entirely under Google's watch — called the Moto X — are beginning to coalesce. The manufacturer has called it "the first smartphone you can design yourself" and we now know that Motorola will let customers select a color for the back of the device and another for the trim. There will also be an option to have the phone engraved, a service Apple made standard long ago with its line of iPods. Joanna Stern from ABC News broke the news this afternoon, and The Verge has independently verified these details with sources.
Motorola has already begun trumpeting the phone's customization options. Although the Moto X has yet to be officially announced, a series of ads in major newspapers today say the phone is "designed by you" and highlight that the device is made in the USA — just in time for Independence Day. By choosing to produce the device close to home, we've learned today that Motorola will be able to ship customized versions of the Moto X to customers only days after they order.
Other than storage size, customizations are purely cosmetic so far
In addition to color options and engravings, sources say that customers will be able to upload a photo which will be set as the default wallpaper on the device when it ships. The Moto X will be available to order from a website (likely Google Play) as well as directly from carriers, though customers will only be able to customize the device if they choose the former route. The customization system sounds very similar to Microsoft's Zune Originals program, designed for the company's now-defunct line of portable music players.
CEO Dennis Woodside previously revealed that the flagship device would be available on a range of US carriers, and today we've been told that a version running Android 4.2.2 is in testing at Verizon. Yesterday we revealed that the Moto X would not be using the longstanding "Droid" branding for the Verizon variant of the smartphone.
It's also been revealed that Motorola will be leveraging expanded voice recognition abilities in the Moto X. ABC News reports that the device can determine when you're driving, for instance, and it will automatically switch to the speakerphone function. It's also said that users will also be able to launch applications like the camera by flipping the phone. Specifications for the new smartphone have yet to be revealed, but today's report calls the device a "mid-range phone" — a qualification that seems to contradict Dennis Woodside's statements that the Moto X would compete directly with both the iPhone and Galaxy S4.
Update: A couple of photos reportedly revealing the Moto X's rear case have surfaced from French site Nowhere Else showing teal, red, purple, and green color options.