Motorola has piqued my interest again

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| May 30, 2013

Yesterday, after Motorola's CEO Dennis Woodside confirmed that their "hero" device, the Motorola X (which is much better than the X Phone), was indeed real, I saw a couple of interesting tweets. Those particular tweets seemed to suggest that Motorola had used the D11 stage to "announce" that the X exists to capitalize on the rumors. But, not in the way you're thinking, or the way we're used to.

Controlled leaks from companies aren't new, and we'll never see the end of them. Those leaks are the ones that the company releases, which garner plenty of talk and speculation. It's meant to build awareness for a product before an announcement. That way, when you finally get to see the company take the stage and unveil the real deal, you're already excited for whatever it is, and whatever it does.

Apparently, that's not what Motorola had been doing at all. Moreover, the tweets seemed to suggest that, maybe before this week, the X didn't really exist at all. Yeah. Never-you-mind all the rumors about the device. Until very recently, maybe even because of those rumors, the X wasn't a real device. But obviously Motorola felt the need to capitalize on the rumors, and so they changed their game plan to work around it.

And so, now we're getting the Motorola X sometime this summer. Hooray!

If I wanted to play Devil's Advocate for those tweets, and I really wish I had snapped a screenshot of them, I think I'd have to point out a news report from late February of this year. In that story, it was revealed that Google's CFO, Patrick Pichette, wasn't all that blown away by the devices coming down the pipe. He went as far as to say as the phones "aren't 'wow' by Google standards."

So, if Motorola was indeed working on a few other things, and realized that no one would like them, not even Google, then it would make sense they'd attach themselves to the popular rumors and go off that, right? I mean, if we wanted to believe in some pretty conspiracy theories.

As for me, and I imagine many of you, I believe Motorola has indeed been working on the X for quite some time, and that the company has had the plans laid out for quite some time. The rumors have indeed helped stir the pot, and maybe Google's CFO was even talking about the X when he made his comments, but I don't think the X is a reactionary device. From the sounds of it, from Dennis Woodside's lips, the X looks to be a natural evolutionary product from devices previously released.

Unfortunately, all of the rumors weren't having the same effect on me that many rumors do. They were just so all over the place, with nothing sounding like it could actually come to fruition. Which is why at the end of March, I was simply losing interest in the Motorola-branded Unicorn. And, yes, the comments from Pichette left a mark in my brain.

But here we are at the end of May, and Motorola's Woodside has piqued my interest with just a few words regarding the hero device's features. I honestly had jumped off the X's bandwagon back in March, so for me to have any interest in the device at this point means that Woodside hit the right nerves.

And those are the features. Specifically, the idea that this hero device will be aware of its surroundings and position. It'll know when it's in your pocket, in your car, or in plenty of other situations thanks to a plethora of sensors built into the device. As I said, this seems like a natural evolution to features previously utilized in Motorola devices, with their Smart Actions. And considering Smart Actions work most of the time, I actually have some faith that whatever Motorola is planning to do with that situational information will work more often than not.

Motorola has to bank on features, I think. Their hardware is good, yes, and I don't think anyone can argue that their battery life has been ridiculously excellent in the last few devices they've released. But the company has to do something else if they want to survive within the Android market, even if they are owned by Google. That's why Woodside wasn't hesitant to point out that the X is meant to compete with the iPhone, but also the Nexus lineup. This is a handset that has to stand out, and it's good that Motorola is willing to copy Samsung's game plan, and focus on features.

Will Motorola be able to beat Samsung at their own game? That's a tough call to try and make at this point. Samsung's momentum in the smartphone war is more than obvious, but there's no reason why another company can't create their own. If Motorola can continue to push forward with battery life, create devices that look appealing, and have a bunch of features that stand out and are unique, I think they've got a real shot at making some waves.

The only negative I can see about the X at this point is the display, which Woodside confirmed would be using an OLED panel. So, that's a strike against in my book. But, we'll see how everything else pans out before I make a final decision. It will be interesting to see if Motorola can indeed launch this new device on multiple carriers, which is absolutely something they'll need to do if they want to really succeed.

In any event, tell me what you think of Motorola hero device, the X. Are you interested in it now, based on what the company's CEO has said about the handset? Or are you still enamored by devices like HTC's One or Samsung's Galaxy S 4? Have you been waiting to see what Motorola announces? Let me know!