Android

Google and Motorola’s X Phone may have customizable hardware

motoroal x phone - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Even though I initially thought that the Motorola X Phone project was just getting started, more and more information has started to surface that suggests the device is actually quite close to production. Several leaked Motorola devices, such as the one that you see above, have spurred speculation about the exact hardware features of the device. Still, none of the leaks included sufficient evidence to suggest that a certain device was really the X Phone, and in fact there were a few devices thought to be the X Phone.

However, it turns out that it may actually be possible for a few slightly different devices to all be the Motorola X Phone. Last week, a rumor began circulating that the X Phone was not a single device, but the name for a new Motorola/Google brand akin to Samsung’s Galaxy brand. This meant that the X Phone might be a line of two or more devices, or more interestingly, a customizable piece of hardware.

A relatively vague Google+ posting seems to confirm the latter option. Guy Kawasaki, hired by Google to advise and work with Motorola, posted a video of a customizable Porsche to his Google+ page, with the caption, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could personalize your phone like this?” While this could obviously just be his own speculation or vision of the future, it sounds a lot like drumming up some vague hype for a customizable smartphone. Combined with the previous rumors, that possibility actually seems quite likely.

Obviously, this is still all our own speculation, and a rumor and a vague Google+ posting doesn’t make for a customizable X Phone. Still, I think that the idea of a high end customizable smartphone is a very interesting one. The Synapse-Phone was a failed attempt at this sort of product, but the heft of both Google and Motorola may make a made-to-order X Phone a possiblity. Of course, some things will probably have to be static to keep costs down, such as the processor and display.  Even so, a base model phone that offered users the option of many different storage amounts, RAM, camera sensors, casing colors or materials, and even perhaps a removable battery, in addition to stock Android, would be pretty cool.

The biggest potential problem I see is an increased cost for the device because it can’t be mass produced, but hopefully Motorola has a way around that. I’m also not sure whether the average smartphone buyer will be eager to choose between 1GB and 2GB of RAM on their smartphone, but I suspect the idea will resonate with the power users. It worked for Dell, so perhaps the idea of a custom-built device isn’t too bad after all. We will just have to see if it works for smartphones.

[Google+ via BGR]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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7 thoughts on “Google and Motorola’s X Phone may have customizable hardware

  • Avatar of Marvin the Martian

    Wonder what the price difference would be between a model with 1GB of RAM and the same one with 2GB?

    Reply
  • I’m disappointed with what Google/Motorola have thrown out thus far, so this excites me about Android hardware. I’m hoping to see great things.

    Reply
    • You have to keep in mind, though, that everything Motorola has done since the acquisition was simply pushing out products that were already in the pipeline before the acquisition. We have yet to see the real fruits of this partnership.

      Reply
  • I’m so glad you mentioned Dell, because all of these arguments are exactly the ones used against Dell when they first started this … “It will be too expensive” etc., etc….If this is true, I think this could really revolutionize the smartphone market. And if marketed and implemented properly, it might even be the biggest thing since the iPhone (blasphemy!).

    Reply
  • Avatar of JRDemaskus

    I expect that the more capable the device is, the better my user experience will be, even if I do not use all of the features.
    So just offer me a device packed with everything. Why do I have to figure it out!
    I had no idea what I was doing when I ordered my first PC from Dell in ’99.
    Peace

    Reply
    • Avatar of Aaron Orquia

      Well, packed with everything might be really expensive, when you could actually save money by getting only the features that were necessary.

      Reply
      • Avatar of JRDemaskus

        The only features I don’t want would probably be software related. I don’t use “Siri” or its android equivalents.
        And as far as cost, as long as the carrier subsidizes the price…
        I hope that whole trend of unlocked phones goes away. It is the only reason I don’t leave ATT. Barely there internet or phone at work where I use it the most durring breaks.
        But I don’t want to pay full price for my device.
        I can’t see how you could save money by purchasing an unlocked phone at full price, and pay for the service. Why not let the carrier share the cost?
        Yea, I would probably choose the most decked out expensive device they offered. I already do actually. So I guess I don’t need to have one custom built.

        Reply

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