KitKat powered Moto X comes to the UK – from Feb 1st!

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Breaking news out of London, and Motorola have announced that the Moto X, their high end Android phone will be available in the UK as of the 1st February.

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The X is a complement to the recently launched Moto G, but offers an enhanced suite of functions and a more powerful engine under the hood. Spec-wise this means that there’s an Snapdragon S4 Pro processor inside – running at 1.7ghz, with additional processors built specifically for language processing and “contextual computing”. There’s 2GB of RAM, with 16GB storage as standard- and a 4.7″ AMOLED display that can push 720p HD graphics at 316 pixels per inch.

But what’s more interesting is the extra bells and whistles that Motorola are hoping will differentiate the phone from the competition.

The 10 megapixel camera, for example, is pretty neat. Doing away with on screen buttons it is entirely gesture controlled – so you can tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture, and hold down to shoot in a burst. Zooming is controlled with a swipe – as is the settings menu to enable different types of photo. Motorola claim that this will make snapping a picture even quicker – with it taking only two seconds from pocket to having a photo taken – great if your, umm, surveillance target is fast moving.

The other big feature is so-called “Active Display”, which aims to make more sense of notifications. As texts and calls stack up, whilst the phone is in locked mode, you can subtly swipe up to get further detail on what the notification is, without having to go through the faff of unlocking your phone and having your bright screen show to the world that you’re not paying attention to the meeting you’re in. What’s quite clever about this too is that the phone will figure out when it’s in your pocket or face down – so won’t waste battery life unnecessarily, and will similarly avoid pocket dialling.

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The other big feature appears to be voice control – with the phone taking on some Google Glass-style functionality, with “OK Google” being used to trigger voice functions, from sending text messages to setting up navigation. When coupled with Motorola’s “Assist” app, this could be especially useful when driving – using Assist, you can set the phone up to do specific functions in specific contexts. For example, set it to driving mode, and the phone can read out all of your text messages and notifications so you can stay hands free.

From the (very) brief demo I’ve had this morning, it certainly seems like a decent phone and it has some interesting differentiators in a saturated Android marketplace. The phone will be available on February 1st, and will be available at Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse, O2 stores and on Amazon. Apparently a special white version of the phone will be exclusively available at Phones4U – so if you want one, unfortunately you’ll have to brave a conversation with the aggressive sales staff they have there.

James O’Malley