Google unveils flagship Moto X phone

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Google unveils flagship Moto X phone

Sports light sensitive Kodak camera sensor.

Google-owned Motorola Mobility has launched a new flagship smartphone, featuring customisable colours, large online storage and a low-light optimised camera sensor.

Motorola assembles the phones in the United States, where telcos such as AT&T and Verizon will sell the Moto X for US$199 to customers willing to enter a two-year contract. The full retail price of the phone was not revelead by Motorola at the launch.

It is the first device built by Motorola under Google's auspices, and the web giant's chairman Eric Schmidt said the Moto X was the first smartphone to be assembled in the US, ever.

"Motorola has a new mandate to think big and take risks. A lot of people talk about innovation in mobile as if the big stuff has already happened. That’s a lack of imagination," Schmidt said on his Google+ page.

Google also fields the Nexus range of phones and tablets, made by LG and Samsung.

Technical specifications for the 129.3mm tall and 65.3mm wide phone include a 4.7-inch active-matrix organic LED screen with 1,280 by 720 pixel resolution.

This gives the Moto X a high, but not class-leading 316 pixels per inch density; Samsung's Galaxy S4 has 441 PPI in comparison, thanks to its 5-inch AMOLED with 1,920 by 1,080 pixel resolution.

While the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chip in the Moto X runs at a fast 1.7GHz, it is only a dual-core variant whereas competitors' high-end Android devices feature four core processors. The phone runs Google's Android 4.2.2 mobile operating system.

Moto X comes with either 16GB or 32GB storage, expandable by a further 64GB with a micro-SD memory card. There is also 50GB of Google Drive cloud storage bundled with the Moto X.

On the camera front, Moto X uses a 10 megapixel Clear Pixel sensor devised by Kodak that promises better low-light pictures thanks to panchromatic pixels sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light, and not just red, green and blue separately, as per traditional technologies.

Motorola will release different models of the Moto X including a CDMA EV-DO one, and the WCDMA devices have HSPA+ dual channel 3G broadband and LTE 4G as well.

The phone weighs 130 grams, offers up to 13 hours talk time, and lasts for a day with mixed usage thanks to a 2,200mAh battery, the manufacturer claims.

The Australian release date for the Moto X has yet to be confirmed.

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