July 22, 2013 at 4:04 PM ET
Google and Motorola's first big mobile collaboration is set to be revealed on August 1, but loose lips in the industry seem to be letting out new details and pictures every week. The latest batch shows that the Moto X isn't a heavyweight super-phone, but rather a middle-weight hoping to punch above its class.
The latest info, supplied by perennial leak-gathering source @evleaks on its partner site The Unlocker and on Twitter, shows that Google is aiming not at the ultra high end, but at the mid range. The Moto X will reportedly have a 4.5-inch screen, 1.7 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. This won't impress the spec fiends, but the Moto X is still very powerful. And if Google's strategy with previous devices is any indication, it will be priced far more attractively than its super-phone competition.
The trend in mobile phones the last year or so has been toward bigger and better: The Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, and other flagship devices have had cutting-edge specs, huge screens, and boatloads of exclusive features. Yet while millions of these high-end phones are being sold, millions more budget and mid-range devices are going out the door to people whose pockets are too empty — or just aren't big enough to hold such huge screens.
A leaked advertisement showed the phone always listening passively for questions from its owner (a feature that, according to The Verge, will not be on by default), and featured a wrist-flick gesture which will open the phone's camera app. When or whether these features will come to other Android phones is anyone's guess.
The Moto X is also rumored to have a variety of decorative back plates, from the kevlar pictured above to ceramic, metal, and even wood. Google is billing it as the world's most customizable smartphone, as well as the first to be assembled in the U.S.
The official launch (via many small appointments rather than one big event) is set for August 1, so there's plenty of time for more info to leak before then.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.