Steven Levy reports for Wired on Google-owned Motorola's attractive new handset, the Moto X, the fruit of a two-year project to reduce the company's phone lineup from 45 products to "essentially 5 or 6." It runs stock Android, albeit with better notifications, expansive voice activation options and quick-capture photos. Best of all, though, the physical casing can be customized with loads of materials and textures.
A website allows Moto X buyers to customize the phone, choosing from 18 colors and materials for the back of the device as well as different accents for the ring around the camera lens and the volume and on-off buttons. Soon after launch, Motorola will offer actual wood veneers. You can even choose headphones in matching or contrasting colors. …
[Motorola CEO] Woodside would prefer that people not call it the Google Phone: "People don't associate Google with phones," he says. "Motorola's the brand that resonates to consumers."
Like Motorola's CEO, I still can't quite get my head around the idea that Google bought Motorola for $12.5bn—the cost of seven YouTubes—so that Motorola could make it some decent cellphones.