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The wait for the elusive Moto X handset shouldn’t last much longer. This week, Motorola(s goog) ran full-page newspaper ads explaining how the device is made in the U.S. and is the first phone you can design yourself. The former is certainly true — the handsets will be produced in a old Nokia(s nok) plant based in Texas — but the jury is still out on the latter point.
Leaked information indicates that the “user design” aspect is relatively limited and not all that innovative. It’s expected that the Moto X color can be customized with up to 16 difference back cover choices. Motorola will reportedly engrave the phone if a buyer chooses the option and if a digital photo is provided, Motorola will install it as a custom wallpaper on the Moto X.
If correct, these user design choices leave a little bit to be desired: It’s not likely that droves of consumers will flock to the Moto X for these over their current smartphone. All accounts still indicate the handset to be a mid-range device when compared to the latest flagship phones as well: A 720p display with dual-core processor, for example. It’s highly likely the phone will make better use of its internal sensors than other phones, however, as the company has already indicated this feature set.
With those specifications, the Moto X is farily similar to a phone from 2012: The HTC One S. There’s a key difference, however. Motorola is expected to keep updating the software on the Moto X; HTC One S owners have no such luck. This week, HTC officially announced that the phone, with debuted in late April, 2012, won’t see any official software updates. The handset currently runs Android 4.1, so it’s capable of running most Android apps but this sets a bad precedent for the company and for Android as a whole.
While there are never any guarantees of updates when purchasing a handset, it’s a reasonable expectation that the phone will get them for a certain period of time. In fact, Google publicly announced with some of its partners in 2011 (including HTC) that all Android handsets would get software updates for at least 18 months after phone launches. That promise now holds no water and I hope that Google works with HTC to bring at least Android 4.2 to the One S.
Consumers that held off on buying an Android-based tablet could save themselves $30 this week: HP(s hpq) has reduced the Slate 7 cost from $169 to $139. That’s not a bad price for a 7-inch tablet, but I think it’s a bad price for this particular 7-inch tablet.
For $10 more, the HiSense Sero 7 Pro offers a better value with higher resolution display, increased battery life, a more powerful processor and higher resolution camera. There’s certainly a market for both devices, but before jumping on the $30 savings for a Slate 7, I recommend looking around for similar devices in this price range.