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Android this week: Moto X reviewed; LG G2 debuts; Asus tapped for new Nexus 10?

After spending a full week with the Moto X(s goog) phone, I’ve decided it will be my next handset. I had originally sold some older phones and an iPad(s aapl) mini to raise funds for the HTC One Google Experience phone, but it didn’t take too many days with Motorola’s latest phone to change my mind.

Moto X front top

I offered a full review of the Moto X earlier this week. If I had to summarize it, I’d say Motorola is doing more with less on this handset. No, it may not have the latest and greatest hardware, but if it did, I doubt it would be able to get the same battery life while still being a relatively small phone. Compromises were made during the design phase and for me — and I suspect for many other consumers — they were smart compromises.

Using dedicated low-power silicon for natural language processing helps offload the “always on” microphone feature (which you can disable) from the higher powered processing core. Motorola replicated the efficiency with a low-powered “contextual core” that monitors the phone’s sensors. That, and the AMOLED display, are how the phone can offer Active Display and Touchless Control without killing the battery life. And it turns out that the phone is performing at least as fast as the flagship phones available today.

I’ll be testing out the Moto Maker customization feature this coming week, so stay tuned for an update on that process which allows choice of colors for the handset. I don’t need to wait for that though: I’ve made my own decision but it came only through actual use of the phone. Those that look solely at specs will likely pass the Moto X by, so Motorola will need to get the phone in people’s hands if it wants to hit a home run.

The LG G2 was in people’s hands this week, if only for a brief time. LG’s newest flagship debuted on Wednesday and our own Alex Colon covered the launch event. His first thought? “It’s a gorgeous phone, and probably the best-sized big-screen smartphone I’ve placed my hands on.”


What makes the G2 a little unique, at least for now, is that it uses Qualcomm’s fastest mobile chip yet; the quad-core Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.26 GHz. And the front face is all screen says Alex:

“LG spent quite some time emphasizing the thinness of the G2’s design, and with good reason — this phone feels strikingly slim when you hold it. The screen measures 5.2 inches diagonally, which can technically place it in the phablet realm. But at 2.79 inches across and just 0.35 inches thick, the G2 almost feels comparable to a 5 or 4.7-inch smartphone. Credit that to the incredibly thin bezel, which is nearly nonexistent at 0.1 inch.”

That means that it may not be “too” big for some because LG made a smart design choice with the phone’s size, yet it provides a massive 5.2-inch screen. To make this happen, LG moved all buttons to the back of the G2; power/wake and volume up/down are just under the camera sensor, which could take some getting used to.

Also this week were reports of the next vendors for Google Nexus devices. Motorola may have a crack at the newest Nexus phone, which will likely spotlight Android 5.0, aka: Key Lime Pie. That may sound like favoritism since Google owns Motorola, but the company routinely rotates through its many hardware partners for the Nexus line. HTC, Samsung and LG have all made Nexus phones in the past.

Nexus 10 screenAsus already makes both the old and new Nexus 7 tablet and reports surfaced that suggest it will refresh the Nexus 10, currently made by Samsung. That sounds credible — and there is some compelling visual evidence to back it up — so I’m looking for a newer 10-inch tablet to debut alongside a new Nexus handset. It would make sense for Google to debut the pair together when announcing Android 5.0, possibly by the end of this year.

3 Responses to “Android this week: Moto X reviewed; LG G2 debuts; Asus tapped for new Nexus 10?”

  1. is there any such thing as a generic(without carrier branding) version of the moto X?

    if so that would be a phone i would want. even though i could load a custom ROM and unlock a bootloader there is just something i simple dislike about any carrier branding on my handsets either in the software or simply printed on the housing of the phone.

    so far apple is the only handset manufacture who has been able to keep carrier branding completely off handsets even when sold through carrier channel with subsidies. although i prefer android to iOS i applaud apple for the effort this must take to demand no carrier bloat.