This week is the last one before Motorola’s(s goog) Moto X becomes available: AT&T(s t) announced that customers can get the phone starting on August 23, starting at $199 with two-year contract. To see how the process works, I got the chance to order a loaner phone through Motorola’s website. Customers will get a PIN when they buy the phone and enter that PIN on Motorola’s site to customize and order the phone.
Overall, the process really couldn’t be any easier. You choose colors for the phone’s front, back and buttons, plus get the chance to engrave the back and have the phone boot up with a message of your choice.
Motorola is assembling the phones in Ft. Worth, TX in order to get the custom handsets delivered within four days. I placed my test order in the afternoon of August 15 and have already received an email saying the phone shipped on August 16. According to Motorola, the Moto X I customized is due to arrive on Monday, August 19: Four days even with a Sunday as one of them.
Motorola is also selling a unique accessory for the Moto X called Motorola Skip. The small wearable is an NFC device that can unlock your handset simply by tapping the phone to the Skip. Also included are three Skip Dots stickers. Why would you want these?
If your handset is locked and you speak a voice command using the Moto X Touchless Control, you’ll first have to manually unlock your phone. That’s not very “touchless”. Place your phone on a Skip Dot, however, and it stays unlocked, awaiting your voice commands, for as long as the phone stays on the Dot.
That sounds pretty handy and so, too, does the Galaxy Gear. This is the reported name for a Samsung smartwatch, expected to debut on September 4. What makes it sound useful? The watch will allegedly “make phone calls, surf the Web and handle e-mails” so it won’t just be a second screen device. It sounds like the Galaxy Gear will have more functionality than most other smartwatches currently on the market.
That’s great if Samsung has created a device that overcomes the small screen with an effective user interface, something that’s not easy to do on a watch. We’ll see in a few weeks if Samsung has succeeded where others have failed or if this just a watch filled with features that aren’t easy to use.