Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Do five new features make the Moto X an iPhone challenger?
The Moto X is the new Motorola phone, the first one to be launched since Google bought the phone maker, and its introduction confirms that the smartphone battle is getting bogged down in the trenches. Gone are the heady days of radical new looks and functionality, we are now into incremental improvements and features peripheral to the phone’s purpose.
In his New York Times article reviewing the Moto X, David Pogue identifies five features that distinguish the new phone from its rivals, ones that no phone has offered before. Here are the features identified by Pogue in order of my perceived importance from least to most:
Feature one: The phone is assembled in the USA. Unfortunately I don’t see this being a great selling point for many people. Most Americans happily buy goods in blissful ignorance of where they are made, provided they are cheap. However, the U.S. assembly location does enable a faster delivery time when customers create their own phone online (see below).
Feature two: The Moto X briefly displays the time and missed messages every time it is moved. OK, I can see that this would be nice to have, but on the scale of attributes that might make me choose the phone over another, it is way down the list for me.
Feature three: The camera app starts up with a couple of flicks of the wrist. Interesting, but I have a fine set of “accidental” photographs featuring the inside of my backpack or the bottom of my chin thanks to the touch screen on my camera, and I can’t help feeling that this feature would just add to my collection.
Feature four: You can design your own color scheme. Personalization is one of the key ways in which brands can now “level up,” to go beyond specific product features to appeal to their target audience. Moto Maker allows customers to create one of more than 2,000 color combinations online. Personally I don’t find this feature all that desirable but I know that many others will.
Feature five: The Moto X operates in touchless mode and is always listening for your next command. Now that sounds like a really nice feature to have and Pogue agrees that it is the most useful of the five. All you need to do to use the feature is precede your command with the statement, “OK, Google Now.” Unfortunately, and in spite of this new and potentially useful feature, Pogue concludes his review as follows:
Unfortunately, the Moto X’s five breakthroughs don’t exactly shake the earth. It’s a fine phone, but it has to compete with the deeply satisfying beauty (and superior speakers) of the HTC One, the seething power (and superior screen) of the Galaxy S4, and the infinite app-and-accessory ecosystem (and superior voice control) of the iPhone.
We will have to see how the Moto X does in market to see if Pogue’s assessment is correct, but I suspect he is. It is going to take a much more radical approach to innovation to upset the growing status quo and knock the iPhone off its perch. That means a lot will depend on how well the Moto X is marketed. But what do you think? Please share your thoughts.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2013
and is filed under Brands.
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