Moto X roundup: Wood panels, a cheaper model, Google-Motorola clash

|By:, SA News Editor

Though the consumer response remains to be seen, the Moto X's (GOOG) unique features are creating some buzz. The X can be ordered with wooden back panels, and can display the time and user messages as soon as it's picked up or turned over. Also, Google Now voice commands can be activated without the phone being touched.

Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside promises a cheaper X model for prepaid users and emerging markets will arrive. "The experience of devices you can get for less than $200 is sub-par right now."

Motorola has established a long-term research group modeled after defense agency DARPA, and featuring former DARPA head Regina Dugan.

The WSJ reports there were "culture clashes" between Motorola and the rest of Google while the X was developed, with the Android team trying hard to distance itself from the mobile OEM. An ex-Motorola worker: "It's not like we were equally disadvantaged—we were more disadvantaged."

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