Motorola’s 2013 “X” arrives in Australia (finally)

Call it a late arrival, but Motorola is returning to Australia, bringing with it the company’s last phone of 2013, just in time for everyone else to bring in their 2014 phones.

We haven’t checked in with Motorola for a while, but now might be as good a time as any as we get news that Motorola is back in Australia, ready to take on the competition with the Moto X, a 4.7 inch Android handset built from Motorola’s time being owned by Google.

The handset is a 4G phone with support for 802.11a/b/g/n and ac, and it’s one of a few supporting Google’s latest operating system, Android 4.4 or “KitKat” out of the box.

A 10 megapixel camera is here too, integrated with motion sensing technology that will allow you to activate the camera just by flicking your wrist twice. Likewise, the Moto X supports a lot of audio, and will let you talk to the phone without pressing any buttons, activating it by saying “OK Google Now” and then asking questions from there.

Phones have supported Google Now’s voice functions for a while, provided you set Google Now to US English, so it’s nice to see Motorola Australia making this possible for Australians, too.

We can’t give credit to Motorola on its timing, however, as the company has really taken its sweet time bringing the phone down under.

Released initially in August last year in America, it’s one of the longest waits we’ve seen for a recent smartphone, close to the time Australians waited for the first Samsung Galaxy Note, which was replaced months later.

This week’s launch of the Moto X couldn’t have come at a worse time, that said, with Samsung, Sony, and other manufacturers expected to launch their rivals very shortly, with 2014 specifications inside new handsets, compared to the 2013 tech in the Moto X.

Motorola has launched the Moto X as a mid-range handset, that said, and with some of the hardware inside, we’re not surprised. With a Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core chip, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and no microSD slot, Motorola’s handset isn’t likely to win benchmarks against even the flagship 2013 handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One (2013 edition).

With Motorola sitting outside the Australian marketplace so long, it’s possible we’re seeing a return due to Lenovo’s recent buyout of the company, another manufacturer which hasn’t really had a mobile phone presence in this country.

Regardless, people keen on seeing the handset can expect it at retailers and telcos across the country this month from $549, though Motorola’s custom design system “Moto Maker” won’t be available here.