New Moto X Video Surfaces: Why I’ll Probably Ditch My Nexus 4

motox-adLeaks continue to arrive for the Moto X – the new flagship device from the Google-owned Motorola Mobility. The device looks great, and given Google’s surprising and uncommon commitment to marketing the new device – a mere $500 million set aside – one would think Google has plenty to talk about. The bigger question for me, is how the Moto X fits into Android’s Nexus world? The Nexus 4 is nine-months old and most likely set for an update in the fall. But as the Moto X primes for an August launch, it seems odd to have two flagship devices – a new Nexus 4 and the Moto X – both delivered from Google and both with pure Android.

Google is clearly trying to offer more devices with pure Android these days. Devices such as the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 are both available unlocked, unsubsidized, and with pure Android on Google Play. So it may be no surprise at all that there will be two separate devices roughly offering the same experience.

The main difference may end up being price. It’s already heavily speculated (and leaked) that the Moto X will be available on all carriers – this means subsidized devices. It also could mean bloatware – something the Verizon Galaxy Nexus dealt with. If this is the case, and the Moto X is both a leader in hardware and delivering a pure Android experience, the device could be priced unlocked at around $600. This leaves room for a device such as the Nexus 4 to be launched with less-comparable hardware, but offered unlocked at half the price ($300) on Google Play.

There are also a few things I need from the Moto X in order to make the switch from my Nexus 4. The first is that the device has to run pure Android – for me it’s a non-negotiable. Rogers Wireless (accidentally?) posted a Moto X demo today, revealing what appears to be pure Android running on the device. It’s in Google’s best interest to ditch Motoblur – something most users despised anyways – for the way the company intended Android. Second, the device needs LTE – which is a given – but not currently available on my Nexus 4 (even though T-Mobile’s LTE runs on AWS Band 4 and there’s an LTE antenna – AWS Band 4 – hidden on the device).

Next, having an awesome low-light camera is important and key for switching. Motorola Mobility’s Twitter account already highlighted pain points regarding traditional smartphone cameras as an obvious tease for the Moto X yesterday. So it’s another given that the Moto X’s camera will be better than the Nexus 4’s, the big question is just how good will it be? Given the Nokia Lumia 1020’s ridiculous 41-megapixel camera, can the Moto X compete or beat more mainstream competitors like the iPhone 5?

Another factor is battery life – really the only thing Motorola has gotten right lately. The Droid Maxx and its variants perennially have had the best smartphone battery life in the industry. So an upgrade to the Moto X’s battery life will be a welcome surprise as well. The other is build quality. I’ve always thought HTC has had the best build quality in the industry, but what they gained in industrial design, they destroyed with HTC Sense (this has since been remediated with the Google Play edition of the HTC One). For Motorola, however, their devices have left something to be desired when it comes to industrial design that is not only an eyesore, but susceptible to damage from just casual use.

The Moto X is predicted to launch next month – most likely with Android 4.3. Google is trying to stage a giant comeback for Motorola in a mobile industry where comebacks can succeed or fail with one device. Will the Moto X succeed? We’re about to find out.

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