Moto X teardown: X8 tech gets marquee billing under the hood

A large chunk of real estate inside the Moto X is designated as the X8 Mobile Computing System.

Motorola is making a lot of noise about the Moto X's X8 Mobile Computing System -- going so far to advertise the technology under the plastic.
Motorola is making a lot of noise about the Moto X's X8 Mobile Computing System -- going so far to advertise the technology under the plastic. iFixit

Google's, er, Motorola's new smartphone hit retail Friday and iFixit has wasted no time in taking it apart and revealing the X8 splendor inside.

Over the past few weeks, Motorola has made sure the media knows that the Moto X does not have a stock smartphone chip. And the company won't let you forget that even if you pop off the plastic (see photo above).

iFixit

As Motorola explained in an interview with CNET, the main component of the X8 system is a 1.7GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro that Motorola has worked with Qualcomm to customize for its devices.

The X8 part of the system is two Motorola-designed processors: one is a "contextual computing processor" that handles gestures and the other is a natural language processor, which powers the voice-recognition technology on the device.

The goal is to deliver high performance with low power consumption.

Which bring us to the battery. iFixit gives us a clear view of the Motorola 3.8 volt, 2200mAh Lithium ion battery, which Motorola claims delivers 24 hours of power with "mixed usage."

Notable components that iFixit found inside include a Toshiba 16GB eMMC NAND Flash, 2GB of system RAM, and a 10-megapixel rear-facing camera -- which, by the way, is 25 percent more pixels than the camera in the iPhone 5.

And how easy is it to pop off the plastic cover? The Moto X internals weren't as easy to get at as iFixit anticipated. "To our dismay, the rear panel, though clipped to the device, is also adhered," iFixit said.

But said this about the back cover. "Folks can pretty easily replace the back cover with another of their choosing, provided they peel off and transplant the flash."

iFixit gives Motorola/Google mostly kudos for an interesting internal layout. "The design choices are nothing if not unique."

Moto X's battery.
Moto X's battery. iFixit
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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