Moto X: Will colors and fancy engraving help Motorola?

Summary:More details have leaked about the mysterious "Moto X" -- the big debut (and bigger bet) for now Google-owned Motorola.

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In the face of other Android ecosystem giants (notably Samsung), Motorola has a lot to prove -- especially now that it is owned by the mobile operating system's maker, Google.

See also: Moto X: Real smartphone personalization on tap?

Thus, perhaps banking on the combination of customizable design notes along with the hype surrounding anything shrouded in secrecy, more details about the upcoming "Moto X" have leaked.

ABC News reported on Wednesday, based on unnamed sources, that the device is already being tested by wireless providers (notably Verizon).

Aside from running Android version 4.2.2 (more Ice Cream Sandwich), the takeaway seems to be that customers will be able to personalize both the exterior color and engrave names and/or messages on the back panel. Customers will reportedly be able to receive their custom-made devices "within days" of purchase.

Motorola has offered a few snippets of information itself. Describing the device as "the first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA," Motorola also boasted it is "the first smartphone that you can design yourself."

The mobile phone maker added that it will have more than 2000 new employees in Ft. Worth, Texas by the end of the summer working rolling it out. A release date has not been revealed yet.

These concepts aren't exactly new, but more like a hodge-podge of premium options seen on a number of other mobile devices. For example, iPod buyers have had the option to add engravings to their MP3 players for years.

Additionally, buyers of the Moto X will supposedly be able to mix and match colors for the rear and trim of the handheld -- not exactly the same but still a similar motif employed by Nokia featurephones more than a decade ago.

Certainly there is something to be said for offering these customizable options. Plenty of consumers buy smartphone cases that reflect their personal style and the image they want to project.

Nevertheless, what is really going to matter is how the device runs and costs against offerings from Samsung and HTC (at least in the Android world, not even counting iOS or Windows Phone).

But until we know more, Motorola is slowly but surely doing a good job of building up tension and hype for the mysterious project.

For now, interested followers can sign up to be emailed directly when Motorola releases more details.

Image via CNET/Motorola

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Hardware, Smartphones

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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