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Motorola opting for smaller form factor and stock Android for next smartphone

Motorola has revealed that it will likely step back to a smaller form factor for its upcoming batch of stock Android smartphones.

The next phone to emerge from Motorola (rumoured to be the X Phone) will be the first to have been designed since its acquisition by Google last year. Many have been wondering how it was going to stand out from the Samsung and HTC crowds, and it appears to have told PC Mag the answer.

It seems to be the trend with recent high-end Android smartphone releases that bigger is better, which is typified by the steady growth of the Galaxy S series from the 4-inch Samsung Galaxy S in 2010 to the 5-inch Samsung Galaxy S4 in 2013.

Motorola’s approach will, according to design chief Jim Wicks, be “better is better.”

While that might sound light another meaningless soundbite, it actually points to completely different mentality from the rest of the Android herd. Wick claims that current Android manufacturers are missing a “sweet spot” when it comes to screen size.

“There are some people that like a big display, but there’s also a lot of people that want something that’s just about right,” he said, adding that Motorola was “designing so we don’t disappoint those people.”

If we were to hazard a guess, we’d say that this could mean a return to the 4.3-inch to 4.5-inch form factor that, for many, was the perfect compromise between iPhone 5 compactness and modern Android generosity.

Motorola and Stock Android
Also noteworthy in this interview was Wick’s claim that the next batch of Motorola handsets would cut Motorola’s derided custom UI in favour of a stock Android experience.

“It will be the unadulterated version of Android, and I feel really good about our embracing Android and being the best Android experience,” he said.

Samsung, HTC, Sony, and pretty much every other Android manufacturer opts to layer on their own custom interfaces, which are invariably inferior to the plain Android experience found on the likes of the Google Nexus 4. Motorola is bucking another trend in rejecting such tinkering.

If Motorola can deliver on hardware quality and desirability, its new Google-prompted philosophy of “focusing on simplicity and the power of the consumer” could prove fruitful.

Would you prefer an Android phone with a smaller display, or is Motorola taking the wrong course here? Let us know in the comments section below.

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