Ina Fried

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Motorola’s Dennis Woodside Says Moto X Has Top Performance Where It Matters

While the Moto X may not be the highest-end device in every regard, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said the phone delivers the kind of performance that matters to real customers.

“We made some different choices from our competitors,” Woodside said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “We were thinking about the total user experience.”

Woodside said that it has been interesting to see the debate that has gone on among tech enthusiasts and writers in the days since Thursday’s Moto X launch.

Some features that often get a lot of attention — such as the absolute highest pixel density on a screen — just don’t matter a ton.

“Beyond 720p — unless you have the vision of a hawk — you aren’t going to notice much of a difference,” Woodside said. Having a big screen is nice, but having the biggest screen you can have while still allowing one-handed use is probably the best option for consumers, he said (echoing a take also offered by Apple in explaining its screen size choice for the iPhone 5).

Woodside takes issue with the notion that the Moto X is just a midrange phone with a high-end price.

Motorola, he said, chose to invest in features such as always-on voice recognition and a screen that can share information without the device needing to be fully woken up.

And in areas like graphics performance, for example, Woodside said the Moto X can hold its own against rivals’ flagship devices.

“Where we chose to optimize, we are getting what we want out of the device,” he said. That said, Woodside acknowledges that the Moto X is a starting point for the company, and that there is more work ahead.

Consumers will get to make their call as the device goes on sale later this month or early September, depending on the carrier. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon plan to carry it in stores. The phone is also compatible with T-Mobile’s network, though that carrier says it doesn’t yet have plans to carry it in its own stores.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald