Lenovo Moto X5 preview: Everything we know so far

Ready for an Android phone with the iPhone X’s notch?

25 January 2018
by Stuff Staff

The Moto X used to be the flagship in Motorola’s (now Lenovo’s) smartphone line, but then the Moto Z took its spot, with the Moto X4 returning as a mid-ranger. Confused? That’s fair.

You might also be confused when you catch a glimpse of the Moto X5, or at least the first purported leaked image further down in the article. See that thing on the top? Yeah, that’s a screen that wraps around the front camera module, iPhone X-style. It has the notch.

Is Android ready for the notch? Are we? Well, we may find out later this year, as it should be a while before the Moto X5 is officially debuted. But if you’re a Moto fan and want to scope out your potential next upgrade, here’s everything we’ve heard so far.

WHEN WILL THE LENOVO MOTO X5 BE OUT?

Droid-Life just unearthed a huge Moto leak spanning multiple 2018 handsets, including the Moto G6 phones, Moto Z3 devices, and yes, the Moto X5.

But while the leak happened at the start of the year, we don’t actually expect to see the Moto X5 at February’s Mobile World Congress show or anywhere else anytime soon. The Moto X4 (shown) was announced at the end of summer last year, and it still has a fair bit of life left in it. Given that, the Moto X5 should launch in a similar timeframe in 2018.

FACT OR FICTION?

With no precise release info rumoured at this point, that’s our best bet based on typical smartphone release cycles. Dropping another Moto X this soon would be wasteful.

HOW MUCH WILL THE LENOVO MOTO X5 COST?

Now here’s a big question mark. The Moto X4 slid down into mid-range territory with its more modest tech, but will the Moto X5 keep that kind of approach?

It really depends on what Motorola plans to cram in there, which we only have sparse details on at this point. The iPhone X sells for US$1000+ in the UAE, of course, but we don’t expect that Motorola is baking up anything quite that premium. If we had to guess, we’d say it’ll come in higher than the Moto X4 – maybe more in the $500 ballpark.

FACT OR FICTION?

We’re just speculating at this point, but with a sleek build and screen and four cameras in tow, Lenovo can probably charge a bit more than they did for the more common-looking X4.

WHAT WILL THE LENOVO MOTO X5 LOOK LIKE?

Well, this is the only leak we have right now. Droid-Life’s purported render sort of looks like an iPhone X on the top that’s been mashed up with an LG G6 on the bottom.

It’s “borderless” like the iPhone X, according to the slide, but then it’s not… because of all that bezel on the bottom. Honestly, it’s kind of a curious creation, especially since there appears to be an iPhone X-like, swipe-based navigation button at the bottom of the screen now. That’s going to feel a little less intuitive with extra bezel between the display and the bottom of the physical phone.

And we’re wondering how nice Android will play with this kind of approach. As it stands, this one image essentially just jams the clock and connectivity indicators into the little black screen gaps next to the front cameras, and doesn’t even put a background in that space. Will Android notifications work smoothly with this kind of design tweak?

The phone looks plenty sleek for a mid-ranger, but questions remain at this point.

FACT OR FICTION?

Droid-Life couldn’t confirm the authenticity of the image with another source, but their Moto G6 images look spot-on and have been confirmed with leaks elsewhere. Meanwhile, noted leaker Evan Blass says the leak is real. If it’s true, this will be something rather different for Android users, which could help the Moto X5 stand apart from the pack.

WHAT ABOUT THE LENOVO MOTO X5’s SCREEN?

Well, aside from wrapping around the camera module – as seen – the Moto X5 appears to sport an extra-tall display, just like the iPhone X and most of the recent Android flagships.

Droid-Life pegs it as a 5.9in 1080p screen, which sounds right based on what we’re seeing. Given that size and the extra bezel, the phone might feel a bit large wrapped around that screen, but hopefully it’ll look anywhere near as fabulous as Apple’s version.

FACT OR FICTION?

Taller screens are moving into the lower-priced categories, as seen with the Moto G6 leaks, and it seems like we’ll get it here too—with the notorious iPhone X-like notch.

HOW MUCH POWER WILL THE LENOVO MOTO X5 PACK?

The Moto X4 packed in Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 630 chip, the same that we’re rumoured to see in the upcoming Moto G6 Plus. If we’re seeing the Moto X5 later this year, then it stands to reason that we might see the next step up in this chip class.

If so, then we’ll probably see a tiny bit more muscle from the next Snapdragon upgrade in this price range, but it shouldn’t be anything dramatic. In any case, the Moto X4 had more than enough horsepower to handle games, apps, and media without struggling.

It wasn’t as power-packed as the Honor 9 or OnePlus 5T, and the Moto X5 probably won’t be either – but it’ll get the job done.

FACT OR FICTION?

Expect gradual improvement over the Moto X4 when it comes to processing speed and performance here.

WHAT KIND OF CAMERAS WILL THE LENOVO MOTO X5 HAVE?

We don’t know what kind of cameras the Moto X5 will have, but if this leaked render is real, then we know how many: four of ’em. Two on the front and two in the back.

The Moto X4 (shown) packed in 12-megapixel and 8MP shooters on the back, but it was slow with snapshots – hopefully the Moto X5 can address that while delivering strong results.

As for the front, the X4 had a 16-megapixel selfie shooter, but we’ll have to see what Lenovo plans here with another one in tow. Will it offer Face ID-like facial scanning for security and other fun perks? We can’t imagine bothering with an awkward notch in the screen unless it’s really, really worth it.

FACT OR FICTION?

Count them up: the Moto X5 leak shows four camera sensors overall, but we’ll have to wait and see just how powerful and useful they really are.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE LENOVO MOTO X5?

As mentioned, the UI appears to integrate an iPhone X-like navigation button for bringing back the home screen, swiping through open apps, and more. And with the dual-camera setup in the front, is Lenovo planning to do away with the fingerprint sensor?

It’s hard to tell – one could go where the Moto icon is on the back, as the Moto G6 Play appears to do. Or maybe they’re confident in their facial scanning tech this time around.

Droid-Life’s leaked slide also mentions a smart A.I. called “Moto XP” or something along those lines, although it’s not clear what kind of benefits would come with that.

FACT OR FICTION?

We’re not getting a very full picture here of how Lenovo plans to bring an iPhone X-inspired experience to Android, but with a couple different leakers behind this story, we’re willing to believe that the company is at least considering this route. We’ll have to wait and see whether they actually go through with it or change course before the launch later this year, and we’ll let you know if we hear anything new along the way.

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