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Oh, how Motorola’s once mighty Moto X has fallen

The Moto X Pure Edition was released in 2015 and didn't see a successor in 2016.

Motorola’s Moto X used to be one of the most desirable Android phones, right up there with the Samsung Galaxy, but it hasn’t been worth coveting for years. And it may never be again.

Newly leaked photos and details have revealed the next Moto X (Motorola skipped an annual refresh last year) will not be the flagship it once was, but a sad shadow of its former self. This is what happens when you let a beloved phone whither and die.

The unannounced Moto X4 has slowly leaked out over the last few days. Android Authorityhas published the clearest image of the phone. It shows off what appears to be a phone with a metal and glass design that’s reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy S7.

There’s nothing wrong the 5.2-inch Full HD resolution display — it still has Motorola’s giant distinct camera bump on the backside — but it already looks outdated compared to the new crop of phones with larger edge-to-edge displays, like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and LG’s G6. And it’ll only look worse once the iPhone 8, Essential Phone, and Google Pixel 2 come out.

The Moto X4’s cameras at least appear to be decent. The phone has twin cameras on the back (one with 12 megapixels and an f/2.0 aperture lens and the other with 8 megapixels and f/2.2), and it’s said to be able to do depth-effect tricks similar to the iPhone 7 Plus and OnePlus 5’s portrait modes. There’s also a respectable selfie camera with 16-megapixel and f/2.0 aperture on the front.

I’m sure the Moto X4 takes good photos, but it’s not going to compare with the competition, which have cameras that come with larger apertures (lower f-stop number) to take even better low-light photos.

What really makes you pity the new Moto X is its specs: It’s reportedly saddled with a midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, which while fine for general tasks, won’t take you very far if you want the fastest. But at least it’s supposed to come with either 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, or 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage.

On the plus side, Android Authority says the phone will have a 3,000 mAh battery, which is better than the 2,730 mAh in the recently released Moto Z2 Force Edition.

It’ll reportedly come in two colors (Super Black and Sterling Blue), but the colors are also a far cry from the myriad customizable colors and materials offered with Moto Maker back in the day when the Moto X was a pioneer blazing its own trail.

Worse, the Moto X4 won’t even support the Moto Mod magnetic accessories the company is championing, which actually make phones exciting again.

The IFA consumer technology show held in Berlin is coming up later this month and Motorola might announce the new phone there, but will anyone care if it’s so average? Motorola has a chance to triumphantly bring the Moto X back, but it looks like that probably won’t happen. How sad.

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