Google yesterday revealed that a Project Fi-compatible device “at a mid-tier price” was forthcoming from one of its hardware partners. VentureBeat has learned that the partner in question is the company’s former subsidiary, Motorola — sold to Lenovo in 2014 — and the device is this year’s Moto X iteration, branded Moto X4.
Rather than using its own infrastructure, Google’s Project Fi relies on T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular in a rather nontraditional mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) arrangement, combining coverage of the three partner networks to achieve maximum signal availability for customers. Its pricing structure is also innovative, at a base price of $20 per line plus $10 per gig of data — and unused data is credited back to customers’ accounts.
We hear you loud and clear. Keep an eye out for a new Fi-compatible device at a mid-tier price from one of our partners later this year. https://t.co/74U3bq16pa
— Project Fi (@projectfi) June 29, 2017
Besides being a highly anticipated phone in its own right, the Moto X4 will very likely own the distinction of being the first non-Nexus-or-Pixel-branded handset to offer Fi compatibility. According to an individual familiar with both companies’ plans, the handset is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter.
Let’s stop calling it “Moto X 2017,” eh? pic.twitter.com/dBnUr5n7CU
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 13, 2017
Not much is known about the Moto X4 yet, save for some general marketing points visible in a photo leaked out of a Motorola partner presentation. Having seen a picture of the actual phone, VentureBeat is able to confirm that the dual-camera device seen in the leaked photo is indeed the X4.
Motorola 2017 [via tip] pic.twitter.com/qahD9PIxrD
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 14, 2017
Motorola chose to eschew an X-series handset in 2016, opting instead to concentrate on its new Moto Z line of flagships and their ecosystem of modular backplates.