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AP Reviews New Smartphones: Samsung Note And More

â¿¿ Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer

MOTO X, GOOGLE INC.'S MOTOROLA MOBILITY

What's really special about the Moto X has nothing to do with making calls, checking Facebook or holding it in your hands. Rather, it breaks from the pack by allowing for a lot of customization. You can choose everything from the color of the power button to a personalized message on the back cover. To make those special orders possible, Motorola is assembling the Moto X in Texas, making it the first smartphone to be put together in the U.S. The Moto X also offers the ability to get directions, seek trivia answers or set the alarm without ever touching the phone. There's good hardware, too, including a body fits well in the grip of your hands. The Moto X is the first phone designed with Google as Motorola's new owner. It could make Motorola, the inventor of the cellphone, a contender again.

â¿¿ Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer

XPERIA Z, SONY CORP.

The Xperia Z mostly catches up with offerings from Samsung and HTC, but one feature stands out: Its water-resistant shell means you can submerge the phone at least 3 feet deep for up to 30 minutes. Making water resistance a standard feature is something more phone makers should adopt as phones become companions to our active lives. Sony also enhances Google's Android system, without overly cluttering the phone. Enhancements include battery-saving features. The Xperia also brings a lot of features from Sony's stand-alone Cyber-shot cameras, while letting you highlight only the ones you actually need. Sony's new phone offering is impressive for a company better known for TVs, cameras and game machines.

â¿¿ Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer

â¿¿ BLACKBERRY DEVICES:

BLACKBERRY Q10, BLACKBERRY LTD.

The Q10 is a successful marriage of the modern touch-screen smartphone and the iconic BlackBerry keyboard. The interface takes time to get used to, and it doesn't have the simple immediacy of the iPhone. But once you learn it, you can positively zip between tasks. The downside to the new BlackBerry 10 operating system is its relative dearth of third-party software. In addition, the keyboard eats up space that could be devoted to a bigger screen, leaving the Q10 with a square, 3.1-inch screen. Nonetheless, the Q10 is likely to be attractive to the BlackBerry faithful, and it deserves serious consideration from Android and iPhone users as well.

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