With Google as its new owner, Motorola is introducing the Moto X, a phone notable for innovations in manufacturing, as part of an attempt to regain its stature.
Yes, there's plenty the Moto X offers in terms of software, including 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 that's nearly as slim as the iPhone 5, but with the larger, 4.7-inch screen that is comparable to those found in rival Android phones.
But 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. Motorola promises to ship custom designs within four days, faster than it would be able to if the company had chosen to make the Moto X halfway around the world in Asia, as other phones typically are.
(Phones for overseas markets will be made overseas.)
You can still buy the phone the traditional way, in black or white. Walk into a store, pay about $200, sign a two-year service agreement (or installment plan with T-Mobile), and off you go with a brand new phone.
But that's boring.
Just as Apple's colorful iMacs showed more than a decade ago that personal computers don't have to be beige or black, Motorola is moving away from traditional black and white.
You're still limited to black or white as your front color, but you can choose any combination of 18 back cover colors and seven "accent" colors, which highlight the power button, volume control and the rim of the camera lens.
(Read more: Google unveils much-hyped 'Moto X')
There's more coming: Motorola is testing back covers made of wood, for instance, and it plans to let people vote on Facebook on future patterns, colors and designs.
You can choose a custom message for the back of the phone with limits. I tried to enter profanity and trademarked names and was told, "We'd rather you not say that." You can use the space to display your email address, in case you lose the phone, for instance. In addition, you can choose one of 16 wallpapers in advance and enter your Google ID so your phone is all set up the first time you turn it on. You can select a different custom message to appear on your screen when you turn the phone on.