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Motorola Moto X hands-on

Posted: , by John V.

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Motorola Moto X hands-on
Introduction:

Hello Moto! We were just talking about you just last week, when Verizon introduced the world to its latest set of Motorola DROID branded smartphones. This time though, we’re getting a look at something that seems to have far more reach than its DROID siblings. In a very quiet affair in New York City, Motorola officially outed its next big thing – the Moto X. Rather than having that upscale announcement that we’re typically accustomed to experiencing with flagship devices, this one actually was more laid back, as Motorola took the time to meticulously go into detail regarding the key selling points of its upcoming smartphone.

Naturally, the Moto X is heading into the thick of battle, as many flagship smartphones from various companies are vying for supremacy in the landscape. And after being introduced to the new line of Motorola DROIDs, it would seem as though some of the Moto X’s thunder would be lessened. Well, that’s certainly not the case, seeing that the handset is going to be made available through all four major wireless carriers in the US, plus regional carrier US Cellular, when it launches in the comings weeks.

The hardware might not be its strongest aspect, but rather, it seems as though Motorola decided to hone in on the experience and assembly process. To tell you the truth, though, it shares many of the software experiences we’ve already seen with the new DROIDs, but the creation and assembly process attached to the Moto X is entirely alien – not only to us, but in the industry as a whole. Let’s see what the talk is all about!

Display:

Meh, it’s no monster on paper, but when you look at the Moto X’s 4.7-inch AMOLED 720p display, it still has that invisible power to reel us in with its iridescent glow. With 720p resolution and all, it’s obviously lagging behind the competition, but we really can’t count it out. For beginners, we’re just amazed that they’re able to keep the relative size of the handset extremely confined – so that it doesn’t feel like you’re holding to a phone with a 4.7-inch display, but instead, something smaller. Details are naturally okay, which is something expected from its size and resolution. Colors on the other hand, continue to mesmerize us with its prominent glow and saturated tones, which are the hallmark qualities of AMOLED displays.

Just like the DROIDs, it features an Active Display that delivers relevant notifications to a small section on the display – thus, lessening its power consumption. In order to view them, you can either nudge the handset when it’s asleep, or simply flip the handset from its back to its front. After all is said and done, it’s great for not being obtrusive. Overall, the display itself isn’t astounding, especially when pitted against some of the monster sized 1080p displays out there, but it’s still one of the handset’s visual appeals from a first glance.

The Moto X features a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display.
The Moto X features a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display.
The Moto X features a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display.
The Moto X features a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display.

The Moto X features a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display.



Design:

Whereas the new DROIDs are cutting edge and aggressive with their designs, Motorola opts for a more humble and laid back approach with the Moto X. Above all, it’s just the size of the handset that really catches our attention. It’s a phone with a 4.7-inch display, but it feels as though we’re holding something with a 4” or 4.3” display. Adding to its compact size, the curved nature of its rear casing enables it to feel ergonomically correct when held in the hand – so it simply comes off as natural. In terms of materials, Motorola says that it’s comprised out of this composite material, which is plastic in nature, but there’s this nice rubbery finish to it. Throw in a specific pattern design, everything comes together quite well.

Above all, it’s just the size of the handset that really catches our attention.
Above all, it’s just the size of the handset that really catches our attention.
Above all, it’s just the size of the handset that really catches our attention.
Above all, it’s just the size of the handset that really catches our attention.

Above all, it’s just the size of the handset that really catches our attention.



Taking a quick tour around the device, all the usual suspects are all there. On its right edge, we have the dedicated power button and volume control, which are thin in size, but still very distinct to the touch and responsive. Along the top edge, we have the 3.5mm headset jack and noise cancelling microphone – while the bottom hosts its microUSB port and standard mic. Oh yeah, this utilizes a nanoSIM slot, which is placed on its left edge and is accessible with the included SIM removal tool.

We don’t have the customary Android capacitive buttons beneath the display, since they’re incorporated into the interface. Rounding things out on its façade, we have its earpiece, light/proximity sensors, and front-facing 2-megapixel camera. Flip it over to the rear, its 10-megapixel Clear Pixel camera with LED flash are all flush with the surrounding surface. Unfortunately, this doesn’t feature expandable memory, which means that you’ll need to be a bit more conscious about using up its 16GB of storage (there will be a 32GB option as well).

Going with a different approach, Motorola is going for something new when it comes to the design process of the Moto X. Of course, you can pick up the handset in its usual black and white color options, but they’re adding something entirely new to the mix – Moto Maker. What is it? Well, it’s their online portal where prospective buyers can customize their handsets. Impressively, there’s a lot that you can modify – such as the rear casing’s color, pattern, color accents, startup greeting, and physical etching. So yeah, it’s pretty wonderful that there’s this fine level of detail when it comes to the creation process. However, it should be noted that AT&T will be the exclusive carrier in the US to take advantage of Moto Maker. Furthermore, you can even purchase other accessories, such as cases and headphones, which would match the color scheme of your phone. Frankly, the unified experience is very different from what we’re traditionally exposed to, but we really hope that all carriers will get in with this new process too.

Moto Maker allows you to customize the look of the phone.
Moto Maker allows you to customize the look of the phone.
Moto Maker allows you to customize the look of the phone.
Moto Maker allows you to customize the look of the phone.

Moto Maker allows you to customize the look of the phone.







The hands-on continues on the following pages

45 Comments
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posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:02

1. iyngr (Posts: 64; Member since: 14 Jul 2013)


Is there a way to watch the event live stream

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:02 6

2. Cinnamon (Posts: 87; Member since: 16 Jun 2011)


Holy S**T! Most of the rumors were right!

Also Moto maker is something that is so cool.

Want this phone now.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:04 3

3. Android4u (Posts: 456; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


I want it

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:17 9

18. Android4u (Posts: 456; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


I take my comment back..I don't want it no more..

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 20:11

38. marbovo (Posts: 614; Member since: 16 May 2013)


That was funny, tell us why have changed your mind

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 04:33

43. valapsp (Posts: 469; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


Most probably because of its contract price and off contract price. $199,$249-$580,$630

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:40

31. TheLolGuy (Posts: 483; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


American assembly and labor ain't cheap. The public wants American-made products, and you got it. The higher price tag is a consequence for this decision... it's time to put the money where your mouth is, folks!

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:04 1

4. hkxm8 (Posts: 45; Member since: 08 Apr 2012)


Camera, software, hardware seem good. Design? NO.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:06 6

5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7441; Member since: 14 May 2012)


F---ing AT&T with their exclusives.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:15 2

16. OldNorseBruin (Posts: 130; Member since: 12 Mar 2013)


You're right: F. U. At&t!

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:08 1

6. zachattack (Posts: 534; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)


the shakey wrist thing to open the camera is beyond dumb. However everything else is nice. Nothing special really. Great, and possibly the best mid range out there though. Would get it but i want the HTC One / LG G2 instead sorry motoooo

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:09

7. kpeanut (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Jul 2013)


UK release please? Any news?

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:11 6

8. Thomas5.3 (Posts: 37; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)


same price on contract as the galaxy s4.. NEXT

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:11

9. Dr.Android (Posts: 19; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


no live stream?

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:12

10. fanboylemonkiller (Posts: 15; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


over hyped. but like the moto maker and the backside idea!

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:12 5

11. scott5626 (Posts: 49; Member since: 01 Sep 2009)


I'll pass, no interest at all now. HTC one any day over this.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:13 1

12. omarr (banned) (Posts: 149; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)


WOW JUST WOW

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:13 15

13. jimjam (Posts: 234; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)


$199 with a contract- no thank you.
AT&T initial exclusivity - no thank you

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:20 2

19. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7441; Member since: 14 May 2012)


It's on all four carriers, unless you're talking about Moto Maker.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:22 4

20. Commentator (Posts: 2296; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Yeah, but that's really the only thing it has going for it isn't it? Unless you're dead-set on the new software features.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:28 1

23. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7441; Member since: 14 May 2012)


No. I love my notification light. Can't buy a Android phone without it.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:14

14. OldNorseBruin (Posts: 130; Member since: 12 Mar 2013)


Are these phones missing the big "MOTOROLA" logo on its top bezel? Will that be the case for the phones when sold? Of all the phone manufacturers around, MOTOROLA with its very rich history, especially its contribution to AMERICA'S WORLD WAR 2 Victory, makes me proud to have that familiar "MOTOROLA" logo on its bezel...Phone looks kinda naked without it...

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:15 2

15. jimjam (Posts: 234; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)


"touch each other, not phones"
So it really is the XXX

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:17 1

17. alltechinside (Posts: 236; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)


Honestly, the price killed this phone imo. I dont know what the off-contract price is but for $199 with contract, i can't see moto x going far...

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:24 3

21. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3883; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Looks great, but AT&T exclusive Moto Maker? Come on. That's probably the best thing about this phone. Maybe it's just a carrier exclusive, and so the unlocked version is unaffected by it. Also, $200 on contract isn't good, that $300 off contract price doesn't look so believable now.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:26 1

22. MistB (Posts: 550; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


All the hype....and that's it? Really?

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:38

24. sergiobr (Posts: 393; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


Nice job Moto ! It´s a whisper for those that still look to a wp. But the phones now are too overpriced ! Make something cheaper and break the market !

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:40

25. Avenger337 (Posts: 59; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)


The strength of the new Motorola mobile is customization which incidentally is great (eye with wooden back cover). Another important point is that even though your hardware is not in itself surprising will be talking about. I look to see how behaves crave compared to Qualcomm s600 and 800.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:00

26. Sakeem (Posts: 131; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


Well, i dont like At&t exclusive moto maker option. That should have been across the board from the jump. Also, where is the off contract option? No way do i want to sign up through a carrier, in my case Verizon, and lose my unlimited data in the process. Looks like i have to wait some more. Maybe all the way until Nexus 5 is shown,,,,,,,,whenever that is.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:02 4

27. daniel_bargs (Posts: 323; Member since: 27 Nov 2010)


Dead on arrival.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:21

30. scott5626 (Posts: 49; Member since: 01 Sep 2009)


When Verizon gets there hands on it it'll be BOA (bloat on arrival)

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:13

28. trustory (Posts: 104; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)


199$ OMG take my money

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:14

29. fistigons (Posts: 262; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


I'm currently stationed in the UK and was wondering how google now does in the uk? Does it have all of the same features that it has in the US?

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:09

32. c.sanchez (Posts: 16; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)


I want it too. Kinda jealous because of the backs you can make..

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:13

33. Danishs (Posts: 147; Member since: 23 May 2013)


Wifi a/b/g/n/AC

Everyone always forgets about WIRELESS AC. It's important for me

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:16

34. Danishs (Posts: 147; Member since: 23 May 2013)


I don't get it. Will this not be available off contract?

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 17:17

35. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Moto Maker exclusivity with AT&T is just a really boneheaded move. That needs to dissolve immediately.
$199 on contract isn't too stellar either, but it appears they are all trying to slide the high end handsets into the $299 price tag range, naturally pulling the mid range phones to $199.

If the off contract price of a 32GB Google Play Edition isn't too exorbitant, I *might* still consider one.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 18:31

36. persikon (Posts: 29; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Moto ne X us? Looks to me.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 19:36

37. fistigons (Posts: 262; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


I love that navy blue color Not sure if anybody here reads comics but Atomic Robo has a kickstarter going on. It's pretty cool. I like gadgets and comics and hopefully everybody does too.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tesladyne/atomic-robo-needs-you-tesladyne-recruitment-drive

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 20:45

39. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Ok so I just noticed this, but why does the front of the device look like it has a case on it? It ruined the design for me. I know it might be some measures to protect the screen, but talk about ugly! And that's why cases exist too!

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 00:40

40. ANANDALTER (Posts: 123; Member since: 07 Feb 2013)


As for Moto Maker-"YOU CAN JUST ASK YOUR FRIEND TO MAKE ONE FOR YOU--- SIMPLE!!!!" He can have a At&t account and create it for everyone.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 00:47

41. onlyoneooch (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


720p and amoled screen killed it for me. The phone is really sexy, but those hardware features are a deal breaker.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 01:47

42. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2381; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Nice ergonomic and overall a perfect phone, I want it.

posted on 03 Aug 2013, 03:28

44. ShenAlJoker (Posts: 85; Member since: 19 Jul 2013)


This phone should have been BETTER!

posted on 05 Aug 2013, 04:58

45. yapsta56 (Posts: 2; Member since: 04 Aug 2013)


If I manage to squire one of these, will it work on UK networks?

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