Motorola Moto X Review
If you haven’t noticed, Motorola has been relatively quiet in the smartphone space for the last couple of years now. Sure, we’ve seen some high-end devices during that time, like last year’s DROID RAZR MAXX HD for example, but the brunt of Moto’s love has been mostly exclusive to Verizon – leaving everyone else in a dry spell. Naturally, Google’s acquisition of Motorola had a lot to do with it, as the company soon restructured its strategy by focusing its efforts on fewer devices, rather than going with the usual approach of over-saturating the market with an army of devices. Adios Motorola CLIQs! Bye-bye Motorola ATRIXs! Sayonara Motorola Photons! It seemed as though the brakes were applied everywhere, except Verizon and its DROID line.
Enter a new era in Motorola’s history, where they intend on bringing to market a single new flagship device that would take on the competition. Indeed, Google might be pulling some strings behind the scenes and all, but this new Motorola is taking a highly different approach – one that seems very uncanny for them to do. Instead of seeing different lines of Motorola made Android phones, the Moto X is that diamond in the rough device that Motorola is banking on to attract consumers to Motorola’s new approach to the business. In an era where cutting edge Android smartphones are leaving long lasting impressions, it’ll be intriguing to see whether the Moto X will have the guts and execution to redefine the game.
The package contains:
- microUSB cable
- Wall Charger
- SIM Removal Tool
- Get Started Guide
- Safe, Smart, & Protected Guide
It’s not stylish by any means, nor is it exuding a premium element to its construction, but the Moto X’s design is best described as humbling and modest. Visually, the design is understated when compared to the beauties out there, like the HTC One and iPhone 5, but regardless of that, it’s the size of the phone and its ergonomic aesthetics that really impresses us the most. First and foremost, this doesn’t feel or look like a smartphone that’s packing a 4.7-inch display, as it barely feels any bigger than the iPhone 5, which has a significantly smaller screen. And at the same time, it makes the HTC One appear comparably gigantic. Certainly, it’s not the skinniest thing out there, but the tapered edges help to make it seem skinnier than it really is in person.
129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)
136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)
137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)
133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm
4.90 oz (139 g)
Constructed out of this composite material, which is essentially a plastic frame, it helps to keep the handset very lightweight (4.59 oz) – thus, complementing its compact stature. Taking a closer look at the rear casing, the rubbery finish definitely helps to keep it clean and dirt-free, but there’s also an attractive pattern on it that mimics the look of carbon fiber. Considering that the rear casing has a prominent curve with its construction, it makes for one comfortable and natural feel in the hand. Some might view the design as uninspiring or boring, but there’s one unique aspect with the Moto X that differentiates itself from everything else out there – customized designs, which we’ll expand in the next section.
As for the rest of the phone, we’re pretty much greeted to the usual suspect of characters. Seeing that it’s running a mostly stock Android experience, there are no capacitive buttons on its façade, but we do take notice of its narrow earpiece, light/proximity sensors, and front-facing 2-megapixel camera.
Looking around its trim, we’re greeted to the usual suspects that we find. It physical power button and volume control may be really thin to the eye, but they’re distinct to the touch and responsive when pressed. Rounding things out, we have a 3.5mm headset jack, noise cancelling microphone, and its microUSB port for charging/data connectivity. Sorry folks, there’s no quick and easy physical video-out connection with this, but rather, you’ll need to rely on its “Wireless Display” feature to get the job done – though, it’s only compatible with Miracast Wireless enabled displays.
microUSB port (bottom)
3.5mm jack (top)
Power and volume keys (right)
The sides of the Motorola Moto X
The base models of the Moto X are nothing worth writing home about, especially when they’re just generic looking. Going with a totally new approach to the process, Moto Maker provides prospective owners the power to customize the Moto X – inside and out, through its online portal. It’s something different, obviously, as we’re given options to selecting the color scheme and design pattern with the phone’s casing. Additionally, we can even choose what colors the accents on the phone are going to be – like the ring around the camera lens and its power button.
If that isn’t enough, there are also various secondary customizations that can be made to the handset’s software. From having a personal message load with the phone’s boot up process, to choosing a complementary background wallpaper to match the color of the phone, it’s pretty amazing what can be done! Heck, you can even purchase accessories, like cases and headphones, that can match the unique look of your particular Moto X.
Depending on the selections, the price of the phone will undoubtedly go up from the base white/black models of the Moto X. Further down the road, we’ll even see other unconventional materials for its frame; like actual wooden bodies. Since the phone is assembled all in the good old U, S, of A, the turn-around time for a custom job takes 4 days or less (subject to parts availability). Without question, this is an undertaking that we haven’t seen before with a phone. On one hand, we’re thrilled by this new prospect, but the downside is that it’s exclusive to only AT&T for now. We’re crossing our fingers that this will be rolled out to everyone else soon too – including the Google Play Edition version when it launches in the future.
Let’s not beat around the bushes here folks, but the specs on the Moto X’s display are nothing worth bragging about. By today’s standards, its 4.7-inch 720x1280 (720p) AMOLED display is far from imposing, especially when compared to the 1080p beasts floating about. Details are effective enough to make everyday things easy on the eyes, seeing that it employs the favorable RGB arrangement with its pixels – while its saturated color reproduction and wide viewing angles are expected qualities from what we’re normally exposed to with AMOLED tech. Out of everything, though, it’s the edge-to-edge nature and minimal bezels of the display that are absolutely amazing. In fact, it helps to make the handset extremely form fitting and compact – more than anything else we’ve seen!
Another interesting aspect is the Active Display feature of the handset, which shows pertinent notifications in a confined area on the display – thus, helping it to reduce power consumption. Instead of turning on the Moto X to view notifications, Active Display will initiate whenever it receives something new, or when it’s nudges or flipped over from a display down position. Its purpose works, especially when we’re now less inclined to turn on the phone all the time.
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10. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2952; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
I was expecting something more...both the rating and the phone.
Touchless control and clearpixel camera are sounding like S-features and Ultra-pixel.
I thought it would be different but no, i was wrong...and the price is way off too.
Dare they become the next Apple...sans Google!!
11. bloodline (Posts: 676; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
oh shut up. These days Its not the companies that have manage expectations its the users. People demand to much, I want this, I want it to do that. There are no other areas in consumer electronics that moves faster than the smart phone market. I think moto's vision is spot on, this product is the and the introduction.
manage your expectations better and stop reading all the BS that floats around before a product launch.
27. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2952; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
The bullsh¡t that floated before the launch is actually incorporated in the device. It didn't hit the spot it was supposed to...and that's what i putting into words.
Don't tell me you didn't read any article about those things even out of curiosity!
The gestures aside, this phone is a good overall phone...if not for the price, i'd give it a wait to arrive internationally.
65. Kal-el (Posts: 81; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)
Camera aspect was the only thing i was interested in...for me i think the camera is a little above average but nothing above and beyond. The colour reproduction is really good ...noise level average...low condition (when in focus) is not bad and video quality for both conditions are good the one true good thing is sound in what i can assume is loud music playing that was well handled.
127. pocketdrummer (Posts: 19; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)
Are you kidding me? I don't like the S4, but I have to give it to Samsung, they make a decent camera phone. This thing produces cold colors, and it's the most artifact ridden camera I've seen in a long time. Zoom in on those photos and look at a straight edge. Also, the white balance in videos is all over the place, kind of like HTC phones. Except this one does an ok job with the auto-focus (unlike HTC).
That said, this is an EXTREMELY disappointing turn out for the overhyped RGBC sensor. The photo samples of the LG G2 look far better (and oddly with substantially less noise than any other phone) and they didn't mention any ground-breaking technology in the camera. Hell I don't even remember them mentioning the camera itself, just the software.
Also, the frame rate in video is choppy like many other phones. I don't know why any would want 1080p at 30fps over 720p at 60fps, but that's what these companies continue to do.
85. Jillxz (Posts: 109; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
Bcoming the next Apple is Google's intentions. After all , it made a phone with mediocre specs that runs as smooth as butter. Got that "User experience." Sounds like iPhone to me. And it is too compact a phone. It's terrible.
102. JohnnyZ (Posts: 33; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)
They aren't officially Apple until they charge $100 to go from 16GB to 32GB
104. Angelface77 (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
you are a loser. keep sleeping from that side and expect top of the lines specs at 40 dollars off contract cheap ass fool.
40. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 2448; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
I don't think it lived up to expectations.
41. PapaSmurf (Posts: 4219; Member since: 14 May 2012)
It doesn't. There are plenty of other phones in the price range that offer more to the users.
51. lola99 (Posts: 31; Member since: 03 Aug 2013)
in a big phone with no smart features like not having to wake your phone 50 times a day, and not being able to ask it about the weather, unless you wake it, punch in your code and bring up your widget. All the others are are latest specs cramed into ginormous phones that are made to win a spec war.
56. techguyone (Posts: 59; Member since: 18 May 2013)
I think it's fine o moto hater trollboy, I DO think however that the price structure is way wrong, the bid to end the chasing numbers thing though, I hope that works out. Personally I'd be happy for 720p over 1020 for the better battery life. We'll have to see if other makers follow suit or if we'll end up with iCore 7 type processors...
I'm a believer in 'work smarter not harder'
63. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5430; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
the only thing that turned out to be not so ideal for consumers is that Motorola didn't go with Google's Zero Hardware Profit Margin philosophy which is unfortunate but is what should be expected from a hardware OEM. the phone itself though is great. i'll be getting one myself.
83. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 2448; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
It could have been great but I don't think the end result can be called great. Like I said before at best it's nothing more than a midrange device.
92. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5430; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
you talk as if your opinion on Motorola devices should mean something.
you're played out Mxy.
94. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 2448; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
I didn't ask you if it did. I don't need your permission to give my opinion.
103. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5430; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
since when did i care about what you care to hear from me?
110. JohnnyZ (Posts: 33; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)
Hey kurojii, maybe you should take a break from the message board, go outside for a little while, relearn how to socialize with people again. Then come back and try to communicate with people again respectfully. All he's saying is that the geeks were awaiting something better /spec wise/ than what Motorola produced. Which is true. But that's not to say this won't be a great phone for the average consumer, which is what this phone was actually intended for. Great battery life and great /features/.
113. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5430; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
*Kurogi...he came right out and said it was nothing more than a mid range device.
you're clearly new around here so i'll just give you some time to really notice what Mxy's role in Motorola articles always is around here.
i'll even give you a hint.
it rhymes with hole...
speaking of learning how to speak to people respectfully you should make sure your own front porch is swept off before you go telling people to sweep theirs off. you butted in and went right after me without even really analyzing the conversation. go take a page from your own book m8.
117. JohnnyZ (Posts: 33; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)
Yeah, you're right Kurogiii, I was just getting bugged that everytime I read an article there's someone attacking someone about their opinions. I only saw your post and none previous to which. i.e. his posts about unlocking Motorola bootloaders. My bad.
119. GeneralTsosChicken (Posts: 20; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
You're Gay For Simply Making A Porch Reference.
105. Angelface77 (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
its your stupid opinion between millions of followers tool.
68. Sniggly (Posts: 6217; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
If Motorola released a phone that made the gods themselves weep with joy and all women across the world orgasm simultaneously every time it was used it still wouldn't live up to your expectations.
82. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 2448; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
A phone that people, including yourself, hyped as the next big thing and it turned out to be nothing more than a midrange phone with a customizable back cover.
I feel an 8 is far too generous here.
84. Sniggly (Posts: 6217; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Actually, many reviews agree that the phone has great ideas that will appeal to the average consumer in ways that quad core processors and 1080p screens don't.
And really, your expectations were that the phone was a total failure to begin with, so if this phone didn't meet your expectations that means it must be awesome.
2. _Bone_ (Posts: 1750; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Size, form factor and well thought SW is very nice, pricing however is rumored to be flagship when the phone really isn't. My other complaint is the relatively small battery, I mean Motorola packed 3500mAh in the 8,5mm thick Droid MAXX, surely, they could've done a little bit better or released a Moto MAXX... as a matter of fact, since the Droid MAXX is essentially the same phone, I'll look for the chance to pick one up, providing it hits SIM markets outside of the US, any info on that?
52. lola99 (Posts: 31; Member since: 03 Aug 2013)
Apparently the batterly on this thing is really good, there are a number of things they did to increase the life of the battery, it's one of the reasons they put in a 720 instead of 1080P and offer the peek feature etc so you don't wake your phone 50 times a day checking for msgs. : )
64. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5430; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
the reviews are raving over the battery life on this thing actually. it's going well over the 24 hour mark even for reviewers with heavy usage habits. when this thing gets Android 4.3 the battery life will be even better. i know the same point could be made for the MAXX but i'm just saying the Moto X will serve quite well in the battery department considering it's not a MAXX model.
93. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5430; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
it depends on what you want really.
if you want a larger display, better build quality and a large battery then yes, it has it beat.
128. pocketdrummer (Posts: 19; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)
You and I must have read different reviews.
He said it will last a day in normal use, but power users (the people who actually read these reviews) will have to charge it after an 8 hour shift.
In other words, not groundbreaking.
Just go buy the damn phone. You know you want to, we (unfortunately) know you want to, so just do it and stop trying to defend your purchase.
106. Angelface77 (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
it will not have the same feel size wise, no motomaker etc. The x will be better than the droids
15. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4736; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Yeah, not exactly true flagship (as in GS IV or HTC One for two examples that immediately come to mind) material. IMO more like upper middle tier, which seems to be reflected in the 8.5 score.
It would seem the Droid Maxx for VZW will score a little higher for the larger battery, but nothing revolutionary. Sounds like I am still waiting on the Note III.
17. jharkem17 (Posts: 21; Member since: 29 Jul 2013)
how often do you POWERCYCLE you beastly S4 anf HTC ONE?
20 times a day?
28. PapaSmurf (Posts: 4219; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Took the words out of mouth. Waiting for the Note 3 announcement as well.
47. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4736; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
About a month to go (for the Note III unpacked event). :-)
89. Jillxz (Posts: 109; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
Ha Ha . Brains route ? I think not , lol If they used their brain , they would have made a better phone that could compete with the other high-end phones. But they played stupid and now that phone will go abosutely nowhere.
114. lola99 (Posts: 31; Member since: 03 Aug 2013)
Do tell us all the things that the s4 can do that the X can't. That thing is living in the past man. Adding up hardware is useless if it can't do anything new.
116. lola99 (Posts: 31; Member since: 03 Aug 2013)
When you check your phone for the time how many buttons do you have to push to get there? 1. X owners just take the phone out of their pocket while HTC one owners are reaching all the way to the top of that huge-ass phone. When you go to look for your notifications, how many buttons do push. The X, none. When you want to find your phone in your house how do you find it? call it? With the X you just call *out* to it. When you're at your desk and you want to call someone, you'll be picking up your phone to do it every single time. Not X owners. When you set your alarm for the weekends, how do you set your alarm. You pick up your phone, go into your clock, set the alarm and make sure it's turned on. With the X, you utter 8 words. When you're in your car and you want directions what do you, break the law and take your phone out and start messing around looking for directions? X owners won't have to, they just call out for navigations.
118. Jillxz (Posts: 109; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
People will think you're crazy and talking to yourself. I had rather pick up my phone and press a few buttons or taps , to get whatever I want from it. Talking to a phone is down right silly to me. I woull never do it . Come here kitty , kitty , kitty.
136. anglosaxonengland (Posts: 17; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)
Very tempting however, finally a android manufacture has gone for the good old optimisation path to provide a user experience. Optimisation on reasonable capable hardware overweights all the quad cores we have to the end user. Just like how iOS and Windows Phone can run smoothly despite a single core.
The phone has virtually no lag compared to the international S4 on a day to day basics.
19. jharkem17 (Posts: 21; Member since: 29 Jul 2013)
htc and samsung will release 3.5 DecaCore processor
and id*o*s would say
thats AMAZING..INCREDIBLE..FANTASTIC..eyes and mouth open like galaxy holes..
Steve jobs: as in invention, is that so?
the differece between smart and damn.
30. PapaSmurf (Posts: 4219; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Steve Jobs is no longer alive, so you meant Tim Cook?
4. amansingal14 (Posts: 260; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)
54 fps in GL Benchmark 2.5?
Moto please restart your ops in India.
5. _Bone_ (Posts: 1750; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
BTW I'm underwhelmed by the camera, too much loss of details, color noise and dynamic range issues. Per pixel the Exmor RS and the PureView phase 1 on the 808 are still the best.
9. Birds (Posts: 852; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
Yeah either Omnivision dropped the ball or Motorola had poor software algorithms.
20. boosook (Posts: 615; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)
IMHO it's not bad, and the outdoor pictures were taken in a rainy day.
22. belovedson (Posts: 811; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)
yup my 808 would pown this phone thats 3 years older. psht. garbage
26. jellmoo (Posts: 204; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Do you have some sort of magical time traveling 808? Because for the rest of us, it' only been out for a year and two months.
137. anglosaxonengland (Posts: 17; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)
All phone camera are crap compared to an actual camera
12. saravanan083 (Posts: 19; Member since: 30 Mar 2013)
ya i want this beauty in chennai(india)
6. Jason2k13 (Posts: 427; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)
so this is the phone that got the nerds drooling 3 months ago... i dont see anything special and why the small battery?