Motorola Moto X Review
On the surface, the Moto X appears to be running a stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience, but after some snooping around, it’s not entirely vanilla per se. Well, everything from the onset seems like it, as the apps panel, lock screen, and notifications panel all adhere to stock Android. However, the camera UI is totally different (more on that later). Overall, it’s Android, so we’re given the same level of personalization we know and love. Thankfully though, the Moto X is graced with its own set of nifty features that separate it from other flagship devices – albeit, they’re also found with the upcoming DROID line as well.
With the aid of Google Now, the Moto X is constantly at our service, seeing that it’s actively listening with its Touchless Control feature. So how does one activate it? Simple, we just speak the words “OK Google Now,” which soon launches Google Now for instant service access. Before getting started, we’re required to program the Moto X to audibly know our voice – so it’s able to differentiate it from other people, or instinctively make out our voice in a noisy room. In our experience, it works pretty well, but it requires a second stab in noisier environments.
Powered by Google Now, it allows us to ask questions, place phone calls, make appointments, find out the weather, get turn-by-turn directions, and much more. As much as we appreciate the hands-free nature of the feature, it’s not entirely the case, seeing that we’re still required to interact with the device – such as pressing the “send” button for text messages, rather than speaking “send” to actually deliver it.
Never be distracted by things when you’re driving, at a meeting, or sleeping at night, thanks to Motorola Assist. Now this is pretty useful, as long as it’s activated of course, as the Moto X knows when you’re driving with the aid of GPS information. It’ll automatically read incoming texts, as well as auto-reply to them too. Furthermore, the “resume music play” enables Motorola Assist to connect to your car’s stereo over Bluetooth. For meetings that are in your calendar, Motorola Assist will place the phone on silent and also auto-reply to messages. And finally, the smartphone will be placed into silent mode too according to what time we specify we’re asleep for bed.
With the aid of our computer’s Chrome browser, we can actually view text messages and incoming calls list from the Moto X on our computer. After installing an extension for the desktop Google Chrome browser, we can view and reply to text messages, but when it comes to calls, we can view them and select to either ignore or send a message to them – we can’t actually accept phone calls through Chrome. It’s a great feature when we can’t track down our phone, which allows us to still reply to messages with our computer.
Exclusive to the Moto X, owners are treated to 50GB of free storage courtesy of Google Drive, which is especially handy considering there’s only 16GB or 32GB of internal storage on the smartphone – with no local expandability available with it.
As long as you have a compatible Miracast Wireless enabled display, you can use the Moto X’s Wireless Display feature to stream what you’re doing on the phone to the big screen. Naturally, the hardest part about this feature is actually having a compatible display available to use, but if you do, it should be useful in viewing photos, watching videos, playing games, or surfing the web.
Without a doubt, the most notable feature with the Moto X’s Android experience is Touchless Control, but beyond that, there’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary with the experience. It’s not trying to have the same distinct visual appeal of HTC’s Sense 5 UI, nor is it trying to give us several ways of accomplishing something like Sammy’s TouchWiz Nature UX experience. At the end of the day, the Moto X is all about making things we do on an everyday basis with our phone simple – and honestly, it does just that!
Having such an ample amount of real-estate to work with, combined with its responsiveness, the stock Android on-screen keyboard is fabulous to use when it comes to typing messages. It works relatively well, but in order to input punctuations, we’re required to access them in another layout.
Running stock Android, we’re naturally presented with the standard Email and Gmail apps, which both function and look the same as any other Android phone out there.
No surprises here folks, but the core set of organizer apps on the Moto X follow in the same footsteps as other Android smartphones before it. Therefore, the presentation and functions of its set are identical and unchanged – though, it’s wonderful that its Touchless Control feature enables us to check up on certain stuff, like appointments, with just the aid of our voice.
Processor and Memory:
We’re starting to see something unfamiliar here with the Moto X, which on paper, doesn’t quite come off as menacing with its specs sheets when compared to other flagships out there. Even now, it seems as though high-end gear under the hood is paramount to deliver a polished performance with most of today’s flagship Android smartphones, but it looks like the Moto X is breaking up that mentality.
Armed with Motorola’s home brewed X8 Mobile Computing System, which is comprised out of a modified dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM, a natural language processor, and a contextual computing processor, it’s undoubtedly impressive in what it’s able to pull off – so much so, it’s close to the same level we experience with quad-core devices. Everything is utterly snappy with its performance, which is saying a lot for a dual-core. Going forward, the Moto X is a perfect example of why specs should no longer matter with Android.
|Quadrant Standard||AnTuTu||GLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)||Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
|Motorola Moto X||8509||18483||6048 / 54 fps||2412 / 749|
|Samsung Galaxy S4||12078||24701||4437 / 39 fps||1702/704|
|HTC One||12481||23308||3551 / 31 fps||2395 / 781|
|Google Nexus 4||4757||16749||4917||1375 / 600|
Packing only 16GB of internal storage with our review unit, it’s telling us right away that we need to be extremely conscious what we put in and save locally. Fortunately, the 50GB of Google Drive storage really helps in the long run.
Internet and Connectivity:
Showing us that its Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System is no slouch, the Moto X handles surfing the web through Chrome with all the finesse and speed we’d expect, which also helps that it’s packing 4G LTE connectivity.
Depending on which carrier version you pick up, the Moto X is available in both GSM and CDMA flavors – with 4G LTE connectivity too. Customary by now, especially for a flagship, it’s packing on all the usual assortments of connectivity features. The listing includes aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and NFC.
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?