Motorola Moto X ReviewMotorola Moto X (2014) 8.8
Reinventing itself last year, Motorola struck a chord in the Android community with the launch of its Moto X smartphone. It was a bold venture indeed, especially in light of the competition that it had to fight against in the space. Competing valiantly to stay relevant amidst the heavy spec’d devices that existed at the time, the Moto X proved that a good phone doesn’t need to conform to the preconceived notions of better, faster, and stronger. Rather, it delivered a resounding experience that didn’t overwhelm us with its set of features – while providing a higher level of customization to its design than anything else.
One year later, one year wiser. Its successor, one that bears the same name, receives all of the evolutionary upgrades typical of any successive device. From the looks of it all, the same recipe from last year has been used again with the new Moto X – so you have the same level of customization with its design, simple features that aren’t redundant, and it’s not so specs-conscious. Going with this mentality, it’s unclear at the moment if it’s going to be enough to sway consumers away from the other handful of models already making noise in the space.
The package contains:
- microUSB cable
- Wall charger
- SIM removal tool
- Quick start guide
Sticking with the same foundational design language, the Moto X is able to sport a more aggressive design that gives this mostly plastic bodied thing some serious appeal.
There’s no arguing that the new Moto X bears the same foundational design characteristics we saw last year, but it’s now sporting a more aggressive design that we like – and sophistication too, depending on what rear casing option you choose to go with. What’s most apparent, though, is the increase of size, which makes it tougher to try and operate with a single hand. Even though it’s wider and taller, the Moto X maximizes the real estate it has to work with, as it’s able to offer more display area than the Samsung Galaxy S5 while being slightly shorter and having the same width.
When Moto Maker for the new Moto X launches, prospective buyers will have the same level of control in designing the phone as they had with last year's model. From choosing the colors of the front and rear casings, other additional goodies, such as selecting the color accents to custom engravings, help to continue giving the new Moto X an unprecedented level of customization. In addition to the bevy of colored plastic casings and wooden ones, this year’s model can also be outfitted with genuine leather options from the Horween Leather Company – giving it that sophisticated appeal. Our particular model bears this new finish, but as much as we appreciate its added appeal, we’re reluctant to say we’d go with it again because it’s prone to being scuffed more easily. After a few days of using the new Moto X, we already have some blemishes to its leather finish.
One new change to the design that we really dig is the aluminum frame that wraps around the entire edge of the phone. Of course, it contributes in giving the phone a more premium quality, but it certainly helps to give it a solid construction as well. In contrast to last year’s model, this new one is undeniably more sturdy. Just as before, the new Moto X also packs a “splash guard” water-repellant coating to ensure it’ll be protected against minor things like using it in the rain, but don’t expect this to have the same resilient water-resistant qualities of the Galaxy S5 or Xperia Z2.Although mostly comprised out of plastic, the new Moto X definitely has a design that’s more attractive than other plastic cladded smartphones. Throw in its sturdier construction and supreme design customization, the new Moto X has the eye-catching looks to make bystanders perk up and take notice of it.
On the right, the power and volume controls are rigid, allowing us to feel their springy responses. Along the rear, the only item found here is the microUSB 2.0 port. Sure, we would’ve liked it upgraded to a microUSB 3.0 to match its rivals, but we’re not entirely heartbroken about it. The left edge is completely clean, while the top is home to the nanoSIM slot and 3.5mm headset jack.
Yes, the Moto X offers two front facing speakers, but the top one is strictly for calling – whereas the bottom one is for blasting music and other things. Although it’s tough to make out with the black color front casing of the Moto X, there are actually infrared sensors on the corners of the front panel that are used with the phone’s new gesture features. However, they’re plainly evident if you opt to go with the white colored front panel.
In terms of cameras, the new Moto X receives its fair share of upgrades, since it now bears a higher count 13-megapixel rear camera, which features an f2.2 aperture lens, dual-LED ring flash, and 4K video recording. Complementing it is a front-facing 2-mgeapixel camera. Noticeably absent is a microSD card slot.
140.8 x 72.4 x 9.9 mm
5.08 oz (144 g)
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)
146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm
5.64 oz (160 g)
The 5.2-inch 1080p AMOLED display might not have stellar qualities in all areas, but the entire package is a pleasant one.
Last year’s 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display didn’t really scream flagship status, but this time around, Motorola has graced the new Moto X with one that’s better able to match its contemporaries. To be more exact, it’s flaunting a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 (1080p) AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3.
In the details department, its pixel density count of 424 ppi is more than sufficient to give everything a crisp look to it. Nowadays, quad HD resolution is springing up more frequently, but Motorola again takes the approach of going with something effective for the occasion. Honestly, we have no complaints about it.
Going with AMOLED technology once again for its display, there’s no hiding the fact that it’s super saturated with its color reproduction. Very recently, AMOLED technology has proven to be able to be just as accurate as today’s LCD displays – evident by devices like the Samsung Tab S and Note 4. However, this is not the case with the new Moto X – it has a profound bluish tone, with color temperature of ~7000 K. Indeed, our eyes glaze over with awe thanks to its over-saturated tone, but in reality, the Moto X’s display is far from the most accurate, but has that wow factor.
Unfortunately, the screen becomes almost unviewable outdoor with the sun present. Therefore, this is something that frequently requires shielding – a bothersome method, but nonetheless a required one. Looking at the big picture, one can argue that the display has some milder qualities to it, but quite frankly, it’s still an attention getter thanks to its vivid colors.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|HTC One (M8)||490
|Samsung Galaxy S5||442
|Motorola Moto X (2014)||385
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Motorola Moto X (2014)||54%
|Samsung Galaxy S5||62.7%
|HTC One (M8)||79.6%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
10. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I agree, it is the BEST phone ever made by Motorola, but it's weakness is it's battery. Just for that I need to pass on this device.
I was looking at the Galaxy Note 4 but it's too similar to my Note 3 for my liking, so I was STRONGLY considering this phone, but the battery is what is screaming NO to me.
So now it's the Nexus 6 or the Sony Xperia Z3. REALLY leaning towards the Sony Xperia Z3. Just an EPIC phone with GREAT battery.
Once the Moto X gets a boss battery then I will check it out. I must admit, I am disappointed that the battery on the Moto X '14 edition is weak. (-_-)
I really wanted to customize it, the way I wanted it...
19. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
True, the battery is a big letdown for me, otherwise the perfect phone for me, despite other imperfections.
29. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
In late 2014 we all know what works & the Moto X fails in battery department miserably. To me this makes an other wise sweet phone, just plain old bad.
Motorola really has no excuse here, they just ROYALLY f'ed up the Moto X '14 edition. To me this breaks my heart cause I REALLY wanted this phone!
35. pulkit1 (Posts: 354; Member since: 03 Jul 2014)
maybe nexus 6 will have a bigger battery this time around then will be a perfect phone .
59. latinojuan (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)
I agree..... this was going to be my next phone. For me, i'm on verizon, maybe the verizon moto maxx or whatever will fill in the battery that I need.
31. chengsae (Posts: 64; Member since: 10 Dec 2013)
Hey, if they didnt made the curved back design, then you will be happy with a bigger battery just like all the other phone out there.
61. uzimafioso (Posts: 317; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)
It's quite evident why they chose a smaller battery, they have 8 phones for this year apparently and the 6 after this may have Moto X Maxx models equipped with 3500+ mAh batteries...
15. deacz (Posts: 162; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)
thats not saying much, weak screen weak battery, middle of the road cpu, weak audio why would you give this phone a 8.8?
37. Spedez (Posts: 450; Member since: 29 Aug 2014)
Also, not so great display either. Looking at the figures in the table, it looses to all of the other flagship phones.
22. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12979; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
There's far too many shortcomings and consistently minor things that says otherwise. Motorola is taking too many liberties here where it appears they didn't learn from the first X.
24. troutsy (Posts: 311; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)
What are you comparing it to and why do you still come to these articles to post your negative BS?
Droid Bionic was years ago dude, move on with your life.
27. Scott93274 (Posts: 4605; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)
Mxyzptik is still butt hurt that Apple's stock dropped after they unveiled the new iPhones & Apple Watch. Even though I'm sure he thought that it was a strong showing, he's sad to finally realize that many people excited about the phones were disappointed by the "Historical" event. He goes into Motorola articles to talk crap because he knows damn well they're of superior quality to Apple branded products.
30. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4833; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Look Mxyzptlk is right here. I can admit when someone is right.
The Moto X has lot's right here. Their camera is better, the design is better, the stereo speakers rock, the 1080p AMOLED is cool, the 4 mics are awesome, & the customization is bananas... I mean REAL Leather, & Wood, it just doesn't get any better.
But the battery is just a cardinal no no. He is right, Motorola DEFINITELY stepped in dog sh*t... There is no denying it.
33. Scott93274 (Posts: 4605; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)
No, Mxyzptik did not point out any specific feature, he simply said far too many shortcomings. No mention was made on the battery. He's simply making an uneducated opinion on the quality of the device as he's never use it before as a result of his biased attitude towards anything without an Apple logo on it. And if you read comment number 25, you'll see that I do actually do agree with you about the battery, and pretty much the phone in general. But I don't agree with the ignorant statement made by Mxyzptlk.
58. plcline (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)
The X has a front facing speaker, see motorola's spec sheet (I can't post a url), not stereo speakers like the G.
2. ledzeppelinpage (Posts: 14; Member since: 13 Jun 2014)
really amazing phone. hope to see nexus 6 in motorola's skin.
3. Anchorman86 (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)
Sheesh...this is such a better looking phone than the iPhone 6. Was actually considering the iPhone 6 but nah, this sexy beast is so much more worth it.
4. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
I'd wait for possible Nexus 6 before buying this. Especially bad outdoor visibility is huge nope for me.
5. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)
battery life is meh. waiting for nexus 6
7. NexusPhan (Posts: 625; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
Unfortunately, if history in any indication, the Nexus 6 will suffer from similarly underwhelming battery life.
14. JC557 (Posts: 1515; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
Not unless they learn from their mistakes, ie. reviews.
Hopefully Google will set a battery guideline for the next Nexus.
41. strudelz100 (Posts: 644; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)
Sorry buddy. All stock devices suffer poor battery life because Google's stock kernel prioritizes overall smoothness; OEM's use Qualcomm's settings which prioritize peak performance, and race-to-sleep which enhances battery life.
6. bucky (Posts: 2563; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I'm really glad moto is stepping it up. I have always liked their phones. They are keeping things simple and very clean.
8. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I think this is a very ugly phone. The Moto X look doesn't scale well to the bigger size just like the new iPhone.
Also, the a Moto X 2013 was pretty much equivalent to the LG G2 in terms of bezels so they took a few steps back since this is much larger than the G2. This should have been only slightly larger than the G2. The metal band crap adds nothing unless it doesn't affect the sizing.
9. DRO_ID (Posts: 40; Member since: 20 Feb 2014)
The screen to size ratio of the new Moto X is actually better than original Moto X. I suggest you read the article posted by this site today on that topic.
20. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I got a chance to check out that article. Strange the Moto X 2013 seemed far better than that ratio suggests. And this seems far worse.
Still, it doesn't change my belief that this should be closer to the LG G2 size rather than the GS5 size.
34. DRO_ID (Posts: 40; Member since: 20 Feb 2014)
It should be, but sacrifices had to be made obviously. A lot of trade-offs have to be made when building a device. Look at the amount of sensors on the front. The speaker is also on the front now. Cut them some slack for doing all that while making the phone just barely bigger than the G2. My only complaint is the battery should've been bigger. I wish they would've made it a lil thicker just to accommodate a much bigger battery.
12. foreverjin08 (Posts: 73; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)
I remember they said the max brightness of G3 was also only 370 nits when they firstly reviewed the phone.
13. Einstein333 (Posts: 60; Member since: 22 May 2012)
Don't understand why people still buy phones with terrible battery life
43. erikiksaz (Posts: 170; Member since: 22 Apr 2010)
Because real life experiences are different than benchmarks.
I have a Moto X and it gets me through a full day's use without having to plug in in between.
That and all of Moto's features make it so that I don't need to wake up my phone every few minutes to check for things. It "breathes" the data that I need. When I don't need it, the phone is off.
Just count how many times you turn your phone on throughout the day to check on random things and you'll see what I'm talking about.
63. AustinKargl (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)
This, exactly. The battery on the original Moto X is perfectly fine for me. I take it off the charger at 7:45am and plug it back in at 11:00pm with probably ~30% battery left. That is with plenty of texting, web browsing, social networking, and such. Maybe it's just the way I use my phone, because I was also able to get a solid 60 hours out of the DROID Razr MAXX HD before having to charge that, either. This phone seems not only reasonable, but realistic.
65. latinojuan (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)
question, then, does it take a dive when you go to use the phone? like games, internet, facebook, etc?
16. JC557 (Posts: 1515; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
Nuts... I was interested in this phone but the battery life is really off putting. Now I have to wait and see if the Xperia Z3/ Z3 compact will ever see the light of day on Verizon.
Maybe some future updates will bring battery life up some?
17. AliNSiddiqui (Posts: 382; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)
This review is the first one to say that it's hard to view its screen outdoors, the other 3 or 4 reviews say it's easy to view it outdoors.
18. waqarzec (Posts: 52; Member since: 09 May 2013)
u fool pa....plz run the benchmrak antutu on the rest of devices except moto on version 5...ur to outdated ...showing scores of ver 4.4 on rest of devices
23. Pattyface (Posts: 1612; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)
I love some of the design elements on this phone like the led ring, bamboo/leather back and the metal band but the battery is a deal breaker for me.
25. Scott93274 (Posts: 4605; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)
Drat, I was just going to skip this phone as I love my current 2013 Moto X... Now I really want one. But damn Motorola you really disappoint me with the battery capacity. Wish you would have provided us with a phone that would last a day and a half. at least. That would have been awesome.
26. John.v2 (Posts: 35; Member since: 08 Sep 2014)
no one in their sane mind will buy this mobile .... such low brightness, lowest battery possible for a flagship
28. CLmaster (Posts: 69; Member since: 06 Sep 2014)
I really don't like this phone... its design (it looks like a toy), camera and battery life. But I get its rating for the low price tag and powerful performance, I wouldn't buy it, but it's a great flagship by Moto at that price range..
38. gaara6775 (Posts: 738; Member since: 20 May 2014)
Same here. Design & battery is a let down for me too.
32. chengsae (Posts: 64; Member since: 10 Dec 2013)
it is funny how a company increases battery capacity or processing speed/core or bigger size display then people complain about the device not having a long charge.
36. Spedez (Posts: 450; Member since: 29 Aug 2014)
They almost had it. Too bad that the camera is crap and battery is tiny. At least the battery size is something I really don't understand. You slap a 1080p 5.2" display instead of 720p 4.7" display and you only up the size by 100MAh? Come on!
39. onthecouchagain (Posts: 49; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)
That battery is such a tarnish on an otherwise quality offering from Motorola.
And it's enough to be a deal breaker. What a shame.
40. strudelz100 (Posts: 644; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)
It's a shame they gave up their only advantage:
Manageable size and one-handed use.
Now they 100% blend into the pack.
42. jassari96 (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Sep 2014)
Phone arena rates a phone based on the specs not on the user experience
They have given lg g3 and galaxy s5 higher rates than the HTC one m8 but the m8 miles better than both for when it comes to the user experience
And moto x's case is no different that the M8's case
What i like about the verge is that they rate a phone based on the user experience
When a tech website cares too much for the numbers be sure that it doesn't care much about the user experience which is the most important
And phone arena cares a lot about the specs and the numbers
44. vuyonc (Posts: 1014; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)
Phone Arena cares about both the specs and how they translate to the user experience. Because that's what professional reviewers do. Comprehensive battery life testing, display calibration measuring and in-depth analysis of the UI in order to minimise subjectivity for as many prospective buyers and tech lovers as possible. The Verge cares ONLY about the user experience and have zoo animals for mobile tech reviewers. They lose Youtube subscribers to their iFanboyism and USA-centric narrow minded journalism. They rated the One M8 much higher than the Z2 and GS5 just because of its exterior design and Sense 6.0, totally ignoring the subpar and gimmicky camera setup, the awesome but still lowest-in-class battery life and lack of ingress protection.
You are one the few people I've seen supporting the Verge. Ever.
56. jassari96 (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Sep 2014)
I don't totally support the verge
I just like how they rate a phone based on the user experience not benchmarks and numbers
I have the LG G3 now and it's just experience doesn't come close to what the HTC one m8 offered me and yet they rated the G3 higher, why ? Because phone arena likes the numbers of G3 more than the numbers of the M8
45. CreeDiddy (Posts: 732; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
If people think iOS hasn't evolved...my Galaxy Nexus has the same interface as this new Moto X. Why is that? Based on my Galaxy Nexus I am not impressed with Android. This is my temp phone until I get the iPhone 6P.
47. Awalker (Posts: 1498; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
If you don't like the look of stock, change it.
49. SupermanayrB (limited) (Posts: 571; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
Is funny how some of you in the comments above are wiring the phone off based on the review of someone who is not you. What works for you should work for you. Test it out for yourself before forming an option.
51. PryvateiDz (Posts: 133; Member since: 31 Jul 2011)
I want(ed) this phone, but idk about that battery life. Even with the accessories, Power Pack Micro, and Turbo charger.
52. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)
Display brightness and battery life are horrid...
53. fzacek (Posts: 2486; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)
Hey PA, why can't we add the OG Moto X in any of the comparison tables? The OG Moto X is still a relevant phone, so what's the deal?...
54. rizwanazad (Posts: 12; Member since: 30 Nov 2013)
8.8 for a flagship? I read some other reviews which says that the outdoor visibility of the New Moto X is very good but this review says it's poor. Don't know which one to believe!! Also I am a bit disappointed by battery life. Having used the original X for a brief period I was waiting for this phone to be really good as I am looking to switch from Note III. Going by this review I am disappointed by screen quality, camery quality and battery back up of the phone. May be will have to check some other reviews.