Is Motorola making the best Android phones these days?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

As the dust from the announcement of Moto's new phones has started to settle, a strange and unexpected thought suddenly hit me today. Motorola, I thought, is making the best Android phones at the moment... It's a revelation of mine, which I'm far from assuming everyone's going to agree with, but still, even if we say that what the company unveiled a couple of days ago aren't necessarily the best Androids money can buy so far in 2015, I guess we'd at least agree that Moto's offerings deserve a place right up there at the top, next to the Galaxies and the Ones and the Gs of the world.

Actually, I do think the newly-announced Moto X Style, X Play, G 2015, and even the Moto E are probably the very best value one can get at their respective price points. With absolutely adequate, if not decidedly above average specs in their respective classes, good quality and reliability, as well as amazing exterior customization options with Moto Maker, Motorola's entire line-up is beginning to look markedly menacing to rival Android makers. Equally important, though - almost fully-stock Android! That comes standard on Moto's phones, and it's a wonderful asset in the eyes of everyone with some meaningful knowledge of computing.

So what could possibly be a better buy in the $100 (Moto E), $200 (Moto G), $300 (Moto X Play) and $400 (Moto X Style) classes? I can't seem to think of anything that's remotely as good at such price points. And, as I said, it's not only the price - you don't get this kind of software, or exterior customization, or screen-to-body ratio with other phone makers. So then, has Motorola somehow gotten itself in a position from which it's quietly churning out the best Android phones at the moment?



1. mostafawael.1998

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

Moto X Style is just amazing for that price And so was the OP2 , but the absence of NFC/Fast Charging/front facing speakers/micro sd card slot just ruins it. If Moto X Style is to be powered by an underclocked S810, and have DDR4 RAM, it would have been a way much better choice

17. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

When it comes to price and software updates. Motorola is the king. I like their motion sensing gestures for the camera, or camera flash. I love the 4 IR sensors on the front face of the phone. Its the only device that offers true touchless controls. The hexa core 808 is still a good chip, granted it's not as fast as the 810. But both chips can run everything, so its fine for me.

62. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

They should've stuck with a 1080 screen with the 808, instead they created a behemoth 5.7" phablet with a QHD screen. The X Play is a much more appealing device overall. Motorola always finds a way to drop the ball, at least the phones aren't Verizon exclusives only! Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of things Motorola does that I admire, if my daily driver broke I would consider buying one of their devices. I'm really holding out for the next Nexus 5 though and hoping it won't be a gargantuan behemoth with needless specs and gimmicks.

34. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

S810 is not performing so good in phones (one m9, z3+/z4, flex 2). There performance is lower than 808. Also just paying extra for low performance and DDR4 would have increased manufacturing cost of moto x. I guess using 808 was wise chance. Only onw who took bad decision was Qualcomm, they should have used Adreno 420 GPU instead of 418 GPU and DDR4 in 808. They made 808 inferior so 810 will sell well and 810 was biggest failure.

37. mostafawael.1998

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

Although i might have different opinion regarding the S810 performance and thermal management on the M9 after the last update, but i agree with you. If the Moto X style to be a FHD instead of QHD, then DDR4 is useless But either way, adreno 418 is not that good to run the hi-res games "comfortably" like the adreno 420/430 S808 does not deserve the time taken to build it up. This time would have been of better use if spent on optimising the S810, or improving it in any way! ;)

42. Shocky unregistered

The lowest price point quoted is for the the 16GB version, for a little more you can have a Galaxy S6 32GB. Lets compare. Galaxy S6 32GB - £375 Moto X Style 16GB - £359 OnePlus Two 64GB £289 OnePlus Two is missing a few things but you get a lot for your money, Moto X in comparison to both is not good value.

70. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

for moto x series you can expand your memory up to 128gb. but you can't on s6 as im using s6 edge too

100. Shocky unregistered

That's true but internal is more valuable as that's where your apps are installed. With cloud storage for video and music you make do with 32GB quite easily.

82. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The Moto X Style comes with a minimum 32 GB of storage, and a maximum of 64 GB with an expandable micro SD card slot that can support up to 128 GB. The Moto X Play comes with a minimum of 16 GB of storage, and a maximum of 32 GB, but it still has the expandable storage as well (128 GB). Listen the starting price is low for the Moto X Style and X Play.

85. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Actually you're incorrect, the Style starts at 16 GB. There have been conflicting reports on this so I looked it up on Motorola's actual web page. Scroll to the bottom where they have all their specs listed for the device. I wish it did start at 32 GB believe me, but it doesn't.

101. Shocky unregistered

You're wrong, it's 16GB. It's good for marketing because they can claim very low prices compared to competition. It does fool people.

86. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

That is true, but then you would be stuck with a Galaxy S6.

43. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I'm inclined to agree with you 100%, but I'm not a mobile gamer, I use my 2013 Moto X for simplifying daily tasks, so for people like myself the decision to go 808 instead of the underclocked 810 was the correct choice as the increase in RAM speed would have been mostly beneficial to people pushing detailed graphics.

49. Shocky unregistered

The OnePlus Two is a lot more future proof, even underclocked the CPU is quite a bit faster, GPU is faster and they've overclocked it a little. Of course that depends if they're tamed the beast, could end up throttling as much as the M9.

64. Mxyzptlk unregistered

There's nothing future proof about the OnePlus 2. The first phone is proof of that.

66. Shocky unregistered

What are you talking about? the OnePlus One is a still great device and I would recommend it over the Moto X Play. It's faster, cheaper and has more internal storage.

87. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Shocky the OnePlus One is on lollipop 5.0, and not the latest 5.1. Even last years Moto X has 5.1. Enough said. Not to mention the Oxygen OS is a forked version of Android. Please educate yourself. There is no way on this planet that OnePlus will EVER have the latest OS updates. Just get that through your thick skull.

94. Shocky unregistered

Officially yes, but you can install 5.1.1 by using the nightly. The OnePlus One is for power users and not simpletons like you.

99. Shocky unregistered

Will also add that unless there is a feature in 5.1.1 you need there isn't anything to gain from flashing. Also you can upgrade software, your stuck with hardware and the hardware on the OnePlus One is faster than the Moto X Play whether it's using 5.0 or 5.1.1. Basically it changes nothing.

68. Shocky unregistered

If you gauge future proof on performance then of course it's more future proof. SN810 > SN808 (Depending on level of throttling) 1080p > 1440p (Games will run faster and less memory will be required for general assets) DDR4 > DDR3 4GB > 3GB So yes, it is potentially a much better phone for power users and will last longer due to all of these factors, this isn't up for debate.

76. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I remember when people were afraid to buy tings online, how times have changed... the same is going to happen very soon with sales using their phone's NFC functionality. Apple, Google, now Samsung are all pushing this and physical retail outlets are reacting to accommodate this.... NFC is nothing new to smartphones, it was in my Galaxy Nexus from late 2011, and yet it was omitted by the OnePlus 2? That's very narrow minded if you ask me and a very good reason to ditch your OnePlus device for something that supports this tech. I'm not going to get into if the 810 processor will overheat or not, or if it's faster or not, I'm going to simply say that the Processor is far from the only thing that matters in terms of keeping a device relevant in the year(s) to come.

83. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The OS is up for debate. The OnePlus Two suffers because it is using a forked version of Android called Oxygen OS. Enough said. Right there it kills it for me. Where as Motorola uses stock Android with no bloatware. Not to mention Motorola has been diligent in getting the updates out. Plus it has Moto Voice, Moto Display, Moto Assist, the camera gestures and more.

106. Shocky unregistered

I have Oxygen OS on my OnePlus One and it's very similar to stock, but with a lot of options available for power users. Have you actually tried it?

54. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014


63. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Don't forget the TLT LCD = fail.

77. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Mxyzptlk, what's the issue with the TLT LCD, everyone seems impressed by the display that got hands on time with it though one observer said that it has a tiny bit of a blue hue but ONLY when on the lowest brightness level (Hardly something to cry about). I'm just asking, educate me on the subject please.

84. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Scott Mxyzptlk can't even educate himself, because he is a known troll. He hates anything Android or Google.

88. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Yeah, but I figured that there might be a chance (probably a snowball's chance in hell) that he might know something about what he's so adamantly against I figured I'd just give him an opportunity to explain, thus far he has been uncharacteristically quiet. I think you're right and he probably knows nothing.

92. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You're wrong. I've used many devices mostly Android. You're talking out of your @$$.

93. Mxyzptlk unregistered

For one the whole reason for using OLED for as for Moto Display since unlike LCD the OLED doesn't light up the whole screen thus conserving energy only lighting up a few pixels. TLT LCD was used on the old Palm devices and a few Sony phones and did they suck in terms of viewing angles and screen quality .

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