Motorola Moto X hands-on

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!


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.


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.

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.

The hands-on continues on the following pages

Related phones

Moto X
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 10 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 2200 mAh(13h talk time)



1. iyngr

Posts: 72; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

Is there a way to watch the event live stream

2. Cinnamon

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2011

Holy S**T! Most of the rumors were right! Also Moto maker is something that is so cool. Want this phone now.

3. Android4u

Posts: 456; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

I want it

18. Android4u

Posts: 456; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

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

38. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

That was funny, tell us why have changed your mind

43. valapsp

Posts: 565; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

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

31. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 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!

4. hkxm8

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 08, 2012

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

5. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

16. OldNorseBruin

Posts: 235; Member since: Mar 12, 2013

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

6. zachattack

Posts: 621; Member since: Jul 31, 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

7. kpeanut

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 24, 2013

UK release please? Any news?

8. Thomas5.3

Posts: 37; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

same price on contract as the galaxy s4.. NEXT

9. Dr.Android

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

no live stream?

10. fanboylemonkiller

Posts: 16; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

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

11. scott5626

Posts: 49; Member since: Sep 01, 2009

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

12. omarr

Posts: 149; Member since: Sep 15, 2012


13. jimjam unregistered

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

19. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

20. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 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.

23. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

14. OldNorseBruin

Posts: 235; Member since: Mar 12, 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...

15. jimjam unregistered

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

17. alltechinside

Posts: 248; Member since: Apr 21, 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...

21. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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.

22. MistB

Posts: 581; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

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

24. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 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 !

25. Avenger337

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 14, 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.

26. Sakeem

Posts: 865; Member since: Sep 05, 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.

27. daniel_bargs

Posts: 325; Member since: Nov 27, 2010

Dead on arrival.

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