Motorola Moto X Review

Motorola Moto X
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Interface and Functionality:

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.

The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X is  running an almost stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean experience - Motorola Moto X Review


Touchless Control:

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.

The Touchless Control feature is powered by Google Now - Motorola Moto X Review
The Touchless Control feature is powered by Google Now - Motorola Moto X Review
The Touchless Control feature is powered by Google Now - Motorola Moto X Review
The Touchless Control feature is powered by Google Now - Motorola Moto X Review


Motorola Assist:

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.

Motorola Assist - Motorola Moto X Review
Motorola Assist - Motorola Moto X Review
Motorola Assist - Motorola Moto X Review
Motorola Assist - Motorola Moto X Review


Motorola Connect:

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.

Google Drive:

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.

Exclusive to the Moto X, owners are treated to 50GB of free storage in Google Drive - Motorola Moto X Review
Exclusive to the Moto X, owners are treated to 50GB of free storage in Google Drive - Motorola Moto X Review


Wireless Display:

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!


Messaging:

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.

The stock Android on-screen keyboard is fabulous - Motorola Moto X Review
The stock Android on-screen keyboard is fabulous - Motorola Moto X Review
The stock Android on-screen keyboard is fabulous - Motorola Moto X Review
The stock Android on-screen keyboard is fabulous - Motorola Moto X Review

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.

The standard Email and Gmail apps - Motorola Moto X Review
The standard Email and Gmail apps - Motorola Moto X Review
The standard Email and Gmail apps - Motorola Moto X Review
The standard Email and Gmail apps - Motorola Moto X Review


Organizer:

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.

Organizer apps - Motorola Moto X Review
Organizer apps - Motorola Moto X Review
Organizer apps - Motorola Moto X Review
Organizer apps - Motorola Moto X Review


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.

The Motorola Moto X handles surfing the web through Chrome - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X handles surfing the web through Chrome - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X handles surfing the web through Chrome - Motorola Moto X Review
The Motorola Moto X handles surfing the web through Chrome - Motorola Moto X Review

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.

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PhoneArena rating:
8.5Very good
Display4.7 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (316 ppi) AMOLED
Camera10 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Dual-core, 1700 MHz, Krait processor
2 GB
Size5.09 x 2.57 x 0.41 inches
(129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4 mm)
4.59 oz  (130 g)
Battery2200 mAh, 13 hours talk time

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