The Motorola Moto X: An Honest Review

The Motorola Moto X is the first phone made by Google and Motorola together since the big G bought over the company more than a year ago. Being the first collaboration, the anticipation and expectations were high. This phone symbolizes the direction that Google and Motorola is going to take in the future and many were eager to see what they had to offer.

Design

© motorola.com

© motorola.com

If we were forced to sum up the Motorola Moto X in one word, it would have to be ‘customization’. There was news that the two companies are moving towards the direction where we would one day be able fully customized our phones, everything from the looks to the specs of the phone. For now, we have to content with the fact that we could almost fully customize the way we want the phone to look.

The Moto X lets you have (almost) full control on how you want your phone to look like, especially when it comes to its colors. You can choose the colors of almost every part of the phones external casing, be it the screen bezel on the front, the back casing or the colors of the volume rocker buttons. You can even choose to have your name (or any text for that matter) to be printed on the back of the casing. We really love being able to personalize the looks of our phone right out of the box!

With this model, Motorola adopted a more neutral look that seems to be designed to appeal to the masses. The phone has rounded edges and corners. The back of the phone is gently curved, which makes it rather comfortable to hold. It has a textured, rubberized finish to provide extra grip when you hold it. Motorola are famous for making well-built, durable phones and this can be seen in the Motorola X. The device feels extremely high quality and very solidly built. The device measures 2.6 x 5 x 0.2-0.4 (due to the curved back) inches in dimensions and weighs approximately 4.6 ounces.

Tech Specs

Before we proceed to the usual array of specifications, you might be interested to know that the Moto X comes with not one, not two but three microphones. There is one on the top, next to the headphone jack, another one below the screen of the phone and one on the back. The three microphones are said to help in noise cancellation, which we guess would be important considering the fact that Google Now can now be voice activated.

© motorola.com

© motorola.com

Google and Motorola are notorious for delivering value and substance in their products and this is evident in the unique specs of the Moto X. This insides of this phone does not work like those found on other phones. It runs Motorola’s X8 system that makes use of not one, not two, but 4 processors, each dedicated to running specific tasks on the phone. The main processor among the lot is the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. The other three are used for running tasks such as graphics, gesture recognition and language processing, amongst several others.

This unique processor configuration is designed to not only optimized for better performance but also to make the phone more energy efficient. The batteries are rated to last up to ’24 hours of mixed use’. In reality, you can easily get 14 hours of rigorous use from the battery. There are several real-life reports around the internet stating that the Moto X’s battery life is better (much better) than the other flagship Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. Oh did we mention that the battery on this model is actually smaller than many of its competitors?

So how powerful is the Moto X? ‘Scary good’, in the words of Marques Brownlee from his review on YouTube. Based on many reports, the phone did not falter at all, not one bit even during the most rigorous and power-hungry of tasks. Its web browsing capabilities in particular has been receiving lots of rave reviews from many tech experts. Other specs and features on the phone include the Android 4.2.2. Jelly Bean OS, a 10MP camera with flash, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB for storage and a 4.7-inch AMOLED screen that has a 720 x 1280 resolution (that translates to about 312 PPI in pixel density).

Features

As you would have probably heard of by now, the new improved Google Now feature can not be 100% voice activated. Voice activate features are not new when it comes to smartphone, but note how I added the term ‘100%’. Usually, the phone needs to be on, or have the home screen unlocked before voice activation can be used to launch an app. With the Moto X, you can activate Google Now with your voice, without touching the phone, even when the phone is on standby mode.

© motorola.com

© motorola.com

With this model, you can activate it by just saying ‘OK Google Now’ (with the new Nexus 5, the command has been shortened to ‘OK Google’). This means that if you have the phone, on standby mode, sitting on your desk in front of you, you can get access to information such as the weather, or movie screening times by just saying ‘Ok Google Now, what is the weather?’ The answer to your query will be read out to you. All this, without ever needing to lay hands on your phone. Through the use of the 3 microphones, the phone can be configured to recognize your voice where the feature can only be activated when it receives a common from your voice (or someone that has a voice like yours).

With the parade of good news so far, we really hate to crash the party by delivering some less exciting news. Since, the Moto X is supposed to be a ‘flagship’ phone of sorts, you can’t blame us for having high expectations in every department of features. We will lay it out straight: the image quality of the photos taken on the phone is not very inspiring, especially when compared to its competitors. The images were not as sharp and crisp as we would have liked and the colors seems subdued most of the time. We really hope that this could be improved in one of Motorola’s future software updates. With that said, there are some redeeming features. One of my favorites is that the camera app can be activated by flipping in side to side. Considering that the camera app is one of the most used features on a smartphone, we really liked how it can be activating without pushing any buttons.

Summary

Other than the camera performance and a couple of very minor flaws (we thought the speakers on the back was a little small and can be easily covered by your fingers when you hold it in a certain way), it is really hard to fault the phone in any other way. In fact, we are absolutely in love with the Motorola Moto X. Everything from its personalization options, buttery smooth performance, high end specs gorgeous screen and design are top notch. In terms of design, there are no other phones in the market that has ever offered this level of personalization and in terms of processing power, you will be getting a phone that is industry leading in both battery life and performance. At the time of writing, you can get an unlocked version of the Moto X from around $500 each.

Check out the review for the Motorola Moto G here >>

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