Motorola Moto X review [VIDEO] | Wifi Walker, J B Chaparal Properties

Motorola Moto X examination [VIDEO]

There’s no doubt Motorola has a lot roving on a Moto X. As Motorola’s latest flagship (available currently on ATT and shortly to strike all vital carriers in a US) a Moto X is a initial handset innate out a Google/Motorola matrimony and highlights a depart from a manly Droid line Motorola has prolonged been famous for.

You don’t need a microscope to see that Google’s DNA went into a creation of a X. Unlike identical offerings from opposition handset makers, a Moto X chooses a some-more medium approach, focusing instead on facilities to assistance set it detached from a competition, and not a ostentatious high-end specs or ocho-cinco cores. Now that you’ve gotten a full spiel, let’s find out if a Moto X is means to broach on these promises, or if a device’s mid-range specs will eventually reason it back.

Design Build Quality

Moto X Collage

Much like a initial date, a initial 2 areas you’ll notice on a X are a settlement and build quality. The new Motorola put a lot of guess into a looks of a Moto X. As a initial Googorola device, a Moto X common some-more in common with Nexus inclination than Motorola’s current, overly masculine, line of “Droids”. Soft dull corners, a convex back, and colored accents — a Moto X is unequivocally easy on a eyes.

For many, a Moto X’s best underline is it’s petite size. Small bezels along a front make for a device with a healthy screen-to-bezel ratio, make-up in extent arrangement size, while gripping a altogether form cause tiny and gentle for one handed use. Measuring 129.3 x 65.3 mm and gradually tilted from 5.6 mm during a thinnest point, to 10.4 mm during a thickest, a Moto X occupies a shred of a marketplace customarily arriving “Mini” inclination can contest in. This creates a X a ideal Android device for converting on-the-fence iPhone buyers. It’s also a same weight as a Samsung Galaxy S4, during 130 g, so it cannot import we down.

Motorola Moto X DSC00695

While a Moto X is lonesome in cosmetic materials, a matte behind with splinter CO fiber settlement provides for an roughly 3D look, gripping a device from feeling “Galaxy cheap”. Unfortunately, a cosmetic corner around a arrangement doesn’t always lay totally flush with a behind plate, withdrawal a pointy mouth around some of a corners and creation a device feel a small some-more entrance spin than we would have favourite (but customarily to those with a penetrating eye).

Also a back, while plain around a mid-section, has some slight give around a tip apportionment (around a camera). Couple this with buttons that clap extremely when a haptic feedback is intent and things start to feel a small reduction than solid. The cosmetic trim around a arrangement is soft, creation is receptive to scrapes and dents. After tighten inspection, we customarily can’t contend we was too tender with a build quality, yet for many, it expected cannot be an issue.


Moto X Motomaker screenshot

In a smartphone attention first, Motorola gives business a ability to bound onto their all new Motomaker website and settlement their possess special Moto X. After they’ve customized a device according to their tastes, their personalized Moto X will boat to them within 4 days true from Motorola’s newly built Texas facility. An ATT disdainful for now (more carriers will be combined later), we’re certain you’ve already seen a hands-on of Motomaker where intensity buyers can customize a tone palette of their Moto X.

Options embody presumably a white or black faceplate, 18 opposite colored behind covers (with some-more colors and finishes being combined in a future). You can even change a tone of a buttons and trim around a camera along with accessories. For those gripping count, that’s a whopping 504 opposite tone combinations, a series we’re certain will grow as some-more colors are combined into a mix.

This gives business a possibility to settlement a Moto X that will demeanour distinct others they competence run opposite on a street, adding a unequivocally personal reason and something customarily a Moto X can offer. While tradition artwork cannot be accessible during launch, business will shortly be means to serve personalize their Moto X with phrases or squad names along a behind of a device. Wood finish behind covers are also being tested, yet no word on when we can settlement those to strike Motomaker.

Hardware and Performance

Moto X gaming opening DSC00728

When Google finally suggested a Moto X’s central specs, many were dissapoint to find that on paper, a X was versed with “last year’s hardware”. What do we meant by that? Well, namely a 4.7-inch 720p display, dual-core processor, and singular 16GB/32GB inner storage options — all trumped by high-end offerings from HTC and Samsung.

But in a smartphone arms competition where manufacturers are regulating bigger numbers as a approach of dogmatic their handset’s prevalence over one another, high-end hardware does not always a good phone make. Don’t get me wrong, as a draining corner techie myself, we adore high-end specs as many as a subsequent nerd, yet we would disagree that many of these slicing corner specs would be mislaid on mainstream consumers simply looking for a large smartphone with manageable program and a transparent display. In those areas, a Moto X delivers.

In genuine universe usage, a 1.7GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon Pro (also famous as Motorola’s X8 chip) is poignant and discerning to open adult apps and webpages. we found no distinct disproportion in speed between a Moto X and quad-core versed inclination like a Nexus 4, HTC One, or Samsung Galaxy S4 (okay, it did feel quicker on a feet than a S4 with TouchWiz). Also, even when regulating benchmarks, a phone rarely, if ever, reached a comfortable temperature, staying cold during normal usage.

Moto X benchmarks

While a X competence not be make-up a “quad-core” processor like many other inclination on a market, it does however underline a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU (same as found in a “higher-end” HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4). This means when it comes to striking complete gaming, a X will be means to keep adult with a best of them — even better in many cases interjection to a lower-resolution arrangement that creates graphics easier to render.

AnTuTu – 18977

GFXBench (GLBenchmark 2.7) – T-Rex: 26 fps, Egypt: 54 fps

Quadrant – 8855

Vellamo – HTML5: 2442, Metal: 770

We fast mentioned a device’s 4.7-inch arrangement that we found high-def adequate interjection to an adequate 312 ppi, yet a AMOLED’s over-saturation of colors, yellow-ish white balance, and clever gamma had me yearning for SLCD3 (or during slightest a Galaxy S4′s superfluity controls). Don’t even worry perplexing to revise a print on this thing, it cannot come out looking anything like you’d settlement when beheld on your computer.

Other specs embody dual-band WiFi b/g/n/ac, a 2,200 mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE + EDR, nano SIM label (even smaller than your micro SIM) and NFC. The Moto X is also customarily accessible in 16GB or 32GB storage options, with Google charity a whopping 50GB of giveaway Google Drive storage for 2 years.


Motorola Moto X Camera DSC00716

Accessible with a accessible discerning launch gesticulate (double spin of a wrist, even while a phone is sleeping), a Motorola Moto X’s 10MP “Clear Pixel” behind confronting camera is simply a device’s weakest area. What’s bizarre is how it was billed to perform improved than prior hardware, with improved low-light formula and all this technical mumbo jumbo to behind it up. In a end, you’ll be tough pulpy to fire a singular decent settlement with a Moto X’s camera.

All images humour from an impassioned volume of muddiness, abandoned of any detail. we have a guess a density in images has some-more to do with a a horribly assertive sound filter, something that could be bound in a destiny program refurbish (like with a HTC One), yet we substantially shouldn’t reason your breath.

Moto X vs HTC One GPe camera

Moto X vs HTC One GPe low light

Low light is where a camera really freaks out. The picture above was taken with a a Moto X and HTC One GPe in extremely low lighting conditions — no flash, no HDR, batch camera settings — and it’s easy to see that device came out on top. Images on a Moto X have purple edges when a ISO jumps adult and so many sound and filtering, there’s no approach anyone will find themselves gratified with a finish result. Flat out: this is one of a misfortune smartphone cameras I’ve ever used in my life (yes, even worse than a Nexus 4).

Moto X camera representation collage

In a bizarre twist, a 2MP front confronting camera suffers from nothing of a aforementioned issues. Images come out pointy (almost too sharp), with a good volume of bearing and contrast. It’s so peculiar Motorola couldn’t get a behind camera to perform like front, yet if we spin unequivocally desperate, we could always use a front camera as your primary shooter (great for selfies).

Battery life

Motorola Moto X charging battery DSC00734

While an normal 2,200mAh battery competence not sound like much, don’t let it dope we — it takes a Moto X a long way. That’s not to contend you’ll get a full 24 hours value of use (no matter what you’ve read), yet a Moto X should get we by your day, until we make it home during night.

According to Motorola, a Moto X is means of 13 hours of true speak time, and around 24 with churned usage. My formula sundry yet on average, I’d get around 14 hours of “normal” use (checking Twitter each so often, creation a few phones calls, checking a few texts, examination a YouTube video or 2), yet with unequivocally light usage, we could mostly strike that 20 hour mark. In fact, standby mode is where a Moto X truly shines.

During transit, a Moto X managed to go a full 4 days (that’s 96 hours) while powered on and once it finally arrived during my house, still had 10% of a battery to spare. Pretty damn considerable if we ask me. Because a Moto X uses such small battery life when sleeping, there were many days we didn’t even worry plugging it in during night, meaningful it would still be alive to sound my alarm in a morning. There’s a certain volume of assent of mind that comes with meaningful that.


Motorola Moto X Boot animation DSC00738

With mobile hardware attack a plateau of sorts, it’s a program and facilities therein that will eventually be a determining cause for consumers. You competence not be means to tell a disproportion between a 720p arrangement and a 1080p one, a dual-core processor and octa-core one — heck, even Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Android Jelly Nuts.

Something tells us Motorola knows this and it’s since they’ve combined a handful of new program features, a few that consumers can customarily find from their line of smartphones and nowhere else. Because a Moto X offers a nearby batch Android 4.2.2 experience, we’ll concentration on Motorola’s singular program facilities and not all Android 4.2 Jelly Bean entails.

Active Notifications

Moto X active notifications

One of a coolest Moto X facilities is something Motorola is pursuit “Active Notifications”. Essentially, this is lockscreen that is enabled whenever a X receives a notification. In ancient times, you’d have to collect adult your phone, press a energy symbol and appropriate down a presentation area to check your notifications — not on a Moto X. Active Notifications creates a routine easier with a black and white lockscreen (provides for minimal impact on battery life) that pulses with, not customarily a time, yet shows we when we have unread notifications.

Pressing on a core of a arrangement — though picking a device up, or press a earthy transparent symbol — lets we demeanour during a many new notification, while prior ones are also shown. From there, we can confirm to full transparent your device and residence them, or continue examination a movie, eating dinner, or personification your video game. Easily a many accessible underline we’ve seen from Android OEM’s in utterly sometime.

Overall it works unequivocally well… when it works. Often times I’ve found my Moto X arrangement is blank, and we start finger jabbing my phone perplexing to get a Active Notifications lockscreen to seem so we can demeanour during my notifications. By that time, we could have picked adult my phone and checked a normal way. we also beheld Active Notifications felt a bit “hacky”, with a normal Android lockscreen display for a separate second on transparent (instead of unlocking true to a homescreen). Not a outrageous deal, yet it creates Active Notifications feel like some 3rd celebration app from a Play Store.

Touchless Control

Moto X Touchless Control DSC00742

Similar to a “Ok Glass” voice actions found on Google Glass, a Moto X facilities what Motorola calls their “Touchless Control” voice actions. Essentially, Touchless Controls concede we to fast entrance Google Now (found on all Android inclination regulating Jelly Bean) though ever carrying to physically collect adult your phone. It’s always listening, during a ready, watchful on your each command.

But initial you’ll have to set it adult and after recording yourself observant “OK Google Now” 3 times, a Moto X will learn your voice patterns. From there we can simply contend “OK Google Now”, and a Moto X will perform a Google voice hunt of whatever we like. Since a Google Now also facilities voice actions, any of those actions can be spoken. Things like environment alarms, posting standing updates, reckoning out math problems, checking weather, translating something into another language, promulgation an SMS message, fixation calls, etc.. Sky’s a limit.

Like Active Notifications, when Touchless Control works, it works well. Unfortunately, some-more than mostly we found myself screaming during my Moto X, perplexing to strike a same representation we used during a setup process. In a swarming room or during a restaurant, Touchless Control never picked adult my voice, presumably since my yelling voice was opposite than what was programmed.

Unless we was Liam Neeson, sow tied upside down with my X customarily out of reach, Touchless Control customarily seemed a tad bit gimmicky. Still a unequivocally cold underline and one that we settlement will sell a few Moto X’s in conduit sell stores.

Motorola Assist

Motorola Assist Moto X

Assist is one of Motorola’s bigger apps that automates tasks like enabling hands-free communications while pushing or gripping your phone still during meetings and/or dusk hours. Definitely cool, and unequivocally many users will find helpful.

The pushing choice helps Moto X users “stay focused on a road” by measuring your speed to detect when we competence be driving. Once enabled, we can have your X review content messages aloud, or a name of a caller.

Meeting checks your calendar for meetings or events and can tongue-tied calls. While we suppose many folks aren’t frequently intent in weekly meetings, we can emanate a calendar eventuality for something like church each Sunday, so we never have to worry about interrupting a service. Settings embody a choice to set ringtones to overpower or vibrate, with a choice to whitelist calls from Favorites or when someone calls twice within 5 min, customarily signifying an puncture (or crazy ex). You can also have a phone automobile respond to missed calls around SMS.

If we positively hatred being interrupted in your nap by emails, SMS messages from friends with no job, or calls from creditors, we can also set your phone’s possess still hours underneath a Sleeping option. Like Meetings, we can still capacitate calls from those in your Favorites or whenever someone calls twice within 5 minutes.

Assist’s user interface creates a app a fun to use. Where you’d settlement something of this inlet to demeanour like Android’s tedious ‘ol Settings app, you’re instead greeted by a UI that’s purify with Google Now-like cards and a informed “No, maybe later” or “Yes, I’m in” Google Now options that seem during launch. Everything is transparent and concise. You can unequivocally see Google’s fingerprints in a design.

Other Motorola Apps and Services

Moto X Motorola apps and services

Call it bloatware or whatever we like, yet Motorola also sprinkled a Moto X with a small some-more of their specialty software. Motorola Device ID ties to your Gmail comment and allows we to entrance Motorola specific services like Motorola Connect (a Chrome extension for sending/receiving SMS messages and calls from your computer), Moto Care tips (an app with FAQ and options to auto-enable suggested tips), and Lost Phone Web Portal (to assistance lane down a unnoticed or stolen Moto X). One accessible confidence underline is something Motorola calls Trusted Devices that will invalidate a pattern, pin, or other shade thatch whenever a device is interconnected to a “trusted” Bluetooth device. Pretty damn awesome.

Moto X Trusted Devices

There’s also Migrate to assistance with transferring media, call, SMS, and contacts to a new device (either wirelessly, or regulating NFC). Motorola Privacy (found in a Settings app) disables or enables Moto Care tips or opting in/out of use statistics. The Moto X also tweaks a batch Android program by adding their possess Battery saving mode that will spin off credentials information during low battery (until a device is charging), and audio EQ tweaks found in a sound settings.


Motorola Moto X DSC00701

In a end, a Moto X was done to yield Motorola with a mainstream success of iPhone-level proportions. Motorola done a unequivocally vital pierce in not focusing on specs, yet on what a X could offer that was distinct a millions of other Android inclination on a market. Something personal, something convenient, something that would change a approach people correlate with their smartphone. There’s a value in that and it’s since a Moto X — while it competence not container a aloft spec numbers — during $200 on contract, it’s labelled on a same spin as high-end handsets offering by Samsung, HTC, and LG.

If you’re shopping what Motorola is selling, than a Moto X competence be a phone for you. For draining corner tech enthusiast, a Moto X wasn’t built for we and we competence wish to continue watchful for a subsequent large thing.


  • Great design
  • Stock Android software
  • Front confronting camera performance
  • Battery life
  • Customization options
  • Always on voice actions “Touchless Controls”
  • Availability on all vital US carriers (ATT for now)


  • 10MP “Clear Pixel” camera
  • Display
  • Build quality
  • Subsidized pricing (subject to change)

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5

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