Moto X

Firm says the Moto X is 'a step above the rest'

It's no secret that plenty of people are loving their Moto X phones. I'm one of them. The "less is more" philosophy and tight software integration make for a pretty unique experience among all the different smartphones out there, both Android and otherwise. ABI Research has just torn the Moto X apart and done a complete analysis of it, and they think a big part of it is because the Moto X is the clear leader when it comes to innovation.

They say things like the form factor, the "much underrated" display and the always-on voice commands and notification system are pretty spectacular feats in power management, and "are a few of the attributes that set the Moto X a step above the rest."

Specifically when compared to the iPhone 5s, the Moto X uses about 2.5 times less battery power to do the same things, and has 20 percent more pixels to account for. To the folks at ABI research, this is more innovative than a new casing, new colors or a fingerprint sensor that they mention was originally a Motorola idea on the Atrix. 

Around here, we use all sorts of different phones. We like some more than others, but feel that any of the latest are a great choice. But when someone comes out and says why one is better than the others in such a bold manner, we're going to tell you and let you decide.

Source: ABI Research; Via: Forbes


Reader comments

ABI Research: Moto X 'outpaces competition with new innovations'


The Moto X really is an amazingly tempting phone... we'll see what we see with the Nexus 5.

Posted via Android Central App

I remember this from the 80's. Cores Haim and Cores Feldman. You often got dual-cores in movies in those days.

Remember the good old days where people used to scream out "MOAR GEEBEES!!!!". NOW IT'S MOAR COREZ!!!11!

That is exactly what im waiting for. And the hope is that if i choose the Moto X, that it will be much cheaper when my upgrade is available at Douchey Red in Feb. 2014

"But you said it was a good size!" - Apple
"Saying it's a good size, is a nice way of saying it's small." -Android

I'm really impressed with the Moto X. Unfortunately, there is one glaring flaw that prevented me from buying it. The camera is incredibly mediocre. Everything else is great, very great actually. I just can't get past that damn camera.

SwiftKeyed via Android Central App

Even after the OTA, by all reliable accounts, it's still mediocre. There's only so much a software update can do. The camera hardware simply isn't there.

SwiftKeyed via Android Central App

If you haven't bought the phone yet how do you know if it sucks? Unless you've tried it yourself with someone's else's phone.

Posted via Android Central App

If you haven't already check out the reviews of the latest camera update for the X. Supposed to be a large improvement.

Please point out those reviews. Even Phil here is still less than "meh" on the camera. As are the few friends I have sporting the Moto X.

SwiftKeyed via Android Central App

When did everyone turn into photographers? Where are you pouring these pictures? Are you making 10 foot posters or just posting to Facebook???? Yeah that's what I thought

Posted via Android Central App

Er, great camera phones are for everyone not just professional photographers (who by the way will have better cameras to rely on unlike everyone else). Where he posts to and how big he blows up the pictures is more of an issue of megapixel size, which is not the issue here (but rather paper exposure and low light detail among other things). Saying that normal people shouldn't expect or ask for great camera performance is a rather empty statement.

Posted via Android Central App

You are overlooking how bad the camera is compared to others like the One, S4 and iPhone. The Gnex camera was horrendous. The Nexus 4 was a small step up. Why is the Moto even a "meh" ? By now, all phones should be good, solid cameras. No excuse on thy one.

Posted via Android Central App

I never professed to be a photographer. However, from my limited camera uses, I already notice a huge difference in picture quality.

I'm not looking to do a photo-spread for Playboy magazine. However, I can still see a huge difference in a mediocre camera performance in poor light situations compared to other devices with much better cameras.

"Yeah that's what I thought"... yeah... you didn't think enough.

For the vast majority of Moto X users, the camera is more than adequate. If it doesn't work for you, that's fine.

Why you no want to do Playboy spread?

Posted via Android Central App

agreed. Even with the software update, it seems very mediocre. I'm surprised as a camera, I would think, is one of the main use cases for a smart phone.

Actually I have taken some surprisingly good photos with my att Moto x on the new software update.

Posted via Android Central App

In my humble opinion, if the Moto X camera is a deal breaker...I mean for anybody...then one should be looking for a camera and not a phone.

I agree. I have the Droid DNA and it takes decent photos but I would MUCH rather have the voice commands, accessories, and other options that the Moto x has.

Every phone is going to have its strengths. For some phones, they have good cameras, but they usually fall flat elsewhere though (I'm looking at that laggy bloat on your backside Samsung). Even then, there isn't a smartphone out there that is great in all situations. Compromises have to be made somewhere.
If taking pictures is so important to you. Get a damn camera.

This about sums it up. When I think of mediocre, I'm usually thinking about what I'd expect from a front-facing camera. Not the rear shooter on the Moto X.

But I guess everyone is different.

Are you simply going by examples being posted or do you actually have a Moto X (and with the update)?

For me it's the fact that I'm not American and therefore apparently not worthy of Google's attention.

Surely it isn't that hard to sell phones internationally... every other manufacturer manages to.

Posted via Android Central App

Motorola has struggled outside the US for a long time now. The Moto X is a huge step in getting themselves back on their feet. Hopefully their prospects are looking up, and they will look into getting back into international markets with their 2014 models. I live outside the US too and would love to be able to get one.

Personally I think it is the best phone and the reason I have one. For all the reasons mentioned in the article it won my business. They missed the assembled in the USA as one other leg up on the competition.

Posted via Android Central App

Not just jobs ( not the Steve kind) but also makes things like moto maker possible. It also reduced shipping costs and removed customs from the delivery date (anyone remember the HTC one mess at customs?) Oh and US jobs in a down market.

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Beside the usual people bashing the Moto X based on specs alone, I haven't spoken to a single person actually owned one and wasn't completely enamored by it. This phone is doing well but it deserves better.


Two things I would have pushed for -

Moto Maker on all US carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon) at launch.

The commercials rolling out sooner.

2.5 time less still hurts my head.

But yeah, my wife got one, and its an awesome phone. I've created a monster telling her she can say "Ok Google Now" followed by all sorts of things without even picking it up.

She's always yaking at her phone, sometimes with it halfway across the room.

Hmmm...something to deflect spousal conversation away from me. Where do I sign up?

I tried to get my wife to have conversations with S-Voice on her Note 2 instead of me but that didn't last long.

I want the X over my s3 only the nexus 5 has prevented me from buying it outright. I'm not sure if touchless control and active notifications are enough to justify the price.

Posted via Android Central App

Active Notifications alone are worth the price. Trust me...once you use it, you won't want another phone unless it has it.

Exact same reason why vanilla android is the best. Simply beautiful, using less to get more result. Great job google! glad to see someone recognize this.

This phone has is far more important features, which are underrated, than air gestures or finger print scanner, which are overrated.

My job requires that I have pretty much every current flagship device. My daily driver(s) before the X were the S4 and the iPhone 5, before that the HTC One, ad infinitum. That being said, I absolutely adore this phone. Its the only one that ever makes it out of my device drawer when I leave the office or home. Well, that and my Nexus 7,

Impressive that it manages to consume 2.5x less battery power to do the same things as the iPhone 5S. Unfortunately it still gets the floor wiped by the 5S for overall battery life. I'm no iFanboy but Apple has always owned battery life and the 5S is no different. In fact, the Moto X doesn't even fare better than average amongst other Android phones, at least in battery life tests performed in controlled atmosphere.

And as we all know "battery life tests performed in controlled atmosphere" is far more important than how the battery performs under real world usage.

The battery has worked well for me so far. I had the iPhone 4s before and my battery was pooping out by 6pm. Not cool. And I can't even use my phone at work. Love this phone!

The ip5s does have good battery life as all iphone's do but it cannot outdo my Moto X. I can get over 30 hrs with 6 hrs screen on time with the X. My wife has an ip5s for work and while it does have good battery life, it can't beat the X.

Interesting, because Gizmodo wrote a whole post advising users how to extend battery life because of complaints.

what are you talking about? apple phones have never been the cream of the crop battery-wise. it doesn't outdo the moto x, or the s4, or the notes, or the lumia 920, or the maxx, or the g2

the 5s just -doesn't suck anymore- like the 5 did. it still doesn't hold up in the lte world all that well

Of course, he doesn't get it. His avatar is a puppet, for goodness sake, lol.

Posted via Android Central App

Nice for the X, but i wanted a metal body, best available screen and stereo speakers on the front. That meant the HTC One.
Of the four smartphones I've owned, they've all lasted all day; that is, I've only had to charge them once a day, under moderate use.
Software innovations are nice but hardware is where it's at. Software innovations can be added to phones, not stereo speakers.
Having said that, it's nice that there are plenty of Android phones from which to choose.

Posted via Android Central App

The problem of course is that part of the "magic" of the Moto X is due to hardware. It has two specialized low power processors that leverage the software advantages. In addition, the AMOLED screen reduces power consumption when using the active notifications.

The HTC One and the S4 don't have these advantages.

S4 also has AMOLED can also have an active screen, Doesn't it have those active covers? With that window where you can see the notifications?

Posted via Android Central App

Just picked up my Moto X last night and checking it out today. Good to see the article commenting on the innovation and quality of the Moto X brings to the device market today!

Sent from my Moto X

the moto x beats any android phone, including the 4 core ones, out of the water, and yes, the iphone 5 too

Well, the source says the iPhone uses 2.5 times as much as the Moto X. That is very different than saying the Moto X uses 2.5 times less.

Also, 250% isn't 2.5x. 100% more is 2x already. So it'd be uses 150% more ((250-100)/100) = 1.5 = 150%. But I'll use their actual numbers:

((220-92)/92)=1.39= 139% more power used

In addition to that, it's 60% less power if you're coming from the side of Moto X. ((100-250)/250) = .6. With their numbers:

((92-220)/220) = .58

Just be careful when you're representing variations of things with % differences, it's not quite what you're thinking. Times is perfectly acceptable though :)

220/92 = 2.39


I have one of the new Droids, which shares a lot of the same features and hardware as the Moto X. I'm impressed, and I think I'll be doing business with Motorola now after a few years with HTC, which I'm fairly sure will be circling the drain anytime now.

It does lack some of things I looked from HTC's phones like comprehensive social/contacts integration, but I found some workarounds for that. Camera could be better too, but Motorola gets a pass for shaking things up. Hopefully they'll improve it next time.

Posted via Android Central App and Droid Mini

I'm actually currently trying to sell my iPhone 4s for enough $$ to get a Sprint Moto X. Looks like the most promising Android phone right now with a NORMAL screen size.

I have always said it is a good phone.

Note 3 is better on more fronts, not talking pure specs either

Posted from a van, down by the river

It was a joke. Let's spell it, together, now:

J - O - K - E. Joke. Got it memorized?

It doesn't help, that I'm slightly inebriated, does it?

Posted via Android Central App

Channeling your inner tantai I see.

Booze is the solution, and the cause of all problems. It shouldn't make you a tantai though...

Posted from a van, down by the river

I honestly really enjoy my moto x. I have spent the last few months using the HTC One pretty much daily with a few weeks on an s4 gpe. I love my one, however when I got the Moto x I was pleasently surprised with the experience. A near skinless build of android with some very useful, innovative features. Once you get used to active display / notifications , it's hard to live without it. I just got a really nice nano to micro sim adapter so I now can switch between the Moto x and any Micro sim phone as needed. Go moto! ... X.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm in the same situation. I've been using and loving my One for about 6 months. I cam into some money and on a whim, I bought a Moto X DE. Over the week or so I've had it, I've come to love the size and Active Notification and haven't missed any aspect of the One - even the screen resolution. It is just as fast as the One in every use I've tried. I love it. I've ordered a nano to micro adapter so I can play with the One some more, but I would be extremely satisfied with the Moto X as my only device. We'll see what the Nexus 5 brings.

Moto X features + Nokia Camera + LG battery tech + HTC design for Nexus 6 plz!

Posted via Android Central App

"Around here, we use all sorts of different phones. We like some more than others, but feel that any of the latest are a great choice. But when someone comes out and says why one is better than the others in such a bold manner, we're going to tell you and let you decide."

They're right.

I have a droid Maxx and I feel like this is the biggest jump ever in smartphone.

Posted via Android Central App

How can people like this phone? I mean the screen is terrible! 720p on a 4.7 inch display?? Now my 32 inch bedroom tv having a 720p is more than enough but not on a phone!

and the processor! I need the back of my phone to be on fire and the battery draining like water to feel confident that I have a phone powerful enough to make up for my small manhood.

There are so many more reasons why this thing sucks! Active notifications, Motorola Connect, Touchless Control, I just cant believe anyone would like this crap.

Sent from my prehistoric Moto X!

You got me fired up after your first paragraph (even though I'm a display snob).. then I read the second paragraph + thought: well played, Sir =)

Posted via Android Central App

The thing is perfect, people are too hard on the camera. It's not the best you can get, but it works well. All the other pros make up for it.. I got my wife one, I want one now.

Posted via Android Central App on a Nexus 4 running CM10.1.3

I think what I appreciate most about the Moto X is the consistent reliability as far as the user experience goes. In no way does this mean other devices are inconsistent or unreliable, it's just this phone also does it exceptionally well in its own way.

I also enjoy the vanilla (Android) experience out of the box, with just the right amount of additional features.

As a bonus... "Ok Google Now" + Play Music All Access = amazing.

I'm waiting for the Nexus 5 before I pull the trigger on either. I really like the "Ok Google Now" feature and could see myself using that all the time in my car to switch musical artists, songs, etc. And the Active Notifications are definitely very cool. Oh, and how can you beat a stock Android look and feel? What I'm not liking is the price. Sure, I know the phone technically is a flagship and deserves to be sold as such (that has been reiterated dozens of times in these comment sections)...but damn is this phone expensive. And I really want an off-contract 32gb Maroon one with black buttons (sexy as hell), but that would cost me upward of $700 whereas a Nexus 5 32gb is rumored to only cost $400. So I've been looking around on Swappa and all of the custom versions are hideous and I find the plain white and black versions pointless. Yeah, I know it's what's on the inside that counts, but I'm a superficial person and I like my stuff to be pretty. Plus, the spec-whore in me keeps thinking "720p? Pschhh."

I'm torn as well. Choice is good and all, but now I'm deciding between the Nexus 5, LG G2, HTC One, and the Moto X. Aaargh!

Posted via the awesomest of awesome Android Central App

I will bet any amount of money that Moto supports the X better than both Samsung and HTC (especially HTC). As for 4.3, I hope they save their time and energy and wait until 4.4. 4.3 is useless when this phone has Bluetooth LE and TRIM (well, thats what I got out of the nerdy wording in the anandtech review).

While I won't say the same with 4.4, I'm not as concerned with the updates as I used to be. That being said, I still would love to be on the latest version but it doesn't really bother me like it use to. I also run custom ROMs so I'll be on the latest anyway but with my G2 and X, since AOSP ROMs are not yet available, I don't expect many changes with the 4.3 update. Actually, at this point, I'd just prefer the OEMs to skip 4.3 and go to 4.4. I imagine that was why they went with 4.2.2. If your look at their release dates, they were obviously tested with 4.2 and it wouldn't have been possible to release these phones with 4.3 when they did and ensure they went through the proper bug tests.

Posted on my G2, X, S4, N7 (13) or N10

With Google breaking more of the update abilities out into the Play Store, I agree, the rush to update is less of a concern. The 4.2 to 4.3 update was pretty minor. I Would almost call it insignificant from a daily use standpoint. I don't know what 4.4 will have in store, but I suspect it will be more relevant than 4.3, the update schedule on that will be more telling IMO.

It's also worth mentioning it's not just the manufacturer that sets the update schedule. The carriers have a lot of say as well.

Too many awesome phones this year! I can't quit buying! I think the Nexus 5 will be my last of the year (N10 as well but that's not a phone). I was pleasantly surprised how much I like my X. Unlike my G2, I'm in no rush to flash a custom ROM. Moto did right with the UI and the features. No gimmicks, just features that work and are actually useful. Refreshing.

Posted on my G2, X, S4, N7 (13) or N10

I hate you and your phones. LOL

Sent from my ATRIX HD MASS running CM10.2

Posted via Android Central App

I was on the fence between the Moto x and HTC one, coming from iPhone 4. The sale at best buy two weeks ago sold me on the One, $149 for 32 gb. A $100 savings over a 32gb Moto x tilted the scales, love my new blue HTC One.

Posted via Android Central App

Fantastic article! The only thing I didn't care for with the Moto X was some screenshots I saw online taken with the camera. But I think it's an awesome phone.

Posted via Android Central App

To bad innovation is not synonymous with market share.

Posted via Android Central App via HTC One

Motorola Droid Bionic Has Been Stolen and has been recovered! Yey!

Now after ownership of a month for this phone this is NO doubt I made the correct choice of phones.Not looking back

I mostly agree. I think the Moto X is a "right sized" high end smart phone. There's no reason 99% of smartphone users need a quad-core CPU. The Adreno 225 GPU was a little underpowered for some games. The Adreno 320 fixes that problem. It's also 200MHz faster than last year's dual-core Snapdragon S4. The display is also right sized. There is no reason to have 1080x1920 resolution on a 5" display. With 1280x720 at 5" you have 293.7 - nearly 300 - ppi. The higher 1080x1920 resolution uses more power, CPU/GPU time, storage, and RAM due to rendering more pixels and storing larger images with no practical benefit. Besides the CPU, GPU, and display the 2GB of RAM was a great move. The only unfortunate thing is the OLED display. It would be better to have an LCD display and a notification LED. LCD's are just brighter and brighter is better on a mobile device. There's almost no practical benefit to the 40,000+:1 contrast ratio on the OLED and in most situations they use more power than LCD.

I just wonder why every mention of the Moto X doesn't include mentioning that anyone on Verizon would be crazy to get the Moto X instead of the Droid Maxx. It's got all the same benefits, a slightly larger display and more than double the battery capacity. On top of that it doesn't have the software buttons wasting room at the bottom of the screen. Instead you can use the entire display for games, photos, web pages, and any other content. With the soft buttons that space can only be used for some/most full screen video playback. It's like a 4.5" display, not a 4.7, on the moto x when you consider that.

The Droid Maxx is bigger and not as ergonomic as the Moto X. And some people, myself included, like the onscreen buttons better. Most of the time, while watching movies and playing games, they hide themselves. Also, with an OLED Screen active notifications cannot be done, which I have found to be better than a LED notification. I can read what the notification is about instead of having to turn on my phone fully to see what the notification light is about anyway.

I would have bought this phone is I was allowed to build my own in Canada. That was the icing on the cake that would have put me over the top. I don't want it in black or white.