Moto X Moto Maker

We walk you through customizing your Moto X with the new Moto Maker website

Never mind the specs. Never mind the software. Your Moto X is a beautiful butterfly, unique in the world. Rather, it will be, once you get done designing it.

That's where Moto Maker — eventually live at www.motomaker.com — comes in. 

We caught a very brief glimpse of it at Motorola's launch event in New York City a couple weeks ago. Now, we've gotten a better look at how you'll be able to add some color to your Moto X, with a preview of Moto Maker. 

The good news is that everything's pretty self-explanatory, and as easy as can be. You pick your colors for the back, front and accents on the phone, add an inscription on the back, and a custom message on the boot screen (or don't, if that's not your thing), choose some accessories if you want, and you'll have your one-of-a-kind phone within four days.

Motorola hooked us up with a preview code for Moto Maker. We'll walk you through it.

A couple things to remember here. 

  • At launch, Moto Maker is only available in the United States, and only through AT&T. Verizon has said it'll get it later this year.
  • Yes, we're unhappy about this, too. It's a really cool feature. We want everyone to experience it.
  • You'll be able to purchase your phone and design it directly through Motorola, if you want. You'll need to provide your account information to take advantage of any upgrades through AT&T.
  • Or, you can pay for your new Moto X in an AT&T store, receive a coupon code, and then design your phone at home. That's essentially what we did here. Presumably it'll work the same once it spreads beyond AT&T.
  • Motorola plans to expand the available designs — yes, that includes a wood back. So if you don't like what you see at first when Moto Maker officially launches, patience might be in order. Because once you order your custom phone, you have an hour to change your mind. There is a a return policy, but you'll want to check the fine print depending on where you live.
  • So it would behoove Motorola to be as up-front as possible about new designs, and when they'll be available. (Not that we expect anything less.)
  • Have some fun with the custom inscription/boot message feature. It's interesting to see what's allowed and what's not. Be sure to spell-check, too. And then spell-check again. And then have someone else spell-check behind you. Trust us.
  • For a limited time, Motorola's throwing in one of these newfangled Skip unlock tools when you customize your phone through Moto Maker.

So. All in all, our Moto Maker experience was quick and easy, with a minimum of up-sell. (We'd recommend squeezing out an extra $50 for the 32GB storage if at all possible.) All in all, a great service for a great device.

 

Reader comments

Customize your Moto X: A Moto Maker Preview

37 Comments

I like that you can get a coupon code from the ATT store to build it online, that seems convenient and easy. Also those wood backs are amazing, I'm not even that interested in the Moto X as a phone but holy crap do they look good.

I would think youre the only one in america who appreciates having to go to a store, buy something, sign a contract, receive nothing except a coupon code, and then wait days for your phone.

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Wait. You said you would have already paid for the phone in a carrier store at that point, but when you didn't choose a preselected option and started customizing your own the price jumped up to $200. Does it cost freaking $200 to customize your own?

It looked to me like when it said "start fresh", it forgot the coupon code was entered. Thus why the price jumped.

Looks more interesting than I thought. There's a lot of noce color options. I could see this being used heavily in entertainment. Like and Iron Man themed version. A Captain American themed version etc...

And I love that you can put you name on the splash screen and customize your wallpaper. This is a great non-techie device. I love my GS4 but I'm really intrigued by this phone....even though I know the specs make it seem like it should be the same price as Nexus 4. So I guess they're doing something right

I actually had the same question, so i emailed Motorola. Here's the response from customer relations:

"Thank you for you recent email regarding your interest in the Moto X. We are very excited as well and look forward to launching the site very soon! I was able to confirm that you will be able to purchase the Moto X on the site with or without a plan."

Sounds promising, but like Phil said, we'll have to see when it goes live

It probably has to do with some kind of trademark issue, where they can't sell a phone that has another company's trademarked name on it. I'm sure Moto doesn't want people putting things on the phone that's going to get them sued.

Interesting thing about trademark, it doesn't work like copyright. If I sell a device with say the Nike "swish" on it and Nike finds out, and doesn't send me a cease and desist notice within (I think) 60 days, they can lose their trademark. And a company's trademark is (arguably) one of their most valuable assets, so companies tend to take that sort of thing *very* seriously.

GREAT concept!
I can't wait for it to be available for all the carriers (or unlocked even)

I hope being an AT&T exclusive doesn't kill it.

This^.

Phil can you please get confirmation for those buying it OFF contract (i.e. T-Mobile subscribers). Since we're paying full price can we use Moto Maker?

A lot of people are going to end up with phones with no resale value whatever. Whether it's their lack of taste, or putting their name or silly message allover it.
Think before you use folks....

In the first part of the video the Moto X is shown with a Verizon wireless 4G lte logo, so I figured you were ordering a Verizon phone. :)

My screen cracked on my current phone, and I'm conflicted if I can wait to get colour customisation on Rogers before the end of the year or if it's possible to buy it outright. Or get another phone...

Wish they had a Silver trim option for the backplate. Like into the top curve and around the edges.
Seems possible since the Wood versions have a separate outer color.

How does this all work with the SIM?

I've got a phone now. Run in to At&T, pay for the new phone. customize at home and drum fingers on the table waiting for delivery for a few days.

What if my existing Sim doesn't fit, or has different provisioning?
Will the new phone come with a sim?
Does AT&T give me a sim at purchase time?
When they burn you a sim it usually kills your old one instantly, No?
Am I without phone for the interval?

I presume that, when you go and order the custom phone at home or in store, they'll give you a new nano SIM but they won't activate it, so your current one will work.

Then, when the Moto X arrives, you can phone up/go into store/go online to your account and activate the new nano SIM.

I wonder what will happen if you break your device. If insurance will simply send a refurbished B/W version or you'll get your customizations back.

This has been addressed, I think, in one of the Guy Kawasaki YouTubes. Moto will send you a generic loaner Moto X to use while they perform the warranty repair/replacement of your customized device -- meaning that they'll make you a new customized device based on your original specs if necessary.

Random question on the wood cover: will it require varnish, sealant, and other wood treatments to preserve the finish? I like the idea but wonder about maintenance and splinters.

Posted via the best darn Android App, the Android Central App

I think Guy Kawasaki addressed this one, too. They suck all the air out of the wood, inject epoxy into the pores/gaps, and seal it so that there are no issues with expansion, contraction, warping, or dulling of the finish.

I just ordered my 32GB in the store and customized it online. The estimated shipping date is September 3. That is 11 days, so much for the advertised have your phone in 4 days.

Motorola surprised me with an email late last night saying my customized phone shipped last night and was due for delivery on 8/28. It was originally scheduled for 9/3. I checked tracking number a few minutes ago and the phone is on the truck for delivery today.