Moto X and HTC One

After switching back from the Moto X to the HTC One, is Motorola's best really the best? I'm wavering. And excited for 2014.

I have a habit of doing weird things at trade shows. OK, lots of weird things — but the last two I've been to I've switched No. 1 phone in the middle of them. At IFA in Berlin last September, I fired up the LG G2. Never mind that I was starting from scratch — the damned thing put the buttons on the back! And sure enough, it worked. (LG was honored last week at Mobile World Congress for its innovation, by the way.)

And this past week at MWC in Barcelona, I put down the venerable Moto X and once again picked up the HTC One, which was my main phone for a good six months of 2013. 

Now I've made no secret about my feelings for the Moto X. There's a reason (a number of reasons, actually) why we declared it our favorite smartphone of 2013. But holding that HTC One in my hand again, and once again seeing Zoes and Video Highlights, I couldn't help but think ...

What if we were wrong?

It wouldn't be the first time, of course, nor would it be the last. The design of the HTC One still holds up, nearly a year after it was announced. (In fact, I'm more than a bit jealous of those who have one of the colored models, and not just straight silver, like me.) The camera's still not perfect, but it's definitely better than the Moto X. HTC's Sense 5.5 is much-improved (I got the update along with Android 4.4.2 while in Spain, which is part of what led me to give the phone another shot), but I still think parts of it are a little overdesigned, and I still use Action Launcher atop it. And those speakers. Oh, how I'd missed those speakers and BoomSound.

The HTC One was, and still is, one hell of a phone.

I miss the Active Display feature of the Moto X. I miss built-in Trusted Bluetooth. (Pebble Locker takes care of that.) I miss Touchless Control. And, most of all, I miss the smaller form factor of the Moto X, which fits my hands better. So there are, always, trade-offs. 

Neither Motorola (now a Lenovo company!) nor HTC will sell as many phones as Samsung this year. The Galaxy S5 probably will get more coverage than the new HTC One and whatever Moto comes out with in 2014. (I'm going to fight that as much as I can, but it's also a simple matter of numbers.)

But make no mistake — HTC isn't going anywhere just yet. We'll see what's next on March 25, and I can't wait.

And now, a few more thoughts on the week that was:

  • I finally got to try T-Mobile's free roaming data in Spain and France. More on that this week. The short version is 2G data is all but unusable now (or maybe I'm just that impatient?), but TMo's $50 roaming data "pass" isn't too bad.
  • Google Glass owners wondering where the February update went would be advised to look in the Explorers forum for an answer. (Or, I suppose, to blogs that sadly ignored the spirit of such non-public forums.) It'll be really interesting to see what we get when the update indeed drops.
  • Mad congrats to our pal Ashley Esqueda for making the leap to CNET! They somehow forgot all about her time with us here at Mobile Nations — but you can watch all 93 episodes of the Mobile Nations Monday Brief here. Good times, those were.
  • I completely agree with Derek Kesser in that folks are hating on the Galaxy S5 just because it's Samsung, much in the same way they hate on the iPhone just because it's Apple. The "ZOMG it looks like a Band-Aid" thing is funny, only not really. I've spent time with the GS5 and have no problem saying I like it much more than the GS4. Can't wait to see what more folks think of it.
  • And I'm still wrapping my head around what Nokia's doing with Android and the Nokia X. Jerry made some good points on why it's not a good thing for anyone. Not sure I agree with all of them, but they're still good points to consider.
  • That said, we've already submitted all of our Android apps to Nokia's new store. Just because.
  • I'm still catching up on all the TV I missed last week. I'm ready for the final two episodes of the first season of HBO's "True Detective." (It's a must-see.) Still behind on Justified and House of Cards. And Game of Thrones will be back before we know it.
  • Interesting changes are coming to Delta's frequent-flyer program in 2015. Will be be enough to get me to switch? Will the other airlines follow suit, making any attempt to jump ship moot? We'll see. Delta's been pretty good to me, all things considered.

That's enough for now. It's Mardi Gras weekend here. One last day off, then let's get back to work.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Second thoughts ...


Yeah, I can imagine choosing the best phone for 2013 can be difficult. It would be nice if somehow you can fuse different attributes from other phones into one phone. Maybe that is far-fetched but project Ara maybe a reality. Although, I'm not going to jump the trigger just yet

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Cell phones are a lot like cars. There's no "Best One". I see them as categories.
Best one handed phone, Moto X hands down.
Best Design HTC One (dat Boomsound)
Best "Stock Experience" Nexus 5
and so on.

It's a big market and there's room for everyone.

No. Not as prioritized as the Nexus 5 when it comes to the best Stock Experience.

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Why my handphone is cannot open the media ? Any words android has stopped operattion. I dont understand

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I am happy to see this post. I don´t use an Android phone myself, but I have been enamoured with the HTC One ever since it came out. It is simply the nicest Android phone I have have ever held or used. I feel off the grid when newer devices came out, but I was also of the opinion that it deserved a little more love from the Android community.

So, Phil's Perfect Phone (2013 models) is a mashup of the MotoX and HTC One.

Hardware of the One (with Sense 5.5) but with MotoX's Active Notifications (and AMOLDED screen) and Trusted BlueTooth. Maybe even with the volume buttons on the back from the G2?

I have to say I like those deep blacks on an AMOLED screens! IPS displays are nice in the colors though!

Nexus 5...enough said

I agree after years of amoled... It seems like ips screens have better response to touch

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They each have their upsides and downsides. After going from a Galaxy Nexus (SAMOLED) to a Nexus 5 (IPS) I like the IPS better in general, but I have issues using it outdoors when I'm wearing my polarized sunglasses.. Also, the nature of SAMOLED makes things like Active Notifications possible.

Sounds good to me. I've got an HTC One, and I think it's phenomenal. If they could make the form factor a little smaller (I like using my phone one-handed) and throw in the MotoX's notifications, I'd be set. I'm not a big AMOLED fan (the colors look too over-saturated for my taste), but I'd deal with it for the energy-saving and active notifications that would come along with the change.

Isn't this one kind of sick with regard the level of violence? I believe it is excellent, which is almost why I am avoiding it. Breaking Bad was amazing but it took me places I didn't really want to go.

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"What if we were wrong?" ... absolutely nothing.

Sorry guys, but don't take yourselves too seriously ;)

2013 has been a strange year, great phones from many different companies, but none that hit it out of the park, the HTC One was/is extremely well made, but the camera fell a little flat and SENSE is great or bad depending on who you talk with.

I am a NEXUS person and very happy with my Nexus 5, but I would not say it is the best phone by a long shot, that is almost a personal things, what is good for the goose may not be good for the gander.

But that biggest change of the year IMHO have not occurred in the phone world, it has occurred in the Frequent Flyer world and thankfully I do not see those kind of draconian changes occurring in the cellular phone world any time soon. Like Phil, DELTA has been good to me, but I am going to have re-asses what good means in 2014 and beyond and likewise I am going to have to constantly re-asses what is the best phone for me.

Which is exactly why trying to determine what BEST PHONE is almost impossible, because what is best for you may not and probably is not best for me.


Simply put....the MotoX, nor the HTC One is or can be deemed the best smart phone overall. Haven said that, neither can any other smart phone deemed the best including the Galaxy S4 or S5. Best is in the eye of the beholder and just because you or I think a particular phone is the best doesn't make it true for millions upon millions of others. After all, millions thing the iPhone is the best but that doesn't make it true for you or me.

In short, there is no "best phone" across the board and there never will be due to personal preference, no matter how great and wonderful you think yours is.

Simply because Lenovo has stepped into the picture puts the HTC One way on top of the Moto X. Lenovo is terrible and will only push HTC further ahead:) HTC One rocks!

I spent several months with the One when it came out, then picked up a Moto X. Now I'm mainly using the Nexus 5. Still enjoy the X &, one, great devices. I enjoy the understated design of the nexus , the amazing build quality and speakers on the one, and of course the awesome form factor and features the X has to offer.

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I still have my HTC One and I will have it for a while I love this phone..

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If you want "Active Display" on your HTC ONE just use "Dynamic Notifications" and "Open Mic+" apps.

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Dynamic Notifications doesn't eat a lot of battery, but Open Mic+ guzzles battery. I tried to like it, but the Moto X-like functionality just isn't worth the trade off to significantly-reduced battery life.

You shouldn't see a significant battery impact with Dynamic Notifications *if* you've got an OLED display. If your phone has an LCD display, you might see some extra battery drain.

For me Moto X is the best over all Android phone ....just the best at most Software enhancements ....but...other Android phones excel in many other areas and features...screen, updates, speakers, speed, camera....And that's what makes Android Android ....choice....the best is what works best for you.

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I used T mobile data roaming all the time in Canada and at the beginning of the month in Barcelona.

The text is great and its nice enough for maps and email. Google Maps was perfect for utilizing Barcelona's transit system.

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No...but calling Samsung the worst brand ever and praising your own fav brand while ignoring that everyone has their own opinion is. So you're safe ;)

Nah, you aren't a hater for not being into Galaxy phones. To each their own. But when Phil says "The Galaxy S5 probably will get more coverage than the new HTC One and whatever Moto comes out with in 2014. (I'm going to fight that as much as I can, but it's also a simple matter of numbers.)", *that* comes off kinda hater-ish.

I read that as "the S5 is probably going to be the most popular phone this year, I don't like that and I'm going to do everything I can to fight it."

But why? What's WRONG with the S5 being more popular? I have an S4. I LOVE it. I had an HTC Rezound before that, I loved that too. I wanted an HTC One, but got a way better deal on the S4. I love the phone and can see why it is popular. I won't get an S5 but seeing it, I WOULD buy it if I were in the market right now.

Bottom line though, there is way too much Samsung hate floating around AC these days....

i read it that being part of the problem himself,he knows that other authors etc will over hype samsung just as badly as others do with apple.
curses upon both their houses as far as i am concerned,but mine has little to do with their boring products,more the behaviour of the firms themselves (and some of their fans)

I'm not going to lie, I still have the S3 and compared to Android phones from other companies, I really really like it. I'm almost scared to get a new phone this summer because the S3 has been *that* good for *me*. With an active family, I'm a huge user of the photo and video capabilities of it and have taken spectacular photos that were not possible on my previous Motorola phone that I used another line upgrade to get rid of early because its photos and software were so bad. I am excited that once again I'll have some good choices when summer rolls around but unless HTC stops its marketing slop for a bad camera and put in something that blows the competition away, it won't be HTC no matter how it looks. Motorola has failed on multiple cameras/software so far so I'm not holding my breath that they'll *finally* be able to make something better. It very well might be the S5. My S3 has not needed to be replaced for any defects (unlike previous Motorola models I've had) and overall is a sweet phone not needing a custom rom to work right. I do have an interest in the CM phone because it should be killer but that seems to be moving much too slow to make it this summer and my hunch is that it would never be allowed on VZW because the 2 strategies seem to clash.

I took it to mean that Samsung has a huge marketing budget and therefore the other manufacturers don't get a fair share of the market based on their awesome phone, because they can't pay for the same media coverage. There are some people who end up buying the Galaxy line because of advertising who would have been happier with a different phone. I don't think the reverse can be said where someone bought a different Android phone because of advertising and would have been happier with a Samsung. I definitely think there are some who came from Samsung and tried a different manufacturer and can't wait to get back to Samsung. I think Phil is going to try his best at making certain the other manufacturers get their media coverage through his outlet.

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Around here, at least, the Moto X got it's fair of coverage... there has barely been mention of the S4 past the review, but there have been many Moto X articles about how awesome it is and how great active notifications and hands free control are. I'll admit, those ARE both very nice features, but if one only kept score by the articles around here, one would think the S4 was barely worth any interest at all.

You are joking; they've covered the S4 and its 200 variants extensively throughout the last year.

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That doesn't make you a hater. The haters blindly hate a company and call all of its users sheep, simply because they have a different preference. You can dislike a particular brand or company, but just understand that people have different preferences and opinions as to what is the best phone.

Well... I *do* call *some* people "sheep", but it has more to do with their behavior than their choice of smart phone ;)

I will let everyone know that Samsung is not my choice of product but NO ONE can honestly deny the mark that Samsung has made on this industry. And as of this message, I'm really considering the Samsung Chromebook.

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I spent weeks with every flagship from last year and, I have to say, the One has by far been my favorite. It's also the only phone I've kept for a year and I feel no huge need to discard it yet. That being said, the Z2 and M8 have me interested. But the One is certainly the greatest phone I've ever had, Android or otherwise.

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Phil, remember: "If it fits it sits."
We both know that the HTC One 2013 was too dam big for its own good. That even with that extra 1.1 mm thickness the Moto X was somehow clearly smaller in volume due to it's simple and curved back.
We know who got KitKat sooner.
We know which one was smart to place their software updates I'm the Play Store.
Which one displayed the notification by using its extra white LED light.
That thanks to this notification was made possible by its ultra optimized mutant CPU which offered better battery life.
Yes, 2 speakers on the front and 4 cores make a great smartphone for media chuggers. Also the ability to even get one in your country.
But, if you're not a media chugger, you live in the US, you don't have Verizon and you want a smartphone that's a phone first, computer second.. In 2013, the Moto X is undeniable the best there was.
NVM there's quite a few IFs, tell HTC to keep their award. They deserve it.

I couldn't agree more with you. I can't wait to see what Motorola do with the moto x 2

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I've always wanted the Developer's 64GB edition of the HTC One but running GPe. Othewise I still like HTC's build quality. I hope they do well with the M8 (the new One).

You can convert any HTC One to a Google Edition easily. I have a 64gb AT&T variant that has been completely converted.

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Also behind on Justified. Just watched the season premier today. Almost forgot how much I loved that show!

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I have the HTC One. I have zero complaints about it. It is truly awesome! The battery lasts all day and night (under normal use), and the storage is more than enough. And the camera works great!

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I really love my HTC One, however....
The button placement for power/unlock was not convenient so I had to root it and enable a "tap to wake" feature in a custom kernel to really enjoy handling the phone. The camera was fine at first, but like almost everyone else, mine started to display a purple hue in low light conditions. The screen is beautiful and bright, but unfortunately also fragile (common with most phones of today). But unlike most phones of today, screen replacement is damn near impossible. I cracked my screen from a very low drop height and have been living with the consequence rather than replacing/repairing as I have done with many other iPhones and Androids with relative ease. I do love the speed of the device, the fact that stock android is easy to install (thanks to the google play edition), and the speakers are great too so long as you keep BEATS BY DRE turned OFF.

Phil, I'm planning on traveling to Europe soon. I'm thinking about switching over to T-Mobile anyways, but I would really love to see an article about real world usage of T-Mo's international data and text roaming.Was international texting fairly instantaneous or was it delayed? Was data good enough to send hanouts or other IM's? Did basic things like email go through in a timely fashion?

My one friend loves his HTC One and he's hated every phone he's had since switching to Android from feature phones (he likes physical keyboards). He was always taking phones back but the One was a winner for him.
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Pick up any good phone after 6 months and you will feel nice. Pick up Moto X again after a month or so, it will be the same feeling.
And also looks like android central just want to suck up to all manufacturers. Be little bold and call out crappy designs and features on phones more openly. Don't tell me everything is perfect in the S5. Yeah sure it works for common people but they don't read android central.

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Phil, I appreciate your insight and honesty when it comes to your thoughts on phones because I'll never have the amount of face time with these new phones like you have. All I ask from you (and all the other Mobile Nations crew) is your 100% honesty. You give me the facts so I can make the best possible choice on a phone purchase.

You mention the S4, S5, Moto X and HTC One in this article, but not one word on the Xperia Z2, but from all the articles and videos I've seen on it and WMC, it's going to be a phone to reckon with very soon. Sure, like the One, it'll be lost in S5 buzz, but that doesn't make it any less of a competitor to those who may want to seek it out.

What you people talking about the Z2 seem to forget is that the S5 will most likely be way more widely available to people in America. Yes, we get it, great specs etc but if it's not on the majority of carriers (in America) like the S5 (and other phones) are then it's not going to get as much coverage. Like Phil said, it comes down to numbers, more people care about the S5 because the S5 is going to be available to more people in America, which is a major market for this site.

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I don't disagree with this at all. That's (one reason) why we keep Alex Dobie around. :)

I wish Sony had some sort of U.S. presence. Unfortunately, it doesn't.


yeah nick,and one of the reasons so many folk are starting to bitch at samsung as much as apple is very little to do with the boring dollar lead device designs that the two firms keep insisting they are "innovating" with,its more to do with folk just learning that just like apple,the only thing samsung is interested in folk for is as a source of cash and that their moral/ethical behaviour is the same as many large american firms that are loathed by everyone for their behaviour.
one of the reasons i try to buy htc (tiawanese)or now that their available,some of the chinese firms who are trying to do their own thing,like oppo,blue etc.
its just the public starting to properly start voting with their wallets as they get more choice of devices that i am waiting for,apples and samsungs worth will crash faster than they have been pumped up.

If the HTC One's battery wasn't a steaming pile, I would have kept the phone. Loved the build quality and speakers, but when I could drain the battery in 5 hours, then have to wait upwards of 10-12 hours for it to charge (seriously, why didn't they enable quick charging?!), I ended up returning it.

I hear ya Phil. I switched to the X from the One and I must admit I miss the speakers, design, screen and ir blaster... Even some sense apps. I may be going to the new One when it comes out.

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The best phone?? The one that works for you, pick what you want it to do, then choose, I like mine for the ability to keep lots of music on device, takes decent, not eye popping beautiful pics, and has great battery life,, works for me, no matter what version of android its running.

Just my opinion, nice write up though

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Both are amazing phones. One underrated aspect is how easy it is to check your notifications and turn on your phone on the Moto X.
I've owned both. Both look amazing, hardware and software. I really loved blinkfeed.
The boomsound speakers were nice but loud enough. And they sounded good, but obviously my headphones headphones were superior. Most of the time I ended up using headphones.
The edge goes to the Moto X because of the superior battery life but you can't go wrong with either.

Re Ashley Esqueda, perhaps CNET took their cue from Ashley's own bio when they wrote about her background. She doesn't mention Mobile Nations on her personal web site either.

I switched from HTC One to G2 after Thanksgiving. I miss the front speakers and blink feed. Right now I'm trying out the Moto X, purchased through Moto Maker. I think the design, form factor and price of the Moto X are excellent, but the battery is horrendous. I remember my HTC One lasting longer. Unfortunately I'm going back to my G2. I'll miss the touchless controls but I like the other features my G2 has even more: I like the knock feature, I have the quick view case, astounding battery life, extremely better visibility in daylight, rear buttons are nifty and easy to find, I like the Qslide apps, the universal remote which also works with Blu-Ray players (unlike HTC), and I like the stock keyboard with more keys on screen. The G2 can be buggy at times, but nothing too bad. I have to leave the GPS location services off on my G2 if I want to get more than 2 days without charging. If I leave GPS on then I can't get more than 36 hours. It's funny how I have only WiFi turned on for my G2 and the battery has only dropped 20% over the last 53 hours with 45 minutes screen time. I just modified the settings on Moto X because WiFi was eating 33% battery during standby.
I'm leaning towards getting the HTC One M8 when my Jump program becomes available in a 3 months, then jumping back to G3 in November. This grandfathered Jump plan is awesome; I hope I can keep it for at least 2 Jumps.
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I experienced the same horrible battery life with the moto x. The HTC one definitely lasted longer for me.

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I agree Phil. I love my Moto X but I just can't seem to put the HTC One down. Both are excellent devices. I can't wait to see what HTC does next.

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There is a reason why the Galaxy S3 was considered to be the best phone in 2012 — It was the best phone of the year. None of the other phones came close (including the iPhone).

2013 is a different kettle of fish. The S4 on its own right, HTC One, LG G2, Nexus 5 and Moto X could appeal to many people as the best phone for them. I switched from the S3 to the G2. I'm unimpressed by the G4 and the G5 for the same reason that I'm unimpressed by the iPhone for so many years. If you are going to make evolutionary changes to your flagship phone and call it revolutionary, you are going to come across a lot of folks who will call you up on it. The reason the S4 sold plenty but didn't meet Samsung's expectation is because while some people will be brand loyal (Apple has been banking on for years), some like me are going to switch to a better provider of one exists. Last year there were plenty.

I wanted to get what S4 in 2013... but like usual, VZW took way too long to release the one I wanted. So now I'm waiting for the S5. They seem to be closer in line with other major carriers for the S5 release... keeping fingers crossed.

About Delta... Seems 2015 will be harder for me to hit Diamond if it's based more on $$ instead of miles. It's already getting difficult this year with the MQD requirements.

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I started buying Samsung before it was cool and I started hating Samsung before it was cool. That being said, I love the fake leather design they've been using lately and I like the S 5 far more than the S 4. Man how I hated the S 4. Samsung hasn't "got it" yet but they are a lot closer to getting it than they were a year ago. Here's to them throwing TW in the garbage and doing a less intrusive but more meaningful reboot in 2015!

As for how cool 2014 is: I can't even decide a mobile platform let alone a phone for my upcoming purchase in August.

T-Mobile's roaming data is obviously nowhere near as fast as data in the US, but throw out all streaming apps and you have a very usable, very convenient data service. Dropbox and Google+ photo backups work great in the background, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter image uploads work great, and all the basic notifications and e-mail clients work great. The free SMS feature is amazing, as is the $0.20 per minute, with the $10 internationa add-on, all texts to the country you are visiting are also free, and calls to the local country are also very affordable.

The passes are definitely a nice option, at a much lower price point than other carriers.

HTC One is an awesome machine, but I don't think you were wrong.
Moto x offered a near stock experience with the most innovative feature introduced in all of 2013.
Active Display and Always listening google now features. I am currently back on iPhone 5S and still miss those features So So bad. The always listen feature was something I used a Lot. Loved it.
If the X were a tiny bit faster (cpu) and the camera was good like iPhone 5S camera. It simply would be the best phone ever.
Moto x had the best and fastest software updates ever seen by android too. Moto was clever by putting anything possible into the play store to get around waiting on carriers.
So for me, the moto x is still my all time favorite android phone.

On a side note. I took that Samsung vs others as one other did. He's not bashing samsung, he just wants others to see there are more choices than just samsung. If everyone buys nothing but apple and samsung. We won't have any choices.

We are on the same boat. The moto x has the best features, it got the fastest update ever. HTC One it is to big. Moto revolutionized Android foverer. The Droid and moto x are bad asses devices on their time.

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For me, I love HTC's hardware, have ever since I had the original EVO 4G (then the Evo 3D, then the Droid DNA) . However, I also really like the unique features of the Moto X (my daughter has one). But, in the end, I can't justify spending that much on an unlocked HTC One, and I just can't get past the AMOLED screen of the Moto X. So, I went with the Nexus 5 and am very happy! To each their own, I guess.

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My reasons why the One wouldn't work

1) Not sure how long HTC will support it. That's supposedly changed recently but when I got the X it wasn't known

2) Horrible software. I suffered through Sense for years and everytime I threw on a Cyanogenmod it was a breath of fresh air.. data and GPS and other driver issues kept me from keeping it on there, though, and then I'd sadly have to go back to HTC's software

3) Size. Too big. Way too big. The One was even bigger than the One X, which was too big.

The rest is fine. Build quality, look, feel, but 2-3 above make it something I could never buy.

I'm new and I am trying to figure out how to ask other members a question. And I am past social security age so these new machines are a CHALLENGE for me

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SkipLock is another great app for replacing Trusted Bluetooth. Works great with my home and work wifi and my car's Bluetooth and my Pebble (on a Nexus 5). Excited for the new HTC One. Looks like they fixed the little issues that kept me from buying one (On-screen nav buttons, Blinkfeed).

Really the best phone is different for every single person. I've got to say that for the majority of people the spec's are not the deciding factor and it is the ease of use. For many people the Moto-X does make an easy device as an introduction to Android and certainly with all the specials that are around it is a cheap option and still a cheap option if they purchase outside of a contract either to not be under contract or to replace a lost or stolen or even broken phone.

There is also the comfort zone. When I switched in November from Apple to Android at the time I dropped Verizon Wireless as my carrier I ordered a 32GB Nexus 5 from the Google Play store. The battery life kind of concerned me so I bought from a T-Mobile store the LG G2 because it had a decent battery life and was worried that I would run into issues on a long trip.

One thing that I found when I tried using the G2 was that, and I believe it was merely because it was my first introduction to Android, the Nexus 5 with Google Play launcher was a more comfortable environment and every time I tried to use the G2 it just didn't feel right, all the extra 'features' and changes they put into the phone made it far less desirable to use. I sold it on eBay and went back to the Nexus 5. Bought a battery to bolster the charge if the need arose (thankfully it has never and the battery life is far better than others had led me to believe).

It really is all about the experience and what they are used to and what they expect. I think I would happily purchase a Moto-X if I needed a replacement phone. I wouldn't spend $650 including taxes for anything like a G2 and certainly wouldn't purchase a Samsung S4 or S5. After my LG G2 experience I don't want to deal with a device that has extras designed to differentiate that take it totally away from the experience I have with the Nexus 5 and the Google Play Launcher.

I still love my One, even nearly a year on it still feels current and fresh. And the updates have improved its usability even more - battery life is great now since 4.3/4.4.2, most days end with 50% of charge left and I haven't had to connect my spare battery in months.

As for T-Mobile's free global roaming deal, I used it during a trip to Paris and Iceland. It served me just fine in Paris, being able to use Maps was a lifesaver and it was handy to be able to fire up Yelp and TripAdvisor anytime for nearby recommendations. Also was able to post photos along the way to Facebook with no problems. It was a bit dicier in Iceland, seems like the default was the Nova network, which was useless. After awhile I thought to go manually select a network and switched to Vodafone and had better results data roaming on that network.

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