It looks nice, performs well, and has a flash for your selfies. Is this the perfect phone?
Motorola has been making waves with the Moto X line of phones for a few years now, and with the 2015 offerings finally shipping to everyone it's time to take a look at whether this is going to be your next phone. After using this new Moto X for a little while, there's a few big questions folks want answered and a couple of things you may not have known about this phone from our initial hands-on.
With that in mind, here are five quick things you need to know about the Moto X Pure Edition if you're considering it for your next phone.
1. The Moto X Pure Edition is a big phone
Much to the chagrin of everyone who loved the size of the original Moto X and tolerated the size of last year's Moto X, the Moto X Pure edition is the biggest phone to bear the Moto X branding so far. It's taller than the LG G4, wider than the OnePlus 2, and thicker than both at its thickest point. It's basically the same height and width as the Galaxy Note 5, but significantly chunkier due to its curved back.
If you were only sort of comfortable with the last Moto X, there's a good chance you'll find this phone to be a little too big for your liking. If history is any indicator, full cases for this phone will make it totally unusable as a single-hand phone, no matter how big your hands are.
2. The premium feel is missing
Where the previous Moto X felt like a unique, stylish, premium phone in the hand, this new Moto X is almost plastic in its overall feel. There are a few things contributing to this, but there's an undeniable sense this phone feels a little on the cheap side. The coating Motorola is using on the metal frame for this generation is soft matte with almost no grip, and when you combine that with the textured plastic back and the plastic lip connecting the side of the phone to the glass front it's noticeably less premium feeling in your hand.
Of course you can fix some of this by going with a nice leather or wood backing through Moto Maker, but even with a leather back when you compare this Pure Edition to its predecessor it lacks the quality feel we've come to expect from a Moto X.
3. It's exactly as fast and snappy as you'd expect
As soon as the phone turns on, there's no doubt you're using a Moto X. The same Pure Android feel with Moto actions and gestures on top, with the same speed and performance we've come to expect from Motorola phones — with exception to that dark time when Android 5.0 launched — is exactly what you get with this Pure Edition.
The LCD screen doesn't take away from how well Moto Display works, and you can still swap between Motorola and Google versions of display features. The camera UI looks the same, the launcher behaves just the way you think it should. It's a Moto X, and it's cool that Motorola has designed an experience so simple and familiar, yet unquestionably unique.
4. The front facing flash is surprisingly good
You could practically hear the eye rolls when Motorola announced a selfie flash on the Moto X Pure edition, and those eye rolls continued as the phone crossed our desks recently. Android phones aren't exactly known for having the best flash mechanisms in the mobile world, and Motorola's camera experience has been somewhat lacking for a while now, so there was plenty of reason to be at least a little concerned.
It turns out this feature is actually really well done. As it should, the flash bursts long enough for the camera to figure out the exposure, and then again when the picture is actually being taken. The end result, aside from being "those people" in the movie theater, is a decent selfie in places where everyone else has grainy garbage.
5. Don't bother with the included bumper
We're not saying you should take the bumper that Motorola included with the Moto X packaging and move it from the box straight into the trash can, but there's a good chance you're going to want to shop around for alternatives. This rigid plastic bumper is clear so you can still enjoy your slick new Moto Maker design, but it doesn't fit well and is a little obnoxious to take on and off due to its design. The case will wiggle while it is on your phone in your hand, and it really doesn't look good.
You should probably still consider using a bumper case if you want to show off your Moto X Pure Edition and want to keep the phone safe, but the included offering is probably not the way you want to go.
- Our comprehensive review
- Moto X Pure Edition specs
- Moto X Pure Edition custom backs: silicone, wood, and leather
- Versus: Galaxy S6 | iPhone 6
- The latest Moto X Style news
- Discuss in our Moto X Style forums