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Moto X gets a British accent and a hefty price tag

It's taken five months, but the Moto X is finally headed to Europe — specifically the UK, France and Germany — from Feb. 1. Moto's flagship, now sporting European 4G LTE support, comes with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and a familiar array of features that American Moto X owners have been getting acquainted with since the fall. There's Touchless Control, which lets you command your device using the "OK Google Now" keyword, in addition to active display, which shows you notifications on-screen in place of a notification LED. And other highlights include the unique wiggle gesture to bring up the camera app, and Trusted Bluetooth to let you disable lock screen security if you're paired with your favorite accessory. In essence, it's the same Moto X we declared the best Android phone around just a couple of months ago.

But the European Moto X's greatest weakness could be its hefty SIM-free price tag. It'll sell "from £25 per month" on contract, we're told, but if you want a Moto X without a monthly plan it'll set you back £380 (around $610) for the 16GB version. What's more, Moto Maker isn't available in Europe yet (it's apparently "a few months" away), so you're limited to the black and white versions. Even then, Phones4u will be the only outlet to offer the white version for the first three months of availability.

So Europeans finally get a Moto X designed for their networks, but a few pain points remain at launch. We got our hands on the European Moto X earlier today, so check out our quick look video and photo gallery after the break.

More: Moto X review


Reader comments

First look: The European Moto X in London


Consider it, even for the price. Its easily on par with any of the other flagships out right now. Just ignore the specs on paper because something about this phone makes it better than the sum of its parts

I think most people are thinking in terms of comparing prices to the US variant of the Moto X and NOT other "flagship" devices.

(Even including US taxes or removing UK taxes when prices are compared) you will be paying more for the UK version, plus no mention of a 32Gb version will be available to buy in the UK

Most likely the 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330, and the lack of a heavy skin. Most quad-core phones spend most of their time with cores 3+4 parked/unplugged anyway.

Then move to the US, pay lower taxes and don't get nationalized healthcare.
Or live in Europe, get some phones and services a few months later, pay higher taxes/costs o everything and have a higher quality of life.

We can let this get into a xenophobic argument, I'm not going to get dragged into that. But I do think the price is a bit high for this phone on the other side of pond. Even with tax differences. I will say this, I like mine and best wishes for those elsewhere who get one.

If it's going to take a "few months" to get the moto maker up and running, is there any point to it? In a "few months", the moto X successor will be out. Might as well buy the black or white one now.

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I wonder if they're building a factory in Europe to serve the EU with Moto Maker devices. You'd want to get the Moto X up and running so you can squash bugs before the successor comes out. I'm hoping that's why Google/Motorola have staggered all this. Hoping that Moto Maker is just all set to go next time, no country or carrier exclusives. If the exclusives were just to ramp up production and iron out bugs then that's possible.

The price and the heavy delay are just complete deal-breakers here. In essence, you get:

16GB only (32GB not available at launch)
No Moto-Maker (Also not available at launch)
6 Months old Hardware
Motorola's absolutely cringe-inducing horrible support in Europe
For what amounts to a heavy price-increase, even IF you take into consideration that Pounds are worth more on a day-to-day basis and that the tax is included.

yes it very odd that a cheap tablet maker in China can bang out said cheap tablet and have in the US customers hands reasonably quickly yet Motorola.....not so much.

I still think the Moto X is one of these best handsets out right now. I enjoy switching between my htc one, moto x & nexus 5. Currently the nexus 5 is winning me over, yet still spend ample time with the x. It really is a fantastic device. Great form factor combined with a great software experience & feature set, truly one of a kind.

That said if the size & features do not appeal, the nexus seems like a better deal.

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I agree, I have both, got a good deal on the unlocked X, so I bought it, and yes if you don't look at the spec sheet, the X is fantastic, it just works and works fine, for some reason I feel its one of the most comfertable and user easy Android phone I have used, I notice no lag, really can't put my finger down on just why I think that way about it. Devices are more then just the some of their parts, integration of those assets is what its all about. This is not saying the Nexus 5 is a dog, not even hinting at it. I use a nano-micro sim adaptor and do switch on and off. I also have a Note 3, and for some reason, I still like the X better. I'm also lucky and have a AT&T and TMO account the later is my personal fun device. Use it for watching movies now and then mainly do to the unlimited data. Originally I did want the Developers Edition, but some of the discounts wouldn't apply to it, and both the TMO/Unlocked GSM Moto X and the DE are the exact same phone. Never bricked a phone on rooting, so just went with it, and as a bonus was able to use Moto Maker. Did buy the "official" clear case for the X, but went back to using the cheap Poetic Case I bought off of Amazon. Only downside is not being able to display my personal design. (really not a big deal, and really never gave a lot of thought to a devices color). I really bought it because I had the $150 deal Moto was offering, and some $220 credit I got from my employer. I wouldn't have been able to use the $150 if I got the DE one.

When the X came out, I did make derogatory comments on it, and in that I am so wrong.

For those who live in the UK, Germany or where ever else the X is going to be offered, I do hope they come down on the price a bit. In my opinion, it would not be a mistake.

The X debuted at $500/550 off-contract in the US (developer edition at $650). Considering the higher import taxes in Britain and the EU, $610 isn't nearly as far off as folks are making it sound. The price will drop in time. Motorola is charging more for early adopters. Every tech company does this.

I agree with what you're saying. The issue is that 5 month old hardware doesn't easily sit under the 'early adopter' category. By the time the price does drop the phone will most likely be well over half way through it's product cycle.


We haven't had enough of either them or Motorola in general. Meanwhile in the rest if the android world:

International Note 3 4.4 rollout starts
LG G2 gets a new interface
Bitcoin apps get made easier
Feedly gets a big update

But please, more Moto

Since Alex and I (barely off the plane from Las Vegas) dragged ourselves down to London at the invite of Motorola...yes, there will be more Moto X posts. Else we could have stayed home :-)

I can respect that but some of that stuff is old news, and what 6 your of the last 15 articles (with more to come) are Moto? Just a touch overkill

For people who live in the UK, France and Germany this is very much new news. After all, it just got launched for those markets today. World's bigger than the U.S.

and 2 of the 4 headlines above had nothing to do with the US. On is international and one is Korean market that effects all LG G2s

I also hardly think that an app and bitcoin integration is US specific either, but OK.

Hey Richard it is what it is and thats fine. Your right this is kinda big news for those over there and of course it deserves coverage. So do other things. The Samsung leaked schedule was tipped to you guys over a month ago I believe...

And yet you still comment on those articles you consider "old news". Be happy it's not continuous Samsung articles....oh wait.

Hey, it's news for some in US too !
i.e. I don't have to deal with buying and sending it to my friends or cousins in EU and they save some money (obviously not in this case) :)

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Hefty price tag? I think we've been spoiled by Nexus pricing here. I remember £500+ for my Galaxy Nexus on Amazon some time back.

I think £380 is worth it not to be tied to a carrier.

I'm not a fan of the price, but I do like your train of thought. Over the course of a two year contract you'll be paying hand over fist more than £380. 

Of course, you can get an S4 for the same money, and while I would take the X over it any day, the fact is in the UK Samsung has much greater mind share. Motorola just isn't the brand it once was over here.

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It's not so much the delta between the Moto X and Nexus 5 that irks me (though both being Google phones, that's certainly a factor). It's the fact that the Moto X sells unlocked for $350 in the US — that's £212. Meanwhile the same device with different radios goes for £380 ($610) in Europe. It's worse than the typical £/€ = $ bullshit that other electronics manufacturers like to pull on European markets, as the pound value is actually higher than the $ price. There's no way to read this besides SIM-free European buyers getting shafted.

Had the Moto X been £280 it would have fitted nicely between the Moto G and Nexus 5.
I think Motorola/Google missed a trick by launching too late and with the £380 price tag.
4G is just not that big a deal in the UK, with the Moto G being 90% the Moto X but at half the price, why would you get the Moto X really ?

My hope for you and others is that Motorola/Google see the error in their price and adjust it down to something a bit more realistic. Its not going to be a cheap or bargin device, but drop it L100 or Euro 100 and I'm sure it will sell better.

Especially as Moto were able to release the G here at a price which was both outstanding low, and directly comparable to the US price.

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It's actually $399 in the US now (the $350 thing was only if you got the code, and they all expired before the end of the year), but I agree the price gap is too large.

So, moto maker should land in Europe at around the same time as the S5 and HTC nonsensical-nomenclature... I'm not sure they've fully thought this through.

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cannot deny that it is bad timing for that, but if you have held out that long, you must really want the phone.

In addition, it should be coming right when a price drop is due if the US strategy continues.

SO you will have a $600 S5 vs a $299 Moto X

The price will probably drop as the months go by.

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So it's the same internals from August of last year but more expensive than the 32GB Nexus 5?

I need to see the press release as I don't know if we get moto maker, or a free chromecast.

I'm just wondering why the cost of production hasn't come down at all but in the states the 32GB version comes with a chromecast at 272 sterling but in the UK its 380 pounds without a chromecast as far as I know.

It felt like we would get something specific to the UK and I truly don't mind that there's no jump in specs but to be ripped off isn't the best way to reconnect your brand with a market that you have neglected until recently.

By April the HTC and Samsung successors will be in stores worldwide. At this price I don't think its once so clear selling points won't see light of day.

Come on moto this is a phone we want. Give us moto maker and sell it for 300 - 320 sterling and I'll buy one and recommend them to my friends who don't want a massive phone.

UK always had highest prices, period ! :)
Seriously, all the electronics I was looking to shop there once converted to dollars were significantly higher than in US. even after adding that super high taxing, it's was much more. No clue why they keep margins that high.
In this particular case I would understand for a month or two, but if it doesn't drop, it's just ridiculous.

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whats wrong with motorola and google this phone should be the same price as it is here in the states you want to grow the user base but charge that crazy price wow i feel bad for my bros in the UK i say if no one buys it they drop the price then get it thats too much off contract for a phone that is mid cycle and could be updated within the next 2 months

Glad to see Europe getting some Moto X love.
But my first thought was "is Google gonna crank up Google Now?" Am I right in thinking that many of the Moto X's features are powered by Google services. Services, that at the moment are US only features. Which is probably why the X was delayed in Europe; no point in having a phone that can recognise your voice, but only when your on holiday (vacation). So maybe Google is ready to flip the switch, allowing Motorola to start selling the flagship across the pond. While adding extra features to some other phones such as Nexus 5.

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Actually Google Now isn't that bad over here. Still works better in Paris than in London though (at least in my case).

Depends where you are.. Maybe London is OK but personally I've rarely seen anything other than weather. No train times, bus times, cinema info, anything like that.. No parcel tracking. I'm damned if I can get it to recognise my commute either.

It does sound from the review they've added 'OK Google' support, though.

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I've been waiting for this a long time. Probably a little too long, doesn't seem as compelling anymore...

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