The new Moto X

One of our favorite phones gets bigger, stronger, and hopefully has fixed the camera

Motorola Mobility doesn't look doesn't look like a company that's been bought and sold twice in the past couple years. It doesn't look like a company that's still waiting to find out if Lenovo is its new master, or if Google (which all but admits it was about the patents) will continue to control it. No, as Motorola hosted scores of journalists at its new downtown Chicago headquarters, it looked very much like the Motorola we became reacquainted with in 2013 — the maker of one of our favorite Android phones (and its extremely popular siblings).

And now, it's bringing us the new Moto X.

Yes, that's the name. No Moto X+1. No Moto X2. Just Moto X. And that very much feels right. Motorola has taken what we loved about the original Moto X and improved it. It's taken our biggest criticism to heart, it says — that'd be the overhyped camera — and worked on it. And it's done all this in a package that mostly appears to stay true to the spirit of the original, and the direction Motorola has taken in its rebirth.

So let's dive in and take a look at the brand-new Moto X.

The new Moto X video hands-on

The new Moto X hardware

The new Moto X

If you're a fan of smaller smartphones — and for many of us that's what attracted us to the original Moto X — well, we've got some bad news for you. Whereas last year's model fit a 4.7-inch display into something that felt much smaller, the new Moto X has definitely grown. It's sporting a 5.2-inch display on a body that's just a tad smaller than the Galaxy S5 (which itself has a slightly smaller display). The screen is still AMOLED, and the resolution has unsurprisingly been increased to 1080p. In our very brief use thus far it seems decent enough, but we'll need more time to make a full decision.

The svelte phone we fell in love with last year has bulked up. But is it for the better?

The body of the phone has changed a bit while still mostly keeping with the familiar curves of the original Moto X. At first glance the curve looks and feels a little different — less apparent, really — but the thin edge actually is even thinner than before. It's still a good feel, just a good bit bigger when it comes to height and width. We can grumble about that all we want (and we will), but Motorola says it has data showing that 75 percent of folks upgrading phones wanted to go with something bigger. So, Motorola went bigger, too.

The new Moto X

The frame of the Moto X has gained some metal, too. Aluminum, actually, and it's serving as the phone's antenna. That actually gives it a more sophisticated look than its predecessor. No more unsightly seam separating the top and bottom halves — instead you've got a pretty purposed look of glass-metal-back. And you still have options as to the material that makes up the rear of the phone. There's the tried and true soft-touch resin, or you can still go for wood. Bamboo, teak, walnut and ebony remain the choices there, and the first two will be available for purchase in some stores.

Or if you're really looking for something different, you can go with a leather back. Motorola's partnered with its Chicagoland neighbor Horween Leather Company. It looks and feels great, and the leather backs are available in four colors — Natural, Cognac, Black and Navy. (They'll run you an extra $25 when you're ordering through the new and improved Moto Maker, as will the wood backs.)

Leather — learn it, live it, love it. But will it last?

Now leather comes with a pretty interesting caveat — we just don't know how it's going to hold up over time. Or, rather, we do know how leather holds up over time. It's prone to scratches. It can occasionally show discoloration. (And, in fact, there's a little note from Horween in the box that reminds you of this.) On the other hand, it is leather, so you should be able to recondition it a bit. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out. (Personally, I think leather's the way to go here.)

While we're on the back of the phone, the camera's noticeably different with dual LEDs flanking the lens and connected by a circular housing that turns the whole thing into a ring flash. The Motorola dimple is there as well, and it's not nearly as subtle as it used to be. It's plastic now, and not quite as stylish as before. (Perhaps molding leather to that shape proved to be an issue?)

Other notes of interest where the body's concerned:

  • The nano SIM card has been moved up top.
  • The new Moto X looks like it has stereo speakers out front like the Moto G. But in fact the top one's merely the earpiece, and the bottom serves as the speaker. Both are raised slightly. And they're part of the trim color you'll choose in Moto Maker, as is the ring around the Motorola logo in the dimple on the back.
  • That single speaker is pretty good, and pretty loud. But it's still not as good as what you get from HTC's BoomSound. (But what is?)
  • The 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB port are centered in the top and bottom ends, respectively.
  • The power button is still on the side, and it's got a little bit of texture to it. The volume rocker's on the right as well.
  • There are four infrared ports on the front of the phone — visible on the white front but hidden on the black — that help with the new Moto Actions.

The new Moto X cameras and gallery

The new Moto X

The original Moto X camera was almost a universal disappointment. The "Clear Pixel" idea to let in more light just didn't really pan out, and the 8-megapixel total resolution was quickly eclipsed. This time around the Moto X has a 13-megapixel rear shooter that in our early test shots definitely seems to be improved. Do note, however, that Motorola's gone the route of just about everyone else and defaults to a 16:9 aspect ration and 9.7-megapixel total resolution. There's a new option in the camera settings to switch to 4:3 and the full 13 megapixels. (And that's what we did for our test shots.)

The camera was the biggest drawback of the original Moto X. The new one shows some promise, though.

The excellent option to flick your wrist to activate the camera app is still on the Moto X, and it's as useful as ever.

The gallery has a couple new features, too. One is a "best shot" rolling buffer that attempts to take what otherwise might have been a bad shot when you actually triggered the shutter (say, blurry or blinking) and gives you options from immediately before and after instead. You get the choice to use what you actually took, or one of the buffered pics. Your call.

And Motorola's added a Highlight Reel that very much is like the video highlights (or Zoes — it's hard to remember what HTC is calling them these days) of the HTC One line, or Samsung's Story Album, or Google+ Stories. It'll take pictures that the phone figures are from the same event and turn them into a little video highlight reel. Of if it hasn't created a Reel yet, you can do so manually.

What's missing? There's still no optical image stabilization.

The new Moto X software

The new Moto X

Motorola impressed the hell out of us with the original Moto X software, opting not to skin things or add new features for us to learn. Instead, we got some simple, subtle additions. And four of the main ones have been combined into a single "Moto" app.

All of Motorola's beloved features are here, with some consolidation and a few additions.

Touchless Control, which lets you tell your phone what you want to do, is being reborn as "Moto Voice." Touchless Display is back as "Moto Display," and it has a few options to go along with it. (It's also added the day, date and battery level to what you see when you tap to peek in.) "Moto Assist" lives here as well, and gives you the options for the "Sleeping" do-not-disturb mode, driving mode for reading texts and incoming call information aloud so you don't have to even look at the phone, home mode for doing the same thing when you might not have your phone in your pocket or purse, and meeting mode for avoiding interruptions. And finally there's the new "Moto Actions," which use those four IR ports on the front of the phone to recognize hand gestures. You can wave over the phone to silence alarms and reject calls. And merely moving your hand toward the phone will turn on Moto Display and show you relevant information.

The new Moto X

And that's not all. Trusted Bluetooth (which is being adopted by the upcoming Android L release) is still here. Motorola Connect, which lets you get text message and call notifications on your computer, lives on. (Motorola Alert shows as installed, but disabled, which is a little weird. Not sure if that's a preproduction thing, or something else.) There's also a new "Attentive Display" feature that keeps an eye on your face and will keep the screen on longer while you're looking at it, and put it to sleep faster when you're not. (Both of those are options you can turn off.)

All this is running atop Android 4.4.4, and, yes, it'll get an update to Android L. (Quite possibly before just about every other phone out there.)

And, yes, there's a smattering of carrier bloat on all the phones. We've got the AT&T version here, and it's reminding us why we're glad Motorola selling an unlocked, "carrier-free" model. If you can go this route, we recommend it.

The bottom line

Here's our initial takeaway on the new Moto X: It's bigger. It's better. (And that's true of most new phones these days.) The phone continues to impress, even though we could still make a strong case for preferring a smaller size. Initial test shots show the camera to be improved. Will it be as good as the LG G3 and the newer Note 4? Probably not, especially because it's missing optical image stabilization. Will it be good enough? We'll see.

The new Moto X might not top the specs charts, but it might well once again be a fan favorite.

But the hardware continues to be just one part of the story for Motorola. Choice is another. The ability to pick and choose color options is a big thing. Price is another. And so is ease of use. The Moto X continues to be one of the easiest phones to use. It's simply not crammed full of features that you might use, but that will require a bit of learning on your part. The UI is pretty sparse — it's running the Google Now launcher and it's up to you to customize beyond the smattering of apps that are already there.

If you were a fan of the original Moto X, chances are you'll like this one, too, so long as the increase size doesn't bother you. If you're looking for a high-end option, we'll wager that it should be able to satisfy you as well. The camera's one area we'll be paying close attention to.

The Moto X will be available later this month in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. In the U.S., it'll hit some carriers at $99 on contract, and it'll run $499 off-contract and unlocked.

We'll be spending some quality time with the Moto X and will follow up in a bit with a full Moto X review. Stay tuned.

 

Reader comments

The new Moto X — hands-on!

250 Comments

No wireless charging? Really? I hope it at least has a decent camera this time. For $500 it should at least match last years Nexus.

ARS answered my question (they have picture samples up)...the camera is awful in lowlight. What a disappoint....at least it takes good daylight photos now though.

My Moto X takes very good pictures..hmmn weird... I'll upload a few...mind you, my girl who features in most of them, cares not for the weight of fabric..

i was afraid that they were going to use cheap fake leather but Horween leather makes it very tempting. if it had qi wireless charging i would be all in.

When I first got my Nexus 5 I thought wireless charging was such a gimmick...boy was I wrong. Having used it for several weeks now I wonder how I ever got along without it.
(That being said, the new Moto X does charge extremely fast, so it may not matter)

Fuck you motorola I don't want a fucking 5.2" phone... Samsung galaxy alpha it is....

Posted via Android Central App

Having used wireless charging on a couple phones (QI and whatever Palm had in the Pre) I have to disagree. It's a nice option, but it's far more gimmick than essential. Most of the OEMs have taken note that the general public doesn't care about wireless charging and aren't bothering with it any more. Some are selling compatible backs or cases as accessories, but that right there speaks pretty clearly of what they think of it.

But it could still be better.. 2800mAh would've been the minimum for me with this phone. 2300mAh is just too small. I struggle to get through a day with my Moto X now, and if I go to an amusement park or something. I have to take my Anker if I want to take pictures, especially at night when everything is all lit up.

So is the dimple just there for looks or is it a button of some sort like it was rumored?

Posted via Android Central App

Fuck, I really didn't want a bigger phone. Only thing that can save it is the camera, otherwise I'm passing on it.

Posted via Android Central App

I hear what you mean man it really sucks moto is going bigger thats 75% of the reason alot of people bought the moto x the other 35% the battery optimization and motos software

Posted via Nexus 7 2013 or Galaxy S5

I didn't buy the phone last time because of the small screen size. I'm definitely picking one up this time because they got everything right.

Exactly. And I think after the original Moto X, Motorola figured out there are more folks looking to the big screen phones. It would be nice for OEMs to offer two nearly identical phones with just a different screen size rather than the one-size-fits all mentality.

Almost. The Z3 mini has a 720P screen instead of the Z3's 1080P. On the smaller screen it's probably acceptable, but 1080P is old tech now, and should be the minimum for any premium phone.

I understand why they went bigger, that seems to be what most people want. Me, I bought the original one for it's size, so I'll probably skip this one an probably move over to the Sony Xperia Z3 compact.

Hopefully the Z3 compact will work on AT&T's LTE network. It looks like an excellent device and I love the SIZE.

Ok, so I like this phone…BUT WHERE IS THE 64GB VARIANT? I don’t understand why a company would release a 64gb variant of their previous flagship…and then not release one for their current flagship. This is exactly what happened last year, but I understood then because it was a new device and I knew that Motorola assumed the majority of customers would be fine with 16gb or 32gb. But after adding the 64gb later down the road for the OG Moto X and making a pretty big deal about it, why would they not offer it with this model?

I agree, the lack of a 64GB version is clearly meddling on the part of Google and the carriers. And not having a micrpSD slot despite the much larger body and its presence in 2 Moto G variants AND the Moto E is just insulting. But I am not surprised.

Spec regression happens all of the time in the Android world:

Samsung's GS3 was available in 32GB version at launch on several carriers. The GS4 launched in 16GB only before AT&T (and much later, VZW) brought out 32GB variants. The GS5 is ONY available in a 16GB version.

The OG Galaxy Tab 10.1 was available in 16/32GB versions. Now, over 3 years later, a 10.1" Tab Pro is 16GB only.

LG had wireless charging on the VZW G2. Now it requires a rare and expensive aftermarket back on the G3.

Samsung dropped microUSB 3.0 from the Note 4.

HTC had Qi charging on the Droid DNA 2 years ago but we are still waiting on it to return.

The Nexus 7 went down in battery capacity from 2012 to 2013, as did Sony's Z2 to Z3 just this week.

The Droid Incredible switched from an AMOLED screen to a TFT mid-run.

The Moto G LTE refresh added LTE and a microSD slot but halved the internal storage. Most manufacturers dropped microSD slots from their 2013 lineups, only to being them back in 2014.

In general, these things happen all the time because no one complains loudly enough and manufacturers are trying to wring every dime of profitability out of these devices as possible.

Or you could spend $20 for wireless charging sticker and mod the back cover that came with your G3. Shouldn't have to do that but it's not expensive to do if you want wireless charging with the G3.

Interesting to note, though, that according to Sony, that slightly smaller battery in the Z3 will last longer. I hope they are correct. If they are, then the slight "downgrade" actually becomes an upgrade, from a user perspective, due to the increased efficiency/life of the battery.

Rare and expensive back on the G3? Not rare at all, I ordered it from VZW when I ordered the phone. Expensive, not really with a discount.

No talk of the small battery? Didn't the original have two processors, now just one?

Posted via Android Central App

If I remember correctly, the second chip took care of specific background things that Motorola put in. The new chipset has it built in so there is no need for another chip.

It was contextual, but saved battery. I expect standby to suffer, as well as overall useage

Posted via Android Central App

Just because its no longer using a "custom" X8 processor doesn't mean the standby and active listening stuff will drain battery more now. Moto is just as focused (or more) on those features and not having them impact battery life this time around.

Posted via the Android Central App

Good point I didn't catch that. Battery is the #1 selling point to me. Love stock android but I can't have a nexus 5 because of the battery life. I'm considering going with a note 3 (don't know if note 4 will be as good with the battery life with the 4k screen) and thats the furthest from stock.
I guess i'll keep waiting for the nexus 6 and hopefully they will improve on the battery.

Oh no all Nexus fangirls claim the battery life on the Nexus 5 is Boss... Don't make you're fangirls angry.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

Shut up Richard. My nexus 5 lasts two full days with everything disabled and brightness set to 4%. You apparently don't know what you're talking about.

Disagree. I have never been able to get through a workday with mine, and sold it because of that. It was a shame as otherwise a great phone.

Same thing here... Battery life and video recording sound quality is what made me buy the Note 3 (just try and record a concert or club music with the Nexus 5 - total sh!t)

It had the "X8" processor, which is a 2-core CPU, 4-core GPU, and 2 more cores for "natural language processing" and "contextual computing" respectively.

I assume they were either able to get the new cpu to perform the same fuctions with a very low power draw, or changed their software up to make the "always on" features more feasible with a standard processor. Who knows what magic they've worked out, I just hope they did figure it out so that battery life doesn't flop.

The Snapdragon 801 has a built-in low power chip for things like audio processing. Most OEMs just haven't been taking advantage of it for some reason. I saw a hack for the Nexus 5 that enabled low powered always listening like the Moto X, but he didn't release it because he didn't have permission from Qualcomm and didn't want to get in trouble with them.

Posted via Android Central App

The X8 processor was standard. It was a snapdragon processor the only thing different was the extra 2 cores. People forget that fact a lot.

Posted via Android Central App

Snapdragon 800, 801 and 805 have this feature. It was not found in Snapdragon 600 so Moro X has to relied on its custom SoC for that purpose :)

Damnit after getting a One Plus and a G3 within a month of each other and now this device comes out. Tempting indeed.

Battery capacity - disappointing, whatever software optimization etc blah blah I get it but bigger battery would have been better. I know it will increase the footprint a bit, but i would take that over 2300. Anyway, buying the leather unlocked one as soon as it goes for sale. I will take Moto, Nexus, HTC or anyone over Samsung, LG and their skins with software updates that take eternity.

do u need a phone with 2700 battery that last only 8 hrs or with 2300 that last more than a day...
Moto X will beat pretty much all phone out there in battery

It does make since because just because it's a big battery doesn't mean great battery life. The Note 3 has a much bigger battery than the OG Moto X but doesn't last nearly as long as it.

Posted via Android Central App

Not hard genius... 2700 with 1.5 day instead of "supposed" 1 day. Read my comment.

Posted via the Android Central App

This is flat wrong.. Owned a Moto X for 10 months.. You could not get more than 3.5hrs of screen time on LTE with 10-12hrs battery. 7hrs SOT TOPS on wifi.

Bought a One plus.. I'll go 15hrs total use with 6hrs screen time on LTE.. 8hrs on WiFi under the same use... The fact of the matter is, they could of put a 2800 mAh battery like samsung did with the s5 and kicked everyones ass so bad in battery it would of been a huge selling point. I'm bummed they went 2300.. It's a great looking device and i'm sure it will do well though.

Shh...You are making too much sense for some people here... Moto put 2300mAh battery, so it is the best capacity /s

People are starting to sound like Apple fans and defend whatever they do.

Posted via the Android Central App

The best? Stop trolling! You wont get 6h sot after a full dat use on the x. The competition does.

Posted by my G3 or my 1+

Moto fangirls are just like Nexus fangirls they share the same common trait.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

Uh, that's why he put the /s at the end of that sentence, indicating he was being sarcastic. One only has to read before giving into knee-jerk impulses to keep from looking foolish.

I hope you're not talking about the original X, because despite claims of optimization and anecdotal accounts (even from some AC writers) it still got worse battery life than most phones last year, certainly worse than the Nexus 5 which did better than all but the G2 (larger battery, duh).

There's certain radio elements you can implement to get better efficiency (Nexus 5 had some of that), but there's no getting around the fact that this has substantially less capacity than other flagship phones and will surely do worse.

If you could live with a Nexus 5 or any phone from last year (M7/SGS4) then you'll be no worse off with the new X, for some of us that's enough. Given the choice tho, at similar prices on contract, I'd go with the phone with weather resistance and a larger battery (can't believe I'm admitting that), or the G3.

Edit: Anandtech's battery tests don't lie.

I never thought I'd get a SGS anything, but they are getting better. I was excited for this...but after 20 minutes in the forum I'm back to waiting for the nexus best thing.

Yeah, I still really dislike Samsung's software choices and overall design, but they still put out a compelling product. If the G3 was smaller and/or if the SGS5 wasn't weather sealed I'd pick the G3, as they stand I'm really not sure what I'd choose this year if I was in the market (sticking with my Nexus for now).

Edit: Had 3 HTC phones before my N5 and I basically talked my mother into a Moto X last year, don't I could be any less biased... Never thought I'd be making a case for Samsung either!

This. They should have made the battery bigger. My main gripe about Moto X is that I have to mid-charge it every day.

Posted via Android Central App

Note 3 and Note 2 as well as the Galaxy S5 and Lg Gflex all bitch slap any silly Nexus.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

You are comically fooling yourself. The Galaxy S5, Lg 2,Lg G3, Htc One M8, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 3, Lg Gflex all beat the crap out of this battery so easily it's comical.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

I can stretch 2 days with my Note 2, depending on how I use it.

>I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

Yeah, I know that people like to trot out the "gas mileage is more important than tank size" metaphor, but there's only so much that power management optimization can do, especially when they've increased the screen size, the resolution, the number of sensors...

Obviously we can't pass any kind of judgment until we've at least seen in-depth reviews from the AC guys, Brownlee, etc, but I'm a little more wary now.

Bigger would've been better but that doesn't mean it's terrible. The original Moto X had a pretty small battery but the phone would never die.

Posted via Android Central App

It's unfortunate for the small battery, but they do have a quick charger accessory that seems interesting. 15 minutes to get "8" more hours of use sounds like the price of the phone just went up $35 for me because I value getting through a whole day without a dead phone. The quick charger might be a requirement.

What about Android L fixing battery life by up to ~30%? Maybe it's safe to assume Motorola has been testing with Android L and they know the battery life will be just fine. Smaller batteries also charge quicker, even if they don't last as long.

Posted via Android Central App

I feel like I would be better of buying the original moto x. I know we will have to wait to see it for ourselves and full reviews. But for mainly a new camera I'm not feal in it. My note is already rocking 720p so the original screen resolution doesn't bother me. Note edge or possibly iPhone maybe next.

I know there are other new features but not significant enough for me at least

Posted via Android Central App

this is definitely on my radar for the next phone that i want to get. But i still need to see some pics and battery life review first.

It's looks to be a fine device..but your hesitation in declaring the HD screen a winner tells me some is not quite right there.. Glad I just purchased an LG-G2..@ $100.00 bucks cheaper the G2 kicks ass.. same screen size and it's one of the better 1080P's with 2 day batterylife to boot.. but moto should have just continued to dominate the 4.7 inch class.

If it only had a multitasking button! Hopefully they will upgrade it with the same design they used for the G3. If they do I'll keep my G2 for another year.

Nice write up. Even though it's the Note 4, for me, this looks good. For some, the size, more than the camera, will keep them away.

Note 3 as well as the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge stomps this into the ground.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

Don't you get tired of being...you? I remember the day when you had something relevant (well...more or less) to say. Now you just come into the comments sections to troll, which is tiring for everyone.

I'm a fan of Samsung too...but that doesn't mean that every other companies products are crap. In many cases, quite the opposite.

Bought a mint Moto X on eBay in July as a tide-over phone between my shattered GS3 and this. Now, I'm not so sure. Motorola seemingly overlooked and underestimated key points and opportunities. 1) $500 is not "budget." Pushing the envelope a lot there, but hoping to see prices drop soon (as is historically the case). 2) Totally missed the boat on a bundle at launch. Don't tell me X+360 for $675 or $700 wouldn't have sold truckloads. 3) I forgot my third point... I'll come back to it. Hopefully. It's late.

1) $500 is pretty budget for a launch price of a brand new flagship off contract with decent specs and great software.

2) You're 100% right. Moto should've done that.

3) I'll be back later.

OPO | G3 | N5

I bet there will be bundle deals once the initial sales die down.

Posted via the Android Central App

Yea maybe in merica.. In the netherlands the original took months tot come over here. (10 or so)

No moto maker and no bundle prices. That damm thing is still over €300 here...

Posted by my G3 or my 1+

Z3 easily. Better hardware and let's not pretend that Samsung will ever support the Alpha like it does its real flagships.

The Galaxy Alpha will be supported and that too stomps the daylights out of this handset.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

Yup, there are 4 IR sensors up front that can detect when you reach for your phone and activate it. (It has a new name now, forgot it though.)

OPO | G3 | N5

No micro sd card, and no removable battery equals no sale. Another real bone head move by Motorola.

Posted via Android Central App

Aw come on...the bezels are tiny and a 5.2 inch screen is average nowadays. Moto has to get more buyers; geeks were (probably?) the majority of 2013 Moto X customers.

OPO | G3 | N5

5.2" is just too big mate, no OIS and no wireless charging either. The bezels on the LG G2 are tiny as well, and the top and bottom are smaller than this, but it's still a big phone. I had one.

Would it kill them to put in a 3000 mAh. I'd pay $599 for it if they did that. Then they could market the shit out of how long it last.

Well, not sure how you can say much about battery life when the phones been in peoples hands for all of 20 hours.

Posted via the Android Central App

Still, 3000mAh would be a lot better than 2300mAh that will be average, at best.. I know there are weight and design limitations to putting in a bigger battery, but 2300mAh still seems a bit underwhelming. optimizations or not

Well it's been 2 days now so..... How's the battery life?

Posted via my beast G3 through the Android Central App

I wasn't really on pins and needles for this, still happy with my Nexus 5 (came close to opting for an X mind you), but I'm disappointed they went larger... I'm sure many will be but we're probably the minority, thing is, the majority that wants larger phones probably wants the better battery life to go along with it. This is barely smaller than the SGS5 but with a smaller sealed battery and no weather resistance...

I'm not a Samsung fan, at all, but I can't see why I would pick the new X over an SGS5 or G3, which saddens me. I love Moto's software direction, and I dig the overall look, I even applaud them not making it bigger still to claim fake stereo. None of that is enough tho, I guess Moto Maker might be a big draw (now that it's not tied to a single carrier, hopefully), they need to advertise it well as it's still very unique.

I think lack of OIS is the disappointing clincher, the first X had it's share of drawbacks vs the other flagship phones BUT it's small compact size made it endearing to many. This one is better in many ways yet has less going for it, kinda one step forward two steps back, pricing isn't doing it any favors either.

Personally I'd want 64GB for $500... And wireless charging at least, to ease the pain of a smaller battery.

All valid points. Although, I'm not ready to give up on this phone yet. Here's to hoping AC will write an unbiased, thorough review to help those who are considering getting this phone.

Posted via the Android Central App

I'm sure it'll be a fine phone, and if you really really want to avoid TouchWiz and you don't want a larger G3/M8 nor need best in class battery life then it could be an easy choice... If they pimp the customization factor enough and do it right from the start that alone could be enough for many.

I'm just not seeing what else would convince people to want one besides Maker or a strong dislike of everything else out there... Guess I'm just really miffed Moto went larger even with the G, and didn't try to aim for a lower price point. The latter I can forgive, who's gonna carry the small flagship phone torch now?

All we need now is for Apple to claim their larger model has outsold the smaller one (if indeed they release two model sides), which would probably happen just cause of the novelty, and we might as well bury the notion of <5" flagships in the same grave as physical keyboards. /groan

At least I can buy the 360 tomorrow!

I'm over here thinking what about a 5.5 inch X with a 3200 mAh battery! haha. I'm holding onto my One Plus it looks like and waiting to see the nexus. As you are, i'm getting a 360 tomorrow though.

I'm disappointed the size of the moto x was a HUGE selling point , ya the leather and new additions to moto maker are nice but I don't think it's enough and I'm going to hold any judgment on battery until the reviews come up besides the verge who plasters a review up 30 seconds after its announced. All I'll say is the original moto x has its share of battery issues especially after the 442 update. Overall it's a good upgrade to the original but I agree.

Posted via Nexus 7 2013 or Galaxy S5

I m mostly with you. I was awaiting this phone (uh expectations...) and apart that big logo was very excited, the first two hours. Then no 64 GB /microSD, no OIS, no stereo speakers (they put 'em on the G....come on?!) well, I m going to wait for the Nexus 6 and see. The battery who knows, I mean it is probably going to do better then on the Nexus 5 (which at the beginning was giving me some satisfaction) but they could have put a little largr one, just to be sure. Still i would like to have all the added moto functionalities. I think at the moment theres no phone for me, for one or the other reason theres no one I would buy. Might be that I still feel very good with my N5 and all the iterations of the flagship presented this year doenst really have so much to convince me changing? There are things of the many flagship that id like to have in one phone, but none of the phones as a separate entity.

Gawd so of they base the nexus on this :

Drop the silly IR rubbish.
Add dual front speakers like moto G
Bigger battery

Posted via Android Central App

Doubt they'd give it a bigger battery given the track record (N5 vs G2), I'd be pleasantly surprised if they did tho... But that'd kill the X itself, few people would pay more for a phone with a smaller battery and Moto Maker plus some IR trickery as it's main point of distinction, it's a tough enough sell as it is.

If they were smart they would base the battery for the Nexus off the MAXX line of phones. Love my MAXX version of the Moto X. My favorite phone since my old Motorola flip phone. I just can't see going to a smaller battery after having that. I can burn through that battery in a day if I'm using it a lot especially with a so so signal at work. A phone with a smaller battery would have me looking for a plug if I'm not careful

I would have liked a bigger battery to go with a bigger phone but as long as I get the same if not better battery life I'll be happy. I'll have to wait for a full review to see how that camera got "fixed" for night and action shots. By then the next Nexus might be out or Motorola will run a promotion like they previously did.

One question though, will this phone still be assembled in the US and without the silly timed exclusive motomaker?

Didn't the US plant where they built the original X already shut down? I remember reading about it... Hopefully they've found a workaround, as Moto Maker really is quite nifty (and one of the truly unique things the X has got going for it anymore).

They are shutting it down the end of this year. Hoping they push out some of the initial Moto Maker orders for everyone before moving to Mexico.

My One M8 literally came in the mail this morning, and this phone isn't really making me regret going with HTC, personally.

What's that dent on the back of the phone . left side. In line with the moto button.

Posted via Caseless GT-S7500 because I need an excuse to get a new phone

Back is made out of leather, it has dents, scratches and scuffs. And there will be even more as it gets used.

Posted via the Android Central App

Wonder if it will be for sale at t-mobile stores or if you'll have to just buy the unlocked version from Moto maker like the first Moto x

Hopefully they offer the collegiate customizations like the 2013 version! Wireless charging &/or the quick charge accessory that Moto's site mentions will take care of any battery issues for me.

Posted via Android Central App

Dear AC, I realize what time it is in the U.S., but could you please update this post with a hands on video soon? The new Moto G got the video treatment, why not the Moto X?
I agree, I think Motorola did the right thing with the name too by keeping it as just Moto X. For one they're trying to build brand recognition. Second, think of what the next iteration of this phone may be called if they went with the X+1 route, X+1+1? X+2? That's just awkward. (same if this was called the X2. X3 next? Then X4?). I have a feeling Apple is going to stop using the number system for its iPhone as well, but then again who am I to know?
Back to my original point, video hands on pretty please? To those who are already saying small battery capacity, disappointing camera with no OIS (guilty here too), etc. Don't knock it till you've tried it, or someone else has tried it, or something like that. Pardon my rambling, it's late or way too early for me.

Posted via the Android Central App

I agree with keeping the name (just like HTC and well, every other OEM following Samsung and Apple's lead), and I HATE when people make a case against a device based on a few missing features... Sadly in this case I think it's appropriate

I'm sure it's a fine phone, just not sure why I'd wanna choose it over some of it's competition. Moto's software is great, and Maker is attractive, but I'd take OIS, better battery life, extendable storage, and/or weather resistance over that any day...

Oh and I'm currently using a Nexus 5, almost opted for an X last year, but price/size factored heavily into those preferences. The new X has neither going for it.

Like I said, you have valid points. I guess the consumer will have to decide what matters most to him/her. Unadulterated (for the most part) Android as quoted from Motorola's press release, timely updates, or features that you have mentioned. It seems that nobody is out to make a "perfect" device these days. Then again, a perfect device is like a unicorn. Which, btw, exist. I insist they do. :)

Posted via the Android Central App

Those equipped for making a nearly perfect device (or range of devices in deterrent sizes to suit all tastes) seem the least interested or motivated to do so, and let's face it, the market is slowing down. Maybe something like Silver can throw a wrench in the works, who knows.

Anandtech's preview went way more in depth about some of intricacies the press got treated to yesterday at Moto's facility. Can't really say it made the X any more attractive overall, but it did make it seem more polished than AC's coverage.

The Verge seems to be praising it judging by the headline, haven't read that yet... They're quick to judge and wax poetic tho so.

Whats with that flash ring. If it was just the flash ring it wouldn't be too distracting, but add on the new moto logo and there is way too much going on.

+1
The flash ring looks gimmicky, and I hate to call any feature gimmicky. Oh my, I just said it twice. If there's any real advantage in it I'm sure Apple would have invented it first (relax folks, it's sarcasm).

Posted via the Android Central App

Same logo they've had for years, and the X had a similar dimple... It was just more seamless rather than a separate inset piece, I'm guessing that's what you were referring too. I guess it does kinda look a little busy, I think some of the custom options will look terrific tho.

The metal side made of real metal (unlike Samsung) is neat too, I rather like how it looks personally. Never bought a phone based on that tho (my N5 couldn't be more plain, really wish the red was available at launch tho!) but I imagine many do factor design heavily...

At least I hope so, for Moto and HTC's sake. They really really need to push the Maker angle, better than they did with the first X. The leather option does sound rather intriguing, still a mild disappointment overall tho.

They probably were trying to do a ring flash which is used in portraits, close ups, and fashion photography. No idea how it compares to a regular camera phone led.

any idea if the Moto Maker will be available in Europe as it is with the US? one thing that put me off this phone last year was when it came to stores in the UK they were charging way too much for it off contract

Looks nice and dandy right now but folks that don't have the luxury of changing phones often would be struggling with battery life 9 months from now. Hopefully N6 addresses that. Otherwise I hate to say it but OPO would get my money if they get rid of the stupid invite.

Posted via Android Central App

This updated comment section just works!! Good look.

Moto X looks really good. Motorola did a good job with all their product lines. Definitely a good announcement.

Credit has to be given where it's due. Thanks Phil for updating the post with a hands on video! U da man!

Posted via the Android Central App

The Moto site mentions "Create your own voice prompt". No more "Okay Google"

Also offered are a Turbo charger and a Key-chain sized 1500 mAh Power Pack. I think those accessories may help alleviate some people's (not everyone's) battery concerns.

I'm guessing the Moto X'14 will be more popular than the original Moto X'13. The kids seem to want the larger form factor. It's not for me though. Smaller is better in my life.

I do really like the leather back option and better cam. (if it holds up after further inspection). But that wont be enough for me to shell out the frog-skins to upgrade from the X'13 to the X'14.

Phil. Is it me? Or do you sound less than enthusiastic about this one. Sounds like a bit of disappointment in your voice. Certainly not like your opinion about last year's model.

Posted via Android Central App

I was going to hold off for this before opting for the G3. Am I annoyed I didn't wait? Not really...apart from the option off the wooden back, and the assist features. If LG had that on the G3, I'd be like a pig in sh1t :)

2300mah is a huge disappointment and a gigantic mistake by Moto. Just because you can charge your phone in 30 minutes does not make horrible battery life acceptable. Also, so upset they decided to go with a 5.2 inch screen. Way to big.

Looks like its either Sony or Apple. Maybe both.

Posted via Android Central App

No micro SD? Ok. No Removable battery? Ok. No wireless charging? WTF?? The Moto 360 has it. The nexus 5 has it. But not the "new" moto X? Unacceptable for 2014. I know, most phones don't have it BUT some seem to accommodate with it built in such as the G3, S4, S5, Note 3, Note 4, etc.

What about the battery life? After owning a Nexus 5, I'll never pick a phone with poor battery life again, so it's a very important aspect of a phone.

Yeah, and the back looks quite ugly as well especially with the leather, and if it's any thing like leather on headphones it'll wear away soon enough.

Also it's a major piss take these companies still trying to palm us off with 16GB storage in 2014.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't know how this will compete with z3 compact.... 4.6 720p with 2600 batt vs. 5.2 1080p with 2300??? I don't care how much moto can optimize the SW for battery life but that big screen with so low battery will make it worse not better. Besides, compact with contained dimensions it's a real winner for those which were comfortable with original moto X size plus same processor and RAM of the "new" Moto X.... Sorry, Moto, not this time...

Glad they sell unlocked still; that stupid AT&T logo in the status bar is worse (for me) than anything Verizon does.

Have I missed mention of the new bluetooth Skip dongle?

To me the best thing about the Moto X was the size. That is out the window on this. Now it is bigger than a Nexus 5... No thanks. I can already see Lenovo's influence in this one. I wouldn't be surprised if their 75% of people want bigger phones is simply sales figure growth of Samsung's phablets.

As much as I want Stock Android and this is one of the few options for that on Verizon, I'm not sure it's worth trading my Note 3 in for this and losing the significantly larger removable battery and MicroSD card support.

Posted via Android Central App

Unless they pull off some serious battery wizardry here I'm going to pass. I LOVE my n5 but I don't want to live with such a short life span between charges. Also disappointed in 16gb base, last year was pushing it. I'm going to wait and see until the battery tests come out before I call it but I'd much rather have this than anything else so far. I'm also going to wait to see if the new nexus blows my skirt up.

Posted via Android Central App

16GB and the battery life on the Moto X works for me. I ended up leaving my external battery behind and the car charger in the glove box. I do agree about waiting since Moto X 2014 has a bigger screen and more features that need power.

So "the Moto X" feels right for the new version; wait, the Moto X 2013 or the Moto X 2014? Instead of just saying Moto X2, you have to specify the year or ask for it.

Posted via the Android Central App

I am really bummed about this being a bigger phone. I have a current Moto X and I think the 4.7 inch display is perfect. In fact, it seems the new iPhone will be just this size. I looked as SG5 and HTC and went with Moto X because I liked the size better, even though did not have as many bells and whistles. I guess I am one of the 25% who likes this size. I am sure I'll keep my current Moto X another year or 2. By then, there is sure to be even more variety at all sizes.

If some manufacturer's make a mini for their flagship's why doesn't Motorola make one and sell it directly from their website? It would make all sides happy.

>I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

Yeah, I would never switch to them simply because of that. It would be like a requirement to root and remove that which I wouldn't want to have to do. I honestly cannot believe people put up with that. You never really hear about it. It is like a persistent advertisement in your notification area.

That's user removable under 4.4.4. Just got rid of it last week on my wife's Moto X. No need to root. Settings>More>Mobile Networks>Uncheck "Show mobile network."

I wonder / hope that the new "Moto" app along w/ the new commands and ability to change the "Ok Google Now" phrase will be pushed out to the OG Moto X. At this time I am still extremely happy w/ my OG Moto X. The new Moto X doesn't really excite me enough to upgrade - especially since I have some lust right now for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4. But wait ... I still need to wait and see what the new Nexus is!

My wife has the X and loves it. I just got the OPO and it is fantastic! . For $350 (OPO 64gb version) I'll still recommend the OPO. Only problem with the OPO is being able to get one. Moto won't have that issue.

I had a feeling they would hold off on the 64G storage option but that is a deal breaker for me. If I can't add my own storage then I need to be able to buy enough from the beginning.

Ahh, hell... screw the battery. If it's as good as the original Moto, I'm in. The "natural" leather color just looks too good to pass up. Not sure if I'll go for white or black on the front. Probably black.

*sigh*... I am a big fan of the original Moto X. While I like the premium materials on the NEW Moto X (Aluminum frame and leather back options), I am not overly thrilled with the increase in size or the increase in cost. Until one or both of those decrease, I seriously doubt I will pick one of these up.

has anyone actually used the phone to complain about the battery life? Since its not released, how do we know enough about the size of the device to complain? play with it in person before all this complaining. for all we know it could be the perfect size. as i recall, last year folks were up in arms over specs, but that seemed to pan out just fine.

The 2300 mAh could only work to the advantage of Moto by keeping cost down. I wouldn't complain if at the end of the ay I had 50% battery left on my phone. Plus the battery is not going to get better with time, so some extra size would future proof it.

As a Moto X user I was happy with the battery life when paired with the 4.7" screen and the small form factor of my Moto X 2013. It was also the point of giving it a 2200 mah capacity. With only a slight (100 mah) bump in battery capacity and a bigger screen to power, a bigger phone overall would logically means a substantial increase of battery capacity. They could have gotten away with this size battery if they had only given it a 5" screen and then made a MAXX version.

Posted via Android Central App

Silly question. wil the new one fit the old Griffin Dock? Seriosuly the manufactuers need to start considering acessories shouls be compatable for 3 to 5 year device line window

Sigh. If only you didn't have to deal with Motorola to buy it unlocked or get support in the rare event that it's needed.

The screen of my Moto X is just a hair small for my fingers sometimes, so the larger screen is appealing so long as it's not huge like an S5. What the phone appears to be missing that's on my "perfect phone feature list" is dual speakers, SD card slot, and OIS, and possibly waterproofing. Not bad. Most don't get that close.

Curse you, Motorola. If you were a better company, I'd probably buy this as soon as it came out.

Great review as usual. My current Moto X gets it right in all the important areas and is my all time favorite phone. Wish Motorola would have kept the size the same an the unlocked price lower. Ah well.

Is it Horween's leather or shell cordovan? The shell is extremely durable.

Posted via Android Central App

As this is running stock Android, what does this mean for Nexus 6? I though it was also being made by Motorola...? Any news out yet?

I love moto radios & simplicity android software, that's it. I feels like moto design has been behind compared to tops flagships phones like M7, M8, g2, g3, z3, include sg2, sg3 and nexus . and now crap battery! yeah... no fan of motorola phones.

"75 percent of folks upgrading phones wanted to go with something bigger. So, Motorola went bigger".

Well 100% of people want a frickin battery that lasts and they opted of a caring about that...

Thanks for overlooking the one thing people have been complaining about for years, Motorola.

So hardware-wise it's basically last year's Galaxy S5 with a smaller, non-removable battery. Oh, and no micro SD card. The software's going to have to impress the heck out of me to get me interested, especially since a fair bit of the software features are available from third parties now. We'll see how things like battery life and the camera shake out, but I was hoping for more.

I've been waiting for all the announcements to see what new devices entice me, but unless the next Nexus turns out to be a surprise (i.e., the rumors of a 6" device are wrong), it looks like none of the new phones are better than the G3, S5 or One M8. Of the phones introduced this week, the Note 4 and Edge are the only ones that are really an advance on what was available before, and they're probably just too big for me.

I was lamenting no SD card last year too, but I lived with it usually not having an issue keeping below my 5GB plan. With T-mobile's no data count streaming I don't even think about it. Stream several hours a day without worry of the data consumption. I even got an OTG adapter I never even ended up using.

Also with Qualcomm's quick charge 2.0 the battery complaints are premature and ignorant.

Don't we need a certain charger to take advantage of the quick charge? If so then most peoples wall plugs and car chargers wouldn't cut it.

Posted via Android Central App

Will be getting the carrier agnostic version. Can't go back to bloat. Reason I am selling my G3. Just fine with my OPO until the color and material options I want are available. Nice to hear about the camera.

If this had the 805 processor i would be all over it. But I think i will be getting the Note 4 or Note Edge.

Such an awesome phone. Only android device I'd consider buying. I just hope Motorola don't f@#$ this up like the first moto x and actually release it quickly around the world possibly with the motomaker option. I'd be happy to see it for sale outright in Australia by the end of next month at least even if I only had a choice of a few colours at first.

$499 off contract? In my humble opinion a price point of $350 to $399 makes more sense. I believe the sales figures for the X will flatline after the initial opening surge. Frugal consumers looking to save a buck by not locking in to a traditional plan are seeking out performance at a more affordable price. Most individuals signing on the dotted line for an extended contract will still most likely gravitate to Samsung and Apple products because of status and aggressive advertising. Google should understand this especially since they are the pioneers of the "Save with the Nexus " offerings. Once Lenovo officially takes the reigns it would be refreshing to see a flagship phone that is tops in hardware and software specs that is priced for the masses.

Moto X

I agree off contract pricing is too high...but they'll sell most of these in Carrier stores, and at $99 it should sell.

For those who care - It has a pentile pixel structure. Little bit of a let down for the enthusiasts ☺

Posted via the Android Central App

I read somewhere (can't recall now) that the new Moto X would not have the same dedicated speech/voice recognition like the current one has on the X8 chipset. Not just the ability to iisten with the screen off, but also the most accurate speech recognition I've ever seen on a phone. Hopefully, this is not true. For me, that is really the killer feature.

Odd that the 360 has Qi charging and the MotoX doesn't. If you have come to depend on wireless charging(as I have,N4,N5,N7 it leaves no choice but to skip phones without it...What designer is leaving this feature off?

Disappointed in the design, but if and when I do upgrade, this will likely be my choice if anyway.

Great pictures, fellas. Thanks.

So far this is in the running to replace my Nexus 4. The camera sounds underwhelming, and that alone may drive me to the LG G3...or the next Nexus, if I can put up with the N4's camera and aging battery for that long!

I figure the next Nexus's camera will be at least as good as the N5's, which is decent in HD mode. My wife has it. Any thoughts on Moto X camera vs. N5?

Cool flash ring but the speaker and earpiece port killed it for me. Makes it look kinda cheesy. Good read tho. Their release method always astounds me. Wish Sony did this.

njo¡! acApp

Maybe next year. I just got the original Moto X and I am satisfied with it. Won't need to replace it for a long time.

Posted via Android Central App

Well Motorola was my last hope for a flagship phone that isn't larger than the nexus 5 (already pushing it for me). Clearly that is never going to happen so I will enjoy my nexus 5 until it dies and then maybe go huge (phablet style) since I won't be able to use any of the new phones one handed anyway...

Posted via Android Central App

Hey Phil great article. There's an error though. "The original Moto X camera was almost a universal disappointment. The "Clear Pixel" idea to let in more light just didn't really pan out, and the 8-megapixel total resolution was quickly eclipsed." The original Moto X had a 10-megapixel camera. Anyways looking forward to the full review!

So I just finally touched the #newMotox and up until now based on the reviews I really wanted it. The killer for me which has been hardly mentioned in the reviews is the raised front speakers. Why would they do this? It's a good millimeter or 2 bump on the front of the phone.

It may seem petty for such a beast phone but I feel like the speakers are asking to be smashed and pocket crud constantly getting caught in the mesh material. Can't do it. Hope the nexus 6 is better