Moto X. And a Moto X.

Our top Android phone of 2013 (and then some) revisited — and it's held up quite nicely.

It’s not often that I use one smartphone for six months straight. I’m not supposed to. We have too many good phones come through here. And inevitably I see something shiny that pulls my attention away.

But I keep coming back to the Moto X.

On paper, there’s a lot about this phone that shouldn’t last. A 720p display? That’s so 2012. Not the latest buzzword-friendly processor? DOA. And Motorola? The company that was (and still is) bleeding money and sat out much of 2013 after being purchased by Google? Who knew what to expect. And now Motorola’s been sold off.

But there’s still the Moto X.

We've joked that the Moto X was the most overhyped Android phone since the last overhyped Android phone, and that’s mostly true. I’ve been using this phone as my daily driver since August. Let’s take a look at what’s made it so good, what’s good enough, and what didn’t live up to our expectations.

The Moto X hardware, six months on

It was hard not to be excited about the Moto X in terms of hardware. Let’s start out front.

Moto X — with more HOLOYOLO!

Never thought I'd say this again — but I'm OK with a 720p display.

A 4.7-inch display — big, but not huge — same as what we’d enjoyed in the Nexus 4 for most of the previous year, but in a slightly smaller body. It’s “only” a 720p display. But for being a lower resolution than what you’d expect from a flagship phone in 2013, it was very capable. Maybe not as great as what LG or HTC have done, but very much useable. Having to push fewer pixels means you’re going to save on battery, period. Not everyone can get away with that trade-off, but Motorola managed to.

The AMOLED display also brought us one of the cool new software features — Active Display, which we’ll talk about in a bit.

Moto X feels better in wood

The cliche of “feels great in the hand” is very much a subjective measurement. But for me, Moto X has fit my hand better than just about any phone since the fabled Nexus One. A lot of that has to do with the curve on the back of the phone. It’s subtle, but noticeable — and it works. The dimpled Motorola logo is a little gaudy, but damned if I didn’t find myself quickly placing my index finger there. The curved back also allowed for a new kind of “stepped” battery from LG — allowing for more capacity and less wasted space.

On-screen buttons on the display, and volume and power buttons on the right side of the phone — where they belong. No having to reach up to the top of the phone.

Moto X in blue

Being able to create a custom phone is a win for the customer, but it should have been available to all at launch.

And you can’t talk about the look of the phone without mentioning MotoMaker, Motorola’s Moto X customizer. Different colored backs, fronts and accents, with stenciling on the back, and a custom boot message. You can’t not like choice like that. And while Moto Maker sadly was an AT&T exclusive for the first few months — a mistake we’d implore the company to not make should it try this again — it finally reached more folks before the end of the year.

And then there’s the wood. Actual, organic wood backs. Motorola first showed them off at the launch event in August, but we weren’t able to purchase them until December — and even then just bamboo, for another $100. (Yes, bamboo is grass, not wood. Don’t get us started.) It’s gimmicky — and apparently the woods are more “wood-like” than actual samples — but it’s still a really cool option. Thumbs up. Very cool. It is more slick than the soft-touch backs, though.

Blue Moto X going yellow

Not sure if this was because my first Moto X was slightly pre-release, but some of the blue has rubbed off and turned yellow on the corners. Thumbs down. No good.

Either you worry about the Moto X specs on paper, or you don't. Either way, it runs just fine.

The internals have been another surprise. Again, not the best on paper. Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro — no slouch, but a good generation behind — at 1.7 GHz with a dual-core Krait CPU and a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU. Plus, a natural-language processor, and a contextual computing processor. If you’re counting along, that’s eight cores. And so Motorola gave birth to the X8 Mobile Computing System. That’s different than an “octa-core” processor, a fact lost on some.

I’ve never been one to worry too much about benchmarks or how things look on paper. They either work great or they don’t. And in in Motorola’s case, I’ve had no complaints. I do most of my casual gaming on the Nexus 7, so my Moto X is for everything else. And it’s performed great. And one of the chief reasons is …

Six months of great battery life

Moto X battery life

'All-day' battery life means whatever Motorola wants it to. But 14 or so hours is plenty for me.

Battery life is great — especially when you consider that battery the Moto X capacity isn’t all that great. Too often folks confuse capacity for performance, that a 2,200 mAh battery shouldn’t last a long time simply because it’s a smaller number than, say, 3,000. At home and the office — where I’m on Wifi a good 90 percent of the time — I easily get about 15 hours without having to charge, which usually gets me from wake-up to bedtime. On the road — which is about as taxing as it gets, especially at trade shows, yeah, I’d need to charge up at some point. But only once.

Motorola talked a lot about “all-day” battery life. That’s not exactly a technical measurement of anything, and, frankly, it sounds like the marketing mumbo jumbo we’ve come to loathe from manufactures. But the fact remains that, pound for pound, Moto X had excellent battery life. From the time I unplug to the time I go to bed? For me, in my normal, everyday routine, that’s “all day.” Your mileage will vary, of course.

I do, however, miss having wireless charging. It’s not the end of the world by any means. But I have wireless chargers just sitting around now, and I love being able to just wake up and grab the phone without the (gasp) hassle of unplugging.

Another strong point for me — the rear speaker. Motorola’s always done well with those, and it continues with Moto X.

Six months with a so-so camera

Moto X camera

The Moto X camera was disappointing, but you can still get good shots out of it.

And we’ll close out the hardware with the single-most disappointing feature on the Moto X — the camera. Part of that may be from how much Motorola built it up at our launch briefing. It’s a 10-megapixel shooter with a “clear” pixel to let in more light. But pretty immediately we could tell it simply wasn’t as good as we were told — or even shown. Focusing was odd. Low-light shooting was pretty horrible.

Some of that was addressed in software updates, particularly focus. Keeping HDR turned on all the time helps. I still feel like I’m cheating a bit with that, though. But on the other hand, in this world of Instagram filters and “Auto Awesome” enhancements, what the hell. Airbrush all the things. And a good bit of what bugs me about the camera is that what you see on the screen at the time the shutter fires is different (and often worse) than the end result.

And that’s not to say I don’t get some pictures that I’m not proud of. I’m not blowing things up to be poster-size. Moto X has a decent camera. Not great, but also not one that makes me want to carry a second phone. I’ve also ended up using the wrist-flick to launch the camera app far more than I thought I would. I could still be just a tad faster, but I usually can pull the phone from my pocket, twist the wrist and just about be ready to shoot by the time I’ve lifted the phone into my line of sight.

Six months of subtle software

Moto X — mostly stock, except for what's better

Like we said from the beginning with the Moto X, what we’ve got here is a mix of stock simplicity — Motorola did next to nothing to change the default Android experience — and a few subtle but important (and extremely useful) additions, smartly integrated into the overall experience.

A "stock" experience with useful features added on? Sold!

Active Display pops the time and notifications onto your screen without having to hit the power button. Only the pixels being used are lit up, so it’s not a drain on the battery. And it’s mostly smart enough to not “breathe” when it doesn’t need to — say, in your pocket, or when left alone for a period of time. Pull the phone from your pocket, though, and you’ll immediately see it fire up. That’s smart. Tap a notification to see a preview — say, e-mail or a text message — and determine if it’s worth opening now, or if you can ignore it for later. If you do want to open it, all you have to do is slide your finger. It’s extremely well done, feels natural and is instantly missed if I grab another phone.

Touchless Control is the next big one. We’ve all gotten used to being able to bark orders at our phone with Google Now, but Motorola took it one step further. You don’t even have to hit the power button first. Just say “OK, Google Now,” and it wakes up and awaits your command. I’ve found it to be great when I’m being lazy — setting a reminder while in bed, for example — and when I’m in the car, a time in which you definitely don’t want to be touching your phone any more than you absolutely have to.

My only real complaint is that it’s still a little slow to open.

Motorola Assist

And then there’s Motorola Assist, which pared down the old Smart Actions to three sections — Driving, Meeting and Sleeping. I use Driving to read incoming texts and calls to me. And I use Sleeping to silence the phone from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The do-not-disturb mode is a must-have (and really should be baked into Android itself).

Finally, you can’t talk about Motorola without talking about keeping its phones updated. Not only did Moto X get updated to Android 4.4 faster than even Google’s own Nexus 4, it’s already on Android 4.4.2. The question is whether that update pace can continue now that Lenovo owns the company. Was the closer relationship to Google what kept that going? Something else? And how did carrier certification receive approval so quickly? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

It’s also worth mentioning that Motorola has offloaded a number of its on-device apps to Google Play. We can’t understate the importance of that. For one, it makes updating easy — you do it just like any other app. It also sidesteps the carriers in that updating, say, the camera doesn’t require a complete system update — and therefore doesn’t require carrier certification. That’s a big deal, and it’s made for a better phone.

Six months later? Still my phone of choice

Moto X — it's fantastic!

Moto X isn’t going to be in my pocket forever. I know that. It knows that. (At least I like to think it knows that. It’s nothing personal.) I don’t know when that’ll happen, but it’ll happen. Repeat: In all likelihood, we'll probably see a better phone than the Moto X in 2014. Maybe it'll be from Motorola. Maybe someone else.

But it’s going to take a lot to dethrone it, for me. The ergonomics, first and foremost. Huge, flat phones just don’t do it for me. The curviness of Moto X goes a long way toward making it the best phone for me. It just fits my hand the way a smartphone should.

That Moto X was available on so many U.S. carriers so quickly was a big deal. But the same goes for it not being available outside the U.S. for so long. As good as the Moto G is, Moto X is better. The rest of the world deserved (and still does) to experience it.

The bottom line? Six months into the Moto X, I'm still loving it. It's not perfect. But it's far more than good enough.

 
There are 159 comments

bandityo says:

Agreed. Keep going back.

Posted via Android Central App

Amir47 says:

If they use the then 1 year old Snapdragon 800(Fall 2014 release) for their X8 platform on the successor it could very well be my next phone.
Also bigger screen, 1080 resolution, bigger battery, and better camera.

Johnny Z says:

That's the beauty of the Moto X though. It's small, no completely unnecessary 1080p display, and it's basically stock Android without overly gimmicky add-ons. I'd totally switch my phone for my wife's Moto X (and I've tried).

Posted via my Shnexus 5

Grahaman27 says:

I wouldn't say 1080p is totally pointless, but maybe 95% pointless.

Although, Motorola could definitely improve the display. Make the new display brighter and more accurate, and I would say its as good as any screen.

Posted via N7

someguy01234 says:

It's the most accurate AMOLED display I have used, it have RGB matrix unlike the S4 and Note 3, and it's not overly saturated like them. There is room for improvement, but unless they want to remove Active Display feature in the future and use LCD technology, then you will have to live with AMOLED. Even Touchless Control rely on AMOLED for the quick turn on and deep black background without backlight leakage.

jdevenberg says:

I'll say it. At 4.7" 1080p is pointless. I had the HTC One before I had the Moto X and have done direct side by side comparisons. I cannot tell a difference in resolution in almost any usage scenario. There has been one and only one time in actual usage that I have seen pixels on the Moto X. I was lying in an odd position in bed that had the phone about 8" from my face, and I could see the pixels. That is not a typical usage distance at all. From 12" I cannot see individual pixels. From 12" the HTC One and Moto X look just as smooth and crisp. Color reproduction is more accurate on the One, but that is a SLCD vs OLED difference, not a 720 vs 1080 difference.

Amir47 says:

Well I DID say bigger screen

David Horgan says:

That is what I like about the Moto X. The near stock OS. its so easy for my mom to use.

Posted via Android Central App

sequoia462 says:

Yeah I hope Motorola continues to make compact and small! I really don't want 5', 4.7 with small bezels is my max.

jscofi says:

you just specd out a nexus 5....

jdevenberg says:

Ya, but Motorola's software experience is superior to the Nexus 5's.

prlundberg says:

I'm still considering one of these. It's easy to get distracted by better spec'd phones, so thanks for the update. Good to know it is still a solid choice.

The Moto X is the best made phone I've ever owned. I still stay this even with the lackluster camera (being that I don't take many pics). Active Notifications puts this phone on another level. If Lenovo let's them operate as a independent subsidiary and just finances them then the sequel is going to impress. Going between a Nexus 5 and Moto X I prefer the X even though the Nexus 5 is better on paper, the better real world experience for me has to go the Moto X.

Hunter Petit says:

Its been a half of year since the Moto X? Wow, time flies. Next thing you know we'll be getting rumors for the Nexus 6. (Or whatever it'll be called.)

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

anthony2558 says:

I just said to my wife "I've had this phone for 6 months already?" She says that's the longest you've had a phone in the last three years. ;-) Moto X is truly a great phone.

Posted via Android Central App

someguy01234 says:

Hint: It'll be called LG Nexus 5 2014.

Awesome write up, Phil. Your constant praise of the Moto X is one of the reasons I decided to get one last month. It's great to know that it still performs excellently after 6 months!

Posted from my Moto X

droidman2177 says:

Totally agree! Phil has some real world common sense when it comes to phones and he gets it right more often than not. That also goes for the rest of the AC team! JERRY! I thank you guys for the awesome reviews. You guys really do it right! That is definitely one of the reasons I chose the MOTO X.

travaz says:

I think the Moto X and Droid Maxx (which I have) are absolutely awesome. I have been with BB for many phones and 15 minutes with the Maxx and I was sold. Love all the features without being Sammy gimmicky. I use all of the features like driving assist and ok Google now. Got the maxx because it has wireless charging. Sorry Phil no "unplugging" for me. Also the do not disturb was a must. Every BB I owned had that feature.

dmgerbino says:

The Moto X is one awesome phone. It is the best phone I have ever owned. Thanks for the great article Phil.

The AWS LTE support is amazingly fast.

Posted via Android Central App

Grahaman27 says:

It has an incredibly strong signal.

via N7

Ry says:

Still the best phone to buy right now. :)

dancing-bass says:

Just curious, since you guys are doing the "ThisPhone, X months later" series, are you going to do one on the Note 3? I'm updating in a few months, and really it's down to the MotoX and the Note 3. Each has their pros and cons but I really like these "long term review/revisit" articles. Just as helpful, maybe even more so then the initial review

kj11 says:

Agreed. I'm 4 months in on the note 3 and absolutely love it.

Posted using my Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App

NoNexus says:

You know what, your right. These look backs are nice. A lot of people are in the "in between" months when nothing much happens between the Spring and Fall release cycles.

I only wish that there was a bit on the "wear & tear" element but I guess that still wouldnt say too much. They switch phones way to often to be all that objective.

Ry says:

Very different devices.

Posted via Android Central App

Definitely something we want to do more of. Can't promise them for every phone — so many devices, and only so many of us to write them. But absolutely is a priority for us in 2014. 

stoke_no_s says:

I just switched from the Note 3 to the Moto X and as much as I thought I couldn't live without the bigger screen, I have no regrets from the switch. The Moto X is a great phone!

Troneas says:

you'll dump the moto x as soon as the htc one 2 is out. i know it, you know it.

MERCDROID says:

That's the nature of his job. And, that's not a crime.

That's pretty much what I was getting at in the conclusion. :p

Wizzy says:

God I hope it's not called the One Two. One+ or Two would be better.

thod3n says:

I think it should just be the one. 2014 version. I like one+ but I don't think that will happen.

someguy01234 says:

Can't, There is already another phone company called OnePlus.

I love the moto x. Using it makes me wish my n5 had active display on it. But I've come away a little disappointed. The battery life is good but it is no better than my n5. I could make it last a whole day just like my n5 but its in no way superior in that aspect. It's also just not quite as snappy either. Its good enough but it gets bogged down a lot easier than my n5. And that just has to do with the inferior hardware.

Posted via Android Central App

Ryano89 says:

I've got to agree that this is one of the best phone or there. I have most recently carried a Galaxy S4, and a Nokia 928, in terms of practical use, the moto x is significantly better than both. It's just a very good phone, with a few excellent qualities. Btw.. I love these "revisited" articles. Great job

Posted via Android Central App

kakos26 says:

Great review! I love my Moto X!!

Posted via Moto X (VZ)

I keep going back to it too. I have a G2 also and I keep putting it down for the X. I love the active notifications. Motorola hit a home run with this phone.

Posted via Android Central App

bez54 says:

The hardware is poor. Real racing and other ganes run like crap on it. It's the software added to Kitkat that makes it a winner.

Posted via Android Central App

someguy01234 says:

Good for me, I don't play realistic games on my phone. I got a PC for that.

Joel E says:

Yeah.....this review read exactly as I thought it would. I tried to buy into the hype...allowed AC to sell me on the the moto x. I tried it out for 2 weeks..had to send it back.
Coming from an s4..the camera was godawful. And the onscreen buttons really take away from the seemingly already smaller screen. Active display was nice.. ill give it that..but whenever I tried to show off/use the always listening feature it always let me down. 720p is okay, except for when it's not. And being a power user, I run thru the battery of the x in no time. The moto x....While I respect it very much, bored the hell outta me.

Posted via Android Central App

It's OK to disagree with us, ya know. :)

Joel E says:

I know, and ur right, but it's much more fun to agree. I'm a huge fan of the site but being a galaxy s fan here leaves me in the minority so I wanted to try the X like the cool kids. Couldn't settle with it, n like u said, thats okay.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

F#ck what everyone else thinks. Use what works for you and what you like.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Joel E says:

Lol yes sir, amen to that.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't really think you're in the minority as a galaxy fan...

Posted via Android Central App

planoman says:

Really? I thought the S4 was panned pretty hard by the AC folks...or maybe just compared to the HTC One.

xlDeMoNiClx says:

Nah, mostly just the people who never used the S4 or any other Samsung device.

Posted via Android Central App

Stuman1 says:

Yeah, they are pretty hard on Samsung on all the Android websites.

Joel E says:

I meant here on the AC site...if there's plenty then theyre quiet as hell lol.

Posted via Android Central App

Lambertoid says:

I can say I bought the moto x loved it but then realized I missed a bigger screen that was my only complaint but now I can understand the minority I'm rocking z1s right now and the only thing I don't like about it is the anti shatter film.. But hey to each there own

Posted via Android Central App

someguy01234 says:

Software buttons are much more flexible and durable, it's something you have to get used to, once you do you don't want to go back. Capacitive buttons have led light that auto turn off after a few seconds, you have to fumble for it in the dark. You never have to deal with that with on screen button. And it does not take away from the space, that's why there is full screen and immersive mode. The physical home button can fail overtime, onscreen buttons doesn't fail unless you break the screen. Lastly, I love the clean look it give to the phone.

Pretty soon, Samsung and Apple will only be the company left that use off-screen navigation buttons. Even HTC is doing away with it.

kj11 says:

Had a Galaxy S3 for 2 years and now a note 3. Have never had a problem with the home button and have never once fumbled around trying to find the other keys when they aren't lit up.

If you like the on screen buttons that's fine, but making up weak arguments doesn't help your case, it's hurting it.

Posted using my Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App

dscribe says:

I just got mine the other day. I almost didn't because of the sell-off to Lenovo, but in the end I didn't want any other phone. I have not been disappointed. I really like it. Next year though...we shall see.

I was a late adopter of the Moto X having ditched my Note 3 for it just last month. It truly is a fantastic device!

mickmel says:

I'm still loving my Droid Maxx (a Verizon variant of the Moto X, with a slightly larger screen and battery) and see no other phone that comes close. Active notifications and touchless control are features I hope I never have to live without again.

While I agree the touchless control launches a bit slower than I'd like, I'm happy they added the "I'm listening" beep to it a month or two ago. It helps a lot.

The "twist to open camera" is nice too. I could never get the motion consistently right, but as I'm taking the phone out of my pocket I just twist like mad a few times as I'm raising it up and it works every time. Sweet feature.

NoNexus says:

The Maxx is not a variant of the X, Verizon has the X

Are you arguing semantics here or are you just dense?

Posted via Android Central App

someguy01234 says:

No, he's just correct.

travaz says:

Besides the bigger screen and wireless charging the software is basically the same. In most respects it is the same phone except in name only

shoii says:

Moto X powerrrrrr

Posted via Android Central App

Anon8154066 says:

I was tempted to part with my Nexus 5 to gain the moto x but far to much hype it's kind of like overselling a product is it that good? I can't slate it I have never used it or seen it or held it but for me based on this now I will pass and be very content with my Note 3 and Nexus 5. I'm sure it's a cracking device and making you all happy but I don't see that much to gain other than active display and OK Google which I would never use, I don't find it a hassle to turn on my phone to check things nor do I find it a hassle to type into Google in fact I prefer it lol

Posted via Android Central App

dscribe says:

While I love my Moto X, I honestly don't think I'd scrap a Nexus 5 for one. The Note 3 is just too big for me but my sister got one recently and she absolutely loves it. The question "What is the best phone?" is answered in the eye of the beholder and in the hand of the individual user.

MERCDROID says:

+9 fuckin thousand

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

NoNexus says:

Please stop making sense and being neutral. People around here LIVE for these arguments.

:-)

thatguy97 says:

+1

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or iPhone 5

You made a smiley face wrong. It should not have a nose. Like this:
:)

ಠ益ಠ

MERCDROID says:

Lol +1

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

The nose is just bloatware. Unnecessary feature that no one uses.

ಠ益ಠ

NoNexus says:

You know some people like the nose and actually use it. Your definition of bloat is skewed.

Besides who wants a mini-me face lime yous? Mine is closer to stock

-------------------------------------------
Kit Kat tastes like Jellybeans. Can't tell them apart...

Fanboy.

ಠ益ಠ

NoNexus says:

Face elitist

-------------------------------------------
Kit Kat tastes like Jellybeans. Can't tell them apart...

travaz says:

Its a Verizon thing :-)

MERCDROID says:

+2

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

blackbyrd says:

I got the Moto X off of ACs reviews. Best phone I ever had. Really guys, thanks. You've never let me down

Posted via Android Central best phone available: moto x

planoman says:

exactly how I feel about my Moto X...I will swap the SIM into my Nexus 5 or my Lumia 925 but I love coming back to my Moto X! Got my daughter set up on one a few weeks ago from iPhone. She is amazed by the screen and touch less control!

So if you all were to upgrade today, what phone would you get? I feel like the Moto X is too old, but it's still good. The Note 3? LG G2?

planoman says:

I would wait to see what is announced at MWC later this month. I am personally waiting for the WP 8.1 models to hit. My androids will hold me just fine.

udazavlanje says:

Good read.

I also like Wireless Charging better, but for a different reason - messing up that micro usb port. I always had problems with them - whether on charger or phone's side.

Another thing that I would like to add as missing on hardware part is Gorilla Glass 3. I don't think that you should use a screen protector when such a product is available. If the starting price was not 600$ i wouldn't mentioned it. I'm saying this because mine scratched easily even that I took great care of it (unlike my wife's Note 3). Maybe it's because I keep it face down but I thought that those small lips, wrapping it around (top and bottom) would keep it away from it.
Speaking of those bezels - that's another "disappointment" for me in quality terms.

Posted via Android Central App
VZW Moto X

udazavlanje says:

Hm, it's interesting that motorola website is showing only Gorilla Glass (without the 3) and GSM Arena as well. You wouldn't expect the company to leave that selling point out in description details. Whatever it is, that screen didn't hold up to my expectations.

Posted via Android Central App
VZW Moto X

NoNexus says:

I knew that it would hold up well throughout if it was the kinda phone you like. Like with every "battle" thread, I hope the guys (tantai) come out of hiding and admit it is not as bad as they thought.

MrMiami81 says:

I got one recently and love it!

Posted via Android Central App

blk3carfan says:

I found myself switching between an HTC One, an iPhone 5S and the Moto X. At one point, I was switching every couple of days. In the end though, the Moto X won out. It's screen isn't as good as the One, but its good enough while still being about the same size. Active Display and Motorola Assist kept moving me off the iPhone, despite Apple's better camera (and for me, Assist works better than Siri in the car). Here's hoping Moto's next phone is even better.

geoff5093 says:

Meh, I have the Moto X and G2 and I always find myself using my G2.

Razgriz24 says:

Still loving mine too.

dynomike1 says:

I love my Moto X. Really hope Lenovo keeps it up with just minor chip upgrades and maybe a 5" inch screen. And I so want a wood back.

Posted via Android Central App

David Horgan says:

My mom and sister just got the Moto X and I have the Galaxy S4. The Moto X is nice, but they say the camera is crap and I've noticed a big difference in the display in resolution aspect.

Posted via Android Central App

wgpeter says:

Phil, Six months in, would you say is worth it to buy the Moto X now or hold of to see what they have in store for us next? I save up for a new phone every year and a half so I want it to count. Thanks for a great review, as always. Makes me want to pull the trigger now.

Posted via Android Central App on my Nexus 7.

NoNexus says:

I would wait to see what comes at the end of the month

-------------------------------------------
Kit Kat tastes like Jellybeans. Can't tell them apart...

There's always something newer and better on the way.

kendroid66 says:

What do you think of the galaxy s4

Posted via Android Central App

someguy01234 says:

I think if you plan to get it now, wait, because S5 and HTC One2 is coming out soon.

charlee08 says:

Great read Phil

Posted with my Moto X

LeroyRJR says:

Great write up Phil, sounds a solid daily driver, but for now I'll stick with the RAZR Maxx,, the slightly better working camera and 32gb+ extra SD slot really works for me,, just hope Motorola keeps pushing great working equipment,, not just pretty on paper stuff

Posted via my outdated Droid RAZR Maxx HD using the Android Central App

I own a Moto X and love it but I think you're being a bit too easy on the camera. It is a bad camera, plain and simple. I don't see why it's okay to accept less than good images when we see what can be done with phones such as the Z1, iPhone and Lumia.

NoNexus says:

And g2 and note 3. Yeah there is no reason for it to be bad except it is a first version. Maybe they will get it right next time around

-------------------------------------------
Kit Kat tastes like Jellybeans. Can't tell them apart...

someguy01234 says:

It's bad, but not that bad for the price of the phone ($300), use a better third party camera app like FV-5, tune the ISO value and you could achieve better results. The other phones you mentioned cost a bit more. You get what you pay for.

I've used most of the other camera apps and the differences aren't very noticeable. Also, the phone didn't release at $300 on T-mobile. I paid full price. Motorola wanted this to be their flagship phone. They should have done a better job on the camera like they led us to believe they did.

udazavlanje says:

The camera is so bad to the point of giving up using it. if there is anyone around I make them take the photos with their phones. I keep mine (wrist twist ready) only for emergencies - god forbid.
Anyone , who is into photography by any extent, should look the other way.

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VZW Moto X

jschu22 says:

Ditto, Phil. Ditto.

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ryanfoley613 says:

Best phone I ever owned

AnGeLFaCe77 says:

I say it now and I will say it again, the moto x is the best device ever made. I can jus imagine how the moto x 2 will be :-)

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Jason F1 says:

Good review follow up. I just pulled the trigger a couple weeks ago when they had that sale. I'm coming from my loved gnex. So far more than happy with the upgrade. The motox is bad ass.

GadgetGator says:

A month and a half in and still love my Moto X too. There's tally only two things that I don't like. One the camera, although I am learning to work with it and around it's limitations. Two the same slow response that Phil mentioned with the touchless control. Although I don't have to use the word "now", just "okay Google" is sufficient which helps ever so slightly.

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richariac says:

The wife wanted this phone. I had my doubts when Moto was sold to Lenovo. She said she didn't care. I got it and wow I'm impressed. Nothing's perfect but this phone is close. Makes me want to trade my Razr Maxx HD. Thanks Phil & AC for doing these kinds of follow up reviews.

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Ry says:

Lenovo buying Motorola (deal not yet done, BTW) isn't going to make the Moto X less awesome.

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dyastrab says:

Great write up. This is my favorite Android phone. Ever. Beats the Incredible, Incredbile 2, GS3. I don't need to look forward to a Moto X2 because this does everything so well.

sp991 says:

I use a moto x as my work phone and a nexus 5 as my personal phone. I love using it. The only thing I cannot get over is the screen size. The 5" on the nexus is just a more enjoyable screen to look at. The moto x is a little small. A 5" phone with the moto x software would be perfect. Right now I take the shortcomings of the nexus 5 software for the screen.

TheNexusMan says:

I think you have that problem because you are using the 2 simultaneously. I, at 1st glance, thought the Moto X screens was too small, but after usng it as my sole daily driver, I absolutely love it's size. For anything where a bigger screen is abslutely optimal for me, I use my Nexus 7. And I'm all good. I, personally, much prefer having a gorgeous, compact phone and a gorgeous compact tablet, than lugging around 1 giant phone.

KyonCoraeL says:

Moto X, the real phone that should be unapologetic.. not that iPhone 5c.

*book says:

A very well-timed article for me! My carrier is offering early upgrades for a limited time and I'm ready to switch from iOS. I had pretty narrowed it down between the Moto X and the HTC One, and I was leaning towards the Moto X. This review has pushed me right over the edge. Thanks so much.

Your in for a rude awakening budy. At least you'll have the 14 day return period to return the Moto X and get the HTC One. I would say wait for the HTC m8 but I don't like playing the waiting game.

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TheNexusMan says:

Moto X is an exceptional phone. No need to wait. And no reason for any "rude awakenings" to present themselves.

TheNexusMan says:

You're going to love it.

TheNexusMan says:

"Not sure if this was because my first Moto X was slightly pre-release, but some of the blue has rubbed off and turned yellow on the corners. Thumbs down. No good."

Phil, it's NOT because you had a pre-release model. The exact same thing happened to my royal blue Moto X, and I dug around online and found many other people complaining about the exact same thing with theirs...and guess what, we ALL had the royal blue version. I called Motorola to complain about it a good 6 weeks after having the phone and they allowed me to still return it for a full refund. I did, just that, and ordered myself a gorgeous Ebony back version to replace it, and have been loving that one ever since....Also....

"'ALL-DAY' BATTERY LIFE MEANS WHATEVER MOTOROLA WANTS IT TO. BUT 14 OR SO HOURS IS PLENTY FOR ME."

Actually, it doesn't. It means "24 hours." Alongside Motorola saying "All day battery life," from the beginning they have elaborated, side by side with that statement that that means "24 hours." They even put the "24 hour battery life," claim in print, including on their website. I personally, have gotten more than the 24hour claim, hitting my peak at 25 1/2 hours. Battery life does, however vary depending on usage, but I've never gotten less than 16hrs.

Good to know on the colors. (And booooooooo. That's not good.)

And I'd say that "24-hour battery life" means "24-hour battery life." I have no problem charging while I sleep. My "all-day" may be different from yours, and that's fine. :p

Toe Knee Gee says:

I can attest to the wearing down on the edges. Got myself an olive green Moto X, and it's definitely rubbing down into a dark gray/black. I just assumed it was due to dirt stains or something, until I read this and other accounts. Good to know Motorola took care of you after 6 weeks.

T Well says:

The next one just needs to improve the camera

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squeeze5590 says:

I have an upgrade for my work phone and updated to the Moto X (arrives on 2/13) - I came from iPhone 5. My personal phone is Note 3 from launch day and absolutely love. Looking forward to the X.

somfw says:

I agree with most of what was presented here But...

"Finally, you can’t talk about Motorola without talking about keeping its phones updated. Not only did Moto X get updated to Android 4.4 faster than even Google’s own Nexus 4, it’s already on Android 4.4.2. The question is whether that update pace can continue now that Lenovo owns the company. Was the closer relationship to Google what kept that going? Something else? And how did carrier certification receive approval so quickly? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens."

I don't know why people can't grasp this. The Moto x was ready and set to to release with 4.4. Googlerola had to wait until they released the Nexus 5. with the real version of 4.4. This is the reason the updates to KitKat Lite 4.4 came so "Quickly" And also why they didn't bother releasing it with the already out and buggy 4.3
More importantly, it is also why subsequent updates are know where to be found. I'm talking to you Verizon ir took another two months. Even the Moto G and other phones know have 4.4.2.
With all the carrier and Moto bloat they added to the phone, I can guarantee you, there will be no more android updates from a Lenovo owned Motorola for the Moto X. They may even stop updating their stand alone apps too.

Finally, Lenovo doesn't own Motorola yet, it could be many months before and if they ever do, It is still 100% Google , which may be it's only saving grace, Once "if" Lenovo gets it, All bets are Off!

o4liberty says:

The camera is a big let down for the X in my opinion, if Samsung can make a great camera why can't Moto?

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jeffcalloway says:

Went from iPhone 5 to Moto X after being on iPhones for past few years. Nothing else needs to be said:) Tried using the Republic Wireless Moto X, but Sprint is not great here, opted for the Unlocked GSM version.

jestermx6 says:

I converted an iOS user to android because of this phone. Still sets the bar IMO.

Slow_S10 says:

YOU GUYS ARE KILLING ME! I love the Moto X, but I don't have one... My wife has one, due to the fact that her previous phone came to an untimely death and she needed a replacement pronto. I had heard good things so I grabbed one from Craigslist. She really likes it, but I love it. I tell you the truth, if the one that I had bought for her had been black instead of white I would have kept it for myself and gave her my S4. But I swear every time I read an article about this phone I imediately go to MotoMaker and configure a phone. Then I just stare at it in the cart, trying very very hard to justify pushing that buy button, even though I know that I can't really afford it right now, and my curent phone is only like 7 months old.

I guess all I can do for now is wait it out and sincerely hope that whatever phone comes out Motovo next is at least as awsesome as the X.

robpasell says:

I just received my Unlocked GSM Moto X yesterday. Granted it's only been a day, but it impressed right out of the box. I needed a phone I can take oversea's. Probably the thing that makes it great though has nothing to do with the phone. I switched from Sprint to T-Mobile and that has made a huge difference. After 20 years with Sprint, I couldn't keep waiting for them to upgrade the network behind every other carrier. T-Mobile's 4G speeds are great here. I am loving the little Motorola touches, especially Active Display, and the improved voice Activation/Google Now stuff. Switched from a Galaxy S 3.

shaycay says:

How do you have 4.4.2 already? Sprint phone? I have VZW and its not even in soak test yet......4.4 was REALLY QUICK! 4.4.2....where are you?

asaini007 says:

After using both I prefer my N5 to my dad's/sister's Moto X; even though everyone says performance is acceptable on the X, my N5 feels much snappier.

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Saneless says:

I railed on this phone when it was first released. I've had it now for 2 months and it's easily the best phone I've ever used, and I've tried many over the last 5 years.

hammerbeard says:

the idea of a slightly curved backside on a phone is something I am going to look for in my next phone. I started with the Eris, followed by the Thunderbolt and am currently in love with my Nexus 4. However, the 4 does feel a bit stocky in the hand with a bumper on it.

Gunner says:

Considering all the high praise for this phone, and the massive marketing campaign, and my own love of my Droid Mini (smaller version of the Moto X), I can't for the life of me figure out why sales of the Moto X have been so terrible. It's a great phone, but has been a total business failure for Google and Moto.

DaFonZisBack says:

Moto x is overhyped... Its real selling point is the price and that is all.

posted with a galaxy note 3. h8ers gon' h8. live2win#swagface#switchedOn*_*

JeffDenver says:

Camera is underwhelming (and I use my phone camera a lot)...that is really my biggest complaint about the Moto X. If I was still stuck on Verizon though, I'd probably have ended up with one anyway...this really is a great phone.

popezaphod says:

I've been longing for a Moto X for a while and finally broke down and ordered one. I should have it tomorrow!

dmart81 says:

I started with the moto x in sept 2013, then putchased,----))dropped/broke my nexus 5, went to a lg g2, and a week ago I received a brand new moto x as a result of winning a contest. I love my Moto X!!

PeltFrelken says:

The software is the true icing on the cake with the Moto X. Active Display is genius.

Reciprocal says:

I don't know if it's just that the phone is new to me, but I still sometimes just rotate my Moto X around in my hand looking at the color chosen by me personally, and at my own custom tag on the back. It's like having a custom guitar built exactly how I want it. There's a sense of ownership to it that I've never had with another phone. Makes me very happy to own it. Even if better phones show up over the next couple years, I'll still prefer this one until the next Moto phone takes its place.

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A J Benamu says:

Hi, I just got a black Moto X today, very satisfied so far. It has Kit Kat too. :)

ravioli623 says:

Are you guys seeing any cracking or significant wear on the bamboo backs? I've had my bamboo moto X for about a month, and noticing almost a leathery texture starting to appear.

Wonder if that's going to become more of an issue with the natural backs over the next few months. I know several of us aren't using cases for the natural back phones.

ackthbbft says:

The question is, if you didn't already own one, would you buy one today (particularly with the sale of Motorola to Lenovo)? I was literally about to hit "Complete" on my order when I heard the Lenovo news. I just don't trust a 3rd party to get updates out to it like Google did.

sunburned says:

Agreed on all points. Best phone I've used and I try to get my fiance to buy one almost every week.

A few issues that could be an easy fix but bother me to no end, wondering if Phil gets them too:

1) Swiping to unlock from active notifications briefly shows the normal lock screen before getting to the home screen. Sometimes for a full second at least.

2) Using the 'silent while sleeping' function on Moto Assist sometimes shuts off all media sounds from my phone and I'm unable to turn the volume up without restarting. Drives me nuts and now I don't use the feature because of it.

mapdoc says:

Agree 100%! Best smartphone I've ever owned.

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aspec00 says:

I bought the HTC One when it came out nearly a year ago. I bought a Moto X in November. I just sold my HTC One and kept the Moto X. Both are great phones but I simply liked the feel & battery life of the Moto better.

One other addition that this re-review and all the comments miss: The Moto X charges very fast (at least compared to the HTC One). That is a big deal if you are charging during the day and need a quick top up.

unklsckness says:

Phil, I am an owner of the Moto X and all my previous phones Galaxy S, Droid Incredible, iPhone 4, 5, HTC Rezound, Droid DNA. I honestly feel this is most complete. Software and Screen Size make it, agreed the camera needs work but the experience in the hand features make it Great. Thanks for the follow up review

jedah says:

Oh no. My blue has begun to discolor at the sides too. I was hoping I could just wipe it off. Otherwise still no regrets. All the right compromises in the right places added up to the perfect phone for me. I haven't even had an itch to install a custom rom in the few months I've had it.

socialmuse says:

I want this phone so badly. The ONLY thing holding me back is every review complains about the camera. Im not a huge shooter but I do use my camera probably just as much as any other app or two combined. With social media I am always adding pics to my updates. I guess I can wait a month or three to see my favorite things about this phone (active display, 8 processors, battery efficiency) coupled with a few things I wish it had (removable batter, smaller footprint, a camera that doesnt warrant so much complaints). Or maybe I can just buy a camera with wifi and update from that..............fuck, why havent i actually thought about that until just freaking now!!! Facepalm....Thanks AC!

LandLockedPH says:

If it weren't for the Droid Maxx, I'd have the Moto X without question. I wanted the larger screen and battery. But feature for feature these are the best phones out there. Nothing "gimmicky" like someone else we all know but useful, thoughtful features.

Love my Maxx!

Jorge Ortiz1 says:

I switched from moto x to nexus 5. I must admit nexus 5 is better looking and specs are great too. However nexus 5 is bare bones compared to the moto x. Features like touchless control, driving assistance, and active display are hard to live without once you had a taste. My suggestion and is wait until moto x 2 drops because that will be a game changer.

ackthbbft says:

That's the big question. Will there even be a Moto X2 now that Lenovo is in charge? And even if they release one by that name, will it have the same "philosophy" behind its design?

kolyan2k says:

Have MX and N5, loved MX but switched to Nexus. I think the biggest pros in Nexus are a much better screen and much better camera, development as well. Moto pros are Active Notifications, I would say somewhat more premium feel, and battery is probably better a little.

stewm says:

As a Nexus 5 user and iPhone user, if had I had replace the Nexus 5 at short notice I would happily purchase a Moto-X even with it's lower specification.

I've met too many people that have bought the Moto-X and then purchased another phone to get a bigger screen or faster processor and have reverted back to the Moto-X.

That tells me that it is not a bad device at all and it probably helps that it doesn't have as much bloatware as many of the other.

I only hope that Motorola under Lenovo keep to that nearly pure, unbloated, Android that makes it so desirable. Very likely if the feature set is similar with improved processor, screen and camera, then it may replace the Nexus 5 when the time comes for the replacement for the Nexus 5.

chase1963 says:

My biggest complaint about my MotoX is the screen blows, outside. Everything else is near perfect.

nevetsca says:

The Bamboo looks so sexy :o

mvsmith says:

Great article and great comments too. For once, there wasn't harsh samsung bashing. I really hope that AC keeps doing six months on articles. I'm sort of torn between the moto x and GNote3 too despite not having the best experience with samsung. But for some, motorola had failed updates in the past, failed carrier restrictions (verizon) and for some, motorola left a bad taste in people's mouth. I wasn't around android back then but plenty here probably were.

The same could be said about samsung right now. Overbloated Touchwiz, slow, laggy, and the same damn thing. Now, samsung is coming out with a NEW UI and might be willing to change a little. On the plus side, people know samsung now. They don't know moto, yet. But if this isn't the last moto x phone (HOPE IT'S NOT) they will. But motorola's fate is uncertain right now with lenova. I'm expecting good things from samsung and moto this year and hoping. Never been an HTC fan so that makes choosing phones a bit easier (not easy with android though) but Sony is starting to catch my eye with Xperia. Sony really needs a xperia play 2 though.

But, I do have an easier choice than some. Especially since I fall into the "before spring, before fall, dull release" category. I can't afford a new phone right now but I'm working on it. So, hopefully by the time I can afford one the S5 will come out and there will be a little bit more clarity with motorola and lenova.

Another reason why I am fearful of getting a moto is because I've never sold an android (or iphone) before besides a retailer. But, my Xoom collects dust now that I have my Nexus 7 (2013) and I love it. So I'm going to try selling the xoom so I have SOME experience selling an android device and I can have future confidence whether I buy moto x outright or finance a Note 3 through t-mobile.

My sister does have a moto x and I got to play with it a little. I do like it a lot.

jayp03x says:

Hands down this has been the best phone I've owned. Normally I'm bored with a device within 2-3 months. Definitely not the case with the X!

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Stephan Hall says:

I love this phone. I've spent some time with it. It just works. it's a phone you want to take with you. Perfect form ...... just solid. It's a phone that is designed for people who use them. Very sweet! Never heard a Moto x user complain. It doesn't have the greatest specs .... but truly the first phone where the "sum is greater than it's parts"!

SPhones31 says:

Moto X is truly yours, because you design it at Moto Maker, Motorola’s online studio. You choose the colors and decide on the details: front, back, accents, memory, even wallpaper.

To see more information about this smartphone check : http://prepaid-smartphones.blogspot.com/2014/06/new-motorola-smartphone....

I have the moto x it's cool. But if were only half the phone my Samsung galaxy s2 was. * sigh... The call quality is great though but I'm an audiophile so...

It seems Moto X+1 is bigger than Moto X, so it must more expensive than Moto x. Perhaps it will more compatible with Moto 360. And Moto x+1 case will lauches soon in this site! http://www.casecoco.com/personalized-cases-for-others/motorola-moto-x-ca...