Moto X.

It all started when Phil sent me the review unit

Motorola will ask for it back soon, but I've had it long enough to know a few things, and get a pretty good feel for this phone. And that's good, because as I've expressed before, I'm not buying one from a carrier and Motorola is taking their sweet time to offer an unlocked version. More on why that was a mistake a little later. Likely, my constant crying concern about the issue is what prompted Phil to send it here. I'm a pain in the ass when I'm whiny and cranky, and like a baby with a pacifier, the review unit shut me up. I'm able to admit this.

Anyway, like I said I've had the Moto X long enough to have a solid feel for the thing, and to make some pretty strong comparisons against what I think was the best Android phone in a long time — the Nexus 4. So let's do that.

Moto X.

Let me start by saying I really like most Android phones. I'm pretty vocal about their shortcomings, and I can be hard on the people who make them and the people who provide us the service we need to use them. I bitch about phones and bugs not because they aren't great out-of-the box, but because they could be so much better. I complain about the stupid things Google does, because those stupid things affect all of us. Most users do the same, I just happen to do it for a living. At heart, I'm an Android user and fan, just like you.

Having said this, I'll freely admit that I think Nexus phones are usually a better representation of Android than any others. No S-somethings, or G-somethings or silly nonsense to get in the way of the Android experience. You might read this as "Jerry hates features." You're partially right. I hate features that get in my way. But I love features that do something better than Google did it, like Samsung's Blocking Mode (Christ, why has Google not done this yet?) or LG's Knock-Knock feature. These make Android better. I have to head to Google Play and buy apps to do these simple things on my Nexus. You surely have things your phone does that you just love, and get what I'm trying to say here.

Home ScreenI do understand that if the folks building the phones stop trying all sorts of new things, those little jewels won't show up. But in the end, I've always found that I would rather dig through Google Play for a way to do the few really good things manufacturers come up with than sift through the mountain of bad things they cram in the software. When you increase the size of the operating system by about 700MB, there's an awful lot of crap in there that I just don't want to deal with.

And this is where Motorola finally got it right.

Motorola took the software from my Nexus 4, added just a few things (as far as the user-facing features, that is) to it and called it a day. There is no eye-tracking that won't work with my glasses. There is no insanely stupid system that shuts my Wifi off if the phone sits with the screen locked too long. There is no crap. Even digging through all the settings gives you just a few useful features to manage. But those few extras are pretty damn awesome.

Software

Active Notifications

I just can't go back to a phone without active notifications.

Yes, I know the cool "OK, Google Now" voice stuff is flashy, and looks mighty impressive when you show it to your friends. But I'm just never going to talk to my phone, unless someone is on the other end talking back. I want voice-enabled actions to be there for those few times when someone wants or needs to use them, but Apple and Siri showed us that nobody really wants to talk to their phone like it's a friend or a lover or a butler. At first, it seemed pretty cool, but it grew old quickly. I'm actually pretty upset that voice commands seem to be the only real way to add a Google Now reminder. OK Google Now, remind me to never talk to my phone if I don't have to.

But those active notifications.

Active NotificationsIt's amazing. I get far too many emails for one man to answer in a day. That's because most of them are just random trash from some spammer who wants Android Central to buy bolts and washers from their Chinese supplier, and they grabbed whatever email they could find to send it to. It's disruptive, and Phil, Alex and Andrew will agree with me. The amount of mail we get is nuts, and it takes very careful filtering and management to ferret out the ones that need to be read and replied to in the mess that the spam and junk creates. The Moto X lets me grab my phone and tap the screen to see exactly what every message is. It sounds lazy, but it works really well, and works every time. That's more than I can say for the apps that try to replicate it. They're ingenious, and a testament to the fact that Android has some of the craftiest developers on any platform, but they're not nearly as reliable and they kill my battery. 

I think the trusted Bluetooth device setting is pretty cool, but for the way I use things it's not necessary because I don't have to unlock my phone to check my messages. The unlock with NFC (read as: the Motorola Skip) is neat, but Motorola only allows it to work with their special tags that cost you $20 a pop. Screw that.

But the active notifications on top of software that looks, feels and acts just like my Nexus 4 is pretty sweet. It has changed the way I use my phone, and I can't go back. I hope Google adds some sort of similar magic in the next Nexus with Android 4.4, because if they don't I have a really difficult decision to make. 

Hardware

Moto X.

The Moto X feels as good while I'm holding it as the Nexus S did. It's got the perfect shape and size for me, and I'm a complete one-handed fool while using it. Above all, the way it lays in my hand feels natural. The same things can't be said about the Nexus 4. I love the glass and look of the Nexus 4, but after using the Moto X it just doesn't fit as well. The X is plastic, but it's not that nasty slippery plastic that feels like crap in your hand. Does the Nexus 4 feel like it's made better? Yes. But not enough for me to care.

The phone freaking flies, both on the home screen and while running apps. It's every bit as "fast" and lag-free as the Nexus 4, and I have the feeling a lot of time and effort went into optimizing the software to work with the hardware. Whatever it is, it's done well. One thing you won't see from users of the Moto X or the new Droids is anyone saying that they are laggy. The Moto X is in that upper echelon of Android phones that are fast and smooth enough that one isn't any better than the other — the Nexus 4, the HTC One and the GPe Galaxy S4.

Moto X.

It manages to do this without the CORES! CORES! CORES! that people like to chant and scream about. Everyone has a theory why, but in the end I don't really care. It's fast, it's smooth and it works great for everything I ask it to do. If you want to carry on about the specs and call it mid-range, more power to you. Call it whatever you like. I'll just use it because it's smooth as hell while you're telling me it can't be.

It also has really nice battery life. Feel free to cruise the internet for reviews and forum threads filled with screenshots and numbers, but the way I use my phone I only have to charge it every other day. I still plug it in every night, but it's nice to know that if I were camping or passed out in a parking lot overnight somewhere, it would still be going the next morning. This is important to me. If it's important to you, then you'll want to ask around and see what other folks have to say about the battery life, too. I have no complaints about the battery in my Nexus 4, but the Moto X does it better, and I can't deny that.

BatteryI will say that the screen isn't as crisp or clear as it is on the Nexus 4. Maybe that's a by-product of it being AMOLED, or maybe LG makes a better screen than whoever made them for Motorola, but it's not as sharp for reading text — which is something I do a lot of on my phone. Any other time, the screen doesn't bother me. This review unit has a squirrelly pink hue to the whites, and if I had paid for it I would have it replaced, but that's a gamble with all AMOLED phone displays. It's not bad enough to worry about on a review unit I don't get to keep, but I notice it from time to time. (And a later unit Phil got came without the extra pink, so there's that.)

The camera isn't as magical as Motorola and Guy Kawasaki want us to think it is, but it's good enough. Keep it in HDR mode and set it to tap and focus, and most of the pictures are plenty good enough for sharing on the Internet or getting small prints made up from a kiosk somewhere. If you want something "professional" looking to come out of your smartphone camera, you're not going to find it. Buy a damn camera.

I'm not sure why some folks have issues with the camera and I don't — I've seen sample pictures from this very unit that really, really sucked — but in the end it's as good or better than the camera in the Nexus 4. Here are a few examples. Click them and open them up bigger, then you decide. To me, these are good enough.

Moto X camera  Moto X camera

Moto X camera  Moto X camera

Moto X camera

Calls sound great, but calls sound great on my Nexus 4 as well. I'm one of the lucky people who has good AT&T service, and usually have no issues with calls, texts, or data. The few times I've been somewhere with LTE the transition was seamless, and only the status bar indicated that anything was different. I'm not torrenting porn or Photoshop from my phone, so maybe that's why I'm not worried about the ZOMG LTE speeds. Again, good enough is good enough, and for a smartphone, the data speeds in the 4-7MB/sec range I get from AT&T 3G are good enough. Having said this, I do get faster speeds from my Nexus 4 — but I only notice them when I'm running a speed test. If you live in a place where AT&T has LTE, you'll get faster speeds from the Moto X. At this stage of the game, the phone itself has very little to do with the data speeds you see. It's the network technology and signal strength that matter. 

Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS and all the various sensors seem to work as advertised. Navigation with Google Maps — the only time voice commands are worth a damn in my opinion — is fine and accurate. Wifi speeds are the same as every other phone here, and Bluetooth works the way it's supposed to work with a headset, sending files to a laptop, or with my Pebble. It won't sync with a Fitbit, but I think that's more a license thing with Samsung than it is a hardware or software issue — corporations are greedy.

Enough. Which one is better — the Nexus 4 or the Moto X? 

Moto X.

The question every one of us here hates to answer — "Which phone is better?" We try not to answer it, because "better" for one of us may not be "better" for you. I'm going to break that mold this one time and come out and say it:

The Moto X is a better phone than the Nexus 4.

I hate saying that. It goes against every feeling inside me about freedom and open and value and puppies and everything else that makes me who I am. Some OEM software-toting piece of plastic can't possibly be better than the freedom and HOLOYOLO you get from the Nexus 4, right? This time it is.

This doesn't mean the Nexus 4 still isn't a great phone. Don't worry my little precious, I still love you. The price can't be beat, and the phone is yours to do whatever the hell you want to do with it once you open the box. Google even gives you an easy way back when you screw things up. That's special, and something most companies will never do. Motorola doesn't do it with the Moto X. They may offer a boot loader unlock program for some models, but you're pissing away your warranty and any hope of customer service if you participate in it. Moto only did it because they want us to shut up, while Google does it because it's the right thing to do.

But in the end, when you need a smartphone that's a productive tool, the Moto X just does it better than any other I've tried. I purposefully put off writing this for about a month, just to make sure the new-phone feeling went away, and I still feel the same way. 

I'm going to hold off on buying anything until I see what the next Nexus is like — and that's where Motorola lost a sale because they are too busy fellating the carriers to worry about the consumers, or I'd have a bright yellow one in my hands right now. But if the next Nexus — whether it be the Nexus 5 or the Nexus 4 (2013) or the Nexus PartyBarge — can't work for me the way the Moto X does, I'll not be using it as my daily driver.

I just can't go back.

 
There are 294 comments

Fadeley says:

yay. moto x is better. life complete.

tantai says:

200 dollars with contract is outragious.

you can get a S4 or One for cheaper and higher specs. makes no sense at all.
Phone isn't worth the price.

Nick Rhodes says:

Umm, have you used one? It performs on par with, if not better than both of those phones. Also, I'm pretty sure that the GS4 and the One both cost $200 on contract.

Posted via an HTC Thunderbolt

1746bklynave says:

The screen and the camera is not too good. It might be a good phone but for the hardware your getting, it's not worth the price.

Posted via Android Central App

mwara244 says:

I want a GNex replacement, and I only want stock android or similar, like the moto x. But I think for the price I would want double everything of my GNex. The Moto X is barely, and I mean Barely a bump up in specs to the GNex, which makes it hard to justify $600 full price.

I'm hoping the Nexus4/5 coming out will work on verizon because it does have cdma and lte, but if it doesn't I may have to get the Moto X dev edition, or just wait another year while my gnex sputters along.

npco543 says:

"The Moto X is barely, and I mean Barely a bump up in specs to the GNex, which makes it hard to justify $600 full price."

While I'm sure the total package (fast cpu + low power cores for continuous tasks) provides a great overall experience, I do agree that beyond the processor architecture, it's a decidedly modest upgrade over the previous generation of phones from other OEMs - it completely fails to address two of the biggest shortcomings of current smartphones, that being unjustifiably little on-board storage and lousy camera performance.

I was very eagerly awaiting the Moto X, but between what's been revealed and the price drop on the Nexus 4, my decision was made. The Nexus 4 may have mediocre on-board storage (I got a 16 gig), and an average camera, but I'm perfectly willing to live with those for $250. I'm certainly not willing to live with things like that for $600 or more.

I suspect the heyday of manufacturers being able to command 300% profits for phones is coming to an end.

os2baba says:

I'll second that. After all the hype, the Moto X has turned out to be a total disappointment. I'll wait for the Nexus 5 or else, it will be the Note 3 for me - although I was looking forward to getting a non Samsung phone. The HTC One was DOA for me with the non replaceable battery and lack of micro SD card. Like you, I'll live with the lack of both on the Nexus 4 at $250. No way, I'm plonking down $600+ for an HTC One or the Moto X.

ego2k says:

I'll third it! Nexus 5 here I come.

Spaniard85 says:

You're kidding yourself if you think the Moto X is "barely" better hardware-wise than the GNex. They're worlds apart, and this is coming from a former GNex owner.

"The Moto X is barely, and I mean Barely a bump up in specs to the GNex, which makes it hard to justify $600 full price."

I'd say that the one Spec that really matters to me is that the Moto X has 2G of RAM while the GNex has only 1G, and the piece of crap 4.1.2 OS that Sprint has put on it IS UTTERLY HORRIBLE at managing memory. With only 1G of memory which fills up fast, I find that ANYTHING not running in the foreground (aka. with a permanent notification) WILL get killed. I think my phone would run GREAT with just a memory boost, or an OS update...but CDMA carriers get screwed in that arena.

This review makes me me feel better about the Moto X, My wife and I are jumping ship from Sprint to T-Mobile as soon as we find out when she can get the iPhone 5S there. I'm still looking for which Android phone I'd want. I've been leaning towards the Moto X. Since i haven't heard anything about when we will even find out about the Nexus 5 I'm assuming that it won't be arriving before I need to make my decision. So I guess the Moto X it is then. I think i can live with that.

xketchupx says:

screen, eh, but camera, yes! thats the one thing that stops me from buying this device, i have the htc one and the camera is pretty good if not great for being a cell phone, im hoping either the z1 or n5 have even better cameras!

Phillyfan321 says:

I got my ONE for $99 all the way back in June..

Ratnok says:

On contract.

Posted via Android Central App

dammitcubs says:

So? I spent a hundred dollars on hotdogs....

What's your point?

kcsween74 says:

"Also, I'm pretty sure that the GS4 and the One both cost $200 on contract."

I'll give you that but only when they were first made available. Now they both are cheaper on contract, depending on where you get the phone but cheaper nonetheless.

gtg465x says:

Yeah, it performs as well. No one is denying that. But the screen and camera are last year's technology and don't compare to the One and S4. THAT is why it should be $100 cheaper than the One and S4.

raidil says:

It is 100 cheaper on contract just came back from Verizon. HTC one/ s4 are. Both $299 the motor x is $199 on contract

Ddubya1031 says:

Listen to this man. He posted with his HTC Thunderbolt. He understands heartbreak and pain.
-and if it wasn't clear I was replying to Nick Rhodes

neonworm says:

Well, the moto x performs as well as, if not better than the s4.

Sent from my Galaxy S3

wildblue says:

Did you bother reading the article tantai? He said it performs just as well or better than those two phones, regardless of specs.

Nick Rhodes says:

He's trolling. I think...

tantai says:

LG G2 review very very impressive: Beautiful monster

http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_g2-review-982.php

MERCDROID says:

He's always trolling lol

Posted via Android Central App

eahinrichsen says:

This is how you can tell those of us who read AC maybe a little bit too much. We see a tantai comment and immediately think "Yeah, troll harder."

MERCDROID says:

Agreed.

Posted via Android Central App

Nick Rhodes says:

Haha, I'm getting there. It's definitely a learning curve. :-)

Posted via an HTC Thunderbolt

return_0 says:

Yup. Remember Richard Yarrell? Good times...

MERCDROID says:

He's still here lol. In fact, he's stronger than ever Lmao

Posted via Android Central App

This. Just check g+, he's all over it.

Posted via Android Central App

Back like a bad rash...

J Schippnick says:

The GS4 is also $200 w/contract.

firewire says:

you clearly are not educated enough to notice that HTC One, Qualcomm GS4 and Moto X have the same GPU, therefore it will push those games in a same matter if not better due to lower screen resolution (My nexus 4 was beating the shit out of HTC One just for that reason). Also 2 extra cores on main CPU wont make any difference and yet you have more battery life with screen on 24/7

still1 says:

you can buy a hign spec laggy S4 or equally speced lag free moto X

kristof94 says:

higher specs doesnt mean it is faster or better. Motorola does a great job with using the least amount of power with just about every sensor in use. The sensors moto uses dont waste as much battery or processing power as other phones.

MERCDROID says:

This.

Posted via Android Central App

Wicket says:

specs only matter as well as a phone performs and if the Moto X out performs or keeps up with these other phones then specs, while important, aren't everything!

tantai says:

The way for G2!!!! PERFECT COMPACT SIZE, PERFECT CAMERA, PERFECT SOUND QUALITY, PERFECT BATTERYLIFE!
PERFECT TRUE HD IPS DISPLAY!!!
Camera's are likely to be bigger deal than phones at this one...

For Moto X,get the price right 350 off contract and I'll be a proud owner before Christmas.

eramos31 says:

$350 for a brand new phone released for carriers that you can customize and have it be assembled in the US? Yeah....keep dreaming.

Posted via Android Central App

os2baba says:

Changing backplates and engravings is not customization. Customization would have been the ability to change the internals - memory, sensors, storage, battery capacity etc.

Robbzilla says:

DING DING DING!!! We have a winner!

IM WAITING ON NOTE 3 ...

dammitcubs says:

you can get alot of things for 200. even a new some much needed IQ and maybe someone to teach a chance in perspective. You know what? Maybe you should go and attach a phone to a laptop. there you go.

BEST SPECS EVER!!!

sting7k says:

The Moto X is proof that the spec wars are over. Or you can just keep drinking the Samsung and HTC koolaid.

Mayoo614 says:

Just for fun, why does there is a home button in the upper left corner when you have the regular home button?

Please tell me.

S_C_B says:

"HOME" in the upper left corner means he is using StraightTalk Wireless. That is what is displayed as the carrier logo.

Correct :)

I've bounced this thing around on a couple different AGT&T MVNOs as well as AT&T proper. AIO SIM next week I hope.

JaylanPHNX says:

AIO> Strait Talk!

scoutconnor says:

So you're getting LTE with Straight Talk?

No. I wish, but no.

I have a regular AT&T SIM here as well. 

Qwkslvrmz says:

I'm actually gonna drop straight talk and go with Aio tomm.. Tired of the headache with S. T.

Posted via the AC app on a nexus 4

I'm fixing to do the same thing. If I can get better/more consistent data speeds, the extra $10 will be well worth it.

Belatukadro says:

Just know that they cap speeds @ 8 Mbps per their ToS. However, I'm pretty certain that you'll nearly always get that, which ST can't say.

Qwkslvrmz says:

It's ok, I average about that with St now.

Posted via the AC app on a nexus 4

Qwkslvrmz says:

I agree with the better coverage and signal quality.

Posted via the AC app on a nexus 4

pchoi94 says:

Hi Jerry, do you mind sharing if there is any trick to getting the AT&T Moto X to work with Straight Talk (besides cutting the SIM down to size)? I'm thinking about doing this and just want to make sure it can be done...

Thanks!

Gator352 says:

I want this PHONE! I will trade anyone my ONE for it....but it has to be on Sprint.

S_C_B says:

I really hope Google brings the Moto X features to the next Nexus. I'll buy it without a second thought.

benurd says:

Dammit this almost has me sold. But I can't get rid if my nexii 4...at least not until the new nexii comes out.

Posted via Android Central App

return_0 says:

Um... don't you mean "Nexus"?

wildblue says:

I think he's trying to use the plural form of "nexus" (which is actually just "nexus") to denote the fact that he owns more than one.

sk3litor says:

Or he just has a personality and is speaking in a light hearted facetious manner.

Great article! I'll be making the same decision come Nexus time as well. That camera does kinda suck though.

Posted via Android Central App

tantai says:

LG really did a fantastic job on the camera! One of the best smartphone cameras that I've seen to date!

For Moto X OMG! It's the worst camera ever!

ScottJ says:

Now we know you are crazy.

Oh really? When did you use it? Tell me all about that experience...

Posted via Nexus 7 (2013)

McIrish says:

Worst camera ever? You couldn't have used it. Over the weekend I had to take some very close-up shots of an electronic circuit. The clarity of the picture was astounding to me. I've never had a phone that could take a close up shot <3" from the subject, with zoom on and it is crystal clear. The touch focus is really well done. Maybe other phones can do the same thing, but none that I've had could. I think the Moto X is great.

Fun post to read Jerry!  

** Sells Nexus 4 and Runs out to buy Moto X **

icebike says:

Even funner to read there is still some place in America you can PASS OUT in a parking lot and wake up next morning and still HAVE a phone, and presumably your wallet and pants.

Rock#AC says:

Mine will be here Tuesday. Woot!

Posted via Android Central App

K_Royther says:

How does the Moto X stack up against Nexus 4 in raw performance and benchmarks? I've seen early benchmarks from when Moto X was a rumor and the beat Nexus 4's, is it still a reality? Is it noticeable or something I will miss if I get a Nexus 4?

You know, the Nexus' price has really lowered down in Brazil these days (R$859 against R$1799 for the Moto X without Moto Maker). Usually I'd wait for the next Nexus to see if I buy or not. But this time around, I feel that I won't have so much trouble about being future-proof because the specs race went down a bit and maybe I won't have a single problem running thelatest apps in a Nexus 4.

What do you guys say? Wait 'till the Moto X lowersits price or go and get a Nexus 4? If it helps, I'm with a rooted (but unable to flash) T-Mobile HTC myTouch 4G (my cousin rought it from the USA) that suffers from inferiority complex, so I really need an upgrade

What I say... Who cares about benchmarks?

|❌_❌|

K_Royther says:

I know, but they're the least subjective (although still subjective) way of drawing up performance.

NoNexus says:

benchmarks don't mean anything. I can get my stock SGS3 to preform better than any device out there on benchmarks, they are that easy to manipulate.

My advice to you is wait for the Nexus 5

K_Royther says:

Sure, but I like them as an extra. If Moto X's and Nexus 4's are close, and they perform somehow equally in daily basis and games, I won't have a single issue buying the Nexus 4.

Ratnok says:

Get a Nexus 4. The free wifi hotspot pays for the phone, and the Moto X is on 4.2.2. The Nexus 4 will be on Kitkat in a few weeks.

Posted via Android Central App

Cue "tantai" (or whatever the hell his name is) claiming Jerry is paid by Motorola...

|❌_❌|

MERCDROID says:

This.

Posted via Android Central App

tantai says:

This article. Ha Ha

It could have been great but I don't think the end result can be called great. Like I said before at best it's nothing more than a midrange shit device at super over price. LOL

ScottJ says:

So you're saying that Motorola did to the Moto X what you do to the English language?

Lmfao^^ got him.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

This. Lmao

Posted via Android Central App

Lanhoj says:

Dynamic Notifications works every time for me & has more customization than Active Notifications ... but I wouldn't mind if Google adds it to stock Android, so long as it's not at the cost of an LED Indicator.

On my Nexus 4 Dynamic completely breaks led notifications for me. I emailed developer and it I'd supposed to work along side of the led not replace it. Also using it as a lock screen only works half of the time. Oh and the "breathing" feature never quite worked right either. So for me not so much.

|❌_❌|

Breathing feature doesn't seem to work for me either. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with it. Can't say I've noticed battery issues, but I haven't explicitly looked, either.

Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 4

ultravisitor says:

I loved my LED notification light on my Galaxy Nexus, but I don't miss it at all on my Moto X. Seriously. A notification light was one of my absolute requirements in an Android phone, but not anymore with what Motorola has done with Active Notifications.

Posted via Android Central App

vansmack says:

They can't add it to stock Android because it will require an AMOLED screen to not be a huge battery drain.

When I had the Nexus S I used NoLED because having the screen be all black with small color icons wasn't an issue.

I tried it on my Nexus 4 and it wasn't sustainable because the entire screen has to be on and my battery life was horrible.

The concept of active notifications is predicated on having an AMOLED screen.

It's done very well on the Droid Mini with an LCD. It uses a notification LED instead of the breathing, and any hit on the accelerometer brings the screen back. The key is the processor arrangement that uses no CPU time to do any of it.

This gives me hope, because an LCD screen and the Snapdragon 800 (which has the ability to monitor while idle) are suspected in the next Nexus. 

DO EET GOOGLE.

vansmack says:

Fascinating.

Posted via Android Central App

Great review/article. Now if only Motorola would release the damn thing on tmobile. Buy the time that happens, there will be a new iPhone, probably the nexus 5, the note 3, and countless other phones that will take people's attention away from it. I think they shot themselves in the foot for going death star exclusive with moto maker and for not releasing on all carriers at the same time.

Posted via Android Central App

Great review/article. Now if only Motorola would release the damn thing on tmobile. Buy the time that happens, there will be a new iPhone, probably the nexus 5, the note 3, and countless other phones that will take people's attention away from it. I think they shot themselves in the foot for going death star exclusive with moto maker and for not releasing on all carriers at the same time.

Posted via Android Central App

Release dates are typically determined by the carrier but you may need to go to Google Play when they get it.

Posted via Android Central App

crxssi says:

I like your review.

Not sure I like either the Moto X or the Nexus 4 (well, I know I don't like the Nexus 4 because it has no storage and no compatibility with Sprint or Verizon). But it is all interesting.

ScottJ says:

No storage? Exaggerate much?

return_0 says:

"Not sure I like either the Moto X or the Nexus 4 (well, I know I don't like the Nexus 4 because it can't fit my entire 1080p movie library and has no compatibility with the carriers that ruined and trashed its predecessor)."

FTFY :D

" I still plug it in every night, but it's nice to know that if I were camping or passed out in a parking lot overnight somewhere, it would still be going the next morning."

If I had a nickel...

|❌_❌|

still1 says:

"I would rather dig through Google Play for a way to do the few really good things manufacturers come up with than sift through the mountain of bad things they cram in the software."

this is exactly why i love Nexus and now the moto X

TurboFool says:

You can set reminders one of two ways without using your voice:

Scroll to the bottom of Now, hit the overflow button, and tap Set Reminder.

Or make a note in Keep and hit the appropriate button to attach a reminder to it.

You can also just type "remind me to call Sue at 3pm" in Google Now.

Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 4

That works for you? 

 

And this is turning out to be the best comment thread ever, because I'm learning how to not have to do things I hate :)

Eh, I do it, yes. It seems easier than using the overflow button and add new reminder feature, in which you have to complete three fields to achieve what you want instead of typing a simple sentence.

Oh, and if you mean "does it actually function that way for you?" the answer is yes.

Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 4

_X_ says:

Kinda funny didn't you recently write a review about how that feature would change the world of smartphone usage? .... after reading your article I tried to share the same level of enthusiasm, but I think in the end we both came to the same conclusion

Posted via Android Central App

OK, I knew about Keep, but it's not "stock" on the Moto X so I didn't count it.

But bless you for the hint about the overflow button. A hundred +1s to you sir.

I've learned to just type it in a while ago since its kinda a pain when it doesn't pick up what you're saying the first time.

Posted via Android Central App

ultravisitor says:

"If you want to carry on about the specs and call it mid-range, more power to you. Call it whatever you like. I'll just use it because it's smooth as hell while you're telling me it can't be."

Yes, yes--a million times yes!

dataquestAC says:

That was a really enjoyable review Jerry! And I agree with most of it as well. I currently carry a stock GS4 with Nova launcher and this makes it seem alot faster and all, but I really like this new Moto X phone because of the unique features that it has and the fluidity of the operating system. And I love the size and comfort in the hand without a slippery back. All phones should have a rubbery back, in my opinion. It just makes sense. I always have to buy a case simply because the backs are so freaking slippery. I am out of contract and I can buy a new phone at any time. I played around again with the Moto X yesterday in the store and I have to fight the urge to buy it right now. I am only waiting until Tuesday when we all find out for sure what the next iPhone will be all about. I have purchased every iPhone so far, but this might be the first time that I don't, because I am tired of a puny 4 inch screen. The Moto X might be my next phone soon.

robotphood says:

Interesting, I'm usually reading and hearing from nexus users about how washed out their screens are compared to current phones. And battery life is usually always complained about. Anyway, the moto x really is the perfect size for me too. Almost enough to replace my s4 (GE) if only the camera was better. I really do hate the "get a camera" excuse. I have a decent dslr and point and shoot but I don't always carry them around or want to. Wanting a high end camera (in a phone) is a valid complaint nowadays.

dataquestAC says:

"Wanting a high end camera (in a phone) is a valid complaint nowadays."

--I agree 100%.

Wanting things is great.

Doesn't mean we'll ever get them, though.

NoNexus says:

it should be on par with others in its class.

From the pics I've seen, it looks like the X's issues could be solved through a software/camera firmware update. The resolution and sharpness are not lacking, and there don't seem to be issues with metering. The biggest problem seems to lie in white balance and color reproduction. Many pictures seem to have a slight pink hue and in some situations a lack of saturation. These are things that can be corrected in the processing software. Otherwise, the hardware seems to be more then adequate at producing pictures on par with competitors. Hopefully we will see such updates in the near future from Motorola; this would be a good indicator of how committed they really are to their new lineup of devices.

dacp283 says:

Well Nokia doesn't seem to have a problem getting good cameras in their phones.....

Posted via Android Central App

You have a very low criteria for measuring "good" then.

asharrop says:

Of course it's relative to phone cameras. Nokia's cameras won't hold a candle to DSLR cameras but they wipe the floor with anything I've seen Motorola put in their phones. LG's G2 seems to have done something "good" with their camera too. Since I take a lot of pictures with my phone (as do many smartphone owners) I would like to have as good of a camera in it as possible.

Having said that I think the moto x has a good camera (again, for a smartphone) that currently has some poor software behind it. Will be excited if they get an update out soon, as currently that's why I haven't bought one yet. Well, that and the curiosity I have for the next Nexus.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

Really? I thought, Nokia's cameras were the best. If Nokia isn't good, who is?

EDIT: Never mind, I just saw your comment below. Sorry I ever doubted you, Jerry, lol.

Posted via Android Central App

dacp283 says:

Well my "criteria" certainly doesn't include comparing pictures to a DSLR. The point is, Nokia's cameras leave every other cell phone camera in the dust. This is important because we are judging camera phones, nothing more. My criteria is the best that can be squeezed from a small censor and Nokia is leading the race. It takes good photos, the best you can get from a phone as of right now. Hell, the photos from my ONE make those from the X look hideous. The 8x10 prints I just did of my son look fantastic considering they were shot from my phone. Calling the cameras Shit is because you yourself either don't know how to get the most from the camera you're using or you just take a critical stance for the sake of doing so. Keep it real. Camera quality is a perfectly reasonable need for some people given the amount we pay for our smart phones.

Posted via Android Central App

Mobius360 says:

Maybe that new Sony Z1 will have the camera you're looking for.

Posted via Android Central App

ScottJ says:

Any LCD will look washed out compared to an over-saturated AMOLED screen.

NoNexus says:

Its a breath of fresh air when Jerry attempts to be unbiased for awhile. If he did it more often he would be a top writer here.

That being said, the N5 will undoubtedly be better than the X which is another strike against this good little phone. If I was down to waiting for either of these phones, I would go N5 sight unseen...

elvisgp says:

You would go for the nexus 5 but your name is NoNexus, just a little irony there.

NoNexus says:

if it has a 32 GB option, sure.

The N4 sucks for a ton of reasons (for me) but the N5 is shaping up to be a buy to complement my Note 3.

My nick was more of a protest against the Nexus bias around this place.

shaping up? Based on what confirmed information?

"If you want something "professional" looking to come out of your smartphone camera, you're not going to find it. Buy a damn camera."

That's not an excuse for a phone to have a subpar camera. If other phones (the S4, HTC One, iPhone 4+) have better cameras, then there's no excuse for Motorola to not have better looking images. There is a simple metric to judging how good a camera is, and that's seeing if it lives up to the moment you're capturing. Other phones capture the moment better.

If you fancy this to be a review, at least be objective enough to not forgive the camera as easily. Judge it hard, because some of us value the captured image.

My reasoning from here on out:

The HTC One, the GS4, and the iPhone cameras all suck when compared to a real camera. So does the new Nokia monstrosity.

It's time we stop pretending otherwise, and do exactly as you said — judge them hard. When you do that, you can only come to the conclusion that all small sensor cameras in smartphones really, really suck if you want to do more than share a picture on the web.

I've realized this, and have a new measure. I call it good enough. A smartphone camera is either good enough, or not good enough. Trying to fine tune things into which phone camera is good enough but sucks less is futile, because they all still suck.

Go somewhere. Take the smartphone with the "best" camera, and take the cheapest 10 year-old DSLR that you can find at Goodwill. Spend as much time as you like setting up the controls on the smartphone, and take the picture. Then set the DSLR on auto and point and click. When you look at the pictures, there is only one conclusion.

Noble reasoning, but flawed nonetheless. What I mean is: judge the smartphone cameras hard, in their own category. Of course a smartphone camera will suck compared to a DSLR, because a DSLR is a camera by design. We can take the "judge them hard" MO all the way up from point and shoots to cinema cameras to the human eye/hubble space telescope/the retina of a hawk and we'd still wouldn't be able to find an excuse to have a meh smartphone camera. It goes without saying that a smartphone camera doesn't hold a candle- not now, not ever- to the RED Dragon.

So that's why we should look at it objectively: by judging the optics within their own category. We're talking smartphone optics. We can objectively measure their capabilities. And there's better ones out there.

hodan says:

I agree, and Jerry, you're wrong about the quality of the Nokia cameras....check out the shots Paul Thurott took with his 1020 - they blow away any other phone camera, and are really as good as a cheap point and shoot. And I agree that every flagship Android phone should have a camera in the S4, One, iPhone 5 range. The new Moto's should have a better camera.

Posted via Android Central App

Visual360 says:

I agree with this 1000%. And Jerry's reply above doesn't make sense. More of justifying the subpar camera of the device. Cmon, we're comparing about a CAMERA on a phone, not a CAMERA in general. Like Frank the wise turtle have said, other phone manufacturer was able to put a better camera on their devices. smh.

So, only certain criteria should be judged harshly? 

The camera in the S4 sucks for doing anything more than posting pictures online. Same as the Moto X. Same as the new Lumia. Same as every camera phone. 

You can be happy with "sucks less". But I won't.  It's time we stop pretending that any of these can replace a real camera, because they all suck.

They are either good enough, or not good enough to me. You can use your own criteria, but that doesn't make anyone else's invalid.

bearda says:

I just wanted to note that the FitBit syncing this is entirely about software, not licensing. The Moto X stuill runs Android 4.3 and has absolutely no software support for Bluetooth LE. Samsung and HTC have their own Bouetooth stacks to which they have added proprietary support, but Bluetooth LE is one of the new APIs that was added in Android 4.3. Granted, FitBit is still taking their time updating their app to use the new APIs so the Nexus 4 still doesn't sync even with 4.3 but its hard to blame this on them when It's taken Google years to implement Bluetooth LE support to begin with.

Sorry, Android's Bluetooth support has been a personal annoyance of mine for a while.

The Moto X has excellent Bluetooth LE support. And you mentioned that the HTC One also has it.

Neither of these phones will sync with a Fitbit, because it only syncs with Samsung phones. 

Craigwhite3 says:

Has anyone tried using MarketHelper with it to see if once the APK is installed it will actually work on something other than a Samsung device now that others have BLE support?

adogg23 says:

the moto x runs 4.2.2

jakemac93 says:

i LOVE reading reviews from you guys. you guys are blunt, vulgar, and to the point. and i love love love it. i browse forums on here for about half my phones battery lol. you guys rock plain and simple. please continue doing what you all do best!!!

TexasNexus1 says:

So wouldn't it follow that the new Maxx is great choice if you want a bigger screen and battery life? I held both and felt the X was too small for my hand.

Posted via Android Central App

Yes but Jerry probably won't admit that (or at least be very reluctant to do so) due to his hatred of carrier branded phones.

I actually completely agree with you and got the Max instead of the X because of the increased storage and battery in addition to wireless charging.

Posted via Android Central App

return_0 says:

Exclusivity sucks. The Droid Maxx is exclusive to Verizon.

That sucks.

The phone doesn't, but the exclusivity does. And a phone can't really be evaluated when it's only available on one network.

MERCDROID says:

+9000

Posted via Android Central App

adogg23 says:

yea but all new verizon phones come unlocked and u can pop any sim in and be golden.

planoman says:

Good stuff. I guess I realize I do not want all the bells and whistles or all the Samsung and ATT bloatware on my phones as my ATT S4 sits in a drawer and I use my S4 Google Edition, which I love! I thought the same thing about myself in that I do not really want to talk to my phone so the moto X has not really been high on my list. I did stop by att to check out a 32GB model and they did not have it in store. I was just looking for the black model.

I will wait to see what the next nexus brings. If it comes in a 32GB version...I'm getting it.

ro1224 says:

"Buy a damn camera" LMAO, Jerry! I almost spit my coffee out! #priceless

miknxn says:

If you like something and it works for you then njoi. Thanks for your take on the X, interesting read.

v¡a ACapp njo¡!

jona619 says:

Excellent comparison Jerry. If the Nexus 5/4(2013) wasn't just around the corner I would've considered switching from my Nexus 4. I will get it for my girlfriend though, as soon it hits T-Mobile with Moto Maker. Hopefully KitKat offers the same notification system on the next Nexus.

Posted via Android Central App

There is always a better phone right around the corner.

Posted via Android Central App

return_0 says:

Not really; it took 10 months for a phone better than the Nexus 4 to come out (if you even consider it better; I still prefer the N4 by a bit). On the other hand, it will take 2 months for a phone better than this to come out.

tonymhoffman says:

Moto x was the first phone that made me willing to give up my n4.

Posted via Android Central App

jasenjr3 says:

You have made my day.

Posted via Android Central App

ro1224 says:

Now I just need to know where the T-Mobile variant is. What's up with that? Huh?

return_0 says:

Since T-Mobile has now gone off-contract, there's no point in having a T-Mobile variant. T-Mobile customers will simply buy it unlocked directly from Motorola.

MERCDROID says:

This.

Posted via Android Central App

darkoman4 says:

True but only if Motorola unlocked model supports AWS bands. Other then that, some people need wifi calling which you will not get with this model. And finally,a bunch of people can't afford to buy a phone outright instead of T-Mobile's 0% interest financing.

alainlafond says:

Well Jerry,I always read your reviews with great interest .
But as a Nexus 4 user, maybe I don't understand what active notification or OK Google means, I'll stand for my current phone.
Sure as a Nexus lover, I'll look for the next PartyBarge(lol).
But for me, the N4 was the best phone that always came out of Google's minds. And they gonna need lotsa bells and whistles to make me change. Was easy to go from the Nexus S to Galaxy Nexus. And way more easy to go from Galaxys to 4. As the next phones were a way over the other before. But now...
But as you say, lets wait for the next PartyBarge...

Now if only I can find my damn translator...

BriMcFly says:

This was a great read, thanks so much. I'm on an N4 but really love the x. Two things I wish you would have considered or at least pointed out/factored in: the N4 is almost a year old, and it's half the price. With that in mind I'd say the N4 is a better phone to buy. If those two were equal, then I'd absolutely agree with the X being a better phone. It's hard for me to bypass such a huge difference in value.

willizen says:

Don't confuse value with superiority. Maybe the N4 is a better value, but that doesn't mean it's a better phone.

Posted via my Nexus 7

BriMcFly says:

I agree, but you're talking about two phones that are SO CLOSE, that price HAS to be factored in due to the difference. Age as well. It'll be interesting to compare the moto x to the N5 tho.

willizen says:

They are very close, and I would definitely take price into consideration if I was faced with buying one of these two devices. Still, the few quality enhancements like active notifications and the ability to customize the phone itself make the moto x the better phone (at least to me), and even though there is a fairly steep price difference between the two, I would probably go for the moto x regardless.

No it doesn't. He's not saying buy the X over the N5. He's just saying its a better phone TO HIM.

Posted via Android Central App

Jerry didn't intend this as a full review. It's just his take on the two devices. He said it was a better phone. He didn't say its a better value.

Posted via Android Central App

Michael Kerr says:

Hey Jerry what app do you use that's similar to blocking mode on Samsung phones

Posted via Android Central App

phositadc says:

Does it let calls from a whitelist ring even when the phone is on silent? ? I thought not but would love to be wrong.

Nope :(

br1ang says:

I use an app called SemiSilent for that.

nyc_rock says:

"I'm sleeping". Best app for blocking mode I have used

Posted via Android Central App

MobileNick says:

Great review! Didn't see this covered, but what about the price for Moto X? Isn't it $200 with contract right now? If so, that seems kinda high to me considering what the Moto X brings to the table vs the competition. I'd be curious what others think - is my assessment way off?

benhmadison says:

It's more than worth 200 on contact. I used to think that until I got to use the x. I've used the gs4 and had the ONE and sold it for the x and the x is by far the best of the 3.

Posted via Android Central App

frozndevl says:

Why does it seem high? Jerry was pretty clear that it compares well to the other big name phones out there, regardless of specs.

ramasipsc says:

Active notifications are possible on amoled screens only. So no love for Nexus 5 on that as long as it is made by LG.

aikonriche says:

That feature reminds of Nokia's Sleeping Screen.

No they aren't. The power savings is just a little better on Amoled.

Posted via Android Central App

rampage1979 says:

I use Dynamic notifications on my Optimus G and it is a knock off of active notifications. Works really well and it is even customizable doesn't seem to take to much battery either so it can work with LCD displays.

Posted via Android Central App

Kiserai says:

"Motorola lost a sale because they are too busy fellating the carriers to worry about the consumers"

Tell us how you really feel, Jerry. :)

But seriously, I like your writing style. I'm also holding out to see what the next Nexus device brings to the table, but I could see myself getting one of these.

thegrants82 says:

Great review Jerry. I love my Moto X

Posted via Android Central App

ChuckG73 says:

I agree 100% with JH, I am not buying a Moto X until I can buy it directly from MOtorola.

wa1vei says:

Always worth the wait. Thanks

Posted via Android Central App

jamie says:

You are right about losing sales. Impulse buying is taken out of the picture for many. If your not on AT&T then your thinking I'll wait to get it so I can customize. With all those weeks to think you lose the impulse buy feeling and start to read blogs about what is next. Then it's well since I've waited this long I'll just wait a little longer for **** phone.

Posted via: It's always sunny in Pensacola!

delphis96 says:

Couldn't agree more with this one. And, great write up Jerry!

Posted via Android Central App

willizen says:

you speak the truth. The moto x is not an established product, and motorola is far from the "it" brand. If motorola really wanted this thing to succeed, it should have launched on all 4 major carriers with moto maker as an option for all of them. Instead, it got a tepid introduction with an incredibly slow roll out. And once the iphone 5 comes out, this will be pretty much be forgotten.

I might be pretty interested in version 2.0 of this phone next year when it's time for my upgrade, but not having access to moto maker will be a deal breaker for me, and I'm not going to wait for months and months for it to roll out either.

adogg23 says:

yea cant wait for that iphone 5 that u speak of.... lol.

Promar93 says:

I love this phone, yeah it sucks a bit to read stories of the price reduction coming soon and the potential wood backs. I couldn't wait for all that though. I was upgrading from the HTC Desire HD(at&t inspire 4g), so the Moto X was a much needed and wanted upgrade. I think it's a great device coming from Motorola.

Holding my thoughts till I see the new nexus phone. From the leaks it seems to be pretty awesome.

eRod v1.0 says:

I'll wait to see the next Nexus, but this phone is currently my next purchase. Just waiting for it to be available for Verizon on the motomaker site.

Posted with my S4 via Android Central App

dacp283 says:

Was this a review or a rant Jerry? I'm sensing some hostility.

Posted via Android Central App

willizen says:

I love what Motorola did with the moto x. If they keep it up, and they open moto maker to all the big carriers, I may very well pick one up next year to replace my iPhone 5. Getting to customize what my phone looks like is huge to me.

Posted via my Nexus 7

kstone2274 says:

U know I do admire your post but I'm not sold on the phone because its to comparable to my nexus 4 which I have both as well as a HTC one and a s4. The phone I keep using is still keep going back to is my nexus. In my option its just not the phone it should be especially the price tag on it for what it is

Haha what a great read, Jerry! I love your common sense, straight-to-the-point, tell-it-how-it-is style! Quite refreshing these days. That last paragraph is gold!

vansmack says:

Yeah!

A Sept 2013 phone is better than an Oct 2012 phone.

Way to go Motorola! /s

I bet Jerry changes his mind in the next 2 months, but I still always enjoy his reasoning. The most encouraging thing for me is that screens are getting bigger without the phones getting any bigger. The Nexus 4 was about my breaking point and I'm glad I'm not going to have to go any bigger for the next year or so.

photopaul65 says:

I really, really would like to get the Moto X, but being a Verizon customer who's upgrade isn't until March, I just can't.
I can't because it'll get updates 3-4 months after every other carrier.
I can't because it will get abandoned after 4.4 just like every other current Verizon device.
I can't because I don't trust the hardware to still be viable when it's 32 months old at the end of my next contract.
Also not going to bet on a new Nexus hitting Verizon ever again, so I'm basically screwed when it comes to a stock or near-stock device.
If I'm wrong on any of these points, please set me straight. PLEASE.

npco543 says:

Nope, you're pretty much spot on. It's why I bought a Nexus 4 after the recent price drop and will be switching to T-Mobile. Is the network as good as Verizon's? No, but it's not bad.

And truth be told, Verizon's isn't *that* good either, not good enough to justify the huge premium they charge, the crap phones they offer, the shit they mandate gets preinstalled and the total incompetence with which they support the devices they sell.

jerrod6 says:

I am in kinda the same position with Verizon. I know that if I get this phone updates will take forever, then within two years there will be NO updates. THEY have THEIR reasons...ok. I like the phone but not the carrier intrusion.

So in my area there is AT&T with almost as good of coverage as Verizon...So I am moving to AT&T when my contract is up. I've decided period.

This allows me to get a phone from Google play so will need to see what phone that is, but at this point I don't know how fast updates will come from Moto on their phones in play, so next Nexus may be the phone for me.

This does not mean I don't like the Moto X......went to an AT&T store and held one...its always better when you get to hold it. ....NICE.

dusoccer10 says:

I'm in a similar boat, though, my Verizon upgrade is in January. The good news is that we have time on our side, and here is why:

1.) We have no idea what the update cycle will be for the Motorola phones influenced by Google. Granted, Verizon has a pretty poor history with updates, but I'm a little bit more optimistic with these newer phones. You'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect come March.

2.) Google is clearly moving its updates in a way that takes out the carrier influences. Again, how things look like in September may be very different come March 2014.

3.) If you want near-stock, Motorola will clearly be the best OEM for you. These four recent phones are about as close to stock as you can get...especially when compared to GS4, HTC One, and all the other "flagship" models.

Finally, since your upgrade isn't until March, why are you even worried about the Moto X? Just do what I do, read about the new phones, think they are pretty cool, and then research your decision when it comes time to upgrade. While, I like the Moto X, I'll look at the landscape come January and make a decision then.

Jacques says:

I'm sort of in that same position as Phil. I'm waiting to see what comes out of the Nexus 5 or whatever it will be called, and if it ends up being a disappointment, I will then buy the Moto X, LG G2, or HTC One instead in that order. Sure, the specs on the Moto X isn't at the top of the heap, but the user experience from what I've seen it so far is what is important to me.

LooNeYlv says:

I WANT THAT WALLPAPER! where can I get it? its so nice!

fightcrazy says:

I use to refuse to look at any other phone unless it was a Nexus. That has changed, Google has proved time and time again they don't or I should say refuse to build a quality piece of hardware. IMO the Nexus 4 has a lousy ass camera, shit for int storage and I can go on. The Moto x might be a descent phone but many will never know because it has yet to hit the store shelves unless you are involved with the devil, AT&T. Year after year the Nexus phone has sucked. It has refused to give their customers the important features that everyone wants on their phones. I can live without sd-card support, I prefer to have it but if you are going to take that away than for Christ sakes give the phone some internal storage. Google is concerned at pushing their cloud based bull shit ala Movies, music, storage etc. That is not for me, I want a phone I can put my own entertainment on without using data to retrieve it. Give the phone some fuc---- storage. Even Apple who push their cloud entertainment have the brains to give their customers great storage choices. That is why Samsung Note 3 is my phone of choice, IMO it is the best phone of 2013-2014. There is nothing out there that can touch it. Sure it has a large screen, I like it. The Note 3 has more HP than most home laptop computers, I like it. Every feature on that phone on the hardware side is spectacular, every feature on that phone on the software is innovative, if you don't like some or don't use some simply flick them off. Samsung takes allot of shit for being innovative, they give their customers what they want and ask for, no other manufacturer does that. The Note 3 is my phone of choice and very excited about getting it. This phone is a beast, a real beast with much HorsePower. Thank You Samsung.

ScottJ says:

The Nexus phones are reference devices, primarily targeted at devs. They aren't meant to compete directly with flagship phones from the OEMs. Putting state of the art components in them would be wasteful.

MERCDROID says:

This.

Posted via Android Central App

ConTejas says:

Please tell me of a device that had greater specs than any Nexus (One, S, Gnx, or 4)...with a small caveat being the camera? You simply won't find one (that isn't its cousin).

ScottJ says:

You're right when it comes to the Nexus 4. However, that wasn't the case with the Galaxy Nexus. If you remember it came out with the dual-core TI OMAP chip. This chip was inferior to the dual-core Snapdragon and Exynos chips in use in other phones at the time.

Nexus cameras will always suck because the tech to have a good one has to be licensed and thus could not be released in source and proprietary binaries like every other Nexus. If you don't like the camera there are numerous alternative camera apps in Google Play.

Posted via Android Central App

Please be the person to review all new devices going forward. Love the straight forward assessment of things you use not the gimmicky features.

Posted via Android Central App

Craigwhite3 says:

Interesting and pretty direct review. I like the pull no punches approach to your writing.

I have a few questions though and since you're the holder of a MotoX I'm posing them to you.

1) Is your device running 4.2.2 or 4.3. If 4.2.2, any idea when the 4.3 update might be made available?
2) Does it support internet calling. To check, look in the dialer settings, all the way at the bottom should be internet call account and settings.
3) What about google wallet? Do you know if this will be the same i.e. carrier specific, as it is with other phones. I think SPrint supports GW while others don't because they're hoping to monopolize the market with ISIS (hah!, right!)
4) Can I take any carrier's device (assuming it's unlocked) and use it on any other carrier's network. e.g. is the hardware the same in all devices and they all support CDMA and GSM?

As I think of more questions I'll post them...

1. 4.2.2

2. No. But remember, this unit is AT&T branded.

3. No Google Wallet. Again, AT&T.

4. No. There are no active 2100 AWS bands in this unit. There are no CDMA bands in this unit. This unit also only supports LTE on 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900

It's very possible that any unlocked/unbranded versions will be different. I'm hoping so.

aikonriche says:

This phone should have been made available worldwide and at a reasonable price. I believe Google is not serious with their smartphone business. They only care about patents when bought out Motorola Mobility.

ScottJ says:

Wait. What? You talk to your lover?

deesugar says:

Jerry,
The real question is will you still feel that way against the Nexus 5???

ScottJ says:

Why stop there? What about against the Nexus 6 and all future models?

Google Keep can handle your reminders for you.

Posted via Android Central App

Man, this Moto X might really be a great phone. I've seen tons of reviews and all of them are very positive. I live in Brazil and I was waiting for the Moto X to be launched around here, but when it happened I just said: "WHAT???" It's so expensive here! And just like Jerry said, the Nexus 4 price can't be beat, even here in Brazil. So I ended up buying a Nexus 4 after all. I don't regret that in any way, but I do feel I will be buying a Moto X soon, unless Google puts some nice features on Android 4.4, like the Active Display, which is amazing. Well, let's see whats comes next... we have a new Android flavour, new Nexus phone e new people behind the scenes. Let's hope things get even better.

PlayDLine says:

Does anyone know when the Moto X will be on the ground at VZW?
In store to actually hold and demo?
The Maxx and the Ultra are a touch too big - hoping this feels better in the paw.

TexasNexus1 says:

I checked out the X at local Verizon store last week

Posted via Android Central App

ultravisitor says:

Just go to an AT&T store if you're interested in demoing it and knowing how it feels in hand. That's what I did. Then as soon as it was available to order for Verizon, I placed an order.

Posted via Android Central App

PlayDLine says:

Good point - should have thought of that.
My VZW did not have it as of Friday and had no ETA.

JoeZone says:

Nexus 4 is the best smartphone I've owned. It's smooth. I have a nice camera if I need to take pictures, I have a computer for memory. It does what I need it to do. For the price and the specs it was ahead of its time and obviously still is if your comparing it to brand new phones.

Posted via Android Central App

Looks like we are facing the same predicament.

Posted via Android Central App

SteveMW says:

REMEMBER THE ATRIX 4G. Flagship phone for a second, superior hardware, features and build than the phones that followed, cursed with Motoblur, and tossed by the wayside without even a chance of survival by good old Moto.

Floss82 says:

The Moto X is better because its the latest stock android phone out and with active display until the new Nexus phone come out and trust me that will be better Android 4.4 bigger screen im sure of etc... :)

biln says:

Dam Jerry calm down its just a phone, it will be ok

MrCheesecake says:

Haha, Jerry, please please please do more of these for more devices. I really appreciate your open, honest take on these things. And you're funny as hell in the process! This is the kind of 'review' I like to read!

rkhaudio says:

Now that I have a Nexus 4 device, will never go anywhere else, made it easy with one choice, no debate, just waiting for the newer model to make it simple to choose again.

Posted via Nexus 7

thegrants82 says:

That's a great outlook. I need to adopt that, it would save me a bunch of time and a bunch of money if I was more like you.

Posted via Android Central App

Chaddinho says:

Great article! Finally made up my mind and I'm definitely getting the Moto X :D

Saturn1217 says:

I like what i'm seeing with the moto X too. My only concern is will it last two years?

When the Galaxy Nexus first came out it had concerning not very high end specs (just a little bit better than current gen phones) and people HERE and on every other blog said that was fine because of software optimizations and yes when the GNex first came out it was great.

But it didn't last. The S3 which came out around the same time is a much better phone NOW than a GNex (minus touchwiz of course). In approximately 6 months when the Nexus 4 hits about the same age that the GNex is now I am fairly certain it will be a better phone than the GNex is right now (I want a new phone so badly) because the Nexus 4 came out with leading specs for its time.

I hope that I am wrong but I find it hard to believe that with all these quad core super phones coming out Google is not going to sometime in the next 2 years take advantage of that extra horsepower and start designing android with those specs in mind.

I could be completely wrong but experience tells me the moto X is not going to age as well as a phone with a snapdragon 600 or 800 processor. Again still a great phone but that (and the camera) is my one niggling concern.

PS. please when the nexus 5 (or 4 or whatever it will be called) comes out do a very detailed comparison between that and the moto x.

You seriously need to let go of the specs argument. Apple taught us all that specs don't matter and the X had proven the point.

There will ALWAYS be a newer better phone. Software updates lag older phones. But what moto is doing here with the cores has, as far as I know, never been done before and comparison to any other device is meaningless.

Posted via Android Central App

wgpeter says:

Just out of curiosity, has anyone rooted the Motorola X on AT&T or is that not possible due to the bootloader being locked down? Otherwise, you have almost sold me into buying one, like you said, depending on what the next Nexus has.

darkoman4 says:

Jerry is cooooool

jdbii says:

This

MERCDROID says:

That

Posted via Android Central App

vansmack says:

And the other.

jdbii says:

Thanks. Hands down that was simply the best and most entertaining phone review and/or article about a cell phone I've ever read. Nice work Jerry! Oh yeah, I fell out of my chair laughing when I ready "Nexus PartyBarge." Book me a ticket.

Well said Jerry. I have the Droid Max (95% the sane phone) not the X but I agree it's a better phone.

Posted via Android Central App

crakedparrot says:

I currently have a GNex and a Fascinate prior to that. The only thing that has bothered me with the Gnex is the size of the phone. I have smallish hands and like to operate my phone with one hand, the Fascinate was a perfect fit. Even though I have come to love my Gnex it is time for a new device.

Today I was in Best Buy and they had a non working Moto X on display. From the moment I picked it up it felt like my old Fassy in my hand. I wish they would have had a working demo unit to mess around with.

Finely someone has made a 4.7" in a smaller form factor that fits smaller hands.

Thanks for the review Jerry, I will most likely be looking at a Moto X in the future but I will wait until Moto Maker is up for VZW.

Dreaming of a Blue Moto X.....

sk3litor says:

I feel the same way about the note2 and samsung. I know they have ALOT of gimmicks, but the things I need from my note it does very welland I could never go back. Different people need defferent things from thier devices.i dont understand why people can't grasp this concept.

rockets95 says:

Great article, Jerry! Being on Verizon, the Moto X is the closest I'll get to a Nexus, plus no LTE is a deal breaker for me. I bought the X at full price off contract and have loved it every since. Active notifications is the coolest feature to come to Android for quite some time. Don't know if I'll be happy with a phone that doesn't have it moving forward. Hopefully, Google will integrate it into the OS.

If Jerry thinks the X is better than the N4, that speaks volumes for the phone!

Posted via Android Central App

fam617 says:

The next Nexus will most likely have a phenomenal camera. Few months after Nexus 4 came out, Vic Gundrota mentioned that Google can and will create a top of the line camera on a Nexus. I bet the farm the next one will tout a superb camera.

Posted via Android Central App

paximos says:

I just love the bias in these blog posts and comments. As soon as someone says something different, he/she is trolling or gets a negative point. I have played with the Moto X and I do have a Sony Xperia ZL and a Nexus 4. Moto X is good, but not that good as these bloggers worship it. Sometimes their desire for this phone is totally suspicious.

To set a reminder, what's so wrong with simply typing "reminder" in the search bar if you don't want to use voice commands?

Or, as an alternate, you can set reminders in Keep now, too.

Easy.

+1 on using Keep for reminders, that app is pure greatness.

Posted via Android Central App

Paul Simiyu says:

I have plated with moto x and was very impressed.
Still not gonna give up my s4 GPe and incoming GN3 though :p

Posted via Android Central App

DustoMan says:

For me it's between this phone and the HTC One. I'm waiting to see if Google is going to ignore Verizon once again with the Nexus 5. If that's the case, I'm leaning towards the HTC One because of it's better hardware. Though I think I would be happy with the Moto X, I have yet to hold one in my hand.

jemilgray789 says:

The moto x is probably the best phone out there at the moment. I have the HTC One and Nexus 4. The moto X just works. Its faster than the one and nexus 4. Don't knock into you actually try it.

Posted via Android Central App

nyc_rock says:

Disagree about your views on Cameras, but totally agree about the lack of a DE. I would have bought one already. Don't get what is taking Motorola so long to make it available.

Posted via Android Central App

Premium1 says:

So if you were on Verizon jerry would this be the phone you get or something else?

mth785 says:

If Jerry says the specs aren't important that is good enough for me. Now I'll wait for the Nexus 5 announcement and decide which of the 2 works better for me.

Via my Nexus 4.

neopanther says:

They should have a show called Yarrell Sez! That would be hilarious!

atlas9171 says:

It would be the same show over and over and over and over and over again.

qst4 says:

Its hard not to deny its a better phone than the N4 and that is saying a lot. What continues to bother me is exclusivity. I'm with Jerry. If this would have dropped on T-Mobile, with customization I would have bought it off contract without much thought. Now we're hearing rumors about the new N5 and if like the droid, it comes with features similar to the Moto X. I know where money is going. Hence we have a situation similar to many Android phones that should've blown up. Nice phone, poor release.

Ioscipescu says:

Are the droid versions of MotoX supposed to be on the same upgrade cycle, or will we see large delays in them getting updates that MotoX gets!

Any one who claims to know the update cycle is lying. I don't see why the droids should take significantly longer than the X on Verizon, but it's VZW so anything is possible.

VAVA Mk2 says:

The question is not is it better than the Nexus 4...I want to know how it stacks up to the Nexus 5 (once it is released and out of course). That is the real question (I am 99% sure my next phone is a Nexus 5.

manimsoblack says:

I imagine Jerry living in a cabin in the mountains of Alaska having picked the spot after surveying for years for the one place with the trifecta of great cell service, access to reliable home or business class fiber and no people.

jncryer says:

Hey Jerry, thanks for the write up.
Question: regarding the battery life, you said the way you use the phone, you only have to charge every other day.
Can you give us a frame of reference? I.E. How do you use your phone that gets you that stat? or if using the N4 (or another phone) the same way, how long do you see the battery last? I've seen customer reviews on both sides of the fence on this, and I'm curious for your take

Posted via Android Central App

sidharth says:

I hope you are not trolling MG Siegler with this headline

Sent from Nexus 4 using Android Central app

sidharth says:

I hope you are not trolling MG Siegler with this headline

Sent from Nexus 4 using Android Central app

votdfak says:

I don't know why people always bitch about camera? It's not like you're doing anything else except uploading to FB or Instagram. And for that you need DSLR like quality? C'mon, that's bull.

N4 user here. I love the phone, but I don't have love for other stupid things Big G likes to do. For example, no usb on the go for N4, no proxy support for apps (how I'am supposed to use any serious/corp wifi with this thing?), no lag free audio, and things like that. That's annoying. Camera not so much.

hievyn says:

moto x with the sony qx100/ perfect pair? :o

qnet says:

Great review!!

TroyBoy30 says:

well i sure would hope its better than a phone thats a year old

LordStickMax says:

i couldn't agree more with this article. the biggest problem with the moto X is all the carrier bs that they submitted to. when is an android manufacturer gonna have the balls to stand up to big red like apple. apple controls updates, they control starting apps and they control features like visual voice. i realize this is hypocritical from a person hating how controlling apple is but this is the shit that really hurts a product.

ReaganDee says:

I love Jerry's reviews.
I love that Jerry responds to comments in his reviews.
I love that he is an Android Central staffer.
Hail Jerry, Hail Motörhead, Hail Satan. (In that order)

sreymj says:

Jerry, this is a very helpful review. I get caught up in the spec wars constantly. I think you have solidified my decision on the Moto X as my next upgrade.

jwiesneski says:

I really want the Moto X, but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around paying so much for a phone that would require me to be on contract and still have only 16gb of storage, or getting it with 32gb of storage but have to pay through the nose for service from AT&T (I'm used to $35 a month). Or even getting it unlocked but having to likely pay over $600 for it.

No matter how I look at it, I'm would be paying a lot more money than I am now for a phone that I still don't know would get timely updates. Hopefully by the time the Nexus 5 is announced/revealed the Moto X landscape will be clearer and have more options for purchase.

lockwyn says:

Thanks Jerry! I am still waiting...

on galaxy nexus^^ o-jea!

lockwyn says:

Thanks Jerry! I am still waiting...

on galaxy nexus^^ o-jea!

G_The_One says:

I agree with you Jerry that user experience is better than piling CORES upon Cores. However you incorrectly said " It manages to do this without the CORES! CORES! CORES! that people like to chant and scream about. " The Moto X has the multi cores but configured differently. And the number of cores is not the marketing focus. But it has the CORES

Posted via Android Central App

hoonigandad says:

Thanks for doing this review! I'm shopping around for phones right now and it's nice to get some intelligent insight into this phone. I'm waiting to see when the xperia z1 comes out

Posted via Android Central App

Craigwhite3 says:

Thanks for responding.

I'll wait for the developer edition, or, depending on how long that takes, the next Nexus.

DGetz says:

Sorry but what I read here is the Nexus 4 was better in almost every single way. To sum this article up, the Moto X is as good as if not worse than it's top competition, which is half the price.

With the Nexus 5 out in a month, anyone interested in the Moto X would be insane to spend the $600 and not wait and see. It will be head and shoulders above this phone, of that you can be certain.

Also missing from this article is these few features on this relatively vanilla Android experience won't be updated to new versions of Android quickly. So while the Moto X will be stuck on 4.2 for the next year, your Nexus 5 (and even 4) will be on 4.3 and then Kit-Kat. Therefor this experience will be stale quickly with or without Active Notifications (which can be found in a similar app in Google Play for free).

Thanks for the great article, but I'll pass, just like you did.

pappy53 says:

Moto has done more updates than anyone else in the last 12 months.

StuySix says:

My main concern about the X is the memory. 16GB just isn't that much storage space and the 32GB version won't be avaiable for months on Verizon - why should I wait that long when I can get the G2 this weekend?

Saneless says:

Good writeup Jerry. You've solidified my thoughts on the device and I definitely plan on getting one vs the next 5" monster phone.

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

savdini says:

I have a Nexus 4 (CM10.1) and I agree 100%, I just got my wife a Moto X on AT&T.. The thing is lighting fast and seems to outperform my beloved Nexus.. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but Moto delivered.

I kind of want one now.. :-\

Posted via Android Central App

RaiderWill says:

The Nexus 4 is so "Fall of 2012" it's OLD NEWS.
That's why anyone can pick one up for $199.00 FREE & CLEAR.
They were just "OK" even back in their day..
But Technology has Pushed them Aside.. And Moto Now Leads The Way.

etnpnys says:

Dang that's a lot of comments.

I appreciate a writeup with integrity. Well done, sir.

Magnum M says:

Yes, but no... every single people seem to forget what nexus means, lets make these comparison a few months when moto x only receive on or two new versions of android and the nexus 4 keeps it going...

BeauCharles says:

whats the screen made out of? Gorilla Glass 3 or 2? my nexus screen has broken way to easily yes ive dropped it but its glass to glass edge just makes it that much more delicate, next phone gets a nice big ole bumper so I wont see the pretty nexus 4 anymore or any new phone

guardlights says:

Jerry
Nicely Done, and also a very good read.
I like that you took the time to lay out the case in a deliberate thoughtful way.

devnickle says:

Excellent! Unbiased, honest review!

I've had the Droid Maxx for 3 weeks now,(same internals)and I can say
without question Jerry is right. This phone has ZERO lag, and does everything
I ask of it without complaint. The BIG battery, more memory, and wireless
charging are nice bonuses too.

TJH132 says:

Hey, Jerry, blow the lid off the Fitbit/Samsung BS! I have two devices on stock 4.3 that should theoretically be ready to synch with the Fitbit Flex, but customer services keeps pointing me to the list of Samsung devices I don't own.

TJH

imanexus says:

After using this phone, I am truly enamored. I have to change my name. ImamotoX.

Posted via Android Central App

Dodger442 says:

Very good review. I enjoyed reading it :).

Posted via Android Central App

snookasnoo says:

Google does it because its the right thing to do? Hilarious.
I actually think you whitewash an awful lot of Google/Android issues Jerry.
Motorola is Google. The two are not separate in anyway no matter what lies Google tries to tell abut it. it's window dressing for the other OEM's and the other OEM's know it.
Anecdotally I know a whole lot of people who talk to their phones. I do some, but not as much many people I know who send texts, do searches, etc with voice. Including on Siri which is far more widely used than you seem to think. It's also far better than Android fanboys know or will admit and is even better in iOS 7. In a lot of ways I find Siri on iOS 7 more useful than Google Now on my Moto X. But they are not totally equivalent products in function which is why anyone comparing them as if they are means you don't know much about either.

Zig261 says:

honestly, as a verizon user. The Moto X is probably the closest thing we will ever get to a Nexus 4 since Google will probably never send another phone to them after the Galaxy Nexus fiasco

f1drivr says:

Yup. Fits better than nexus 4. That's enough to non-nexus me.

Posted via Android Central App

Kenny G Jr says:

I don't know if I'd ever get a Motorola X, mainly cause I don't like the carrier it's on here in Canada, but I totally enjoyed reading the article. Good job Jerry. XD

Vishu Arora says:

Moto x is best xxxxxxx :)
http://youpost.in

Paul Daniele says:

Good article. I've been waiting for the nexus 5 and Im sure it'll be an awesome phone but the moto x for $150 looks too good to pass up right now. You make a great case for the phone. I think Ill at least wait until the 5 is officially announced to see if it added those bonus features of the moto x cause it sounds like something finally upgraded more than specs. Way too much focus on numbers from the majority. And lots of focus on camera megapixels too, I'll agree that people need to stop wanting your phone to be as good as a DSLR cause thats not an option.
This phone seems to work really good and have some great software tweaks giving it great battery and speed instead of just #s.
I also loved the subtle curve to it, really does feel better in the hand even though its such a small thing.
Too bad Rogers doesn't let you customize it, that was the main reason I didnt get it at launch since thats a free bonus with a different carrier I was feeling jipped.

629Classic says:

Thanks Jerry for the article. I'm currently a GSIII user trying to decide between the Moto X and the Nexus 5 as my next phone. Your comparison article brought me to this piece. I like your style and respect your opinion. I've only ever had HTC and Samsung devices, so I'm looking for something new to try. Sure is a tough call which....