Moto X Pure Edition

Gesture controls on phones are not a new thing, but they also aren't always a good thing. Motorola is one of the few smartphone manufacturers to have made gesture controls useful across the entire phone, and the Moto X Pure Edition is no exception. Like its predecessors, there's a handful of incredibly useful gestures you can use to help with basic day to day tasks.

Here's how to enjoy the gestures baked into the Moto X Pure Edition.

In more ways than one, everything starts with Moto Display. This feature replaces the stock Android Ambient Display, though if you prefer Google's way of doing things you can enable that instead of Motorola's offering. It appears when you reach for your phone, or when your phone detects movement when it is not in your pocket. For three seconds, you get a glimpse at what is happening on your phone right now. If there are notifications waiting for you, you'll see icons from the apps delivering those notifications, and if you press your finger to those icons, you'll get a brief look at the contents of that message.

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Moto Display is on by default, but can be customized to either conceal information unless it is unlocked or offer all of the information your phone typically delivers to the notification panel.

If you want to quickly access the camera on your Moto X Pure edition, all you need to do is twist the phone in your hand as though you are holding a screwdriver. This double twist motion will launch the camera from anywhere in the phone UI, as well as when the display is completely off. You'll feel a long vibration to confirm the camera is being launched, making it possible to start the gesture as the phone leaves your pocket and have access to the camera by the time you've raised the phone to eye level.

Once you have the camera app launched, you can repeat the double twist gesture to switch from the rear camera to the front camera.

Just about every Android phone now includes a quick way to access the flash on your camera and use it as a flashlight, but the Moto X line is one of the only groups of phones out there that lets you activate that flashlight mode by making a chopping gesture with your phone. As though your Moto X Pure edition were some kind of carrot-dicing super thing, make a chopping motion with your phone twice to activate the flash. You can use that same double chop maneuver to turn the flash off.

If you have the display on your phone on when you are making this gesture, you'll see a notification pop up that lets you turn off the flashlight from the notification tray, without swiping all the way to quick settings.

Finally, Motorola includes a discrete commands mode that has to be enabled in the Moto app. When you activate this mode, you are able to hold your phone to your ear instead of saying your Moto Voice activation command in order to get started. When you raise your Moto X Pure Edition to your ear, you hear a significantly quieter version of the command tone you normally hear, allowing you to speak your command in a discrete tone instead of calling out to your phone. The response you get from Moto Voice or Google Now is also quiet enough that only you can hear, though if you pull the phone away from your ear the audio will jump back to speaker mode.

And that's it! The Moto X Pure edition, like all of the Moto X before it, does a great job offering basic gestures anyone can integrate into their day to day lives.