21 Sep
2019

Review Moto X is the phone Android needs right now Updated

first_img 1 2 3 4 Update 8/22/13: We’ve edited this review to reflect significant changes found in the Moto Maker version of the Moto X. It is our belief that our initial review was based on pre-production hardware, and while we are currently waiting for a response from Motorola regarding the differences in the two Moto X phones we’ve tested, we wanted to update our thoughts on this device. The changes primarily took form in an improved display and camera as well as slightly improved hardware on the second Moto X we received (the Moto Maker version). Not too long ago, Google bought a smartphone manufacturer. Instead of making another Nexus, the first true Google-Motorola phone is a bundle of experiments that the the company hopes will turn out to be popular. Meet the Moto X, the first Android phone targeted at the average consumer.We’ve been hearing about The New Motorola ever since the Droid Razr HD launch last year, but this smartphone is the first one to be entirely designed by Google. “The first phone from the new Motorola” as they put it. This phone has been highly anticipated with more leaks than we typically see from even the most popular announcements these days. In the days before the unveiling, those who had been paying attention were left with the impression that this would be a mid-range phone. This didn’t turn out the way everyone expected.After some preliminary comparisons to the current Android heavyweights, the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One (Read: Moto X vs Galaxy S4 and Moto X vs HTC One), we were all reminded that what we read on a specs sheet and how a phone feels in the real world are two very different things.Motorola promises that this phone will create a unique experience geared for everyone, and not just the hardcore Android power user. While the phone it not without flaws — some of them easily deal breakers for certain groups of users — the X is an impressive first step from The New Motorola.HardwareMotorola is no stranger to the “flat black slab” design, having made more than a few of them over the past few years. The Moto X is quite different… or at least the back half of it is. The phone feels like two different concepts that have been pressed together in order to create a single device. On the front half you’ll find a glossy, opaque plastic bezel that curves over the edge of the phone and holds the glass on top of the display. The glass that is not directly over the display matches the color of the plastic, creating a nice uniform feel on the front of the phone if you choose black and a somewhat awkward and downright cheap look if you go with white. You’ll find very little on the front of the phone that is not the display, outside of the normal phone bits like microphone, speaker, and front-facing camera. For a phone with a 4.7-inch display, it feels smaller than any other high-end Android phone sold today.Considering that is uses a 720p RGB AMOLED display, the Moto X looks great. The colors temperature is neutral, allowing for both text and images to appear sharp on the display. The 316ppi display doesn’t hold a candle to some of today’s 1080p IPS displays, especially in direct sunlight, but you won’t be able to see pixels or pentile line fragments. It’s a decent display that won’t eat your battery just by existing, but it certainly isn’t going to win Motorola any awards.The other side of the Moto X is wildly different. The polycarbonate backing, which is currently only available in a black or white (unless you build your phone through Moto Maker), that closely resembles the kevlar designs Motorola has deployed in the past, curves in a dramatic fashion. The phone tapers from 10.4mm at the thickest point just above the center of the device to the 5.6mm at the base and just barely thicker than this at the top and sides of the device. It’s almost as though the Motorola symbol on the back of the phone is being pulled away from the phone, and the back has warped out as it happened.Ergonomically speaking, your finger naturally rests on the concave spot on the back (where the Motorola logo is), and it doesn’t feel as though you are stretching your thumb to reach the other side of the phone when trying to use it with a single hand. The end result is a phone that feels very comfortable in your hand, but a little wobbly and clumsy when trying to use it as the phone rests on a flat surface.These two pieces meet together in the middle of the phone, as the glassy plastic gives way to the matte backing. On the sides of the phone, the glossy plastic is the more dominant texture as you run your thumb across the bezel. On the corners of the phone, where the back of the phone is slightly larger, the softer texture is the more exposed of the two.The design of the Moto X, being able to combine two different textures with two different shapes that will potentially be many different colors, is a unique take on the smartphone without coming off as a strange new phone. Ultimately it feels great in the hand, and is genuinely enjoyable to use with one hand or two.Clear Pixel cameraMotorola’s smartphone cameras have historically never been anything particularly special. They get the job done, and their apps have always kept up well enough with the pace of the rest of the industry, but over the last few years there’s clearly not been anything driving the Motorola team to deliver a one of a kind camera experience. The Moto X includes the world’s first RGBC sensor in a phone, with the hope that it will deliver a high end camera experience that also offers a great lowlight experience. Alongside of this the new camera app looks to strip as many buttons from the experience to allow the user to take a photo as quickly as possible, even going so far as to include a wrist flick gesture that launches the camera app from any point in the OS.Motorola’s Clear Pixel camera does exactly what it advertises it will do. In low light situations the camera easily competes with the HTC One and Nokia Lumia 928 when it comes to the sensor being able to “see” in low light. When capturing images it does a great job demonstrating color accuracy, and the AutoHDR function does an acceptable job balancing the light if there’s ever an issue with the environment you are trying to take a picture in. It’s a camera that has removes as many features as possible to create an actual point and shoot smartphone, which is great for the average users but potentially frustrating to the smartphone camera veteran.The camera app in the Moto X has autofocus on by default that tries quickly focus on things that are within a couple of feet, typically preferring to focus much farther away. As long as you aren’t in an environment where the phone continuously tries to refocus, you’ll get a great shot right away. There’s a tap-to-focus feature that you can enable, but the camera takes the photo regardless of whether or not it focused correctly after you tap. There’s no pause in between focus and capture, and so the camera misfires frequently in this mode. This happens far less frequently with the front-facing camera, though as a 2MP shooter you won’t be doing much other than face shots which are relatively easy to optimize for. When you do get that clear photo, it’s usually a pretty great shot.HDR is set to Auto on this phone, which further contributes to the Moto X camera. HDR in general on this phone is great from the perspective of someone who plans to edit the photos later, as the colors or often very accurate. There seems to be almost no post processing done when the photo is taken, so while the end result could be described as washed out when compared to the HTC One, which tends to over-processes photos, you get a much more real photo. Turning HDR off seemed to generate the best all around photos, while HDR on served as a great tool for photos that will be edited later. With Auto HDR on, it takes much longer to get from capture to capture. The delay from taking one photo to another can often be two seconds, unless you’ve decided to hold your finger on the screen and capture a series of photos via the burst shot feature. (For more on the HTC One read our low-light camera shootout.)Video is just as auto-focus ready as the rest of the camera, and the single button press required to capture video is a welcome change from the often overcomplicated third party Android camera apps. The camcorder function on the Moto X does a great job capturing 1080p video or 720p slow motion video. You can tap the screen anytime you are recording video and capture stills, which often end up looking better than just trying to take a normal photo.Next page: A new paradigm… VIEW PHOTO GALLERY Moto X Review FeatureMoto X Review FeatureMoto X rearMotoXAssistMotoXTrustedBatteryMotoXMoto X camera sampleHTC One Moto X featuredMoto XMoto X patternMoto X colorsMoto X HTC One sideMoto X FeaturedMoto X camera compareMoto X NFC speakerMoto X HTC OneMoto X HTC One BackDark Wood Moto XMoto X Wood variantMoto X WoodMoto X color Variantsmoto XMoto XMoto X backlast_img

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