Motorola Moto X reviewed

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Score

4 Overall
  • Performance
  • Hardware
  • Battery
  • Software
  • Price
PRO - Great 10 megapixel camera that works great with specially designed app that takes moving pictures accurately
- Impressive connectivity for a device that isn't supposed to be judged by this criteria
- Long lasting battery life capable of withholding up to 10 hours of active usage

CONS - Small resolution capabilities although capable of sharp contrast
- Limited 16Gb storage
- Rather expensive

Let’s be brutally honest for a second here, we have been expecting Motorola to come up with something revolutionary ever since Google took over not so long ago. It is true that they have never really dominated the mobile market in the past anyway, but they have been among the top producers of mobile phones in the past. With new management, it was expected of Motorola to deliver a good enough device to merit the Android support, and for the most part they got it right.

Moto X is the latest Android to hit the market, and it does this with style. With futuristic voice command capabilities combined with a seedy camera, Moto X looks like a truly well-designed device, the type we would expect from its makers. If, however, you’re thinking of Moto X as a state of the art piece of hardware, you better think again. It is not cutting edge by any means, and it isn’t the cheapest on the market either, but it is a device that provides enough quality to merit its value for the time being.

First impression

With a mediocre screen and a limited storage, Moto X doesn’t look like the type of mobile device that will render us silent of admiration, so don’t get your hopes up. The fact of the matter is that with a limited 16GB storage for the $199 model, Moto X falls short in its comparison with the popular devices such as the HTC One or Galaxy S4, although additional storage can be purchased by its owner at a later time. This being said, Moto X is a compact handset brimming with features aimed at regular phone users. Among them, features such as Google Now voice control are bound to appeal to large audiences, especially since all these features are crowded inside a highly customizable device.

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Design

Instead of its traditional chiseled lines, Motorola made Moto X more compact and roundly-shaped. This improves the phone’s grip and makes it easy to hold. The roundness isn’t new however, as most devices nowadays are designed this way, including the more famous HTC One and Galaxy S4. Unlike them however, Moto X is a bit more textured and softer to the touch. Additionally, the X’s backside has left and right edges that are sloping sharply unlike the middle of the device. Motorola claims that this unique shape will improve its handling much better than the traditional arc. The X’s handset also uses a specially designed battery that matches the device’s shape entirely.

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Features

As far as the screen is concerned, Moto X is a bit of a letdown compared with what you usually get nowadays when buying a smartphone. Most of these have screens of around 4.7 inches capable of boosting resolutions of 1920×1080 whereas Moto X’s 4.7 inch screen barely goes over 1280×720. This unfortunately means that Moto X cannot boost the same level of image sharpness as its competitors although in all seriousness, you would have to be superhuman to notice any real difference. This being said, the device’s screen doesn’t seem to be that inappropriate for the most part, as it uses a very thin bezel that reaches the front edges of the handset, thus making it seem larger than it really is.

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In terms of processing power, Moto X uses what Motorola likes to call the X8 Mobile Computing System, an engine that resembles what most droids nowadays use quite a lot. It is no surprise that it it called like that however, as the system uses eight distinct processing cores, a system that is capable of employing up to 1.7 GHz of power. Additionally, the phone uses two additional low-power processing centers designed to help the device deal with contextual computing and analysing spoken language when needed. Speaking of hardware, no less than 2GB of RAM will keep this device running smoothly for the most part, which is exactly the amount that most similar devices have anyway.

Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System.  Image credit: The Verge

Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System. Image credit: The Verge

Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System. Image credit: The Verge

Seeing how Moto X is a direct result of the union between Google and Motorola, it was only natural for the device to use an Android OS, although it comes as a bit of a surprise that it uses the 4.2.2 Jelly Bean version and not the 4.3 version which is newer. Either way, the Android OS backed up by its ingenious designers allows Moto X to run features such as contextual computing or ‘Touchless Control’ as Google likes to call it.

Moto X’s camera is a 10 megapixel one that uses a ‘Clear Pixel’ RGBC sensor as well as a LED flash that allows it to snap pictures at an incredible speed while capturing 75% more light than other smartphones currently on the market. This allows it to take pictures with lower shutter times and much clearer images even within dark conditions with decreased visibility. Moto X also uses an app called ‘Quick Capture’ that takes pictures according to the owner’s hand gestures.

Motorola-Moto-X-camera

The device is also capable of impressive download speeds, capable of up to 10 Mbps. Although the upload speed isn’t the greatest around, these numbers can also be affected by local carriers and how busy their network is. It is safe to say however, that under normal circumstances, the device can download data at a speed as fast as 20 Mbps with upload speeds of up to 15 Mbps depending on the network.

The battery life of a Moto X can be as long as 10 hours despite active use. This means that you can engage in power draining activities for hours on end before needing to recharge the device. From this point of view, Motorola’s device is just as good as most smartphones on the market, if not better.

Impression

For the most part, Moto X looks like a really good solution for those who are looking to buy a newer smartphone that isn’t already a well established brand. Although the device has plenty of shortcomings, its Android OS, long battery life and powerful camera, make it the perfect solution for those looking to use it more like a phone rather than a laptop or sorts. Yes, this may not be on par with what the younger generation’s expectation of a smartphone is, but it’s definitely something that experienced users should look into.

Motorola’s Moto X isn’t a state of the art smartphone designed to revolutionize the way we look at technology. It is a stable, self-reliant, long-lasting phone that just happens to share all the characteristics of a small tablet. Considering the fact that it uses an Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, it is a great solution for those looking to acquire a newer phone but are not willing to learn how to operate a different OS.