Motorola Moto X review

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The Moto X is the first of the new Google owned Motorola range. A phone designed to put the user experience first and not compete in a race to be the most powerful Android phone.

Motorola took the stock Android interface and added touchless control and active display. They gave the customers the opportunity to customize the colours and accents and materials and then made it available on every US carrier. So does the Moto X live up to the expectations it sets?

Hardware

The Moto X has a 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED display and is comfortable to hold in the hand. The back is down to your choice, white, black or one of 19 different varieties including the new natural Bamboo back and seven different accent colours.

The feel depends on the materials you chose but the natural bamboo back that the Moto X has in my possession is both striking and unique. It doesn’t necessarily feel like wood but it certainly looks the part. The buttons feel solid and the screen although flat seems to have a curved look to it which accentuates the punchy colours of the AMOLED display.

Software

There is something to be said about touchless control where you really don’t have to touch the phone to operate it. The Nexus 5 and iPhone 5/5S both have voice control but they require a certain user action to operate, be it unlocking the phone first on the Nexus 5 or holding the home button down.

Setting an alarm or playing music without having to get out of bed is a feeling of pure futurism that is addictive and once experienced every other phone feels poorer for lack of the feature. The active display isn’t unique to the Moto X as Nokia have a similar feature on the Lumia range and even Samsung have their own version on their flagship devices but the simplicity and detail it provides does set it apart.

Those are features that take the Moto X to a different place than any other phone of 2013 and are exceptional features. When you add the almost stock latest version of Android (4.4 KitKat as of writing) and Motorola Assist, which knows when you’re driving, and not to disturb you as a result it is hard to argue with how Motorola and Google have fine tuned Android.

Performance

The Moto X is about user experience and it does a fantastic job but it isn’t perfect. The camera isn’t great. It is adequate and the display would really be better at full 1080p. There are occasional performance hiccups where you feel like a more current processor would have had none when browsing a heavy website. But overall the Moto X excels and does an amazing job.

The battery life is fantastic and in my tests lasted at least 2 days of average use which is no doubt down to the reduced specs of the display and processor but a phone that doesn’t last a day isn’t any good no matter how powerful it is so the Moto X won’t let you down when you need it most.

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Final Verdict

No smartphone in 2013 was perfect, they all had strengths and weaknesses but when it comes down to it the Moto X was the best of the year. The ecosystem of Android with the software enhancements Motorola threw in with great hardware and solid battery life means that for anyone that doesn’t want a phablet behemoth you should buy a Moto X… If you live in the US that is which is the only country that Motorola is selling it in.

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