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MotoMaker Hands-on and Tour: Motorola’s Moto X Customizer (Updated: Video Added)

motomaker moto x

The rumors were true, Motorola is indeed allowing future owners of its new flagship Moto X to customize their phone like never before. The color choices are as wild as Motorola’s goals with this new idea, but so far, we’re really liking what we have seen.

I spent a ton of time this morning with Motorola’s online customizer for the Moto X – it’s called MotoMaker. This is where Motorola is truly trying to standout from a crowded smartphone space by allowing users to fully customize the look of their phone. From the front face to the back plate to the accented buttons to the wallpaper to engraving on the backside, there really is nothing like this. All of the customizing happens in Texas, where the phone is made, allowing Motorola to offer customers an insane turn-around time of about 4 days (sometimes less).

At launch, the MotoMaker and all of its customizations will only be available to the AT&T variant of the phone, something we reported a few weeks back. The goal is clearly to make this feature available to all carriers, but Motorola wasn’t ready to announce anything just yet. So yes, this is another AT&T exclusive, though it shouldn’t be too long before you can customize a Moto X for your favorite carrier.

So how does it work? Let’s walk through it step by step.  

From the start screen which will be located at motomaker.com (pictured at the top), this is where you dive into colors for the back of your Moto X. Motorola has categorized them based on some specific palettes of Cool, Neutral, Warm, and Wood (yes, wood). You can quickly click from color to color, all the while seeing a live preview in your browser. You can even go full 360-degree mode if you’d like.

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Once you have chosen a back color, you move to the front where you can choose from either white or black. There could be additional colors in the future, but these are the two choices for now. Motorola plans to allow for fans to vote on future colors, so stay tuned for that.

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After the front, you get to what may be the coolest part – customizing the accents which are items like the volume rocker and power switch or the ring around the camera. This is where you can really make the phone your own. At this time, there are 7 options for the accents.


After choosing an accent, Motorola will let you engrave the back with whatever you’d like at no extra charge. They did tell me that there is a filter to stop those who want something like “f*ck” on the back, but almost everything else is fair play.

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After you have engraved, you can choose from a handful of select cases, one of which is clear plastic as to not hide the color scheme you just picked out.

motomaker moto x

Once you are finished designing the appearance, you get to choose storage amounts in the phone. The two choices are 16GB and 32GB. The 16GB model runs $199 on-contract, while the 32GB model will jump up $50 to $249.

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To take it all a step further, Motorola will then let you toss in a special message on the boot animation, similarly to what you did to the back with engraving. It could be as simple as “Hi!” to “Droid Life.”

motomaker moto x

After you choose the boot animation settings, Motorola will bring up a set of wallpapers that you can have default from first boot. They initially select one that matches your color choices on the phone, but you can choose any that they have available.

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Before moving onto accessories, Motorola will let you sign-in to your Google account on the phone, so that when it arrives, you’ll only need to enter your password and then be on your way to downloading apps and other setup processes.

motomaker moto x

Once setup internally and externally are completed, you get to choose accessories that range from additional wall chargers to SOL Republic headphones that match the color choices Motorola offered during design.

motomaker moto x

motomaker moto x

Here is the review screen so that you can confirm your custom Moto X.

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And finally, you get to choose at checkout if you are signing up through AT&T, or if you have a Moto X Card. A Moto X card is like a voucher or gift card that you purchase in AT&T stores that can then be redeemed online. The idea here, is that you might want to walk into a store to get your hands on the phone, but then want to turn around and customize a phone online. Assuming you like the phone, you can sign-up for service with AT&T, purchase the phone on the Moto X Card, and then head home to customize one online. The Moto X Card has a redemption code on the back.

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So that’s MotoMaker! Again, it will be an exclusive AT&T feature at launch, but it’s clear that Motorola is looking to push this to other carriers.

Update:  Here is a video tutorial from Motorola.

  • Pedro

    You should capitalize ‘fail’ more.
    It will help make your point.

  • Liderc

    Looks like they spent too much time working on their Motomaker website and forgot to make a quality device. I bet you maybe 1/10 people even care about the color of their device, probably even less than that. The only thing that’s even possibly interesting is engraving something on the back, and even that’s questionably interesting.

    Old specs, expensive, but there’s tons of colors! It’s like they have no clue. Worries me about their future.

    Looks like Samsung will continue to reign.

    • Sacrifist

      I’m curious about your insight as to the quality of the device. By all accounts, it’s beautiful, well-built, and great to hold and is likely to have very good battery life. No, it doesn’t have top-tier hardware, but it’s more than enough to get the job done (for the time being, at least) but they’re not marketing to the power user. Nobody is, really.

      As far as upgrading your screen to 1080p and your battery to a larger size, those kind of cancel each other out. PPI is so high nowadays that unless your looking closely at screens sitting next to one another, you are simply not going to notice a significant difference. The X is over 300ppi at 720p, and pushing fewer pixels is going to help the battery a lot.

      The customizations, while superficial, help differentiate the X. I see lots of WP8 phones getting noticed due to their unique, colorful designs. Having a phone that’s not a black or white rectangular prism with rounded corners will draw some attention, and word-of-mouth is what Moto needs.

      • Liderc

        Moving to a 1080P screen is like night and day, if you haven’t seen them side by side you just can’t imagine. It’s like a totally different experience. It’s like if you switched from VHS to Blu-ray honestly.

        And moving to 1080P from 720P while including a much larger battery isn’t going to cancel anything out. It’s still brightness that affects the battery the most, so that’s a careless thing to say. You keep your sharp picture due to the picture, and you reduce your brightness like always to retain longer battery life.

        Pushing more pixels is overrated in phones in terms of battery loss, it’s nothing like computers and powerful GPU’s using massive amounts of power at higher resolutions, they’re totally different because the GPU is so powerful (if you’re using a high-end $4-500 GPU) that it uses a lot power, but the GPUs in phones are so much more effective, plus they’re only putting an image on a less than 5” screen instead of a 24-30” screen.

  • Real Talk

    Give me a phone with a physical keyboard, a battery that can be replaced, SD card capability, and good specs and I’ll buy it. Otherwise, might as well just get an iPhone.

    • Cory Pitkavish

      an iphone has none of what you claim to want. how is buying one a solution??

  • shecalledmejay

    I was still willing to give this phone a go, I need something to replace this Gnex badly on verizon but that bootloader killed it for me.

    • CapnShiner

      That is a bit disappointing, but there will be a Google Play Edition that should be unlocked. Just make that Gnex last a few more months.

  • xFail

    eww. the x phone home page. gross.. Can we get the cold industrial motorola branding/advertising back? as much as i didnt like it, i’ll take it over this effeminate hipster douche nonsense any day.

    beyond the queer marketing, the phone specs (as we’ve known for a while) are junk… However, what i (and i’m sure ALOT of other prospective VZ purchasers with aging phones (GNEX ne1?) and grandfathered unlimited data) was hoping for, was a reasonable price off contract and an unlockable bootloader. But, the only pricing announced was the subsidized price. And the subsidized price is where the un-subsidized price SHOULD be (approximately)… considering the hardware inside it. and as far as unlockable bootloaders go — the moto lockdown saga continues.

    We had lofty hopes, i know… and we have droid-life (and the ilk) to thank for that. YOU RUINED THIS PHONE FOR US! with your ‘leaks’ and ‘insider information’ from ‘reputable sources’ /s

    Looks like getting a ‘decent’ phone with ‘decent’ specs and a ‘decent’ off-contract price from verizon (so i can keep my unlimited data) isnt going to happen…No big deal, the nexus 5 is only a few short months away.. N5 and t-mo, her i come!

  • Raven

    Forget colors and Wood, I want more choices of other materials for the back. Aluminum, Magnesium, Titanium, Ceramic, Carbon Fiber, heck even their left over Kevlar. Who wouldn’t want a Lithium battery behind a Magnesium cover? Hmm, maybe not? I would definitely opt for Titanium, strong and light and it would match my watch, bracelet, and ring.

  • deadpenguins

    OMG! I can pick my own WALLPAPER?? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • michael curtis

    So you configure your phone with colors, wallpapers, and setup your account. Thats customization not real things like an extended battery option, or better speaker. 2200 mAh is not enough for power user.

    I was excited for this phone to be the Google standard for a actual android user.

    It is way too gimmicky and I am very disappointed. You make the OS and the phone and this is what you came up with….. Come on Google..

    • zionlion02

      It’s real to everyone outside of DL, you know? Most people don’t know what a mAh is. This is pretty revolutionary for phones. Plus as a bone to this community, you can pick storage. That was half the battle based on what people here said.

      • Liderc

        They might not know what mAh is, but they sure as hell care about it just as much as we do since it determines how often you have to charge your device.

        This is a total failure. You think half the battle was being able to pick storage? lol, you’re obviously not in tune with what the community is looking for.

        The price is wrong, the specs are wrong, the options are totally pointless, and it’s exclusive to AT&T. I can’t imagine it could have been more wrong to be truthful.

    • CapnShiner

      You’re not looking at the big picture. The point is differentiation. No other phone manufacturer is offering this level of customization. Sure, it’s all superficial, except for the amount of flash storage, but it will appeal to a large segment of the market.

      This may also be just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe this is serving as a proof of concept to see if their built to order strategy works and, if it does, the same concept will be applied to other components, like the battery, screen, CPU, RAM, speakers, camera, etc. The casing and software are much cheaper to do this with than the internal components or screen.

      • Liderc

        It’s too expensive to order larger batteries, more RAM(which would require internal design changes), faster CPUs, camera ect… It would never be cost effective. Mass manufacturing is the entire reason 99% of buyers can even afford these types of devices. When you take that out, costs will skyrocket and that’ll be that.

        The companies already know this, that’s why they’re only doing the shell casing colors and whatnot, they know it’ll attract the younger market, and they throw a bone to people concerned with space (which will be irrelevant within a year or less as we move everything to the cloud).

        I know I’m being extra harsh on this, but I just think more different kinds of phones is a bad thing for Android. We already have tons of choices, we need 3 or 4 main choices for top tier devices total, and then 3 or 4 mid range, and then 2-3 free devices. This is just adding to the problem to me. I don’t like to see the industry going backwards, and this feels like something the phone companies would have done in early 2008-9.

  • duke69111

    I hate the thought of the Moto X as a Flagship device…

  • sgland7771

    WOW…EPIC FAIL! 2 major problems, on AT&T exclusively for customizing…and…wait for it…not available for a great price off contract. Guess I will be hanging to my S3. Very sad day.

    • TheRobotCow

      Did you not read that it will be out for all carriers?

      • James_75

        I guess you missed the words ” exclusively for customizing”.

        • TheRobotCow

          I guess you missed this
          “So that’s MotoMaker! Again, it will be an exclusive AT&T feature at launch, but it’s clear that Motorola is looking to push this to other carriers.”

          Why can’t people read? Is it that hard???

          • James_75

            What’s clear is that it is completely unclear as to when the exclusivity ends and other carriers also get to offer this service. Until you have that knowledge it doesn’t matter that “Motorola is looking to push this to other carriers”. The fact that it didn’t launch on all carriers is just plain dumb which = FAIL.

        • Chris Carter

          You missed, for now

          • James_75

            No I didn’t. The fact that it even has to be “for now” is FAIL and that was the OP’s point.

          • TheRobotCow

            Can’t you get your head out of your ass? Its just for now, it’s not like there’s a store rep holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy it right now. Shesh, stubborn idiots these days who can’t see the whole picture but choose to focus in on their tiny details till they die…

          • James_75

            Insult me all you like, but you’re still wrong and that’s all that matters. Exclusivity for this program to one carrier (even if it’s only for now) = FAIL. The point the OP was making (and I agree) is that while “eventually” customization may be available on additional carriers, the fact that it is exclusive to ATT sucks big donky wang. “Big picture” does not negate the fact that exclusives on any carrier is typically a bad idea when something popular is announced. No one said anything about being forced to buy the device now so I’m not sure how that comment is even relevant. You’re probably the same guy who was happy when the HTC One wasn’t announced for VZW when it launched because you only see the “whole picture” right?

    • Sacrifist

      Two points:
      1) The amount of people (in the US, at least) who care about off-contract pricing account for a very small percentage of the smartphone customer base. It’s growing, with MVNO and regional carriers offering low rates, but it’s still tiny.

      2) Your S3 was not sold at a great price off-contract. Why is it such a fault for the Moto X?

  • zurginator

    I do wish it was a bit cheaper, but I can’t imagine the cost of maintaining all those options, and on-demand construction. Interested to see how this plays out in the future.

  • Jose Salas

    Do the customizations cost more?

    • Travillion

      Nope, not according to the report.

  • Chippah

    $250 ON contract
    last years specs.

  • Cody

    Heard it was only ATT customization.

  • Razma

    That damn GIANT Asterisk

  • MikeCiggy

    So…. why was it smarter to make Moto X cards instead of simply set up a small station in the store to do the ordering? Then associates could help if their are issues.

    • InvaderDJ

      Less cost to the carrier store and you avoid huge lines of people taking forever to customize.

      • CapnShiner

        Exactly. I don’t think there is anything stopping someone from using a demo laptop or tablet in the store if they really can’t wait but the line for using a kiosk would be ridiculous. I wouldn’t want to stand around an AT&T store for an hour while some jackass tries out every single color combination.

  • panicswhenubered

    “At launch, the MotoMaker and all of its customizations will only be available to the AT&T variant of the phone” FUUUUUUUUUUU (I know we were expecting this, I was just hoping it wouldn’t be true.)

  • Gants

    I was waiting for a 199 on contract phone and customization that will be covered by a case. -______-

  • Guest

    Motorola: #ThisComebackTho

  • Aaron

    I hope that 199.99 in the screenshot is off contract!!

    • Aaron

      Guess I should’ve read the whole article first, got excited.

  • droidrazredge

    I guess this is to show love to AT&T since Verizon got the love for the Droid Razr Family that just came out. I guess for Motorola this is the only way to be fair to possibly give each carrier something cool for an exclusive time.

    • Brendan Small

      I fail to recognize exclusivity for T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular.

  • Bill Newman

    32GB $249 ON contract…so $549-599 off?….lol. So much for hitting that ultra low price point.

    • DaveIsAwesome

      Well if it’s made in America, they may actually have to pay the workers to manufacture the phone.

      • Dee

        pay them with green stamps instead..

      • Bill Newman

        It costs $8.50 to manufacture a Galaxy S4. Sounds like they made a bad business decision then. Time will tell…

      • Bill Newman

        It’s your choice to pay more for a product because it was “assembled”, not “made” in America. Let’s get that straight first. It’s also my choice to look at competitive pricing. Capitalism works.

        • Bob G

          It is also his choice to say what he wants on the internet just like you, so why so angry?

          • Bill Newman

            Absolutely, and not angry. Just wanted to be clear on the whole “Made in America” slogan and point out our differences are the root of why capitalism and globalization works. *thumbs up*

    • LuckyStrike1944

      Totally…I have a sad.

  • Guest

    $200!!!! I need one now!

    • Franklin7777

      Looks like that is on-contract.

    • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

      On contract

  • keithsmith22

    Running vanilla Android?

  • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

    $250 on-contract? I sense $399 was a pipe dream


      Or if it’s not, AT&T is making a killing on having to subsidize less.

      • michael arazan

        If Motorola sold these themselves and cut out the middle men carriers and sold them for $350-400 this would have been the top selling smart phone this year. F$cking carriers

        • Frettfreak

          unfortunately it still wouldnt. people go to the carriers to buy their phones. Tech geeks such as us might go to them, but look at teh nexus 4… great phone, sold pretty well, but nowhere NEAR any other the other major players that have their phones on the shelves in the carrier stores. I dont like it either, but its the truth

  • Matthew DiGiacomo

    Im sorry $199? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?! You go MotoGoogle!

    • Franklin7777


      • Jeff C

        people cant’t read 🙁

        • Matthew DiGiacomo

          Yeah I saw the $199 on Motorolas website and jumped the gun

        • WAldenIV

          You gotta be the “First!!!1!1!!!!111!!!!!!” so there is no time to read the actual post.

      • MikeCiggy

        Still, I paid $300 for a Verizon gnex ON CONTRACT

  • Fahad Beg


    • Mike

      What the hell are you talking about? It’s going to be available on all major carriers.

      • Ryan

        I think he meant the customization is exclusive to AT&T currently.. Which I hope changes very soon. I’m not going back to that worthless carrier after my past experiences with them.