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Why You Should Consider the Moto X [Opinion]

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 3.23.56 PM

The Moto X is the first Android phone in a long, long time that I have actually wanted. If you’re tempted to stop reading right there because you think this is going to be another biased fanboy rant, stop right there. My primary phone is an iPhone 4S and the next phone I buy will be another iPhone. Motorola isn’t paying me and I don’t have a gun to my head. I really do like this phone and I think you should too.

Carriers & Brand Recognition

I think this is going to be the first Android phone since the Droid or the Galaxy S where people will be proud to say that they have this phone because their friends have it too. The Moto X is distinct from the Droid and the Galaxy S (and its successors) in that it offers a level of customization yet consistency that enables a sense of community and individuality at the same time. Like the S4, they’ll be able to walk into any carrier and buy it. Like the iPhone, there are simple options and a built in level of customization to make up for the lack of accessories that iOS users use to create a sense of individuality. In short, it takes the customization that Android is well known for and packages it in a way that I think people will be proud of.

Specifications & Android

This phone is coming at a time when the spec wars have effectively ended, which enables Motorola to emphasize what actually matters: software. A lot of people appear to be complaining that the Moto X has mid-range specs. The truth of the matter is that mid-range specs have been more than enough for a top-tier phone for a long time, but Android hasn’t been ready.

Android devices are somewhat notorious for having issues with framerates, IO performance, and general lag. Many users reported having issues with a phone slowing down with use. While I definitely had many of those problems, I always attributed it to running custom ROMs or my perception after seeing newer hardware. I can remember being frustrated that iOS users often had superior performance despite having less RAM and a slower processor. It turns out that Android needed some enhancements to deal with those issues.

Starting with Android 4.1, the Android team began to address performance issues dealing specificaly with framerates through Project Butter. In Android 4.3, Google has added TRIM, which greatly enhances IO performance. Between increased framerates and better IO performance, Android should be feeling better both out of the box and after being in use for months at a time without a wipe.

While the Moto X isn’t launching with Android 4.3, it is launching at a time when Android has reached enough maturity so that having an insane processor and tons of RAM isn’t necessary. Obviously having top of the line specs does help, but the vast majority of people don’t need a phone with top of the line specs. What they need is a phone that will perform well over a two year contract. I have no doubt that the Moto X can be that phone for most Android users, especially after it receives Android 4.3.

Hardware Customization

This is something that I’ve wanted for a long time. For Android enthusiasts, Android has always been about being able to customize the phone to your liking. A lot of the debate between iOS and Android enthusiasts has been about the level of customization available to each user. A lot of the debate centered around the idea that if you want a simple phone that is easy to understand, you get an iPhone, but if you know what you’re doing then you get an Android phone. While I have a lot of scruples with that idea, I get it. I’ve spent many hours customizing my home screens with widgets and icon packs and launchers and tweaks only to flash a totally different ROM on my phone to enable slightly different tweaks. The Moto X takes that kind of a obsession with software design customizations and brings it to the hardware.

While the customizations are essentially limited to colors and engravings, I love the idea of being able to select the colors I want for my phone. I think giving people tons of options to color their phones and have them shipped to your home in 4 days is going to resonate well with consumers. People already buy cases and covers for their phones to make their phone feel more personal; personalized color options takes that to the next level.

Software Customizations

The Moto X is not shipping with stock Android, but the customizations they have added are designed to enhance and simplify the phone. These aren’t gimmicks like pausing video when you look away; these are real features that change the way you use the phone for the better.

Like I said on the Droid Life Show, I think the ability to launch the camera with the flick of a wrist will be an amazing feature for enthusiasts, moms, students, and everyone in between. The fact of the matter is that people want to be able to take good photos quickly. The Moto X doesn’t come with the best camera on the market, but from what I’ve seen it takes good shots and the interface is brilliantly simple. Tap to shoot, swipe from right to left to enter Gallery, swipe from left to right to adjust the camera settings. Most people don’t want to have a million options when taking a picture. They may want to make some edits before posting a picture to Instagram, but other than that people just want to take a photo to remember a moment.

Active Notifications are another software enhancement that I find ingenious. I personally hate a notification light for two reasons. First, it just keeps blinking at me to tell me something I usually already know: I have a new notification. I don’t need a constant reminder. Second, while some phones allow a great deal of customization in terms of notification light colors and blinking patterns, I still find I would rather know precisely what the notification is so I can decide if it warrants my attention or not. Some of Nokia’s phones have implemented a similar idea for showing bits of information on the screen without lighting up the whole thing. Motorola takes this a step further by adding functionality to respond to notifications in an intelligent manner with swipes.

Voice recognition integrated with Google Now is another feature that I think is innovative, but probably not life changing. I like that you can train the Moto X to listen just for your voice. If anything, having voice recognition prepares for a future where multiple humans in one space are trying to use Google Now with their voice. While I’m praying that history does not go in the direction of people talking at their phones in public, I still think this is a neat way to give voice feedback more security than other intelligent assistants (I’m looking at you, Siri).

Conclusions

The Moto X is not the best Android phone if your expectations include the best processor, the best display, stock Android, and no carrier interference for updates. If that’s what you want, then keep dreaming. If, however, you want a phone lets you customize its hardware and software, has pleanty of power, and is going to be available on every major carrier, then I think you ought to consider the Moto X. There will always be another phone with a higher resolution screen or a processor with more power than you need or more megapixels. If you want power and top of the line specs, go get an S4 or a One; you’ll be happy with either phone. The Moto X isn’t about overwhelming you with specs; it’s about meeting your needs as a device while tailoring itself to your aesthetic tastes. The Moto X really is the first phone that can be designed by you in a meaningful way.

  • Dominick White

    So pretty much save your money and just grt the droid mini. Or for the same price as the x get the s4, htc one or wait for the lg g2 or note 3

  • Mike

    Lame article is lame. “I’m buying an iPhone but you guys should consider this” …wow

  • hello

    Droid-life is pulling out all the stops to promote the X, and its starting to bug me a little.
    Originally, we were all led to believe that this mid range phone would buck the 2 year contract architecture, sell retail at a reasonable price, and give us a Google experience on a Motorola handset while keeping our unlimited data on Verizon’s awesome(-ly overpriced) network. We thought, in essence, a manufacturer might finally favor the consumer. And we were completely wrong. Like starry-eyed teens we had our hopes steamrolled by the realities of capitalism. How naive we were.
    But, for me, articles like this underline a more insidious issue: droid-life is actually buying into the X as if we have not all been duped. They are doing their best to convince us the piss in our hair is only a summer shower. It makes you wonder if they are buying into the X because they have been bought. The backtracking they have done since the X became official has been an impressive spectacle, but unfortunately, I can no longer really respect their opinions, because they change with the tide. I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way.
    Enjoy your Monday, android family!

    • SparkysShocker

      How is this different then what they have done with any other flag ship phone, or phone that they felt was game changing?

      • yaniv

        Do you really think the Moto X is game changing?!

    • yaniv

      +1

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      I think you’re reading way too much into this coverage. They are treating it just like any other flagship launch. The difference is that instead of the majority of the community going “hell yeah!!!”, the majority is bashing it without having ever touched the thing. The amount of misrepresentation in the community regarding this device, from its specs to its features, is entirely unprecedented. Hence, Droid-Life is doing their best to inform, as a good blog should, and for their trouble they are being accused of everything from bias to being on the Motorola payroll. Frankly it’s shameful to level such accusations based on nothing but your distaste for the device they are reporting about.

      Did you ever start to think that maybe, just maybe, the device might actually be (gasp!) a good device? That is might actually be worth *more* than its competitors overall? No, you simply liken your own personal disappointment to “piss in [your] hair”, rather than doing what should be done at every device’s release which is ignore every rumor about what it “should” have been, and instead evaluating the whole of what it is. And even if the end result is that it is not the device for you, don’t trash the writers simply because they don’t share your puerile outrage over what “could have been”.

    • schlanz

      Totally can’t understand how a device that is estimated to cost $225 to build is going for $575 off contract. It’s highway robbery. How anyone can defend mid range specs, regardless of how well they perform, at this price point is beyond me. One can hope that the next Nexus will be available on VZW and at a reasonable off contract price. Unlikely I guess. VZW wants you off unlimited and won’t make it easy for you to get a nice phone at full retail. You could always get the Lucid 2 I guess! Only $350 off contract, has amazing battery life!

    • interstellarmind

      TOTALLY agree. I find it curious that most reviewers are waiting before doing in eoth reviews and instead touting the same software features over and over. Almost seems like Moto has set terms on when it can be reviewed and what reviewers must talk about. Very disappointed in droid-life right now. You can’t say this is a good phone when there’s the nexus 4, one, and s4 out there (unless you’re bought).

    • NemaCystX

      the majority of the Moto X is gonna have this, gonna have that etc coverage is compliments of hype troll Bionic, he set up everyone to get excited and when he ended up being wrong about alot he all of a sudden disappears when the flamewar erupts

  • E. Tasche

    “These aren’t gimmicks like pausing video when you look away; these are real features that change the way you use the phone for the better.” And the necessary hardware to support those features – if that second bit was not true we would see android apps (and probably iphone apps) cloning those features..

  • ssl48

    You should consider the Moto X because the blogger is being paid to suggest it to you.

  • Jon

    I hear the voice recognition software can be activated by anyone even after you trained it. It would suck when your phone does something when it’s in standbay (voice recognitions in standby) when someone else is voice controlling their phone.

  • Reuben Jacobs

    Yeah I agree. “My primary phone is an iPhone 4S and the next phone I buy will be another iPhone”. I stopped reading right then and there lol.

  • Silver Veloz

    The more I hear about the Moto X, the more I’m heading towards this being my next phone. Ron’s article above, just added to my direction there. Yes, he uses an iPhone….so! He said he uses it for a specific reason. My company has a contract with Apple, so some people have to have an iPhone as part of their work, but their personal phones are Androids. I, personally, will never have an iPhone. My nephew, has always had an Android phone and may be working for Apple soon, but doesn’t really care for the iPhone. He may have to have one for work, but will still keep his Galaxy S4 as his private phone. I like choices, Apple doesn’t give many. Ron is giving props to the Moto X and I will take it. For those who are already bashing the phone because of specs, etc., just move on since you are not going to get it or be interested in it any more. Those of us who are considering it, want more info and are awaiting reviews from everyone. I thank Droid Life (including Ron) for giving us any information we can gather. Everyone continue to enjoy your Summer and Verizon, hurry up with this phone and customization.

  • RedXander

    Ron:

    With all due respect, your article doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know and it bleeds ignorance of some of the technical aspects. I want a phone that performs, not one that you think is “cool.” Your analysis is not substantiated by anything objective but rather your subjective opinion, at times flying in the face of my personal experience (and that of my wife, frustrated owner of a iPhone 4S).

  • Matt

    All I know is that I’m skipping upgrading my phone until at least next year. This hasn’t been a good year for Android hardware.

  • RSS70

    Any time you have to spend the first half of an write up defending the specs of a product instead of touting its differentiating features, you know you have a product problem . . . .

  • n900mixalot

    “These aren’t gimmicks like pausing video when you look away; these are real features that change the way you use the phone for the better.” And this is where I stopped reading.

  • nobody72

    rather disappointed with your analysis. I mean where do you mention if the reception is any good; or battery life; or duability; or sound quality or …

    -
    It sounds like your basically saying this is a google (moto) phone it must be the best without touching on usability, quality, duability, .. (ok you did make some vague comment about software but for the most part they sound incremental and not make/break deals)

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      This isn’t a review of the phone. It’s an opinion piece. The review is coming.

  • yaniv

    What’s going on with Droid-Life lately??

  • Lawrence

    You call him one of the iSheep because he uses an iPhone, despite the fact that he’s actually considering an Android phone.
    And yet you consider yourselves amazing, intelligent people by degrading him solely because he uses an iPhone. Of course, that definitely can’t be sheepish behavior, because we’re Android fans, and we’re automatically better than iPhone users!
    Hmm.

    • makav3ll1

      Like I said, some of these android fans are just as bad as iSheeps and don’t even realize it.

  • C-Law

    How in the world can you say “my next phone will still be an iPhone but you guys should all get the Moto x.” It makes you sound like you think you’re better than us. Right there your article loses all credibility. You shouldn’t have even bothered at that point

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I didn’t say everyone should buy the Moto X. I said I think you should consider it if you’re an Android user. I’m definitely not better than you. I promise.

  • Tay

    If you have to try to sell this phone to people, then it isn’t that great.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I’m fairly sure most manufacturers have to try to sell their products. Even Samsung and HTC try to sell you on their phones. Ron’s not trying to sell you on the phone, he is trying to point out people aren’t even giving this phone a chance because it isn’t the specs you wanted it to be and instead Motorola decided to shake up things by throwing in new technology. The sad thing is, most people on here aren’t seeing their new technology for what it is, and are focusing on “OMGZ the CPUS aren’t Quad core!”

  • makav3ll1

    Anyone who is hating on this ovbiously non biased article is an idiot. Some of you android fans are almost as bad as iSheeps. FOH.

  • prestone1

    nice knowin ya ron

  • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

    specs aren’t bad either

    • JoshGroff

      Pushing less pixels with the same GPU will do that. ;)

      • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

        It beats everyone in offscreen too

  • EvanTheGamer

    Why would you even THINK of saying that you’re using an iPhone on an ANDROID BLOG?! Have you LOST your bloody mind, son?

    Now people will just think you’re an iPhone loving fanboy. How is that any better?

    Wow.

    • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

      It wasn’t a secret. :)

      • EvanTheGamer

        Fair enough, but still, why even start with the iPhone line? I know you did that to prove a point, that you want to let D-L users know that you aren’t showing any bias towards the Moto X, but it really caused more harm than good. Not smart.

        Ah well. ‘Tis life.

        • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

          I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on whether or not it was smart. I stand by what I wrote. I knew some people would be upset and focus on that instead of the argument of the article. It happens every time. Like you said, ’tis life.

  • G3spike

    The Moto X phone is getting HYPER-BEASTED by all the Tech news sites even though it is an inferior phone to even the Galaxy S3

    • Reginald Jefferson

      Is the phone truly inferior if it provides a better experience?

  • j

    All of you have gone full retard!

  • DJ SPY

    I have a question, do we have to have Google Now turned on to use the touch less controls? If so, that kills it for me since I don’t use Google now.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      what?

      • DJ SPY

        After I posted this at question I realized it was in the wrong place/article. You know how you can say “ok Google now” to do searches and commands without touching the phone? I want to know if Google now has to be turned on in order to use that feature.

        • Ryan Cota

          The first question I would ask is, why aren’t you using one of the single most useful features of your android phone? It really is a great tool to use, I use it daily. And second, I would think that the general search functions of the Google Search app (which powers Google Now) would still be available to use through voice commands.

          • SparkysShocker

            And if privacy and search history is an issue you can disable both location and web history and still have a useful tool, even if it isn’t as personal as it could be.

  • Brett Lizotte

    I use my 4s and note 2 in tandem. The iPhone is hands down the best pure smartphone on the market. I prefer ios on the phone because I don’t think that widgets etc are important on my phone and I like how small the screen is. 4s is the perfect size screen for a personal smartphone.

    Note 2 is the perfect size for a mobile tablet.

    Nexus 7 is perfect for my videos and games

    • DiegoKokomo

      “4s is the perfect size screen for a personal smartphone”

      • Brett Lizotte

        Sigh I use my note 2 one handed. I just prefer having a small phone. Why do I need a huge phone when I have a tablet?

  • WickedToby741

    I don’t think the iPhone comment helped the credibility of this article much. Perhaps a better way to frame this article would have been to say “I’m an iPhone owner, and here’s why I’m considering the Moto X” and then dive into the nuances of how it better appeals to iPhone owners and “normal” consumers who want a phone that “just works.”

    It’s important for people to understand why this phone exists and why it’s not for most of the people who read this blog. The GPe devices are for people who read this blog. This is a mass market product, not a niche market product for the geeks. The mass market doesn’t make their purchasing decisions from a spec sheet. That’s why the iPhone is still so popular. Finally we have a phone who is willing to challenge Apple on Apple’s terms.

  • Ralph Luciano Padro Jr.

    I thought Droid-Life was about Android and not about Google Services. It’s quite the double take to mention Apple on a pro-Android site. But hey, I’m not poking at iOS. I have an iPad and I’m pretty happy about it. Still weird.

    As for the Moto X. I’ll consider it, but Motorola really screwed me over with their devices over the years. I’m still getting over how horrendous the Bionic was. It’ll be hard to trust them again.

  • fauxshizzl

    Seems many people here aren’t familiar with Ron’s posts. It is best to just stay away from them. They are usually total flame bait. I am guessing whenever they need a boost in comments and traffic they let him write an article.

    • Al-Burrit0

      Yet you didn’t stay away so in fact you contributed. Nice..
      EDIT: BTW with the moto x coverage there was alot of traffic and comments. There was times i couldn’t access their site.

  • Taylor Abrahamson

    You lost me at “I use an Iphone as my promary device.”

    Also, since when have iphones not been laggy. All my friends who have them always complain about how laggy they are. Old ones and the new 5.

    You attribute android lag to custom roms!? WRONG. Most custom roms that are based off of the original factory rom have done a good job of speeding things up a bit. But the only way to get rid of the lag is to RID the phone of Sense or motoblur and put CM or AOKP on it. I have put CM on very old android phones and it’s super fast and smooth. But if you try to do that with IOS, oh wait you can’t. So it will be laggy forever.

    bye!

  • jbdan

    I enjoyed the article and your opinion Ron thanks!

  • RoboCop

    one of the worst blogs ever on this site.

  • arthuruscg

    FYI: The case is not hardware. If I could customize the amount of ram, storage, ect, then that would be Hardware Customization.

    I really do not understand the draw be able to custom color the phone case. A phone case is only a few $ on Amazon and I can change the color when ever I want, rather then being stuck with the same color for 2 years. The case color is just a gimmicky as pausing the screen when you look away.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    The only reason to “Consider the Moto X” is if you’re the blindest of Google or Motorola fanboys. The only phone I’d consider getting right now is the GS4. Period.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      So you are basically saying you are a Samsung fanboy.

      • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

        Fair enough. But $ aside, there’s no reason to consider a phone that’s short on specs and behind on OS version.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Well, it will ship with 4.2.2, currently the S4 has 4.2.2 unless you have the GPe which is just pushing out. So, how is it behind?

          • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

            You said it: “GPe.” That said, I don’t own either phone and I won’t be looking for a new handset until official support for the GNex ends at the very least.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            So now we are comparing GPe phones to non-GPe phones expecting them to both get updates at the same time? I guess that makes about as much sense as comparing a GPe phone to a phone that hasn’t even released yet.

  • t3chi3

    Who the hell is Ron?

  • LoganLopez

    Ron, you completely ruined your article by including the first paragraph. This article should be just about what you think of the Moto X. Now the comments have turned into Iphone vs Android and it should be a discussion about the Moto X. If possible, i would edit your first paragraph, clear the comments and start again.

    Thanks!

    • yaniv

      Too late to edit, we’ve all seen it

  • JoshGroff

    Ron’s awoken the trolls.

    I’ve owned more android devices than the majority of the people on this site, and I don’t complain just because a fellow tech enthusiast uses an iPhone. (Hell, I’ve even owned a few iPhones myself) Feel free to complain, but you’re only making yourself look bad.

  • mustbepbs

    I’m considering jumping ship to Windows Phone. I’m really sick of the lag and issues on Android and the beta software Google dishes out. I’m certainly not entering the walled garden of Apple either. Both of these companies leave me no choice.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I would avoid Windows Phone and stick with Android if you don’t like iOS. Windows Phone has a ton of different issues: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/12/21/review-windows-phone-8/

      • mustbepbs

        Sorry, I really don’t take your opinions seriously and they have zero weight.

        This article had nothing to do with it. I simply don’t care for your thoughts.

        And that was 8 months ago. 8 months ago Android was basically on 4.1.

        • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

          Duly noted. Good luck.

    • Weber

      BB10

      • mustbepbs

        I’m not much of a fan of jumping on sinking ships.

        • Weber

          Yet you want to jump ship to WP? That’s a dying OS as well.

          • mustbepbs

            Windows Phone 8 is pretty new, and Microsoft has all the money in the world to dump into it. And you can be certain they will.

    • starnovsky

      Try Nexus is you haven’t already.

      • mustbepbs

        I pretty much only look for Nexus. I have a Nexus 10 that is pretty awful. The Nexus 10 proved to me that Google doesn’t have its sh** together and I’m absolutely done with Android slates.

        • starnovsky

          Nexus 4 seems to be flawless (I have it).

          • mustbepbs

            I have the HTC DROID DNA and it rocks. My wife’s Nexus 7 is pretty solid too. There’s just no good 10″ option yet. Maybe the next Nexus 10 will be better. I won’t be around to find out though. Jumped ship to Windows 8 tablets.

    • bartdog

      Wp is super smooth even on budget handsets.

      • mustbepbs

        That’s what I read. Just that the app situation isn’t great. Oh well.

  • speraider430

    Wow the quality of discussion here has hit an all time low. If you hate a phone without using it, shame on you first of all. But most importantly no one is forcing you to buy it.

    Remember this phone is for a large chunk of the general public and will be great for their general uses.

    The people on this blog complaining there is no space for their 64gb SD card or it’s not an OCTOcore processor please remember we comprise is very small cross section of the android world.

  • Steven Elliott

    I think this might be my next phone. I’m very excited to go back to Motorala after my time with 2 Saumsung devices (Gnex and S3). I haven’t heard any real bad things other then the locked bootlaoder and that doesn’t really bother me. I haven’t unlocked my S3 because I haven’t needed to. Thanks for the artcile that has swayed me away from anything else almost for sure.

  • aye_winchell

    “The Moto X is not the best Android phone if your expectations include the best processor, the best display, stock Android, and no carrier interference for updates. If that’s what you want, then keep dreaming. ”

    1)No. And as long as I’m the one paying the bills I will keep telling OEM’s, carriers and engineers what i want, as opposed to just taking what they give me.

    2)It was a valiant attempt at ending the spec wars, but they are not over, and anybody who thinks so is plain wrong. Just because you cant see where they go from here doesn’t mean they are over. How long has the processor industry been around? How long has the mobile processor industry? There is a ton of maturing to do in this market.

    3)Every one seems to be in agreement that the specs are not top of the line, and while i think they are better then what they are getting credit for, nobody is going to want to spend top money for what they perceive as a, maybe not mid-range, but not top end device. If mototrola had come out and said, “look we wanted to hit a $400 of contract price but we couldn’t do it and still give you a great experience but look we hit the $500-$550 price point by using a 720p display and an architecture that maybe is not the bleeding edge but is still very very good, and coupled it with great software ideas,” then maybe this whole thing would have gone smoother. Instead what they did was say “yeah, its not top of the line per-se but your still going to pay like it is.” Sorry but that’s not gonna fly, I understand this phone was never going to be at the $350-$400 price point, but I don’t think one person cared what this was going to cost on contract, on-contract phones are all relatively the same price, $100-$300 and quite frankly no phone, no matter what it has, is going to entice me to giving up my unlimited data, so if you want me excited, you want me to spend my hard earned and convince other why they should, because as much as people like to piss on the community and claim we represent a minority of phone users, we are the first ones asked by our bosses, coworkers, friends and family on our opinions of where or how they should be spend their hard earned money.

    • Al-Burrit0

      And yet family, friends, coworkers, etc choose apple

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        why?

        • mgamerz

          Because they don’t care about specs. The same reason people don’t buy high end computers, or they buy Mac computers that don’t have killer specs. Why? The OS runs fine on the hardware it has. It’s the same reason the iphone runs well even on ‘slow’ hardware. Seriously, do ‘android fanboys’ not understand this? Is this concept that hard to grasp?

          Seriously, go to any normal person on the street, tell them ‘My phone is faster than your phone!’, and watch their reaction. They aren’t going to care.

          • Reginald Jefferson

            Finally someone gets it! A voice of reason.

      • aye_winchell

        less and less every year…

  • blix247

    Someone in the press needs to take a stand on this whole “mid-range” specs garbage. Its NOT midrange specs. It defeats the S4 on both javascript and graphics benchmarks: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/performance-preview-the-moto-x-sports-a-great-gpu-respectable-cpu/

    The display is nearly edge to edge, it has the same size display as the HTC one but is significantly smaller. Same goes with the Nexus 4. It also has hardware that the other devices don’t have.

    I think its a great device, I’ve bought every Nexus phone released and this is the first non-nexus I’ve seriously considered. The two killer features of always on voice recognition and active display are actually differentiators and useful, unlike Samsung’s five beeeeeelion camera filters and weird proximity sensor.

    Edit: One more rant, I bet 99% of the people hating on this device are on Verizon or were looking for a Nexus-like device they could buy off contract on the cheap. Nothing would have made them happy other than that. Specs are just an easy way to hate on the device that wasn’t priced the way they had hoped.

    • starnovsky

      Specs are fine. Moto X was a huge let down for everybody because of the pricing. Nexus-like pricing was widely expected, and instead we got yet another carrier-locked phone.

  • emoney

    Everyone needs to calm down, people are allowed to use whatever device they choose and yes they still can recommend phones that aren’t said device.

  • Raj Bhatt

    Ron, your suspension continues.

    • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

      Did somebody say Shenanigans?

  • Itchy_Robot

    I am more interested to see how these “always on” phones will interact with the Chromecast. Imagine being able to simply tell your phone to “Cast my music to the Living Room”, and it starts playing. Or, “Cast Netflix to the Living room”. Or Cast Youtube to the Living room”. I think the ‘always on’ voice abilities of this phone have a lot of potential.

  • I’m on the guest list

    I don’t think people on this site understand the concept of “software optimization”. Specs are not everything. My S3 is a better spec’d phone than the iPhone 5 but it didn’t operate as fluidly and lagless as my friends’ iPhone 5′s until I flashed CM onto it.

    I’m getting a new phone this month and it will be the Moto X or the HTC One.

    • Raj Bhatt

      Ok specs don’t matter, the experience does. I can agree with you. But as far as the Moto X, it’s really hard to justify paying Porsche prices for a Dodge Stratus no matter how smooth the ride is.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        How is it Porsche Prices for a Dodge Stratus? The Moto X has a CUSTOM SoC. That’s not cheap to make and could prove very useful. Keep in mind, the S4 and HTC One don’t have those custom processing cores. If dedicated cores for language processing or contextual awareness come up as features in Android, the Moto X would be FASTER than those two phones as their CPU would have to process that information. For your analogy to be correct, you’d be paying Porsche prices for a Porsche with different features.

        • SparkysShocker

          I seriously doubt any of the angry mob here actually gets how the X8 system could change the way we look at mobile systems. All they see is old chip and 720p and cry that it should be cheaper, but don’t take into account the cost of developing the X8.

          Yes Motorola could have put in a quad core processor and it has been stated that they can, but had they done that with the X the phone would likely be in the 800-1000 dollar range. They will wait until the development costs of the X8 come down and then start building the X’s successor.

          • Kamesen

            In all honesty I would prefer manufacturers not create custom chip sets for their phones.. It’s like having the nuances of TouchWiz and Blur at a hardware level – it’ll contribute towards fragmentation of Android. We’ll see if the Nexus 5 will have this type of customized hardware. I doubt it unless Google are more ingenious about their software design than I could ever imagine.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Or it will become more of a standard to have additional cores dedicated to processing processor intensive tasks to free up the CPU to process things.

          • SparkysShocker

            The thing is that this chip set from what Motorola has said is all ready ready to have a quad core plugged in. The chip is optimized to control things that quad cores currently do between there chip and the gpu. All this does is separate it out even further. And I do think we will see the Quad core version of this phone out next year.

            I don’t think Google has any plans (yet) to optimize Android to only run or run better on the X8 chip set. If they did then I would share your concern. But in reality I think this is a good step in the mobile market and will help bring us one step closer to an all in one device (Phone/PC).

        • Raj Bhatt

          It’s a Snapdragon S4 Pro with a couple of low power coprocessors.

          I like to root and ROM my device. That’s the fun of Android. If those coprocessors are dedicated to Moto software enhancements then they won’t be of use to me when using ROMs. That is just speculation though.

          I’m willing to pay this price for a Snapdragon 800 but not for something that won’t be able to handle ROMs two years from now because Moto decided to use an older processor. They could have offered it at a lower price because opting for older hardware probably saved Moto many millions of dollars.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Have you thought you might be looking at this wrong? What if those low power processors allow those custom roms to do something you haven’t thought of yet. How do we know that a year from now, having those two extra cores hardware processing things won’t be the standard and the S4 and HTC One won’t be able to keep up because they don’t have them.

            This is a new technology. Take a look at what went on when GPUs came out. Or any other chip that allowed the CPU to offload processing power to something that was dedicated to that aspect. It changed how computing happened. I think this X8 chip changes how computing will be happening 2 years from now.

            Think about it this way. When the Samsung S5 comes out, if it doesn’t have a contextual processing core or a language processing core, it could be considered mid range.

    • yaniv

      How dare you even consider buying the HTC One? It’s so…”High End” !! Are you supporting the “Specs Wars” ? :)

      • I’m on the guest list

        I love the hardware on it and i heard it’s lagless

        • yaniv

          I was making a joke, i wish i had the $$$ to buy the HTC One

  • wolfedude88

    This phone doesn’t have gimmicky features like the GS4, then he brings up the camera with flicking the wrist? Kellex could barely get it to work and it is by far really gimmicky more so than looking away from the screen.

    Sure active notifications and the new voice actions look awesome but the camera feature is a joke currently.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      They might need to adjust that feature so that it’s better in practice, but in theory I think it’s a great feature.

      • ConcernedReader

        You didn’t get the memo? Ron is the foremost authority on which features are gimmicky and which ones are great.

  • Drome

    Look I read the entire article and have tons of friends who own and love iPhones. As a matter of fact, I live in San Francisco, I have friends who work at Apple and the majority of people here use iPhones. However, this opinion on the moto x just isn’t tied to reality for me and apparently many others. The android community’s reaction to the announcement on Thursday was a resounding “Hell no”. I understand that this phone is more geared towards the average consumer, but priced at $200 on contract, no one with a strait face could recommend this phone to some one over the S4 or the HTC One. Unless of course, your kid sister wants a leopard print or pink back for her new phone. There will be a market for this phone due to the customization aspect, but going on an android enthusiast blog and talking about how that reader base should consider this phone based on those points is just completely off mark, and if you look at the reactions here in the comments, you should be acutely aware of that.

  • NorCalGuy

    I thought the title said “Why You Should Consider the Moto X [Sponsored]“

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    Wow, I think I speak for all the loyal and open minded DL readers when I say I feel a little betrayed at Ron’s iPhone comment. I shouldn’t feel that way, having an Android phone is certainly not a requirement. I’m sure there was no intentional deceit… I just feel surprised. I remember when DL was only Kellen, long before the others and the DL Show, which is awesome, btw.

    That said, I always appreciate Ron’s input and opinions and I will continue to! Don’t go anywhere Ron, and don’t listen to the haters… it’s important to have a well rounded writing staff and DL obviously has that. Keep up the great work.

    I think we’d all appreciate a bio editorial though, why do you have (and will continue to have) an iPhone rather than Android and write for an Android site? …especially one that’s not run by AOL, Gawker, or SB Nation, etc. I’m genuinely curious, I mean no disrespect.

    • http://ronoffringa.wordpress.com Ron Offringa

      I think I’ll have something about that up soon. I definitely wasn’t trying to hide that I use an iPhone; you can tell if you follow me on Twitter. I don’t blame you for having that feeling though. It makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful response. :)

      • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

        Thank you for taking the time to read my post!! I appreciate your words, and look forward to reading more!

    • EvanTheGamer

      I think it was always Kellen AND Tim(correct me if I’m wrong), but the others showed up much later. I miss those days. But hey, it’s all about growth.

  • Tonytj

    I have read just about every android site speak highly of the moto X but because it wasn’t $300 off contract ,no quadcore processor, and no1080p people are all butt hurt and angry. People should take a look at what apple did. They created an OS that doesn’t need PC like specs to run smoothly and for years. Android moved very fast from 2.2 to 4.3. And it seems like the movement from 4.0 to 4.3 has taken its time. Which is good. That means they’re not just focused on making a whole new UI which needs huge specs to run it. Which helps older devices get the latest and greatest. People aren’t seeing the X8 system as innovative. But it is. No one has done anything like it before. I cant wait to upgrade (when it comes to vzw in 2015).

    • Joshua Bailey

      “I cant wait to upgrade (when it comes to vzw in 2015).”

      Lol. My thoughts exactly.