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Moto X Review (2013)

Now that the Moto X is official, priced, and ready to arrive on the five major U.S. wireless carriers, it’s our job to try and figure out if this “mid-range” device with its premium price tag and handful of tricks is worth every penny that Motorola thinks it is. We know that you have all seen the spec sheet – it tells a story of a device that certainly can’t compete on paper with the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. But that’s not what Motorola cares about. They want to win you over with a customized phone assembled in the U.S. that runs as smooth as butter, has a simple approach to Android, and carries a set of features that should make your life easier without confusing or overwhelming anyone.

After dedicating my life to the phone since it was handed to me at Motorola’s press festivities on August 1, I think I have plenty of thoughts to share on all of that. It’s time to talk Clear Pixel camera. It’s time to talk 720p vs. 1080p display. It’s time to talk performance. And most importantly, it’s time to talk about that damn price. Let’s do this. 

The Good


moto x review

With the Moto X, Motorola tried to create a product that “skips the gimmicks and gloss” to instead focus on  “comfort, approachability, and warmth.” Have they done that? I’d like to think so. The Moto X is a beautiful little handset. With its curved backside that tapers towards its bottom to match the contours of your palm, it feels amazing in hand. It’s a two-part design, with both top and bottom casings, but thanks to an incredibly well-molded fit, it feels as premium as any unibody design. There is a soft texture applied to the back that is neither slippery nor sticky – it’s perfect. The lack of logos on the device is also welcome, something Motorola claims was done because the overuse of branding is “irrelevant” to the end user.

On the front you have an edge-to-edge 4.7″ display with as little side bezel as you’ll find on any smartphone. Even the top and bottom sections, sometimes referred to as the forehead and chin, are smaller than any phone I can recall. Part of the lack of bezel can be attributed to the lack of hardware navigation buttons. Motorola chose on-screen navigation buttons for the Moto X, so instead of taking up space at the bottom of the phone with Home, Back, and Multi-task, the display is used. But not only is this a space saver, it also matches up to Google’s approach to Android. If you were looking for a phone that is all display without the extra fuss, this would be it.

Accompanying the front panel, you also have a front facing camera, sensors, speaker grill, and a microphone. You’ll notice them on the white version because they are black against white, but since there is no carrier or manufacturer branding on the front, you won’t mind. On the black version, you get a 100% clean, almost infinite black appearance.

moto x vs. one

What amazes me the most about this design, is that when you hold it in hand, it feels like you are using a phone from years past when 4″ displays were popular and phones were smaller. But that shows you how amazing of a job Motorola did at making this phone really compact. For example, look at the picture above, with the Moto X sitting on top of the HTC One. The One is clearly quite larger when compared to the Moto X, however, they use the exact same size display. So, the Moto X meets the demand of users today by giving you an oversized screen, but manages to include it in a package that allows you to easily manage use of the phone. In most situations, you can use the Moto X with one hand, a note we can’t say we have said for many phones over the last year.

Last, the Moto X is made of plastic, yet somehow manages to feel like it’s a high-end device. This isn’t your glossy, slippery, fingerprint-heavy, Samsung plastic. This is a thoughtfully designed smartphone that emits class.


Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 3.59.17 PM

Motorola is trying to do something that no other smartphone manufacturer has ever done by allowing customers to custom order a phone online through a service called MotoMaker. The best example of a current service like this is Nike ID, which allows shoe fanatics to custom design their own shoe. With MotoMaker, you get to choose from 22 different colors or materials for the back panel, another two for the front, and a handful for the accents around the camera lens and physical side buttons. You can also choose the storage amount (16GB or 32GB), custom engraving on the back, optional case, boot-up message, and eventually which carrier you’d like the phone to work on. Motorola will pair matching color accessories to your phone, let you pre-sign-in with a Google account, and choose from a set of wallpapers that fit with your color choices. It’s a great idea, especially if Motorola can deliver on their promise to deliver your phone in 4 days or less.

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When you think about phones, you have to understand that phones have long been a way for consumers to show off their personality or make a statement. With MotoMaker, you no longer need a bejeweled case, set of protective stickers, or a mountain of cash to pay for something like ColorWare coloring. MotoMaker is free as a part of your phone purchase. I personally cannot wait to make a custom Moto X.

At some point, MotoMaker will be available for more than AT&T, but unfortunately at launch, AT&T models are your only option. More on that in a bit.

We went on an entire tour of MotoMaker that I suggest you check out.

MotoX_ATT_Angle_Spearmint-NeonYellow_ATTMotoX_ATT_Angle_Cabernet-Purple 2MotoX_ATT_RoyalBlue-BlackMotoX_ATT_AngleTurquoise-NeonYellow_ATT

Software Features (Active Display, Touchless Control, Quick Capture Camera, and Assist)

moto x active display

Active Display is easily my favorite feature on the Moto X. What is it, you ask? Active Display is Motorola’s new take on how notifications should be handled when your phone is in a locked state or say, in your pocket. With Active Display, your phone automatically turns a portion of its display on when you pull it out of your pants, a bag, or simply flip the device over (and sometimes even by picking it up). But don’t worry, only portions of the display are active, so this doesn’t drain your battery like you may think that it would. Instead, Motorola shows you the time and icons for any notifications you may have with a minimal white text on black background. To quickly access these notifications, a single touch on your display will then give you a shortcut to your most recent or a quick peak at older ones. From there, you can decide to access your most recent or unlock your entire phone so that the rest of your notifications can be checked (pictured above).

It’s easily my favorite feature because I grab my phone probably 100 times throughout a day. With Active Display, I no longer have to reach for the lock switch or swipe down from a notification bar. All I have to do is pick up my phone and it’ll show me the time and if I have notifications. Thanks to the single-press option for quick viewing, I can also see if any of them are important or if I’d like to ignore them with a swipe to the right or left. You can imagine the amount of time this saves. But not only that, it also eliminates blinking LED notification lights that provide you with little information.


Quick Capture is another of Motorola’s highlighted features for the Moto X that you’ll probably see in commercials and as talking points any time someone from the company is showing off the phone. Motorola realized how often users pick up their phones to take pictures, so Quick Capture allows them to do this much faster. Like Active Display, Motorola is eliminating steps to make a regular action much simpler. Instead of unlocking your phone, searching for a way to access your camera, and them fumbling over a shutter button, all you have to do is perform a double-twisting action with your wrist, so that the sensors in the phone know to fire up the camera. Once the camera UI loads, a tap anywhere on the display will auto-focus and snap a picture. While it’s not exactly perfect, and often times takes a couple of twists to get it right, it can be an incredibly quick way to launch your camera once you get the hang of it.

moto x touchless controlmoto x quick capture camera

Touchless Control is the Moto X’s third biggest software feature. Think of it as Google Now or Voice Search but with an added level of power. Through a series of spoken “OK, Google Now” commands, the Moto X learns your voice and then sits in an always-on state, waiting for your voice commands whether your phone is awake or asleep. Your phone could be sitting in a cup holder or on your desk, but would only require that you say “OK, Google Now” to have it fire up and complete a command. You could say, “OK, Google Now, remind me to do the laundry this afternoon,” and your phone would set a reminder. You could be driving down the highway and say, “OK, Google Now, give me directions to the nearest brewery,” to find a local watering hole without having to touch your phone. It can call people, text friends, and perform trivia dominating Google searches.

The voice detection works well, especially once you get your recorded voice the way you like it. It took me a couple of re-records before I found one that would activate easily, so you may need to play with your volume and pitch a bit. It’s one of those services too, that will only get better as Google continues to update Google Now with new actions.

Assist is probably the least talked about of the bunch, but is equally as important for those who travel a lot, regularly fill up calendars and need quiet time, or simply like to sleep at night without getting bothered. Assist is an app that when activated, gives you three categories to choose from:  Sleeping, Driving, and Meeting. In a way, they are like profiles that set your phone to a certain state depending upon your needs. If you are driving and you have Assist turned on, the phone will recognize that you are in a car and automatically start reading text messages and incoming calls aloud. If you set it to Sleeping, you won’t be bothered by notifications between the hours you select, unless you want to set an exemption for important people. In Meeting mode, your phone will silence itself based upon your calendar status, and even auto-respond to calls with a pre-set text message.


All of these features can be found in action below in one of our videos. Be sure to check it out.

Mostly Stock Android

The Moto X runs Android 4.2.2 at an almost stock level. There really is no skin on top of it all, only a few software additions like Active Display, Assist, the Camera UI and Touchless Control. Motorola decided that Android has matured enough that it can stand on its own, and really only needs select additions like I just mentioned. So if you want a close-to-stock Android experience on a device, the Moto X delivers it as good as anyone.


Look, we got away from the benchmark game long ago, so we’re not going to bore you with screenshots of GFXBench or Vellamo. I’ll simply say this – the Moto X has zero performance issues. With Motorola’s X8 Mobile Computing System paired up with the dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, it’s clear that the entire system has been fine-tuned to be smooth as butter. It’s a bit of a downer that Motorola didn’t use the quad-core Snapdragon 600 that the rest of the world has taken too this year, but this is where we sit. I think the takeaway here, is that mobile processors are probably not being fully taken advantage of if a dual-core chipset can run this good. In fact, (and not to bring up benchmarks again), if you run any of the GPU tests, you’ll find that the Moto X outperforms its biggest competitors. Part of that has to do with the lower resolution display, but some credit should also be given to Motorola.

Things like accessing Google Now with a swipe up from Home happen instantly, multi-tasking between apps doesn’t hiccup, the camera launches quickly, and the phone never seems to get hot.

Again, we may be looking at a dual-core processor in a time when the rest of the world is looking for the biggest and baddest quad-core, but you won’t walk away from the Moto X disappointed.


Motorola accomplished something that few phone manufacturers have done in smartphone history – they produced a phone and convinced every single carrier that matters in the U.S. to sell it. The Moto X will be available on the 5 major U.S. wireless carriers:  Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile (not in store though), Sprint, and US Cellular. At a price of $199 on-contract, you shouldn’t have any trouble purchasing this phone by the time we hit early September. At the time of this review, no carrier has released specific dates for release, but Motorola insists that we’ll start seeing it on store shelves by late August or early September.

Bootloader and Developer Editions

Motorola was only minutes into their announcement of the Moto X when they confirmed to us that the bootloader on the phone was “not unlocked.” They weren’t specific at the time, but you could bet that they were referring to AT&T and Verizon’s versions of the phone. Thankfully, within a day, they clarified their stance by listing out the options of phone models for those who choose to tinker with their technology. Motorola will release the T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular Moto X variants with unlockable bootloaders out of the box. For those on AT&T and Verizon, you will have the option to pick up Developer Editions that will also have unlockable bootloaders. The only issue here is that the T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular variants will likely be available at reasonable on-contract prices, while the Developer Editions can be had at full retail.

Somewhere in the Middle


The camera on the Moto X is not an award winner, but it’s also not a bottom feeder – it’s somewhere above average, with times where it can be a rockstar. The Moto X houses a f/2.4 lens and 10MP RGBC sensor with Clear Pixel technology. It’s supposed to let in 75% more light than a typical RGB sensor, meaning it should produce great results in low-light situations and also in shots that have a lot of movement. My results were a mixed bag, though there were times when I couldn’t help but be impressed by the amount of detail that the camera was able to capture.

You’ll see in the few sample shots below that you’ll go from an extremely noisy shot (cat picture) to one that could be framed on a wall (flower picture). I don’t know if the Moto X’s camera is doing some wild overprocessing or what’s happening, but you’ll see this jump in quality regularly between shots. It’s almost as if you need to pull the camera app up, let it hang out for a 10 seconds to adjust to its surroundings, and then snap your picture.

I ran through a series of test photos today with the Moto X on a tripod (hope to post them soon), comparing it to shots taken with the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, and it came away as a success. I would say that the Galaxy S4 slightly bests the Moto X in terms of detail and overall image quality in good light, but the Moto X crushed it in low-light performance and was step-for-step with it in other situations. Well, aside from some weird discoloration that showed up every couple of low-light shots (see below). I also found that the Moto X outperformed the HTC One camera in almost every situation, but that could be due to the One’s low-resolution camera.


I should point out that the camera UI is beyond minimal. There are no filters. There are no special action shot modes or GIF creators. You tap anywhere you want to take a picture. There are settings for touch-to-focus, Slow Motion video, Panorama, location tagging, flash toggles, and HDR. That’s it.

Overall, I’d say that the Moto X camera is a success, but that it needs some fine-tuning from Motorola over the coming weeks as we approach launch.


IMG_20130803_200522943_HDRIMG_20130801_194110950IMG_20130805_093329552moto x lowlight

Full resolutions:  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


Full resolution

Battery Life

Like the camera, battery life has been mostly average for me, but had some highlights along the way to make it overall a positive experience. With Motorola choosing to go with a 720p display, paired up with a dual-core chipset that uses a couple of companion cores to help conserve power, I was expecting to hit 20 hours of battery life without having to worry about looking for my charger. That hasn’t been the case at all with the 2200mAh battery tucked inside. On four separate charges, I put the Moto X through a variety of situations, some that were begging for juice in under 6 hours, others that could have gone another 5-6 hours.

battery life3battery life2

On my first charge out of the box, with an hour or so of setup and general tinkering since it was still a fresh new toy, I was able to get through over 10 hours with some room to spare. My screen on time was 3.5 hours. The second full charge I put the Moto X through, I hammered on it as hard as I could. We’re talking 3.5 hours of screen on time in a 5 hour period that saw me drain the phone to 24%. I was testing it all from Touchless Control, to gaming performance for an hour with a heavy title like FIFA 2012.

On my next two charges, I backed off a bit. I took an entire day with what I would consider to be heavier than a normal day’s use, and saw almost 11 hours off the charger while still ending up with around 26% battery left. And then today, I went even lighter – 9 hours, with less than an hour of screen on time, leaving me with 57% left.

So again, the battery life on the Moto X is neither bad nor great. It’s really somewhere in the middle. I wouldn’t complain about it, but I also wouldn’t be bragging about it. It’ll get you through a day, which is about what any other phone outside of the new DROID MAXX can say.

battery life1battery life4


moto x display

Full resolution

No, the display is not a full 1080p like you will find on the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. It’s a RGB 720p AMOLED with 316ppi, that Motorola claims to have chosen because it is battery efficient. With our so-so battery tests, I’m actually glad that they chose the 720p panel or this phone may not have made it through half a day. But aside from the resolution, the Moto X display is absolutely fine. We have been critical of Motorola’s display choices over the last few years, but find very few things wrong with this one in particular unless we really start nit-picking.

moto x display

It’s an AMOLED, so yes, you’ll get the crazy pops of color and what some consider to be over-saturation. I personally like AMOLEDs because of the vivid colors they produce, however, this isn’t one of those AMOLEDs that is so over the top that you are begging for an LCD. You do get a warmer tone than I would typically like (pictured above), so you do have to be careful with overly white objects looking slightly yellowish. In situations where I did find excessively white pages being displayed (like above), the contrast to the fully-white front of the phone didn’t help with that yellowish or warm tint. The black version of the Moto X may help with this.

Outside of the regular downsides to an AMOLED, I did actually enjoy this display. Text is sharp, video and games all looked great, viewing angles are fine, and since it’s not a PenTile pixel arrangement, there is no blurring as you jump in and out of apps or scroll down articles. With the lower resolution than what you find on the GS4 or One, you also may find yourself zooming less as objects will naturally appear larger.

The Not-so-Good

Price and Specs

After spending the last 5 days with the Moto X, I tried and tried to convince myself or least find some way to justify the $199 on-contract price that Motorola has given it. I hate to admit it, but I’ve failed to do such a thing. I cannot for the life of me figure out how Motorola came to the conclusion that this phone should be priced at the same level as the Galaxy S4 or HTC One. Look, I get that we’re trying to end the spec wars and simply provide an experience that is unmatched by any other phone. But as a techie who knows the prices of other top tier phones, seeing a 720p display and a dual-core processor in a phone, I can only think “mid-range.” But that’s not at all what Motorola is asking us to pay. And I know that Google is in a position unlike anyone else because they can make money off of content and ads, but they were able to sell the Nexus 4 with similar specs for $349 off-contract almost a year ago. At this point, you would think that 720p panels and dual-core processors would be shoved in back rooms of supply chain warehouses, with slashed prices, begging for some company to come buy them all up in bulk. But here we are with the Moto X and its premium $199 on-contract price tag.

And you know what, I’m sure that the majority of future Moto X buyers won’t care for a second what the screen resolution is or what processor is inside because they’ll be able to make it all pretty with MotoMaker (eventually). That’s great for Motorola. But tech enthusiasts like myself, who tend to be pretty damn vocal, are going to have a hard time swallowing this pill. Especially with the Snapdragon 800 arriving in a few weeks in devices like the LG G2, which will only further stress this situation.

With that said, the phone is being assembled in Texas, which will surely raise costs for Motorola. They are also allowing users to customize their phones with MotoMaker for free, something I would have guessed would have been an added cost. But speaking of added costs, why not sell the stock black and white versions for cheap and then charge an additional $50 or $100 for those who want their phone customized? No matter what, the price stings to someone who lives and dies with tech.

MotoMaker on AT&T only

Outside of price, there is one other massive disappointment. Hell, I’d even call it a failure on Motorola’s part. Yes, I’m talking about the exclusive deal they made with AT&T to be the launch partner of MotoMaker. For those not familiar, MotoMaker will only be available for AT&T customers for an undisclosed amount of time once the phone launches. Motorola has already announced that the service will come to other carriers (Verizon being one), but for the time being, only folks with AT&T service can customize a phone to their liking.

To me, MotoMaker is going to be the #1 reason that average consumers will choose to buy this phone. The price sure isn’t going to be it. The software features like Active Display are awesome, but those don’t sell a phone like giving someone the power to select a personalized set of colors and engraving will. I think I mentioned this above, but I cannot wait to customize my own phone. For years, we have moaned about the constant flood of black or white phones. Sure, Samsung has produced colors for its flagships, but never at launch. Motorola is telling us that you can customize an entire phone’s appearance for no extra charge, the minute it goes live on AT&T, and see it in 4 days or less. That’s awesome! Except that it’s only on AT&T. Ugh. I could go on and on.

Fix this problem, Motorola.

Other Notes

  • Wife point of view:  Every time I get a new phone to review, I always hand it over to my wife and have her give me her immediate impressions. With the Moto X, she initially thought, “This is a cool little phone. It looks nice.” But then I started feeding her the marketing spiel about Touchless Control, Active Display that would work when she pulled her phone out of her purse, and of course, MotoMaker. She thought all of the features were fun, but once she heard that she could customize her own phone, she wanted me to order her one immediately. I showed her the phone in the morning, and by the time she had come back home for the day, the first thing she said was “I want that phone. Let’s order one.” She was then crushed when I told her that it was an AT&T exclusive option, because she’s on Verizon.
  • Speaker:  Rear speaker gets plenty loud, but Motorola has typically been known for putting in quality speakers.
  • Battery tests:  During our battery tests, we always run 4G LTE only. There were a couple of moments that I had to toggle on WiFi to download a game or something, but 99% of the time the phone sits on LTE.
  • Active Display:  Have I said how awesome I think Active Display is?
  • Wallpaper and clock:  Because a number of you have asked, the clock I’m using in most screenshots is a UCCW clock widget skin called Flat Sense. The wallpaper can be downloaded here.




Software Features


Moto X vs. Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One



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The Verdict

I really like the Moto X. In fact, I think you’ll like it a lot too. The entire package has few flaws, if any. We’re talking about an above average display, a solid camera, industry standard battery life, stock Android, buttery smooth performance, and a set of software features that will actually make your life easier. Motorola wants you to forget about specs and concentrate on the experience that a smartphone should deliver. With the Moto X, I can safely say that this is one of the first times in years that I have picked up a phone, used it for a week, and not really had anything to complain about. And keep in mind that I’ve only been using one of the stock, white models – the MotoMaker experience is still to be had!

So here are my final couple of thoughts. If specs mean little to you, you are willing to put your faith in Motorola to do you right, and you want to be able to fully customize the appearance of your phone, then you really can’t go wrong here. We’re talking about a premium experience in a smartphone package that is assembled in the U.S., something that can’t be said for any other phone on the market.

On the flip side, if you are a tech junkie on the bleeding edge, you may be somewhat let down by the 720p display and dual-core processor. Even though you may not notice a difference in performance or be able to pick out a pixel with your naked eye, it’s something that may always be in the back of your mind, especially at its $199 on-contract price. I know I’ve had trouble getting over it, but even as I wrap up this review, I have to admit that I’m looking forward to even more time with the Moto X.

Links:  Moto X deals at eBay | Amazon

  • Rendar

    What does this phone have over the Droid Maxx? The Maxx seems to have a nicer case body, has that huge battery, they both run the same Snapdragon processor right? All of the same motorola additions software wise while basically being stock android. They both come in developer editions. There both 4.7″ screens? Basically what I’m saying is the Moto X and the Droid Maxx seem to be identical except for the fact that the Droid Maxx has much longer battery life? Am I missing something? I’m looking to replace my Galaxy Nexus and am considering the Droid Maxx DE. Any opinions guys?

    • Rendar

      Actually the Droid Maxx weighs more, but it also had a 5″ screen instead of 4.7″.

  • I do not like the Moto X design of this. It does not look elegant and classy as the other phone line. Performance is nothing more outstanding

  • Suzanne VDE

    The green colored one looks awesome. You guys should watch these beautiful girls: http://dating.co/beautiful-bulgarian-girls/

  • Jeremiah

    Made in the USA, FTW

  • ascharn

    Just purchase 2 of these from Sprint online on contract for $99.99 each. Had the price been $199.99 I probably would have gotten the S4. I agree, Motorola should keep the price here and make the motomaker version $199.99. Can’t wait to get it this week!

  • Allnewspk

    Wonderful phone

  • Weber

    Battery easily lasts me 24 hours with 3.5 – 4.5 hours screen-on time. Not sure why the battery review is crap.

    • Cliff Keene

      I have managed to do the same, probably Kellen uses his phone with full brightness on or something. I just have it set to the lowest setting because too bright gives me a headache.

      • Weber

        I keep mine on auto, usually. I’m too lazy to change the brightness setting. I’m inside most of the time, but even though the auto-brightness setting never goes as dim as possible, I still get that sort of battery life.

  • ams165

    IR Blaster???

  • Don Goncalves

    Mobile down… gotta replace mine in the next week: Maxx or Moto X?

  • You Jump First

    I’m pretty stupid, but it seems like it would take a large commitment on Motorola’s part to keep the phone up-to-date. Is it not reasonable to assume that in a year or 2 a dual core processor will be less than adequate to keep up with the new and best software such as a newer android os maybe not 5.0 but beyond. I am sure that is what those extra smart cores are for, but doesn’t that mean Motorola has to be committed to the update process. Using more time, money, and manpower than it normally would to get things to work right? And if it doesn’t sell like an iphone or at least top-end android phones will they really want to invest so much into it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stopped offering support for it before the 2 year contract is up. Of course this is all conjecture on my part might be the best phone made in a while. All I know is I will not buy this phone… maybe I would if and when they drop the price considerably. But for all intents and purposes I will not be taking the leap of faith Motorola.

    • JeffColorado

      The Galaxy Nexus is running the latest version of Android, and well. So no, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect it to get support for a long time. And specs do not tell everything…engadget did benchmarks and this phone beat the quad-core Nexus 4 in virtually everything, often by a wide margin.

  • Drew Ciccotelli

    Made in USA is worth the extra cost.

  • kromeo

    good mobile

  • Scroat

    Lol. Lagdroid. I couldn’t have summed up android phones better if I tried.  true story™©®

    • JeffColorado

      Looks like someone has never tried a Nexus device. We forgive you.

  • Dave Whyte

    Here is my question. I hear nothing but good things about this phone but I cannot decide between this and the 4 month old HTC One now that they will both be on Verizon Wireless….. What do you guys think?

    • JeffColorado

      Unless it is the Google edition One, I would not even consider it. Skinned phones need to go away.

      The main reason I passed on the One was simply the HTC logo as the home button. Just looks tacky to me.

  • Gmax Mo bay

    I like the concept and execution, but what ever happened to 24 hours of battery life? Nobody has even gotten half what Motorola claims, I love the Nexus club and all, but after spending 2 years with my G-Nex plugged into the wall 3 times a day, I’m sour on battery life limitations and if the new Droid Ultras have any of the same X8 architecture in it, I’ll be lovin all up on the DROID MAXX baby. Can I get a hooah for big fat mAhs?!

    • Brassherald

      I got this phone for the Verizon network when it was first announced, and I fairly regularly go to bed with enough battery that it could last easily the 24 hours promised, provided I turn on airplane mode when I am underground for an hour or two during my commute. It can reach the 24 hour period, as long as you keep in mind where the battery will drain the most, I also turn on airplane mode in one classroom in the lower level because that room inexplicably drains everyone’s batteries. It doesn’t have the Droid Maxx battery, but if you are smart about your battery life, 24 hours is easily attainable.


    Doesn’t the Droid Mini have similar specs and a $99 price.

  • Motto

    “During our battery tests, we always run 4G LTE only.”

    No f-ing wonder that you test looks so much worse than everywhere else.. wonder how you HTC ONE test went then.. I would not consider heavy use while only using LTE is a realistic test..

  • Alido

    Kellex, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere but since you have the Verizon model, can you talk and surf at the same time like with the Galaxy’s on Verizon?

  • Ed Williams

    I believe the one thing holding this up for me is the exclusivity with AT&T. As pointed out, that’s got to be one of the bigger highlights of the phone. I said back around Gingerbread that makes of Android phones would come to a point where we’d be able to customize the colors of our phones and put things on them. Now that it’s here, its only available through one carrier. I’m on Verizon. I’m not waiting around for them to lift the exclusivity and I don’t feel much obliged to hand over any money for such a air-headed decision.

    They really need to fix that.

    • steve james

      I wanted to come back to Moto I think they have the radio mojo & make quality devices. I won’t though as that exclusive deal is the straw that broke my back. They will be loosing millions because of it & it should cost someone their job.

  • Austin Cox

    Does anybody else think this looks more like a de-sensed HTC device?

  • Good design, good camera. But why they only sell at N.America

  • Sack Lunch

    So what about the radios? Been stuck with the VZW Galaxy Nexus radios for 1 1/2 years and always hear about Motorola radios being superior; can you add that to your review?

  • Motorola managers should visit India to see how many companies are selling quad-core Full HD 5-inch handsets for just 230 USD.

  • dmagicp

    As much as I HATE the way companies are shipping our jobs over seas left and right, I would be glad to pay more for this phone, but since I’m a galaxy note fan, it sux that I will be giving my cash to samsung, unless moto makes a nice 6in screen device.

  • DonGoncalves

    So, other the screen size, case size/design/material, battery, “Zap,” and price… are the Moto X and the new Droid Ultra and new Droid Maxx are identical in hardware and all the new Android software features (including touchless control, active display, etc.)?

  • florious80

    I’ve probably missed some discussion about this, but has someone figured out why Moto only allowed ATT Moto x to be customized? After all, most of the options are cosmetics, why can’t Verizon/Tmo version be customized as well? What’s the problem?

  • crazed_z06

    Wow.. Of All things.. they couldnt give it above average battery life… Jesus Christ. When does the Note 3 come out? The Moto X is a sideshow.

  • Bryan F. Fox


    Does the Touchless control or any other feature bypass the lock screen? If I am required to use a passcode does that make all the cool features pointless?


  • Jason B

    I’m betting the warm color tone (looks pinkish to me) is to keep the blue OLEDs alive longer. One of the downsides of AMOLED displays. Samsung did create that S-stripe subpixel arrangement for the Note 2 with the oversized blue pixel. Reduces the amount of current needed and extends life.

    Displaying a lot of white backgrounds, ahem – like DL, also KILLS battery life on devices with AMOLED displays (non-Pentile).

    You’d probably need a NASA wallpaper of a galaxy with a lot of blacks to notice some real savings.

  • Sasha Mirpour

    The battery test was done on 4G (LTE) network right? And I´m guessing this phone on 3G (HSDPA/HSPA+) should last longer more in range around 24H?

  • Jay Michael Headley

    To everyone who complains about the price. I am sorry I can not agree with ANY of you because unlike it’s counter-parts when I buy this phone I know that I am buying a phone that has actually created jobs here in AMERICA! The more people that buy this phone means more jobs and money we can create inside our own economy. That alone is what is worth the price to me.

  • mohammed kanan

    What clock is that

  • DanielP

    You slammed the nvidia sheild for a 720p display, this has a 720p display.

    I knew you would do this. site is just run by fanboys, not very academic.

  • KidFlash1904

    “you are willing to put your faith in Motorola to do you right”

    Droid bionic owner, not making that mistake again

  • mikeszekely

    I don’t think the Moto X is a bad phone. I just don’t think it’s a $200 on-contract phone. The Moto X looks like one of, if not the best mid-range phones available, and would be a no-brainer for people who want a cool phone and don’t care about bleeding edge tech at $99, but at $199 I think Motorola’s going to have a hard time convincing people that they should get a Moto X over an HTC One, a Galaxy S4, or (dare I say it) an iPhone.

  • MI95SHO

    Kellex; How well does the Active Display and Touch-less Control work when you set lock screen passwords/patterns?

  • Daven

    This looks like the phone for me… But I have read a lot of reviews so far and no one mentions how good the antenna is. I currently have a S4 and want to go back to a Motorola because of their strong antennas. Are phones still used to make calls anymore?

  • Taglogical

    If you are a tech junkie, I would say that you should love this phone due to the processor arrangement not the other way around per the article… I feel like DL is still missing why this processor implementation by Moto is ‘cutting edge;’ the competitors should be taking notes. Anyway, I really appreciate what Motorola has done here and if I had money to burn I would love to play with this sexy phone… This should get the Appl3 fanbois onboard in droves… However I need something that takes the place of my Bionic (SD card, HDMI, removable battery, a display that’s usable for GPS which means OLED is out) and this Moto X just doesn’t do it.

    • King Lo

      The Snapdragon 800 has a core dedicated to voice recognition. Moto is just the first to implement the next wave of flagships should have it.

  • Silver Veloz

    Thanks Kellan for the review of the Moto X. I’m sure you will have more to add as time goes by. What cracks me up about a lot of the responses to this and to Ron’s “Opinion” is that there are so many people hell-bent on not getting this phone, but still have the need to bash it. That’s good and fine and that is their decision. Yes, it’s not the phone they were expecting from Motorola right now, but how many of them have actually had their hands on it and tried it out? If they are that decided on not getting this phone, what is the desire to even read or keep responding to the posts? I guess it’s easier to bash than to be optimistic. I guess we were in the same boat just about 2 years ago when the Bionic came out. But has anyone ever revisited the Bionic on a review since receiving Jelly Bean. (I can actually say, it’s the most I’ve enjoyed the phone since, especially utilizing Google Now). I can understand people are curious and want to have knowledge about Moto X, as I am, but I don’t understand the bashing. Just move on, if its not the phone for you. I am going to decide by the time it comes to Verizon (with customization). I personally am thankful to you and Ron (and other reviews online) for information on this phone that might be in my future. Oh, this is going to be a great Droid Life show this week. Ha Ha! Thanks again.

    • Taglogical

      I love my Bionic – This Moto X doesn’t touch it though does it? It won’t run as long, doesn’t give me as much storage, doesn’t have HDMI out, and it’s display is functionally worse for GPS than the Bionic (heck these are cell phones and we use them outside in the sunlight; it’s time to stop with this OLED garbage)
      Oh, and Googlerola is reading this…

  • John Doe

    What app is the weather widget

  • Richard Jackson

    I think this sums up the feeling of the site.

  • skinja99

    This phone is such a shame. It would be fine except for the price. It just cannot compare to the S4. The S4 does so many things, and so many things better than the Moto X.

    Why ditch the notification light? It is such a cheap easy thing to include. And I like to know if I have a notification if my phone is just sitting there without having to pick it up or talk to it.

    It is painful when Kellex repeats the Moto X marketing “blinking LED notification lights that provide you with little information.”

  • aholland1

    Sigh, I wanted to love this phone, but the battery is a deal-breaker after struggling with the GNex for the past two years and this one only having marginally better results in real world use. I need my phone to go a full 24 day or two with no compromises so I’m not stressing while on travel for work or at a conference wondering if I’ll make it to the next outlet or not (spare battery or portable chargers notwithstanding).

    Looking forward to the review for the new MAXX but still on the fence as I’ve really come to love Cyanogenmod so tempted to just go with the best phone for that ROM. Any suggestions; keeping in mind battery life (sure many will say the S4 which is looking like the best contender once all the bloat is removed)?

  • Sacrifist

    Sigh. To paraphrase, ‘This is a well-made phone with genuinely useful, exclusive features. It has a good screen, rock-solid performance and good battery life. That can’t possibly justify a $199 price tag.”

    That seems silly to me. Comparing to the sold-at-a-loss-to-a-tiny-market Nexus 4 isn’t fair either. Moto needs to make money on this one, and it really seems like this phone is worth every penny of that $199.

  • BOB Dudek

    I don’t know about you, but when I plunk down over 200 (+ uprade fee ..! ) and sign away two
    years of my life to a carrier, I want to know that the two buttons used
    most on a phone will be sturdy and everlasting. Which doesn’t appear to
    be the case here.

  • joejoe5709

    I think the “Wife point of view” is exactly what I was looking for. My wife has an iPhone and I think she would really like this phone if she were to come to our side of the camp. This point of view also probably rings true for most average-to-slightly-techy consumers.

    Me? I love the size the most. I get all giddy when I see a 5″ screen but there’s little debate that the 4.5-4.7″ size fits much better in the majority of people’s hands. I think this was a good call on Motorola’s part. And with a 4.7″ screen, maaaaayyyybe 720p is alright. I get it. But my fear is this phone will quickly get left far far behind in the next two years with screen tech. This was a very bad call in my eyes. And… if you’re going to have a 1080p screen you’re probably going to need a quad-core processor to match. And therein lies our problem. Despite the adequate performance, this phone is definitely a step down from current standards. It has nothing to do with a supposed “spec war”. And I think Motorola knows that except their ego won’t let their “flagship” for less than the others. I think Kellen is right though. They could have maybe gotten a little more creative and offered cheaper versions.

    Anyway… there’s a lot to like here. I absolutely love the design and the barely modified Android. The design and software are dangerously close to a Nexus. And I love that. I feel like this is some lost cousin to the Nexus4 from a less well-to-do family. Of course I have no proof, but it seems that Google might use Motorola as a test bed of sorts for new ideas. And that’s a cool thought. So let me put it this way – if this Moto X spawns a Nexus with similar specs I’ll be the first in line no questions asked. But if Verizon never gets the next Nexus (which is likely) I’d say the Moto X is a worthy replacement to my GNex. My dream Nexus wishlist: The Moto X chassis with a quad-core processor and 1080p screen running Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie for $350 off contract. Perfect.

  • me

    So, crappy battery life, crappy camera, locked boot loader… Yeah, typical Motorola no matter who owns them.

    • me

      Edit: Buy battery life of course I obviously don’t mean things like the Maxx with a huge battery..

  • BOB Dudek

    As far as the X’s middling MEH specs..I.E.> in 7 months how would you feel like..having this parked in your “driveway” like the new 2013 car you bought that was a v6 and no sunroof or nav ..and now its really looks “old”..and you have to /use everyday and think .”.I should have not jumped the gun and got the V8 with all the option upgrades”. ..for almost the same price. And BTW that item is NOW being offered at heavily discounted deals..

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    My one takes better pics than those…motorola for the life of them just can’t produce a quality camera

  • Steven Vona

    Great article, I just wish someone would take the time to work with the cameras more on these reviews.

  • Frettfreak

    The lack of storage options on any carrier other than att (didn’t they get the exclusive on that too?) and no way to add more via sd is what’s losing me most. That and after using a 1080p panel on my one, I think it would be hard to step backward. I am excited about this phone and like the direction. But will be waiting to see what else they bring. Maybe a true tech geek flagship. That would be great

  • Sporttster

    Just not gonna jump. Need a sd slot….sorry, Moto, but you seriously blew your chance with me here….

  • Jorge Guaman

    One of the problem I see with paying $199 for those specs is that if this phone is a hit other companies might follow their lead and start making cheaper phones for the same price as a more powerful one and sell it for that price. This phone should had been cheaper than 199. The other thing I am concern updates, Moto might take a long time to get this phone running the latest software. 4.3 is already out and who knows when this phone is going to see it and with those specs who know if the Key lime might be able to run on it as it was meant to be.

  • DainLaguna

    Pretty much spot on. The specs thing is something I’m cool with given the other unique things about the device.

    But more importantly kellen…where is our nexus 7 review?

  • kay

    It’s so…pretty.

  • krouget

    As to the size of this phone, I often see it compared to the HTC One. Doesn’t the latter device have a taller profile, thanks to the functional front facing speakers?

  • Ahku Droid

    Could you possibly do a battery test with the Touchless “OK Google Now” Controls turned off? I imagine the always listening part is draining more life than they implied even though it is run by a lower power core. I was ready to order one until you said 10 hours. I have an OG MAXX and reducing that power would suck. I don’t want the almost phablet sized new Droid MAXX with bottom buttons wasting real estate.

    Honestly, in a time when people prefer to text than talk, except in the car, I don’t foresee me using that feature much, if at all.

  • Timothy Warne Jr

    I’d love to have a Moto X but its too pricey for me off contract as that’s how I’d have to buy it since I don’t wanna loose my unlimited data. I wanted to switch to T-Mobile but I’m not off contract until Feb. 2014 and don’t know how good of service I get in San Bernardino, CA. The moto X is the device for me IMO just getting it on a college student budget is one of many obstacles I’ll face in getting this device in my hands.

    • Sporttster

      Seriously, who’s gonna fork out $600+ for a phone with yesterdays specs?!? Insane….

      • Timothy Warne Jr

        It should’ve been $99 on contract $299/$349 off contract. That price would make the money well worth being spent. Hopefully the Google Play Edition saves us all.

  • Mark

    I used to be a big proponent of on-screen keys. Then I realized how often they are shown while using the phone. Take a look at the picture above. The HTC one and Moto X have the same screen size, yet look at the additional screen real estate on the One. Its even more (almost 3/4 inch) on the S’4 and the S’4 is only “.3 inches longer. The on-screen keys take away too much from the actual screen

    • NeedName

      whenever you really need that extra screen space the on-screen keys disappear.

  • Matt

    I’ve seen a few unlimited data, GNex commenters the past few weeks – still going to wait it out for something better? I think I will – was just looking for ideas.

    • SparkysShocker

      I will be taking the jump back to Motorola, after the Tbolt and Gnex I have been terribly disapointed by HTC and Samsung. Sense and TouchWiz devices no matter what the specs just arent worth it and I wont be leaving Verizon for GPE devices, because coverage wise it is not option.

    • Taglogical

      I went back to Bionic after several GNex devices and have been happy with the Bionic. I don’t believe I will be buying any of Motorola’s current lineup; though I have waited for them to release it. Note 3 (if only it had LCD)? The new LG? Sony? HTC ONE MAXX (if it had an SD and HDMI)?

    • Brien Gerber

      I’m going with this phone. I care about experience not spec sheets. All of the features are useful and it will actually fit in my hand.

      • Matt

        Interesting, I do think the phone is tempting. I agree with everything – the only thing that concerns me is the encrypted bootloader. I’ll give this one a serious look though.

    • Justin Kos

      I got a nexus 4, I love it solid speeds on t mobile in north jersey too

  • Matt Galyon

    My biggest concern with the specs on this phone is the longevity.

    Can it stay snappy for two years? The GNex had cutting edge specs when it was released and mine started getting laggy probably 9 months in.

    I think the biggest gamble with the Moto X is whether we think Android is now optimized enough to be able to keep it’s dual core “buttery” for the full contract period. That’s a huge step of faith that I’m not willing to take.

    • NeedName

      The gNexus did NOT have “cutting edge” specs when it was released — the first Nexus was the only Nexus device that really pushed the specs. The gNexus had decent specs, not so dissimilar to the Moto X today.

      Ours still performs perfect and they are even faster now with 4.3. . . so, don’t know why yours is performing so poorly unless you purchased it on Verizon.

      • Matt Galyon

        Yes, it did have cutting edge specs, equal with the top-tier smart phones of it’s time when it was released: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/06/05/comparison-galaxy-s3-vs-incredible-4g-lte-vs-galaxy-nexus-vs-razr-maxx/

        Not sure who “ours” is, but mine has been laggy before 4.3. With 4.3 it has run the best since when I first purchased it…I’m just not so sure it will last. It seems like everytime I do a clean wipe & install the ROM works great for a couple weeks then starts to slow, so we’ll see. Believe me, I want 4.3 to last because there’s nothing I want to replace my GNex with at the moment.

        • SparkysShocker

          I flashed dirty and it still buttery smooth.

          • Matt Galyon

            Coming from 4.2.2?

          • SparkysShocker


          • Matt Galyon

            Nice, good to know that worked.

        • NeedName

          That OMAP chip had already been out for some time — exact same argument about the MOTO X cpu today, and we won’t even talk about the OMAP gpu 😉

          And people were pissed about the pentile display, no SD slot, and poor camera — wow, this sounds familiar.

          Nothing was “cutting edge” just “decent” all-around. It it was “cutting edge” it would have cost a lot more.

          We’ve never flashed ROMs on our gNex. . . and it has always been decent performer and better with 4.3.

          • Matt Galyon

            What phones had the OMAP4460 before the GNex?

            What phone had a 720p display before the GNex? (only HTC Rezound)

            The Moto X is being released with a slightly modified MSM8960T which was released in Quarter 2 2012 & the same 720P resolution of our GNex which is almost 2 years old.

            Not the same.

            Glad to hear yours has performed better than mine though!

          • Jason B

            MSM8960T is not in the Moto X. That’s a Krait 200 SoC and the Adreno 320 is clocked at 400MHz.

            So, the “slightly modified” SoC has all of the features of the S600 minus 2 cores. Same Krait 300 cores (THIS year’s Krait). Same Adreno 320 clocked at 480-533MHz (not sure where it lies). WiFi 802.11ac support, etc.

            Qualcomm and Motorola seriously need to call this a dual-core S600 so people can get off the nagging bandwagon.

  • WickedToby741

    I wonder if the single carrier rollout for the customization is to work out the bugs. Do you really think they’d be able to maintain the 4 day ship time if they opened the floodgates for all carriers? Google doesn’t need a repeat of the Nexus 4. There will obviously be some initial kinks to work out, so in a way it makes sense to sell it to a carrier as a timed exclusive even though on the outside it may seem like a boneheaded move.

    • jose

      Then why have customizations at all? What about all the black and white versions? Are those free from bugs? I doubt a custom colored back plate adds that much lead time. You have a choice of pre-determined colors and materials. It’s not all THAT custom.

      • SparkysShocker

        Over 2,000 color combinations means they cant really stock a whole lot of pre-builds in every combination. And the bugs they will encounter in manufacturing come from it being a new plant.

  • Silver Veloz
    • Let me guess without even reading this article: “Soon”

      When will Moto X actually be in customers’ hands? Soon.
      When will the AT&T exclusives end? Soon
      When will GPE and Developer editions be available? Soon

      Blah blah blahdy blah.

  • James McKenzie

    Love this phone, It’s beautiful. I don’t mind the mid-range specs I still think It’s not that bad. The big killer for me is the battery life, I could never go back to that after having the Razr Maxx HD hoping they release an X HD with 1080P and a huge battery. I mean they can for sure fit it in that phone.

  • HeartStrong07

    I can’t see why I would upgrade from my (rooted) Verizon GNexus to this phone versus waiting for the LG G2, Galaxy Note 3 or Google Nexus 5. The Moto X has lower specs; the same price and I cannot customize … this seems like a total fail if you are a Verizon customer …

  • Liderc

    Honestly, I think this whole “We’re selling you a high end experience, not high end specs” is total bullsh*t. Other companies are selling high end experiences with high end specs for the same price. Another failure from Moto, and Google’s involved, they should be embarrassed. They can have their colorful phone, I’m sure people like Kellen’s wife will love to see the pretty colors, but the rest of us don’t care and we sure as hell don’t want to pay for other people being able to customize their phone when we just want it in black.

    • jose

      I agree. I really see nothing different here from what Moto’s done in the past. We don’t even know if the new 8x8x8x superchips thing is hype until it’s been used in the wild day in and day out for months on end. How will it run 2yrs from now? They got a shiny new notification system. Whoopty doo. Camera wrist flick? Gimmick, just like Face Unlock.

      Custom colors aren’t enough to justify the price tag. Also, do we know if there’ll be an extra fee for this? By the time this Moto Maker crap hits all the other carriers it will be old news. Moto failed extremely hard with this AT&T exclusive bullcrap.

  • wh1te_mag1c

    This phone looks very impressive to me and the specs are more than adequate. I think even the price is tolerable. But the problem I have is with the battery. 2200 mAh is hardly enough and the battery isn’t even removable. I would not pay $200 on contract and live with a phone with just average battery life for the next 2 years. Coming from a Galaxy Nexus, I would want a smartphone with incredible battery life, especially considering how “feature creep” and personal phone tweaking and customization end up affecting a phone’s battery life. As an example, consider how much of a system drain Google Now was.

  • Asmodai

    I’d rather have the Droid Mini at half the price then this thing as they’re almost identical except cosmetics. For $200 on contract I’ll take a HTC One.

  • manilaboy1vic

    after the GN2, i can never have a phone where the battery doesnt last over 24h on one charge.

  • Malcolm Love

    My main thought, if the battery is just average new, I’m concerned about how the battery would be 1 year after heavy use. I just want something with a massive battery, which is why I’ll probably end up with a MAXX (cause I really like the active notifications), or a Note 3. Maybe even a Note 2.

  • trixnkix637

    This review has me contemplating getting a Droid Maxx.. I don’t know though, I still bear the scars from my Droid X. I’m hoping that 8/15 launch date for the One is legit.

  • Chase Chick

    Can the crapware be disabled?

  • KRS_Won

    -Moto should make a Droid Defy (life proof) line. I don’t get it. Motorola was the first mainstream company to promote a active lifestyle phone. But never gave it a proper push. Shouldn’t have been a sacrifice on which android version with older specs. I gladly would’ve paid a premium to have it shock, dust, and water resistant.
    -There is no need for a Ultra “normal”. Just stick with the MAXX, instead of a $100 premium just meet in the middle at $250.
    -Mini is still a good idea, especially how Moto does it; full specs, smaller bezel.
    -BRING BACK SD CARD SUPPORT. I travel a lot, and like to keep a few movies on a card, works great with HDMI out. 32GB is nice for music, photos, and apps. But switching out movies on internal storage before 4.3 sucks on performance.
    I’m fine with the 720 screen. No problems on my HD MAXX. battery life and less pixels to push.
    -1) Mini. 2) Defy-like 3) MAXX.

  • Stevedub40

    Excellent review Kellen. I always enjoy reading your reviews and many times they help with my purchasing decisions. You are one of the best!

  • RoadsterHD1

    Can you do a review of the Droid MAXX when you get one please.

  • Brooks Barnes

    @kellex:disqus How does the reception compare to some other devices from Samsung, HTC, etc?

  • kenjh2

    If the price was right, this phone would be a no brainier Also, lame question but does anyone know what clock/weather widget is being used in these photos. Looks nice.

    • kenjh2

      Nevermind. UCCW. Should have read through the comments

    • Jamin

      Look a week or two back here on droid-life. They posted their 3 favorite uccw skins…

  • V

    Stop whining about the price already. I’ll bet most of you are will and probably do spend $4.00-$5.00 once or twice a day on over priced coffee drinks or $2.00 a can for Monster drinks. 1 $4.00 cup of Starbucks coffee a day = $1,460.00 a year. Just to put in perspective.

  • pratik doshi

    Moto X v/s HTC One v/s Samsung galaxy S4 v/s iPhone 5 – See more at: http://windroidblog.blogspot.in/2013/08/moto-x-vs-htc-one-vs-samsung-galaxy-s4.html#sthash.LnBDtq1g.dpuf

  • cobalt27

    Excellent review Kellen. It is a quality phone, well-built, and smooth, no doubt. But I pretty much feel the exact same way as you. The price, the specs, the display, the battery (although other reviewers have been getting awesome battery times, even with heavy use). But oddly enough for me, that customization thing is really tempting, especially in wood. Yes, customization is for the ‘masses’ and not really for us ‘tech junkies’ but really I’d love to have a unique dark wood phone, something that nobody else has.

    I’d have to wait though since I’m on Verizon and it will be a long time before we get MotoMaker and wood backs.

  • MacNificent

    Any word on the outside visibility? How does it handle in direct sunlight?

  • Chase Chick

    I’m going to get one for sure. But no way in HELL am I getting one that isn’t customized. Seriously.. does ATT or Moto think I’m going to jump ship from Verizon just for this? How high are they. ATT exclusive customization may be the biggest failure of decision making I’ve ever seen in the smartphone world.

  • Daniel

    I’m very sad that there is no MicroSD slot nor a real notification LED, which let’s you see if there is a notification BEFORE you’ve picked the phone up off the table :-

    • MJ04

      the screen acts as the LED because of the the Active Display feature. you cant miss your messages because they are on the screen right in your face.

  • Danny Boy

    My next phone will be either this or the Maxx (leaning a bit towards the Maxx). The touchless controls have me a bit excited. I can think of uses for this such as controlling my phone while in the shower, on the road, or in bed. This looks incredibly slick.

  • monkey082506

    As a current Gnex owner, I think I’m really looking forward to this phone. I realize more and more how little I actually “need” a quad core phone. Yea it’s one hell of a feature to have but it’s still a phone and I personally don’t do things that require a quad-core. I like the stock look, this phone has it with no rooting/roming necessary, that’s cool. Battery life is solid compare to my Gnex’s 4 – 6 hours max. The software features are really impressive. As for the 720 vs 1080…it’s a 4.7″ screen, I don’t personally need 1080 just to stream a couple youtube videos. It’s still HD…

    My ONLY issue is how much this will cost off contract and will I be willing to pay for it to stay with Verizon? Or is this the phone that moves me to T-Mobile? That’s my only debate with this phone is which carrier will I buy it from.

  • SadToSayGoodbye

    So I’ve found a way to deal with the anger and disapointment of this round of Motorola Hypebeasting.. I purchased my 1st iPhone.

    It was the only way to heal my wounds.

    • NeedName

      makes sense. . . buy something even lower speced when you are bitching about specs.

  • Andrew Weaver

    I think the Moto X is beautiful. It appears that under Google’s leadership Motorola will quit building crappy hideous products.

  • I find it a bit baffling people are still so hung up on specs. Just about every review has said the performance of the phone is one of the best if not the best experiences they’ve had with any phone. Whats the issue exactly? Are people worried that two years from now it won’t be able to keep up or just want to complain about something?

    • MJ04

      i just dont want to be on 4.2.2 forever while everyone else is on 4.3. im not a fan of having a phone that rarely gets updates.

      • You’d think moto would be able to turn around updates quickly considering their skin is so minimal. Also we can always hope their google connection benefits them. I’d imagine after nexus devices these will be the first on the market to push the update.

        • MJ04

          yea i think since it isn’t a nexus that it will be updated right after the nexus devices or maybe at the same time since it is a pure google OS.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      nobody wants to pay premium for a 720p display that is less than premium. That’s all i can justify complaining about. Everything else is right where it needs to be.

      • considering you can also get it customized for that price / you know its being assembled by American workers ( who are hopefully provided a proper wage) though I think justifies that. of course, that is only my opinion, to each their own, but the screen seems to be pretty decent anyways from what everyone has said

        • Daeshaun Griffiths

          I’m on board with this phone. I love it. U asked why people are upset over specs, and i think it’s because they think better hardware could have been included.

      • Jay Gloab

        If you have to hold the phone 2 inches from your eyes to see the difference between a 1080p and 720p screen, what value is lost by going with the 720 screen? Especially when you consider that that’s part of the reason for the better battery life…

  • Brien

    Does the car mode know when you are driving or just when you are in a car? I’d prefer not to have that go on when I’m a passenger but it sounds awesome for driving with navigation. Maybe only when I turn GPS on?

  • Jillxz

    Too compact a phone for my liking. Don’t like compact cars either.

  • SecurityNick

    Good review, thank you. Here’s my take on a couple of things. Price-wise, I think you hit the nail on the head about the reason being it’s assembled in Texas. And, while it may not seem fair, in order for motomaker to work, they did the right thing by making it free. If they went the route you suggested by charging less up front then a premium for the customization, then I don’t think as many people would jump on the bandwagon. And, that’s solely because it’s an online experience to do the customization. If you walked into a store and they had different color faceplates (whatever) like Nokia popularized back in the day and charged $10-$20, I think that would work. But, Motorola is obviously investing hard in this motomaker stuff and they need it to work, they also need to justify the costs by charging more for the phone…business-wise and the future success of motomaker makes this make sense.

    The only good thing about this not hitting Verizon right away is that we’ll get some experience with early adopters to give us feedback. While I’m normally one of those early adopters, I will wait till motomaker is available for Verizon…and by that time, hopefully any bugs will get fixed and give me a better sense if this is the next phone for me. I hope that they make the dev option available on motomaker.

    Last, a question, has anyone been able to confirm if the camera does or doesn’t have photosphere on it? I’ll be really disappointed if that’s left out. I like some of the add ins they made, but I hope photosphere wasn’t sacrificed.

  • Notaken

    are you getting “Pure Google Experience” when using this phone? Meaning fast updates?

    • jnt

      No… it’s basically a pure google OS, but you won’t get the faster updates like a Google experience or Nexus device

      • NeedName

        We don’t know that yet.

        • Notaken

          when would we know?

          • NeedName

            When Google-Motorola make an actual commitment to updates.

            Google made such a commitment to the Nexus devices. So, why aren’t they with Motorola devices?

        • jnt

          In the Verge’s video, the Motorola guy said the updates would be faster than normal only because they don’t have to do as many software tweaks since it’s so close to stock Android – in other words, it’ll still have to be tweaked/approved by Moto and then the carriers. Plus there’s talk of a Google Experience X, so why would they do both?

          • NeedName

            Yeah, I heard them say that as well. That, however, does not mean they will be any better with updates now than they have in the past. He’s only making a statement of fact — “well, we fubared Android less so in theory updates ought to go faster.” No kidding?!?!!? So, why not make a commitment to updates? Thus far, like every other Android OEM, they are staying mum about updates — not even mentioning how long they plan to support the device.

            As far as we know they may only give one update in the life of a device, or only security updates, or they may bust hump and put out each and every update asap for as long as the hardware can support it. They haven’t said anything about any of this yet thus, we really have no idea how they will behave with updates.

            When I see a commitment in writing then I’ll believe it. Until then I’m always skeptical about Android updates on non-Nexus devices.

  • Stephen

    Moto Maker customizations only offered at initial purchase? Or can you keep sending back and customizing as you get bored with your color setup?

  • EatCrow

    Where has Bionic been now that this phone has been released?

    • As a Bionic owner (two of them – my partner has one). I was ready to buy 3 of them (my daughter has a failing HTC), if the price was right *and* they’d been made available right away.

      Now it’s a waiting game. I can’t afford to switch to Share Everything (my monthly costs go up in a huge way), so by waiting, I’m either going to end up leaving Verizon and/or going with something else.

      It’s only taken most of my 2 year contract with the Bionic for it to finally live up to its potential, and by potential, I mean the performance expected from a phone purchased in 2011.

  • jnt

    From Engadget: “All that said, you will need to give the RGBC sensor time to adjust to a scene before you snap away. Quickly grabbed shots will often appear out of focus and in low-light conditions, moving objects will appear extremely blurry.”

    @kellex:disqus true statement in your experience?

  • geedee82

    I thought moto was using a transparent background for their navigation bar? Does the moto x not have that?

  • nobody72

    Two comments/questions:

    a) You don’t mention visibility of the phone outside. This is a big issue with me and something that seems very hit/miss with phones these days. For example the Photon (remember the Moto Photon) while having a pentile display had brilliant visbility outside while the evo 3d was impossible to view outside (both are sprint phones but I’m on verizon)

    b) Sound quality when using earbuds/iem. I had a droid razr which had horrible sound quality (it was loud enough but heavilty distorted). I now have a Note ii which has brilliant sound quality (I never believed in the wolfson (dac chip) myth until I stumble across this by accident (i.e, I learn that my lousy iem were really very good iem being used on a lousy phone). To be honest I could care less which DAC the Moto X has; as long as it produces quality sound.

    So in summary my two questions are:
    visibility outdoors ?
    quality of sound when using earbuds/iem ?

    • jnt

      It won’t be great outside in bright side – no AMOLED displays are. The Photon had an LCD display with a RGBW submatrix (an extra white pixel) – as did the Bionic and Droid X2 – great outdoor viewing!

      • nobody72

        Well I disagree with the assertion that no AMOLED is decent out doors. Or rather I should say that some are better than others. I do agree that most of the displays with AMOLED have very weak max brightness but I’m not sure that is inherent in the technolog. I will say that razr is better than the note ii in this area; the razr is almost ok; the note is quite weak here (though it has great sound quality 🙂 )

  • Eion

    What wallpaper is that? 🙂

  • Droid Ronin

    You forgot to mention some of the other features: what about Migrate or Chrome Extension?

  • DJ SPY

    What if you switch on the Battery Saver option? How much does that help?

  • saint_stephen

    Link to the wallpaper in the first picture?

  • What’s funny is that before this phone even existed and was just a rumor, people acted as if it was going to be the King of all phones. As if it was going to reign supreme over all smartphones and kill of the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S phones. Sadly it’s just a phone with “last year’s” specs. Want a phone that truly reigns supreme over all smartphones? Get a Samsung Galaxy S4 🙂

    • Steve B

      Screw that, get an Oppo 5. Better than both the S4 and One, plus it has open developer support straight from Oppo.

  • Divij

    Which clock widget or app is used in the moto x which is reviewed above

    • Steve B


  • ezbbycame2play

    Most relevant part of the review; Wife POV

    No joke, I also showed my girl all the customizations and she wanted one…

    • Lunkman

      Ditto for my wife!

  • Jérôme Besnard

    The iPhone 5 has a 720 display, a dual-core processor, only 1 gb of RAM. And would anyone call the iPhone a middle-tier phone?

    • ezbbycame2play

      Android fans would

      • Steve B

        And they do. The iPhone gets trashed every year because of the same crap that Moto just pulled. Moto will take hell for this until they up their game.

        Dammit, if they would’ve coupled this device with a 5 inch 1080p screen, Snapdragon 800 and a 3000mah battery I think we all would have been happy. Sad face.

      • Jérôme Besnard

        I’m hard core Android fan (still have my G1 that was replaced by Gnex, currently Nexus 4). I may not like the iPhone; I still would not call it a mid-tier phone.

        • ezbbycame2play

          I was joking about how some android extremist call anything that apple produces inferior…but to go back to your original post, I don’t think you can compare the iphone 5’s specs with this since it was released almost a year before the Moto X.

          • Jérôme Besnard

            True. But I don’t expect the ‘5s’ to be much better on paper. It may stick with dual-core and I really don’t see it coming with 1080 display. Not sure, I don’t follow much what is going on on the other side.

  • MKBHD said he couldn’t drain the battery in one day and he claimed he is a heavy user. hmm….

    • fritzo

      yeah, im seeing mixed results in other reviews. Some get 18 hours, some less, some more. either way, still seems decent right?

      • That’s the thing I’m seeing mixed reviews on the battery. If it had the MAXX battery life in that slim profile, I would be all over it. But decent battery life on a 720p, ok camera, dual core phone isn’t enough for me to pay over 600 cost. The rest is all software, I’ll just wait for an app to do that.

    • NeedName

      check this page out of another review — seeing double battery compared to HTC One.


  • Dan

    The best thing about the Moto X is that it will make getting a MAXX replacement that much cheaper!

  • Nate595

    Letting At&t have Motomaker as a timed exclusive is a big mistake I think as that is one of the main selling points of the phone, hopefully its a really short period.

  • MikeCiggy

    Remember when we all thought it was stupid for Apple to not include features in it’s new devices like LTE in the 4S and NFC in the 5?

    Moto is taking the Apple approach. Leaving out new tech and simply trying to appeal to the masses and not the geeks. Us Droid-Life fans need to just move on. This phone will not satisfy any power user.

    – Small Battery
    – 720p (i honestly could live with this)
    – low spec camera
    – dual-core x8 (they could have worked with a quad core to develop their new tech, in two years there dual core x8 will look like a slug)
    – wireless charging?
    – larger internal storage (16 gb shouldn’t even exist anymore)

    How is this phone considered innovative?

    • NeedName

      You are looking at the device from ONLY your perspective. Look at if from the point of the “average consumer” for whom this device is designed for:

      – Small Battery — good enough for average users to get through a full day and charge at night.

      – 720p (i honestly could live with this) — most can’t see the difference and makes the device smoother to operate.

      – low spec camera — most Android cameras suck but it is “good enough”

      -dual-core x8 (they could have worked with a quad core to develop their
      new tech, in two years there dual core x8 will look like a slug) — the extra cores in the CPU would do very little performance wise (real world tasks it beats its quad-core counterparts) and Android and apps aren’t taking full advantage of quad-cores thus the difference by average users won’t be seen.

      – wireless charging? — this is actually reasonable to think average users might expect as it’s becoming more popular but still not the standard.

      – larger internal storage (16 gb shouldn’t even exist anymore) — there’s a reason these 16GB models still sell very well, the average users use the device primarily as a “social media” device, not for storage nor installation of tons of apps.

      Techies need to stop looking at the Moto X as their god phone and as the device it was designed to be — an average user device that gives a good Android user experience.

      Innovation for the Moto X is in:
      1. design
      2. Touchless control via hardware
      3. MotoMaker
      4. dedicated chip for sensor input
      5. on-screen notifications
      6. maintaining a decent battery life while doing the above.

      Seriously, if you aren’t getting the innovation in this device then you are lost in spec numbers that are often meaningless and give little added value to the end user. Shoving in the newest SoC or display into a device does not equate to innovation!

      • MikeCiggy

        Ok let me reply to each of your statements.

        – small battery – you say this is good enough for an average user? My girlfriend who is an average user hates the idea of a non-removable battery because she has 3 spare battery’s for her Gnex that can’t last through the day and has the same size battery. Maybe out of the box this will last a while but after the battery deteriorates a bit it will be as lousy as the gnex.

        – 720p i think we agree on this subject, however buyers will most likely be locked to the phone for 2 years. What will 720p be compared to by 2015. It’s definitely a step behind.

        – low spec camera – someone needs to do something to change the ‘image’ of android camera. The words ‘good enough’ are not allowed in any meetings about innovation

        – processor – I also think we agree somewhat on this matter however again next year what if most mainstream apps are using double the memory and are being developed to take advantage of all 4 cores where does that leave the people locked into the X for 2 entire years

        – larger internal storage – my same argument of trying to future proof a device. Apps will become larger, pictures will become larger, games will definitely become larger because of more graphics.

        Besides the fact that I did mention in my comment that Moto was targeting non-techies with this device. I completely understand. The device is undoubtedly going to be a slouch only 1 year into any average users 2 year agreement.

        • NeedName

          sorry for such a long winded answer. . .. just started rambling.

          Hardware manufactures do NOT want to “future proof” their devices. No hardware company does. They all fall to peaces these days. No matter what the specs are of the device the real issue is software updates and proper optimization of those updates. Most “average users” would be just fine if they never got an update as long as the device runs smoothly — yes, they’ve done the research and most users have NO clue what version they are running.

          Therefore, the whole spec argument based on “future proof” is somewhat irrelevant on those grounds not to mention android OEM’s spotty record on updates — why do you need hardware to run an OS you will NEVER get updated on your device? (this is NOT a Nexus) If you think you will get it then you are naive or thinking you will flash a ROM, in which case you are NOT an “average user,” and BTW your gf with her multiple batteries is NOT an “average user” because of that fact. Average users don’t do those things. They just use the device as is, and maybe get a case. Your gf sounds like a massive power user. Or has something setup poorly that is killing her battery — again they’ve done studies of usage to see how much power is needed for the “average user.” Not to mention the most “average user smartphone” is the iPhone and the Moto X performance in all areas is better and the iPhone does NOT have a removable battery and that lot is getting by fine.

          If Moto does proper updates — meaning they continue to optimize Android for the hardware instead of throwing it on with a bloated skin with little effort like other OEMs the device will perform smoothly for at least two years unless Google fubars Android in which case you will NOT get that update and will remain on an old version of Android that performs well (IF they do it right). This is assuming updates are done properly like the GSM gNexus which we have had for nearly 2 years and performs better now than when originally purchased, and it did NOT have stellar specs at the time either. BTW, they last throughout the day without a problem just as they did when first purchased. We aren’t heavy users. This issue IMHO is the real issue that have made specs an issue.

          As far as “games are getting larger” customers can choose up to 32GB like they can on most other devices and 16GB & 32GB are THE most popular models across OEMs 😉 — more pesky research they’ve done.

          This “future proofing” argument is NOT valid for an “average user” at all. They will upgrade when they get a chance. The big issue for them is, how will updates go for the hardware during the life of the hardware. The specs right now are just fine as the device demonstrates in real world use (as does the nearly two year old GSM gNexus), thus there is NO reason at all to think Google-Moto would push an update that kills it unless they decide to behave like HTC and Samsung and kill devices with updates (we’ve had it happen). However, Moto also has not proven themselves with quality updates either.

          The spec issue is blown out of proportion. It’s the software issue that’s still the real issue (the GSM gNexus proves this point) and people are ignoring it thinking that if the hardware is cutting edge it will solve the problem — it hasn’t.

          • MikeCiggy

            This may make our arguments sound similar. By ‘future proof’ I meant ‘life of contract proof’.

            As for my GF and all her battery’s I gave her a few, she got a phone on insurance and kept that battery. The only reason she swaps battery’s everyday is out of necessity. Samsung battery’s do not have a long life. The extended’s they sold for the gnex are even worse. She performs tasks just the same as any person my age ’22’ does. I know how all of my friends and others use their devices and the battery’s of today, minus a few, can hardly last throughout the day.

            Even both my friends with S4’s sometimes have days where the phone can’t make it through the day without hitting a charger.

            Phone’s are being used more and more for more types of things. My friend, who is in no-way a tech geek or nerd uses his phone daily for wake up alarm, music in the car, music at work (occasionally), google any question throughout the day, make and recieve calls and texts daily. He also needs to charge sporadically throughout the day on his Gnex. I consider us the generation that sets the bar when it comes to our phones and tasks. Maybe you would consider us power users. But if 90% of my age group is a power user then who is the average user.

          • NeedName

            I get your point. I guess the argument against it is, the current battery sizes seem to work for the great majority of users, or people don’t want big hefty phones with honking batteries.

            I don’t know if either argument is true or not. The reality is, marketing sells devices. All we have to do is look at the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy line — by far the two most heavily marketed device lines and they sell the most. And it can be argued, legitimately, that neither are stellar device nor all that “future proof.”

            The battery argument won’t go away until we have wireless power — make the device bigger and heavier or keep it smaller and lighter will always be contentious.

            Guess which one is winning?

            Nonetheless, the Moto X should run just as smoothly in two years as it does today. If it does NOT it won’t be due to hardware specs but poor software updates. The current OS version can get the job done for two years — all we have to due is look at current Android versions distribution LOL

            Battery is another issue but most of us don’t want to carry around a car battery. . . and the Droid Maxx is the only real alternative there.

            Thus, the Moto X is pretty much in-line with today’s devices — 2x battery life compared to the HTC One (http://www.geek.com/review/review-moto-x-is-what-the-android-needs-right-now-1564414/4/) and outperforms it in real world tests (http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/smartphones/motorola-moto-x.aspx).

            Seems like a reasonable balancing act to me 😉

  • Detonation

    Do you think they’ll be any surprises with the full retail cost of the phone? Kind of odd have they haven’t said what it would be yet.

  • blix247

    Kellex, Engadget thinks the side buttons are chintzy and the back is easily scratched. Do you feel the same?

    Also, WTF up with the wood editions? I just want to know that “Q4” doesn’t mean New Years Eve.

  • Mark Schleupner

    Nope. 720p display… no SD card slot… dual core processor… not for me. I think the price will drop in a few months. Phones are always expensive as soon as they come out.

  • Justin Larmay

    I’m surprised that AT&T got the moto maker exclusive. I thought for sure that viva movil would have snatched that up with all the pretty colors and casesss.

  • lgreg64

    sounds like if we did not know the specs this would be a great phone.

  • csd

    So its either have a colored phone for $200 or have the same phone in black that lasts 48 hours for $300…..umm ill go with the droid maxx

    • jnt

      With more internal storage and a bigger screen as well… Don’t get me wrong, some people might love the form factor of the X over the Maxx, and the smaller screen, but the gain you get in the Maxx seems worth any form factor trade-off – for me anyway…

      • csd

        exactly, im not gonna be thinking of damn i wish my phone was pink when my battery dies every night

        • blix247

          You guys must ride your phones like they owe you money… The pace he put on that phone would have the Nexus 4, S4 and HTC One begging for mercy.

          • jnt

            Nah I don’t, but it’s nice to have that as an “option”, especially for not much more money. And for what it’s worth, the S4 has had the best battery life out of any phone I’ve used except for the Maxx HD.

  • Steve B

    Nobody yet? Okay, here goes…

    “My primary phone is an iPhone 4S and the next phone I buy will be another iPhone.”

    • JoshGroff

      S4, 4S Conspiracy theory time?

  • JPollock00

    What is the clock widget you’re using in the pictures?? Does it come with the Moto X?

  • Mark P

    battery is THE issue for me. If this wasn’t *great,* I’m not going to get it. It’s only going to get worse over time. I guess I’ll check out the Droid Maxx and if that doesn’t feel right i’ll wait for them to release the MotoX Maxx in a couple months. You know it’s inevitable. Oh well…

    • JoshGroff

      The S4 is nice, and I’ve never had a problem making it through the day on the stock 2600mAh battery. (You can always get an extended or just standard backup if you end up burning through it.)

  • jnt

    “While it’s not exactly perfect, and often times takes a couple of twists to get it right, it can be an incredibly quick way to launch your camera once you get the hang of it.” Sounds similar to the description of some of the S4’s “gimmicks”… 😉

    I’m not trying to troll because I really like this phone, but I’m having a hard time seeing quality in the photos compared to an S4 or even an iPhone 5. They all look very washed out to me. They’re not horrible, and look improved over previous Moto devices, but not great by any means.

    I’d also be curious about the auto-focus>shutter speed as well. It’s great to be able to get to the camera quick, but if your quick shot sucks half the time, it’s a moot point.

  • j

    Active display sounds cool, but I don’t like that it seemingly only displays the notification info if you touch or move the phone? So if it’s sitting on your desk while you are away, and you come back without moving or touching the phone, you won’t know that you missed a notification?

  • aDROIDfreeworld

    Anybody know if the bloat can be disabled via settings?

    • Good question. VZW is sneaky about that sometimes, managing to keep some of the bloat from being disabled. If it can’t be disabled, I’m definitely not interested.

  • jamdev12

    Hi Kellex,

    While reading your review I came away with the feeling that you want to like this phone. So I would like to ask one question if you could answer it, and no it is not a joke based on Ron’s article yesterday. Would you choose this phone over your HTC One? I think you stated in the past that this is your daily driver so I’m just curious.

  • Note3=)

    Eh I’ll wait for the note 3. The fact that there is no removable battery and they way the screen looks just doesn’t cut it for me. But it’s mostly the non removable battery.

  • Corey Foltman

    lets say that the motomaker/att deal is for 30days, motomaker will be available with plenty of time for when vzw releases to Moto-X 2 months after everyone else…

  • fritzo

    im a current VZW GNEX owner and I have to get this phone. my GNEX has terrible battery life, late on updates, and feels old now. i even considered going iphone for my upgrade. but im getting the Moto X instead, when the MotoMaker is available on VZW. I wonder if VZW will let you buy the phone now then customize it later for free?? Good review Kellex!

  • If you buy me a Pink one, I’ll use it. Quote me.

  • WalkerNA

    Good write up. It’s still between this and the Droid Maxx for me. I perfer the Moto X design but like the screen & battery of the Maxx. Honestly, it might come down to whether or not I can customize the phone by the time I’m ready to put money down.

    • Xious

      I want to love the Moto X, but it looks like the Maxx has everything the Moto X has plus the awesome battery, wireless charging, and a little bigger screen. Although, I do not like capacitive buttons, but I guess there will always be strengths on both sides.

  • Shane Redman

    What if they charged more for the S4 or the HTC One just based on specs?

  • moelsen8

    i really think i want this phone. but there’s no way i can justify what i almost consider a downgrade in specs from a Nexus 4.. for $300 more than i paid for it 9 months ago. i could’ve probably done $400-$500 range for a 32gb. even still, the math doesn’t jive and i’d always feel like i got burned.

    • But why would anyone with a 10 month old phone need to upgrade? I don’t understand your argument even.

      • moelsen8

        i obviously don’t need to upgrade. but i would like more space, a better camera, and a smaller phone. i’m increasingly unhappy with how big the N4 is. and not being on contract, free to upgrade whenever i want is such an awesome, incredible feeling.

        not to mention, who wouldn’t be excited to get back around to moto? it’s been the community dream for a long time now. this phone looks nice, like it could hit mostly everything on my wishlist. except that price.

        • blix247

          Whoever came up with that false rumor that the Moto X would be priced at 299 off contract did tremendous damage to Motorola. Seriously. Worse damage than a manufacturing scandal, or a sex scandal or whatever.

          I’m also a Nexus 4 user, and I see a solid upgrade. Yeah the proc isn’t that much faster, but the graphics are significantly faster, it has LTE, a better camera, a better battery life, its smaller and it has unique features. I’m not that excited that I’ll be signing a 2 year contract, but I’m still going to do it.

          • moelsen8

            yeah, i’m super tempted, that’s for sure. i can’t wait to go check it out in an at&t or verizon store.

          • Jack3D

            It was Bionic’s fault, per Sarge…


        • Gotcha…yeah. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Nexus 7 works on Verizon and what insight that gives us into the future of Nexus phones.

  • Christopher Ford

    Buy American!

    • jamdev12

      When you buy American you should feel like you are buying the best, but this feels like some cheap attempt at saving money in the back end while sticking you with a high price tag just because it’s assembled here. I can assure you that most of this phone is produced in China and assembled here. As much as we would like to remove China from the picture, this is now a global economy.

      • NeedName

        Totally disagree with your comment!

        The Moto X is an intelligently designed device, not a crappy bloated spec whore that runs like crap.

      • blix247

        It is odd how differently the reviewers view the construction. The Verge likes it, Droid Life likes it, Engadget thinks its cheap, chintzy and easily scratched. I’m not sure what to make of that.

        Assembled in America brings some benefit to them, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it. I’m sure just about every single part was manufactured outside of America anyways. The important thing is the design side work, and where that happens. Programming, chip design, etc. Those are the middle and upper middle class jobs. These assembly jobs are low middle class at best.


    Is Assist a lot like Smart Actions?

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    I want android to go in this direction. I can see it happening. I love the size and shape of the moto x. I like the idea behind the x8 and the battery savings. hell the name’s even cool. I will be tempted to click buy, but i don’t think i will. I’m sure their saving it for 5.0.1, but this is only scratching the surface of what the phone can do. They didn’t go deep enough (twss). GNow needs non-cloud functions.
    I feel like they gave me a taste of 5.0 in 4.2 and it’s so cool that i dont think its cool enough. Weird but it’s how I feel.
    Hell who knows, unless they announce an x10 with the s600 or 800, i’ll heavily consider it.

  • socarwolverine

    Honest question, why should I get this over the Droid Maxx if I’m on VZW? The 32gb MotoX should be available on VZW once MotoMaker is, bringing the price up to $250. Why wouldn’t I spend the extra $50 to get the Droid Maxx with a bigger screen and battery? Is there a significant software difference I’m missing, because I thought they were pretty much the same.

    • cocamoxb

      I’m thinking the exact same thing. Still looking for a cleardecent answer….

    • Body size difference. I’m going with the Maxx but I love the X body.

    • Jack3D

      Because you hate capacitive button that much???

      Or maybe it’s the Kevlar…gotta be the Kevlar…

  • I think that if Moto Maker was available across the board, the price might be justified. But its not. Why hit us with this price?! $149 for black and white and I think I’d be more likely to bite.

  • radiohead14

    “The lack of logos on the device is also welcome, something Motorola claims was done because the overuse of branding is “irrelevant” to the end user.”

    can you hear that now Verizon?

  • Timothy Sternig

    I have a question, being that I never owned a phone like the HTC One or Moto X that doesn’t have a removable back piece and it might seem silly but… what do you do when the phone freezes up?

    I mean, it’s going to happen here and there and most people just remove the back of their phone, they pull the battery and then they restart the phone when a lock up or freeze happens. How do you fix a problem like that with the HTC One or Moto X? Do you just wait for the phone to die then? Or do they have some way of forcing it to reboot even when it’s in a frozen state?

    • Typically, if you hold the power button down for an extended time (or potentially in combo with another physical button), you activate a hardware kill switch which will reboot the device.

  • Rick Lopez

    I think the major selling part here is – MADE IN THE USA – i consistently hear how we don’t manufacture products anymore and everything is made in china. Blah blah blah. My point is if Motorola made a good phone that works, looks nice and is made in the USA we should rally around this thing. How many of you are going to keep this phone more than a year anyways? Most tech dorks churn phones ( i know i do ) so what the specs don’t hold up for 2 or more years. Lets buy this phone on the principle that we are putting people (Americans) back to work. Also, everyone is complaining about quad cores and 1080p. Stuff that you actually cant see. If this phone does the things that Kellex says it does then I am will be buying this phone on day 1.

    Take care..

    • NeedName

      Our gNexus runs great and is nearly 2 years old. I expect we’ll get another year out of them if not more. The hardware on the Moto X won’t have a problem for a long while unless Google does something really stupid with Android, at which point you will be left with a device that is still quick but running an older version of Android — well, like every other OEM because non of them give long term updates anyways LMAO — kinda makes the spec argument nun-and-void.

      From what I’ve heard Moto does plan of pushing the “Made in USA”

      • NeedName



  • Butters619

    The x8 architecture isn’t paired with the S4. The S4 represents 6 of those 8 cores.

    And to be fair the One and SGS4 have the same quad core GPU strapped to four cores so they are “x8” just with their S4. And I’m sure they have some other SoCs on board the could add to the core count.

    Also to be fair, I’m not bashing on the specs. Two (assumably Krait 300) processor cores and the 4 Adreno 320 GPU cores is more than enough for most.

  • MikeSaver

    I will probably get this phone but the standard battery life kind of kills it a bit for me I guess. I was looking for something more, that’s also not ugly as hell like the Droid Maxx.

    • socarwolverine

      The Droid Maxx isn’t terrible… at least not compared to that glossy mess of the Ultra

  • chris420o

    i honestly love the look of thise phone…its nexusish which is great…i want to want this phone and u know what…i truly do…but i want it custom(black face red back wooo) but we on verizon CANT GET THAT ARASETRAWETR!@()%(@#%@(@()#%@#….stupid moto taking a truck load of cash from at&t n ruining the success of this phone on other carriers….who wouldnt wait to buy a custom one?…id instantly buy one off contract if this phone was 4-450 n not care…but they blew it pricing it with the big dogs thats a fight they wont win…sadly…still best looking phone to date love the google inspired look it something that defines android and makes it unique its the iphone of android design…so glad they went this route…since i got my n7 i been wanting a smaller phone(i tether n use my n7 for media purposes) and this is exactly what i been looking for

  • sc4fpse

    “After spending the last 5 days with the Moto X, I tried and tried to convince myself or least find some way to justify the $199 on-contract price that Motorola has given it.”

    Kellex, I’m amazed that it took you 5 days to realize what most of us realized in 5 seconds. Not worth it.

  • James Hill

    What they should have done is make a killer phone with SnapDragon 800, 1080p, removable storage and battery. Then, add in a killer slider keyboard, with some new innovations, and you’d have the smartphone of the year. Charge $ 300.00 for that phone on contract and that would be the Motorola I knew from the OG DROID days. This phone is just another Motorola, rip-you-off device we all know too well.

  • calum wilper

    As much as i hate it, it makes sense that they did the motomaker exclusive with AT&T. That’s kind of the main iphone market right there, which is what Moto is trying to break into. however i can’t help but think that this effort is probably a little outdated considering the iphone’s availability on other carriers and that they probably would’ve made more money by bringing motomaker to all carriers simultaneously or at least big red and AT&T at the same time.

    • NeedName

      I think it came more down to AT&T saying, we want something to make it stand out for us since you have your Droids on Verizon thus, if you want us to carry it you’ll need to give us something exclusive — because they are pricks that way.

  • The non removable battery with this kind of battery life make it a non starter for me. Too bad.

    What is the clock widget skin? I dig that.

  • jhlinka

    After having the Droid Razr since December 2011, battery life is the most important thing I’m looking for in a new phone. My Razr hardly lasts 6 hours on normal use and to be honest, I haven’t experienced that bad of lag (maybe I’ve gotten used to it). It’s extremely annoying that I have to charge it back to 100% before going out on the weekends (first world problems). Since I’m all about battery, I’m going with the Droid Maxx over the Moto X – here’s why:

    The Moto X is the same as the Droid Maxx in terms of software, processor, resolution, available storage and camera – but it has a smaller battery and screen, lacks wireless charging, and has on-screen navigation buttons and costs $50 less. The Moto X is “designed” better, but on Verizon I don’t get to take advantage of the customization, which appears to be a huge selling point of the Moto X. Sure the Moto X is slightly smaller and lighter, but if it can’t last me through the day, I can’t use it. Having the Droid Razr for so long, I’m used to capacitive buttons and don’t mind sticking with them and getting more screen real estate.

    IMO the larger screen, 60% larger batter, and available wireless charging, greatly outweight the “benefits” of the Moto X such as the smaller/lighter profile, lower price, and on-screen navigation buttons. Not sure why the Droid Maxx isn’t getting more attention, but it probably has to do with the exclusivity to Verizon…

    • Guest

      have you done a factory reset on it? I have the same phone and it got progressively worse with each major sys update. i did it after the last 4.1.2 update and it runs much better and the battery life seems better too.

      • jhlinka

        Unfortunately, I cracked the screen on my original and got it replaced through Asurion and the replacement phone probably had a previously used battery so battery life got even worse starting from scratch

    • Jordan Webb

      Exclusivity and the fact that they haven’t gotten review units out yet. Honestly, though, if you pay for Google Music like I do, it’s a wash.

      32gb X = $250
      Maxx = $300 – $48 (free music sub) = $252

  • Battery1

    BTW NEW batteries need 5-6 FULL charging cycles after unboxing to show their REGULAR performance.:)

  • Tyler Casilio

    Can anyone tell me what that Clock widget is?

    • Guest

      It’s Moto Exclusive. Apparently renamed: “Command Center” (-.-)

      • Tyler Casilio

        Really? Wow looks like the Sense Clock. I’m actually shocked

        • It’s a UCCW clock skin called Flat Sense. Wallpaper also not a part of the phone.

      • Tyler Casilio

        Are those wallpapers exclusive too

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        No, the DROID Command Center is their former “Circles” widget, and is now Verizon-exclusive.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      That’s UCCW.

  • rfranken

    I have experience with two Brands of Android phones. Moto and Samsung. One has always been a laggy pos and the other no issues. Never again Moto…..Never again. Every single one of their droid line or max line is laggy. Locked bootloaders…..I just don’t understand why people are forgetting how we all said…Never again Moto…Never again.

    • chris420o

      its hard to belive youd write this comment after reading the article…or did u not read the article n ur a sammy fanboy talkin nonsense….on another note my droid hd is lagless with pretty darn good bat life(used to the gnex bat life so anything else seems pretty darn good)…using xenonhd though 🙂

      • rfranken

        I read every single word of the article. I was talking about my past experience with numerous Moto droid phones. All laggy experiences and all the convos everyones had about never trusting them and their locked bootloaders again.

  • Jeremy Gross


  • John Smith

    what is the Big Clock/Weather widget? is that a Moto special or is it Fancy Widgets or Beautiful Widgets? if the latter, which Clock Skin? thanks!

  • nerds

    no word on off contract prices yet or if a GE version is a go.

    • We know that Verizon and ATT Developer Editions are coming, no official word on a GPE. No pricing yet for any of it.

  • JimmyHACK

    Am I the only one that thinks for a full Moto X review it should be of an ordered phone itself to see if you are happy and it meets up to your ordered/customized expectations?

    • Weber

      No, but that’s probably gonna come when Kellex can actually order a personalized phone. Since he can’t do that until the end of this month, he may as well do a full review of a retail version. The other will come later.

      • JimmyHACK

        Ya I get why the regular review. I think since Moto is selling this 80% about the customization to fit you, a reflections after review would be proper.

        • Weber

          I think he’ll do a full review on the customization process, shipping, etc., once the option is available.

    • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

      The customization is just the case color. It’s not gonna change the review.

      • JimmyHACK

        It is what moto is selling this as. A “You” device. So a full proper customize reflections review later would be nice to see how they feel.

        • aye_winchell

          I’m sure that when Kellen finally gets to order his through MotoMaker he will tell us all about it. I would rather get a review of how the phone works now, and a review of how the buying process works later.

  • jbdan

    Lol love the flick of the wrist “elbow grease” camera features! Thanks for the review appreciate your time 🙂

  • Chris Spells

    The decision to get this phone is actually quite simple to me.

    I am (was) wiling to let go of the spec sheet, and trust in Motorola with this phone. That is because I think it is a game changer in the sense that it is bringing a lot of great things to the table.

    The main problem, the problem the will make this device a “no-go” with people off contract (Majority of DL readers), is the PRICE. Off contract price is what matters. On contract means nothing, and most likely not be a factor to someone walking into a VZW store, as a rep can easily sell them on the features.

    So, unfortunately with the off contract price being what it is, I will have to pass. Here’s to hoping for a lower priced Moto X being sold directly from Moto or the Play store!

    • Jay Gloab

      AT&T’s and Best Buy’s off-contract prices aren’t necessarily indicative of what you’d pay for the unlocked phone through Motorola direct, or through Google should a version turn up there. I’m holding out some hope that it’ll be more reasonable.

  • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

    That’s great, let’s all pat each other on the backs about the performance of Moto X. Meanwhile, where’s my Verizon AOSP phone? I hyped myself up for Moto X being that, but it’s not AOSP, nor is it in the Nexus price range. That hypetrain hit the wall hard, and is still currently twitching.

    • middlehead

      Anyone who actually thought there’d be a stock phone on Verizon for $300 deserves their disappointment.

      • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

        Hey now, I was hoping for $400 – that’s 33% more than others were hoping for! Hypetrains suck. I keep hopping on them, and they always crash and burn, every time.

    • NeedName

      Google tried it once and Verizon fubared it, so it won’t ever happen again until the carrier’s control is broken.

      Move to T-Mo 😉 — help out the little guy and send a message. . .

      • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

        I absolutely would if not for my unlimited data. I use a ton of data and Verizons coverage + unlimited data is a fantastic combination. It also means Verizon has me by the balls as far as devices go.

        Further thoughts: it looks like T-Mo has unlimited data for just $70 – is that so? O_O I wonder what their coverage is like in NY, and particularly upstate NY / VT / Western Mass area.

        • NeedName

          yep, T-Mo’s unlimited is pretty cheap. We live in the Western US and coverage has always been great with them. But definitely check your area.

          We’ve had them for years and no problems at all. However, I doubt your data connection will be as fast as Verizon. We aren’t heavy data users so that’s not something we’ve had to worry about as we are around WiFi 99% of the time.

          • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

            I travel a lot and use my phone for streaming music. Commuting is also greatly enhanced by streaming. I just looked up their coverage map and it looks like they have a lot gaps even in 2G/voice in the areas I am interested in. Verizon has 4G in areas where T-Mo has no coverage! 🙁
            So I am stuck with Verizon for the foreseeable future.

  • Ryan

    Wow that display comparison is very telling of how bad it is. Look at the pink tinge. Those color profiles are way off.

  • jlr98ranger

    I have read all the hype about the moto x from my earlier android phones all being motorola droid 2 droid x2 then the droid razr maxx all where kinda laggy once i saw the samsung s3 my friend bout i liked it so i waited awhile after the s4 came out to see how people liked it and so in my own likes i bought a s4 which is probly the best phone i ever have had I its alot better than any moto phone my friend had bought the razr maxx hd it was laggy too so he traded it for a s3 so there is my verdict rock on s3 users and s4’s

    • I’m sorry, you and your friend did what?? That paragraph can’t be english.

      • TuckandRoll84

        I like to read paragraphs with no punctuation in one breath to see if I can make it.

        • Let’s just be thankful that he included spaces.

          • Jack3D

            I’m not…if he hadn’t included spaces, I wouldn’t have bothered to read it.

            Now that I’ve tried, my mind is full of f$%&!

            Is this the way people are taught to read/write nowadays?

  • Jordan

    Why didn’t Ron do the review?

    • roth

      I was wondering the same thing.

    • He was busy buying his next iPhone…

  • Should have been 249/299 retail off contract for white or black 16/32 GB models. 349/399 if purchased through MotoMaker. End of discussion.

    Next discussion: When is the Nexus 5 coming?

    • middlehead

      You have unrealistic expectations.

      • What can I say; I like to set the bar high.

  • I love what they did with the software. I have to admit that both sense and touchwiz have some cool add ons that I really like but I won’t try because I can’t stand the way they look. If they would go with this approach, ie add software features but not change the look of the entire UI, then it might be harder to go with a certain phone or even want to run stock. The MotoX is probably the first phone were if I get it I won’t be flashing an AOSP ROM on it. I’d actually just be losing cool features.

  • Michael Suriel

    After dealing with my GNex since last February, all I want from my next phone is excellent battery when I casually use my phone and no lag during that casual use. I don’t need a crazy amazing processor since I have my Nexus 7 FHD for any difficult tasks. I like where Motorola is heading with their X8 system but if I’m going to devote 2 more years of my life to the Moto X and VZW, that price tag needs to go down $100.

    • fritzo

      im hoping for a price drop soon after the release. but that would mean its not selling well right? i want this phone to perform well all around. but i want a cheaper price. ugh.

      • KleenDroid

        Even if the on contact came down the full retail usually doesn’t.

    • Jordan Webb

      If you’re hanging out on Verizon and all you want is battery, why would you buy the X over the Maxx? Verizon customers are some of the only people in the world with access to the king of battery life. Might as well use that advantage.

      • Michael Suriel

        Hackability also plays a factor. Also, the Maxx is just ugly.

  • napes22

    Why does Motorola always cut corners on their “flagship devices?” For me, the battery life and screen are huge, and play a factor in every device I buy now. After moving to the Note 2, I don’t plan on ever going back to a device with so-so battery life.

    • King Lo

      Yeah I can’t think of a single phone from Moto that has ever had the latest and greatest specs when it released. They always try to cut corners on specs.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        OG Droid, Droid X, and Droid Razr were all beastly when they were released, but since new SoCs are typically being released to mass production about the same time the Motorola is releasing their devices now, they won’t be able to leap-frog the competition on specs, so they stopped trying.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      They didn’t “cut corners”, you just have a skewed comparison. This device is considerably smaller and has a battery that is 33% smaller than the Note 2. Given, I expected it to last better than it did (Engadget’s reviewer got signifiantly better battery life), but “average” still isn’t terrible for most people.

      • napes22

        I mean, the Note 2 is a pretty bad comparison on my part, but I wanted to point out that battery life is a big factor now. Coming from the GNex, I don’t care how good a phone is – if the battery lasts me 6-7 hours before needing a charge, I won’t be purchasing it.

        True, average isn’t terrible for most people. It just isn’t good enough for me if I’m locked into a phone for 2 years (via upgrade pricing) or having to pay an extremely high off contract price.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          I agree with you there. I had to pare down the number of apps I use on my Razr to get it to limp through a day. Thankfully my new N7 is taking the brunt of my usage now.

          I’m still holding out (vain) hopes for something magical to happen with direct-sales prices, but I’m definitely not expecting it.

    • Higher_Ground

      probably so they can drop 4 devices at once, which is totally overkill IMO

  • When asked about price, the CEO of Motirola quickly said that the carriers set the price. So maybe to get the phone on all carriers at launch, Motorola made a deal with the devils that made the price higher than they would have in their own.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Indeed, carriers do set their own price.

      We won’t know what Motorola thinks about pricing until it tells us its direct-sales prices (off-contract and dev editions).

      • I bet they are contractually obligated to not sell the phone at prices that undercut the carriers for a while. God I hate the whole contract for discounted phone scheme.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          It is pretty terrible. However, nobody seems to want to talk about off-contract prices, so they’re either really good or really bad.

          • I think you hit the nail kn the head. If I could change one thing about blogs like Droid-Life, it would be for them to focus on the retail price of the phones in thier posts and not the ‘discounted’ price. The way I see it, this would help to encourage manufactures and carriers to compete on retail price and not on contract price, where there is very little price competition.

      • Higher_Ground

        aren’t they still set by the respective carriers, even off contract? I guess if you bought an unlocked model that works on ATT or Tmo it might be different?

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          The final retail is of course set by the seller. For example, the Samsung GS4 is $639 at AT&T and $749 at US Cellular off-contract, and T-Mobile has it as $600.

          So, yes, Motorola could very well sell their dev editions off-contract through Moto Maker for significantly less than the carrier retail, or sell “standard” devices at a reduced cost with the customizations as an added fee. Until we have details straight from Motorola, though, it’s all just guesses.

  • Cory_S

    I predict the active assist going very very wrong. Something like riding passenger in a car with your wife and you get a text from your girlfriend “Hey baby cheeks last night was amazing”

    • NeedName

      That’s why you have her notifications set NOT to display 😉 — assuming you are not stupid enough to have her sending to your normal account, that is.

      It is customizable.

      • Cory_S

        Display? They speak em to you and full blown marriage crushing volume. 🙂

      • Jordan Webb

        Alternatively, don’t be a horrible person and you should be fine.

  • kixofmyg0t

    Its worth noting that in off screen benchmarks(which render in 1080p anyway) X still pulls ahead in most.

    Moto juiced up the Adreno 320 a bit.

    Great review. Now all we need is a $299 GPE edition. Some are even saying they would pay $399 for it. Take note Moto.

    • NeedName

      Yep. . . Moto did a good job at balancing the power ratio between the CPU and GPU. After all we are NOT number crunching on these things — things today are GPU intensive more so than CPU.

      • kixofmyg0t

        Well even when you do number crunch and pull benchmarks its STILL respectable. I totally understand the spec geek argument though. It wouldabeen nice to have a true quad core. But as it stands now Moto basically took the OMAP5 and swapped in Krait 300 cores, Adreno and renamed it X8.

    • EC8CH

      Even at $399 retail, I think these would fly off the shelves off contract.

      • NeedName

        That might be the next low cost one they put out but I highly doubt this one will see that price any time soon. Also, remember that off-contract purchases in the USA are a small minority thus they care about on-contract purchases much more, and the carriers drive all that.

        • Higher_Ground

          I still think there’s room for it, especially if you look at tablet sales (dismal as they may be) since I’d assume the vast majority are unsubsidized wifi models.

      • kixofmyg0t

        Its funny how, since the monthly price will still be the same…as in buying off contract won’t make your bill any cheaper…people say $199 is too much yet $399 is a “hell yeah sign me up!” price.

        But thats coming from us that cling to our unlimited data that would have to buy the off contract price anyway which is normally over $500. X will be cheaper on Amazon Wireless anyway.

        • anezarati

          price and off contract availability also matter for us who have already ditched the big cell companies with the nexus 4 and gone the prepaid route. i was hoping this could be another option for me if my n4 ever gave out or if i wanted to change it up.

    • Sacrifist

      I bet at $99 they’d fly off the shelves even faster. I would’ve been happy to pay $399 for my car. Unfortunately, they have costs to cover, employees to pay, and future products to develop, not to mention a premium image to uphold.

      TL;DR: Not gonna happen.

  • Michael Suriel

    In the words of Garrison Cootes of How I Met Your Mother: Not. Good. Enough.

  • gintoddic

    when has a phone come out under 200 EVER?? I don’t care what the specs are you’re paying for highly optimized software/hardware WITH customizations.

    • Higher_Ground

      2011, maybe as far back as 2010?
      Unless it’s made by pantec or huawai

  • The front of the phone is ugly, customization is limited to only AT&T, so really the biggest thing the Moto X had going for it will not be available on most carriers. Motorola dropped the ball here.

    • EC8CH

      the front of the phone is beautifully simply.

      • Maybe if you get the black variant, on the white front there are way too many cutouts for sensors and cameras that make it look hideous.

        • EC8CH

          My comment is based on my bias toward black bezels.

          Anything that makes the front of a phone look more like a single piece of glass with nothing else but a screen on it, is a good thing to me.

  • aDROIDfreeworld

    Kellex – I see the nav bar at the bottom is black instead of transparent in the press photos. Is this how you’re Verizon model came out of the box, or did you add that via nova launcher?

    • I noticed the transparency too and thought it looked awesome. I don’t think Nova would do it because Nova doesn’t touch the onscreen nav. I tried to replicate it on my Carbon, but in the short time I played with it I couldn’t get it to work. Cool little thing for moto to add.

      Also, the full buttons were up on the camera UI, unlike the current camera action where they become little balls.

    • So that’s something that has been driving me nuts. It’s supposed to be transparent. But I changed the wallpaper on it, and can’t get it to go back to being transparent heh. Let me play with it more.

      • aDROIDfreeworld

        perhaps that is changed via different wallpapers being designed for the black nav bar, while others for the “transparent”

  • Jones

    Finally, bc y’all have been milking the hell out of this phone.

  • King Lo

    I really hope Motorola made a lot of money from the AT&T contract because it is going to cost them dearly. By the time MotoMaker makes it to Verizon there are going to be 3 other flagships out there to compete against. (iPhone, Note 3, One)

    • Ted

      It’s not a issue of att contract exclusive of moto maker, and it’s an issue that during the pitch of moto maker att was the only one who said they were in while all the others wanted to sit back and see how it played out. It was offered to everyone do you really the Motorola didn’t want this option for every customer possible it’s one of the bigger selling points

      • No, I agree with King Lo. At&t had to have paid for the right. The carriers wouldn’t decline something that doesn’t cost them. If nothing I don’t think Tmo would have denied it.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          T-Mo isn’t even carrying the device in-store. Either they have no faith in it, or there’s something going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about yet.

          This whole online Moto Maker thing has been a head-scratcher from the start. I’m more inclined to think that AT&T is the first one to decide to develop the necessary infrastructure (training, the whole “voucher card to play with it at home”, the inevitable complaints, etc.), while the rest are just sitting back a bit on it.

          • T-Mo jumped on board late from what I’ve heard.

            As far as the AT&T exclusivity, a Moto rep sort of explained it to me as the back-end stuff to make this happen is incredibly difficult. So part of the reason it’s only a 1-carrier option, is because they almost want to see how it’ll go. Once they get it perfected, it’ll hit more carriers.

            But AT&T also probably paid to be that test dummy.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            That actually makes a lot of sense. We all know Verizon pours their money into their network, while AT&T seems more focused on devices. If AT&T is footing the bill for putting the infrastructure into place, I can see why they’d give them a short window of exclusivity.

            I’m actually kind of surprised, you’d think T-Mo would jump on the customizations pretty quick. Maybe they gave up on the “stock” version entirely and will wait to launch it when Moto Maker is available. The only devices I’ve heard of going out to reviewers are for Verizon and AT&T.

            One thing is for sure, this soft launch has been nearly as confusing and frustrating as the XBox One.

          • Cell Zealot

            It has everything to do with the backend stuff, particularly authentication of the NanoSIM that comes with every device. There will be a toll free number to call in to for the initial activation and authentication of the UICCID with the network and your account for the preordered personalized device.
            This is extremely complicated under the best of circumstances and becomes moreso when you consider VZW’s special concerns due to their CDMA/EVDO/LTE hybrid network and IMS authentication infrastructure.

            That is the real reason for the delay but there were a lot of deals cut to make the simultaneous launch possible that came into play too, no doubt.

          • Ryan Powell

            I think I’m pretty sold on getting the Moto X despite the price and mid-range specs but the lack of Moto Maker option for Verizon out of the gate will cause me to wait (and perhaps second guess my decision to buy it at all).

            It’s really disappointing that Motorola took the one feature that makes the Moto X a compelling buy despite its faults and made it an AT&T exclusive. It reminds me of when the iPhone first came out and was AT&T only. That alone kept me from buying one and ultimately pushed me into Android (actually thankful for that in the end). I just hope Motorola doesn’t hold out on Moto Maker for other carriers long enough that it pushes me towards another phone all together.

          • moelsen8

            the 32gb option being an exclusive is also a crushing blow to people like us.

          • Ryan Powell

            Oh man I didn’t even catch that. I can’t go back to 16GB so that would be a deal breaker for me as well. Ugh.

          • moelsen8

            yeah seriously. i’m never doing 16gb again after the fun i’ve had with the N4.

          • Justin W

            I think once Moto Maker is available to Vzw customers, the 32Gb option will be as well, but don’t quote me on that. They are advertising the 32Gb feature as being available with Moto Maker, which makes me think the storage option is only a short-term exclusive to AT&T.

          • moelsen8

            that’s what i think too, but it’s still crushing to anyone who wants it before the at&t exclusivity is over.

          • Justin W

            I’m curious about the Unlocked version though – will it launch with Moto Maker access? I hope so, but if not, I’ll just spring for the AT&T version and just get it SIM unlocked.

          • jose

            I mean seriously. How bone-headed can the upper management of these companies really be? Are they THAT disconnected from the real world? What customer wouldn’t want custom colors and materials for their phone? They’d have be stupid to believe otherwise.

            I think they gave you a standard runaround response. Something else has to be in the works.

        • fritzo

          Any clues as to when to exclusivity ends? 1 month, 2 months? I’m shooting for Oct 1. But who knows.

      • King Lo

        I don’t know what kind of narrative you have playing in your head. But AT&T is a company known for paying for exclusivity. Motorola is a company that is all about profitering over anything else. I thought that would change when Google bought them out but I see that I was wrong.

        That’s why the Exclusivity hurts them so much, it shows that Motorola “a Google Company” is a cut from the same old Moto.

      • Higher_Ground

        It would not surprise me to learn that Verizon had the chance to have this available immediately and skipped on it (like the One, GS2, and probably a tone of other things I’ve already forgotten).
        They tend to do pretty much the opposite of what we’d like them to do, at least half the time.

    • Justin Larmay

      exactly! and if your on verizon why the hell would you want to buy the black or white one when you could wait to get one customized. then when that finally does roll around like you said you have plenty of other new options. that is where i think moto dropped the ball more than anywhere else.

  • Sirx

    So glad for this review. I am certain that I will not be purchasing this phone. It is asking too much for too little.

  • Adam Truelove

    There is one and only one thing keeping me from jumping on this phone. It won’t see immediate updates to the most recent version of Android, especially on Verizon. I’m used to getting new Android the day it hits AOSP with my Gnex, I don’t think I can go back to the dark ages.

    • It’ll have a developer edition so that’ll mean quick updates. That also means that you lose the cool software features Moto added.

      • Weber

        I’m sure someone will be able to pull those features to add to a rom

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Which is essentially the stock software. It would be easier to pull the features out of the custom ROM.

      • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

        That would have to be a review on its own. Would the X8 even be used with AOSP? At that point the competition would be much stiffer between One, S4, and X GE.

      • King Lo

        No the devolper edition will be the same Moto X just without a warranty and an unlocked bootloader.

  • Game of thrones fan! Good man!

  • Tyler Durden

    Aaaaaaand I’ll go with the Maxx

  • Rich R.

    Kellex – you didn’t mention speakers or speakerphone on this? Quality / Average / Poor? Thanks

    • Oh, you are right I didn’t. Rear speaker is actually really loud and good.

      • radiohead14

        how is the loudness compared to the S3? could you also please let me know if the camera is better than the S3? thank you

  • Bowen9284

    What really annoys me is that they are all the same price on the 2 year carriers and you’re paying the same price with no customization….good lawd!!

  • paul_cus

    The price kills it. Motorola is about to find that out. They know it should be cheaper, but it’s not.

  • Raj Bhatt

    Excellent review and it echoes my thoughts exactly. It may be amazing and buttery smooth, but it would always be in the back of my mind that it cost me the same as bleeding edge phones and in return I got hand flicks to start the camera.

  • NeedName

    To me it’s more important that is is running a clean optimized version of Android than any other spec — the reason our Galaxy Nexus handsets have always run great and I still don’t need to upgrade.

    However, how will Moto handle that for the long run, is the real question I care about. If they give great long term updates like Google does for the Nexus devices then this is a great device, and I’m happy to pay “high-end” prices for that. If they treat it like HTC and Samsung treat there devices — push a half baked updated out in about a year so your device runs like crap and the specs then mean nothing — then nothing really matters and I’ll stick with a Nexus.

    Other than that, I think the Moto X is the most interesting hardware we’ve seen in the Android ecosystem for some time. It’s the phone I would recommend to my non-techy friends and family that want an on-contract device.

    • Tyler Durden

      Same can be said about the Maxx or Ultra

      • The problem is most of us want to leave verizon.

        • Alanis

          Agree 100%. I’m done with Verizon, and will happily get rid of my unlimited plan. No sarcasm either. I’m done with that company.

        • Bionicman

          i cant simply because i have 4 lines and it would be a nightmare to change everyone over to a new carrier with new phones. so if I had to choose i would probably go with the ultra maxx because I’am on VZW and it just makes more sense (battery, wireless charging, etc)

      • NeedName

        Well, about Motorola in general. Are they going to update like Google or like Motorola of the past?

    • Engel

      Who said this has an optimized version of Android. Sure stock android is a lot smoother than touchwiz but android overall is far from optimized.

      • Engel

        Derp. Missed question mark :/

        • Butters619

          You know you can edit your original comment to put the question mark in right?

          • Justin W

            Not when it’s under a guest name (if you can’t click on the name, it’s a guest entry).

          • Butters619

            Ah ok.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Well, we’ll have our answer shortly. Everyone will be racing to put 4.3 on their devices. The GPE and Nexus are within weeks of each other, so we’ll see if Motorola can beat Samsung to the punch.

      Also interesting to watch is what they do about the 2012 models, as those haven’t been touched in almost 8 months, and have skipped 4.2 entirely.

      • NeedName

        That’s it. . . will Google-Motorola be different than Motorola of the past and push quality updates? I’m not as concerned with how fast they get out a major update as much as I’m concerned with it running properly once it gets pushed. Until we went with the gNexus every device we had (HTC & Samsung) got an update just over a year out that turned the device into a slow buggy POS.

        Getting them out faster is an additional plus.

        Fingers crossed!

  • EdubE24

    Now that this is over, what phone can we hypebeast next and be dissapointed by when released?

    • LG G2 coming tomorrow!

      • EdubE24

        This phone broke some hearts. I haven’t seen this much emotion about a phone on DL since the Galaxy Nexus! Thanks for site, it has been daily entertainment for me since my OG DROID!!

  • AUChief

    Is the battery removable at all? I’ve yet to see anyone talk about this.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      No, the back casing is completely sealed, so it is non-removable.

  • Patrick Crumpler

    I really like that Moto took Google’s cue and went with a generic front design. Looks just like a Nexus. Nothing to see but screen. That alone is brilliant. The phone disapears while you are enjoying whatever for your viewing pleasure.

    • EC8CH

      This phone has a great external design, nice and simple all around.

      Very G-Nex like, only better.

  • Tom Luley

    I am kind of a spec junkie, but even besides that, the things that a normal user can see the difference in like seeing side by side a 720p display versus a 1080p display or something like wireless charging which for a low price is VERY handy, I just don’t see how you can justify this phone over a GS4. I think putting a colorful case on a GS4 is just as good or better because it protects the phone, but that is just my honest opinion.

    • NeedName

      I guess because in real world work it out performs the GS4. . . that might be one reason. See http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/smartphones/motorola-moto-x.aspx

      Another, wanting a smaller device.

      Another, hating TouchWiz

      Another, clean Android

      Another, touchless voice activation

      Another, on-screen notifications

      Another, looks a hell of a lot better

      . . . . etc. 😉

      • Tom Luley

        Yeah, I guess that all makes sense for a normal user, except the “hating touchwiz” part. I was just referring to a normal, not techie, not power user and the things that would jump out to them. Hating touchwiz, they wont know the difference. In fact, touchwiz is very noob friendly and I bet normal users may prefer touchwiz over stock Android. I probably shouldnt admit this either, but I am currently running a TW rom because its ungodly stable and has great customization. Looking better, thats another debatable point. Motomaker is a bit of a failure as Kellen said and the GS4 is a gorgeous phone, many people will tell you that. Everything else I can agree with you though

        • NeedName

          If they are comparing the two side by side in the store they most certainly will notice Touchwiz. Some may actually like it, but some may not. Kind of depends on where the person is coming from and what they’ve heard.

          I think the S4 plastic looks pretty bad. . . IMO, but I personally do like a larger screen but I can see why people would prefer the Moto X size.

          I’m not saying anything is “better” than anything else. Just “legitimate” reasons a customer in a store might choose the Moto X over the S4.

          I can see why a techy would like the S4 and why a non-techy would like the Moto X, and why each of those parties will see each as “high-end” and be OK with their respective prices.

          I do hope Motorola does well with this phone because I would like to see a second generation. Time will tell.

          • KleenDroid

            I agree with this. Everyone will make their own decision based on their own preferences while in store.

            I also hope it does well because I’d like to see even better things from them in the future.

          • Higher_Ground

            not only would I like to see a 2nd generation, I’d like to see other OEMs follow suit if proves to be really popular and drive sales.

      • GWNewman1

        Indeed. I bought a GS4 and took it back within a week. I hated having to use a third party launcher just to get things to look and feel right because I detest TouchWiz, not to mention the phone felt too cheap and flimsy to me. The screen was nice and it was fast…but the overall device and software experience sucked. Also, I hate using cases. The phone is big enough as it is without adding to the bulk. I’ll either keep the Maxx I pre-ordered, or I’ll get the X. I’ll gladly take a lesser phone with a better experience, coupled with build quality over an el cheapo anyday. I wrecked my motorcycle with my old Droid Razr in my jacket pocket. Phone came through without a scratch, didn’t even break the glass. Did crack the LCD UNDER the glass where I hit the ground..but the phone made it through in one piece. I suspect the GS4 would have been in pieces 🙂

        • NeedName

          You sound a lot like use. We don’t want to fart about with ROMs and what not, nor do we use cases. While we like Android for it’s “open” nature we dislike how much OEMs (and carriers) can lock it down and fubar it. Thus, it’s been about trade-offs for us. I want 5+” screen size but then I have to muck about with Samsung’s poor software attempts, thus we decided on the gNexus for our last device — have loved how well it has performed with no issues, and gotten faster with each major update. Therefore, we won’t ever be going back to these devices that have sub-par software optimization and need juggernaut specs to run semi-smooth, and ultimately end with an update that pretty much makes the device run like crap regardless of its specs.

          So, We are interested in the Moto X but still skeptical about Motorola updating it properly. If Google steps up and ensures “proper” updates for 2 years then I’m with them, but have not heard a single word about all that yet.

          • zionlion02

            Golem? Is that you? Sorry just busting your chops, there were a lot of “we” in there. 🙂

          • zionlion02


          • NeedName

            my partner and I 🙂

    • Higher_Ground

      I think the only time I would find wireless charging really much of a game changer would be if I had one of the “active” phones that used a rubber gasket to seal the usb port.
      I had a casio boulder flip phone and it was truely water resistant. The phone charged in a dock so you didn’t ever have to remove the back or really even access the data/usb(?) port on the bottom of the phone. With rubber gaskets, the key to having them work and last is to use them as infrequently as possible, and that’s where I think wireless charging really has room to shine.
      Well, if they threw in a wireless charging mat/station with the purchase of the phone, that might help too 🙂

  • Joshua Bailey

    Wondering if battery will be different on the GSM networks.

  • hellomoto

    FLOPPER LOLOL, in 3 months only motorola fanboys will remember this phone, with a keen sense of butthurt.

  • Ron

    I have an iphone and my next phone is an iphone, but you should all buy the Moto X

  • mustbepbs

    “After dedicating my life to the phone since it and a nice fat paycheck were handed to me at Motorola’s press festivities on August 1, I think I have plenty of thoughts to share on all of that.”


    • EC8CH

      nothing in this review screams paid shrill to me

  • ROB

    Great review. Sad about the battery life and price though. Will wait for the Note 3 and I would be willing to be the price comes down quickly.

  • Namsayin

    why couldnt this phone be made in a sweatshop and cost 199-299 off contract, meh.

    • Sacrifist

      Yeah, got forbid a nice piece of hardware actually cost a fair price…

  • 1MPR0BUS

    Kellex thanks for the honest review, I appreciate you providing information from the normal user point of view as well as the “superuser” point of view.

    As a tech person who cares about specs, and the ability for non-OTA ROMs to shine, I don’t think this device provides the platform for developer growth, nor does it compete with higher tier devices for the price.

    Engineering and Marketing have an obvious disconnect.

  • Chris Hendley

    I have Verizon so for me the determining factor is going to the the price of the phone at full retail to keep my unlimited data. If the Moto X is going to cost the same as the other high end phones why would I buy the Moto X. I much rather have a phone that has the most up to date specs to last me to my next phone. I like some of the features of the Moto X but I am not sure that is going to sway me to buy the phone.

    • jpayne

      I’m in the same boat with off contract pricing. One thing I have to add is I live in a rural area. I’d like to know if the hype of the “Dual antenna” improves reception, and how does the reception compare to the new Moto Droid lineup.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        The new DROIDs should be identical in everything but screen, and battery life on the Maxx.

        It’ll be a short review for most lol.

    • King Lo


      This made my decision for me. (that and AT&T’s exclusivity)
      I’m gonna wait a little while longer to replace my OG Maxx

  • mjsalinger

    As far as I know, contract prices are set by the carrier, not the OEM – and there are clauses to make sure that no other carrier can sell for less on-contract during a specified period. So, for example, Verizon or AT&T likely refused to carry the phone unless it was set at $199, so then the rest of the carriers had to follow suit.

    It will be interesting to see what the Developer phone and GPE go for as they may not be bound by the same restrictions.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The only thing the OEM can control is how much they sell it for themselves and the MSRP. However, Motorola has announced neither of those figures, and neither has anyone else. There are rumors of $575 off contract, but nothing confirmed.

    • Higher_Ground

      I’ve been thinking that the whole time, too. Rarely does a new phone come out cheaper than the others still for sale it seems.

      I’ve also been thinking that with the pricing set in late August, that by the time Nov/Dec rolls around they will have dropped in price for new contracts, while the only new phones that will have come out will be apple/LG/nexus.

  • Josh

    wait for the moto x2 lol

  • speraider430

    Thank you for a realistic review. Take this phone for what it is, it’s a phone for the masses not some developer beast like some of us thought it would be. I think it will do just fine.

    Please no more iphone jokes…..

    • It really is a nice phone. I hope for Moto’s sake that it sells well. We need another player in this game.

      But yeah, it’s not a developer beast, it’s really meant for the masses.

      • KG

        As much as I like this phone, I actually hope that it doesn’t sell well at launch. I am scared of the precedence this could set for other manufacturers if this thing is successful. “Hold on, we can put mid-range specs into a phone and sell it at a high-end price and bank more profit? Sure, why not.” Then you’ll have Samsung, LG and HTC putting out dual-cores at $200 on contract and $300+ on contract for quad cores/1080p. This phone must fail at this price point or we’re screwed…

  • samosa king

    does the phone support helium backup app by koush? just wondering because koush did say that it doesn’t support some motorola phones.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The issue with Helium is a bug that is present in Motorola’s 4.1.2 software. So, I’m going to go ahead and make a wild assumption that it was fixed in their stock 4.2.2 build.

      • samosa king

        I just want to make sure. Kellex can you check for me please?

  • Buur

    The disappointing thing about this phone is that there was a huge chance to knock it out of the park, and they instead settled for business as usual. Carrier timed exclusives, regular on-contract pricing, bloatware (not sure they can do much about that but still). Might be a solid phone but not for a 2-year contract pricing and not worth paying full price for if you are trying to hang onto your Verizon unlimited data.

    • EC8CH

      That’s my biggest disappointment. I was hoping the X would buck the carrier controlled trend over pricing and software, but at standard retail pricing, bloatware, and locked bootloaders it’s just another phone. Although I still love the design, stock android, and am actually interested in the added Moto software features.

  • Matthew Dickinson

    As nice as this phone might be, I got to see and use a friends S4 this past week and loved it compared to my RAZR Maxx. Contract isn’t up till April, but I doubt I will be buying another Moto device.

  • It’s going to be interesting to see what they do for foreign markets and how soon we’ll see leaks for their next phone. I think skipping the Snapdragon 600 is a good move, either way. The benchmarks are CLOSE (accounting for cores).

    The 800 is worth putting in a phone now, but the 600 is a stopgap which is already 6 months+ old.

  • Appleanche

    Wow the redness of the Moto X display puts it far below average, nevermind resolution.

    • David Narada Brown

      I was noticing how red the white looked also! side by side with S4 ( super amoled vs amoled) its not a good screen for the price.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        SuperAMOLED is a marketing term, both panels are made by Samsung.

        I’d agree that the display is somewhat lacking in its white balance calibration though.

        • Jordan Webb

          The S4’s screen has a diamond-patterned subpixel arrangement, so it is a slightly different tech.

    • Higher_Ground

      Makes me wonder if the brightness was all the way up, all the way down, or set to auto.

      If it’s at auto on all the phones, that could be one explanation. I know my phone’s white balance is greatly exaggerated at the lowest level, and barely noticable at full brightness.

  • Adam Truelove

    “The lack of logos on the device is also welcome”

    Unless you get it on Verizon, in which case you’ll get a nice ugly Verizon logo on the back.

    • King Lo

      The logos are on all the black and white carrier models.

    • aye_winchell

      and i wont believe there isn’t one on the front until i see it, i don’t really care about the back one, it doesn’t seem all that offensive to me, but i will withhold judgment until i see an actual Verizon one and that there is indeed no logo on the front.

    • Jordan Webb

      It’s barely visible…

  • Suralin

    What about call quality?

    • Adam Truelove

      Who uses their phone to talk? 😉

    • They mentioned during the live show last week that the call quality is fine.

    • zionlion02

      Pocketnow said the call quality was the best of any current major phones. Not sure if that holds water for you, but pretty strong rating.

  • Delta_46

    Another great review Kellex, you go into such detail, and that’s important.

  • Larry Wei

    Was the phone on 4G the whole time for the battery tests?

    • Yep, 4G almost 100% of the time. WiFi here and there to download a game, but the point was to have the majority of time on 4G LTE.

  • NexusPhan69

    What is killing me about this phone is the price. Everything else I would be happy with except the price makes it a no-deal for me. And it’s driving me nuts. Nice review tho.

    • Mein Teil

      The price is the issue. As stated by Kellen, the assembly in Texas raises prices and they’re passing on the costs associated with MotoMaker onto every Moto X user. It’s just not right with the specs this device is packing.

      • NexusPhan69

        Goldman Sachs estimated a $225 price per Moto X with Texas assembly. We are being gouged.

        • NeedName

          That’s just for parts, doesn’t include labor to optimize the software and the R&D to create the two new chips, not to mention advertising.

          Seriously, you think it should only be about 10% above the cost of parts?

          • NexusPhan69

            So you’re okay with the GS estimated 60% margin sold per phone? Get back that R&D and advertising costs with volume and reduce price to 30% gross margins! It’s still flipping 30%. I’d kill for that in my industry.

          • 30% is nothing really. I’ve worked retail and the scanner would tell me the margins and I’ve seen upwards of 1000%. That was one of the regular retail chains.

          • Justin W

            The margins depend on the product. Technology and food margins are generally lower than, say, clothing for example, where margins can range from 100%-200% when on clearance to well over 1000%. This is why a lot of supermarkets will place their clothing sections directly next to their produce/food sections.

          • NeedName

            I’m OK with them pricing it whatever they want. Heck, look at Apple and Samsung’s margins. We do need another company to take some cash away from those two.

            The price isn’t an issue in my opinion as you have lots of choice in the Android ecosystem — not all phones are a Nexus!

            Ultimately the customer decides if it’s priced to high, it won’t sell and the price will come down. But the unrealistic expectations of it being priced at ~$350 is nuts!

          • Butters619

            Again, you don’t count R&D, engineering, and marketing into COGS or margin. You can add part cost, labor cost, shipping cost, packaging cost. Marketing and R&D are separate.

          • anezarati

            yeah, i always thought that R&D, engineering, etc basically had their own budget which was spread out over the whole company. so you are not using the one device to make up the R&D costs associated with that device.

          • Butters619

            Yeah. R&D has it’s own budget. Marketing has it’s own budget. When figuring out margins and COGS you do not include those.

            When you calculate company earnings that is when those are important.

          • Jack3D

            Totally dependent on the business…

            But yes, a large corporation like Motorola will have budgeted amounts to allow for R&D based on current and future revenue. Prices are usually assigned based on COGS and any markup (margin) the manufacturer determines it needs to cover future Operating Expenses (per product).

          • Butters619


          • thebigmann

            @Butters619 We get it. You know the definition of COGS. Sweet. COGS isn’t the whole story.

            I believe @NeedName was responding to the idea that just because the cost of manufacturing in Texas was $225, “we are being gouged”. He wasn’t saying the figure was too low, just that COGS alone doesn’t determine if we are being gouged.

            Business units need to bring in money to justify their R&D/marketing/etc. costs. Since those are expected to be higher than in the past with this and future phones, they probably decided they needed a higher margin. They are clearly using extra resources to develop the “experience” of this phone; Moto Maker is evidence enough.

          • NeedName

            That’s is what I was saying. Thank you for understanding the simple point I was trying to make.

          • NexusPhan69


            We are being gouged. But it’s not Motorolas fault. This is amazing news and brings a lot of hope to a $350/$400 off contract price!!!! ATT can go f*ck themselves.

          • SparkysShocker

            You are correct that R&D and Marketing are not used in COGS, however they are factored into determining the margin a company wants to make. Which in turn effects the price. What some people are doing is trying to perceive the added costs that these are having. Yes they may be stating them as COGS I wont argue the validity of that.

          • kendokan

            From an accounting principals perspective, this is correct and this is how reporting works.

            However, COGS is not the basis for product price point decisions. It’s great that you passed beginning accounting, but stop confusing everyone.

          • Butters619

            I never said COGS was the only basis. But making up for your past R&D costs is not basis for price point decisions either which was part of my point.

          • kendokan

            I understand the _information_ you are presenting, but you are being pedantic. Within the context of why this phone is priced at $199, you have no point, because COGS is irrelevant.

          • aye_winchell

            I believe google is paying for advertising and paid alot of R&D, but that’s besides the point. I would have paid $500 for a 32GB Verizon off contract or $450 for a 16GB version and i don’t think it would have hurt them financially, they still would have made a profit, and they could have said look, we are trying to end the spec wars by giving you a high end experience without the high end spec obsession, and price, and forced other manufacturers to compete with them on price. Would it have been the nexus like pricing we were hoping for, clearly not, but it would have been something, and a great start, instead even if you take it at face value all they gave us was another player in the high end phone market, which is their right, and a welcome addition, but its not a game changer in any way.

          • Justin W

            I think you missed the point – Moto has it’s own overhead to deal with. R&D, labor, software development, etc. – that cost can add up quickly. While it likely wouldn’t be over $300-$400 per device, the price they are charging is what they need to charge to make money. Whether Google or Motorola is paying for advertising doesn’t matter (guarantee it’s Moto, not Google), since Moto will have to make money up and over that to make a profit.

          • aye_winchell

            ” the price they are charging is what they need to charge to make money. ”

            And that’s fine, i don’t begrudge them making money, and the carriers set a lot of the prices here so far because so far we have not heard pricing for GPE and DE phones, that being said don’t talk about changing the game, when your not, your playing the game. For the record i still might buy the dev edition of this phone when it hits, but there is a chance i will look at the One. If the prices were more in line with what i stated, $450-$500 we would both be happy and i wouldn’t be considering the One or a GS4. As it stands I can put them side by side and price isn’t a consideration, but it could have been and again i’m not saying it had to be $300 off contract, i guess well have to wait and see what they charge for the DE and GPE phones they still could come to gP for around $500 which would be nice.

          • Justin W

            Lol. No one said they were going to “change the game” with their first device with Google. Sure, the prices are extremely high for all mobile devices, and the prices will come down over time, but Moto can’t do it all overnight, and Google can’t afford to subsidize a mass-market device down to $300, which is why the device is only sold in limited quantities and not advertised as heavily as a GS4 or HTC One. The prices will fall over the life of the device, and in the Moto X’s case, it should fall quickly since it’s got lower specs. While I agree the prices are high for a seemingly mid-range device, they aren’t out of line by charging equivalent to other manufacturers for their flagship device.

          • aye_winchell

            “No one said they were going to “change the game” with their first device with Google.”

            If by no one you meant the CEO of Motorola himself then yes no one said that.

            And i didn’t say it should be $300, i said $500 would have been fine, as in i would have been fine with them trying, but they didn’t seem to try to do what the CEO said they wanted to. If the price is going to drop quickly that means it ain’t selling, so why not drop it a little to actually get it in the hands of people like me, so i can you know recommend it to people. I have the money, i am trying to justify buying this, but they literally gave me zero incentive to buy it. And i don’t consider this a mid range device fyi i consider this flagship that i willing to pay a premium for, i just stating that at its price point i now can consider everything at that price point, if it was $500 off contract even it would easily be my choice as i consider it a flagship and it comes in a little under other flagships (because they saved on screen, processor tech and battery not to mention the SD reader these alone should take $100 off the price and would put it at $550 under the HTC One DE).

          • Piccabo

            Agree, plus Apple has been getting away with mid range specs for years while charging a premium price and calling it “an experience.”

          • Jillxz

            Yes it has. And Google wants to be so like Apple that it might just kill them.

          • GTIguy

            No, I think you are missing the point over and over. Samsung, LG, HTC, etc.. have the same process (R&D, labor, software development, etc..) with, what I would imagine would be virtually the same costs, except they are offering devices with more expensive components for the same price as Motorola.

            Working as an IT pro in a company of over 5000 I am asked daily about what is the best device to have. While Motorola may not be targeting the tech geeks with this mid-range device, we are the people who in many cases influence the uninformed on which devices to purchase. I can say for sure that unless something drastic happens with the price of this device I cannot recommend it over the SGS4 or the HTC One at this time.

          • James Burkett

            That’s funny because Apple people do it every day

          • Big_EZ

            How do you know the retail price?

          • aye_winchell

            Oh i don’t and never said i did. In fact the GPE and DE option could still come in at the price point i was talking about $450-$500 i was simply stating what i think would be smart for them to do, to both get phones in the hand of people like me and make a profit.

            Some of this is speculation based on what the full retail from at&t and best buy, and a lot of it is assuming that because of the $200 on contract price.

            Again i was only saying that, while it may not be possible to sell this phone at nexus pricing and make money i think it is possible to undercut the prices of the other flagships even if just by a little, my point was that at a $650 premium price point i will look at all phones at that price when i purchase, if this came in $500 off contract i wouldn’t even be looking at other phones. still might buy it though, i like it, i respect the tech and the fact its made here plus the lack of logos gives it a nice clean design, but IF its priced with other flagships (again the GPE and DE) then i must consider what i get with them as well in terms of experience because the affordability factor has been removed for me.

          • Jillxz

            I think Google is just tying to recap some of that 500 million it spent on marketing the Moto X .That’s why it’s over priced ..

          • aye_winchell

            i guess we’ll see when the price’s drop for the GPE and DE phones, do you think $500 is overpriced for a 32GB, i’m not sure i do. I think i would be ok dropping $500 on it without much thought (well as little thought as you can have spending $500), and do it without worrying about higher spec’d phones, I just think they would sell more if they gave off contract people a reason to buy them and could have really killed the criticism that its over priced. Yes some people we always say something is overpriced, but if i came in $150-$200 cheaper off contract then the other flagships it really would have quelled that criticism, because the phone still looks and performs great, from what i can tell, but its not bleeding edge tech, so people (and rightfully so) don’t want to pay bleeding edge prices.

          • Jillxz

            No , it definitely is not bleeding edge tech and does not deserve a bleeding edge price either.

          • aye_winchell

            I agree and i think this is the mistake, if you can sell 1000 at $500 its better than 500 at $650, but this is all contingent on GPE and DE prices, i don’t care what the carriers charge, im never, ever, ever buying a phone through verizon again. The best they can hope for is that they Launch VoLTE and im allowed to by a nexus through the play store for there network, if that’s not possible or likely possible by the time my contract is up next may then im out, losing unlimited and all, but im not giving up unlimited to be locked into verizon anymore, if i’m giving it up its going to get me something, and the ability to by my phone outright is at least something.

          • Jillxz

            I have Verizon too and unfortunately it is the best in my area. We have only one other choice and that is AT&T . I had them before I switched to Verizon. With AT&T , I had a lot of connection problems. Too many “call failed” never had a problem with Verizon.

          • aye_winchell

            yup exactly my situation as well, might consider prepaid though, whats funny is I went verizon when they divested alltel to At&t in my area. At my work we are just on the edge of coverage, so we have a couple antennae and repeater set up, worked great of the first few years we were in our new building, the a couple weeks ago there contract ended with at&t to carry there signal on there towers, needless to say we lost on signal to the antennae, took us a couple says before we figured out. Once we figure out what was going on we waited to hear back from verizon who basically said we’re SOL and could go with “another” carrier and they would let us out of our contract for free. So now that everyone has moved to verizon we no longer get coverage out here and will probably go at&t. We went from basically one choice, to basically one choice 🙁

          • Butters619

            Never count R&D and engineering into COGS.

          • NeedName

            They still need to pay for it, including keeping the lights on. It’s all ultimately factored into the price regardless of how the book keeping is done — money has to come from somewhere to pay for everything and if you only have a couple products then those products must cover all costs, otherwise it’s just semantics and book keeping techniques.

          • Butters619

            I know that. But this branch of the thread talked about the added costs from having it made in Texas, which split into the cost per phone of having it made in Texas. Then you said that doesn’t include R&D and marketing. But it shouldn’t. That has nothing to do with the cost of the phone made in Texas. Or the cost to make the phone at all.

          • NeedName

            I wasn’t talking about the “cost to make the phone.” I was talking about the retail price of the phone which will include all necessary business costs the company needs to recoup. The original comment is about the retail price being to high and someone stating the cost of pats for the phone, which is ridiculous to make that comparison without including other appropriate costs.

          • Butters619

            Well the comment that you replied to was talking about the price to make the phone. As was the comment above that.

          • NeedName

            No, the original comment of this thread is about the retail price

            NexusPhan69: “What is killing me about this phone is the price”

            The following comment is simply adding to that by stating Texas and MotoMaker add to costs then comes a comment about parts only. Then you with your bit.

            So my comment was a reply to those discussing the retail price of the phone and reasons for that price.

          • Butters619

            When then you should have replied to the top comment, not the break off comment discussing cost to make the phone.

            And even still I re-edited my last comment because you still were not really correct.

          • NeedName

            Give it a rest, you jumped in with a bit that was irrelevant. All we care about it total cost of the device.

          • jose

            Somebody understands how basic accounting and financial reporting works. This is too complex for DL fanbois to grasp.

          • mgamerz

            I would love to see how well you could run a business like this without running it into the ground.

          • Butters619

            I’m not pretending I know how to run a large company. I am just saying when calculating COGS or margin you do not include R&D or marketing into the equation. That’s a standard business practice. They have separate budgets that are usually dictated by cash on hand and revenues.

            And when you calculate the price for the phone, sure you think about how much money you need to keep the lights on, but setting the price based on past R&D is a recipe for disaster and how very few companies operate. Like I said, you set your price based on receiving a healthy industry margin after COGS. And you also take your competitors pricing into account. That’s pretty much it. It’s up to sales to drive the number to make the earnings after that. A healthy margin should be able to cover future R&D and marketing so long as you meet your sales goals.

            Honestly, I would like to see how well you could run a business without running it into the ground. By your logic, a company like HTC should set the price of their phone at $1000 a piece because they invested so heavily in (failed) R&D in the past. But clearly that wouldn’t work. You have to always look forward and focus on your current product and price it to make future revenue.

          • David asaro

            I work for an electronics manufacturer. We mostly do industrial products though. But the cost of product includes parts as well as labor. And research and development has its own account. The reason for this is because some features are not limited to a single device. So the cost of development is separate from the cost of manufacturing it. The company I work for is based in Illinois but a majority of our manufacturing is done in Texas due to the cheaper labor.

          • Fattie McDoogles

            I couldn’t agree more. People automatically assume that because Motorola is owned by Google that they have access to all of Google’s resources and that’s just not the case, if anything just for legal and tax reasons.

          • dunni

            Yah, for some reason people don’t get that. This is a highly engineered product, it isn’t a commodity.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          And Apple can build theirs for $135, what’s your point? BoM is only part of the equation, there is a ton more that needs to be offset even before you figure in profits.

          • j

            iPhone5 doesn’t cost $135 in parts. It’s $200ish

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            My apologies, you are correct. Editing post.

          • j

            Yea but in the end, Apple still pulls in ~20% profit margin, so they could afford to cutt customers some slack. Hell, even motorola is pulling in 10% with lacklusted 2012 sales.

          • NeedName

            And still lost money!

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Apple operates at a gross proft margin of ~40%, so, figuring that at least 50% of their sales are iPhones, its reasonable to assume the profit margin on the iPhone (the whole line, mind you not the 5 specifically) is in the same ballpark.

            Either way, Motorola may have gross margins that are positive, but they are operating at a considerable loss. So they would have to sell huge volume at a reduced cost to generate any sort of profit, and even then they have so much debt they’ll be in the red for several years to come.

          • zurginator

            Here we go, copied from another thread, assuming $600 for an iPhone:

            “However let’s assume it costs $190. That’s a $410 profit per phone, yes? So in selling 31m phones (they sold that many last quarter) Apple would bank 12.7 billion dollars. Actual number? 6, and that includes apps, iTunes, their ad system, iPads, iPods, and Macs.”

            Profit margins aren’t near as large as they appear to be.

        • j

          EVERY phone these days costs $200-240 in parts.. and they all cost $500+. That’s just the way it is.

        • lgreg64

          and you think the GS4 and the one are not overpriced compared to their build cost

          • Joshua Bailey

            That wasn’t his point. Motorola was said to have something revolutionary in the X in terms of bridging the gap between feature phones and smartphone prices. They didn’t do it.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Actually that was never said. It was implied by their CEO, but he never said the Moto X would be the one that would do that.

        • jenn loren

          and the Galaxy 4 costs $235, what’s your point?

        • Remember though that s typical item in a store the store paid 30% of what you paid to get it. That remaining 70% goes to overhead.

      • Alan

        It seems US companies are finding out that manufacturing in China isn’t that much less expensive: http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21569570-growing-number-american-companies-are-moving-their-manufacturing-back-united

        Some are taking a middle ground and are forking initial costs to manufactuer in Mexico now.

    • Sean

      Sorry to hijack the first comment but I’m wondering how the carriers are going to handle insurance claims for this thing. If I break my Moto X and use my insurance to replace it, will I be able to use the motomaker to customize its look again? Or am i forced to accept a black or white one?

      • NexusPhan69

        Very good question. I never buy insurance so I have no idea how it works in the first place. For the monthly cost + deductible you’re better off just buying two new phones. Unless you’re so reckless that you’re worried you’ll break two phones in two years. Then insurance is good. Expect you get dropped after 2 claims.

      • Tyler Durden

        Or just don’t break it.

        • JDub

          Sometimes brothers can be huge douches and roll a golf cart in to a water hazard with you in it. Just saying stuff happens beyond your control.

          • Cory_S

            That comment was win

          • Get the S4 Active then lol

          • Stevedub40

            I seriously laughed out loud on this one. 🙂

        • A Fellow Fight Club Fanatic

          Please don’t become the next douche Tyler. See what happened to Bionic and Verizon.

          • Justin W

            You’re a little late for that one.

          • jose

            Yeah. WAY too late. Tyler has been a walking douchenozzle for as long as I could remember.

          • SparkysShocker

            Tyler has always been a douche just not a frequent one

      • Justin W

        Well, the ones Assurion sends are usually refurbished, so there is that 🙁

        I’m guessing if you speak with them you could get a new one, but I doubt you’d be able to customize it. Then again, I don’t know that they even know what they’ll be doing for this yet.

        • michael arazan

          I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m going to assume that there might even be some third parties that will develop casings for the phone in designs and patterns that moto may not offer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Moto sells the casing outright for people to change up on their own if it’s easy enough to do. Kind of reminds me of swatches from the 80’s that came out with customized colors and bands to interchange with.

          I just bought a casing for my galaxy nexus from a third party in Hong Kong and plan on painting it white from a few ideas from guys that did it in the xda forums, once I figure out if I need to be primed or sand it and a durable paint, that’s heat resistant, and if I’ll need a gloss.

      • Godzilla

        Best Buy geek squad. You can get Geek squad protection without buying the phone at best buy

    • NeedName

      I’m happy to pay more for this set of hardware+features as long as Motorola gives great updates like we get with Nexus devices, even if has to go through the carrier and I only get it once a year is fine as long as the update runs great and keeps my device running buttery smooth — have gotten the last update form other OEMs that have left the device unusable. . . won’t ever do that again regardless of what specs they throw at me.

      • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

        Are you really going to put faith into Moto+VZW though? Because you know, those two have such a great track record on updates.

        • Where did you get VZW from? He could easily be on something else. I am gonna put faith in Moto on this one because it is a Google-pushed phone. Hopefully that means something.

        • Jordan Webb

          Actually, since a few months post-acquisition, Moto’s been pretty good about getting updates out for their Verizon phones. Better than HTC, that’s for damned sure, but I’m sure you agree given your username.

          • UpdatesFromHTCAreAJoke

            What updates from HTC? 😉

          • Jordan Webb


        • NeedName

          No, I don’t have to upgrade. My gNex runs superbly! So, I’m watching to see how things go.

          BTW, I would NEVER purchase anything on Verizon!

      • palomosan

        This is getting worse, I don’t want to loose my Verizon+LTE, my Gnex is two years old and I’m due for an update, the only issue is that I don’t want anything else than a Nexus, the N4 is awesome but it doesn’t have LTE.

        • NeedName

          The Moto X is probably the closest thing you will get to a Nexus device on Verizon, IMHO. I don’t foresee a Nexus device coming to Verizon in the future, but who knows.

          • MJ04

            i heard that the Nexus 5 could possibly be available on Verizon but if not i may get the Moto X because i want a Pure google OS.

        • Sacrifist

          I bet you could get a Galaxy Nexus for cheap, and that has LTE 🙂

    • Jimmy_Chewbacca

      what’s killing me about this phone:
      1) it is 10+ mm thick and has just 2,200 maH battery!
      2) 720p display. Just NO.
      3) launch/media/information mess
      4) weird exclusivity
      5) storage options (no only 128Gb is NOT available, 64Gb is not available as well!)
      6) the price for WHAT Moto X is, i would be happy to pay $800 for WHAT I WANT!
      7) Motorola’s website.

      Galaxy NOTE 3 = YES!

      • NexusPhan69

        I can deal will all of that if it was priced correctly. I’m never doing a contract again. Or giving Verizon another dime of my money.

        • breadable

          I was hopeful this phone would be the first to save us from the contracts. I’m fine with this being the mediocre phone it is, but I’m not buying it at a full retail above $400

          • NeedName

            That’s the Nexus and will probably only be the Nexus line for some time — carries in the USA have too much control still.

      • Drome

        i dont see how some one considering the moto x can just jump to the note 3. You don’t have an allegiance to near stock android or the smaller screen size? I think the nexus 5 is going to be the next best bet but I am not sure it is going to be on VZW.

      • Detonation

        2 – A lot of people can’t even tell the difference between 720p and 1080p and also don’t care.
        5 – Most people do not need 64gb, let alone 128gb.

        It’s obvious this phone was designed for the average user, not the tech nerds. But as everyone else has said, if they wanted to appeal to the masses, they should have put it in the $99 range, not the same cost as the better spec’d phones.

        • Billy Buttons

          One issue as mentioned in other comments here is that a lot of non-‘tech nerds’ often associate price with quality. Not saying it’s right or will even work for them but they might be trying to avoid making the Moto X look like a sub-par phone by pricing it too low. For people that don’t compare specs, it probably would.

      • Sacrifist

        1) 10mm thick at its thickest point, with a curved, ergonomic design. Why are people so desperate for razor-thin phones?
        2) 312ppi. Plenty sharp, better on battery.
        3) Unfounded rumors accounted for most of the mess. Not Moto’s fault.
        4) Yeah, that is a real shame.
        5) If you need 64-128gb of local storage on your phone, you are a statistical outlier. They’re including 50gb of Google Drive.
        6) A well-constructed phone with useful features that by all accounts performs extremely well – sounds like a fair price to me. Just because it’s not what you want doesn’t mean it’s objectively bad.

    • Alexander Garcia

      Over 2,000 Texan employees being paid at least the minimum hourly wage (which is at least 8X greater than the daily wage in China) along with medical insurance for those employees on top of that. This is not going to be a cheap phone Google-subsidized or not. Hell, I’m actually surprised that it’s as cheap as it is.

      • Joe

        Geez, give it up man.

      • Texan Employee

        So the $4billion+ Samsung invested in their factory in Texas along with the minimum hourly wage of their Texan employees/insurance should boost the price of their S4 to $299.99? Logic 2 hard.

        • Godzilla


    • You will not be alone when it comes to being confused at the price.

      • Corey Foltman

        has there been any mention of the full retail price?

      • moelsen8

        kellex can you give some thoughts on this vs. the N4? is it an upgrade/downgrade? if it’s $600 off contract, would it be a wise choice and would you do it? i’m so on the fence. can’t wait to handle it in person when it’s released.

        • DainLaguna

          Pricing aside, the screen and camera seem to be improvements… Especially the camera

        • King Lo

          N4 doesn’t have LTE. Why do people forget this….

          • moelsen8

            LTE is only one of many aspects of a phone. And while I’d like to have a phone capable of it more than not, I’m perfectly fine with HSPA+. Have you had experience using both? They’re very comparable. Especially tmo’s HSPA+.

      • Alan

        “I have to admit that I’m looking forward to even more time with the Moto X.”

        Would you still feel the same if you had to pay for it? Not as a business expense for you site but as a personal purchase.

        • NexusPhan69

          Dude you nailed it. I would love to have one if I could get it for $399 or less. By the time that price is reached (if ever), I have a feeling the Nexus 5 will win me over. And I won’t even remember the Moto X.

        • Higher_Ground

          I get the feeling that’s what he means. The phone he reviewed isn’t his to keep, though it sounds like he’s at least willing to buy one for his wife if Motomaker was available on Verizon.
          Really, AT&T exclusivity on that part is looking like the worst idea surrounding the Motox, even worse than the on-contract pricing.

      • I just read this elsewhere and it really clicked with me: If only AT&T users can customize their Moto X (for whatever mysterious period that covers the exclusive), why am I paying the same price for a black (Or white) model that can’t be customized?

        • marko358

          Indeed. Why the heck would someone pay the same price for less options? Terrible business decision to say the least.

    • You have to remember that flagship phones have to look, feel, and COST to fit in. If this was 100 on contract, people think it’s a toy rather than an iPhone (to the average consumer). I’m curious to see the off contract price, as that’s where the price doesn’t have to “compete” with the other flagships to gain the approval of the average user.

      • Higher_Ground

        IDK, the average non-apple consumer is looking to pick up a phone at a discount, and $99 is still expensive to a lot of people who would probably feint if you told them the retail price was $600.
        People buy up older model iphones like candy because they’re cheaper than the latest model.
        Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but it seems to me that given this backlash maybe the price point won’t hang around forever.

      • Sacrifist

        I agree with you on the perception-by-cost point. Pricing your phone in the mid-range segment will make it a hard sell to an uninformed customer who wants the ‘best’ phone. Most reviews seem to agree that the X is not a mid-range phone.

        I wouldn’t hold your breath on the off-contract price, though. Moto’s trying to get some leverage with the carriers, and undercutting them significantly would be a slap in the face.

        • I was thinking the unlocked price. I’m feeling hopeful about it, but not too much. Nexus 5 or Oppo Find 7 for me at the moment. I currently have a Nexus 4, but the glass back is just scary. I haven’t cracked it yet, and I’m trying to get rid of it ASAP.

    • Dee

      blame US labour costs for that…think of all the poor chinese/taiwanese children being out of work now:)

    • jose

      The price doesn’t match the phone. You get MEH spex. You get a MEH display. You get a MEH camera. And MEH battery life for a WHOA price. I wanted to want this phone. But I just can’t justify the price tag.

    • Jason Self

      I think the cost of phones has to do with taxes…
      Here in Ca. you pay tax on the full price of the item not the subsidized price of the phone. We all know that these phones only cost 150- 225 to make. So there is no reason they could not sell them at double there cost and make money on them.
      Most people get there phone with a contract for 100,200, or 300. If we were only paying tax on that amount the states would collect less revenue so with states letting the phone company sell phones for less but collecting the hole amount of taxes it is a win win for them. The phone providers get people on contracts and the states collect top dollar taxes
      …but what do i know?

      • jose

        So California is responsible for the price of the Moto X? I think your tinfoil hat is on a little too tight this morning.

      • NexusPhan69

        Only is communist cali does such logic apply. So no, it has nothing to do with taxes.

    • EatUrCrap

      It’s decided. When it comes out on Verizon I’m upgrading from my Galaxy Nexus to the Moto X.

    • Kromeo

      yes, expensive.

    • Allnewspk

      Yes ofcourse the review is great…. dont you think Nexus 5 is better?

  • Dfigs23

    Great review. I’ve waited for this phone since Day 1. This is my next. Thank you Droid-Life.

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    Had to check if this was written by Ron before reading it all.

    Thanks for the review, but no thanks to the phone. Just a price issue

    • JimmyHACK

      I was waiting for a “No thanks, I’ll go with iPhone” comment.

    • sc0rch3d

      I want to see what’s capable in the hands of the devs. if Kellex is giving it that good of remarks on performance and battery on stock, it might have good buying potential by Black Friday. 🙂

      • AnotherAndroidKid

        black friday will most likely be on contract deals only. again, no thanks.

        if this were 300-350 off contract on vz, i’d take it for at least my wife if not both of us. but i’m not paying top dollar for year old tech and non-removable battery.

  • htowngtr

    Kellex, do you think it’s likely worth it to go with the Droid Ultra over this phone if you’re on verizon? It’s basically the same “software” with wireless charging, 60% more battery, and more storage (for $100 more). If you’re going off-contract then I’d definitely get the Ultra.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      I think you mean the Maxx. The Ultra is basically a super-thin Moto X with 5″ screen.

      • htowngtr

        Yea, sorry, ultra “Maxx”. I realize the design isn’t the same, but it’s a lot more guts for a little more money.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          True, but I’m more wondering about the display (drops just below 300ppi), and the design. I love the Kevlar on my Razr, but I’m not really digging the capacitive keys.

    • Jordan Webb

      The Ultra does not have wireless charging. That’s on the Maxx and Mini, but they left it out of the Ultra to make it thinner.

    • Maxx is OK. It’s not the same experience because it has hardware navigation buttons and that ugly kevlar look heh. But if it’s battery life you seek, then the Maxx is probably your best choice. But as Justtyn mentioned, the 5″ display does blow things up on a 720p panel, so you could potentially not have as nice of a display.

      Once we have review units of the Maxx and Ultra, we’ll be sure to test things like that.

      • socarwolverine

        Would 4.7 to 5 really make the display look that much worse? I just fail to see why a VZW customer who wants to stay would choose this over the Maxx. Unless you had to have customizabilty.

        • marko358

          I’m thinking the ecosystem for the Moto X will be much larger. Think speaker docks, car accessories, etc.

          • socarwolverine

            That’s a good point. I don’t typically spend money on that stuff, but I also haven’t had a phone with a large accessory market (thanks to VZW exclusives).

          • Higher_Ground

            I’m hoping to see this phone go the distance, so hopefully there will be plenty of accessories to go along with it.

      • Hayden7200

        Yes, that would be great. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the Maxx. Thanks for the great review of the Moto X!

  • Nice review!