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Moto X Review (2013)

moto x review

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.

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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.


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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.

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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.



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Software Features

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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

  • 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 😉