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20+ Tips and Tricks for the Moto X

moto x

Shortly after we got our hands on both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, we put together a couple of 20+ tips and tricks videos to help new users know all of their best features. Both videos were well received, so a similar tutorial for the new Moto X seemed like it was needed as well. This phone could be the next big thing (Samsunged!) if Motorola can market it right and MotoMaker can ditch its AT&T exclusivity. As you all know, we’re big fans of the phone after having spent a couple of weeks with a Verizon variant. We really can’t wait for it to launch to hear what your thoughts are on it, even with its “mid-range” specs.

If you do decide to pick on up, this lengthy tips and tricks video should help you take it to its full potential. Also, don’t forget to read our Moto X review if you haven’t already. Oh, we also unboxed one of the first custom Moto X devices to date, which you can see pictured above. 


  • JillWNew

    uptil I saw the paycheck which was of $7730, I be certain …that…my cousin was like realy earning money part time from there labtop.. there dads buddy has been doing this for less than 8 months and recently repaid the morgage on their mini mansion and bourt a gorgeous Fiat Multipla. my review here …..www.jobs59.ℂoℳ

  • Jon McLaren

    You forgot motorola Assist, it’s like an added suite of Google Now like capabilities. it does things like silences notifications while you’re driving, during important meetings, and does some other stuff too.

  • Stephanie

    I love my phone. Got it in this week and have loved playing around with all the features you went over. Especially the “driving mode”

  • Ryan N

    Triple twist instead of double. Has never failed for me.

    Your Welcome!

  • Valilla


    If you have a watch can you put one of those Skip stickers on the back and see if it reads through the watch case?


  • Jaxon Wright

    is there no photosphere?

  • DCABuckeye

    Every item in this video, with the exception of customization Moto Maker, applies equally to the Maxx; everything.

  • strows

    No Google wallet or ISIS?

  • okpud

    No mention of Bluetooth Trusted Devices unlock? To me this is a great feature. It allows the phone to allows stay unlocked when connected to a trusted Bluetooth device. Like say, always have your phone unlocked when connected to your cars Bluetooth and automatically re-lock when the connection is gone.

  • renaldoblee

    Marcus replied I am in shock that any one able to get paid $6824 in 4 weeks
    on the computer. have you read this site link..www.Pro67.ℂom

  • alloutriot808

    I think most phones if not all are future proof when Google is a direct influence on the device itself. A phone with Googles backing and support seems to have double the life expectancy of your average flag ship phone. Seems the determining factor of what makes a phone outdated and old is the existing os on that phone. Note 3 running Ice cream sandwich with the newest tech in it, would you still buy it over a mid range device running 5.0 key lime pie ?

  • There was an article written a while back that mentioned an Active Display app in the Play Store. Does anyone know if this app would be useful on devices that DO NOT have an AMOLED screen (e.g. Droid DNA)?

    EDIT: By useful, I mean would the DNA consume more battery than the Moto X does since the DNA has an LCD screen as opposed to the X’s AMOLED.

    • Bryan

      It would most likely kill your battery life for two reasons.

      1) LCD vs AMOLED – the LCD has to light the entire back light, even if most of the screen is black. AMOLED only lights the pixels that are not black, using a lot less energy.
      2) The Moto X and new Droids have a very low power processor that is running when the phone is asleep to poll for notifications and control the screen to display them. Without this part of the X8 architecture, your DNA will have to run the full power CPU, even while sleeping, to accomplish the same thing.

      How much more battery life will be used by your DNA – not sure, but it will definitely be more than the new Motos.

      • Idk who disliked this, but I thought it was extremely helpful. Thanks +1

  • EatUrCrap

    Wallpaper! I want it!

  • jbdan

    Love all the video reviews. Think the color combo looks fantastic. Cracked up when you said “dong-gle” had to watch that a couple times. /gah that sounds awful! /

  • jenn loren

    That little card feature is so web os! bring it to everything! *sigh*

  • a) youth.in.asia

    Props for making the ugliest Moto X possible

    • Liderc

      rofl, I thought the same thing. Of all the color combos, green and gold. It’s like a pimp’s dream phone matching his green-gator boots.

      • Sean Bello

        he’s selling it to Bishop Magic Don Juan when the Moto Nexus comes out

      • a) youth.in.asia

        an’ dat pumped out Gucci suuuiiittt!

    • emoney

      look at the one techno buffalo made

      • a) youth.in.asia

        Didn’t see that they had one

  • Sean Bello

    people need to chill with comparing it to their Gnex. just because it has a 720p screen and dual core… you could clock your Gnex to 1.7 and it’d still run like garbage compared to phones now. it’s a different kind of processor. let it go.

    • Liderc

      My Gnex doesn’t “run like garbage,” it runs great and it’s 2 years old. And it’s free on contract compared to this phone…

      • Sean Bello

        ^”compared to phones now” ^

        • Liderc

          ^Makes zero sense.

          • Sean Bello

            an over clocked Gnex doesn’t keep up with any high end android phone that’s come out in the past year and a half or so, yet people still for some reason say “but my Gnex…”. it’s like the 5S coming out and people saying “my 4 though”

          • Liderc

            Texting/browsing/calling/navigation – 99% of what the average user does with their device, doesn’t require the processing power that’s being introduced in the last two years. It’s why Moto stuck with a dual core processor, as it also gives the phone better battery life.

            There’s not a game I can’t play on my Gnex, do you know why? Because apps are made for the average spec’d device, because the creators don’t want to alienate the majority of users. I’m not just blindly defending my Gnex, I’m more than ready to get rid of it for a new device, but not one phone that’s been released has impressed me enough to purchase it.

            Until there’s a new Nexus, with a 1080P screen, a Razr Maxx-like battery life, and an iPhone equivalent camera, I have zero reason to upgrade. And that’s the case for the majority of people whether they want to admit it or not.

          • Sean Bello

            that’d all be understandable, except the Gnex isn’t a phone the average user would own (generally speaking)

  • CaptainDisillusion

    Is it just me or did it look a teeny, tiny bit stuttery? I have a suped-up GNex, which is about as smooth as the Moto X in this video (of course, the problem I find is when I use up the memory, running too many apps at once on my GNex).

    So am I setting expectations too high for phones now to completely demolish my GNex in the stutter department, or is my suped-up GNex basically running as smoothly as it gets?

    Not that I mean to complain — if I had a phone that was as smooth as my GNex, had better battery life, and didn’t run out of memory, I’d be good to go.

    • TechTinker11

      Well it has 2Gigs of ram so it should handle programs in the background just as well as all the other high end phones.

  • shecalledmejay

    I’m jealous. lol so has Droid-Life ever considered getting a couple of interns?

  • alloutriot808

    Notice allot of YouTube reviewers pushing this phone hard and even created it’s own category for this phone. Seems like user experience vs tech instead of the old tech vs tech. Motox seems to be the choice pick by majority of these reviewers when it comes to use experience. Conspiracy maybe?

    • Liderc

      I think it’s more likely that there is a major promotional push behind this phone and many people/sites are being paid to promote the phone. Which is fine, but this obviously makes it harder to decide if it’s a good device or not due to the biased reviews. PS. Not pointing fingers.

    • TechTinker11

      I don’t believe their being payed, maybe they actually like the phone? We used to be all about the tech because it benifeted the experience. We’re not getting that anymore except in screen-types. But Motorola has realized that the specs are fine if we actaully work with the software, which is what we’re loving about the phone.

    • MikeSaver

      Here’s an idea. Maybe it’s a good phone.

  • Brian Wolfman

    I have to admit I am not sold on the active notifications. I like to pick up my phone, pull down the notification bar, see whats going on and then close it, leaving them there or quick replying to an sms. I can do all of that, without unlocking my phone, so is it really saving me any tim?. I also like my notification light. My SMS light is a color that doesnt blink too, just bc I hate looking at my phone, and then looking away and I miss the light, or I find myself staring waiting for the color to light up. Dont pulse, just be on so i can see it (yes I get it that it turns on when I move it, but if its sitting there I have to stare at it till the screen lights up).

    –as an aside, this phone feels like its almost being pushed on me by you guys. Its almost like moto is paying you to push this phone more and more.

  • I’m really liking the “always listening” feature.

  • C C

    sure would like to know if any software update is planned to improve the camera’s picture quality…

  • Pengwn

    Nice video! Thanks for compiling some nice tips for those of use considering this device! Though, the quick delete feature by swiping is in the gallery is in stock Android. It’s been there since 4.0 if I’m not mistaken.

    There is also trusted BT devices. As long as you have a BT device paired with the phone, it will skip the lockscreen. This will be a nice way of adding security without the nuisance of having to enter your pin/pattern every time.

  • Lucky Armpit

    I’m sure this will get lost in the shuffle, but when can we expect a review of the Droid Ultra/Maxx?

  • Droid Ronin

    You left out the Migrate feature.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    The more I think about this phone, the less I want it. I ask myself too many questions concerning its’ future software wise. Cheers to the moto nexus.

  • Daniel Russell

    Am I just blind, or was there no photo sphere available on this camera software? The old school panorama is lame compared to the photo sphere software.

    • Droid Ronin

      There is no photo sphere at this time because the Google camera is closed source.

      • Daniel Russell

        Bummer. It’s one of the cooler photo features out there.

        • kashtrey

          I’m sure you could side load the stock camera APK.

  • emoney

    why doesn’t this phone support wireless charging?

    • lensgrabber

      To be honest THIS is the reason I am not getting one. After using wireless charging for the past couple of weeks, I will never go back.

  • guesswhat

    missed Bluetooth trusted devices and Moto Assist both really useful and make a lot of difference in day 2 day user experience

  • Caleb Boerner

    I want this phone soo bad, but can’t buy without a massive HD screen

  • tyguy829

    I can’t believe you didn’t show ‘trusted devices’ Easily in the top 5 features that appeal to me.

  • dex

    Thanks for the vision!

    Also can you showcase the Trusted Bluetooth Device feature?

  • Ryan Cota

    What about Motorola Assist? No tips or tricks with that app?

    • kixofmyg0t


      but in reality it’s kinda hard to show off in action. As the reading your texts while driving part….requires you to be driving or at least in a moving vehicle.

  • sski66

    This is gonna stink but you know what’s goona happen with Active Display, after 6 or so months your gonna have screen burn in, just look @ your GNEX, I really wish this had an LCD3 screen.

    • Hothfox

      I am looking at my GNex and there’s no burn in. I’ve had it for a year and a half.

      • David Salsburg


        • EC8CH

          I just noticed some burn in on the top of mine while playing dots.

          It’s noticeable because it hides the status bar. The all white screen shows a little color band across the top of mine.

        • Mike Hilal

          Same here. I’ve had 2 of them, no burn in whatsoever.

          • JasonWhite

            I’ve had 2 of them and both of them burned in 🙁

      • Pengwn

        I picked up my GNex on launch day and I do have burn in. If you’ve played around with any ROMs that have incorporated PIE, you can clearly see the burn in when you enter expanded desktop mode.

        The active display shouldn’t be too bad because it’s not running while it’s in your pocket, purse, or face down. I’d say the amount of damage the average screen would receive from having Active Display running shouldn’t be more than a few movies running. Then again, what do I know.

        • Hothfox

          I tried PIE when it first came to CyanogenMod, and I didn’t notice any burn in. Obviously this is a YMMV situation.

      • Jonathan Ofalla

        I got my GNex a month after launch. The burn in is bad. Caused by the notification bar and radio screen elements. In my case from using Sirius XM, the square border for album art and player buttons.

        Burn in is most noticeable on light color back grounds (white is the worse). Black background is not detectable since the pixels are off.

      • panicswhenubered

        No burn in on mine either, had it since launch day. Plus, it sits in a media dock ~8hrs/day while I’m at my desk with the screen on.

      • sski66

        Wow really, that’s great, & it’s unusual.

    • I went to the Verizon Store this past weekend just to see some of the phones and the big corner they blocked off had the Droid Razr HD and Maxx HD. They BOTH had huge burn ins around the mid-lower parts of the screen (the burn in resembled the lock screen with the circle thing).

      • chris125

        You also have to take into account those store models are running all the time with those demos and rarely if ever get turned off. They get put through the extremes but hopefully with the screen not constantly being turned on and off it won’t get the burn in. Guess only time will tell

      • sski66

        Yeah unfortunately my Google Bar {search bar} is burnt in, some people don’t notice it, but it does happen on these type of screens.

    • CaptainDisillusion

      I think because it pulses like that, burn-in won’t be a problem. It’s always changing like a screensaver.

      • sski66

        That would be really cool if it didn’t, let’s hope so.

  • David Salsburg

    Nice video. My VZW Galaxy Nexus with 4.2.2 BAMF has the swipe up or down to delete pics in card view mode. never knew that existed until i watched this. Thank you !

    • Mike Hilal

      It has for quite some time….

      • blackjaguar25

        He didn’t say it hasn’t.

        • Mike Hilal

          Right, I was pointing out how could he not have noticed

          • David Salsburg

            Good question. never thought it was even on option. but excited to see it now. 🙂

  • bonix

    I really want this phone to replace my gnex on verizon but the camera being awful is a major problem. I’m okay with not having the best camera but from what I read the moto X isn’t even decent. Are the issues software related and fixable? If so I might have hope

    • Mike Hilal

      What, precisely, is awful. Obviously low light requires a flash…otherwise the Gnex camera does just fine in average and bright light.

      • bonix

        That Marques review (black dude in soccer jersey) gave some examples that just looked bland and washed out. Terrible colors overall. I have yet to see a good looking picture taken with the Moto X. If you can prove me wrong I’d be super happy though!

        • Mike Hilal

          Look at the photos on a PC from your Gnex…the ones I take dont look oversaturated, nor washed out…just sorta neutral. The Amoled screen calibration on the Gnex distorts color badly (due to the calibration in the stock kernel), so using the phone to display image tests is kind of a waste. I’d need to see sample photos from the X to know for sure. For that, I’ll wait for Anandtech’s review…purely because they know what they are doing.

          • he is talking about the MotoX pictures being aweful and wants to replace his Gnex with the MotoX but wont if the camera really is that bad….

        • guesswhat

          robert scoble has pretty good pictures posted on his page comparing moto x and s4, take a look at that to get a better idea of camera performance


        • TylerChappell

          That “black dude” would be MKBHD. And his videos are awesome!

          • lensgrabber

            MKBHD is BAUS!

        • James_75

          Here are some images taken today with my Maxx and S4. The Moto pics are on the left. Opinions?


          • Jason B

            The Maxx pics look better, IMO. The S4 seems to have a haze with a bit of greenish color cast in bright light. Weird.

        • TechTinker11

          Not terrible colors just over-sat. The colors look real, sorry, lifes not a fairy tail where everything all shiny. Sure the camera needs improvement. The roller coaster pic from moto, the coaster’s colors are great, and their was a great pic of a motorcycle somewhere.

    • Droid Ronin

      The software that he is using in the demo phone is older. We have new software that we’re testing right now at Moto and they are continuously working on improving the camera piece.

      • jenn loren

        what do you mean the camera “piece”.

        • TechTinker11

          part, i guess. like the software part of the camera.

      • James_75

        How about the camera/software in the Maxx/Ultra? Are they being worked on at all?

        • TechTinker11

          Well verizon exclusive, most consumers usually dont like them, so probably not. but its possible.

        • Droid Ronin

          The Moto camera is a common software feature among the Ultra/Maxx/Mini and MotoX so it is being worked on all at the same time. The roll-out update is dependent on the carriers, however.

    • Matatat

      The camera from what I have seen is two fold. It can snap really good photos and compared to lets say the GS4 they are less saturated then washed out. The main issue reviewers have had is artifacting in the photos because the app over processes the photo. This could easily be fixed in a software update and may even come on the consumer unit (just a guess). What I can guarantee though is that it will be a huge improvement over the gnex.

      • bonix

        That is good to hear, definitely think I’m going to pick it up.

      • Liderc

        But don’t we always say “Oh that camera quirk can be solved with a software update,” and then things never end up being better?

        I just don’t have a lot of faith since Moto has never impressed anyone with their cameras and this one starts off pretty bad.

        Seems like a problem that will linger until a few phones down the line with Google behind Moto. Cameras are vital on phones now, there’s no excuse not to have an iPhone comparable camera on a high end device.

        If Apple can do it, then we should be able to see a comparable camera on our Android phones. As much as it pains me to say that, it’s the truth. Apple has failed to improve their software/screen size, and Android manufacturers have failed to create an exceptional camera.

        • Chad

          100% agree!!

        • Matatat

          well google unfortunately is not known for there cameras either… but the main issue with the camera is software so there is hope that they will fix it.

    • Alex L

      Camera really shouldn’t be an issue, coming from the Galaxy Nexus with a 5 megapixel camera that came from the Nexus S. I think that the camera shouldn’t really be a big problem.

    • Ri

      Camera is just as good as the HTC ONE and my husband who has the Galaxy S4 likes mine better than his… Camera and phone.

  • LOL at 4:09: “y-y-y-ya really can’t live without it once you start using it…trust me”

    haha…this is why you guys are my sole source of cra– er…I mean Android News 🙂

    • MikeSaver


      • Ok, so either I have a really twisted sense of humor that no one else does, or no one got what I was saying. I was saying that in the video, at 4:09, when Kellen stutters on the word “you”, it sounded a little like someone who’s on some sort of drug telling someone “dude, you can’t live without this stuff…trust me”. I found that funny because it’s like Android is Kellen’s drug and he “just can’t live without it”. And since Kellen is our “supplier” of Android news (our drug that we’re all addicted to), I said that these guys are my sole source of “crack” or, Android news.

        OK…it’s not nearly as funny when I have to explain it. But maybe it just didn’t come across very well…or maybe it was just stupid…that’s cool too…no worries 🙂

        • MikeSaver

          lol. yeah didn’t come through.

          I thought the “cra…” was “crap” and you were saying the site sucks because Kellen stuttered or something.

  • King Lo

    It would be nice if you could label your articles that are primarily video as such. The video only articles are mostly worthless for me. I can’t watch em.

  • mrothwell

    will all of the same features be on the Ultra and Maxx, as they appear to be the same hardware (other than screen) and the same software??

    • n900mixalot

      Each and every, single, one. Well, except for the colored back plates.

      • TechTinker11

        I don’t know, is the camera software, assist on the new droids?

  • T S

    this looks awesome. i want one.

  • Shane Redman

    Kellex, is the NFC right on the moto symbol? and does the skip work better when you’re not doing it for demo?

    • Justin W

      Based on the Skip overview the other day, it’s between the Moto logo and the camera/flash module.

  • Oh, one more thing, the “warmth” of the display was concerning me a little, but then I realized that my GNex has kind of a warm display also. Any chance you could comment on how the screen compares to the GNex? I think that’s where most of us are coming from and would like to know of it’s at least AS good, while hoping for better 🙂

  • Shane Redman

    Not sure if I want this to replace my VZW gnex or wait one more year to see what Moto has next

    • edwoordd

      just wait until they reveal the nexus 5, I’m still rocking my gnex waiting for a GOOD phone to impress me.

      • Shane Redman

        yeeeeaaaaaa…I’m one of those ppl not really looking to leave VZW. Besides, this looks like a glorified nexus device (minus the locked bootloader)

        • n900mixalot

          THANK you. I just don’t get it. It’s a lazy, laaaaazy Nexus 4 upgrade. There are what, five total features that set it apart from the Nexus 4?

          • Mike Hilal

            And considerable amounts of processing power. These are krait 300 cores, not krait 200 that the N4 has. One of the 300 cores is more powerful than 2 200 cores. Then the Extra cores for GPU (aka X8). This is a solid upgrade from the N4 and a massive one from the Gnex.

          • Shane Redman

            That’s not a knock on it for me. Being a VZW customer, this is the closest to a Nexus experience as we can get. That makes me want it, but a part of me is saying deal with the GNex for one more year to see what Moto does next year. I’m not a fan of the galaxy series and HTC hasn’t had the best history with ppl in my family and friends. I had the D1 as my first smartphone…absolutely loved it (even more so than the GNex overall). For that, I’m looking to go back to Motorola.

  • Is it just me, or does the “active display” kind of flicker as it fades away? If it’s actually doing a little flicker, that would drive me nuts :/ I hope they can fix that with a software update!

    • christophermcconkey

      It looks like there is a little bit of a flicker but I bet that will be smoothed out in a SW update.

  • EC8CH

    Try this:

    OK GOOGLE NOW… Play me some Funky Cold Medina.

  • Now that you’ve had it for a few weeks, how’s the battery life under “normal” usage (as opposed to review-week usage)? Better than you expected? Worse? Soso? This is one of the big deciding factors for me. The GS4 GPE has a phenomenal battery.

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      I asked him to write a post covering this + more. He said he’s considering it.

      • saif

        DroidLife .. stop
        selling the X phone for us! you have to realize that the phone sucks!

      • michael arazan

        20+ tips is great if the battery will run 20+ hours with medium to high use

      • MikeSaver

        Yeah! do this Kellex! Battery Life is the most important. Next to not having your phone look ugly like the Maxx

        • Alex

          battery life (for me at least) averages to at a minimum 13-14 hours of usage. Actual data from yesterday is normal use (music to from school so 1 hr of playing over bluetooth, videos, etc) plus texting, emailing, browsing, words with friends…I unplugged the phone at 8AM and was at 15% at 10:35PM

    • domytoruluq

      мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

      sure would like to know if any software update is planned to improve the camera’s picture quality…

      • Bruce Wayne

        Joker, is that you? Kill yourself. Gotham has a new reckoning.

    • Ri

      My battery life on this is great, off the charger at 7am, not back on till 10pm and the lowest it’s gotten is 14% that’s including all day text, talk, social media, email n sports updates

  • chris420o

    Im almost glad motomaker isnt out for vz yet…because therewill go a solid 5-600 bucks from my vegas fund for ldw….hopefully ill recover by nov and be able to afford it

    • n900mixalot

      Vegas can be done on the very cheap … just saw rooms for $33/night.

      • chris420o

        room and flight are the last things im worried about lol

      • Ian Smith

        yeah and great deals on penny slots & in-room dildy shows

        • n900mixalot

          in-room … hahahah

  • Quality will improve as YouTube processes this mega-vid.

    • Jason Downing

      watching anyway

    • n900mixalot

      Are there even 20 things you *can* do with this phone? I’m fascinated by your enthusiasm and hope it makes you smile, while moistening your sugar walls.

      • DroidzFX

        Who do you think he is? Willy Wonka?

    • googlyeyedfrog

      you guys might want to watch Marques Brownlee do a review and take a few of his strategies. He posts some very smooth, quality reviews

      • Ian Smith

        to be fair, he’s a lot more photogenic than the DL fellas

      • jt O’Brien

        That guy makes the BEST tech videos on youtube hands down.

  • Jason Downing

    Still considering this phone as there is no guarantee for the Nexus 5 on Verizon 🙁

    • Mike Hilal


    • jenn loren

      Buy it with the $100 moto trade in, so if you get it for $100 less, when you sell it if the nexus comes out you won’t have lost money! : )

    • Adam Truelove

      Oh, there’s a guarantee. A guarantee Verizon will never again get a Nexus.

    • Hothfox

      This right here. I love the Nexus program, but Verizon won’t see another one ever again until their VoLTE network is done. Gotta decide if this phone is worth spending the money on to see me through the rest of my contract (7 months).