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Tuesday Poll: Does a Wood Phone Interest You?

Four months after introducing the Moto X at a press event in NYC, Motorola has delivered on one promise made that I’m not sure the world really expected it would ever need to see fulfilled. I’m talking about wood backs on phones, of course. Can any of us safely say that we ever imagined owning a phone made up of the natural material? I can’t. That’s not to say that owning a phone made of Bamboo, Rosewood, Ebony, or Teak wouldn’t be cool, it’s just that the thought of it hadn’t ever crossed my mind. Whether or not I had dreamed of wood is inconsequential at this point though, since Motorola has made Bamboo readily available for their Moto X through MotoMaker.

They didn’t exactly deliver all four originally promised wood options, but again, Bamboo is available now. And that brings us to today’s poll, which we realized only today that we had yet to ask. Does a realΒ wood back on a phone even interest you? Over the last few months, we’ve talked quite a bit about wood and paying a premium for it. But now that Bamboo is ready, we get the feeling that not everyone is willing to pull the trigger.

That could be because Bamboo wasn’t the option you had in mind. It could also be that you are worried about the durability of wood, the extra $100 you’d pay to have it on a phone, or something else. Or maybe it’s exactly what you wanted and you have already placed your order. Maybe?

In the poll below, we aren’t exactly focusing on the Moto X. We want to know – in general – how you feel about phones made with wood. It could be the next Galaxy phone or whatever HTC is cooking up, but we want to know if you would buy a phone that uses wood.

Does a phone made with wood interest you?

View Results

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  • evereste

    Love wood…. Always wanted a wood laptop…. it’s $25 not $100…so, quite reasonable….

  • james t

    what is with all the people not down with the wood backs?! wood is way more logical and practical than having a glass back, I cannot be the only one who thinks this… i will be buying one as soon as the rosewood and ebony options are out!

  • Mark

    The most expensive automobiles in the world use real wood on their dashboards and trim. It exudes a certain feel of hand crafted perfection, and artistic quality. Why not on your phone as well? There was a time when the most expensive electronics and audio equipment also used real wood, but I doubt most of the folks here remember that (some super expensive stuff still does). I think this is a very cool idea, and compared to other high-end items using wood, $100 isn’t really so much of a premium for an natural material that can’t just be mass produced in the same way plastic or metal is. I do sort of wonder about heat issues over long term use. Plus, if you really wanted to, you could carefully sand and stain the thing if you get tired of the color. I’m also curious about the finish – how does it feel in hand? It doesn’t appear to be polished so much it would be slick like plastic. I’d really like to play with one before pulling the trigger to spend that much. I do like the feel of the soft Kevlar on my old MAXX HD, but the wood is pretty cool.

    • Liderc

      “a premium for an natural material that can’t just be mass produced in the same way plastic or metal is”

      Really, metal isn’t a natural material? lol

      • Mark

        Well, Liderc, your answer is NO. Metal is not a naturally occurring material that can be directly used without major refining and processing into a man-made alloy. Wood on the other hand, grows naturally, can be harvested and must be replenished. Quite obviously, wood cannot be mass produced and molded into the shapes the same way plastic or metal can. Using your logic, plastic is also natural, since it’s produced from elements found on this planet. However, you did find a typo, so thanks for that πŸ™‚

        • Liderc

          Wood has to be processed just as much as most metals have to be, so I’m sorry but you can twist your argument all you want..it’s not true.

          • Mark

            Wow. You’re either completely ignorant of what it takes to refine metals into anything usable for manufacturing, or purposely trolling for the sake of being obstinate and contentious. Why don’t you go buy a fun little bauxite ore plant for your backyard from Home Depot (assuming you aren’t equipped for heavy mining), mix it with a little sodium hydroxide, make sure you heat it to remove all the silicon, lead, titanium, and calcium oxides, build yourself a crystallization tank to crystallize the aluminum oxide and get rid of the sodium hydrizide, then after you place the aluminum oxide in a electrolytic
            cell with molten cryolite to split it into carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and aluminum, don’t forget to refine it further by heating it again and bubbling chlorine through it to remove further impurities. How exciting. You’re STARTING to get some aluminum to use. At some point, you’ll need to melt it back down in your handy dandy rotary furnace, and cast some ingots to further work with. Eventually (if you’ve made it this far in your back yard), add some copper, magnesium, zinc and tin etc back in after refining all of those as well, in order to make a usable alloy. You probably should check with the EPA about how to dispose of gaseous and liquid waste, as well as the slag from the process, and after all of that, you can start thinking about casting your product into the shape of a phone’s inner framework. I’ve actually skipped 3 or 4 major steps to keep it simple for your backyard purposes…. OR, you could plant some bamboo that grows up to 5 feet daily, cut some, wash and dry it, and then whittle it with your pocketknife to the required shape. Ooh, don’t forget the sandpaper, that’s the really difficult part. You might not even need to water the stuff, since it grows like crazy on its own. Let me know how that all turns out for you. Further comment will only prove your ignorance, so it will be summarily ignored. Merry Christmas.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    rather have the build quality of an iphone or htc one…idk why anyone would want a wood phone

  • HarvesterX

    It’s horrible looking in ever fashion sense. No, wood nor grass does jot interest me even if it was offered on a good phone. (Y’all know my feelings about the X…I won’t go there lol).

    Introducing these this late anyways is a blatant attempt to sell off their X stock. By mid 2014 there will be the same Xs with moon rock backs on them. Then mars rocks. Then clear cases witha a hollow layer that houses the gases and atmosphere of Jupiter (that could be pretty dope, and could be done without ever going to Jupiter, but the environment here on earth would scrrw up the awesome look of the gases because of the pressure and temperature differences and would probably instakill the phone..lol Idk).

    This “ugly” gloss (actually quite nice looking and fingerprint free) on my phone looks 100 bear cubs cuter than the cases made from grass and wood.

  • B!

    If it came in a black wood finish like on the Southern Comfort conversion Yukon then yes.

  • Mike Cook

    I am up in the air on the whole wood thing thinking about how scratches and what not would look over time but I have to say the design above does look really nice.

  • gpaine

    Ah, we finally have the perfect phone for all of the one-upping suburban teenagers who get BMW’s on their sixteenth birthday.


    i would probably get this but would be more inclined to if it was an option on the hopefully soon to be modular phones. that way i would get more than 6 – 12 months out of it. and you could pull out your wood burning tool from long ago and make it a true one of a kind.

  • ali jawad

    As long as its termite proof, sure. But not really. :p

  • JoshGroff

    A wood case, maybe; a wood phone, not so much.

  • GTIguy

    I really don’t understand the obsession with wood phones on this site. It just seems so hipster and iPhoney. To each his own I guess.

    • Tony Byatt

      You clearly are not looking at the poll results…

      • GTIguy

        I was commenting on the site authors. They’re obsessed with wood phones.

  • hoosiercub88

    Yes, but I’ve already purchased my custom Moto X because I got tired of waiting, and now.. they only have one option available and I’m pretty sure the rumors swirling around the upcharge was about $50, not $100.. I don’t think a small piece of veneer, no matter how premium, is worth that much.

  • MichaelFranz

    Honestly at first i thought this was an awesome idea. but i think the fact that it took Moto so long to push it out made it not worth it. The moto maker initial exclusive to AT&T hurt and if anything they should have had them all released once moto maker went live for everyone. I think it has lost its appeal now that it is a little later in the game since the phone’s release.

    …unless your Timotato πŸ™‚

  • Kevin

    i’m not sure how much it costs to glue a piece of veneer into a plastic mold, but i can’t imagine it’s anywhere near $100.

    • Kevin

      and i realize they aren’t selling it for cost. i just imagine this is quite the margin they’re making.

    • NexusMan

      “Veneer” lol. They have to pay for the quality sourced material, the actual shaping and finishing of said material, the research and development put into making sure the material works, functions properly and still feels great, and additionally, they are not selling at cost, they still need to make a profit.

      • Kevin

        thanks for not reading my additional comment. and i’m referring to wood veneer, do you know what that is?

        • NexusMan

          I know what it is. and youre right, I didnt read your additional comment. You could have just edited the original one. I’m saying the woodbacks are more than “just a piece of wood veneer glued…”

          • Kevin

            well wood veneer is wood veneer, i doubt they invented their own special sealers and coats for it. only part i think would be that hard would be a consistent, precise cutting.

      • akhnaten

        The cost of Bamboo is close to the cost of plastic. It is the most renewable “wood” (it’s a grass) on the planet, much more so than plastic. $100 up-charge is profiteering, not reasonable at all. Look at the cost of Bamboo flooring, a little over a buck a square foot (retail) if you know where to look. The price is completely ridiculous. There is no way this adds more than $5 (in total) to cost of the phone.

  • shooter50

    The problem with Google and their phones is they announce great phones and accessories, but the accessories are never available at launch. By the time the accessories are available, the phone is half way through its life cycle and people lose interest. And before you correct me, I know this is Motorola not Google, but apparently they are following Google’s lead on accessory availability.

    • needa

      i get the feeling the x2 is going to be in the same package. so the backs will be ready for that launch. but they will probably have something else that will be coming such as metal or paper mache. which will not come until half way through.

  • Allen George

    I would consider it, but for $100 it better be something alot nicer than bamboo….

  • JRomeo

    Your missing one option in your poll. *If a wood option was available for a Nexus Device*, Then YES, but since they’re not, then no.

    • needa

      so that means you would bey a phone with a wood back. it doesnt ask if you would buy a moto x with a wood back now does it.

  • Dooberskystein

    is it termite proof?

    • Kevin

      i’d schedule regular orkin visits just to make sure.

    • akhnaten

      Bamboo is termite proof.

  • Andy Stetson


  • nabooska

    I dont even understand why they’re offering this now, or why they would even display them when they debuted the phone if they weren’t ready. Should’ve held off until the next gen Moto X

  • fauxshizzl

    I would like to see it as an option for all their future phones. But only as an option.

  • zepfloyd

    Now, why do witches burn?
    –…because they’re made of… wood?
    Good. So how do you tell whether she is made of wood?
    –Build a bridge out of her!

    • KCCO

      She turned me into a newt…but I got better… :/

  • CasperTFG

    I’d worry about the overheating….or maybe it’s just exclusive to my Gnex.

    • ToddAwesome

      not exclusive, but the GNex certainly is head of the pack!

      • needa

        the nexus 4 was pretty good also.

  • Rob

    Yes but never would I buy it for 100.00 extra. No way

  • Wyveryx

    Not sure how I would feel if my phone had more wood up time than I did….

  • Jonathan Wolf

    $100 for wood? No. Bone, yes.

  • Justin Kos

    I really dig the soft touch plastic imo

  • NexusMan


  • NexusMan

    I absolutely am interested in wood and have always been since Motorola announced it. However, unfortunately for Motorola, the wood backs are too MUCH too late. I was fully prepared to pay the rumored $600 off contract price for a wood backed Moto X, and would have even paid the $650 actual price, however, I was able to get a customized Moto X on sale last week for $400, and the wood backs are simply NOT worth $250 more to me. Had Motorola released the wood backs (and not just Bamboo) before they had that Holiday sale, they would have had a $650 paying customer out of me…now they don’t.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    more no’s than i expected.

  • Cesar

    There’s no option for “Maybe, if it didn’t cost an arm and a leg extra.”

  • Chris

    Nope. Neirther is a phone that looks like a bunch of childrens blocks.

  • No, not in the least.

  • WickedToby741

    I think the Moto X in general is just one big beta test. The second gen Moto X should theoretically launch with all of the material options that the Moto X will get over the next year and it should launch with customization available across all carriers on day one. I also see one of two things happening with the second gen Moto X: either the specs will stay roughly the same with a one year spec bump (that is to say they’ll stay midrange) and the price will drop, or the specs will jump up to flagship caliber (to match GS5 and HTC One successor) and the price will stay the same. In the MKBHD interview, Woodside indicated that they had certainly taken note of the demand for a Moto X at the holiday discount price. I think instead of fighting a spec war they’ll bump the specs to 2013 flagship levels (GS4 and HTC One) and find a way to get the price down around $349 or $399 off-contract with the price climbing for material options.

    • NexusMan

      Who wants a Moto X that is comparable to a GS 4 or HTC One? Certainly not anyone who actually owns a Moto X, because they realize the user experience of the so called “mid range specs” of the Moto X is far greater than that of those other 2 mentioned phones.

      • trumpet444

        The user experience is greater because of the near-stock android experience on the Moto X. The demand for better specs in a Moto X is to make it future proof; as in not having to replace it in a year.

        • JoshGroff

          It’s less of a have to, and more of a want to, and no phone (or technology in general) is truly future proof.

        • NexusMan

          By the way, there are “stock Android” devices that are PURE CRAP. Moto has done more than just “toss on” stock Android.

      • JoshGroff

        As someone who’s owned all 3, I can confirm this.

      • calculatorwatch

        I think that’s the point. The Moto X has “last year’s specs” (not really though), but thanks to their software enhancements performs on par or better than this years phones. So the next X will have this years specs but perform on par or better than the GS5 and HTC Two or whatever.

  • Christopher Brown

    Unless Moto offers some kind of deal to turn in your custom Moto X for a new back, I’m definitely not ordering a new one.

  • Silver Veloz

    Huh-Huh! He said “wood”


    • Dan

      heh-heh! if only it came in naughty pine.. huh-huh!!

  • Alexander H

    For less than 100, sure – having a non splintering wood backed phone would be cool. Bamboo is great for sustainability and not splintering – but $100 is a bit much. It’s the ultimate “different” phone and would let those who love wood show it on their phone. Depending on who you ask it’s either classy or hipster or a blend of two times never meant to clash.

    • trumpet444

      Sustainability? Do you live in a bamboo constructed house? Does anyone? And do you seriously think that logging companies aren’t interested in replacing their sources? That would be suicide if they weren’t. Please do some research before spitting out bumper sticker lines.

      • James the giant peach

        Dear uninformed citizen: bamboo is not technically wood, it is grass. It grows in feet per week and can be sustainably harvested multiple times per year vs wood at once per decade to 15+ years. It’s not lumber, clearly.

      • Alexander H

        Bamboo is a grass….it grows at a rate up to feet per day and is a very sustainable source like hemp is for fiber. Timber and bamboo aren’t interchangeable, and for most people it is clear that bamboo isn’t meant to replace logs (it is hollow too).

  • Turner

    I would have however many months ago it was when it came out, but with no foreseeable timetable for moto maker on Verizon, what was the point in holding my breath? I love my white MotoX and it’s got ok at this point. But it was also my last Verizon phone so, meh…. tl;dr yes to the wood back, MotoX rollout sucked, verizon sucks

  • Michael Quinlan

    It’s a ridiculous offering. I jumped on the Cyber Monday deal, scoring a gsm developer edition for $400. If it had been available only with a wooden back, I would have passed.

  • Jon

    Is there really a lot of demand for the would trim or was it just posted on tech blogs so often that it seemed like a lot of people (in comparison to the total people wanting a Moto X) wanted it?

  • sk3litor

    No thanks professor. I’d rather be playing show and tell with Mary Ann while Giligin and the skipper fashion some sort of flotation device

  • SookRam

    Only so I can say, “You’ve got to my my wood!” and see their face when I reach into my pocket.

  • Looks like the inside of a double wide. Would prefer to be able to choose the metal for an extra $100, wouldn’t even think of paying 100 bucks for cheap looking wood.

  • omgitzjose

    as nice as they look i feel the same way i feel about leather covers. they fade change and arnt resistant to water and the elements. id be worried about water damage and the wood chipping

  • TheDrunkenClam

    Not trying to take shots at anyone but I feel like this is just kind of a fad.
    Just not for me. But the idea is very unique so I could see why it draws interest.

  • Bryan Burch

    Does the wood include root privilege?

    • Sirx

      You did it there. And I saw it…

      • Bryan Burch

        It’s important that each time you reach into your pocket and grab your wood, that it be a tool you have full control over.

  • Blue Sun

    Yes, I was interested 4 months ago, but I got sick of waiting.

  • Kisuk3

    I hope they incorporate wood on future devices because at this rate by the time they release all four, the Moto X will be old news

  • Sean Bello

    I would, but not for $100 extra. for $100, I’d rather have my choice of metal.

  • Rodeojones000

    Not interested, even a little. So very, very ugly.

    To each his own though.

  • C C

    cool idea … but i think it would just look like you put a cheesy wood grain sticker on your phone

  • Daniel J. Peters

    I voted that I am interested, but not for an additional $100. No, not at all then.

  • joejoe5709

    Yawn… I almost always put a case on my phone so a wood case would appeal to me much more. Same goes for Moto’s Kevlar.

  • if its for looks and tickles ur pickle, go for it. but i can’t fade the $100……

  • jimt

    I think they might have sold a bunch at $100 if they were available when the phone sold and if you had a choice of wood. Wood for a Moto-x now seems to me like putting wood on a phone that is almost last year. How long will you keep the phone before a new phone comes out?

  • Raikou

    I only saw, “Does a Wood interest you?”

  • Jaime Kerr

    Silly gimmick.

    • NexusMan

      So is fingerprint scanning. And Look away to pause. And knock to wake. And….

      • Caleb Shahamat

        Knock to wake is def not a gimmick. I use it every time I wake my G2. Couldn’t imagine not having it!

  • Matt Lang

    Yes, but not for $100 luxury tax for a wood phone

  • Trysta

    Thank you for this poll. Apparently despite all the hoopla about wood the vast majority simply have no interest. You would literally have to pay me money to use a phone that had wood as part of its aesthetic design. I like wood. Just not on electronics. It looks really tacky IMHO.

    Of course if you do like a wood backed phone power to you. Just not my cup of tea πŸ™‚

    • NexusMan

      Less than half is not “the vast majority.”

  • AbbyZFresh

    It did at first. But at $100 is a deal breaker.

  • Michael

    I like the idea of different materials, but I already have a Moto X and don’t want this.

  • TC Infantino

    I think it might be cool, with the right kind of wood. It would also have to be laquered with many layers to protect it and keep it looking good. I would not be interested if it cost an extra $100 though, I would pay an extra $50. But I believe Ebony, or Rosewood would look great.

  • a) youth.in.asia

    What’s to say that when you’re hardcore gaming that your wood panel doesn’t get really hot and catch fire?

    • TC Infantino

      It would take more than the 150* that my Rezound got up to on its hottest to spontaniously combust wood. That’s not to say that the rare instance of battery malfunction wouldn’t happen. Considering that I have read a couple of articles about phones with regular backs catching fire or melting due to a battery meltdown.

      • Nate Bousfield

        150? That’s impressive.

        • TC Infantino

          LOL Yep, seriously hot. I had 2 warranty replacements for overheating, with the extended battery. Usually when I was playing a game or watching a video. It got so hot you wouldn’t want to even consider picking it up and holding it. I loved the Rezound, once I got one that didn’t try to cook my hand.

          • trumpet444

            mine would do the same. the touch buttons at the bottom would get so hot i couldn’t use them

  • sc4fpse

    I never understood what was so appealing about wood backs to everyone. It looks really unnatural. I mean, I guess there’s something to be said for looking unique (after all, that’s one thing Motorola has really been pushing, what with the hipster ads and all), but this is just a little excessive. It just looks weird, and not in a good way. And to then pay $100 to look weird in a bad way? Say whaa?

    • WickedToby741

      Metal is premium feeling but looks cold (describing the way it looks, not the actual temperature of the material). Plastic is warmer in the looks department, but often feels less premium than other materials. Wood is both warm and premium feeling plus it’s unique. The downside to wood can be durability, but we’ll have to see how these hold up.

      • NexusMan

        Metal also DOES feel cold (the actual temperature), when used in the cold.

      • NexusMan

        Down votes. LOL. As if that is not a FACT.

      • evereste

        Wood wears well, patina and aesthetic improve with age…

    • blix247

      Definitely not appealing to everyone. But for people who are sick of one black slab phone after another, this is a welcome change. I picked one of these up today for that reason. I don’t think Motorola expects to sell a ton of these, I think its more about establishing themselves as an innovator. These things are going to be conversation starters, and whether or not people like the look I don’t think anyone would argue that its not innovative and different. I want to support the kind innovation that the Moto X has, to show manufacturers that we’re looking for more than a phone thats a half inch larger and 20% faster than last year’s model.

    • calculatorwatch

      I think it looks pretty cool, and I definitely like the uniqueness of it (I am a bit of a hipster after all). But I was having trouble justifying the extra $50 for one so for $100 I will definitely pass.

      Personally I think the price is just Moto’s way of keeping the demand down though, since their production is obviously pretty limited. If they ever really get a handle on how to mass produce these I’m sure the price would drop down to $50.

    • j

      Buys unique wood phone.
      Immediately slaps case on it.

  • tyguy829

    Where’s “Yes, but not for $100 extra.” I would maybe do $50 tops…

    • gtg465x

      Yup. I might do $100 extra if the Moto X was more futureproof and I thought I would be sticking with it for a couple years. I love my Moto X, but the processor, screen, and camera leave plenty of room for improvement, so I’m sure I’ll be upgrading to next year’s Moto X if something else doesn’t tempt me before that. If it had a Snapdragon 800, a 1080p screen, or even just a 720p screen with more accurate colors, and the camera from the Lumia 1520 or maybe even the iPhone 5S, I might feel more confident about not feeling the need to upgrade next year and might be more OK with investing in a wood back.

      • NexusMan

        My Moto is speedy, it’s LTE is fast, the radios are amazing, my screen is beautiful and my pics are great.

        • Guest

          Stop being in denial, there’s no arguing that it’s specs and camera can’t be improved

          • turdbogls

            specs aren’t everything man….they might be if moto threw on “moto blur” of years past, but this is basically stock android….the phone flies. it is just slightly slower than my N5 during every day tasks…this is on KK
            camera…..yeah, could be better, but at least its quick unlike my Nexus 5’s

            I am a spec whore to the fullest, but saying the Moto X is underpowered is a pretty ignorant statement….and makes me think that you have never used the phone for more than a couple seconds in the store. If i didn’t have a Nexus 5 to compare it to, I would for sure consider it a top end phone.

          • shooter50

            underpowered is relative. Compared to the G2 or Note 3 the Moto X is definitely not in the same league. That doesn’t make it a bad phone. In fact it’s quite nice.

          • Adrynalyne

            The sad thing is, the Note 3 isn’t as smooth (jank free) as the Moto X.

          • turdbogls

            True….. but when i hear underpowered, i think of Lag and hesitations happening more often than not in the UI….and this just isn’t the case with the Moto X. I was mearly stating that “guest” is either very special, or just a huge Troll

          • NexusMan

            I own it. I use it. I see it. And I love it. I know what I see and experience. There’s no denial there. And no need to deny. I am not on Google or Moto’s PR team. If my experience, including photos, was anything short of fantastic, I would return it and get something else. Seems like you’re the one in denial.

        • Tanuj Chokshi

          Everything you say is true except for the camera lol

          • NexusMan

            Again, honestly, pics I’ve taken on my camera look great. Maybe it’s the settings and lighting conditions I’ve been in, but others who know nothing of the phone, have said the same thing…commenting on how “great the pictures look.” (By the way, my best pics are taken in HDR Mode). And of course, my phone has all of the latest updates.

    • Guest

      I remember one of the leaks about the wood pricing being $50 extra. Too bad that didn’t happen. Maybe when they release the other wood options will the price drop.

    • nialvano

      You got it sir. Just picked up a ‘plastic’ back for $350 – think I can deal with a plastic for ~300 less. I applaud the Goorola decision to enrich their product with software and not just off the shelf hardware. Not to belittle the other flagships out there just prefer Motoogle’s design choices.

    • Tanuj Chokshi

      My thoughts exactly

    • Snowbo13

      agreed 100% wood phone for the same price or 50$ more and I am possible in after seeing durability. I know some dings might happen but it could be pretty cool. I want to see someone do more then just the back out of wood also.