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Moto X With a Walnut Finish: First Look

Our custom made Moto X with a Walnut finish has arrived, so as is typical around these parts, we took it for a spin on camera to let you see and hear our thoughts on it. As one may have expected after seeing our Bamboo unboxing, we are pleased with the results. A real wood back with custom accents, on the phone that our staff unanimously gave “phone of the year” in 2013 to. How can you beat that? 

As many of you know, the new options for “Natural” backs went live at the beginning of the week for a $25 up-charge over standard MotoMaker made devices. We placed our order immediately when they became available, so that’s not a bad turn-around from order to arrival if you consider the wood backs being used. And again, these are real wood backs that have been finished to look like Ebony, Teak, and Walnut.

Also, Motorola is hosting a 1-hour sale for the Moto X on Monday, January 27, where you can pick up the phone for $100 off its current price. In case you need help with the math, that brings the 16GB version down to $299 off-contract. Tack on another $25 to that and you can get one made with a wood finish.

So what’s special about this device? Well, it looks pretty – there is no doubt in our minds there. The dark and medium wood colors on the Walnut finish blend perfectly with the black color choices that Tim made for this unit. It feels as amazing as any normal Moto X, but you can that there is something different, something premium going on. While you aren’t going to feel a big knot on your phone, the wood texture is still apparent.

Check it out below.

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  • Stephen Lammers

    How’s the grip with the wood backing? More or less slippery than normal Moto X?

  • morgan boyle

    just ordered this phone with a Silver accent.

  • Daistaar

    Interesting that someone just went and downvoted every comment here. Is there no limit to the number of downvotes a user can give per page?

  • Sara Jack
  • Sara Jack

    my best collection videos

  • chris_johns

    i love my black and red moto x(my two fav colors) but damn do i want ebony with silver or red accents like right flippin now

  • chris_johns

    hows the dimple…is it noticeably less noticable

    • blix247

      My wife has the standard plastic and I have the bamboo, they are noticeably different. The plastic feels deeper with more defined edges.

  • jm9843

    Are there any pictures of a wood backed Moto X with the custom signature option? I’m wondering if the signature is done in silver similar to the Moto & carrier logos in the back?

  • Dave S.

    I love my Nexus 5, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit jealous of these wood finishes for the Moto X.

  • needa
  • Travis

    Would buy if I wasnt building a car right now…

  • Dave Whyte

    Curious, any reason you chose the AT&T model over the unlocked GSM model? I thought the Unlocked GSM model had all the AT&T radios in it.

    • capecodcarl

      The unlocked GSM model doesn’t have the beautiful deathstar logo on the back of it. I had to silkscreen my own logo onto my developer edition phone so people knew what carrier I was on.

  • Orion

    Yeah walnut looks the best IMO.

    • needa

      it is a beautiful phone. i hope the backs hit ebay soon. i really want one on my phone.

  • Red Colored Glasses

    For those that have the wood finish, what is your opinion on durability?

    • Nikuliai

      some guy above said he was playing with the phone, it fell to concrete and hold up like a champ, so I guess it’s pretty good

    • blix247

      Same as the plastic version, or at least it feels that way. I sure don’t want to find out, but I get the impression a chip on the back of this might not look so bad anyways. I guess it all depends if the wood below the surface is off color.

  • NexusMan

    Really odd. I saw another unboxing, online, of the Walnut and not only is the pattern different (to be expected) but the packaging is different. The M logo on the box sits atop a walnut colored wood circle, and when the lid is removed, the inside of the box is trimmed in “wood.”

  • Gabe Kiever

    Anyone know if Moto charges NYS sales tax?

    • NexusMan

      Yes they do.

  • Ry Sav

    annddd….. mess in my pants….

  • xyzlene

    Ha! Tim’s phone, and Kellex does the review. Tato is such an arrogant idiot. Good that the rest of the team holds down d.life.

    • You act like we don’t read these comments. Arrogant? Yeah, maybe at times. Idiot? About what? Feel free to talk trash right to me. I’m sure you can find my email if you care that much.

      • chris_johns

        get him

      • Go get em, Tim! 😀

    • Philip J. Fry

      How about you stop being a little baby b!tch and post under a real username.

  • Aaron


  • Liderc

    Maybe I need to see these in person, because to me they look like those cheap laminated desks that Staples sells.

  • joejoe5709

    Good God that is the most gorgeous phone I’ve ever seen. Makes me want to check out some wood cases for my phone!

    A phone with this sort of inlay would probably be my ultimate material choice. Absolutely stunning and professional. http://www.fourtitude.com/news/publish/Audi_News/article_7687.shtml

  • Pedro

    Motorola needs to offer the Dev edition as a software option. Any hardware, any software.

    Mr. Woodside, I’ll buy a dev edition wood back tomorrow. And, if you get the next year’s Nexus, you damn sure better run it through MotoMaker. Black/White is a long wanted option, but not enough. Give me a phone with some type of Nexus branding. And everything else should be the same options I get if on any carrier.

    • Nikuliai

      Get a wood phone, write Nexus X on the back… profit

      btw what’s the big deal on the dev edition?, it’s not like root is that relevant anymore, I mean I have one and I love the fact I can root but I actually haven’t yet cuz the only reason I would root its if I’m gonna go play with domotic again (rooted tasker) :B (I didn’t mention roms cuz let’s be honest, who wants to change a rom that works excellent)

      • Larizard

        Xposed + GravityBox

        • Sean Elliott

          Does Xposed + GravityBox work with GEL? I’m really considering using it with my N5 but I do really like stock and how smooth and fast is is all the time

          • Jeff C


          • Sean Elliott

            Thanks! Gonna look into putting it on tonight

      • Raven

        Titanium Backup, Autostarts, and Greenify are 3 must haves for me on any phone, let alone having full file system access that lets me enable the hidden blinking green charging LED among other things.


    How can you beat that? How about NOT a mid-range spec’d phone. How about that.

    • NexusMan

      Iron Troll

  • dk1golf

    I want one!

  • anezarati

    i see you guys are going for the MKBHD pans over devices during your videos recently. i honestly liked your older videos better, i guess i am more straight to the point. leave the artsy stuff to other guys.

  • dannyWHITE

    Tim doesn’t even get to do an unboxing to his own phone!? For shame Kellen!

    • EC8CH

      Kellen putting his hand all over Tim’s wood.

      Droid-Life After Dark.

  • EC8CH

    Looks great, but anyone on a Verizon Corporate account… No wood for you!

    Apparently there is no way to order a wood back as an upgrade on a line tied to a corporate account. WTF?

  • jbdan

    Looks a lot better than the bamboo! imo

  • Tyler Davis

    I got my ebony w/ silver accents today. It’s gorgeous. 🙂

    • Guest


      • Rick Lopez

        The thing about wood IMO is it get better with age, oil, scratches and scuff are only going to add character. With a plastic or a metal phone dings and scratches just make it look old and used up. I really would like to see how these look a year from now.

    • Tyler Davis


      • Tim242

        That looks so much better than the lighter colors.

        • Tyler Davis

          I took that right by a window, too. It looks a bit darker in normal indoor lighting. I’m very happy with it! The silver accents look good with the silver M.

        • EC8CH

          I agree with you there… That pic makes ebony look like the best of the bunch

      • Michael C.

        Can we get a pic of the front too please? Did you get black or white front?

        • Tyler Davis

          The front is black, it really looks no different from the plastic backed options. Laying face up you can’t see any of the wood at all.

          • Michael C.

            ahh okay. yeah I was trying to see if the white front gives you white sides as well or if it will be black so I wanted to know what color front you have. thanks!

          • Tyler Davis

            Pretty sure from looking at it on motomaker, you can’t changes those sides, gotta choose a matching front.

          • Tyler Davis

            One difference, the dimple in the back for the M logo is shallower on the wood than the plastic version. I liked running my fingertip over that, and this one you can barely feel.

      • Tyler Davis

        Motorola, thanks for giving us the option for a unique, high-end device! Keep it up!

        • Larizard


          • Brian Himes

            Top Build Quality and performance that is as fast if not faster than other android phones. Pure specs are meaningless if the phone can’t really use them.

      • Ooh that is gorgeous. Nice choice with the silver too.

      • joejoe5709

        Silver looks really nice.

      • NexusMan

        O man, that IS gorgeous. Arghhh! Don’t know what to do. Keep going back and forth between Walnut and Ebony! I had finally pretty much made up my mind, and then I see this pic of your phone! Out of curiosity, what do you think of the Walnut in comparison?

        • Tyler Davis

          Thanks! I like how the Walnut looks in the photos above. I like the direction of the grain on that example especially. I still would make the same choice though.

          Personally, I shied away from the walnut because it reminded me of 80’s electronics with the fake Walnut finishes… I was deciding between Teak and Ebony. I decided darker was better. My original Moto X was black front/white back/silver accents and I didn’t really get used to the light back.

          Hope that helps in your decision making process! Definitely get one, whatever you do! You’ll love your phone that much more and you’ll be supporting the continuation of this type of product option in the future.

      • AngryBadger

        Fantastic picture of the ebony option. Thanks for posting one up!

      • Brian Himes

        I ordered the same exact combo!

    • Guest

      picture please!

  • Colin Huber


    • Tim will survive. 😛

      • Nikuliai

        will survive enough to get revenge? :B

    • EdubE24

      I thought the same thing…

  • knobularlife


  • qudwls6933

    would water change or damage the wood back plate since it is a real wood?

    • EC8CH

      Don’t set your beer on it without a coaster.

      • NexusMan

        The phone IS the coaster.

  • wills96

    I’m about to buy almost the same thing, but now I’ve got to wait til Monday…

    • For sure wait, that deal is ridiculously good.

  • Michael C.

    hmm in the moto maker, does choosing the white front also make the sides white (minus the buttons) like in the bamboo picture you have above? Cause I was thinking about ebony with white front and orange accents, but it looks ugly if the sides are still black

    • NexusMan

      No. The sides stay black on Walnut and Ebony and they stay white on Bamboo and Teak, which is why I ruled out Bamboo, because I want a black front and I don’t like the look of the two tone sides.

  • John Legere

    That’s some nice wood

    • Tex

      and that’s what she said….

      • John Legere

        Of course she said that. She wouldn’t be saying it to anybody else 😉

  • Walnut with black front and black accents! Beautiful! I got the same design saved in my account looking for money to buy it.

  • Philip J. Fry

    That sealed the deal, Walnut is absolutely beautiful.

    • Nikuliai

      Check the ebony that Tyler David posted, it’s freaking sexy (but yeah, I agree, Motorola did a great job on those finishes)

  • Bryan Burch

    Do. Want.

  • Pedro

    Does this have the dimple on the back under the batwings? It’s hard to tell from the video.

    • Gr8Ray

      It looks like it in the photo gallery, below the video. But it looks a little softer around the edges of the dimple.

    • The natural backs all have a dimple, it’s just not as pronounced as on the plastic/standard backs.

  • paticao

    how’s the wood with the scratches and dings? does it look bad?

    • Mike_Cook7

      Wow I really like this looks great. I agree though I am concerned about the scratches and cracking if dropped at all. Big seller for the clear case.

      • DJ SPY

        I dropped my bamboo one and nothing happened to the wood. Even though it did about 100 flips on the air until it landed on concrete.

      • Tim242

        You are going to cover the wood with a plastic case?????????? SMH!

        • EC8CH

          Samsung troll.

          • Tim242

            You just proved yourself as the troll. I commented above about how nice it looks. Then I just scoffed at the idea of covering the nice wood with plastic
            Bow down troll.

          • EC8CH

            Yeah… I missed the part where the OP mentioned it selling clear cases…

            I’ve still read lots of your posts and suspect you have a bias toward samsung products for some reason.

          • Tim242

            The last 3 phones I have owned have been Samsung. The 5 prior to that were HTC. As of right now, I prefer Samsung. If Moto puts out a thinner Moto X, with a bigger display, and better camera…I’d buy it in a heartbeat

          • EC8CH

            Just curious why thinner is such a big deal?

            Moto X is the most ergonomic phone I’ve ever felt. It’s thickness and curved back feel perfect to me.

          • Tim242

            I just like thin flat slabs. I’d be OK with a little extra thickness if they put a bigger battery in there.

        • NexusMan

          My thoughts exactly.

    • EC8CH

      It ages like fine mahogany.

      • FINE MAHOGANY! Actually, my Bamboo back is holding up nicely. No big dings or scuffs to report.

  • Walnut looks darker than it appears on Motomaker. Wonder how dark the Ebony is then?

    • Dan Maldonado

      Supa dark. I thought the same.

    • Tyler Davis


      • EC8CH


      • That is my next.

      • Nikuliai

        Man I hate you, just when I was starting to get used to my stormtrooper (dev edition) Moto X… 🙁

        God it looks sexy 😛

        • Tyler Davis

          Thanks! Funny you mention it, I call my other Moto X a stormtrooper. I went with black front/white back/silver accents, what did you get?

          • Nikuliai

            Same, Black Front + White Back + Silver Accents, I mean I know the phone is gorgeous, but I’ve never been a fan of white phones (they actually got my order wrong, and I bought it and a friend brought it to my country, so when I figured out the order wasn’t what I asked it was way too late rofl), so I’m in the “getting used to it” phase… but Motorola keeps throwing those phones in front of my face :/ rofl

            Congrats on your new phone. Btw why do you have 2 X’s? :S

          • Tyler Davis

            Thanks! I got the stormtrooper during the first $350 (no contract) sale, last month. It looked like the wood backs weren’t going to happen at the time, so I settled for that.

            Once they announced the wood backs were ready I just couldn’t resist. I will try to find a good home for my stormtrooper now. 🙂

          • Nikuliai

            Hahah yeah that was a really good deal, I tried to buy one but Moto was only taking visas from the US so I was screwed, I got mine on Amazon for $405 (brand new), but it was a dev edition so it was a pretty good deal too.

            Gonna go to sleep now, c ya!, enjoy the sexy phone ^-^

  • AbbyZFresh

    Looks kind of ugly. I rather stick with the bamboo.

    • Philip J. Fry

      Even if you don’t like it, it’s far from ugly.

    • That’s like, your opinion, man….

      Someone throw in a Lebowski meme for me! 😛

      • PhillipCun

        It’s not ugly… but for some reason I like the bamboo one a little more. maybe its because the grain is more uniform on bamboo.

        • Nikuliai

          Bamboo: Classy Lady
          Walnut and Ebony: Sexy Ladies

          it’s a matter of taste, I would love any of those, but the Ebony with silver accents that Tyler posted is absolutely gorgeous

      • Philip J. Fry


      • Adrynalyne
      • Scott Smith

        Dammit Tim! Don’t encourage them! 🙂

    • Tim242

      The bamboo is ugly.

      • Hey now! I like my Bamboo. 😛

        • Tim242

          What I meant to say is that the Bamboo is slightly less attractive than the darker finishes. 😛

          But…you also liked that yellow/green version : /

          • NexusMan

            Hey, I liked that yellow/green version too!

      • hamsandwich77

        I was super excited about these backs. I ordered the bamboo as soon as it came out because I couldn’t wait any longer. When it arrived I was really disappointed because it appeared to have a darkish-greenish color around the top and bottom edges. It didn’t look that way in the promotional photos so I sent it back for a new one. The new one came and it had the same darkish-greenish coloring at the top and bottom. I guess it’s because the bamboo is thin and the darker electronics underneath are showing through. Anyway, I sent that one back too and now I’m waiting for the walnut. Hope it looks as awesome as the ones I’ve seen online.

  • Damn, I knew I should have waited. Grr.

  • Seems Nice. Still hate the 4.7″ screen

    • AbbyZFresh

      Only if you have large hands. If you don’t, get a Note 3.

      • KOBALT

        Or a G2

      • Sankyou

        Exactly. Lebron can use a note 3 because he could crush your skull with his hands. I could crush a clementine with mine so I’ll stick to the X!

    • Grayson Carr

      This is sad. People hate the Moto X because it has a 4.7 inch screen? 4.3 was considered hilariously large when the Evo 4G came out three and a half years ago, and then people complained that the Galaxy Nexus was too big with a 4.65 inch screen two years ago. What in the world happened that 4.7 inches is suddenly not only small, but so small that people hate it?!?!

      • AbbyZFresh

        I have a Moto X and it’s about the same size feel as the iPhone. I suspect most of these people complaining are Galaxy, LG and HTC users.

      • Trevor

        Personally, I think 4.7 inches is the perfect screen size. My Nexus 5 is just a hair too big for my tastes.

      • NexusMan

        People hate it because they are not used to seeing a phone with that size of screen, designed so beautifully, that the phone itself remains so small and compact. The Moto X has tiny bezels, is thin, short and compact, yet boasts the size of screen of others phones much bigger. Hence, people “think” it’s too small, instead of realizing it’s designed and engineered incredibly well.