At the end of 2013, we called the Moto X the best phone of the year. Even though it had a pretty terrible camera and a not-even-close-to-class-leading display, the overall package of software features, size and feel, quick updates, and customizability through MotoMaker made it the phone to have, at least in our opinion. But here we are, weeks away from the unveiling of the new version, whether that ends up being called Moto X+1 or new Moto X or something else, you can imagine how excited we are to see what Motorola has in-store.
Still, Motorola needs to step their game up even further if they want to hold onto that “best phone of the year” title. The LG G3 is currently topping the charts (our review), with the OnePlus One and HTC One (M8) close behind it.
There are some specific things we would love to see Motorola address in order to make the next Moto X an amazing phone. Here are five of them.
A Better Camera
I used the original Moto X more than any other phone released last year. Loved almost every moment with it. I can also tell you that I went through a period where I took very few pictures and was scared to share anything on Instagram. The camera on the Moto X really is as bad as Ron makes it sound regularly on the DL Show. Motorola may have built in a handy wrist-twisting gesture to quickly access the phone’s shooter, but the lack of detail, consistency, and quality in the photos taken were a major disappointment, even after a handful of supposed software fixes were issued.
In the new Moto X, Motorola better get the camera right. I can’t tell you the last time that Motorola put a good camera in one of their phones, but now is the time to change that. Almost anyone who has used a Moto X loves it, except anyone who has used it will also tell you how terrible its camera is. Fix that, Moto, and you may yet again have the best phone on the planet.
A Better Display
I can live with a sub-par display for the most part. Hell, I’m using an LG G3 and love it. But the 720p AMOLED panel used in the original Moto X just wasn’t very good. Clearly, Motorola went with AMOLED technology so that their Active Display could be used without draining battery, but the quality needs to be stepped up this year. Last year’s panel was often too yellow, too warm, and lacked the crispness seen in the 1080p panels used by HTC and Samsung. I’m not saying that Motorola needs to match the best-in-class AMOLED used by Samsung in the Galaxy S5, but let’s see if we can’t get close.
The new Moto X is rumored to have a 5.2-inch 1080p display, which is pushing the limits in terms of being a manageable one-handed phone like last year’s Moto X. However, if the quality and color accuracy can step up a notch, you won’t see me complain about the added size.
Bring Back a Bunch of the Same
While Motorola needs to improve the camera and display of the new Moto X, the rest should go mostly unchanged. In the new version, I want it to feel as good in hand as the original. The general design also shouldn’t change, as it was one of the most attractive phones of the past couple of years. There was something special to the original Moto X in terms of size and appearance. Motorola wanted to make a phone that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand that was also capable of being used with that same single hand. Moto avoided the bigger-is-better-so-lets-make-this-next-phone-massive trend that all other manufacturers bought into starting last year, and we appreciated them for it.
I also want to see Motorola continue to focus on making their phones tell me information or let me access it without much work. Features like Active Display, Touchless Control, and the twisting camera shortcut better all return. These three features helped shape the Moto X into the best phone of last year, so if Motorola can bring them all back with slight improvements here or there, we may even be able to overlook a potentially sub-par camera. OK, that might be a lie.
Last year, Motorola screwed up big time by exclusively releasing one of the most important features of the Moto X for two months to AT&T. I am talking about MotoMaker, Motorola’s customization process for the Moto X that allowed you and I to make a phone that was all ours. With the new Moto X, Motorola better open up MotoMaker to all carrier variants from day one. We aren’t exactly sure how MotoMaker is going to work going forward, since they closed the Texas plant that pumped out custom devices, but since Motorola assured us that MotoMaker is here to stay, this needs to happen.
On the day that the new Moto X becomes available, I want to order a custom-made device that day, off-contract, on my carrier of choice. Waiting two months again would only hurt the launch, annoy loyal Motorola customers, and give customers from carriers who aren’t a part of the exclusive to look elsewhere, at devices like the LG G3.
Make My Life Even Easier
When Motorola showed me Active Display, Touchless Control, and quick action camera at least year’s press unveiling, I’ll stop short of saying that my mind was blown, but it was close. After playing with any of these three options for any amount of time, you could tell that your life with a smartphone was going to be easier. Information was there when you needed it, yet you didn’t have to press a button. You could ask it commands without ever even having to wake your phone. You could even launch your camera from sleep-to-camera-open in a matter of seconds, again, without ever pressing a button.
While I don’t know what Motorola can do to add to this suite and make my life even easier, I want them to. Make it even easier, please, Motorola. Whether that be through some sort of combination of the phone talking through the Moto 360 to new Bluetooth accessories teased in your press invite to showing more information through Active Display, impress me again.
Those are my five, now it’s your turn. What can Motorola do to the new Moto X to make it your next phone?