Hands-On: MOTO X
Motorola claims the new MOTO X was made just for you. It is a curious phone that offers useful new software features and some compelling hardware options. Here is Phone Scoop's first look.
The MOTO X is the first handset built from the ground up by the combined Google-Motorola entity. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said both companies sat down as soon as Google finished acquiring Motorola in May 2012 to begin work on this device. In other words, this is the first real device to come from the new Googlorola complex.Motorola's Rick Osterloh walked us through Google's thinking in crafting this new phone, and it is an interesting tale to tell.
First, the size and shape. Motorola wanted to make a device that is as comfortable as possible to hold. The company measured thousands of hands to come up with what it says is the "average human hand." It then created the basic size of the device, which includes a curved back surface so it fits better in the hand. "People's hands aren't flat, so why should their phone be flat," posted Osterloh. The curved surface will look familiar to anyone who's used the HTC One. It is comfortable, no doubt. The edges are tapered, which cuts down on the width along the outer rim of the phone. It helps that the MOTO X is also fairly thin and light, thanks in part to the materials used to build the phone. Speaking of which, Motorola says the back panel is made from a "composite." It refused to call the material "plastic." It feels like plastic to me, as does the front, which has a nice, beveled look so that there's no sharp corner where the side of the phone meets the display.
Speaking of which, the screen measures 4.7-inches across the diagonal and has a disappointing 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. I was really hoping for a full HD display. The MOTO X uses an AMOLED panel and it certainly looks good. There's nothing wrong with it, as far as my eyes are concerned, though viewing angles weren't as steep as I'd like them to be. Colors were rich and text/images still looked sharp. Some may be put-out that it's not a 1080p screen, though. Motorola said that it decided on the screen size after determining how big the entire device would be. It then stuck the biggest screen it could in the form factor it devised. That's why it has a 4.7-inch screen rather than a 5-inch screen.
The controls are laid out simply. There are no buttons along the left edge of the phone. The screen lock button and volume toggle are both placed on the right edge. There are a bit thin, but they have an excellent profile and are easy to find and use. The screen lock button has great travel and feedback but the volume toggle's action could be a bit more well defined. The stereo headphone jack is on the top and the microUSB port is on the bottom.
The MOTO X has a built-in 2200mAh battery. The X cannot be opened, so the battery is inaccessible. There's also no memory expansion, you're stuck with either 16GB or 32GB. Some people might be disappointed with these features, or, more accurately, the lack of these features, but it's par for the course for a smartphone these days — especially one being marketed by Google.
Overall, I like the feel of the device, though it certainly does have the high-quality appeal of either the HTC One or iPhone 5. Whatever Motorola wants to call the materials, they feel like plastic, and that means they don't have a premium feel to them. They don't feel cheap, not by any stretch, but you can tell they aren't the best polycarbonates ever. The back surface is matte, which I like, and the front is glossy.
Under the skin, you'll find very middle-of-the-road specs in the MOTO X. It is obvious that the X shares the bulk of its components with the recently-announced DROIDs for Verizon Wireless. It has the same 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with the X8 architecture for extra GPU and sensor-monitoring oomph. It also has the same 10-megapixel / 2-megapixel camera set-up, with LED flash and 1080p HD video capture.
In all, the hardware is very good, but well short of excellent. However, there's a lot more to the MOTO X than the hardware.
I'm totally confused
(And although many cases are lame, there are some pretty damn cool ones out there for the iPhone.)
Or, to sum it up with more direct competition, the Galaxy lets you peel off the back cover and put on a new one at will.
No microSD and None Removable Battery = BAD
I've already almost maxed out my current 32Gb microSD card and need to buy a 64Gb one. And with phones lacking a microSD slot, you have to share the memory with applications and system resources.
And Cloud Storage isn't a viable alternative since a fast network connection isn't always available. Plus, since most carriers no longer have unlimited data plans, you would have to PAY to access YOUR OWN content (pictures, videos, music, documents) via the Cloud.
Great for the Carriers. Not so great for the customers.
Where is it an advantage to a consumer to spend 700-900 dollars on a phone that you can't service or replace the weakest link?
I've been to...
Should be $99 with a contract
I was surprised at the specs, which are nearly identical to the N4 (which has been out for almost a year).
If Moto had S4 / HTC One specs on this device, it would have been worth the hype. Now, not so ...
Was hoping this might be an Android to get me back into Androids.
I expected less
I fully expected this phone with all of its mid-range specs and Woodside's comments to be in the $0-99 on contract and $299-$349 outright. Google does a good job of delivering value for money with the Nexus line. Why they aren't following the same path with this phone is beyond me. I fully expect that when iSupply or one of the others does a teardown on the X phone, it will have a BOM price at least 20% less than an iPhone/SGS4/HTC M7. If that's the case, then I guess Google's mantra of not being evil doesn...
Man, this phone sucks...
want excitement? wait for Samsung!
they always put new features in their newest phones!
I dont know - this phone just.. doesn't look right. There is something about it that just makes it completley unappealing to me. Anybody else think this phone is just plain ugly?