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printed November 26, 2014
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Hands-On: MOTO X

Hardware Software Moto Maker Comments  19  

MOTO MAKER is the customization tool being introduced by Google that allows people (just AT&T customers) to completely customize their MOTO X. It's super neat. MOTO MAKER is a web site tool that is easy to use and walks you through all the options for customizing the device.

For example, there are two front panels from which people can choose, black or white. There are 14 different shades that can be picked for the back panel. There the back panel of the plain black or white models is a Kevlar-like composite, the custom panels are a resin, or polycarbonate. They all have a matte finish. Motorola will eventually offer wooden back panels, but not until later this year. The wooden back panels are especially appealing. They are contoured and fitted in the MOTO X's frame just like the resin back panels.

 

Moto Maker

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

After you've selected a front/back panel combination, you can then customize the accents on the device. Basically, you can choose the color of the buttons and the color of the camera module. It adds a bit of flash to the design and helps the other colors stand out.

Last, you can choose to add a signature to the back panel. The signature can be anything you want. Google said that in its research, most people chose to put their own email address on the back in case the device is lost. You can put whatever text you want on the back surface, however.

Perhaps the best part of MOTO MAKER isn't the neat customization options, though: it's the price. It's free. It doesn't cost anything extra to custom-order a MOTO X. All U.S.-bound MOTO X handsets are assembled at a new plant in Ft. Worth, Texas. According to Motorola, the plant is able to build and ship most customized phones in four days or less, based on the availability of components. The 16GB model costs $199 and the 32GB model costs $249.

 

Colors

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Sadly, this awesome feature will only be available for AT&T customers. Google hinted that other carriers might be able to offer custom designs in the future, but wouldn't say anything definite.

Last, of course Motorola has teamed up with a number of accessory makers. Interestingly, they've partnered with Sol Republic which has agreed to make JAX-branded headphones that will match all the custom colors available to the MOTO X. In other words, you'll be able to get accessories that match your personalized smartphone, no matter what the colors are.

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