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printed July 25, 2014
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Review: Motorola Moto X for AT&T

Form Performance Basics Moto Apps Extras Wrap-Up Comments  

Screen

The X's screen measures 4.7-inches across the diagonal and includes 1280 x 720 pixels. Nope, it's not a full HD screen. If that's a disappointment, take solace in the fact that the X's screen still offers rich detail and sharp text and images. There are no visible pixels. The X's screen uses AMOLED technology. It is easily used outdoors, but there's a noticeable blueing effect when the phone is tilted side to side. Viewing angles aren't as good as I'd like them to be, but colors look nice when viewed head on. It's a fine display, but not a great one.

Signal

The Moto X performed on par with other AT&T phones across a range of different network conditions. In areas where coverage was strong, data was speedy and calls connected instantly. In areas where coverage was weak, data was still quick, but latency (time it took the phone and network to initially talk to one another) increased noticeably. The same goes for calls: they connected on the first dial, but the connection took a few beats to set up. The only time the X crapped out on me was when I attended a sold-out concert and the local cell site's capacity was overwhelmed. The X didn't drop any calls and didn't miss any calls.

Sound

The X is a good voice phone. The quality of calls reaching the earpiece were very good. They had a mostly nice tone to them, though they perhaps leaned towards being a little sharp. The volume in the earpiece was excellent. I was able to hear calls at a concert (before the band came on) with a rowdy crowd chanting in the background. I was also able to hear calls clearly when in a noisy restaurant. The speakerphone worked equally well. I was able to hold a conversation over some very loud restaurant patrons and hear everything clearly. Volume and quality were good over the speakerphone. Those with whom I spoke said I sounded decent on their end, but not great. The ringers and alerts are plenty loud, and the vibrate alert is nice and strong.

Battery

The X's curved backside houses a specially-designed 2200mAh battery. Motorola said it didn't want to waste the space created by the contours of the rear shell, so it created a new battery to fill the space. That's good news for X buyers, because whatever Motorola did worked well. The X's battery was designed to provide 24 hours of continuous use, and that's what it does. Over the course of a weekend I had a hard time killing the battery even though I left the X unplugged for several days. Most people will get more than a full day's use out of their X, I have no doubt. Those who charge it each night will have plenty of power to spare at the end of the day.

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