Reviewing the Moto X

Motorola was earlier known as a maker of hardy phones that you need not break the bank to buy. It seems the company wants to revive that trend with the 2 smartphones that it has made available in the market. Look and Feel of the Phone There is a good amount of similarity between the […]

Reviewing the Moto X

Motorola was earlier known as a maker of hardy phones that you need not break the bank to buy. It seems the company wants to revive that trend with the 2 smartphones that it has made available in the market.

Look and Feel of the Phone

There is a good amount of similarity between the Moto X and Moto G. To the rest of the world, the Moto X came first and then the G. However, in India, the Moto G was launched first and then the Moto X. The Moto X looks more premium compared to the Moto G. The body is made out a tough plastic, PET composite, which is light weight and feels rugged.

The handset is available in Royal Blue, Red, Black, Turquoise and White. It comes with two finishes- Walnut and Teak. The Moto X is comparatively sleeker and lighter than the Moto G. The front face has almost no buttons or branding. When the screen light is off, the edges of the screen that dominate the front panel can be seen. Above the screen, a prominent grille that acts as an earpiece has been provided. The usual sensors have also been placed along with a prominent secondary camera.

The front panel of the phone has a 4.7 inch screen. It also features a strip of glass that goes around the screen that aids in differentiating between the plastic rear and front panels visually. The curved back panel is crafted in a polycarbonate material which makes it comfortable to hold. The loudspeaker grille, LED flash and primary camera are fitted in the back panel while the Motorola logo is embossed in the centre.

The biggest advantage of the Moto X is that is can be easily held in your hand and all the buttons and icons can be operated using a thumb. The phone has a nano coating on it which protects the phone from light spillages. However, it would be incorrect to term the device as a waterproof one. The sides have a volume rocker, Nano-SIM slot and power key. All in all, the phone is in a class of its own and it feels good to hold it.

Software and Features

The Moto X uses an out-of-date Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro S4 SoC. However, despite the outdated software being used, it manages to function well enough. The Dual Core CPU has 1.7 GHz along with a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU, which Motorola calls a contextual computing processor and a natural language processor. Motorola has termed this combination as the X8 Mobile Computing System.

These dedicated application processors allow the Moto X to continuously listen to voice commands and manage notifications in a power saving manner. The Moto X is good example to prove the proposition that more cores do not spell higher power.

The phone also has 2GB RAM and 16GB inbuilt storage. Of the 16GB, only 11GB are available for use. Unfortunately, Moto X does not support expandable storage, like most Google devices. The limited storage can certainly be disappointing for users. On the other hand, 50GB of space on Google Drive is being offered by Motorola free of cost for two years. However, for proper utilisation of cloud storage, a good download limit and fast internet connection is needed. Hence, the facility might not be much used. The phone has an AMOLED 4.7 inch display unit with resolutions of 720X1280 pixels with pixel density 316 ppi. For strength, Corning Gorilla Glass has been used. The AMOLED screen of the Moto X shows deep blacks and full colours like many of the high-end Samsung Galaxy phones which use the AMOLED screens. The colours are very vibrant and reproduced well consistently. The display unit is not reflective and visibility under the sun was quite good. Viewing angles too do not cause much problem.

The Moto x is a single SIM phone which has 3G support but no LTE. Options of connectivity include Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/b/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/AGPS, GPRS/EDGE and 3G (HSPA+). The Moto X, when it was originally launched could be customized using colourful rear panels, accents around power and volume buttons and have a personal message etched on the back cover of the phone. However, in India only a few colourful combinations are available for customization.

The Moto x runs on the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean although it can be updated to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The Moto X has a stock built of the OS and there is no added user interface skinning. The Moto X has on screen keys for Home, Back and Recents. Because of the Android KitKat being used, there are several changes in the phone including a new launcher which makes the interface more minimalistic. The status bar has been made transparent and the navigation key area at the bottom and top are the most prominent changes due to the new launcher. The lock screen has a camera button which can directly launch the camera application.

Camera and Battery

The camera used on the phone is very good. The 10MP shooter clicks images at 1.34 micron sized pixels which is quite large when compared to 13MP shooters. Other features of the camera application include the auto HDR mode, slow motion video capturing, panorama, burst mode and 4X digital zoom. The burst mode has the ability to shoot 99 pictures at one go. The phone comes with the RGBC feature which makes the camera 75% more sensitive to light.

The pictures come out quite satisfactorily in well-lit conditions. However, in low light, the quality of pictures drops. The front camera of 2MP strength is good enough for clicking occasional selfies. Playing games such as Temple Run 2 and Subway Surfers is quite smooth but games which require higher graphics and hardware such as Dead Trigger 2 can make the phone hang.

The battery life of the phone is quite good. The phone can be used extensively for 6 to 7 hours without charging it. Moderate usage will command 8-9 hours.

The Moto X is a good purchase as it focuses on good software and easy usability. However, the price is quite high and you can get other similar phones such as Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 at a lower price.