Motorola Moto X (Verizon Wireless) Review

Posted on Jan 6 2014 - 1:37pm by Christopher Allega

The Moto X is the long-awaited collaboration between Motorola and Google. Google became Motorola’s owner and parent company about a year ago, which had many thinking that Moto would make the next Nexus phone. Instead we got the Moto X, a compact, stylish handset with decidedly mid-range specs. With an emphasis on battery life, contextual services and easy one-handed operation.

 

Provided By: Verizon Wireless

Price: $99.99 W/ 2-YEAR CONTRACT

 

Closer Look:

 

The Motorola Moto X comes in a sleeved box; the front of the sleeve features a large clear photo of  Motorola’s more Google-fied logo. The back of the sleeve is full of features and Specifications. Removing the sleeve reveals the phone box itself; the front of the box features the same logo as well as the name of the device.

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The Motorola Moto X (and new Droid line, as well) features Motorola’s latest mobile platform, otherwise know as the Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System powered by a combo of a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked at 1.7GHz, a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU and two specialized cores one for the aforementioned contextual computing, the other for natural language processing plus 2GB of RAM. Those two custom cores were made specifically to enable optional features like Active Display, Quick Capture and Touchless Control to function in a low-power state. That means that even when your screen’s off, these features are only a flip, wrist twist or voice command away. The phone’s display is a 4.7-inch AMOLED display, with a resolution of 720 x 1280 aka 720p and a pixel density of 316 ppi, looks great from most any angle and has that signature vibrant pop of saturated color associated with this panel type. In short, I like it and you will, too. That said, it’s not the brightest display I’ve ever seen on a smartphone and the glaring light of the sun does make it difficult to discern onscreen content.

The rear of the phone is curved slightly, letting it nestle easily in your hand. The Motorola logo on the rear is dimpled, giving your index finger a perfect place to rest.

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The phone comes with the standard microUSB cable and charger. One nice feature, the USB charger has TWO USB ports. Meaning you could plug in your Moto X and your Kindle Paperwhite at the same time. Great for travelers.

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Instructions are included with the phone. I didn’t read them. You probably won’t either.

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 Thanks to Apple, every phone company now has its own unique way of creating an alternative to a simple paperclip. The Moto extractor has a Moto “M” fob attached to what looks like the end of a paperclip.

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Performance:

 

When the Moto X first launched, people balked at its mid-range specs. It’s a dual-core phone in a quad-core world, and while it benchmarks well below the beefy devices like the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, in day to day use, it’s hard to notice a difference. The performance is on par too. The Moto X starts up quickly, goes between multiple apps with minimal lag, and scrolls as smoothly as we’ve seen on an Android device.

The only place where you can really notice a difference in performance between the Moto X and something with a quad-core is with high-end games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City or Riptide GP 2. The initial loading on both of those games was far faster on a quad core, but during actual gameplay, you’d be hard pressed to notice a difference.

Battery life:

 

Here’s where those lower power internals really come through for the Moto X; this is a phone with some very respectable battery longevity. The Moto X has 2200mAh cell, which is a rather average, and fits within its reasonably sized body.

The Moto X is still a charge every night phone, but it easily makes it through the day without trouble. During my testing time, I only once had to charge it before a 24 hour period. That was on our first day, when I downloaded a massive number of apps over WiFi and then did my best to wear the battery down with YouTube and Twitch TV. The phone still managed an impressive 16 hours before going into battery saver mode.

Overall, the Moto X isn’t a battery behemoth, but it can see you though a day of mixed to slightly heavy use on a single charge. That’s exactly what we’d want from our phone.

 

 

Call Quality:

The Moto X has two noise canceling microphones for keeping your calls clear, and they get the job done. I was able to make calls in a noisy shop and the people on the other line could hear us loud and clear.

On our end, voices came through nice and sharp, without any distortion from the microphone. The rear speaker does a fine job projecting speakerphone calls, and the Moto X can easily hear you across a medium sized room.

The speaker is just fine for sharing a YouTube video with a friend, or listening to podcast. It’s loud and clear, though not HTC One BoomSound, and distorts only slightly when playing noises of the right pitch at maxed out volume.

 

Connectivity:

 

The Moto X is a 4G LTE device, with all the  blazing speed that comes with that. I’ve seen LTE speeds anywhere from 25-40 Mbps.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

The Moto X does a lot of things right – the size, shape, stock UI, customization. I enjoy using the Moto X a lot more than I thought I would, and think Motorola hit a home run with the Moto X in the size and shape department. It comes in at $99 on a 2 year contract at Verizon Wireless and is an excellent device for someone coming from a Galaxy Nexus.

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