Moto X Review: Re-birth of the fallen warrior

Moto X made quite a buzz when it came out last year, but it disappointed most of us because of its specification not matching the flagship phones that are out a year back. Motorola this time has decided to redeem the crown in a very unique fashion. They choose to release the phone with the same name Moto X but this time around with better and bigger weapons to show off.

Moto X, the new flagship phone from Motorola is the rebirth of the fallen warrior in a pretty amazing way. They have improved the aesthetics, performance and fix an array of features. Does this make the phone really have all the bells and whistle to be called the flagship phone? Does it really stand and fight with honor with other flagship phone? Let’s try to answer the questions.

Let’s have a quick look on the specification of Moto X

  • Quad-band GSM; HSDPA/LTE connectivity
  • 5.2″ AMOLED display, 1920 x 1080 pixels, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 424ppi;
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat with stock UI (upgradable to Android L)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC chipset with quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 400 processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM
  • 13MP camera, dual-LED ring flash, 2160p video recording
  • 2MP front-facing camera with 1080p video recording
  • 16/32GB of built-in storage
  • Active noise cancellation with four microphones
  • 2,300mAh non-removable battery
  • Gesture controls via built-in IR sensors
  • Available voice control and active notifications
  • Sleek, customizable body with superb build, tactility, and handling; optional genuine leather or eco-friendly wood back covers
  • Attractive pricing both on and off contract

Specification Source: Phony99.com

Design

The Design of the device is what makes it a great phone to look at. The quality is tangible and can be felt when held in hand. The artistic piece resembles much of Samsung model except the big button on the bottom of the phone. The physical button is been replaced by a front-facing speaker and seems reasonable for many of us.

speaker moto x 2014

The Phone is shaped rectangular with rounded shapes. The wide-ish nature of the phone gives it overwhelming biggish look. The big look might not be welcomed by many; I, for myself didn’t feel the need of increasing the size of the phone, because the previous phone did fit right in the hand. Nonetheless this is not a deal-breaker anyway.

The phone is surrounded by an aluminum brand that gives it a premium and tough look. The back of the phone is smooth curve. The curve in the back gives it a good grip to hold on. The back is also emblazoned with Motorola emblem, giving the beast the true identity.

Previous Moto X users may find lot of resemblance with the new edition. The new Moto X sports full 5.2 inches up from 4.7 inch last time.

The front face also features small dots called IR sensor that are used to capture the gestures of the user to issue some interesting commands. We will get back to it soon.

The New Moto X has also improvised itself from plastic to the new metal band giving the looks it really needed.

The new Moto X comes with 25 different back plates (including 4 natural wood and 4 made of leather). This gives the phone lot of chance to get customized and become the unique one never seen before.

Moto X backcovers

Usability

The Usability of the phone has not gone down with the new version. The bigger size does hamper the usability factor but many of us might just ignore it. Whatever would be the case, I would love to have a smaller version compared to a big one only because of the reason that it fits in the hand perfectly and this increases the usability a lot.

A wooden back also adds points to the usability of the phone. It gives natural aesthetics to the phone. Other than that leather backs also proves to improve usability by giving a fuzzy warm feeling to the hands in which the phone is being held.

The front speaker adds more to usability. The sound coming out is just crystal clear, high quality sound that mesmerized me a lot. It also acts great as loud speakers and thus approves for some small fun with friends.

 

Given a big screen size, readability is increased exponentially and for geeks like me, larger screens are always better. Reading site and e-book are great way to get entertained and educated and thus this phone get tons and tons of score for this sole reason from me. What it holds for users who are non-geek, the big screen is still a great way to read clearly without straining the eyes.

readability  2014

Did I forget to mention about gamers? The big screen helps them or loves them? J. They will surely enjoy bigger and better screen. The only thing that concerns me the impact of the bigger screen on the battery which is only bumped to 2300 mAh from 2200 mAh battery in last year’s model.

The low battery life can be concern if you use heavy application on the go and more time. Otherwise, the battery will last you around 30 hours.

The phone is provided with extra-ordinary horsepower, and it eats everything you throw at it. But sometimes it gets clunky and getting slow.

Software

I am surprised and at the same time thrilled that Motorola didn’t do much with the phone software compare to the last time. Moto X sports vanilla unmodified operating system compared with few combination of other software.

This surely is a wise move compared to other flag ship phones who try to mess with the UI and the phone vanilla operating system. The Moto X runs stock Android (kitkat 4.4).

moto X android kitkat

Moto X adds functionality to the vanilla OS by the help of modular apps. This is great because this makes the OS separate from the modular apps and can be updated when new android version comes along. The OS updates pretty frequently and just adds value to the phone.

The major feature in the software is Moto Voice (previously known as Touchless Display), which lets the user control the phone without touching it at all. The new Moto Voice can work with 3rd party apps like posting a status to Facebook, use Youtube to search for video etc.

 

Moto Display (formerly known as Active Display) is another great feature. The new notification comes in, which is very gentle and can be activated by a whisper. This way you don’t have to unlock the phone to see the notification.

Moto Assist is also a great feature of Moto X; it’s smart and adjusts itself without much interference. It changes itself according to the situation you are in. For example, it will not show notifications while you are sleeping and keep the screen black and inactive. I love Moto Assist because of its feature that it recognizing when you are driving and can announce incoming callers and read the incoming text loudly and clearly. If you say “Play music” it will connect to the car stereo over Bluetooth and start playing random songs.

In car mode, the Moto Assist works differently so that you can receive and send text messages and respond to all the typical voice commands. It reads calendar, mute the phone and more.

The last not the least feature is Moto Actions, which uses the IR sensors and hand gestures to issue lots of command. The most useful is the “Wave to Silence”. The screen can be activated if you move towards it; this feature is good because you can see the notification without touching the phone.

Camera

The current 13MP camera is outcasts the previous year 10MP camera. Last year, Motorola came up with a quick fix to improve the camera quality and this time they have done it right from the word go. The photos shot by the camera are crisp with sharpness and excellent colors. The f/2.4 lens gives the depth the camera needs.

The camera software makes using camera more pleasant and meaningful. Highly functional and user friendly UI makes it easy to handle photos on the go. It’s very intuitive.

Video shoot down using the camera are sharp and detailed. The phone is capable of shooting slow-motion video in full 1080p, impressed? You have too. It is also capable of shooting 4K UHD video.

The camera struggles in low light and bright reds really blow out and blend with other elements in the picture. Other than this, the camera is just top-notch.

Conclusion

A must have for android lovers. Motorola has released the best flagship phone it ever had and it’s hard to ignore. Apart from some small glitches, here and there, the phone works very well and stands fiercely in front of its competitors.

Features like Moto Display, Assist and Actions give the phone the charming effect no one can ignore. Strong in both the software and hardware department, this is a must buy phone for anyone who is looking to upgrade or change how a flagship phone feels like.

Image Courtesy: Gizmodo