While Motorola’s popularity arguably peaked with the hugely popular Razr V3 they’ve continued to release some very solid handsets and recent efforts such as the RAZR HD have impressed. Many predicted a turn in fortunes for the original mobile phone manufacturer after Google purchased the company and the new Moto X is the first phone developed from scratch under the oversight of Google This is the first real opportunity to see what sort of devices Motorola will be producing under their new owners.
The 4.7-inch screen of the Moto X takes up almost the entire face of the phone meaning from the front it doesn’t look that much different to other display-dominated handsets. It’s an attractive enough handset though and is light to hold with a comfortable, gently curved back. The Moto X doesn’t have a 1080p display, instead opting for a 720p screen in order to maximise the battery life. This may be a good decision as battery life is one of the biggest complaints about many high-end smartphones and 720p will look more than good enough to please most users.
The back of the phone features a 10-megapixel Clear Pixel camera that can let in 75% more light for a faster daytime exposure and better low-light performance. There’s automatic autofocus and exposure and a feature called Quick Capture allows you to get straight to the camera with two twists of the wrist while the phone is sleeping. The Moto X has 2GB of RAM and a custom X8 chip featuring a dual-core 1.7Ghz CPU combined with a quad-core GPU offering high-end performance while keeping power usage low to increase battery life.
Many will be pleased to hear that the Moto X comes with a practically stock version of Android 4.2.2 installed with only minor alterations made and no replacement UI like those found on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. This keeps in line with the idea of keeping the phone simple and not too power hungry and it’s something which should make owning the Moto X a very enjoyable experience.
One of the key things about the Moto X is personalisation and you only need to take a look around next time your walking down the high street to see how important that is to many users. Although handsets no longer have the kind of easily swappable cases you would find on phones such as the Nokia 3310 many put stickers, covers and even have the casing changed in order to put their own mark on their mobile. Motorola plan to make it easier than ever before to get your hands on a phone customised to your taste with Moto Maker, a website where you can pick how you want your phone to look.
Using Moto Maker it’s possible to change the look of the back of the phone and it’s not just colour, some surprising options such as wood finishes are available. You can select between black and white for the front of the phone and an accent colour used for the volume button and around the camera lens. You can choose to add a ‘signature’ to the back of the phone, just like an engraving on an iPod and colour coded accessories such as headphones are available to complete the customised look. There’s only one catch, it’s only going to be available to US users on AT&T at first, although it’s entirely possible Moto Maker will become available in the UK in the future.