Motorola Moto X 2014: The best Android experience at a reasonable price
The second generation Moto X, or Moto X 2014 came without the fuss of a flagship phone launch, but it begins to receive positive reception with its customizable design, sharp screen, fast performance, superb user experience and a price much cheaper than its contemporary phones. In its recent review of Moto X 2014, What Hi-Fi called Motorola’s new smartphone as one of the best smartphones this year has produced.
Moto X’s 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 423ppi AMOLED display has gone to full high definition this year. Moto X 2013 only has 720p, which is one of the reasons it lagged behind its competitors. This year’s flagship also faces several 2k displays, but with its sharp screen, it is competing well. It delivers beautiful colors with fine detailed shadows, great sense of depth and strong contrast which are not overdone. Viewing angles are great, brightness is strong enough and video recording outdoors is possible.
Design, build and Moto Maker
Buying new Moto X is getting a 16GB black handset, which comes with an aluminum frame, lightweight build and a rubberized back panel, which is soft to the touch. However, one of the good things about Moto X is Moto Maker, an online service to custom build the handset. Users can decide between white and black, accent color for the grilles or rear panel, and also choose between leather and FSC-certified wood for a fee. The service can also boost the 32GB internal storage, which is good as the phone is non-expandable. After liking the Moto X, users will explore the handset and will learn there are options to improve its default design.
Moto X’s soft back panel is nice and comfortable in the palm, while the handset’s sole buttons, for the power and volume, are suitably positioned on the right side for quick access. The build is compact and though the handset has a quite big screen, it is not difficult to be managed by even smaller hands.
Hardware and camera
Moto X is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, which works with a 2GB RAM, 16 or 32GB storage and a 2MP front camera and a 13MP rear camera, which is an enhancement of the 10MP unit of its predecessor. The camera produces photos that are detailed and clear. It works fine for quick snaps and social sharing. Low light and noise are the weak points of the handset, though the dual-ring flash can bring more natural colors in dark situations.
The Moto X 2330 mAh battery is respectable, and it promises 10 hours duration that can be improved by the new Android Lollipop later.
Moto Display, Moto Assist and Moto Voice
Motorola handles the software side of its device very well. With almost just Android 4.4.4 running Moto X, there is no bloatware as Motorola just leaves it to Google to do the work, except for some features – Moto Display, Assist and Voice.
Moto Display shows monochrome notifications on the lock screen when it feels a hand is approaching. This feature obviously aims to save battery life. Moto Assist helps switch the phone to silent mode automatically when it sees a meeting in the calendar. It can also read texts aloud to the user when he is driving a car or at home. Moto Voice is a Google Voice equivalent.
The new Moto X is surprisingly good, with competitive specs and much improvement from last year’s. Build, design, functionality and ergonomics make the new phone at par with the best. For those looking for fingerprint scanners and heart rate monitors should look elsewhere. Its weaknesses, though are made up by its reasonable price of $500. Overall, the second Moto X definitely deserves a second glance.