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Moto X deep dive review: Hype aside, it's a really good phone

Barbara Krasnoff | Aug. 12, 2013
The Moto X Android smartphone may not be as groundbreaking as expected, but it offers consumers a great mobile experience.

Consumers will be able to choose from at least 17 colors for the back of the phone, choose black or white for the front, and choose from 7 complementary colors for highlights.

They will also be able to add a name or short message to the back. The phone will then be shipped within 4 days; consumers will have 14 days in which to exchange it if they don't like the color combination.

As of this writing, AT&T is the only carrier to support the Moto Maker site; phones purchased through the other carriers (including Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile) will be available in only black or white -- for now. There were hints from the Motorola reps during the press event that this could change.

Bottom line
On the face of it, the Moto X isn't a revolutionary phone: There are plenty of phones around with bigger displays and higher resolutions; several (including Motorola's upcoming Droid Maxx) with longer battery life; others with more powerful cameras or more extensive features that appeal to technophiles.

(Incidentally, according to the company, Sprint, US Cellular and T-Mobile will offer unlockable bootloaders and there will also be a Verizon Wireless Developer Edition and a general North America Developer Edition.)

What this is, however, is a great all-around consumer phone. Some of the newer features add measurably to the experience and usefulness of the phone, yet are easy to learn. I've looked at a number of new phones, and in the case of the Moto X, I felt completely comfortable with it almost immediately -- something that isn't always the case with the more high-end Android phones.

At a Glance
Moto X

Motorola MobilityPrice: $199 (with a 2-year contract with AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile); $250 for 32MB version (AT&T only)Pros: Slim, attractive design; very good display; useful features such as Touchless Control and Active Display; good camera; configurable body; long battery lifeCons: Comes with Android 4.2.2; rather expensive compared to other consumer-directed smartphones; batteries not swappable

For me, personally, the ability to say, "Okay, Google Now, remind me to call my mother at 5 p.m." and then just go back to what I was doing is becoming a habit. And I was impressed by the camera's ability to take a quick -- and in-focus -- shot, even from a moving vehicle.

Is it the perfect phone? Of course not. A higher-resolution display would have been nice, as would have been a lower price -- and it's unfortunate, to say the least, that it's not shipping with the latest iteration of Android. I'm always looking for a swappable battery for long days out of the house or office, and while the battery life on the Moto X is impressive -- especially considering the always-on nature of the phone -- it could still leave you looking for a power source toward the end of the day.

 

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