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The Moto X is the most convenient Android phone ever

Armando Rodriguez | Aug. 7, 2013
The Moto X proves you don't need cutting edge specs to make a great Android phone.

I was given the Verizon version of the Moto X to test and was overall satisfied with the phone's download speeds and call quality. Although it's not as fast as when it first launched, I had very few problems streaming music and downloading apps over Verizon's LTE network, and the cross-country call I made had zero static on either end of the line. One of the people I called remarked that I sounded like I was standing right next to them--even though I was 2903.5 miles away. Impressive.

Camera is hit or miss

The Moto X has a 10-megapixel camera.

Although the 10-megapixel camera on the Moto X is absolutely better than the cameras on any of Motorola's previous smartphone endeavors, the photos it captures are nothing to write home about. Indoor shots looked okay, but suffered from a number of artifacts and were sometimes overexposed. Shots taken outdoors were sharper, but often came out too dark if you didn't have superb lighting.

Outdoor images came out looking dark.

The camera has an RGBC sensor, which features a fourth, clear pixel that's supposed to help it perform better in low-light environments. I shot some photos at night to test out the camera's performance and was disappointed with the results: Photos were grainy and using the flash often left my subjects looking washed out. The camera performed better than the iPhone 5 with these night shots, but if you want stellar low-light performance you're going to want to pick up the Nokia Lumia 1020 or HTC One instead.

Bottom line

I have to give Motorola and Google some credit: They've demonstrated that we don't need bleeding-edge specs to get a solid smartphone experience. The Moto X announcement may not have lived up to everyone's hype, but the phone itself is still worth considering. At $200 on contract, you're getting a phone that performs as well as "high-end" smartphones like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 while still offering helpful extras like Touchless Control and Active Display.

I have my reservations about the Moto X shipping with an older version of Android and I question how well the X8 system architecture will perform a year from now, but I think Motorola and Google have a winner with their latest handset. It's not quite a Nexus, but it's the closest you're going to get to one while still being on contract somewhere other than T-Mobile.


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