By Rich W Woods
Calling a phone the best Android phone of 2014 is a bold statement. There have been some fantastic phones released this year. The HTC One M8 came out in the spring. It has a beautiful aluminum body and a powerful processor. The OnePlus One has top of the line specs across the board for just $349 unlocked.
The Moto X does all sorts of things that these phones just don’t. Aside from that, it’s completely customizable. Users can choose between all different color plastic backs, wood, or even leather. He has a choice between a black or a white front and then he can choose a trim.
The original Moto X had these sensors and these customization options, but it didn’t have the specs that the new Moto X offers.
Moto X: Specs
Motorola really didn’t pull out any stops for the new Moto X. It uses a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801, the most powerful processor that anyone aside from Samsung uses. It uses 2 GB RAM and users have a choice between 16 GB and 32 GB of storage. If the new Moto X is anything like the old Moto X, Motorola will announce a 64 GB model later on.
The display is 5.2″ 1080p AMOLED and it is just stunningly beautiful. The colors are so vibrant making the phone a pleasure to use. The curved back of the 140.8 x 72.4 x 10 mm body makes it fit perfectly in the user’s hand.
Moto X: Rear Camera
The rear camera is 13 MP (4128×3096) which was increased by the old Moto X’s 10 MP (4320×2432) rear camera. What you will notice about the dimensions of the rear camera from both is that the rear camera from the original Moto X was a wide screen camera. If you change the settings on the 2014 Moto X to take a photo in 16:9, the resolution will be 9.7 MP.
In the time that I’ve been using the Moto X, I have compared the camera to the OnePlus One, Nokia Lumia 1020, iPhone 6, and HTC One M8. You can click any of those links to see how Moto X measures up to any of those.
Here’s a look at what some of those photos look like zoomed.
The Moto X has a selection of nine filters that users can use when editing photos.
Moto X: Video
The Moto X has three options for taking video. It can take video in 4K at 30 fps, 1080p, or 1080p slow motion. Unfortunately, for the purpose of this review I have to use 1080p as that is all that YouTube supports.
Moto X: Front Camera
Just like the original Moto X, the 2014 Moto X uses a 2 MP front facing camera that has the capability of taking 1080p video.
Moto X: The Lock Screen
The Moto X gives the user complete customization of the lock screen. The user can swipe in from the right to access the camera. Quick access to the camera is a great feature. It is really something that I enjoy about Windows Phones and iPhones. I really think it’s a great addition to the Moto X.
When I say complete control over the lock screen, I’m talking about widgets. Users can swipe in from the left of the lock screen to view the widgets that they choose and all the way to the left is the option to add widgets. Of course, if someone tries to install a widget on the lock screen, he would have to enter the security feature that the user uses (PIN, pattern, face unlock).
Moto X: The Battery
If there is a setback to the Moto X, it’s the battery. At the end of the day, I find myself with about 25% battery left with average use.
It’s important to remember that although the use was average, all of the features were turned on. The Moto X is a phone that is always listening. It is constantly sensing the proximity of the user to the phone. Bluetooth was on as well and I would broadcast podcasts to my car stereo for about an hour out of the day.
Either way, a phone should not have to have certain features shut off to have decent battery life, but like I said, I still had 25% left at the end of the day. In the rare event of actually running out of battery, who can’t find a micro-USB cable lying around?
Moto X: Connect
Connect is an app made by Motorola but is available for any Android phone. It is also an extension for the Chrome browser.
Motorola Connect is an app that syncs your phone with other devices such as your PC or a Moto 360 watch. In the latter case, the user can use Connect to customize watch faces.
In the case of a PC, it puts Android on a level right up there with iOS 8 in terms of continuity. Through an extension in the Chrome browser, users can receive and send text messages. It will also show when a user is calling, although the user cannot answer like he can with iOS 8.
My only issue with the Connect app is that sometimes it just doesn’t connect to the PC. It works flawlessly with the Moto 360, but with the Chrome browser it just doesn’t connect. In order to connect it with Chrome originally, I ended up having to disconnect the Moto 360, disable Connect, and enable it again. As you can see from the screenshots, it was disconnected when I came back to it.
Moto X: Moto
Moto is the app that comes with the Moto X that does all of the voice activated stuff. It is a very powerful tool.
When first setting up the phone, a user can program a phrase such as “Ok, Moto X” to wake up the phone. Once the user programs the phrase, the phone will be listening for that phrase all the time.
There are tons of commands that users can use. The most useful one could be “What’s up?” In response to “What’s up”, the Moto X will tell the user what time it is as well as any notifications that the user has not checked yet.
The Moto X tries to be able to tell when the user goes to sleep. During this time, it won’t make any sounds for notifications; however, the user can wake up the phone by the pre-programmed phrase and say “Goodnight” and the Moto X will know the user is asleep. When he wakes up, the user can say “Good morning”.
Moto X: Review
Most phones are labeled as smart phones because they have a computer chip inside of them. The Moto X is actually smart. It knows when you’re sleeping. It knows when you’re awake. It knows when you’ve been bad or good…wait, no. That’s something else, but I digress. It even knows not to disturb the user when he is in a meeting.
The display is beautiful and vibrant. The 2014 Moto X is a true pleasure to use.
The only negatives of the 2014 Moto X is the battery as I mentioned above and the low light performance of the rear camera.