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Motorola Moto X

Motorola Moto X

reviewPADD rating: 4
Consumer review: 3
Review Motorola Moto X »
Now that Motorola's long waited Moto X is finally here, what's next?

The Moto X is the first real Google phone. After Google took over Motorola, as a division of Google, Motorola underwent significant changes. Over one thousand employees were let go, and thousands of differently skilled workers were hired. Motorola became lean and more focused, and gained industry leading assembly line technology in the process. Many Apple, Samsung and other competing companies' employees joined Motorola.

As far as the technology goes, the Moto X is not really a game changer. In many ways, it is sub-par compared to other flagship phones. The 4.7-in screen is superb, but is not true 1080P HD. The Moto X8 chipset, with 8 cores (2 for processing, 4 for GPU and 2 for other things), is interesting, but is similar to the processing units that other high-end phones use. The 10MP camera with LED flash is just average. The phone comes with standard storage (16 or 32GB), usual RAM (2GB), standard set of sensors, and decent weight and dimensions.

What sets it apart?

First, customization. Motorola's significant competitive advantage is in the new assembly plant. Neither Samsung nor Apple has one in the States, and Motorola's brand new state of the art Texan assembly line can do things for the consumers that no other competitor can at this point. Over 2,000 different variations of colors await a potential buyer. Whether a rebel teenager decide to build the ugliest phone possible, or a Zen practitioner desire the simplest all-white phone, a phone can be customized online, built to order, and get delivered to anywhere in the contiguous US in four days. Such a short delivery time assumes that just-in-time inventory system is not at work, but everything else shouts out loud what Dell had done to dominate the computer market in the 1990s.

Second, Google. The Moto X is the first real Google phone, and it sports the best and the latest Android. When Google releases an upgrade to the Android operating system, it usually takes three to six months for the other Android phone manufacturers and carriers to implement it. Motorola does not need to have that lag. And this new operating system is as good as it gets, even compared to Apple, when it comes to voice controls. The phone is always in stand-by mode (thanks to the extra, low-voltage processing cores), and it responds to "Ok, Google Now". It learns the owners voice, and can be programmed to respond only to the owner. The phone can perform most of its features with voice commands. Surely other Android manufacturers will get this feature, but Motorola has the early release advantage.

Other features that Motorola touted seem somewhat trivial. For example, the camera turns on when the phone is shaken twice; it would not be too difficult to develop a simple app to do that. The phone has a curved shape; it fits better in hand, but not in the pocket, especially tight jean pockets. The battery can last "up to" 24 hours with mixed usage; its 2200 mAh. battery is not as big as Samsung Galaxy S4's 2600 mAh. and not nearly as big as DROID Maxx's 3500 mAh.

The most significant revelation about the release of the Moto X is what comes next. With this launch, Google has revealed a lot about its organizational and operational capabilities with the Motorola division. They have the top of the line design team, engineers and operations experts, backed with Google's second-to-none software talent. That combination could dominate the market, if utilized perfectly. As an underdog in this hyper-competitive handset arena, Motorola has only upward mobility here, and Samsung and Apple now possibly have a good third competitor to seriously worry about.

The Moto X will become available on most major carriers by the end of 2013, and will be priced comparably to other high-end phones.

Width 2.57 in
Height 5.09 in
Curve 0.22 - 0.41 in
Weight 4.59 oz

4.7-in AMOLED (RGB) / HD 720p

Battery 2200 mAh.
Mixed usage up to 24 hours

Rear Camera 10MP CLEAR PIXEL (RGBC) / LED Flash / 1080p video (30fps)
Front Camera 2MP 1080p HD video

Operating System
Android 4.2.2

Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System

Storage 16 GB standard, 32 GB version available online. 2 years 50GB storage free on Google Drive

Proximity sensor
Digital compass
Ambient light sensor

Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR
WiFi 802.11a/g/b/n/ac (dual band capable), mobile hotspot
UMTS/HSPA + up to 42 Mbps
CDMA/EVDO Rev. A (CDMA model only)
4G - LTE

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