back to article X-rated Android antics: Motorola's Moto X puts boot in chunky brother

When the Moto X was launched in the US back in August, it was a pretty big deal. Why? Because it was the first handset wholly conceived by Motorola under Google's stewardship, it was assembled in the States itself rather than the Far East, it was available with a dizzying number of personalisation options thanks to the Moto …


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  1. conan

    no 32GB version

    I have just bought a Moto X. There isn't a 32GB version in the UK, despite what these articles continue to claim. I think Motorola have said they might release it in the future, just like they might offer the Moto Maker service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: no 32GB version

      "We may as well get this out of the way now: as well as lacking a user replaceable battery the Moto X doesn’t have a memory card slot"

      So - more Android landfill. How incredibly worthless.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no 32GB version

      Just like Samsung, they seem to dump the cheap 16GB crap on the UK market and save the better models for elsewhere.

      Come on FFS, you could get an iPhone 3G with 16GB in 2008, nearly 6 years ago!!!!

  2. Raithmir

    Hello Moto

    Had mine for a week and pleased I bought one.

    It was this or the Nexus 5 for me. Sure the Nexus is much faster than the Moto X, but the Touchless controls, Active display, and better battery life swung it for me. Plus I was coming from a Nexus 4 and fancied a change.

    The touchless controls make voice commands actually useful for the first time ever IMO. I've never seen the point of voice commands when you've got to unlock the phone and have it there in your hand anyway. Being able to set a reminder for myself for the following morning when I suddenly remember something when I'm in bed and the phone is the other side of the room being a great example!

    One thing I miss is the photosphere from the Nexus. I suspect you may be able to sideload the Nexus camera app, but then I'd lose the extra features I like from the Moto's own camera app I expect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hello Moto

      > One thing I miss is the photosphere from the Nexus

      That's missing? A bit of a turn-off, seems to be a great phone otherwise.

  3. Dave 126 Silver badge

    > [ Shaking the phone ] a surprisingly quick and easy way to fire the camera up. It’s not a feature I recall coming across on a mobile phone before which, on reflection, I find surprising.

    I would have thought that this feature was a by-product of the same low power chip that also monitors the microphone for 'touchless voice commands', and so is not seen on other phones because they lack the hardware. I might be wrong, but if you are going to include an always-on chip to wake up the main CPU in response to sensor input, this seems a good use of it.

    Apple have implemented an always-on low power chip for similar purposes - capturing accelerometer data without waking up the rest of the (new) iPhone.

    1. Al Taylor

      Good point, it didn't occur to me at the time of writing that the shake-to-launch sensor for the camera was working off the same core as the voice command system. Makes perfect sense.

      1. Craigness

        What phone doesn't have a gyroscope these days?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge


          You're right, most phones have gyroscopes these days. What many phones don't have, but the Moto X does, is a dedicated low power co-processor that can constantly monitor the gyroscopes and microphones for input... if it validates a signal as a deliberate human input it can wake the main CPU.

  4. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    299? Feck that!

    Prestigio do far better, far cheaper.

    Reasoning: if one wishes to go cheap there are optimal "go cheap" options out there, Moto is not one of those.

    1. Al Taylor

      Re: 299? Feck that!

      Prestigio phones are indeed cheap but the MediaTek 1.2GHz dual-core chips they use are gutless (no thanks to the 512MB of RAM they are lumbered with), the cameras poor and the displays utterly dismal . That fact they have two SIM card slots is handy but otherwise you get exactly what you pay for and not one Euro more.

      1. Gordon 10

        Re: 299? Feck that! @Al

        My thoughts entirely. The OP might has well have inserted any generic OEM phone Landfill Android manufacturer.

  5. sisk

    Is it just me....

    ...or does that look more like an IPhone than the Galaxy S that Apple had such a hissy fit over?

  6. Graham Marsden

    " at £300 SIM-free, the Moto X is still £170 cheaper"

    And at £130, the Moto-G is £170 cheaper than the X, especially if you get an Ovivo Sim for £20 and get 300 minutes, 300 texts and 500MB *every month* for nada!

  7. adnim

    Wrist controlled shooting, anyone?

    I have that already

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    FYI, on my 3rd Moto G

    The touch screen keeps on dying. The first was along the left edge, where about 1/3" was non-responsive or wildly erratic. The second was occasionally non-responsive on the whole screen. And I didn't drop either one.

    So there may be a reason they're cheap.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Vociferous

    "lacking a user replaceable battery"

    Can you say "planned obsolescence"?

  10. bep

    I was a little surprised by this statement:

    "The big difference between the X and the G is in the screen tech. The X uses a RGB-matrix AMOLED panel to the G’s IPS LCD. This means it is more vivid, shows blacker blacks and is easier to read in direct sunlight."

    Were the two phones actually compared by the reviewer in direct sunlight? My experience with a Samsung Galaxy 3 is precisely the opposite; the Galaxy's amoled screen is virtually impossible to read in direct sunlight (in Australia anyway).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " the Galaxy's amoled screen is virtually impossible to read in direct sunlight (in Australia anyway)."

      I had the same experience in a country with decent sunlight (Italy), however in Brussels the screen is very easy too read in the rare instances we have sunlight. I imagine it is the same in the UK.

      Sunlight (intensity) isn't a constant, strangely...

    2. ThomH

      Kicking it old school here, I find my AMOLED Nexus One (yes, definitely the AMOLED version: that PenTile matrix is clear) harder to read in direct sunlight than whatever my iPhone 5s has. But maybe it's just not automatically adjusting brightness or something? Better not rule out user error.

    3. Al Taylor

      Compared directly in sunlight in a garden in Salford in February, yes. The X and G were compared with screen brightness on 'auto' and also when set to maximum. The X was easier to read than the G in both cases. As has been said, mileage may vary if you try the same comparison some place where the sun is turned all the way up to 11. If it's an S3 in question it may worth having a fiddle with the various Samsung-added contrast settings as they can make quite a big difference.

    4. Colin Ritchie

      We have austerity sunlight here in the UK, Australia has full fat sunlight by comparison.

      I asked a digger why Australia measures temperature in the shade, he said "Cos the bleedin' thermometers explode if left in direct sunlight.".

  11. hammarbtyp

    I too struggle with the Moto G's extra mass

    "the Moto G is a bit of a lump by comparison"

    Yes, that's true,. I often have to resort to a team of Sherpa's to haul my Moto G when I go out. To hold it to my ear I have a specially built cradle to winch it into position. The worst thing about it is when I take a photo with it, the extra mass causes severe gravitational lensing so distorting the image...

  12. JaitcH

    Why do Brits accept Rip-Off Pricing? No Batteries or SD Memory?

    Retail consumers in the States pay at least ONE tax equivalent to VAT, other places TWO!

    The difference is easy to calculate and to demonstrate that VAT Free prices are way out of line when compared to North America and mainland Europe.

    As for batteries, if I can't swap a battery out, I will NOT buy the cell handset.

    Similarly, with extension memory. With the UK Border Bods along with the US ICE men (and women) happily interrogating the contents of cell handsets as well as laptops, a la Miranda, I always transfer any hot data from the system memory to SD memory and then lose the chip somewhere about my body.

    ICE men even get their knickers in a twist if you have downloaded video on your handsets and use this as an excuse to impound your gear.

    1. dogged

      Re: Why do Brits accept Rip-Off Pricing? No Batteries or SD Memory?

      Your tinfoil is unravelling. I think it may be causing unnecessary bolding.

  13. garden-snail

    Stop making excuses for these manufacturers...

    If you can't replace the battery and it doesn't have an SD slot, it's not even worth considering. You can't compensate for a missing SD slot with extra internal storage (is 16 GB even that generous? I already have a 32 GB card in my feeble Huawei Ascend G300). The SD slot is about data security, portability and future-proofing. That last point in particular is probably why the manufacturers hate SD slots and replaceable batteries. They think that if they limit their phones in this way we'll buy new ones more often. Not me. I'll just buy from a different manufacturer.

    The sooner these reviews stop glossing over these issues, the sooner phone manufacturers might think about getting their heads out of their arses.

  14. Belardi

    Howdy from Texas USA (no, not all of us wear boots and make love to a bottle of Maple Syrup) where we have the Moto Maker (The phones are assembled & shipped out of Texas so I got mine in 3 days). I went with the Turquoise rear body, orange-chrome buttons & camera ring with a black front... it LOOKS GREAT. In many of our local stores, they have a sales setup that allows you to see ALL the colors and feel the textures available. Some colors like Black and Red have a rubber feel. Most have a smoother feel. Those with a pattern have an older Moto texture feel (shown in this review).

    Why I choose this phone, when my previous Motorola has such a poor camera? Size & feel. Its 4.7" screen in a body that is smaller than my previous 4.5" phone. Most of the other phones are simply huge and getting bigger, harder to fit in my pocket. My Moto X is barely bigger than my OLD Samsung Galaxy S1 with a 4" screen. I don't use protective cases because I don't destroy my phones, I want them small as possible and whats the point of a nice looking phone that you can't see or touch? I cannot stand the feel of the cheap plastic glossy backs on Samsungs and LG. But as we see, newer Samsung and LGs are coming out with NEW phones with a nicer feel. I considered the HTC One, but the beautiful metal body is generally cold, but on another personal level, I can't stand having the power button on the top. HTC still takes the best photos of any Android phone. LGs have moved the power/VOL to the back, I simply don't like it. My wife is okay with it and may get one soon.

    The camera is the weakest feature on the phone... best from Motorola, but it doesn't compare to Nokia 900/1000 Lumias and is lower-middle range compared to Samsung S4/LG2/HTC One. But its FLICK to Camera mode does WORK better than I thought it would and it CAN be turned off. There is almost NO options for the camera. Other than FLASH / HDR / Slo-mo / Shutter sound. Its UI is super simple. Camera defaults to STILL mode... pressing the Video Camera = REC video mode. Press STOP, and it reverts to Camera mode... which MAKES great sense. Pressing anywhere on the screen = Focus & shoot. The Moto-X camera doesn't include styled shots (B&W / Exposure / etc) *BUT* those features are part of the gallery instead.

    I do with the Moto X had a removable back like the G so that I could replace or change out the backs when I want to. The G's back covers sells for $15USD. In the USA for the Moto X, they *JUST* came out with 9 new back covers and 3 new accent colors. ARGH! 4000 possible combinations! 31 rear colors / styles. I like that I DO NOT have the basic black phone, my phone will stick out more when I lay it down.

    PS: I named the back of my Phone "AMIGA"

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