Motorola Moto X 2014 Review – The First True Flagship from Motorola

Motorola Moto X 2014 Review – The First True Flagship from Motorola


I’ve been using the Motorola Moto X 2014 as my daily driver for some time now. For the most part I’m happy with the device but as usual, there are things I absolutely adore about it and there are things I don’t like about the device. With that being said, there’s more to like about this device than to dislike. Let’s dive right into it.

Overview

The Motorola Moto X has been around for a while now; it was released in September of last year. For the specs geeks, the Moto X 2014 packs a Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 processor clocked in at 2.5 GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). The Moto X 2014 comes with 2GB of on board ram and 16/32 GB of internal storage with no option for expendable storage. On top of it all is a 5.2 inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels which has about 424 ppi. Powering this device is a Non-removable Li-Ion 2300 mAh battery.

If you skipped over the previous paragraph, I don’t blame you. Not everyone loves talking specs. Let’s talk about how the phone feels and looks.

Look and feel

The Moto X 2014 looks exactly like the Nexus 6, except that the back has a softer feel to it and the Motorola Dimple is deeper in the Moto X. I’ve had people mistake the Moto X to be the Nexus 6 countless times. I definitely like the feel of the Moto X over the feel of the Nexus 6. The size of the phone is just so perfect for me. I think 5.2 inch screen size is the sweet spot for all screen sizes. For a person with relatively small hands, I found the Moto X 2014 to fit my hands very nicely and I’m able to type with one hand which is always nice. The back of the phone is a fingerprint magnet but it’s not as bad as the Nexus 6. I’m going to mention it again here, I love the Motorola dimple at the back, it gives you a sense of confidence when you’re holding the phone.

The curvy design of the device makes it feel really small, it feels smaller than the Nexus 5 but when you compare the two side by side, visually the Moto X is bigger than the Nexus 5 in size.

Even though, it’s not stereo, the Moto X 2014 features front facing speakers that can get pretty loud (more manufactures need to start doing this, backing facing and bottom facing speakers are a waste). The beef I have with the earpiece and the speaker is that they protrude from the screen. I would prefer if they didn’t do that but one can only wish.

Operating System

My unit of the Moto X 2014 was upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop the day after I got the phone. There isn’t much to say about Android Lollipop that I haven’t said before. I love the operating system; it’s the biggest change to Android to this day. Material design is very intuitive and the OS is buttery smooth. I haven’t experienced any slowness when using the Moto X. We all know Android Lollipop is great but since Android is open source; manufactures like to tweak it and add features to it. Motorola keeps the look of Android exactly how Google indented (virtual high-five to Motorola for that). Although nothing is changed in the look and feel of Android on the Moto X 2014, Motorola has some really unique and USEFUL features added to the Moto X.

First of them is the active display feature (now called Moto Display but I like the old name so that’s what we’re going to call it here). This feature displays your notification on your screen as then come in, instead of powering up your whole screen it just shows the notifications. This is neat and very useful; you can also access the active display feature by waving your hands over the screen or just by pushing your hands towards the phone. This is useful when your hands are too dirty to touch the phone.

Since we’re talking about waving your hands over the screen, another feature that Motorola included is the ability to silence your phone by; you guessed it, waving your hands over the screen. When you receive a call, you can just wave your hands over the screen and your ringtone will silence.

Another Motorola feature I really enjoy is the wrist twist motion you can do to launch the camera app. By holding the phone in your hand you can twist your wrist twice and that will open up the camera app and you can quickly take a picture. This feature works really well and it’s fast so you never miss a great moment or an embarrassing moment.

Feature number three, Moto Voice. This lets you control your phone without touching it. This feature was available on the Moto X last year but Motorola really improved it this time around. Now, you can change the launch phrase, you no longer have to say “Ok Google Now” to launch voice control. You can pretty much train it to respond to anything. I have mine set to “Ok Jarvis”, because; Iron Man.

And this…

After using the phone for just a few days, it learned when I go to sleep and when it’s time the Moto X 2014 will silence itself. A neat feature if you ask me.

It’s clear that Motorola added some really nice and useful features to the Moto X which makes it a fun device to use. Let’s talk about the camera real quick.

Camera

The Camera on the Moto X 2014 isn’t something to be overly excited about. Sometimes it’s really good and other times it isn’t. I found the Camera to do really well out doors and indoors with good lighting. Low light performance would be the weakest part of the camera. I’m not a fan of how the Motorola software handles HDR; I find that it over exposes everything. You can see some sample pictures below and judge for yourself. The camera does get the job done though.

Sure the picture quality isn’t “all that” in the Moto X 2014, but the Camera app is nice and it’s fast. In order to take a picture with the Moto X all you have to do is touch the screen.

Battery

This is a sad reality, the Moto X 2014 didn’t last me a full day on normal usage. I’ll provide battery stats below. I was never able to get 3 hours of screen on time, I found myself charging the device in the middle of the day. With a 2300mAh battery, I didn’t expect much but I did expect the phone to last me the day given that the Moto G and the Moto E were really good on battery. Take a look below for some battery stats.

Verdict

The Motorola Moto X 2014 is a really good device but the battery was a deal breaker for me. As I mentioned before I dig the design, the screen size and the Moto features. Overall I would recommend this device to anyone. Perhaps someone who doesn’t use their phone as much as I do can get through the day with the Moto X 2014. For the sake of slapping a number out of 10, the Moto X is a 7/10 on my scale.

What are your thoughts on the Motorola Moto X 2014? Let me know in the comment section below.