The Moto X may just be the most useful smartphone on the market. Casting aside the endless quest for yet greater specks, Motorola, under the ownership of Google, sought to combine powerful, low energy hardware with innovative and optimised software. The results are impressive!
I ordered the GSM Developer Edition, which only comes with the black front and white back, but it is still a beautiful phone none the less. The size is the perfect combination of 4.7" screen and comfortable in the hand and pocket body. The build quality is solid, without gaps, overlaps, or "creaky" loose pieces.
While all the world is going crazy over the insanely powerful Snapdragon 800 processor found in the likes of the Galaxy Note 3 and the LG G2, Motorola decided to put together their own system for the Moto X.
The Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System is comprised of a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro family processor (1.7GHz Dual-Core Krait CPU, Quad-Core Adreno 320 GPU), a natural language processor and a contextual computing processor. (source)Unfortunately, when the X was announced, most people only heard "dual core" when everyone else was saying "quad." Don't fall into this trap. The X is a solid, speedy performer. In everything I've thrown at it, it has proven to be quite snappy and responsive.
So why did Motorola build the X8 computing system, sending spec heads into confusion? To go along with their new concept of software.
Motorola noticed this trend and decided to do something about it, Active Display. Utilizing one of those low power cores, notifications are displayed on the screen periodically (breathing) while the phone is sitting out or when pulled out of the pocket. From here, one can choose to open or dismiss.
The first thought most would have, is how does this affect battery life? Well the combination of low power core and an AMOLED display that only powers the active pixels, is a huge energy saver over the conventional power on the phone, check, and then power off method.
This is my favorite feature. I love being able to simply pull the phone about half way out of my pocket, see the time and any notifications, and then slip it back in, without touching any buttons. Amazingly convenient.
Driving mode is the one I use most, but there is also one for meetings where you can mute interruptions and one for sleeping so that you can, well, sleep.
The one feature I do love about the camera, is how you can activate it from any state by two flicks of the wrist. Kids move fast. No matter what I'm doing with my phone, I can quickly activate and operate the camera. Now if there was only a way to get all three kids to stand straight and smile at the same time.