In today’s overcrowded Android smartphone market, it is often hard to distinguish one phone from the other—I am talking about the East Asian brigade. Thankfully, some companies from the West are coming out with gadgets that do stand out. One such is the recently launched Moto X by Motorola, now a Google company.
Now, the basic layout of the Moto X isn’t really different—there is a micro-USB and charging port at the bottom, power and volume control buttons on the right, and a 3.5-mm headphone jack at the top. That is usual. What isn’t usual is a SIM tray on the left that holds the nano-sized SIM. Now, this is important because the other mainstream phones using a nano SIM are the iPhone 5S and 5C, and this points to the fact that Motorola is targeting premium users with the Moto X.
The phone comes with a premium design too. First, the bezel around the screen is very thin and this means almost the whole front fascia is practically the display screen. Second, it has got compact dimensions—the Moto X is 129.4 mm long, 65.3 mm wide and weighs just 130 gm. Third, the back curves almost exactly to the shape of your hand—in fact, so nicely it fits your hand that the Moto X is among the best one-handed use smartphones you will find in the market. And fourth, the build quality of the Moto X is simply superb—yes, it is a plastic, but a very fine quality one.
The Moto X is powered by the Motorola X8 mobile computing system that includes a software optimised Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, a natural language processor and a contextual computing processor. It comes with a 2 GB RAM and 16 GB standard memory. Because Motorola is now a Google company, there is a sweet deal thrown in—buyers get a 2-year, 50-GB free storage on Google Drive, provided the offer is redeemed within 30 days of activation of the phone.
Two features that make the Moto X stand out are Active Display and Touchless Control.
Active Display: You don’t always have to press the power button and unlock the phone to, say, check out the clock on the screen, or for that matter check out missed calls, unread messages, emails, social media updates or other notifications. Just take out the phone from your pocket or pick it up if it is lying face-down and the display screen selectively lights up small areas without affecting the device’s battery life much. It’s not a novel feature, but nevertheless useful.
Touchless Control: If you have an always-on internet connection, you only need your voice to control the Moto X. You simply need to go to settings and record samples of your voice for recognition. Once that is done, all you have to say is “Okay, Google Now”, followed by the action you want. If you say “Okay, Google Now, show me nearby hotels”, the Moto X will respond to your command and show you hotels in your vicinity. For non-web-based tasks, such as playing music or clicking photos, the feature works even if you don’t have an internet connection. Again, this isn’t magic, but nevertheless addictive.
Two features that don’t really stand out are the camera and battery. The Moto X comes with a 10-megapixel camera with a flash on the back and a 2-megapixel on the front. While 10 megapixel reads good, the rear camera doesn’t really produce great images. The front, though, is quite suitable for video calls. Then, the 2200 mAh battery is not really long-lasting; in fact, even the company says that with mixed usage it will last you up to 24 hours.
Fine build quality, curvy looks, one-handed usage, 50 GB storage on Google Drive and two gimmicky features—these are the plus points of the new Moto X. If you can live with a mediocre camera and a not-so-good battery life, the Moto X is a nice option at Rs 23,990.
Estimated street price: Rs 23,990