We were warned. Ever since the rumor bonanza began or at least pretty close to its start, numerous trustworthy “insiders” told us Motorola had “something else” in mind for the Moto X. The X was not going to be a high-end device, a spec-buster in the true sense of the word, but rather an upper mid-ranger with a different personality.
And that’s exactly what we received yesterday. A smallish phone (by high-end standards), with a dual-core processor (modified and optimized, but still dual-core), “just” a 720p display and a battery and camera that, on paper, don’t look like much.
But also a device that strikes all the right cords in the connectivity department, that runs almost stock Android, with only a few tweaks that actually add value for a change, and a device that’s highly customizable.
Again, we were warned not to expect customizable hardware, so on that note being able to practically design your own phone, choose from a very wide palette of colors and accessories and so on and so forth is a huge step up compared with most other premium Android smartphones, which, between you and I, look too much alike.
With all that in mind, emphasizing it’s way too early to fully evaluate X’s real potential and purely on a theoretical premise, does the phone have what it takes to become a blockbuster or will it be forgotten in just a few months? Let’s weigh in its pros and cons, shall we?
The Moto X is a winner because:
- It’s different
Different is not always better. For instance, the Moto X packs a “different” processor than its competitors, which, according to pre-release benchmarks, is not as zippy. But on the whole, this baby has the potential to stand out like no other.
It has pizzazz, it’s slim, elegant but also robust and it should provide a unique user experience. Sure, right now that doesn’t mean a lot, being something that Motorola uses in its ad campaigns to boost the hype. But what if it’s true? What if everything is really tailor-made to fit the needs of actual users?
No more quad-core this, Full HD that, but instead a CPU whose speed you can feel, a warm and crisp display and a solid battery. Wouldn’t that be something?
Since I’ve already mentioned this, I’m not going to insist too much on it. MotoMaker is the tool that you’ll use to make the Moto X your own. The combinations of colors, build materials and accessories are practically endless and Motorola promises to continuously add new ones in the near future. Do I really need to tell you why that’s so cool and why it makes the new phone special? I don’t think so.
- The specs are not bad
There were many people that went for Moto X’s throat moments after its unveiling, saying it’s not a heavyweight contender based on its specs and features. And it’s not. But, gosh darn it, it’s not an entry-level gizmo either.
The rear snapper is equipped with a more than decent 10 MP sensor and something called Clear Pixel technology that brings a lot of goodies to the table (more details here). The 4.7-inch display boasts a still winning 1,280 x 720 pixels resolution.
The battery is 2,200 mAh and should be able to run for a whopping 13 hours of talk time between charges. You get 2 GB of RAM, 4G LTE and NFC. And are you honestly telling me that’s not enough? Then you must be out of your mind.
The Moto X is a loser because:
- It’s expensive
No, I’m not suffering from short-term memory loss. And I know I just said Moto X’s specs are or should be enough for any mobile user in their right minds. But at the same time, asking $200 with contracts for something that’s not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One on paper is not right. Period.
And yeah, I get it, all those different customization options probably cost a penny or two, but what if I just want a plain, regular black Moto X? Shouldn’t I get some sort of a discount?
If preposterously pricing the X at $200 with contracts and $575 sans pacts wasn’t enough to fill you with rage, Motorola also announced the MotoMaker was going to be made available exclusively to AT&T… at first.
Again, I get it that Moto probably has some debts to pay off to AT&T after so many years of favoring Verizon, but don’t you find it ironic (I’m trying hard to not say moronic) that, with all this marketing talk of freedom, people won’t really be free to get their Moto X as they want it?
And yes, the customization tool will likely hit Verizon, Sprint and all the others in a month or two, but it may already be too late at that point. Why? Because:
- It comes at an inopportune time
Samsung Galaxy Note 3. LG G2. Sony Xperia Honami. Apple iPhone 5S and 5C (or 6 and 5S). Maybe even Nexus 5. Those are all names of smartphones set to see daylight in 30 or 60 days from now, max. And, as much as we’d like to give Moto X’s “unique user experience” a real shot, it’s unlikely to be enough to overshadow that entire army.
I mean, come on, the Note 3 will come with S Pen support, a 5.7-inch Full HD screen and 3 GB of RAM. Then there’s the G2, with a unique design of its own and equally as impressive specs. And what about the Honami, which rumor has it will pack a 20 MP camera in addition to a 1,080p panel and Snapdragon 800 processor?
I’m sorry, Motorola, but it’s not looking like the X will stand the test of time.