After most devices are launched we rush to see the reviews, then after a few days or weeks we forget about it. There’s never any real follow up coverage when inevitably issues and bugs will be found, or as updates roll in. Because everyone is focused on the next big thing. Today we’re here to change that, looking back at one of the most important phones of 2015, that helped shaped the Motorola brand.
Mediocre, a word that fittingly describes most flagship phones released in 2015. The HTC M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 are two examples that support this theory. Both phones were released at the beginning of 2015 with lukewarm interest; Samsung wasn’t seeing any increased sales of its flagship product, and HTC sales were going further into decline after the steady drop from the previous year. The phones felt the same, with no unique qualities to entice growth in sales. From the beginning, Motorola had a very simple strategy when it came to their flagship phones; making the customization and easy use paramount in the Moto X experience. In fact many wouldn’t know that Motorola Mobility (the name of their mobile phone division) still makes phones. The Moto X Pure Edition is the latest flagship iteration in the Moto X family, and it brings the true refined beauty it needed to stand out in the much diluted android market.
At first glance, the Moto X looks very unassuming in its base colours. Many wouldn’t pick on the brand of the phone. When you notice the subtle things, such as the front facing speaker ports, or the device’s slight curves, you realize that it’s quite special. Handling is important to the daily use of the Moto X. Since its growth from the original Moto X from 2013, this model which had a 4.7 inch display, now has a 5.7 inch display, landing it comfortably in phablet territory. Even after that slight growth, the Moto X is still very comfortable to use.
In terms of features, the Moto X Maker (a free service on the Motorola website), has to be one of the best additions to purchasing smart phone in recent times. Moto X Maker gives a costumer the chance to create a truly unique looking device by giving tons of options, including changing the colours of the back, changing the material to wood if preferred, even adding engraving to the back of the phone, increasing the uniqueness factor. The colour combinations are endless, giving the user the confidence of using a phone geared to their tastes.
Display & Battery life
The 5.7 inch display has a resolution of 2560×1440, with solid viewing angles. Previous editions of the Moto X had AMOLED displays, which were arguably more vibrant with the on display colours. To those who are familiar with Samsung products, the display will seem quite tame in comparison. That’s not to say the display is dim or illegible, the Moto X is still clean and vivd with great colour representation. The Quad HD display is very sharp, and the larger screen size makes playing games, watching videos or browsing the internet easier.
Battery life for the device is above average, with at least three and a half (3½) hours of on screen time, or a full day of use on a single charge, if using the phone for simple tasks such as web browsing, and the occasional game. The Moto X however, has Quick Charge 2.0 built in, so it can charge from 0 to full in roughly an hour and a half. So a quick fifteen (15) minute charge should get you through the rest of the day till you reach home.
Hardware & Performance
The Moto X comes in 16, 32 and 64GB storage options, but the device’s memory can be expanded via microSD up to 128GB in size. Another important hardware feature of the Moto X are the speakers. For years when it came to speaker quality on phones, HTC was the king of sound quality however, in 2015 they were dethroned in style. Moto X has the best sounding speakers in the smart phone game to date, with a clear rich sound, that is not overblown. but rather raises the listening experience to a higher standard. The phone has the 4G Bands required for both carriers in Barbados, and pretty much anywhere else in the world you might wish to take this phone, since it is an unlocked device.
As expected from a device named the “Pure Edition”, the near stock look of Android Lollipop (now Android 6.0 Marshmallow), brings you the best features that android has to offer; a clean, bloatware free experience. Motorola did bring some great add-ons to the device, with Moto Actions and Moto Assist. The latter provides a hands-free experience since it can read out text messages to you, tell who is currently calling you, silencing all interactions, all while you’re on the road. Moto Voice is another great hands-free feature, which enables you to give the phone tasks to do, just by uttering a catch-phrase. Moto Actions allows you to wave your hand over the phone’s display to view current notifications without unlocking the phone, double chopping turns on the flashlight feature, and double twists the shortcut for the camera.
For many years, the only gripe consumers had with the Moto X was the camera (it was rubbish). The camera was lackluster even with the many updates sent out to previous devices. This year the Moto X brings us a 21-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture on the rear, while the front camera packs a 5MP wide angle lens, also with a flash. So, are the cameras any good? Yes. Are they the best in class? No. However let’s start with the good. In good to fairly good lighting conditions, the Moto X performs really well, with accurate colour representation, filled with decent detail in every shot. I found that macro shots are also good, the Moto X is quick to focus on the subject. Low light performance is also better than previous versions, the sensor takes in more light and has overall less noise when taking shots. It’s not all perfect, the phone doesn’t take pictures as fast as the competition, manual controls for the camera are nonexistent, and the phone gets warm after a few minutes of constant photography. The camera experience this year however, is a vast improvement over previous years, making it quite the capable shooter for most occasions.
Pricing and Conclusion
Motorola has always been the manufacturer to stand out, not getting caught up in passing trends which serve no purpose and the Pure Edition seems to be a testament to that belief. At only 250 USD (lower prices can be found elsewhere) Motorola seems to understand better than anyone else that overpriced phones aren’t the only way to get a pleasant experience. For the price of the Moto X, you’re getting a huge bang for your buck, in a beautifully crafted, well thought out piece of tech. Adding in the Moto Action features, the Moto X Pure Edition adds up to a great example of personalization Android is capable of.