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Motorola Moto X Hands-on, First Impressions: Pure Android Bliss

Motorola Moto X 2014 09

We go hands-on with the Moto X!

If you haven’t heard, Motorola is back in the country, 7 years after their ungraceful exit from the PH market back in 2008. But now they’re back, and they’re bringing three devices with them to the PH: the Moto E, the Moto G and the Moto X. Today’s hands-on will be on the Moto X, a phone released by Motorola back in 2014. A little dated yes, but it still has more than enough grunt to compete with other mid-range phones today.

Motorola Moto X

  • 2.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch full HD AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, NFC
  • Android Lollipop
  • 2300mAh battery

Motorola Moto X 2014 11

Initial impressions: impressive build quality, plus it’s the closest you’ll get to a pure Android experience next to a Nexus

We’ve encountered Motorola’s products before via review units that we sourced ourselves, and there’s no mistaking that the company knows how to make quality phones. The Moto X is no exception, and everything from the 5.2-inch AMOLED display, ergonomically curved back and metal frame feels solid and top notch. Simply put, the build quality is amazing.

Motorola Moto X 2014 04

While the design feels dated (the phone is almost a year old after all), it’s still a looker. While we’ve seen other phones with smaller and thinner bezels, the Moto X still has a good screen to body ratio. The back of the Moto X is curved, with Motorola’s logo embedded in a small dimple at the back. The 13-megapixel rear camera is located right above that. It may not look it, but the Moto X has an LED flash – two of them, in fact, flanking the camera module on either side.

Motorola Moto X 2014 03

The display of the Moto X uses a 5.2-inch full HD AMOLED panel. It’s one of the nicest displays we’ve seen, and can easily stand up agains the Super AMOLED offerings of its Korean rival, Samsung, easily. Because the Moto X uses on-screen keys for navigation, there’s no need for thick bezels below the display, further reducing the overall size of the phone.

Motorola Moto X 2014 10

The phone has two speaker grilles on the front, though only the bottom speaker grille is an actual loudspeaker as the other one serves as the earpiece. With the display off, the front of the phone simply looks like a monolithic block of dark glass, which makes it one of nicest looking phones out in the market today.

Motorola Moto X 2014 01

While the phone is almost a year old, Motorola has taken great care in providing timely updates to the device. The Moto X was one of the first smartphones outside of Google’s Nexus program to get Android 5.0, and Motorola sent out another OTA to bring the Moto X to Android 5.1 as we were setting it up for our review. Motorola’s prided themselves in providing a near-pure Android experience in their phones, and the Moto X is no exception. If you want a pure Android experience and you don’t want to go with the Nexus devices, the Moto X is the best option.

Motorola Moto X 2014 07

The Moto X is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor paired with 2GB of RAM. While it may seem dated compared to the 4GB monsters that play in its price range, that’s more than enough for everyday tasks. The Snapdragon 801 processor may be dated, but it’s still plenty powerful, especially its Adreno 330 GPU. Combine the hardware with the stock Android experience, then you get a phone that has zero lag when you’re using it.

Motorola Moto X 2014 12

That’s it for this initial impressions. We’ll be using the Moto X as our primary phone in the days to come, so watch out for that.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.


  1. If priced competitively this could disrupt the market even though the battery leaves much to be desired. But Lenovo thinks it’s from a first world country and is not known for pricing its products accordingly.

    1. It’s like wishing for Binay na hindi na siya magigiging corrupt pag nanalo …NOPE, that ain’t happening hahaha

  2. Am I the only one here who absolutely does NOT understand the hype with the Moto X and/or phones that promote ‘close to stock Android’ user experiences?

    I mean, say it takes about 1.5-2 seconds for a Moto X to open the messaging app than a Note 4, or the web browser loads unbox.ph 4.1 seconds faster on the same WiFi network, or opening up the Recent apps tab is 4-5 seconds faster on the Moto, but what’s the point of a ‘pure Android phone’ if Google half-asses the software it comes with? (see: Google Photos complaints; Play Services battery drain; TWO email clients offered by them (Inbox AND Gmail.)

    1. nope, you’re not the only one. stock nexus software is terribly buggy.

      i think the hype comes from western markets that rarely encounter stock android, as opposed to markets like ours where most chinese phones don’t come with skins. to them, stock android is exotic.

      1. Well said! There’s also this impression that stock Android would make phones easier to update which while true, depends entirely on the manufacturer and whatever company they sourced their parts from. They can’t get it in their heads that drivers for phones works differently than in computers where they can get by on generic drivers for the most part. Another thing that makes Motorola attractive to the Western Market is that it’s one of the last Western holdout in this day and age. Google buying Motorola just bolstered that appeal because now, Google can make an Android phone inhouse! Sadly, they were mistaken. Google was just after Motorola’s patents and they sold off the mobile phone division to Lenovo. Now, Apple is the only true Western phone company that is still selling phones today.

      2. That’s Americans for ya. They need someone with an Indian accent to turn their computers on for them. Why do you think Apple corners almost half of the US phone market? Granted Apple makesit easier (albeit expensive) but the beauty of android is in the tinkering. Most Yanks are too chicken to root their phones and delete those useless bloat wares. Or install Cyanogen. They think stock android is the best thing since sliced bread. I don’t care if it’s stock or whatever UI the manufacturer puts in. basta pagbili ko root kaagad yan. Warranty be damned.

    1. Yan din naisip ko nung unang post pa lang dito na babalik ang Motorola. They could have waited for the release of these phones at least before making their announcement. To be fair, the Moto X (2014) appears to have been discounted already (around $380 with taxes) but I doubt the Moto G (2014) would sell well here. It doesn’t have LTE, has way inferior specs than other phones in its price range, and the Moto E is just a better value overall. They could always release the Moto X (2015) at P25-35K as expected of foreign flagships here but what are they going to do about the Moto G?

      1. Yes they are discounted but for me, I won’t spend money on this first batch of motorola’s return. Baka kasi yan yung stocks na may konting defect or nahalo na sa lemon inventory. If they can offer a 1 year service and parts warranty then good pero kung wala silang mabibigay na official statement about those things, mahirap na maglabas ng pera. Some people will say na mura lang ang 6 to 8k at ok na din ito para sa non-techie consumers na tight ang budget pero magdadagdag na lang ako ng konti para sa unit na bago at may warranty.

  3. Coming from a Nexus 7, I never want to get another Stock Android device. You are always beta testing for Google and when you hear reports of 7s gettings bricked, it’s really hard to feel lucky to get an update that might brick your phone.

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