Watch as we customize 5 Moto X phones with Moto Maker [VIDEO]



While the rest of the world will still have to wait a few weeks to build their custom Moto X devices, we had the opportunity to jump in  early and toy around with creating our own. Suckers! We took the suggestions of readers by way of Android Forums (as you’ll see in the video, one reader wins their own custom Moto X) to put Motorola’s Moto Maker through its paces. The results were mixed.

Let’s just get it out of the way: Moto Maker is cool. It’s unlike any smartphone buying experience we have ever seen before. It does what it says it’s going to do. We were able to choose from a variety of rear color options, white and black for the front bezel, put an accent on the camera ring and hardware buttons, and throw a signature on the back. It worked. It was pretty neat. But at launch Moto Maker might still leave some feeling a little limited.

Moto Maker: Not without its flaws

The designs we chose to work with were a combination of established color schemes representing everything from Phandroid to the Marine Corps plus a few mustered up out of pure imagination. And here’s Moto Maker’s first flaw: if you go into building your Moto X with an established color scheme in mind, be prepared to make some pretty big concessions to make it happen. For instance, in building a device based on the colors of the Oregon Ducks we had to make some changes. Oregon’s colors include a darker forest green, which we would use for the back of the phone, and yellow, which would make up the accents. But Moto Maker had nothing that matched Oregon’s green.

The same goes for attempting to design a Phandroid phone. We would have liked to use blue as a base color, but you quickly learn that the number of accent colors is extremely limited. With no green accent, we had to flip the scheme. A bright green phone with blue buttons. It still looked cool, but the point is to temper your expectations. We had the olive green necessary for a Marine Corps phone, but no maroon accents. A “Rebel Scum” Star Wars phone would have looked great with white buttons on crimson red, but we had to pick silver. You will be getting a custom device, but it will be within Moto’s parameters.

Censorship and Moto Maker

One more thing about the Phandroid phone: for whatever reason, Moto has put the name of our site on some sort of block list. You can’t add it as a signature/engraving on the back of the handset. We played around with some other words to see what else was a no-no. You couldn’t write Apple, but you could definitely make your brand new Moto X say “iPhone” right on the back.

The Future of Moto Maker

But for all those flaws, it’s still a great smartphone buying experience, and that may be more for the little things like linking your Google account out of the factory than for the actual color customizations. Color matching a pair of headphones (at an up charge) is also a pretty neat trick. You can choose other accessories like case options, predetermine the wallpaper (but you can’t upload your own), and set a custom welcome message for when you turn on your phone. These touches make the Moto X truly yours.


Are improvements to the system necessary? More color options welcomed? Of course, but Moto is just getting started. Look for the Moto Maker program to expand with options like wood and patterned backs as it goes through its initial growing pains. Google and Motorola are doing something huge here. They opened a whole US factory just to process custom Moto X orders. It might not be everything we want it to be right now, but it’s more than we could have asked for.


Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. Why are your videos in a format we can’t watch on mobile devices???

    1. Plays on my phone. What device are you using and how are you viewing it?

    2. It’s a youtube video… ???

  2. metallic, iridescent, chrome, and color change paints. clear plastic, (wouldn’t want my phone to have it but it would be different.) wood, carbon fiber, and a brushed aluminum. i would love to give the X a try. i love the freedom of customization. i have yet to design a X yet because i know i would want to buy it once im done. i cant fight temptation.

  3. Holy Batman! Bunch of Mac Lovers.

    1. And someone needs a longer short shorts xD

  4. The customizations are pretty damn cool tho…

  5. Nexus 4 4.3 stock: video no play

  6. A lot of their “wouldn’t it be cool” suggestions are unrealistic. There’s a reason for limited color options: parts. They have to stock the parts in various colors to build the phone in a timely manner. Space costs money and stock costs money. Logically, you keep as little stock on hand as you have to. At first, you pick what you think will sell best based on market research and limited to what you can make (well). Then you adjust based on sales and demand.

  7. if it was actually customizable then it wouldn’t be called one specific name for the phone. I yearn for the day where we could go online and customize the camera, screen size, resolution, processor, and perhaps even the OS. impossible I know

  8. Congrats Sturmdroid!

  9. How did they forget a basic red option? Android green? Who picked the color selection? Plenty of pastels thought… make the phone match your tacky outfits!

  10. I am excited about this but there is really no point if it isn’t durable and needs a case.

    1. bumper case

  11. Backplates with Silver trim would be nice. The Wood ones have a different trim color.

  12. It’s kind of annoying that you guys picked phones that couldn’t be customized…. but it’s a good way to show the limitations of Motomaker. I guess it’s really the submitter’s fault for picking non-existent color combinations. Now if you had chosen my phone it would’ve worked out perfectly because I actually took the time to choose available color combinations as shown in the Motomaker teaser videos. But that’s just me….

  13. … for whatever reason, Moto has put the name of our site on some sort of block list.


    I hope you guys got in touch with their PR…

    1. its the usage of “droid”….cant put droid anything

  14. Crap bummed I didn’t win.

  15. I’m pretty sure they have the colors for my Big Bird theme. I wish I could test it out.

  16. Aw, man, I actually paid attention to Moto’s color schemes available (so I actually had the spearment green with blue accent and blue headset), but chase posted up his phandroid phone before me…oh well, still not the winner.

  17. I understand it works better if you access it through Apple products.

  18. So the guy that won created a phone you couldn’t even make? Ok then…

    1. same way I feel Lmao

  19. really don’t get all of this. if you buy a phone with any sort of metal body you’d better have a case on it. naked iPhones with shattered screens are everywhere! lighter weight phones (plastics, composite, S4) would obviously benefit from the laws of physics when dropped, and even then should have a case on em. cases…customize em! phones…enjoy looking at your sexy pink, wood grained, bedazzled piece of motoliciousness until the first butter fingers oopsie! CRACK! oh well…the Moto X customization factory will do a bang up business replacing glass.

  20. I don’t get it. Why do we want to see a video of you using a product any of us can use, but only those of us on ATT can actually order from? Article really misses the mark and seems to have been a waste of production time.

    1. That’s like getting butthurt that they wrote an article about the Nexus 4 but you can’t use it because you’re on a CDMA carrier

      What “mark” did it miss?

  21. Like if you tried to copy that url in their video in the google chrome omnibox and trying to access motomaker.

  22. So when they said there was 18 back colors and 7 accent colors, they didn’t actually mean that you can pick any color imaginable, they meant that you actually could only pick what they said you could pick? Shocking!

    1. мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

      clear plastic, (wouldn’t want my phone to have it but it would be
      different.) wood, carbon fiber, and a brushed aluminum. i would love to
      give the X a try. i love the freedom of customization. i have yet to
      design a X yet because i know i would want to buy it once im done. i
      cant fight temptation.

  23. Wait a represent the phandroid/android Community with your Google Chrome pixel laptops with Apple decals O.o… What no windows 8 to go with your treachery :D ???

  24. Clearly you can’t put “phandroid” on it because it has the word “android” within it. Wasn’t this obvious to anyone else?

  25. sweet, runner up! even though there’s no prize, it was cool getting a nod!

    and yeah.. my handle rhymes with Fonz..

  26. Why do u have a crapple Mac book

  27. Its official- Wearing Google Glass does in fact make you look like a tool.

  28. These articles sound more like Phandroid is gloating to their readers than doing anything else. Fact, IMO.

  29. These articles seem more like Phandroid is gloating to their users than anything else.

    1. This site is going downhill.

      Phandroid if you care to know when I thought you were going downhill look for my first mention of it in my history of comments. This site has, in fact, been on a slide for some time. I have been visiting less and less so hate all you want, you will lose.

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