Sep 5th, 2014

While most won’t be able to get their hands on the all new Moto X until later this month, we walked away from Motorola’s Chicago headquarters with one in hand. Naturally, the first thing we did was pry that sucker from its cold cardboard tomb and power it up to get a closer look at what consumers can expect when they unbox the device for the first time.

The packaging is nondescript, opting for the traditional as opposed to the circular box that the Moto 360 smartwatch will come in. But what’s in a box? Well, the smartphone, to be frank.

The new Moto X at first glance looks a lot like the old Moto X. It keeps the same design language down to the little accents, but there are a few differences worth noting. The first is a larger display, which sees a bump up from the first generation’s 4.7-inch panel to 5.2 inches (we also get an increase in resolution from 720p HD to 1080p). Metal has also become a primary build material with an aluminum frame wrapping the device and aluminum accents that include the power and volume buttons.

Still, the larger size and the added metal don’t contribute to a bulkier phone. At it’s thinnest edge the new Moto X is a mere 3.8mm thick, while it expands to 9.9mm at it’s thickest. This increase is accommodated by a gentle curve (much like with the original Moto X) that has the ergonomic benefit of producing a rather pleasing handfeel (yeah, I just said handfeel, which might be worse than mouthfeel).


Moto Maker is back with device customization, and this time around Motorola has added leather options in addition to the woodgrain and plastic finishes available for the first Moto X. While the model we unboxed was a standard Verizon edition with a soft touch back, the leather may just be the best finish option for the Moto X we have seen yet. We can imagine the leather picking up a nice patina as certain areas get worn down and shaped by use, adding a truly personal touch.

Internally the specs have seen a bump in most areas. You get Snapdragon 801 processing with Adreno 330 graphics, a 13MP camera with an innovative dual-LED “ring flash,” and a 2300mAh battery. Added IR sensors enable enhanced gesture interaction; perhaps the biggest software upgrade is the ability to change the “OK, Google” voice command to a custom trigger phrase of your own choosing.

Much like the name, a lot about the new Moto X remains familiar while experiencing the benefit of mostly subtle upgrades. It’s the ultimate iterative update, but we don’t mean that in a derogatory way. The new features are just the sort of thing Moto fans were asking for. There is a certain understated beauty to the device’s design and feature set that doesn’t disappoint.

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