Sep 17th, 2015

After pre-ordering our custom-made Motorola Moto X Pure Edition back toward the beginning of the month, I’ve had the chance to play around with the phone for the better part of a week now. As you may recall, I gave you guys an unboxing and discovered I had actually received a defective unit. Not the best way to start a review, but these sort of things happen and it didn’t take long for Motorola to quickly issue out a replacement.

The model I originally ordered was white/silver with gun metal accents and a leather back cover. This time around I received a black base model (one of 3 configurations you’ll find in retail stores) with the standard silicone finish back cover. Leather is certainly more “premium,” there’s really no denying that. But when when I was first customizing the phone online, I was sort of torn. I loved the look of the silicone cover with its more svelte appearance, but in the end the leather just seemed more interesting. With two of the devices now in my possession, I thought a quick comparison and impressions post/video was in order.

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition Leather Silicone DSC09975

Now, last year’s Moto X (2014) also came in genuine Horween leather, but it was a much more smooth finish. For 2015, Motorola decided to go with a Saffiano leather which has a sort of cross-hatched texture stamped onto it. When it first arrived, it looked great. It was soft, smooth, and in pristine condition. But after a week, I can’t say I’m feeling the look anymore. Scratches and marring can be seen all around and while I know some of you will appreciate that tattered/worn look, I’m sad to say that I don’t. Not on a phone anyway. It was just a little too… rugged.

I know, a week isn’t long enough to see how the leather will age over time and it’s entirely possible this was only an awkward phase. A year from now, it could look amazing. But after comparing it to the hard, silky smooth, and more grippy finish of the standard silicone model, I have to admit — I kind of prefer the silicone. It sits on my lap without sliding off and I don’t have to worry about the finish being ruined with my daily Windexing routine. That being said, I also drink sh*tty American beer and frequent McDonald’s. Needless to say, my tastes are anything but refined.

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition Leather Silicone DSC09977

But look over our photos and decide for yourself. If you were on the fence about spending on extra $25 on leather, I’d recommend either taking that money and applying it to a storage upgrade instead, or picking up one of those wood options for the same price (we previously owned the Moto X 2nd Gen in Bamboo).