Motorola's second-generation Moto X (2014) reviewed
4.2Overall Score

Price (RRP): $749 for the plastic back; $789 for the wooden back;
Manufacturer: Motorola

Motorola was last to the table for 2014 flagship phones, with the handsets arriving mere weeks before the year ended. Now that 2015 is here, let’s see what all the fuss is about with Motorola’s all new Moto X.

Features

The second generation of Motorola’s reinvented flagship is here, and while it’s a little late to Australia, it’s here all the same, updating the X series Motorola with a new screen, new innards, and possibly a new reason to update.

First things first, the screen, and for that, you’ll find a 5.2 inch Full HD In-Plane Switching touchscreen relying on AMOLED technology and providing a pixel clarity of roughly 424 pixels per inch, higher than the screen clarity found on both the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Scratch-resistance has been applied here, too, thanks to Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 sitting on top of the display.

Under this screen is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz, working alongside the Adreno 330 graphics chip and 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, and running Google’s Android 4.4 “KitKat” out of the box, with an update to Android 5.0 “Lollipop” available shortly after opening the box.

Multimedia for this smartphone is handled with two cameras, with a 13 megapixel camera on the back with the lens surrounded by a dual-LED flash that appears to be a ring flash, with Ultra HD video capture also possible from this camera. A front camera is included, too, and this is a 2 megapixel camera.

Connections are fairly strong here, with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi supported, as well as DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE, GPS with GLONASS, Near-Field Communication, and of course, support for 4G LTE, which in this phone is rated for Category 4 download speeds of up to 150Mbps.

Wired connections are possible too, though you’ll only find a microUSB port here on the Moto X, found at the bottom of the handset.

A nanoSIM slot can be found, too, ejectable from the phone using a pin eject tool at the top of the handset.

There is no microSD slot on the 2014 edition of the Motorola Moto X.

The handset includes a non-removable battery rated at 2300mAh, and the smartphone is made from a combination of materials, with a metal frame surrounding it all, the typically glass front, and a back made from either leather, wood, or soft-touch plastic.

Performance

In the hands, we have to say we’re fans of the design Motorola is pushing out in the latest X, with a feeling that just works really well.

This design relies on a metal frame to bring together the glass front and soft plastic back, and what really helps is the circular Motorola logo, which provides a perfect indicator for where you should put your finger, making for a very comfy hold without any dramas. You don’t have to hold it like this, mind you, and your forefinger can sit anywhere else, but if you’re having troubles holding the 5.2 inch phone, this is a good place to start.