Hello (again) Moto: Motorola’s Moto X reviewed
4.2Overall Score

Price (RRP): $499
Manufacturer: Motorola

Motorola’s return to Australia is with the year old Moto X, a phone that prioritises voice over touch, encouraging you to talk to your phone rather than prod it with orders. But does it work, or should you wait for generation two?

Features

The first phone from Motorola that we’ve seen in ages, the Moto X is a wee bit late coming to Australia. Launched last year, the device back then offered some decent specifications that weren’t quite as high as the competition, and now looks a little dated, especially in comparison against some of the other devices seeing shelves now.

Some of these specs include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, and not the quad-core version that graced LG’s Optimus G last year. Rather, Motorola has equipped the dual-core model clocked ay 1.7GHz, running alongside the Adreno 320 graphics chip, 16GB storage with no microSD expansion, and that sweet spot of 2GB RAM.

Connections for the Moto X include 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE, GPS, Near-Field Communication (NFC), and support for both 3G and 4G LTE in Category 3 (up to 100Mbps).

Cameras are pretty normal on devices, and the Moto X is no different, with a 10 megapixel shooter on the back capable of recording in 1080p Full HD, and supported with a flash. A 2 megapixel shooter sits on the front, once again capable of recording 1080p Full HD videos, too.

All of this sits under a 4.7 inch AMOLED screen showing the HD resolution of 720p, or 1280×720, with the soft buttons included as part of the display and capable of changing dependent on the app or operating system at the time, part of Android’s current design language.

The most recent version of Android runs here, version 4.4.2 also known as “KitKat,” with very little overlay changing from Motorola. In fact, Motorola’s elements can be upgraded individually without needing the entire operating system to be updated, which is an interesting shift from what manufacturers traditionally do.

Ports and buttons are few on the Moto X, with two physical buttons on the right edge — power and volume rocker — and only two ports, with a 3.5mm headphone jack up top and a microUSB charge and data transfer port down below.

A nanoSIM tray can be found on the left edge, ejectable thanks to a pin ejection tool.

The battery is rated for 2200mAh.

Performance

You can’t look at the history of the mobile phone without revisiting some of the brilliant concepts that came before the smartphone we know and love today. There have been quite a few of them, but Motorola was one of the brands that helped kickstart it all, what with products like the StarTAC and the original RAZR, which helped cement the brand in the minds of customers all over the world.

Unfortunately, the company didn’t find tremendous success with its take on how phones should evolve, and bowed out from Australia eighteen months ago.