New Moto X: First impressions

Moto X 2nd GenAfter a long wait, Motorola recently unveiled its upgraded version of the Moto X smartphone. Carrying the same branding as the last-generation, the phone will be released later this months in markets around the world. US is likely to be the first country to get the phone, closely followed by India, UK and Brazil.

Motorola has the simplest product portfolio among the Android manufacturers. Everywhere apart from the US, the company sells just three smartphones, all targeted to one specific set of consumers. Moto X is the company’s premium smartphone, meant for the consumers, who want great smartphone experience and don’t mind paying a little extra for the same.

Despite being a little shy on the raw specs front, the original Moto X offered the promised premium smartphone experience. Still the phone wasn’t a big success. So, how does Motorola plan to change that with the latest iteration of the smartphone? I spent some time with the new Moto X this week to find the same.

The first thing that you will notice about the new Moto X is how beautiful it looks and feels. The phone is a huge upgrade in terms of the design over the last generation. The company has clearly spent a lot of time refining and tweaking the phone over the last-year.  Sporting a 5.2-inch display, the new Moto X is also in line with consumer expectations of a large-screen smartphone, yet the company has been able to keep the overall size of the phone small by including tiny bezels on all sides. Another aspect of the Moto X (2nd Gen.) design that stands out is the metal frame on the edges of the phone, it not only adds a premium look to the device but also makes it sturdy. In addition, according to Motorola, the metal rim on the sides of the phone acts as an antenna, helping in the network reception.Moto X 2nd Gen

The full-HD AMOLED display on-board the new Moto X solves a big complain that spec-hungry consumers had with the original Moto X. The resolution is more in-line with current high-end smartphones. Sure, a number of manufacturers have jumped on the QHD ship but I personally believe that 1920x1080p display is more than enough for smartphones. The AMOLED technology also helps the phone is saving crucial battery life and makes the display vibrant.

Display isn’t the only area where Motorola has decided to keep up with the times and make a certain section of the consumers happy. The firm has included 2.5 quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (along with natural language processor and contextual computing processor) and 2GB of RAM on the new smartphone. This is all the processing power and memory that the second-generation Moto X is ever going to need and it shows in the performance of the smartphone. During my brief usage, I found the phone to be fast and fluid. The near-stock version of Android certainly helps in that. Like all of its Google-era smartphones, the new Moto X packs very little customisation from Motorola and all of what has been customised actually adds value of the phone. The enhancements like Moto Display (earlier known as Active Display) and Moto Voice (aka Touchless control) help in the daily usage of the phone and are really useful.Moto X 2nd Gen

Motorola has also improved on the imaging capabilities in the Moto X (2nd Gen.). The new smartphone houses a 13MP rear shooter, which is aided by the dual-LED flash placed in a clear ring around the camera sensor, as well as 2MP front camera. The primary camera supports 4K video recording, HDR, slow motion video, touch-capture and more, all the bells and whistles that you will expect from modern smartphone camera. I will be covering the imaging performance details in the review, however whatever little time I spent with the Moto X primary camera, I found it be fast and capable of taking decent images.

Among other things, the company has included a 2300 mAh battery on the phone, which sure looks under-powered on paper but according to Motorola, it should last a day on average use. There is support for Moto Maker as well, which will be available in select countries like US, UK, Mexico and Germany.  The consumers will be able to choose from up to 25 back finishes including leather and wood.

Overall, the new Moto X is a great effort from Motorola – great design, excellent performance and useful software enhancements – everything needed to make it a bigger success than the last generation, whether it strikes a chord with the consumers, remains to be soon.

While there is still some time in the actual availability of the smartphone but if you are in the market for a high-end Android smartphone, the Moto X (2nd Gen.) should be on your list.


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