Readers are probably sick of reading my posts lauding the fantastic HTC One, so you may be happy to hear that another Android device has knocked it out of my front pocket.
Motorola just expanded their custom Moto Maker service to all carriers last Monday. I ordered a customized Moto X on Wednesday and it arrived on Friday, just two days after placing my order.
So what caused me to order a custom Moto X and why has it knocked the HTC One out of my front pocket?
- Hardware design: Prior to the Moto X, the HTC One gave me the best in-hand experience. The Moto X beats that with an even better form fitting design. In addition, everything is rock solid and attractive. The metallic orange highlights on my navy blue Moto X look amazing. I don't ever want to put the device down and like to flip it around in my hand.
- Touchless controls: I recently posted a side-by-side video showing how Moto X lags just behind the iPhone 5 in voice-enabled Google searches, likely due to a processor difference. However, the convenience of speaking with my phone lying several feet away to control it and conduct searches is simply amazing. This is one of those smart features that I have always wanted to see in a phone and Motorola succeeded here.
- Camera with a twist: Without a hardware camera button, I am finding it quite convenient to just twist my wrist with the Moto X in hand to launch the camera. I want to see continued camera features added, but it gets the job done in most conditions.
- Motorola Assist: There are 3rd party apps that try to provide services to match the Motorola Assist utility, but the native application works extremely well and I am finding daily benefits when driving, in meetings, and while sleeping.
- Trusted devices: Motorola included a free Motorola Skipaccessory when I made my purchase. The Skip is designed to help you easily unlock your phone. However, with their trusted devices integration, I can also use my connected Pebble smartwatch to keep my phone unlocked while wearing my watch. Again, Motorola has found another small way to make using your phone convenient.
- Android 4.4 KitKat: I don't yet have the update, but Motorola rolled it out for the Verizon model yesterday and the 'coming weeks' means I may see it on my device by Thanksgiving. Motorola worked quickly to get 4.4 on the Moto X and this is encouraging for possible future updates.
- Assembled in the USA: As a military veteran, seeing the words 'Designed and Assembled in the USA' on the back of the Moto X gives me a sense national pride. This may sound silly to some, but it is a factor in my personal purchase decision.
My HTC One is an amazing piece of hardware and HTC has added features and utilities I thoroughly enjoy as well. However, it is the number of small conveniences that Motorola added that make it a more compelling device for me at this time. You honestly can't go wrong with either.
I reviewed the Moto X back in August and gave it an 8 our of 10. Today, I would give it an 8.5 or 9 due to the improved camera, improved hardware quality and $100 drop in price.
I also recently ranked the Moto X down at number six of my top 10 smartphones for the holiday season, but as I stated every one of those 10 phones is excellent and the actual ranking didn't mean that much. I would probably lift the Moto X now after spending more time with it so we will see where it ends up in my top 10 smartphones of 2013 article coming in December.
For your information, in case you are tracking what I am carrying, I also have a new iPhone 5s. I plan to swap nanoSIMs with the Moto X, unless I change my mind in the next two days when my iPhone return period ends. I like the iPhone 5s for its app and service support, but need to decide if that is enough to keep it on hand.
Related ZDNet coverage
- Top 10 smartphones for the 2013 holiday season
- Custom Moto X has improved hardware and appealing looks
- Motorola launches Moto X Maker customization service for all carriers
- AT&T Moto X Review: Finally makes Android specs irrelevant
- The HTC One is the best smartphone I have ever used (review)
- Verizon HTC One vs. Motorola Droid Maxx: I still prefer the One
- T-Mobile HTC One: World's best smartphone on US best value major carrier