Moto X first impressions: priced too high, buttons rattle, exclusives suck

Moto X first impressions: priced too high, buttons rattle, exclusives suck

Summary: I've spent the weekend with the Moto X and keep grabbing my HTC One instead. The price is too high for a subsidized Android device with mid-range specs and plastic feel.


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  • Widgets on the Moto X

  • Multi-tasking on the Moto X

  • Moto X quick controls

Topics: Mobility, Android, Reviews, Smartphones, AT&T

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  • No thanks.

    "The Moto X feels good in the hand,"

    That is as far as I got reading. I'll wait for more sane feel.
    • So you posted

      just to say you didn't read the article?
      Michael Alan Goff
  • It'll drop in price...

    fairly quickly. just like the Palm Pre, but unlike the over-priced iPhone that takes much longer to drop in price. But i've heard a report that it's tear down and total BOM is $214, which puts in right in the middle of the BOMs of other other $199 phones. If indeed it's $20 less BOM than the S4, then agreed, the proper price for this phone is $179, imo, but is that what everyone is up in arms about over the price? $20? i don't think so, but fair enough, $179 would have been the more appropriate price. And you can't expect it to be more appropriate at *less* than $179 b/c then you're pricing hardware, and for it to be made in the usa, the BOM is going to cost more than the hardware+chinese labor. So you can't have an AND, you can only have an OR there. The screen doesn't bother me, the fact is you can't have always ready or active notifications with a 1080P screen without sacrificing battery life, so again, that's an OR not an and. And if you can't have an AND then you don't have an X, so i don't know why everyone is griping about that. Were they supposed to replicate an S4? I didn't buy the S4 for a reason, there's nothing special about it (well, and it's too big). So why would they even go there, many of us want something more than the same old 'my hardware is more advanced than yours' bs. Not sure if it's bad that it has a dual core but i would like it to be fast, so please report back on that, it's actually my only gripe, not sure if they couldn't have put a 1.9mhz quad core processor in. And agreed, that moto maker for 1 carrier sucks. Personally i get the feeling they didn't just do it for the exclusivity deal but also because nothing like this has ever been done, would you agree with that? And i think if you gave it to all 4 carriers at once without knowing exactly what to expect, i think you're asking for trouble. I really want a black one with blue accents, so believe me, i'm none to happy but i'd almost rather not have it then hear everyone whine and cry over their colored phone not getting to them in the exact 4 days, ya know? Dunno. I think it sucks.
    • .

      Wait, what?
      • Hehe...

        I think they should give some consideration to de-caf!!
      • ...

        he can't have the things he likes without having the things he doesn't. For example, yes to made in usa, but no to the price.

        he can't have a 1080P and still have the active notifications and other features he likes.

        he can't have the buttons he wants on the front of the device and still have the same size/shape of the product.

        he can't have the actual product, which costs intwn the iphone and the sammy to make, and have it priced lower than a sammy and iphone.

        and if he chooses okay, then i won't have those other additional things, but prefer the 1080P, faster processor, all he's gonna get is another typical sammy-type product.
        • oh, nix 1080, he likes the 720P, even though he...

          think he should get some savings from it, but he's actually getting something else for it, the breathing notifications he likes.
    • Okeee Dokeee

      You may want to get a little rest after that!
      Techyard Dog
  • Pricing

    You said the pricing was a bit high and then also noting is is made in the USA.. Were you expecting that a US made device would be priced on par with overseas phones. From my work with Commodore USA I would think US made devices would be 20-30% more expensive..
    Harry Hawk
  • Review of this Review: Lazy. No Substance.

    This reviewer is from the specs matter camp. All he could talk about were the specs.

    No mention of the MotoX's near stock android experience that blows HTC's Sense UI out of the water. No mention on the gains in battery life that are made by making compromises on the screen resolution and processor. It was only grudgingly mentioned that the lower end processor wasn't yielding lower performance because it undermines the argument he's making that specs matter. Specs matter, but only to a point.

    This review reads like Mr. Miller picked up the MotoX once and decided he didn't like how it felt compared to his HTC One. He got hung up on price and specs and that's how we ended up with this lazy no substance review.
    • It's not a review, just some initial impressions

      Thanks for the kind words. As the title and writing in this post state, this is NOT a review and simply a first impressions article. Reviews take a week or two of usage to pull together and things like battery life cannot be reported after a couple of days.

      Specs do matter in the Android world, but I was also clear that so far I am not seeing any issue with them being a bit less on the Moto X. I'll be able to post my review near the end of August.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • And when you get to the review...

        I hope you acknowledge that the Moto X not only has a dual core CPU, but two additional low powered CPUs that were designed to handle the sensors. I also hope to see you acknowledge that most Android phones running on two and four cores are actually only using one core for the vast majority of processing.

        Regardless, I believe sarcor had such an issue with your first impressions because you started out really negative and kept going back to specs. Specs DO matter, but as any second year computer science student could tell you, architecture matters more. And the Moto X? It has an unusual architecture (X8). That unusual architecture, coupled with the fact that the phones are all using one core for the vast amount of work, is going to blow any presumptions about specs out the window whether you like it or not.

        And the 720p display? The human eye cannot discern resolutions beyond 300ppi. If the Moto X had a 5" screen, the 720p display might be a problem, but it's not. It's on a 4.7" screen, putting it above the 300ppi mark and thus a moot point. So you should herald them for not being dumb and wasting your battery life instead of criticising them before conceding that the Moto X does look good at 720p (because your eyes couldn't tell the difference if it was 1080p or not). My Galaxy Nexus looks just as good as my friend's S4, which I might add isn't even true 1080p. The S4 (720p with software buttons the way the Android developers intended) uses a PenTile display in which each pixel is made up of three-color sub pixels instead of four (which would be true 1080p). This results in wasted battery life and, the way Samsung uses it, GPU performance degradation. All things you fail to mention, again, focusing on specs.

        Regardless, I plan to avoid any of your future "initial impressions" or phone reviews written by you because they just feel devoid of any actual knowledge and facts about the hardware architecture. Basing everything around specs creates misconceptions that your readers start believing as truths. Glad you're okay with misleading your audience in return for a paycheck.
        Andrew Dahl
        • LIE from Steve Jobs

          "And the 720p display? The human eye cannot discern resolutions beyond 300ppi. "

          The human eye CAN discern beyond 300ppi. Actually to 477 ppi -- which is almost 500ppi. That was a MARKETING LIE Steve Jobs fabricated to promote the so called retina view of the iPhone, because guess what? He has a phone with slightly more than 300ppi.

          "After conversions are made, a more accurate “retina display” would have a pixel resolution of 477 pixels per inch at 12 inches, Soneira calculated."

          Optics research scientist quickly refuted Steve Jobs "scientific" claims, but the Apple-loving media paid little heed. Are we at 500ppi yet? NO.

          Google or Bing: retina scam. Educate yourself and stop spewing marketing lies.
          • "Lie" is slightly inaccurate!!

            You just don't have magic in you!!

            Jobs did not lie - all he did was define "retina" display which is a marketing term developed by Apple. If morons choose to believe it, it's not his fault!
          • you are a little behind

            in your reading assignments, ChazzMatt. 477 dpi is an old and a misleading news.
      • Semantics

        You're right. It's not a review. That doesn't invalidate what I said. The tone of these
        "Initial Impressions" were overwhelmingly negative. The article focused on price and specs rather than value and UX. Your first impressions are valid but incomplete. It felt rushed and unprofessional and a bit like Nerd Baiting.

        I've read a lot of reviews of the MotoX. Some positive and some negative. But at least those "impressions" seemed balanced and were written by people that demonstrated some understanding of what Motorola and Google are trying to do with the device.
      • dual vs quad

        Does it really matter? Two extra channels to process memory that are already fast as it is for pushing only 720p won't make much of a difference until you need more RAM and/or use a 1080p display. It has a killer GPU to boot, and the S4 Pro is definitely no mid range processor. Plus you still get Quick Charge anyways. Food for thought.
    • Mr. Miller is an excellent reviewer

      Just because you do not agree or like with a reviewer comments or point of view, you should not say that he "decided didn't like how the phone felt". Mr. Miller is an objective and excellent reviewer, if not the best. And he is very well known in the field of cell phones.

      I agree with Matthew in everything he stated about the new Moto including the high price for a device which does not compare to the HTC One. And I used to have a Moto X and now have the One.
      • Used to have the Moto X?

        The phone launched in the US today, are you in the press?

        I held both the One and Moto X today at the AT&T store. The One is a big phone but it is very solid and feels great in the hand. The Moto X has a slightly smaller screen but is a dramatically smaller phone as the real estate on the face isn't spent on capacitive buttons. I like the plane google UI, I don't want other stuff on top of it and I don't have a choice with the One or S4 because I have Verizon. I have a Galaxy Nexus and the Moto is very similar and just a bit smaller and lighter. The X feels like a nexus device, I couldn't see the differences in the UI like I can on the One and S4. Really the only difference I noticed between the X and Galaxy Nexus (other than the three new features) is that the X is clearly faster, until today I didn't realize that my phone was slow.
  • Cry baby.

    Come on OLED looks great and can"t compare and price is fine at $250 for 32mb. Moto Maker for AT&T is o.k. I prefer them.