Moto X Review: New Motorola Smartphone is Pioneering Device


The phrase “X Marks the Spot,” applies to Motorola Mobility as it unveils its newest invention in mobile technology. While the Moto X has the typical features of a smartphone, its most distinguishing capability is constant knowledge of the user’s actions and whereabouts.

Since Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2012, the Moto X has a cutting-edge design and many applications. The Moto X has a 4.7-inch display and two capacities for internal memory: 16 GB and 32 GB. Its dimensions are 5.1 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches, weighing 4.58 ounces. The new smartphone contains a 1.7 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor, 2 GB of RAM and Android 4.2.2 as its operating system. The Moto X also has Wi-Fi capability, a 10 MP rear-facing camera and a 2 MP front-facing camera. The mobile awareness and interface, by far, is the most unique capability because it grants the Moto X sentience. Although a sentient smartphone seems intrusive, the Moto X offers considerable convenience and efficiency to users and may become a rival to veteran smartphones like Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4.

Similar to the iPhone’s Siri, the Moto X has a “touchless” control that is constantly listening for vocal commands. This allows users to dial numbers, send texts, use mobile apps and perform other functions through the sound of the voice.

“It works remarkably well, as long as you precede your command with the salutation, ‘OK, Google Now.’ Without ever taking your eyes off the road, you can say, ‘OK, Google Now.  Give me directions to the Empire State Building’,” said the New York Times. “You can also say, ‘OK Google Now. Remind me at 8 p.m. to give the dog his pill.’ Or, ‘OK Google Now, make an appointment for Thursday at noon with Bob.’”

The Moto X can change its mode based on the user’s action, location or time of day: Driving, Meeting and Sleeping. The smartphone senses when the user is driving and reads new text messages aloud through the speakerphone, entering Driving Mode.  Depending on the user, the Moto X can respond with this instant text message — “I am driving and will get back with you soon.”  The smartphone enters Meeting Mode when the user is in a conference by accessing the calendar. The Moto X silences itself and sends this instant text message — “I am in a meeting and will get back to you soon.” Finally, there is Sleeping Mode in which the Moto X silences itself during specified bedtime hours. The screen also turns off when the smartphone is face down or placed in a pocket. This could solve the problem of accidentally calling or texting someone.

There are two more features that show the efficiency and power of the Moto X. The Active Display is a feature that, upon picking up the smartphone, informs users of the time and any notifications. “It lets you touch a notification to peek at some of its contents,” said the Wall Street Journal. Users can also activate the camera by twitching their wrist, granting quicker and easier accessibility. The feature works whether the smartphone is on or off. “I found this feature very reliable,” said Walter S. Mossberg. “It made it quicker to get to the camera than on any phone I’ve tested except for some Windows Phones, which have a dedicated camera button.” This shows a growing superiority in the Moto X and aptitude of Motorola Mobility.

The only flaw lurks in the reading text messages aloud while in Driving Mode. This is an invasion of privacy, especially if there are passengers in the car with the user. Aside from this, the Moto X gives “smartphone” a new definition through its sentience and innovation.