PROS / A compact design, great color customization and KitKat support make the Moto X a fresh and personal phone.
CONS / It doesn't have the processing speed or storage options of truly fantastic devices.
VERDICT / It may not suit the most demanding gadget lovers, but if you're looking for a phone that matches your personality and offers a polished software experience, you've found it.
Motorola's Moto X is a phone for the rest of us. Its standard black and white models may not look like much, but fire up the MotoMaker tool and you'll land yourself a beautiful smartphone that feels yours from top to bottom. It's simple, comfortable, easy to hold and – with little extras like Quick Capture and Active Display – a pleasure to use.
In any feature comparison between Android phones, the Moto X stands apart for its heavily customizable outer shell. The color of the device's front panel, rear cover and aluminum accents can be individually tweaked at the MotoMaker website into over 250 different combinations. Add in other personalization options like a startup greeting and wallpaper, and your Moto X will fit you like a glove.
Since Google recently acquired Motorola, the Moto X features a mostly untouched version of stock Android with only a few manufacturer-specific features thrown into the mix. One of them is Quick Capture, which lets you turn the phone on and take it directly to the camera app with a short back-and-forth rotation of your wrist. Another is Active Display, which turns part of the display on when you take it out of your pocket or flip it right side up, so you can check notifications without fully powering up the phone.
Aside from extras like these, the Moto X ships with a standard version of Android 4.2.2 installed. You can, fortunately, upgrade this to Google's latest release, Android 4.4, once you get it in your hands. It requires a bit of extra effort, but the optimizations in KitKat should improve your experience that much more.
The phone's screen is 4.7 inches from corner to corner and packs 720p resolution. That's not quite the 1080p crispness you'd find in a major Samsung or HTC flagship, but it's enough to net the Moto X a passable 316ppi pixel density. Unless you have particularly discerning tastes, you probably won't mind the reduction, and your eye won't be able to see individual pixels anyway.
The slightly slower processor powering everything inside the Moto X could be a different matter, though. With a dual-core, 1.7GHz CPU, the Moto X handles is operating system with gusto, but is not without the occasional stutter and hiccup if you try to play more demanding games off the Google Play store.
Sure, the Moto X isn't the most powerful Android phone you can buy. It doesn't have the crispest screen or an all-aluminum frame, yet it costs just as much as phones that do. If you're a gadget lover who needs the latest and greatest technology, it might fall a little flat. If, on the other hand, you're excited by the idea of a phone that fits your personality and responds to your needs, fire up the MotoMaker website. Chances are, you'll be able to put together a phone that feels unequivocally you.