Smartphones are interesting little gadgets. Functionally speaking, they all do pretty much the same things. They make calls, take pictures, run apps, send and receive texts and emails, help you surf the web, and keep you occupied checking social media sites or playing Words With Friends. Yet despite the long list of similarities, they all do these things a little differently.
What’s even more fascinating are the reasons that people are drawn to a particular phone. Some want the ‘cool’ phone that their circle of friends or colleagues have and will follow that phone to the ends of the earth. Others want the phone with the largest display, or the best camera, or the most apps, or the most customizable, or the operating system of choice.
When my iPhone 5 began to not quite live up to my expectations, I started comparing the latest phones on the market to try to decide the gadget that would be by my side for the next two years. My iPhone was always completely functional, but never really did much to put a smile on my face. It was kind of the Honda of smart phones, reliable as can be, but not a whole lot to get my heart pumping. I really did not have much interest in a Windows phone, and my past experience with the Android phones had always been positive. After a lot of research, I decided on the Motorola Moto X 2nd generation.
Starting with the ordering process, the Moto X has been a fun phone. The Motorola Moto Maker site lets you customize everything about this phone. From back choices ranging from vinyl, to football hyde, various colors of leather, and even wood….to front color and trim colors…even engraving, you can order a truly unique phone. Memory options exist ranging from 16GB to 100GB. Simply go through the configurator, submit your order, and wait…as patiently as you can for your new custom smartphone to arrive.
I chose the black face with a leather back. The curved aluminum frame gives the phone a high quality feel. The phone fits nicely in your hand, and with it’s slim design, never seems too bulky to fit in a pocket.
The Moto X’s 5.2” 1080p HD screen is a thing of beauty. Crisp, sharp, perfect contrast… whether surfing the web, following Instagram, or watching HD Youtube Videos, the display is outstanding.
Motorola’s nearly stock implementation of Android Lollipop provides for a sleek, easy to use experience with some really neat features. The 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor generates a fast and responsive results. Lock screen functionality and useful notifications make this thing a real work horse. And as with all Android phones, you can easily swap out many of the stock apps for your app of choice…from things like messaging to various launchers.
Features like being able to wake up the phone or silence calls by waving your hand over it is really neat. The ability to go from a locked screen to the camera with a quick twist of the wrist is really handy.
The voice interaction with the Moto X is nearly beyond comprehension. From making calls, to sending texts, from getting directions to waking up your phone to take a quick selfie, the voice recognition is extremely accurate and a real differentiator in the world of smart phones.
What I have been most amazed with are the things the phone just figures out. When I have an offsite meeting, my phone will alert me when I should leave to reach my destination on time. The phone knows when I’m driving, so when a text or a call come in, it instantly goes into voice mode and asks me if I want to answer, or listen, or reply…all without laying a finger on the phone.
Prior to buying the phone, I had read many reviews, and one complaint was the camera quality. I have found that in daylight, the 13MP camera performs very well. It’s fast, colors are accurate, with great contrast and sharpness. In low light conditions, it’s not the best performer…but image quality is still acceptable. In comparison to the iPhone 6, the iPhone takes better pictures.
Battery life is decent. On most days of normal use, I can go a full day on a charge. If I’m doing heavy email or using Google Maps, I sometimes have to give it a quick charge to make it through the day…but that’s definitely not the norm.
My biggest worry about leaving the iPhone was my extensive iTunes music library. After some searching I came across the DoubleTwist app which integrates perfectly with iTunes and syncs any music I want to my phone…keeping all my iTunes playlists intact.
One thing I use my smartphone for is tracking fitness activities like running and biking using apps like MapMyRun. I was never that impressed with the GPS accuracy on my iPhone. The Moto X seems to be spot on…giving me consistent results run after run.
The Motorola Moto X is an outstanding smartphone. With a clean Android Lollipop implementation, a very elegant design, incredible voice interaction, and a nearly “big brotherish” ability to know if I’m driving, sleeping, or in a meeting, the Moto X 2nd gen is a fun, easy to use, and extremely functional device. With a starting price of $99.99 with a 2 Yr Contract, you can load it up with some neat features and still come in cheaper than much of the competition.