Moto X, between the hype and the backlash

by: Bogdan PetrovanAugust 2, 2013

The-Friday-Debate aa

Evan Forester

On this edition of the Friday Debate, we talk about Motorola, the Moto X, the hype and the backlash.

Join us in the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!

Robert Triggs 

As a European, it’s disappointing to be excluded from what was supposed to be the next big product from Google/Motorola. As a decent looking mid-range product, the Moto X was on my list for a potential upgrade, but sadly it looks like I won’t even have the choice any more.

But even if I was living in the US, there are a few little things to feel disappointed about, despite the fact that the phone has turned out pretty much how most of us expected, hardware wise at least. The AT&T exclusivity over the customization features is certainly annoying, I don’t see the logic behind advertising customization and consumer choice so strongly, only to tie these features to a single carrier. But the price range is even more absurd, especially considering that you can pick up more powerful handsets, like the Galaxy S4, for a fraction of the price.

Finally, the lack of the latest Android 4.3 features out of the box is again a bit of a let down. It seems like Google missed an opportunity to leverage its own technology and finances to make this truly stellar product launch. Instead, the launch appears to be pretty messy, and that’s sure to disappoint many consumers.

Having said all that, it’s still a good little device, and some of the handset’s unique features still make it a worthwhile purchase. But I expect that, for many, the Moto X does not live up to all the hype.

Derek Scott

The Moto X is Google’s coming out party to the masses, not the technophiles.

I’m in a glass half full mood today so instead of ranting about what I don’t like, here are a couple things I do like.

1. No logo on the front screen.
It is a serious pet peeve of mine seeing any branding on the front screen.
2. The colour/material options.
I love the bold move for trying something new, it is going to be really interesting to see the results. Sure you can choose your colours, but when it comes time you want to sell your phone, will your bright yellow Moto X be easy to sell?

Joshua Vergara

FINALLY everything that we have been hearing about the Moto X has been… unsurprisingly… confirmed. But like Derek said, this isn’t a phone for the techies in us. However, it is a phone for the individual in us.

I’m actually considering going against all my best instincts and putting myself on an AT&T contract just to get the first customizable Moto Xs. Here’s why.

It’s about time smartphone truly entered the realm of customization in the same vain as laptops, computers, and even fashion. Remember what I said a few weeks ago? Moto X buying should be much like when you buy a pair of Nikes. You can quite literally pick, choose, and change any aspect of the product to your liking. This is almost what the Moto X provides, though many of the options that people may likely want most won’t be available until much later. No wood backs just yet, unfortunately.

Also, Motorola is reminding us of something very important – we’re spoiled. We want 1080p, we want the fastest processors, we want this, we want that. But keep an open mind and realize that specs like 720p and the Snapdragon S4 Pro really aren’t bad. At all. We try so hard to get the best and the greatest that we forget one important aspect about technology (and things in general) – that if you already have a method that works, often optimizing it is better than just jumping to the next step. I am willing to bet that the vast majority of people who use the Moto X won’t have much phone envy towards those who have Snapdragon 600s or better. The pure customization of the Moto X, inside and out, will be exciting and fun for a LOT of people.

Want proof? Ask any happy Nexus 4 owner. There are a lot of them. And that’s just customization from the inside. Imagine that coupled with what the Moto X offers on the outside.

Andrew Grush

No, in my opinion the Moto X does not at all live up to hype, but how could it have?

From the beginning the rumor mill turned hard, spitting out all kinds of fantastic, over-the-top ideas like true hardware customization, extremely detailed outside customization, a sub-$300 no-contract price and it went on and on.

When the dust finally settled, a clearer picture of the handset could finally be seen and what we saw was a decisively mid-range handset, despite some pretty cool features like touchless controls and a few special customization features.

That said, the Moto X doesn’t need to live up to the hype to be a success. Motorola’s latest flagship is still a solid enough device, though I feel that a combination of a slightly high asking price ($200 with contract) and the AT&T MotoMaker exclusivity might make the X Phone not nearly as much as an iPhone/Galaxy killer as some had previously thought.

Now that it’s official, how do you feel about the Moto X?

Join us in the comments and vote in our poll.

[poll id=”340″]

  • dogulas

    Another take from someone who has been using the Moto X for awhile now.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Great Find.

  • Franc012

    A $300 price point was what I considered reasonable, given that the hardware was a year old, and therefore, should be cheaper to build. The phone looked like a solid midrange phone, and a $300 asking price, would have been reasonable.

    • Andrew T Roach

      Actually a $300 dollar price point is really not reasonable. Google can only pull that price off because they make their money on advertising dollars. And the best avenue for them to collect ad data is with Android in everyones hands (hence the cheap device).

      720P OLED screen with True RGB (No Pentile here) is absolutely gorgeous; and battery and processing power isnt wasted on pixels you cant even discern with the eye. And their custom X8 SoC with software optimizations likely cost a whole lot more to produce than off-the-shelf.

      I challenge you to find another midrange phone for $300 that even remotely comparable on performance.

      Not to mention look at the functionality that Moto added to the X. Google Now at your fingertips without even pressing the power key is alot more useful than Smart Scroll and having a Barometer in your phone.

      • Rooney-

        I agree with you. But ever since the rumours started, everyone expected the price to be $300. But now, its $625 ! Thats way too costly.

        • AnGeLFaCe77

          Samsung puts plastic on their device, the quadcore do not use all their cores, it has bad radios as well same style as the G3

      • AnGeLFaCe77

        all these stupid geeks always hating on Motorola, but at the same time dying to get their devices. Motorola and google it nailed it period. This device will cell like the original razr.

  • Andrew T Roach

    So the Moto X is a “mid range” decive huh? What is the difference between a high end device and a mid range device these days?

    A 1080p screen which gives us a bunch of resolution out eyes can’t see?

    A Quadcore processor that that’s twice as fast….that opens an app in 0.1 seconds instead of 0.2 seconds? But heats up under load and takes more battery?

    Both are a total waste of battery. The Moto X uses 2 Krait 300 cores: the same exact ones in the Snapdragon 600. And the Adreno 320. So really it’s not yesterday’s tech at all.

    What I see in the Moto X is a well crafted hand set that is amazingly compact for its screen size and packs some great features. Voice dictation is the future and Motorola is doing something awesome bringing that to the forefront.

    • jpxa

      It’s actually quite easy to tell the difference in 720 and 1080. Eat more carrots bro.

      • Frekko

        so u saying that 310 ppi is not good enough for ur eyes

    • arcwindz

      Voice dictation, well… It looks good in the ad and demo, but in real life it’s a bit awkward lol
      But yeah, it’s a nicely crafted phone, except for the price that is

  • Seth

    I don’t understand all of the disappointment talk and fuss about it being mid-range. The Moto X is top of the line with the X8 system. It doesn’t mean a thing to have a quad core if it can barely use it.

  • steve

    if a GPE of the moto x does not come at a nexus 4 price point i guess it will be just another mid-range phone with a high price tag

  • Luka Mlinar

    I thought Joshua was going in the right direction but nah.. This phone is the future. 1080P under 5 inches is a bad idea. Well you could debate that one but somewhere between 1080P and 720P is the sweet spot for the 4,7″. Some people will understand where I’m coming from with this, other will not. Leaving multiplication of cores for firmware/OS optimization is the future of fast phones. It’s European cars vs American cars. American cars can go fast in a strait line but that’s it. Motorola had a great idea here but this is where they went wrong: setting up a model where you can customize each phone individually jacked up the price, assembling it in the US jacked up the price. It got to the point where it was flagship money but didn’t really bring flagship anything to the table. If you take away the specs the Z is waterproof. The S4 rides the S3 market. HTC One has a drop dead gorgeous design. Motorola brings us something we don’t value in therms of money and that’s software optimization. The way we expect Android updates should have made this clear to them. Will it sell? Maybe, but not enough. I want to know where they go from here.

  • Mvrcel Lgt

    I would want a nexus with this customizations. But even more, I would want it to be international…it’s totally odd not to release a flagship international (= no flagship!)

  • mmmmmbop

    After being under the impression that Moto wanted to push the envelope on price, I couldn’t help but be severely disappointed. Hopefully the Nexus 5 won’t disappoint in price.

    • guest

      Hate when people say ‘nexus 5’. For the nexus line, the number does not represent edition, it represents the screen size 4.7″ to be precise. That is the same reason nexus 7 wasnt named nexus 8 but nexus 7 ‘2013’ edition

      • mmmmmbop

        Actually, no it doesn’t. There was the Nexus One (which did not have a 1 inch screen), the Nexus S (which did not have an “S” sized screen), the galaxy nexus (which did not have a galaxy sized screen), and the Nexus 4 (which did not have a 4 inch screen but rather was the fourth nexus phone). I don’t know what you are smoking, but I would suggest you lay off it for a while.

  • peiguy67

    The device itself doesn’t disappoint me it’s the exclusive deals Motorola makes. I’d buy one but there won’t be any way to because of their exclusives. I really believe they have to learn how to market to the masses.

    • AnGeLFaCe77

      i am agreeing with you. Moto talked so much about being able to customize their devices and at&t will be the only one with motomaker

  • jamesinkorea

    It’s a weak and forgettable offering from Motorola.

    I’m going with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra or the Note 3 depending on which has the better specs…

  • PuzzledObserver

    I wonder how much we can shave off the cost of Moto X if the customized back cover disappeared. If this could reduce the price by 50% then this phone would be actually quite attractive.

  • Rooney-

    The only things thats disappointing me is the price. Besides, everythng is perfect. Let me wait for another few months.

    • AnGeLFaCe77

      price its good. All these geeks are cheap lol

  • Paul K Deuster

    Totally agree with Joshua!

  • uximalik
  • User

    The poll is patriotic.

  • Troy Leonard

    I am disappointed for several reasons but the main two are lack of an off contract option for customized phones for T-Mobile and the absurd on contract price for the phone. I’ll wait for the next nexus thank you!

  • MC Wong

    They’re trying to hit the same market as the iPhone, the average non techies. Leave it to Sammie, HTC, LG, etc to maintain their techies market with impressive quad and octa cores. The moto X is to grab apple’s market.

  • arcwindz

    If it’s 2012, this phone would be my dream phone. But now? Between this and the nexus 4, it’ll be the nexus for sure (look at that price!)
    Not to mention nexus 5 will be here soon


    Looks quite boring and I hope like hell I never have to talk to my phone.

  • Beralic

    Sorry had to post as this is a pet peeve, the poll is so biased its untrue:

    3 Negative answers basically the same then jumping to one over the top positive answer, where is the

    “It met expectations”
    “Its impressive” as a counter to “Its unimpressive”


    Its unlikely to have exceeded that many peoples expectations, polls like this are designed to get the authors desired result.

  • Saif Merseysider

    Hyped. Hyped. And overhyped.

    Get real. U guys are not talking about it anymore now, do you? Hahaha.