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New Moto X hands on and first impressions

Motorola unveiled its latest flagship offering earlier today. We go hands-on, and give you our first impressions about the new Moto X!
September 5, 2014

Motorola unveiled the second generation of its flagship smartphone earlier today, and a special mention has to be made of the fact that the somewhat odd Moto X+1 moniker is nowhere to be found, with the device simply being referred to as the new Moto X. We got to spend some hands-on time with it, and here are our first impressions about the new Moto X!

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The overall look of the new Moto X remains similar to its predecessor, but there are a few key differences that are worth noting. The first thing you’ll notice is the significant increase in the size, courtesy of its larger 5.2-inch display, but the latest iteration is still thinner than the original, and about the same weight as well. The new Moto X comes with a curved metal frame that gives it a more premium look and feel. For the back cover, you have the option to choose between plastic backs of different colors, wood or leather. On the back is also the camera unit with a large ring around it that houses the dual LED flash. Moving to the front, you’ll see the front-facing speaker, and two noticeable dots below the display, that are sensors to help with the air gesture features.

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The display has seen a significant bump in size and specification, with the new Moto X boasting a beautiful 5.2-inch screen AMOLED display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 424 ppi. You get everything you’d expect from an AMOLED display, with vibrant colors, great contrast, and excellent viewing angles. You’ll have a great time doing anything on this display, be it reading text, watching videos, or playing games.

Last year, Motorola took a slightly different route than the competition with its flagship smartphone, by not getting dragged into the specs race. but the hardware of the new Moto X brings it in line with all of the current flagships, with the exception of the Galaxy Note 4. Under the hood is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at 2.5 GHz, the Adreno 330 GPU, and 2 GB of RAM. Internal storage options available are 16 GB and 32 GB, but there’s no microSD expansion unfortunately.  The only aspect of hardware that some may be put off by is the 2,300 mAh battery that the device packs, which seems a little smaller than the norm, but we’ll wait for a comprehensive review to see how this battery performs. A new accessory that could help with regards to the battery life is the Motorola Turbo Charger, than allows for an impressive 8 hours of battery life after just a 15 minute charge. It’s not a non-linear charge though. so don’t expect the phone to be fully charged in less than an half an hour.

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The camera has seen a significant upgrade here as well, with the new Moto X featuring a 13 MP rear shooter with a dual LED flash. The camera software experience largely remains the same, with a clean and minimalistic interface. You also get a 2 MP front-facing camera.

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On the software front, the new Moto X runs Android 4.4.4 Kitkat, with an experience that is very close to stock Android, with a few Motorola features packed in. As before, you also have the promise of speedy software updates, so the new Moto X should be one of the few early devices, with the exception of the Nexus line, to receive Android L. Speaking of features, returning are Motorola Assist and Active Display with a few tweaks and enhancements, and are now called Moto Assist and Moto Display. New features include Moto Voice (previously Touchless Control), that lets you user your voice to interact with the device as well as some apps like Facebook, Youtube, and Whatsapp. Voice also allows for customized voice prompts. Moto Actions lets you use simple gestures to interact with the phone, such as waving your hand to silence incoming calls, or snooze  alarms.

So there you have it – a quick look at the new Moto X! Motorola has taken everything we loved about the original Moto X, and kicked things up a notch. The hardware is now comparable to current flagship smartphones, the display gets an impressive bump in size and resolution, and the software experience should remain as great as ever, and new additions like front-facing speakers will definitely add to the overall experience. The new Moto X seems to check all the right boxes, and it does look like we have a winner on our hands.

What do you think of the new Moto X? Will you be picking one up? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!