Moto X, come on down; you're the next contestant on The Price is Right!Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Speculations upon speculations led us to the Motorola event today that officially announced the arrival of the Moto X device, and now that it's here we can discuss exactly how this phone compares to other phones already out on the market.
Rumors are a wonderful and terrible thing, especially in regards to the mobile industry. It allows the dreamers to dream, and consequently can also allow the dreamers to have said dreams crushed with a two ton hammer. This particular phone, the Moto X, has had enough time to run through the rumor factory time and time again as it's changed from being some mysterious omnipotent phone, to not being a real phone at all, to finally settling on a high-to-mid-range smartphone with a cheap unsubsidized price tag, all over the past 7 months. It's been a wild ride with this phone, so now that it's here, what is it really?
Looks to be a high-to-mid-range smartphone with a not-so-cheap unsubsidized price tag, with the 16GB version of the Moto X starting at $199 on contract.
The specs of the device aren't bad, but for the price it makes you raise an eyebrow and possibly wonder exactly what Motorola and Google were thinking. At $199, the Moto X is in direct competition with the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. While it's not a bad thing to be in direct competition with these two, it would have at least been a good idea to have specs that match up to them. The Moto X's display quality is lower at 720p, and the Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System is a slower processor. Really, this is where the direct comparison stops when it comes to the Moto X being "less than" the Galaxy S4 or the HTC One. The rest of the device looks pretty nice: The Moto X has a 4.7" screen, the same as the HTC One, which is a size that many consider "big but not too big". It features a 10-megapixel Clear Pixel camera, which works similarly to how the HTC One works in the fact that they have bigger sensors in the camera, which helps to absorb more light into a photo. The device also has 2GB of RAM, which is on par with the GS4 and the HTC One, and a long battery life with its 2200 mAh battery (talk time up to 13 hours, 24 hours for mixed usage).
But Moto X was predicted to have more going for it than just specs. It was supposed to do things that other phones hadn't done before, like personalizing certain aspects of the device like the front, the back panel, the accents, and more. Fortunately, they did add this feature and you can definitely customize your Moto X device. Unfortunately, this comes at a hefty cost: carrier exclusivity. The full customization of the device is only available to AT&T, although it hasn't been confirmed whether it will only ever be available to AT&T for the future. But for now, if you're on any carrier other than AT&T and plan on purchasing this phone, I hope you like white or black because those are the only two colors you get to choose from. Disappointing? Very.
But of course, I think we can agree that the biggest disappointment stems from pricing it at the same price as other flagships with better specs. Quite frankly, more people would probably be willing to look past that if the whole customization thing was available on AT&T - that's kind of what Motorola seemed to have been banking on, didn't it? The company had no problem boasting around how awesome this phone could look with so many ways to personalize it, but in reality most people won't even get that much. But at least it has the WiFis and the 4Gs!
In reality, the phone isn't bad. It's not fantastic, but it's not bad. The biggest thing holding it back is that it wasn't priced more modestly; you can't expect a phone priced like that to get very far with the specs that it has and not much else going for it, except for perhaps weird sexual advertisements.
Thanks for playing Moto X, but your price was too high.