Customization and being “unique” is a new trend that’s surfacing here in the mobile industry, especially in regards to smartphone designs. For the most part, most smartphones on the market today look fairly similar to each other: flat slabs that come in a few standard colors like black, white, silver, or some form of gold or beige. Aside from that, it’s going to be a rare sight to see any other colors, let alone any other type of design (aside from the rare device that breaks the mold, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge).
However, there is one manufacturer that’s made it a point to ensure vast amounts of customization options are available: Motorola.
Motorola’s innovative Moto Maker service was first introduced last year with the unveiling of the first generation Moto X. Initially, Moto Maker could only be used by certain carriers; eventually, Moto Maker was able to be used by anybody, and when the price of the Moto X dropped dramatically, Moto Maker became a hot topic in the industry as nobody has ever come out with anything like it before. Maybe you couldn’t customize everything, but you could certainly choose a lot more than you could with any other phone. Moto Maker was, and continues to be, a fun way for people to really make their Moto X stand out from the crowd.
What exactly can you personalize using Moto Maker? You can actually personalize most aspects of the phone, including the back cover, front cover, trim color, amount of memory, and even a personal “engravement” on the back of the device. There are some unique options to choose from as well, including wooden and leather backings (which will cost you $25 extra, but it’s really not that hefty of a fee considering most people would call these “premium” designs). Even after you’re done customizing the outside of the phone, there are additional options to personalize other aspects as well. You can customize your sign-in screen, your wallpaper (although, you know... you could do that anyway), have your Google account pre-synced before you even open the device, and you can even choose what color you want your charger to be.
So, all in all, there’s a lot of customization options to choose from if you use the Moto Maker. While this all seems like a relatively great idea now, though, there is the possibility that you will run into problems later.
Particularly if you’re somebody who likes to resell your phones after you’re done using them. With a customized Moto X, no matter how great of condition that it’s in, there is the potential of the resell value to dramatically increase. It’s actually kind of a bummer that one of the coolest features of the Moto X can come back to get you pretty good.
There’s two scenarios that can make selling your custom Moto X harder than it needs to be. The first is when you’ve chosen to go against the grain and choose some funky colors for your back plate and your trim. For example, say you chose a “Navy Blue” back with an “Orange” trim. That’s great if you’re a Florida Gators fan; not so great if you kind of just wanted something simple. The amount of potential buyers for you phone more than likely decreases because you didn’t go with “neutral” colors.
The other scenario, and probably the one that will hurt people the most, is anybody who decided to use a personal engravement on the back of the device. A personal engravement is great... for you. But while “#SWANKIFICATION” might mean something deep and personal to you, it probably won’t have the same dramatic effect on other people - in my case, the engravement was “Swiggity Swooty”. Yeah, ask me how many people have asked to buy my phone for the price that a 32GB 1st Gen. Moto X should sell for. Don’t worry, people want it - but for a reduced price for such a ridiculous customization. I should have titled it “Swiggity Swindled” instead. Hindsight is 20/20 though, right?
With that in mind, I still love Moto Maker. It’s just important to keep in mind that if you’re a person who likes to sell their phones later, creating something off the beaten track will more than likely decrease your resell value in the future. That is the biggest downside of being able to customize so many aspects of your phone. On the plus side, even if you do customize the everliving daylights out of your phone, it should be easy to identify it should you ever lose it.
Also, if you haven't already, you should test out Moto Maker for yourself; it's kind of fun to design your own version of the Moto X.