It finally happened. As if by magic, an Android phone arrived that I actually like better than my regular phone. This is a pretty tall order. Making a user interface that doesn’t suck in one way or another, from what I can tell, is almost impossible. The human/machine interface on the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, however, is pretty darn good. With that sussed, the rest of the phone experience should fall into place, right? Let’s dig in.
With the Moto X Pure Edition, the latest unlocked service-hopper from Motorola, the user interface starts with the body of the phone. The phone’s metal frame is sandwiched between two tactile delights: textured, soft-touch rubber (wood & Horoween leather are also available for a price) on the back and the dense, smooth feel of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the screen side. What bit of the frame can be seen and touched features a softly lustrous satin finish hints at of how upscale this new Moto X is.
This attention to detail extends to every physical aspect of the phone. The beveled flanks help minimize its visual mass while making it nice to hold. On the right side, there’s a power button and a volume rocker, the power button differentiated by nicely pronounced knurling. Even the arrangement of the array of speakers, sensors, 5 MP camera, and flash (yes, selfie flash!) is done with an eye for balance. Nicely done, Motorola.
As for the electro-wizardry on the inside, the Moto X is built for speed, and over the last month, it has proven itself utterly reliable, presenting no untoward glitches or force-quit/reboot situations. For those of you who like the numbers, the Moto X features a 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 with hexa-core CPU (MSM8992), 600Mhz Adreno 418 GPU, Natural Language Processor, and Contextual Computing Processor. What I think all this means is that this phone is essentially unphased by a ton of open apps, serving up multitasking realness without a single complaint or performance issue.
As for all the reasons you really buy a phone; the display, cameras, and network capabilities, the Moto X is jam-packed. The 5.7” IPS TFT LCD screen is bright and beautiful. This Quad HD screen presents a reality that is realer than real. Everything is super crisp and the backlighting is potentially so intense that I’ve never had the brightness turned up beyond 25%. On full blast, it’s like staring at a six-inch rectangular sun (I kid, of course, but it is seriously bright). The cameras on this rig are top notch. The 5 MP front facing, with flash, is an all too rare combination and a welcome addition on the Moto X. The 21 MP rear facing camera is simply amazing, with the drag-to focus and exposure feature being my favorite. Lastly, this quad band, world phone with LTE cat. 6 capability is able to get a signal just about anywhere on earth (anywhere you’d want to visit, I reckon), and here in the Bay Area, while connected to T-Mobile, call quality and data transfer rates have been nothing but stellar.
In short, let’s just say that there is not enough room in this column for all the praise I have for the Moto X Pure Edition. Seriously, the Moto X is what a flagship phone should be. It is powerful, beautifully designed and executed, it has a big, bright display, surprisingly good speakers, the cameras are excellent, and Motorola has done a great job of throwing a fantastically lightweight skin over the Android operating system for a user experience that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional and stable. For more information about Motorola and its lineup of personal electronics, click here.
**Full disclosure: This phone was loaned for editorial consideration, now I have to give it back.