Hs-on with the impressive new Moto X Moto G

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 4 Sep 2014

The Moto X Moto G have both played a crucial role in Motorola’s big rebring over the last year, with the former delivering a sleek customizable upper mid-range hset the latter redefining what a value smartphone should be. Can you really blame Motorola for sticking with the same names?

Contrary to reports, the company’s new hsets are not the Moto X+1 the G2. They’re simply the Moto X Moto G2, referred by representatives as “the new Moto X” “new Moto G” during an event at its Chicago home base earlier today. ile the names haven’t changed, the components certainly have—both phones are bigger undoubtedly better.

moto x front dynamic

The new Moto X features a larger, sharper display, more powerful processor, an array of new hardware software features.

In the case of the Moto X, the phone has vaulted into flagship territory with a terrific 5.2-inch full HD display, plenty of power, a sleek refined build. I went hs-on with both new hsets to discover what makes them worthy successors.

Flagship upgrade

at a difference a year makes. ile the new Moto X shares the same overall shape as its predecessor, the build quality feels dramatically enhanced— with both in h, the new device’s design looks a lot more refined labored-over.

moto x comparison

The new Moto X is larger than the original, but also looks a lot more refined.

Much of that is due the loss of the original’s plastic-heavy build, now replaced with a slimmer aluminum frame. Additionally, where there was previously a visible separation between the front panel the frame, now the face feels smooth all the way to the edges. The two front-facing speakers (which sounded quite good when arrell ’ “Happy” was demoed) four new infrared sensors also add a nice symmetrical sense to the face.

ed, the new Moto X is much larger than its predecessor, now sporting a 5.2-inch AMOD 1080p display running at 423 pixels per inch (I)—a significant upgrade from the 4.7-inch 720p component of the past. And it’s a beauty, with rich, vivid coloring crisp detail. The trade-off, of course, is that the hset itself is much larger in the h, but despite featuring a larger display than the Samsung Galaxy S5, the width of the hset remains about equal due to the thin bezel.

Despite the bevy of upgrades, the phone didn’t pack on much weight: It weights only 144 grams, compared to the original Moto X’s 139 grams. It’s very nearly the size weight of the Galaxy S5.

Flip the Moto X over you’ll notice that the Motorola logo-emblazoned dimple remains, but the previously small separate D flash has been replaced with a ring flash surrounding the back camera, which itself is now bumped up to 13 megapixels (from 10). The quick-capture functionality returns, in which you can simply rotate your wrist twice to pull up the plain camera interface tap anywhere to snap a photo, the initial results looked quite solid—but we’ll have much more in-depth impressions once the full review hits.

moto x leather

ather backings are a new option with Moto Maker, along with bamboo various colors.

Additionally, Motorola’s Moto Maker creation platform returns, allowing you to customize a Moto X with distinctive colors back panel textures, such as bamboo wood a four new leather options. You’ll be able to customize a phone via Moto Maker through both Verizon AT&T, plus if you want an unlocked, carrier-free Moto X, you can order that exclusively through Moto Maker.

moto x moto maker palatte

The Moto Maker program is back, with even more colors, textures, materials to choose from.

The new Moto X runs pure Android 4.4 KitKat with some familiar additions exped from the earlier model, such as Moto Voice, which now works with third-party apps like Facebook at’s App, as well as Moto Display, which pops up to three notifications on your screen, letting you quickly glance see what an email or text message contains without fully waking the device. New to the device are Moto Actions, which use the four infrared sensors on the phone’s face to detect your nearby h, letting you swipe to mute an incoming call, virtually hit the snooze button on an alarm, or wake up Moto Display without a touch.

should add: The Moto X has received Android OS updates much more rapidly than almost any phone outside of a Nexus. Motorola is committed to continuing this practice.

moto x front

The new Moto X comes in white black variants, but can do quite a bit with the backings accents via Moto Maker.

Getting around the device feels super smooth lag-free, thanks to the quad-core 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor inside, while the slightly larger 2300mAh battery should allow it similar all-day life as seen in the Moto X.

The new Moto X debuts in late September in North America, Europe, tin America, Asia for $100 with a two-year contract—only AT&T Verizon are confirmed thus far as carriers here—while the unlocked version can be purchased through Moto Maker on motorola.com for $500. That’s about $100 cheaper than comparable flagship devices.

The new Moto G

You won’t have to wait to get your hs on the incredibly affordable new Moto G, however, which is available today for just $180 unlocked off-contract. In nearly every way, it appears to be an enhanced take on the original budget device, with a new build that looks like a hybrid of the old Moto X the new one, albeit still with a plastic body.

moto g front

The new Moto G seems to take visual cues from both versions of the Moto X.

It’s definitely larger, due to the new 5-inch display replacing the previous 4.5-inch one. However, with the same 1280×720 resolution on its I D, the pixel density takes a small hit here, dropping to 294 I from 329. It’s still a very clear, effective display, just not quite as crisp as its predecessor. The processor remains unchanged, with a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 inside, with pure Android 4.4 (an eventual upgrade to Android is guaranteed) installed, performance initially seems quite stellar for the specs.

Otherwise, the new Moto G makes a lot of small but appreciated tweaks to the hardware, such as the addition of microSD (up to 32GB) support a dual-SIM option. The back camera is 8 megapixels (up from 5) with the volume rocker usable as a physical shutter button this time around. so, like the new Moto X, the Moto G now features two speakers up front. And with a 2070 mAh battery inside, it should give most users a full day of action.

moto g angle

It’s plastic feels a little slippery, but the new Moto G seems very solid sturdy in build.

The bigger, plastic build does feel a little slippery in the h; it’s a shame that there’s no Moto Maker support here to toss on something a little more textured, such as a leather backing. Beyond that, it looks great, seems to perform well, feels sturdy despite the budget price. l of those new features additions with the same price tag as before? It seems like a pretty stellar value for the mid-range set.

Killer accessories

Both the new Moto X Moto G were flanked by a couple of rather neat accessories that could be hugely helpful. The Moto Hint is an absolutely tiny Bluetooth earpiece—like in the movie, Her—that will work with any phone (Android, ione, etc.) but has special Moto Voice functionality built in when used with Moto phones. The Hint is remarkably small, barely jutting out from your ear at all, weighs about the same as a quarter. It also lacks physical buttons, instead featuring a capacitive touch surface that responds to taps.

moto hint

Tiny, but powerful? The Moto Hint is Motorola’s very intriguing new Bluetooth earbud. Scarlett hansson not included.

It’ll come with four different earpiece options; the one I tried wasn’t a perfect fit for my ears, but employees wearing the Hint around the event didn’t seem to have any trouble keeping it in. It’ll give you about 3.5 hours of talk time on a full charge, but it comes with a portable charge case that can fully charge the Hint two additional times for a gr total of about 10 hours of talk time. The release is still a little ways off, however, with a fall debut planned for $150.

moto g charger

The wer ck Micro promises up to an eight-hour charge on the Moto X in just 15 minutes.

Available immediately, however, is the wer ck Micro—a $40 box that you can affix to your keyring plug into any micro-B device as needed for a rapid charge. Motorola says it’ll give your Moto X up to eight hours of battery life on just a 15-minute charge, while the Galaxy S5 gets about 10 hours the HTC One (M8) likewise pulls an additional eight hours. It can also help you find your phone via a notification, likewise, your paired phone can find your attached keys when lost.

Motorola’s new hsets accessories all impress from the outset, but we’ll have a better sense of their respective worth following more extensive real-world testing. Stay tuned for review coverage in the coming days.