Moto X (2nd gen)
In times when flagship phones from leading smartphone makers are coming at prices close to half-a-lakh, Motorola has been releasing its top-of-the-line phones with price tags way lower than the competition.
An excellent phone, but camera a party pooper
In times when flagship phones from leading smartphone makers are coming at prices close to half-a-lakh, Motorola has been releasing its top-of-the-line phones with price tags way lower than the competition. Motorola appears to have the right mix of hardware and software in what it brews, while keeping aside the gimmicks that only add to the cost.
The new Moto X (second-gen) comes with 16GB of storage and is available in three variants - regular black, black leather, and bamboo white. The first one is priced at Rs 31,999, while the other two carry a price tag of Rs 33,999. The model that we got to review was the one with the wood finish.
The new Moto X may have a beautiful display with a frontal speaker, but what attracted me in the first place was its bamboo rear shell, which makes the phone appear both classy and quirky at the same time. Its curved back, making the phone thinnest on the edges and thickest in the middle, makes it easy to grip the phone, but its mammoth 5.2-inch display takes away the ease of operating the phone with a single hand - something that is a deterrent in most large-screen phones. Adding to its beauty is a metal frame that wraps around the phone - separating the bamboo back from the front that is white in colour.
Its 5.2-inch AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 1920x1080 pixels produces vivid colours and strong contrast. From browsing the Internet to replying to emails to reading books to watching videos, it was all smooth and pleasant. With Corning Gorilla Glass atop, the display is protected against scratches.
It was all going great with the phone until you put its 13 megapixel rear camera to test in low- and soft-light conditions. The same camera that surprised us with its quality in daylight, disappointed us when we started to snap pictures in a decently lit room. The results were all grainy. The Nexus 5 performed far better in the same lighting conditions. The 13-megapixel camera at the rear comes with a dual-LED ring flash to throw balanced light. The flash while did a decent job in illuminating the otherwise dark area, it couldn't do much in reducing noise in pictures. The phone's 2-megapixel front camera is apt for video calling.
Unlike the flagships of today, the new Moto X does not come with a wide range of camera features on board. But then it cannot be seen as a downside given that only a handful of those ample camera features are actually used - with rest of them are either tagged gimmicks or simply don't come to use in practical application.
Slow-motion, ultra HD (4K) videos, HDR and Panorama are some other features of the Moto X's camera app.
In India, the new Moto X only comes with 16GB of storage (out of which around 10 GB is user accessible) with no expansion capability. The 16GB of memory space may appear to be too much in the beginning, but in reality, this amount of storage space is unlikely to suffice a power user. It would have been better had it come with minimum of 32GB of internal storage.
At its heart is a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with quad-core CPU paired with 2GB of RAM. The powerful processor powering the Moto X is the one you will find in the Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5 and other high-end phones from key rivals. The monster beating under the hood made my experience smooth and delivered a performance free of lags and freezes.
Running Android 4.4.4 KitKat, the phone offers experience close to native Android. This is something we have seen on other Motorola phones also. (The new Moto X will be one of the first phones to receive Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Motorola says to release the update soon.)
The phone that accommodates a nano SIM has a powerful speaker at the front which generated clear and loud results - even in noisy environments.
Word of advice: If you are an avid mobile photographer, you can give this phone a skip.