Moto X (2nd Gen) By Motorola Review

Introduction and Specifications

Update 9/30/2015: Motorola just launched the Moto X Pure Edition, a larger flagship device with a 5.7-inch display, a faster processor, more RAM and the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop OS, along with an enhanced camera and some interesting new hands-free voice-activated features. The second gen Moto X you see here is still a great midrange phone but Motorola has just release a new flagship, so we'd highly suggest you check that out as well.

When Motorola introduced the Moto X last year, the company was owned by Google. In our hands-on review of the first-generation Moto X, we pointed out that the collaboration between Motorola and Android engineers led to an incredibly sleek device and a good user experience. Although the first-generation Moto X didn’t have quite as impressive hardware specifications as its high-end competitors at the time, the phone still performed very well. What’s more, the Moto X also included a number of unique extras, like touchless controls that worked exceptionally well.

Fast forward to today, and a lot has changed on the mobile phone front. Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo and closing the Fort Worth plant where the original Moto X was made. We also have a new set of heavyweight smartphones on the market. The 2014 edition of the Moto X, also known as the 2nd generation Moto X, is hoping to attract the attention of users who may be considering some of today’s high-end phones from Apple, Samsung, HTC, or LG.

The 2nd generation Moto X looks like it should have no problem competing with today’s high-end phones. This phone features a 5.2-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080p and 423 ppi, a Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz quad-core processor with an Adreno 330 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. Other key specs include 16GB and 32GB of built-in storage, a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera, and a 2,300mAh battery. What’s more, the price tag is very competitive at $99.99 under contract, or $499.99 unlocked.

Recognizing that hardware specifications alone aren’t the only thing users consider when buying a phone, Motorola has replaced the original Moto X’s plastic frame with an aluminum one to give the phone a more premium feel. Motorola has also kept the well-liked features of the first-generation Moto X with the 2014 edition, including the ability to customize the exterior look and feel of the phone and the various touchless controls and software features that made the original Moto X so attractive.

2nd generation Moto X
Specifications & Features
5.2-inch AMOLED
1080p FULL HD 1920x1080
423 ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Motorola Mobile Computing System including 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with quad-core CPU (MSM 8974-AC), Adreno 330 @ 578 MHz GPU, Natural Language Processor, Contextual Computing Processor
16GB & 32GB ROM options
Android 4.4.4 KitKat
13 MP Rear Camera with f / 2.25 aperture, Quick Capture, Tap anywhere to capture, Ring flash with dual LEDs, 4K UHD video capture (2160p), 1080p HD video (30 fps), 4X digital zoom, Slow motion video, Burst mode, Auto HDR, Panorama, and Tap to focus 
2 MP Front Camera
Micro USB
3.5mm headset jack
Bluetooth version 4.0 LE
802.11a/g/b/n/ac (dual band capable)
Moto X - Pure Edition (GSM Unlocked with T-Mobile SIM - XT1095):
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700 (AWS), 1900, 2100 MHz)
4G LTE (02, 04, 17)
AT&T (XT1097):
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700 (AWS), 1900, 2100 MHz)
4G LTE (02, 03, 04, 05, 07, 17)
Verizon (XT1096):
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
CDMA (850, 1900 MHz)
4G LTE (02, 03, 04, 07, 13)
5.54 x 2.85 x 0.15 - 0.39 inches
5.08 ounces
2300 mAh
Mixed usage up to 24 hours
Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology
Additional Features:
Water resistant
front-ported speaker
nano-SIM card
Color Options
Base models: Black, Black with Black Leather, and White with Bamboo
Choose from 25 different backs (17 colors, 4 woods, 4 leathers)
Choose from 10 accent colors on the back and now the front too
Verizon Wireless, $99.99 with a two-year contract

Another new feature that comes with the 2014 Moto X is its “Turbo Charger” option. Using Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology and this unique charger, Motorola says you can get up to 8 hours of battery life from the phone after a 15-minute charge.

We’ll dive in and take a hands-on look at all of these features in the coming pages, but first, take a closer look at the full hardware specifications of the 2nd generation Moto X to lay the foundation for what's we'll be showing you later.

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