Motorola Moto X Pure Edition Review: Straight-Up Premium Android

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Design and Build Quality

The Moto X Pure Edition is stately, bold, and beautiful. The overall look and feel screams premium, as does the exceptional fit and finish. It's particularly apparent on our customized test unit, which has a blue soft touch rear, a custom engraving, and a white bezel. There's something special about receiving a phone that looks like no other, though that does invite the owner to look more carefully at how the edges fit together, how it feels in the hand, and how it responds to touch and voice.

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The 5.7-inch Quad HD display manages to feel more approachable than its numerical descriptor would have you believe. While technically larger from a diagonal measure than Apple's iPhone 6s Plus, the Moto X Pure Edition is actually a hair smaller, taking up less room in your pocket or purse. Though it's most certainly a phablet by all accounts, it doesn't exactly look or feel like one at first. That's commendable, and Motorola deserves credit for stuffing a truly brilliant 2,560 x 1,440 display into a form factor with minimal bezel and a relatively compact chassis.

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On the front, you'll find a pair of speakers (one at top, one at bottom), a revised 5 megapixel front-facing camera (and accompanying flash), and a foursome of Infrared (IR) sensors which enable your hand to wake the screen when waving over it, in addition to a handful of other gestures. Along the right edge is the conventional power button and volume rocker, while the left edge is home to... well, nothing other than clean lines. The bottom houses a micro-USB charging port, while the 3.5mm headphone jack is centered along the top edge and placed beside the nano-SIM slot.

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As has become convention on Moto X handsets, the rear has a centered camera lens (21 megapixels this go 'round), a dimple for your index finger to rest in while you're on a call, and a dual LED flash setup. The rear housing is also curved, which adds ergonomics to a phone that is shockingly easy to cradle with one hand -- particularly in comparison to most of its flat-backed rivals.

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While, to some degree, a smartphone is a smartphone is a smartphone, Moto Maker enables the company to do what others cannot. For those who appreciate customization at the highest level, this program allows users to fully tweak their new phone and have it delivered direct. You can color the rear, add an engraving, customize the accent metals, and mix up the hue of the front bezel.

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For an added $25, you can add a genuine wood or Saffiano leather back. The result is a tightly assembled, fully unique device that begs to be left outside of a case. Considering that Moto doesn't charge extra for the service (unless you opt for one of the aforesaid premium backs), it's a nice perk for those looking to sport a phone unlike any other.

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