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Moto X hands-on: Ok, Google Now, tell the world about the new Android phone

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday August 01, 2013.

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Motorola Moto X
Motorola Moto X

Moto X in the flesh. After hearing about this phone from friends and reading so many rumors about the phone that was supposed to revolutionize customization on smartphones and blow away the competition with its hardware, only half of those expectations were met. As detailed in our announcement post for the Moto X, this phone definitely changes how people will customize their smartphone experiences. The hardware is less impressive, but only when measuring it by the skyscraping expectations set by the hype machine.

Motorola's latest Android phone is a smarter smartphone. Its strengths on hardware are more about utilizing its unique feature set rather than appeasing spec hounds. The phone has a 4.7-inch display with only 720p resolution, much to the chagrin of those hoping for a 1080p display. However, that 720p AMOLED screen looks great. There's no cloudy imaging, pixelation, or strange hue upon first inspection. What's more important about the screen is that it didn't force the Moto X to become yet another massive device. An edge-to-edge display with minimal bezel makes the phone more pocket friendly and smaller than phones with screens this large typically reveal. The smaller shape and curved back are ideal for smartphone buyers weary of the superphones of recent memory. It also feels great thanks to the composite material - three different materials combined into a tight weave and coated with different colors - that have slightly different textures based on color. The phone is splash-resistant thanks to the coating applied to the back and front.

The software also has some unique features that we saw on the DROID lineup revealed last week. The ability to say "Ok, Google" and have the phone respond without touching it is the most interesting. Three microphones are designed to filter out the noise of the background and respond to a voice tuned to the phone. There's also Active Display, which shows notifications when the sensor detects that a user has removed a phone from a pocket up from a desk. The lock screen also has a feature similar to BlackBerry 10 that allows users to unlock the screen without having to touch the power button. Holding down on the screen and then dragging to the bottom will automatically unlock the screen.

Moto X has a unique shape and would have even rarer features were it not for the DROID Ultra announced last week. Here's a Moto X hands-on highlighting the hardware and demonstrating a few features.

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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