It was around a year ago that I threw caution to the wind and decided it was time to move on from my current phone and purchase an iPhone 5s as my personal phone. My thought process was clear: fed up with the mobile device I already had, I wanted something that offered a bit more in the way of apps. I also wanted software features that other users were getting with different operating systems in droves. Early this morning Motorola finally revealed the new Moto X, its 2014 flagship smartphone running Android and I stand here ready to switch again.
Yes, I’m buying the new Moto X and here’s why.
I’m Buying the new Moto X Because Windows Phone Is Still in Panic Mode
With the exception of the four months I spent with the iPhone 5s last year, Windows Phone devices have always been my first choice. The first smartphone I ever purchased was a Windows Phone, and I’ve had five different Windows Phones since 2010. Originally, I liked the operating system because it included Zune — Microsoft’s now dead music service — and offered Xbox Live achievements in games.
Last year I made the switch to the iPhone 5s as my personal phone because I was fed up with the things the Windows Phone ecosystem brought to the table. More specifically, I was fed up with what Windows Phone didn’t offer users. Windows Phone had gone a year without a major update that added new features. There was no Windows Phone 8.1, there was no Cortana personal assistant or way to move files around without plugging into a computer. I made the switch away from the iPhone and back to Windows Phone after Windows Phone 8.1 added those features and much more. My hope was that there was new powerful hardware on the way to take advantage of Windows Phone 8.1. Let me be very clear, I’m really happy with Windows Phone and the way it has matured this past year.
I want the new Moto X because, hardware wise, Windows Phone seems to be going downhill fast. Having seen a lot of success with low-end smartphones, Microsoft — who purchased Nokia earlier this year — has all but abandoned the high-end market in the United States. Instead, we’re seeing phones like the Lumia 830, which is perfectly fine if you want a mid-range device, but not something a high-end smartphone buyer like me would be remotely interested in. Any true flagship smartphones, like the HTC One M8 for Windows, the Lumia Icon and the Lumia 1520, are simply exclusive to carriers I have no desire to switch to. Also, I haven’t forgiven HTC for how horrible my experience with the Windows Phone 8X was.
I’m Buying the new Moto X Because Motorola Got It Right
I can’t stress this enough. I don’t like Android. In fact, I really don’t like Android. You may wonder why I am choosing to get a flagship Android device then. Everything else about the new Moto X, just screams that I should ignore the faults with Android that I can’t fix with apps.
For starters, look at that price tag. Unlocked, with 16GB of storage the new Moto X costs $499. Naturally, I’m not going to settle for that small bit of storage. Instead I’m going to snatch up the larger capacity 32GB version. With a contract, AT&T is looking to sell the new Moto X for $99. Both prices are crazy low for a device of the new Moto X’s caliber.
And let’s be clear, the new Moto X is every bit the flagship it should be. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor is inside and the device has 2GB of RAM. The device’s display measures 5.2-inches and has a resolution of 1080p. Not only is it high-definition but it uses OLED technology. That’s a short way of saying that colors will pop and blacks on this screen will look black. A front-facing 2 megapixel camera is present and a 13 megapixel sensor is on the new Moto X’s rear. One of the things I appreciated about the HTC One M7 when I tested it was its front-facing speakers. Hushed, low quality audio is way too common in smartphones these days. The Moto X has two front-facing speakers that should produce amazing sound quality.
The premium materials are used throughout the Moto X, a must for me. I need metal and the new Moto X has metal edges. I need color and the new Moto X has that too. Leather backs are even available on the new Moto X. It doesn’t get more premium than metal and leather. Customization is big for me too and the Moto X will have that as well — provided I purchase through Motorola’s website, which I will.
I’m Buying the new Moto X Because It Runs Android
I’ve stressed how much I hate Android for years. My extreme dislike for the operating system hasn’t yet waned. That being said, Android L’s upcoming design refresh has me thinking now is the time to dive in. More importantly, Motorola has packed in so many well thought out features that I’m perfectly fine installing a new launcher and pretending like Android is Windows Phone.
A wave of a hand lets new Moto X users ignore a call or check their notifications. Moto Display now surfaces battery information, the time and the date too. Driving Mode keeps owners’ hands on the wheel.
I don’t like Android, but I’m willing to accept it if I can get enough of the features I want in a package that’s actually nice looking and affordable.
Over all there’s some stuff missing. I don’t like that there’s no optical image stabilization or a camera button. Windows Phone continues to be the only ecosystem that absolutely nails the picture-taking experience. I also wouldn’t mind if the new Moto X was running Windows Phone but still had all the software features this device does.
Still, the minute the new Moto X is available online I’m making the move. It has all the things we’ve been collectively encouraging device makers to do for ages. I want to support these things and I’m voting with my wallet.