3. Moto X - the everyman's Android
Remember when Google bought Motorola? The Moto X is the fruit of said acquisition. It bucks almost every trend an Android phone design, in ways both good and bad.
The Moto X is very nice phone, but Verizon is currently not the best carrier for it. Right now, you can't yet use the Moto Maker, which lets you customize the exterior of the phone, to make a Verizon Moto X. We've been told this will change, but as of this writing, we don't have an ETA for the Moto Maker on Verizon. Also, Big Red only stocks the 16GB model, with a puny 11GB of storage available to user, while there's a 32GB sold directly from Motorola. Unfortunately, it's not Verizon compatable. Hopefully that will change when Big Red gets the Moto Maker.
Currently, Verizon is selling the black and white models for $99, which is a competitive price for an on-contract phone.
Why you want it
Reliable battery life. It's no marathon runner, like the Galaxy Note 3 or Droid Maxx, but the Moto X can easily see you through the day on one charge. That's due to restrained specs, like a 720p display and a dual-core processor.
Unique Google features. The Moto X can be trained to recognize your voice and yours alone, so you can engage its search and Siri-like features by saying, "Ok Google Now." The camera can be opened with a gesture, it has a do not disturb mode that rivals the iPhone's and it can automatically read you your texts and send replies when it detects that you're driving.
A reasonable size. With all the best Android phones coming in at well over 5-inches, there's not a lot of choice for consumers that want something more manageable in the hand and less bulging in the pocket. At just 5.09-inches, the Moto X feels downright restrained, and still offers a size up for iPhone converts looking for a larger screen.
Why you may not want it
The camera is not great. The Moto X's camera is very hit or miss, and it's miss more often than hit. It's camera app also lacks the options of Galaxy phones, and LG's G2. That's what we found during our review testing. However, Motorola has distributed a patch that has supposedly improved its performance. We're currently testing it and will update with our findings.
Those specs may not age well. The Moto X is a dual-core phone in a quad-core world. Its also 720p while most other Androids are full HD. That helps it get great battery life, and achieve an affordable price. However, if this is a phone you'll use for two years, how well will it perform down the road, with the latest version of Android? We're a bit unsure.
Motorola's apps aren't perfect. A few of them still need some work. We're talking about Motorola Connect, which lets you text from your computer, but is full of hiccups compared to iMessage. And its drive mode can't tell when you're the passenger or the driver, which is understandable, but can lead to some embarrassing moments on the bus.
- Read our full Moto X review