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27 November 2013 @ 01:13 pm
Overall Review of Moto X (So Far)  
I already mentioned in the previous post my concerns/issues with the personalized message on the back of the phone, but that's a relatively minor issue. And i'm a little peeved about the unlocked bootloader boot screen, but i'm hoping i can find a way around that.

Otherwise the phone is great. It still feels good to hold and i only occasionally notice the difficulty in reaching all the way to the top to drag down the notification bar when using the phone one-handed. It would have been a little better if it had a 4.3 inch screen i think, but 4.7 inches is livable.

The phone is definitely very usable. Everything seems to be going smoothly, and it's a joy to be able to install the apps i want again. Although after installing all the apps i want, i notice that i'm down to 15GB of space, which is a little worrying. According to the settings, 26 of the internal 32GB is available to me. I'm currently using 6 GB for music, 2 GB for apps, 0.5 GB for pictures, and 1.5 GB for "Misc."

I've turned on most of Motorola's "helpful" features, at least for now. The "Active Display" is probably the best feature. Every time you get an email or text message or whatever when the screen is off it displays an icon on the screen telling you what kind of notification it is. You can press and hold the icon to get a synopsis of the notification, and swipe it to either unlock the phone or go straight to the relevant app. Apparently one of the advantages of an AMOLED screen is that it can selectively light up just the pixels for the message without powering up the rest of the screen.

And perhaps more importantly, whenever you want while the screen is off you can tilt the phone and it will display the time and an icon, either the lock idon or one for whatever notification is waiting. So it exactly replicates the "wake up" behaviour i had to add to my Nexus One via an app after the power button broke, which made it feel very natural to me. In fact with half the power on/off process working exactly the way i was already used to i kept finding myself briefly flumoxed almost every time i needed to run off the phone. I'd gotten so used to doing things without the power button that i ended up installing an app to add a virtual power button to the screen so i could shut it off the way i'd gotten used to. Along with not having to re-adapt my habits, hopefully this also means that with severely reduced usage i won't ever have to worry about the physical power button crapping out again. I've also added an app to control the volume by software, so i never actually need to use the physical buttons at all now (though being able to change volume without switching apps first is certainly frequently convenient.)

The "Touchless Controls" are interesting, but don't really seem of much use to me. I don't really like talking to machines unless absolutely necessary.

The "Motorola Assist" also doesn't seem to be of much use to me personally. It can mute notifications while you're asleep, but i have the ringer volume turned off all the time so i never get woken up by notifications anyways. It can mute notifications while you're in meetings, except i don't have that many meetings, i don't schedule them with Google when i do, and see the note above about ringer volume. It can automatically detect when you're driving and read any text messages you receive out loud, which is somewhat useful. It can also automatically start playing your music when you start driving. A little experimentation seems to indicate that it will work with whatever media player your prefer, including Audible. However it takes long enough after you start driving before it figures out what you're doing that it really seems easier just to start the audio yourself.

The battery life has definitely been decent so far. On the one hand i do tend to plug it in frequently while at work and all the time in the car, on the other hand i did the same thing with my Nexus One and it frequently ran out of battery after an evening of use, on the other other hand the Nexus One is almost four years old and probably has significantly decreased battery capacity.

Call quality is okay. It sounds a little different from what i'm used to from my Nexus One. Maybe that's the "robotic quality" other people have complained about, i'm not sure. However i'm not going to be doing a lot of talking on this thing until/unless i get a Google Phone number.

The one time so far i've had batter issues was after two or three hours playing "Ridiculous Fishing", a game with known issues. (Lots of reports of it draining batteries, and on the Moto X it starts out silky smooth, but after 20-30 minutes of playing it starts slowing down and then the tilt controls go nuts. I suspect there's a memory leak problem or something of that nature.)

It should be noted that i plugged the phone in before starting that gaming session, however i was using the cable in my bedroom, which is due to be replaced and has developed the "loose wire connections" problem. It wasn't until the low batter warning popped up that i realized i hadn't jiggled the cable properly to start the charging process. The Moto X has no notification LED indicator, which is okay because the Active Display mostly has that covered, and no "charging" LED indicator, which is not so okay.

Oh, and i am really missing the trackball from my Nexus One every time i need to correct the location of the cursor by just a character or two, but it's not like there are any other new phones that have a trackball either.