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  • evilspoons - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    It's too bad we don't get any of the customization options in Canada. Rogers is getting the Moto X, but I think it's just in three solid colours. Reply
  • jjj - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Maybe worth mentioning that Atmel has a "Sensor Hub" MCU and it's used in S4 and Surface at least but wasn't highlighted in the marketing so it got zero attention. Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    Does this function without (waking up) the main CPU cores? Reply
  • nerd1 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    So called 'customization' has been available for samsung phones for AGES.
    Heck they even have freedom of customizing the battery sizes!
    Reply
  • maltanar - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Nice review Brian, thanks. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more and more fixed-function or semi-specific accelerator hardware (read: "cores") in processors in the near future. Not just for mobile applications processors but (over a longer period) for desktop/laptop/server CPUs as well. Reply
  • tim851 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    "I’d posit that the optimal size is somewhere just shy of 5-inches diagonal, say between 4.7 and 5, but this is a subject of heated debate."

    If there's a heated debate, it should be a clue that there is NO OPTIMAL SIZE. People have different use cases for smartphones. I've seen many young girls with tiny hands and huge phones. They don't care for one-handed use. They stuff them in their purses.

    I agree with the point about small screen shouldn't mean small specs.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    "If there's a heated debate, it should be a clue that there is NO OPTIMAL SIZE. People have different use cases for smartphones. "

    Exactly. It's totally user pref based. It's like asking what is the optimal automobile size. A guy that lives 50 miles from his work, would probably need a small car with good mileage, where a mother with ith 4 kids is better off with a minivan or SUV, and a construction worker needs a truck to haul things. Is one better than the other? No, unless you are talking to the commuter, mother or construction worker.

    As for the phone, looks like a great midrange phone. I like alot of the things MOto is trying to do with it... Should be cheaper though.
    Reply
  • scavio - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Why should it be cheaper? This isn't a Nexus.

    If they are lucky they are saving $10 on the SOC vs a Snapdragon 600. The screen might be a $20 savings (once again, if they are lucky). Everything else costs the same as the other flagships.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    It would've been interesting as a low cost mid-cycle Nexus refresh tho, at like $250-300 (32GB if the latter maybe, with only one SKU)... But then the customization aspect would've been a nightmare (Nexus launches are flaky enough as it is, distribution is not Google's thing) and the theories about Google/Moto's impact on other OEM would've raised hell. Reply
  • BallGum - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    It's almost more "Nexus" than a Nexus. I think the Motorola phones are almost as though Google tests features before they make it into Android. With 4.4 KitKat the whole thing is a bit more Googley.
    I know this sounds slightly outlandish, but it's explained better over at my Blog:
    http://theballofgum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/motorol...
    Reply
  • PC Perv - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Same for the screen. It's not as if everyone is in publishing industry. Human eyes are not limited to sRGB. Colors can be accurate or inaccurate, but there is no right or wrong ones. The author talks as if having larger gamut than sRGB in and of itself is always a negative. Ever looked into the ocean and be marveled at the nature's wonder? Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    It is a negative if the software is not aware that the gamut is larger (hint: it isn't), causing incorrect colors.

    I doubt anyone at AnandTech would spit on an AdobeRGB screen if the OS and all software handled it properly, but that's just not happened and probably won't for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, accurate colors are better than higher gamut.
    Reply
  • MartinT - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I'd argue that a large portion of what remains as a debate on optimal screen size is down to one particular supplier with considerable market share in the US not providing a model anywhere even close to what Brian (and the market) have zeroed in on as optimal.

    This is where Samsung's policy of trying absolutely everything comes real handy to anyone interested in cellphone trends.
    Reply
  • quickbunnie - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Brian Klug didn't think he'd like the Moto X. After using it, Brian Klug liked the Moto X.
    Translation: This phone is frickin awesome!
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I like it a whole lot more than I thought I would, still using it! :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Fiebre - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I wish you guys could do a battery test on the Droid maxx. I would really appreciate it. Reply
  • icrf - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I second this point. I'm thus far assuming that, industrial design aside, all Moto X points apply to Droid Maxx, except battery life. The Verge posted their review and said the new Droid Maxx falls short of last year's Droid Razr Maxx despite having an inflated battery life number in the marketing. That said, everyone else's battery tests seem to do silly things like not calibrating the display to a standard, which means the tests are neigh useless. We need Anandtech's superior consistency. Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    The battery test here isn't as "objective" as the reviewer claims. It uses a fixed "200 nits" screen brightness, which will favour current LCD technology (and Apple in particular) over OLED . To be credible the screen brightness on the battery test should be a percentage of maximum screen brightness. Reply
  • geniekid - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    But would you prefer using the Moto X or the HTC One? Reply
  • Solandri - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I was a bit confused by the flash read/write performance charts. The standard in reviews seems to be to order them sequential r/w, then random r/w. I did a double take, then realized you'd ordered them write random/sequential, then read random/sequential. Different, but no big deal.

    Then I did a triple take and realized you'd ordered them write random/sequential, then read sequential/random. Coincidentally, this ordering is best-to-worst for the Moto X.

    I trust your site's reviews enough to believe this was purely a coincidence, and that you switched the ordering because you led off by talking about the F2FS filesystem's write speed improvement (with the read speeds maintaining the traditional sequential/random order). But if you're going to switch around the order for the write speeds, you should switch the order of the read speeds to be consistent. The current ordering is not logical, and it gives the appearance of bias in favor of the Moto X.
    Reply
  • Civilized - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    "...the network status logo and bars are also a different shade of blue than the battery and time icons adjacent to it."

    This one sentence perfectly sums up Anandtech.com's mobile reviews. Great job Brian and Anand, the reviews have been consistently fantastic here.
    Reply
  • teiglin - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I don't know that it says much about Brian's reviews (I mean, seems pretty obvious just looking at the status bar), but it sure as hell sums up US operator software quality. That is fucking surreal, that AT&T pushes its logo into the phone firmware without even bothering to check the RGB values of existing icons. I just don't even...

    I like the phone a lot and would love to use Moto Maker to make one--this is definitely a speak-with-your-wallet thing; I really want Motorola to be successful with this--but I'm not suffering a locked bootloader, especially with this sort of blatant software flaw. When Maker is available for tmo or the dev editiion it'll be worth a second look.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Isn't the different blue just the same AT&T blue that they use on other devices regardless of the present color scheme? I'm not trying to excuse theirbehavior either way, just saying, it might be happenstance rather than neglect.

    Frankly the tweaking of the signal indicators bothers me a lot less than the ever present AT&T tag on the far left... Probably because a lot of carriers and OEM are guilty of the former (AT&T has even tweaked the untouchable iPhone's bars...) yet no other carrier splashes their name on your notification bar like that.

    To be fair, I believe it does disappear once you actually have notifications, or it has on previous AT&T phones anyway...
    Reply
  • SoC-IT2ME - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Charge time of the GS4 - it takes just over 2hrs for a full charge, not 2.8hrs as per your graph.

    The Moto X looks like a great phone, but now that SAMOLED has improved with it's colour saturation, this screen seems to garish and overblown.
    Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Who supplies the screen for the Moto X? Reply
  • APassingMe - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    "I’d posit that the optimal size is...."

    Typo maybe?
    Reply
  • Galcobar - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Posit is correctly spelled, and used. Reply
  • bakedpatato - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Where did you guys get a box of 5.56 blanks? Anand's X does look quite nice. Reply
  • SomeGuyonaBike - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    This is the second review I've read in which AT&T's address book sync service is described as being a big annoyance... What are the problems with this service? Does it periodically bug you to use it even if you choose not to, or something like that? Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Why should software you never use be on your phone? Reply
  • SomeGuyonaBike - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I understand and agree with general objections to carrier-installed bloatware (and because of this I won't decide whether or not to buy a carrier-branded X until details about the developer editions are public)... I'm just curious as to why reviewers are so negative about this particular piece of carrier bloat. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I think I disabled it on my sister's One X, wasn't really an issue... Reply
  • SomeGuyonaBike - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I spent a few minutes playing with a demo unit at an AT&T store over the weekend. When I launched the "People" app it wanted to sync to an AT&T address book, but there was an option to decline. I wonder if opting out of using the AT&T address book is a permanent thing, or if you have to repeat the opt-out every so often. Reply
  • Tralio - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    AT&T address book is a bit of an annoyance for everyday use, even on the X it tends to open incredibly slow. On the other hand when switching to my X it imported all my contacts onto my device without needing to import from sim. This can be an issue when switching from some of motorola or other developers' older models with larger sims, especially with the X not having an sd card slot and not every user knowing they can import/export from their comp. On a side note though for at&t users (not sure about the rest of the carriers) all at&t stores have a sim cutter that they can cut your sim down to the smaller size if you'd prefer to import from your current sim card or just don't want to deal with activating the new one. Reply
  • jasperjones - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Brian,

    I agree that smartphone line out/headphone out sound quality is still a bit of a challenge. Looking forward to your new audio test suite. It would be great if you guys could report RMAA results.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I like RMAA, but it's easy to get a lot of things wrong and isn't really mobile workflow friendly. We're going to try something different that's a lot more robust :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Friday, September 06, 2013 - link

    The thing I would like most, that I can't seem to find anywhere for any smartphone, and something that affects audio quality with headphones to a greater degree than any other attribute...

    Output impedance.

    Please, for the love of all that is holy, why can't at least one device reviewer measure the output impedance of these phones?!
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I should find out this week if I'll have access to a new suite of tests or not. If I can do it, RMAA will look like child's play in comparison. Believe me, we're looking forward to it. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Are you gonna go back and test at least this year's flagships? It'd be nice to have a baseline, particularly since this is something manufacturers have supposedly emphasized (HTC with the One, LG with the upcoming G2). Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    It looks like I'll have access to some new testing methods, but it will be a month or so until I can do them all probably (sorry, I have a large backlog of other things to get done right now). I'll plan to do a huge initial round-up of phones and tablets to get a baseline and create an article about the new tests. I also want to point out that audio tests might not run with the initial phone tests since Brian or anyone else will have to ship the phones to me in Oregon to test and it'll take them out of the hands for a few days.

    We haven't tested this yet, but we're hoping it really helps us set a standard for audio testing of phones and tablets.
    Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I looked for a good replacement for my Nexus S which also had good sound quality and damn that's a hard task especially in NA. I just couldn't find anything short of ordering an international SGS4 and that's just way too expensive.

    It always makes me sad that we strive for these huge and pretty screens but entirely botch the audio outputs in most smartphones.
    Reply
  • kwrzesien - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Second this. A comparison to tablets would be a great contrast too...we find the iPad 3 headphone out to a Yamaha/Klipsch system superior to any phone (iphones and Androids), would be interested to see the results of the Nexus and Note tablets. Maybe including a comparison of Bluetooth (3/4) and Wi-Fi wireless sound too. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    No comment about its superior dynamic range? To my eye, it looked better than even the pureview 1028.
    Of course, you can't get past the moire artifacts, and lower spatial resolution.
    Reply
  • Dan123 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    How about the standby efficiency and how it affects battery life. I've seen some reports that it's not so good. You mentioned in the conclusion that you compared battery life without and without the touchless controls, I'd be interested to see how this feature affects standby efficiency. Reply
  • PC Perv - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I can't get over the whole irony around the mid-range phone and mid-range screen size. I thought the criteria used to determine "high-end," "mid-range" was the price. The reviewer says this phone is first high-end phone that doesn't sport a large screen, then turn around to say the price is a bit high. Can you get that? It is a high-end phone but the problem is that it's priced as one.

    Too funny.
    Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I think your missing the meaning of "high-end". A high-end phone is typically in reference to hardware specifications, design, construction quality, etc.. While this is typically directly related to price (bleeding edge tech and industrial processes cost more), a high price does not automatically mean quality.

    Also, the facts are pretty clear (for whatever reason) that in the last couple of generations the larger phones tend to have better specs than there smaller counterparts (e.g., HTC One vs. HTC One Mini).
    Reply
  • Mondozai - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I think you're missing the point.

    Your sentence:

    "While this is typically directly related to price (bleeding edge tech and industrial processes cost more), a high price does not automatically mean quality."

    Which is right, but why do you later not connect this statement with the original comment you were replying to? The Moto X is specced like a 2012 phone but is priced like a high-end 2013 phone, especially as the LG G2 is coming out in a matter of weeks and the Note 3 is announced within just 9 days. That doesn't make it a bad phone, but there's a disconnect on the pricing.
    Reply
  • kwrzesien - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    The new gold iPhone will be the *only* high-end phone when it comes out. Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    What makes the specs 2012? Number of CPU cores? screen resolution? ... Reply
  • mammaldood - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Does the Moto X support aptX like other Motorolas? Reply
  • gobaers - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    You just totally wrinkled my brain:

    "I actually wonder if that might be why we see worse battery life on the Moto X in practice compared to the HTC One/SGS4. Heavier workloads that keep all four cores active, but not pegged, might actually run more efficiently on the quad-core Krait 300 platforms."
    Reply
  • austonia - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    honestly who is going to buy this instead of a Samsung G4 or HTC One? the features that set it apart are gimmicky. choice of colors is good i guess but nearly everyone keeps their smartphone in a case anyway. camera is bad. specs medicore. best thing here is what they didn't do by using a (mostly) stock android. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Because it's not all about specs. Some people want a phone that feels great in the hand, and the Moto X has that in spades over the HTC One and GS4 where a larger phone = no sale, no matter how great the internal hardware is. Reply
  • Mondozai - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Hilarious, the "specs are dead" defence. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I agree specs matter, I wasn't tempted to upgrade my EVO LTE this gen by the One or SGS4 so the Moto X is even less tempting... But he also brought up size, which does matter.

    I think this might be the first phone we've seen that finally materializes the potential of on screen buttons by delivering the same size display on a smaller body... First generation or two of phones with on screen buttons were the same size as their current gen flagships, they just had more bezel, and then it seemed like everyone was moving away from the on screen buttons...
    Reply
  • kwrzesien - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Just like desktop PC's eventually the CPU and GPU (for a given resolution) power will eventually catch up with "good enough" for most people, most of the time. Then heat, size and battery life will take over as the differentiators. Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    Apple has been using it for years ... Reply
  • curly_jefferson - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Okay, bro. Have fun waving your hands in front of your SG4 (#gimmick) while I tell my phone to call my wife on the way home from work without even looking at it (#useful) Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    There's no flagship phones on the market without voice control, AFAIK (my phone is over two years old and has it). Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    Also, using it in the car is literally the only time it is ever useful - it's rarely faster than simply touching the phone. Not to mention the waving your hands over the phone is pretty cool and could really cut down on how often you need to clean the front of your phone. Reply
  • Tralio - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Havn't needed to clean my X yet. The touchless control works in standby mode and responds so far to every application i've thrown at it including the downloaded ones (and of course the web search). As for the car being the only place needed, not at all. I'm a chef and use my phone for radio at work, so obviously having to touch the screen after i plug it into the radio is a major hassle. Not everyone is going to use this feature for the same reasons, and some of us are going to use it alot more than others. For me this was part of the selling point, and so far i'm not disappointed. Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    With the Android 4.3 update (and Bluetooth LE) expect an API ("MotoActv API") that will allow it to act as a pseudo-fitness tracker like the iPhone 5S with Nike+ ... They'll probably integrate with MyTracks out of the box Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    No other phone has a distinct voice control MCU. Apple have just add a contextual core (M7) to create what you could call a "X7 Computing System" (assuming dual swift A7 CPU, quad 543MP4 GPU, and M7 processor - there's no M8 "core" for voice processing). The Moto X is unique in this regard - AFAIK Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Exciting to see F2FS already on an Android phone. Now I'm sure it will come to KLP, since it's rumored to support kernel 3.10, and many improvements to the F2FS file system. With KLP, F2FS might replace ext4 as the default file system for Android, which would be quite excellent. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I wonder if any of Motorola's work in implementing F2FS makes it back to stock Android at some point or if the teams are segregated enough that they'll just do their own thing regardless... Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    OEMs contribute back to the central Android effort all the time Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I wish Motorola would've at least used Aptina's Clarity+ camera, which seems significantly better in both low-light (2 clear pixels instead of 1) and in clarity. It's also a crime that they didn't use OIS on it - come on!

    Btw is it me or is the color on BOTH Lumias completely off?
    Reply
  • rcpinheiro - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Great review. Just a small nitpick :4K and UHD are not synonymous, they are two different standards. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    UHD is a standard, 4K is a marketing term, much like Full HD and 1080p before it. Reply
  • Mondozai - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    UHD and 4K is not the same thing and neither is a marketing term. You need to read up on the facts.

    UHD = 3840x2160
    4K = 4096x2160

    In addition, 4K should have an aspect ratio of 1.9:1 while UHD is usually at 1.78:1.

    Jeff, if you don't know what you're blabbering about, then don't babble.
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    4K is a marketing term thanks to Sony and everyone else. In the actual definition, 4K doesn't have a set aspect ratio. A film mastered at 4K is 4096 pixels wide, and the height is totally dependent on the aspect ratio. If it is flat, then it's 4096/1.85 pixels high. If it is scope, it's 4096/2.39 pixels high.

    Sony, LG, Samsung and everyone else are using 4K to mean 3840x2160 pixels for the home. UltraHD is the technical name now (with Rec. 2020) but that was finalized after the 4K horse had already left the barn.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Kind of ironic, I bet UltraHD sounds catchier or at least more descriptive to the layman... 4K's definitely spreading fast tho. Reply
  • rcpinheiro - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    You're right, marketing teams are using "4K" incorrectly but at least here in AnandTech I expected writers to use standard names correctly.
    4K is a standard created by Digital Cinema Initiative, it uses JPEG2000 compression and bitrates upto 250Mbps.
    (I agree with use Impulses, for the layperson "Ultra HD" sounds better than the techy term "4K")
    Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    It is a marketing term - an unfortunate one. Because I don't want them to ruin the ratios when they get to that resolution. They should keep the UHD resolution to scale perfectly from 1080p (4x the pixels). If some OEM's decide that to have "real 4k" they need to make the resolution 4kx2k, that would really SUCK!. Reply
  • mike55 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Brian, what are your reasons for preferring some LCDs over Samsung's OLED panels? Reply
  • Doh! - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I could tell you couple reasons as a long time user of Sammy's OLED panel in my phone but I'm not Brian. Having said that, burn-in is one of the issues for many OLED panels. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    For me, the over saturated colors IMO, not the best for viewing photos, and I've started to view a lot of non-smartphone photos on my phone now that my camera has Wifi/NFC (most current gen Panasonic/Sony do, even Canon's newest DSLR, the 70D). Reply
  • mike55 - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    It's unfortunate that a lot of manufactures seem to disregard the sRGB color space when it comes to implementing OLED panels in their devices. I'm not sure I would've bought my GS4 if it weren't for the "movie" display mode that gets it somewhat close to the sRGB gamut. Reply
  • comomolo - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I'm not Brian either, but I don't care too much about color accuracy on a phone. I do care about something the N9 invented and amazingly nobody else still copied it yet: permanent display of the time and notification icons. That can't be done efficiently with an LCD and its so useful I simply can't understand it took that long to come to Android. Even this MotoX isn't implementing it fully. You still can't just take a look at the phone on the table and know the time or if some new message is in, if there's a missed call or text, etc.

    I haven't seen a single burned pixel on an AMOLED screen (been using Samsung phones for a while, and lots of friends too). Regarding color accuracy, I don't believe the technology itself is responsible for that, but factory calibration. Android might/should allow for user calibration (the same we do with monitors) and make this a moot point.
    Reply
  • Heartdisease - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    Well that's strange. My Galaxy Nexus has had burn in for quite awhile and it is getting more pronounced. Turn any amoled 180* from your normal orientation and look where the on screen buttons were. If you don't see it on the rest of the screen your blind. Reply
  • smitty123 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    " You have to also be close by, Moto X isn’t going to turn on when you’re across a big room, for example. In addition I’ve noticed that for some reason there are some odd false positives."

    i don't like to feel like my spied on.

    So to me it just sounds like we have a new thing to test: the distance at which the phone can hear us.

    Not hear the magic phrase, just how far from us it can still hear us with its 3 mics. forget the "it can't understand us" i'm not testing if it can recognize words, i'm just not comfortable knowing if it can record conversations that a human, nsa for example, can understand. with obama going for the warantless conversation recording, let's just say, this isn't a phone i'd want near me.

    That old big brother spying thing is here, i think in the interest of privacy, we need to know these things before buying the phone.

    i for one will never get an xbox one just for that reason.

    good luck but i'm going back to good old rotary phones lol
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    All phones can do that, genius. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Does the UI have lag between Android menu screens? Is the touch-screen at least as responsive as every Iphone to come out?

    I'm guessing there's still plenty of UI lag. In the future, UI's will be instant.
    Reply
  • eallan - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    It's pretty responsive, I've had some hiccups and frame rate drops though. Reply
  • Honest Accounting - Monday, September 16, 2013 - link

    In the general UI or specific applications? Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Maybe it got offset by the last-gen AMOLED tech. Here's the thing. If you're going to argue for efficiency, then don't just use an "old panel". Obviously that won't help. You need to use the latest technologies, the most efficient ones, and THEN lower the resolution and the clock speed of the CPU and GPU.

    So let's say the latest AMOLED is 2x more efficient than the n-1 before it, at the same resolution. But at 1080p (2x more pixels) it uses just as much power compared to the 720p one. Then I want the latest AMOLED with 720p, to benefit from that improvement in efficiency. If I use the old one with 720p, or the new one with 1080p, then I won't see any improvement in battery life.

    Same for the CPU and GPU. Let's say Motorola wanted to hit the performance target of S4 Pro, in both CPU and GPU. Great. But to gain extra efficiency, it would've been ideal to use the S800's CPU at 1.5/1.7 Ghz (instead of 2.3 Ghz), and Adreno 330 at half the clock speed (to match Adreno 320's performance).

    That's how you get the extra efficiency. We don't really see new phones that are much better in power consumption than last year's models, because the OEM's keep pushing for performance or resolution or whatever, which completely cancels out whatever efficiency gains they might've had.

    But this is our fault, too. Because we keep caring about benchmarks and who's e-penis is bigger, to the point where the OEM's have the incentive to cheat on these benchmarks, to get good PR from it.

    If we really want to see better battery life, then act like you don't care about performance anymore (because it has gotten good enough anyway), and ask for 2-day battery life (then heavy users might finally get a full day).
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    The whole efficiency line on Motorla's part is probably half marketing spin anyway, I'm sure cost and logistics played as large a role into the component selection as efficiency, even features (the active display stuff would've been impossible w/more common LCD displays, etc). At the end of the day, the only phones that have made monumental battery life strides have been their MAXX editions, by just packing a much larger battery... It seems current gen phones often catch up to last gen MAXX phones in one or two tests tho.

    If they were really trying to go for battery life above all they'd not only sacrifice some performance but some device thickness, and introduce a phone w/a MAXX-like battery as the only SKU w/no smaller battery model below it. I'm surprised more OEMs aren't putting out slightly thicker phones at times w/3,000mAh batteries like Moto, like not even one OEM has...
    Reply
  • michaelljones - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Brian, Anand,

    I know I'm commenting awfully low in this list to get seen, but I'd like to see a little more love for Windows phone in some of your comparison graphs. Throw in at least a token Lumia please (or more if you like!)?

    I'm a happy Windows Phone user (like many I think), but I have no way to quantitatively compare my Lumia 928 to any of the other handsets. With cameras that kick ass, I can't see how they aren't a comparable discussion.
    Reply
  • teiglin - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Two Lumias feature prominently in the camera section, and more are in the full gallery of camera comparison shots. I mean, yeah, Brian clearly knows that Nokia kicks everyone else's cameras in the nuts, and it shows.

    Beyond that, where do you want to see the Lumias? I don't think Brian ever got a working Windows Phone battery life test because of screen timeout issues (not to mention the absence of precision brightness controls makes it hard to compare to controlled 200 nit settings), so that leaves javascript benchmarks and display quality. I guess those would be nice to see in the appropriate charts.
    Reply
  • michaelljones - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    No mention on the screen page of any other Lumia devices and their types or quality of screens, only a host of Androids and a Apple. No CALMAN data.

    No speaker phone comparisons. The 928 Nokia crows all about the speaker phone for crying out loud. I want to know if it's really that good or if it really sucks that bad comparatively speaking.

    No call time and battery tests. The call time is an open freakin phone call for crying out loud. I could have done that on my StarTac in 1997. Also no charge time comparison, despite the fact that there are a half dozen apps in the Windows Store that will measure this.

    I believe several of the tests used in the CPU test are browser tests, and run just fine on a Lumia.

    Last I knew GFXBench ran on Windows Phone, yet it's nowhere to be seen in the graphs. (maybe it's pathetic, but at least show it). http://gfxbench.com/result.jsp?site=dx

    The camera section DOES have some pics from the Lumias, but fails to mention anything about them in the discussion, nor mention that Brian has them and that reviews are coming, etc. etc. other than an oblique reference to how he likes having access to the controls of the camera ala Lumia 1020. (and no mention of how the 1020 mops everything in the photo comparison as has been widely crowed with every other smart ass smart phone before this i.e. iPhone 5). Also no mention if those 1020 pictures are full 45MP or cropped ones.

    I'm not asking for a chart that takes away from the phone in question by any means. I'm just asking for a fair and balanced view of the current Windows Phone offering(s) comparatively speaking. WP has it's own benefits and it's own downfalls, and I'd like to see them compared to others in an honest way.

    See http://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-Nokia-Lumia-925-... as an example (granted it's in German, but the charts prove my point that these comparos could be a bit more balanced and not 9 Android phones against 1 iPhone and NO Windows Phone)
    Reply
  • chrone - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Great review, Brian and Anand! :)

    Did you notice any transition animation jank/stutter and sluggish/choppy scrolling on Moto X day to day use? Would really like the smoothness of Apple iOS landed on Android world in the future. :)

    I often encounter transition animation jank/stutter when opening or closing apps, switching in between apps, and entering-swiping-leaving home screen on Nexus 4 running Android 4.3. Perhaps the soc and battery thermal throttle and lack of random write IO are the culprit of janking or stuttering on Nexus 4 transition animation and scrolling performance.
    Reply
  • GrimR. - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    Thanks AT for the review. I've not seen such an in-depth review that actually considers the hardware components of this phone so objectively without doing the "OMG-no-1080p-screen-no-quadcore" whining. :) Appreciate it.

    But where is the Lumia 925 and Lumia 1020 reviews? :( Please post them too, they came out way before the Moto X.
    Reply
  • bntran0410 - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I created an account just so that I could thank you for writing such a great review! There are so few true tech writers around that actually write about technology. I am glad there we still have anandtech to have reviewers that actually review with this level of technical detail and scientific backing to what is written. Thank You! Reply
  • elotrolado - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I, your average user, am buying a Moto X, honestly. And here's why: I researched the HTC One and Mini, Samsung S4 and Mini, and the Moto X is the clear winner. Primarily, the One and S4 are too large for me, as I want something pocketable and easy to handle. In addition the S4 is too complicated with both"features" I would not use and Touch Wiz. I do love the One's front facing stereo speakers (let's make this standard in all phones) and the Zoe photo feature, but again, the Moto X is pocketable with the largest ratio of screen to phone dimensions of possibly any phone on the market, and 720p is just fine especially given it allows for long battery life. I drive alone in my car quite a bit and have yet to find a bluetooth headset that works well. I am really looking forward to using the voice activated controls of the Moto X to do all kinds of things, as well as enjoying the quality of the speaker to actually hear the person on the other end. Active notification is pretty great too. The phone does seem priced a bit high, but for a tool that I'll use everyday that will increase my productivity and make my life easier and safer while driving, an extra $50 or so is certainly worth it. Last, I expect this phone to get Android updates quickly, right after Nexus devices, and this will only enhance it's already awesome software abilities well into the future. Reply
  • elotrolado - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    I, your average user, am buying a Moto X, honestly. And here's why: I researched the HTC One and Mini, Samsung S4 and Mini, and the Moto X is the clear winner. Primarily, the One and S4 are too large for me, as I want something pocketable and easy to handle. In addition the S4 is too complicated with both"features" I would not use and Touch Wiz. I do love the One's front facing stereo speakers (let's make this standard in all phones) and the Zoe photo feature, but again, the Moto X is pocketable with the largest ratio of screen to phone dimensions of possibly any phone on the market, and 720p is just fine especially given it allows for long battery life. I drive alone in my car quite a bit and have yet to find a bluetooth headset that works well. I am really looking forward to using the voice activated controls of the Moto X to do all kinds of things, as well as enjoying the quality of the speaker to actually hear the person on the other end. Active notification is pretty great too. The phone does seem priced a bit high, but for a tool that I'll use everyday that will increase my productivity and make my life easier and safer while driving, an extra $50 or so is certainly worth it. Last, I expect this phone to get Android updates quickly, right after Nexus devices, and this will only enhance it's already awesome software abilities well into the future. Reply
  • shackanaw - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    PC Magazine reported that Iqbal Arshad, Motorola's senior vice president of engineering said "We've done additional optimizations on top of that such as optimizing the entire Linux user space to move it to an ARM instruction set, cache optimization, Dalvik just-in-time optimization, and we've changed the file system."

    In this review, you guys covered the changes to the file system, for which I applaud you for being much more thorough than any other reviewers, but can you comment about any of the other things he mentioned?
    Reply
  • Miroslav - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    Excellent article Brian, and just FYI http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmoorhead/2013/0...

    :)
    Reply
  • PeterO - Thursday, August 29, 2013 - link

    Simply put, Brian, you've penned an outstanding review. Depth, tone, observation, telemetry to conclusion ~ all top shelf. It's a genuine critique. Thank you for the enormous amount of work and heart put into this piece. The passion and dedication shows, and it's a true pleasure to read. Reply
  • massysett - Thursday, August 29, 2013 - link

    I've never understood why geeks worship at the altar of "stock Android." Believe it or not Google is not the only company that has interesting ideas on how to create a UI for a mobile phone or tablet. Handset makers can add useful enhancements.

    I've got a Nexus 7 and an HTC One and, before that, a Moto Droid Bionic. All worked fine and I wouldn't even pay $5 more to change the HTC One or the Droid Bionic to "stock Android".
    Reply
  • ThortonBe - Thursday, August 29, 2013 - link

    I'm excited to hear that audio testing will get more visibility. I also really appreciate the GIFs. Reply
  • tabascosauz - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    "So really you could make the case it should be X11, but then that’s a window system and not a mobile computing system."

    This is why I read your reviews, Brian. They're reliable and honest, and they always make me chuckle.
    Reply
  • Davidjan - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    Cool! X supports OTG to add storage with this tiny reader: http://goo.gl/U6IyY Reply
  • moosecoll - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    Moto X is available in more than 7 variants by which you have options to choose from a wide range of customization options. Just need to visit Flipkart.com the online store because its only available at it for sale.
    http://www.flipkart.com/motorola/motox?affid=sande...
    Reply
  • nivaldin - Thursday, July 03, 2014 - link

    Hi, when I record a video on my Moto X 4.4.3, it shows only 24fps on the Windows Media Player (Classic) or VLC Player. How to record at 30fps? Thanks Reply

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