I was a long time Galaxy Nexus user. Anyone who had that phone understands that it is plagued by terrible reception to this day. Last weekend I ordered an iPhone 5C, first one I've ever purchased other than the iPhone 4S for my wife a year back. Needless to say, I have my annoyances with Android, but iOS 7 is generally clunky in my opinion. I talked with a Vzw rep this morning and they informed me that the Moto X can accept international GSM Sim cards like the iPhone 4S and up, once of the initial reasons I jumped to iPhone instead. Now I'm considering returning the iPhone, since the Moto X can do it.
So how has it been for you early adopters? Here are my main concerns, mostly stemming that they are still a major problem with the Galaxy Nexus.
1) Reception is pathetic on the Galaxy Nexus. Is it a problem with the Moto X, i.e. 4G/3G drop-offs for no reason? No signal at all? Needing to reboot to get your signal back?
2) Speaker - You could barely hear on the Galaxy Nexus. I don't need a boombox like the HTC one, but I want to hear it without the need for a dead quiet room.
3) Updates - Maybe Verizon will speak to this, but the thought of another Android phone on Verizon scares me considering their track record. I'm not int the food waiting 6 months for an update like I did for the Galaxy Nexus. I'm also super busy and no longer have a desire to install custom roms, all for the sake of running the latest software. I don't mind a few months, but much more and I get impatient.
An Android stock experience is preferred and this seems the closest current thing on Verizon.
I've posted similar questions in a few other forums and there has been dead silence. No news is good news at this point, I suppose. The biggest gripe I hear is the camera quality which should improve if Verizon doesn't sit on the update for months on end.
I think the choppy audio is a bigger issue, being its a one sided issue (person you're talking to) it takes time to realize its your phone. I'm getting really tired of people saying "you're breaking up". Still not a word regarding the update on Verizon, while every other major carrier has already released it or are testing.
Can you hear me now? NO!!! I'm on a Verizon Moto X.
Yeah, I heard a update is available. I'm debating on returning the 5C altogether and holding out until mid-2015, my wife's contract expires. We then leave Verizon for a company that rolls out updates. The second option is to return the 5C and grab a Moto X or HTC 1. I just get one exchange and need to make it count. Plus I don't want to be stuck on Verizon for another two years waiting, watching everyone else on other carriers receive updates. I'm super impressed by the signal in this iPhone 5C. It has been so horrible on the Galaxy Nexus, I forgot what it was like to have a phone that works 75% of the time. iOS7 just kills my eyesight for some reason.
For what it's worth, I am actually pretty happy with my Moto X. I haven't had any problems with the choppy audio and honestly the camera picture quality isn't too bad. I do see a good amount artifacts when taking pictures in low light, and from seeing comparison shots from the Moto X before/after the camera update, I really wish Verizon would hurry up and roll that update out. But that said, the camera quality isn't a deal breaker for me. I also do not see any issue with the volume/power buttons- some reviews said they felt loose and you could hear them jiggle around if you shook the phone- this wasn't the case with my phone and overall the build quality is good- I love the rubberized back and the little Motorola dimple!
I've had the Moto X about a month now and it really hasn't stuttered one time since I've had it. I've had 1 or 2 apps crash on me, but the phone immediately told me there was something wrong, and pushing the home button always brings the phone back to normal smooth operation. I'd say as far as responsiveness goes, the Moto X is most iPhone-like android phone I've ever used. The responsiveness of the phone is evident when using instrument apps like a piano or drum machine app. While iPhones seem like they always ran instrument apps well- my brother in law can jam on his Moog app on an iPad and it sounds like he's playing a real synth keyboard. However, every time I've tried an instrument app with an android phone there was just too much lag to really make the app usable. That is until I got my Moto X- now I can actually play Fur Elise on my phone and make it sound convincing. While this isn't really something practical or something many people really need to use, it is a great testament to the speed and responsiveness of the phone- and it's fun!
One surprisingly helpful feature of the Moto X is the active display- it's not just so you see notifications easier and without unlocking the phone (btw you can make those notifications more private so you have to unlock the phone to see them). Active display also automatically puts the phone on the unlock screen when you pick it up or take it out of your pocket, and for me it actually works! This means that I almost never use the power button to get to the unlock screen anymore, and I love that there's one less step to get where I want. I don't really use the touchless control, but the active display is super helpful and something I think more people should be jealous of.
I also think it's ridiculous that people discount the Moto X for not having a big 1080 display. I honestly cannot see any jagged lines from the pixels on the screen- I don't see a reason why you would want any higher pixel density. And likewise I don't understand why people knock on the Moto X for having a slightly smaller screen size. This display is still a good bit bigger than any iPhone screen, and look how many people love iPhones. Honestly, the smaller screen size and overall size of the phone was one of the biggest reasons I didn't get a Samsung S4. To me a smaller size points more in the direction of practicality rather than impressive specs- after all it is a phone foremost so I really want it to be practical.
Another thing I was impressed with is the battery life of this phone. I can easily go a night without charging the phone and still be good to use it the next day. Of course if you're using it all day it's going to need a charge, but you really have to push this phone hard to not make it all the way through a day without recharging.
As a last note- I really like the fact that Motorola used the x8 computing chipset in all of their new phones. It seems smart to me, because I would expect it to massively reduce the amount of Android development changes for each variant of their droid phones. We all know the manufacturing of those chips probably only costs Motorola less than a dollar on each phone, so why would you make your developers have to work with different hardware for each phone? This is one of the reasons Apple has so much control over the iPhone- because they generally only release one phone at a time.
And this also goes along with the design choices of the x8 chipset itself- they chose optimization over raw horsepower. This is again the same thing that Apple does- you don't see anyone complaining about the fact that the iPhone ONLY has a Dual-core processor! Likewise the Moto X ONLY has a Dual-core processor with a Quad-core GPU, and it works great. I've seen a few reviewer talk about how the Moto X is doing more with less hardware, but to me it seems common sense that the focus should be on software! However, the Moto X also has two low-power cores tasked with specific purposes- I think this is yet again a great idea. It's always bothered me when a smartphone gets stuck and you can't use it for it's primary purpose: to be a phone. In these situations, I've always thought, why don't they have a core dedicated for making/receiving phone calls? Of course, that's not exactly what Motorola has done (and understandably so, because the OS itself would need more modification if that were the case), but the design is one step closer. This design philosophy is also in line with the architecture of micro-kernel OS's, which I believe will take over every operating system architecture in the future (although there is still a lot of work to be done to get there). Micro-kernel OS's have the advantage of better managing physical computing resources and isolating OS failures. For instance, the phone app wouldn't have to compete with other apps for RAM or processing power because it could be sectioned off on it's own processor core, and if it fails the OS simply has to restart the necessary modules for the phone app. This also makes the OS more secure. This is exactly what Blackberry did with their newest OS, and if you know what the Xen hypervisor is (what powers Amazon Web Services) then you should know the micro-kernel is where Xen is headed too.
I have no idea whatsoever if the people at Motorola have micro-kernels on their mind, but I do think they are making steps in the right direction and overall I think they've made some very smart design choices. And in my opinion these choices have made a really great phone that I am very happy with.
Now if Verizon could just get us that update!!
I realized I didn't answer the first two questions that NeedMoreCoffee asked, so:
1.) Reception seems to be fine for me. It surprised me when I did a run with the speedtest.net app and saw 23Mbps download speed over 4G- more than twice as fast as my home Brighthouse internet. I pretty much always have 4G service, but I'm not sure how much that has to do with my area vs the phone.
2.) Sometimes when I've had a call on speakerphone and the room wasn't quiet it was a bit difficult to hear. Cupping the speaker in the back helps. When I play music from the phone, it seems plenty loud, but like every phone it's no substitute for real speakers if you're looking for fidelity. I wouldn't worry about it too much, because you can always buy a bluetooth earpiece if you're worried about hearing the person on the other side of a phone call.
I just recently purchased a Moto X. I did a lot of research and debated between a Samsung Note 3 (what a monster!) and a Moto X. The Moto X won me over with the Moto X Maker option. customizing my phone sounds GREAT. And it's all done here in the US. I have had the phone foe a month and I have had no trouble. It's smooth and quick. The display is great and the colors are vibrant. I downloaded the camera update and the pics are very nice.
There are plenty of features I like on this phone. My favorite is the the button to the right of the home button. You press that and you have a list of every app or function you just used. It's like a active bookmark. Instead of losing youtube when I wanted to read an email, use another app, send a text or make a phone call, I can get right back to it via this feature. That may not be a big deal to some. But, I dig it.
Coming from a Droid 3, I feel like this is really a SMRT phone. I feel like I am in more control of my data and energy use. Being a Google phone, the Moto X just had a great look in my opinion. And the feel of the phone is nice. It fits great in my hand and easily in my pockets. The Samsung Note 3...not so much. My favorite thing on the body of the phone is not so obvious. A round indentation on the back of the phone where the Motorola "M" is displayed. Call me nutty but having the phone in one is a lot easier as I can put one fingertip in the indentation to balance the phone. so the ergonomics and aesthetics are top notch in my opinion.
My only complaint is more my personal issue of making sure I turn of the display before I put the phone in my pocket. The Droid 3 would automatically turn off once it "realized" it was in my pocket. One of the few things it did well.
Over all, I love my Moto X and would recommend it to anyone.
Well, when I talk about the MotoX, understand that I'm upgrading the whole way from a DroidX, so maybe I'm too easily impressed.
What I love best about it is the number of things you can do hands free. With the Assist feature this phone can sense when you are driving and when you are, it will tell you who sent you a text, offer to read it to you, and send one back, all hands free. It also has the option to automatically silence itself if you're in a meeting (which is in your calendar) or when you are asleep. The Google Now app is also very cool... not quite Siri, but serving about the same purpose. My family is very tired of hearing me ask my phone what the temperature is outside. On a more useful note, it allows for hands-free navigation when you are driving.
Reception: I have had no problem with it dropping reception. It does get that weird echo-y tone on some phone calls, which drives me nuts. The DroidX did the same thing, and I am told it is a cell phone "feature". Still, even when I'm getting the echo, the person on the other end tells me that I sound clear to them. I have never needed to reboot.
Speaker: I'm not much on speaker phones, so the only time I've really used this is when the phone itself is talking to me (Assist and Google Now). It is LOUD.
The battery life is fine so far: as a pp mentioned, even when I forget to charge it at night it's good for the next day. Provided, of course, that you haven't used it too heavily in one of the power-hog modes.
On the only-sort-of-positive:
I am still getting used to the camera, and I know that it has more features than I've played with. But so far, I do NOT like it's method of zoom. It relies on the screen pinch; it's clunky and often doesn't seem to work. Also, you can't switch directly from the photo you just took to the gallery to edit. It does have a lot of edit features.
The navigation voice is stupid. OK, it's a small point, but it is really irritating when it will switch from one voice to another in mid-route. However, it does not seem to have trouble finding the GPS, so I guess I should count my blessings.
There is nowhere in it to adjust the length of time it rings before going to voice mail. This is not unusual and I had to call Verizon to have it adjusted on the old phone. Hopefully they will adjust this one, too.
Overall, I love this phone.