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Android Fanclub: "The first generation Moto X was a game changer"

The first generation Moto X was a game changer. Released August, 2013, it was the much anticipated collaboration between Google and Motorola. And though it has a few issues and is outdated it's still an excellent performer. So let's explore why it's my pick for our Android Fanclub series.

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Come see why I'm a fan of the Moto X (2013). / © ANDROIDPIT

Mine eyes have seen the glory

The Moto X (2013) hits you immediately upon removing it from the box. It has a compact, 5-inch build that's inviting. It looks sharp and has some stylish features like the woven-look back. It's thin and its curves make it quite ergonomic.

The unique material on the back makes the phone easy to hold with just one hand and you don't feel like you're going to drop the device. That coupled with its compact size makes it easy to use. This is something refreshing and I wish more devices looked and felt like this one.

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The woven-look back is both ergonomic and stylish. / © ANDROIDPIT

Design features ahead of its time

Something that really shocked me when I first saw the first generation Moto X is the speaker and mic placement. There are three, yes, three mics on the device. One is on the front bottom, another the top and the last on the back near the speaker.

The headphone jack is on the top of the device in the middle. Now, this seems odd at first because most phones have the jack on the top but at the left or right and not centered. But I found it easy to use my headphones with this design feature. 

The 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 (312 ppi) AMOLED display might not be what we expect even from mid-range devices nowadays but it's no slouch. The colors are rich and the auto-brightness ensures you generally have a crisp picture. And in sunlight and indoor lighting the picture remains quality.

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The AMOLED 720p display still gives you rich colors. / © ANDROIDPIT

Movin' on up to the mid-range

Packed in this compact device is the 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor backed up with 2 GB RAM. The device performs well in everything you would need it to do. This includes demanding games and video, although loading games sometimes takes a few extra seconds.

The 2,200 mAh battery gives you a long time with normal use and the battery saver option works well. Last week I tried out our three year old Moto X and put it through the ringer. I played games, watched a lot of videso and did a ton of other things for the entire day. The battery was down to eight percent but it was still alive. Pretty impressive considering the battery size.

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The battery runs well even under heavy use. / © ANDROIDPIT

Love and hate are two horns on the same goat

Well no relationship is perfect. I do not like the camera on the first generation Moto X. If Motorola shaved costs somewhere then this is certainly the area. Even with subsequent software updates I cannot get good pictures out of this device. 

The 10 MP camera looked good on paper but under-performed in all of my tests. And even if you are an advanced smartphone photographer you won't get much out of the manual mode. The best thing about the camera is the ease of use. But something bad that's easy to use is not really helpful.

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The camera app is easy to use, but does that matter if the pictures are bad? / © ANDROIDPIT

After three years, it's still a good buy

You can still get a brand new unlocked first edition Moto X, and I recommend it. Yes, you won't have the newest software or hardware but you're getting an incredible device for only $119. If I were to tell you to get a compact device with mid-range specs from 2016 you would have to fork up more than that.

Do you think the first edition of the Moto X was a game changer? Let us know in the comments.


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  • NT7 4 months ago Link to comment

    I agree completely with this assessment of the first (and best) Moto X. I have owned and used the XT1053 since March 2014, and have yet to find a worthy replacement.

    I hope that the iPhone SE will have strong sales, to encourage other manufacturers that there really is a market for powerful and capable pocket-size phones.

  • I got my Moto X Style (Pure) last autumn, and damn do I love the design and quality of this phone. The display and specs for the price I got for it... Just amazing!

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