Moto X Pure Review

  1. funmunke
    Marshmallow Oct 13, 2015

    funmunke , Oct 13, 2015 :
    To begin, I’ll say this – I am leaving the experience of obtaining my Moto X Pure Edition out, since it’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever been through.

    Now, is the Moto X Pure worth a look? Yes.

    I custom ordered my Pure through Motorola’s Moto Maker. That means I got to pick from a slew of options that included amount of storage, front color, back color and material, accent color, welcome message, and engraving.

    I ordered one with a black front, black leather back, red accents and a welcome message. I got all of it except the welcome message. Thankfully I didn’t pay for that, or I’d be really annoyed.

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    The front of the phone looks nice, but there are a couple of odd things. First, the self-facing LED isn’t flush to surface. That gives it a cheap feeling. The front facing speakers has plastic stripes on them that stick above the surface. This doesn’t really bother me since they let you lay the phone face down. If it’s on a flat surface, the glass won’t touch.

    The other thing I noticed about the front of the phone was the crazy number of sensors. You can actually see them glow red if you turn the light off. I know Motorola put those there for one of their gesture launches, but it seems excessive. I’m not kidding when I say there are five sensors on the front of the phone. It makes it feel like an Amazon Fire Phone.

    The back of the phone has a nice curve to it that makes it feel smaller than it is. The camera and LED housing is made up of a red strip of plastic. This also has a concave section to it that gives you better grip on the phone. As a note – Leather is not a great match for cell phones. It gets scuffed and marked up very easily and doesn’t offer a lot of protection. Go with a wood or rubber back.

    On the right side of the phone you have your power and volume buttons. They are cheap plastic and really detract from the build.

    The bottom of the phone has your USB port. The top has your headphone jack and card slot. I call it a card slot because Motorola did something really smart to save space. Your micro SD card and SIM card go back to back in that slot. This completely eliminates the excuse that some phone makers use, that they couldn’t put a micro SD slot in because of space restrictions.

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    The Pure is a Near Stock version of android. This basically means you get stock droid with some apps you can’t delete and a custom lock screen. The kick in the nuts is, one of those apps, “Migrate” is something you are only going to use once. “Connect” you might never use if you don’t own any other Motorola hardware (watch, BT headphones). “Moto” is a decent one that lets you tell the phone how to react in certain situations, but it lacks customization. You also get some garbage apps you can’t get rid of like their default Messaging and Mail apps.

    I’ll break off a little to talk about the Moto gestures. These are a killer feature that I use almost every day.

    CAMERA – twist your hand twice. It works consistently and makes it really easy to launch your camera.

    FLASHLIGHT – Hold the phone vertically and snap it up and down twice. Works well enough.

    LOCKSCREEN – wave at your phone and the lock screen shows. Works well, but sometimes when it doesn’t I try to double tap the screen (Like a ton of other phones out there) which does nothing. That leaves you hitting the power button.

    Motorola’s custom lock screen is really nice. It shows the time and notification icons on a black background. Hold one the icon to read the notification. Hold and swipe up to launch that app. Hold and swipe down to go to the android lock screen and unlock your phone. Without the “read” feature this would be a drawback, but with that feature, this is a fantastic way to handle notifications.


    First off let me say this, some people have received phones with an LCD screen that was very warm in color. For the OPO owners out there, imagine the yellow band issue across the entire screen. I did not get one of those. The phone I got has one of the best screens I have ever seen. It’s clear, colors are rich, whites and blacks are in balance. It’s an amazing screen that easily beats the iPhone 6 (there are better screens but that’s the best one I’ve put my hands on). It's mind blowing to get a screen this good in a phone at this price point.


    Some people laugh at the Pure because it has a Snapdragon 808 and only 3GB of RAM. That’s may not be top of the line, but I’ve never run into ANY lag. I hammered the phone with two different, high rendering games. Both ran fine with no lag or OVERHEATING. The hottest I could get the phone was during the install, when I was downloading all my apps. No issues. It felt warm, but I’d gotten my OnePlus One MUCH hotter. There were times when that thing was downright uncomfortable to touch.

    Now the best part of the hardware - the speakers. The front facing speakers are incredible. The only set that beats them is HTCs Boomsound. That's saying a lot. To have speakers like that in a phone at this price point is unheard of.


    Like all cell phone cameras, this breaks down into two sections – hardware and software. Despite lacking stabilization, the hardware is more than adequate. It snaps some decent 21mp photos (posted at the end). Sure it suffers in low light, but I don’t expect awesome results from a cell phone camera in low light. If I want good low light photos, I’m pulling my DSLR with a 1.4f. To me the camera in a phone is a bonus for taking photos that are unplanned or just for fun. Overall the hardware is just fine.

    The software is another story. I said this in a post in the Wormhole and I’m going to say it again now. YOU SUCK MOTOROLA!
    The camera software has some serious issues. First off, they ignored what almost every other phone maker does. Tapping is not for focusing! If you tap the screen it takes a photo! As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of accidental photos as well as a lot of out of focus photos. On top of the usual options, they put in a “control focus and exposure” option. That’s right, both those things are crammed into the same awkward function. If you turn that on, you get a box with a bolted on slider. The slider works okay, but the box is foolish. You have to tap on it, and drag it to what you want the camera to focus on. I’m sure this sounded good in a planning session, but in execution, it SUCKS.

    So you’re probably thinking, “Just grab another photo app. As of Lollipop there are a bunch of awesome camera apps.”

    You are correct. Only one problem. Motorola doesn’t let you change the camera app associated with the quick launch gesture. Bastards!
    You can have the awesome launch or the good camera app, but not both.


    Overall, considering the price range, I’d rather have this phone than 90% of the phones out there. That does not make this the perfect phone and I could easily see why someone would pick a competitor from OnePlus, Asus, or another similar maker. One the plus side, Motorola did include NFC. Imagine that? NFC in a phone?

    UPDATE - What is wrong with me? I made it all the way through that review and forgot one thing - Quick Charging! It's far more useful than wireless charging. Wireless charging is cool, but quick charge helps when the crap goes down! Before you boohoo it - yes you need the charger that came with it....OR....any QC certified fast charger. I'm not kidding. I got a cheap fast charger plug in for my car and it charges this phone in no time. You can also get fast charging battery packs now.

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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015

  2. keessonnema
    KitKat Oct 13, 2015

  3. vacs
    Honeycomb Oct 13, 2015

    vacs , Oct 13, 2015 :
    my only problem with the moto x pure/style is that it costs 499€ in europe...I would buy it immediately if the price was like in the US $399

    Coldbird, Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  4. SoniaB
    Nougat Head Moderator Oct 13, 2015

    SoniaB , Oct 13, 2015 :
    Very good review 'Munke
    Since you love using the camera (and I don't mean in a troll/stalker way;)), I dunno how long you would stick with the Moto as this is a bit of a downside for you.
    We should do a poll in the WoHo on how long you will last with the Moto camera software :p

    Ceasedd, remedy, meatandy and 3 others like this.
  5. funmunke
    Marshmallow Oct 13, 2015

    Ceasedd, meatandy, GhilS and 3 others like this.
  6. funmunke
    Marshmallow Oct 13, 2015

    funmunke , Oct 13, 2015 :
    It's just the fact that I can't change the quick launch that bums me out. "A Better Camera" works really well with the hardware and does a much better job.

  7. sciond
    Ice Cream Sandwich Oct 13, 2015

    meatandy, Tobikage and funmunke like this.
  8. funmunke
    Marshmallow Oct 13, 2015

    funmunke , Oct 13, 2015 :
    No kidding. It should be under 399E in Europe. Even 399E would be slightly over priced.

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  9. el_draco
    Jelly Bean Oct 13, 2015

    meatandy, nexus123 and funmunke like this.
  10. nexus123
    Jelly Bean Oct 13, 2015

    nexus123 , Oct 13, 2015 :
    Thanks for the review. Really nice and straight forward. :)
    Don't see anything that I would disagree with you about.....
    Wait........(Photos coming soon)!!!

    Other than that, great review:)
    Good job:cool:

  11. v1rk
    Gingerbread Oct 13, 2015

    v1rk , Oct 13, 2015 :
    Nice review man, design and specs not changed much thofrom nexus 6 or Motorola droid turbo in terms of design etc although droid turbo was a bit better on paper with few things different. The price point of things seems tax makes the biggest factor everyone

    meatandy likes this.
  12. billq
    Jelly Bean Oct 13, 2015

    billq , Oct 13, 2015 :
    Good review .and NFC fabulous but its UK price is well obove the op2 where NFC isn't really valued or used a great deal. Well written I liked your style not tofact based boreing :):):)

    meatandy and ManiBaker like this.
  13. mwayner
    Lollipop Oct 13, 2015

    mwayner , Oct 13, 2015 :
    Very nice; enjoy :). ”easily beats the iPhone 6”. That's not much of an achievement re a full HD screen LOL! But it's a very nice screen. Got to play with my older son's last night and it is indeed very vibrant. Off topic, but this place has turned me, unwittingly, into a phone freak. My son was amazed at my interest in his phone in particular and sudden savinness about phones in general.:p

    meatandy likes this.
  14. mprez333
    Cupcake Oct 13, 2015

    meatandy likes this.
  15. funmunke
    Marshmallow Oct 13, 2015

    funmunke , Oct 13, 2015 :
    Indeed ;)

    meatandy and nexus123 like this.
  16. funmunke
    Marshmallow Oct 13, 2015

    meatandy likes this.
  17. M4ENY
    KitKat Oct 13, 2015

    M4ENY , Oct 13, 2015 :
    Awesome review thanks M8 !

    meatandy and funmunke like this.
  18. funmunke
    Marshmallow Oct 13, 2015

  19. meatandy
    Oreo Oct 14, 2015

    meatandy , Oct 14, 2015 :
    Thanks for the review Munke , that blue sky is just stunning . we've had the same here for the last month. :D

    How long are you thinking of keeping this one?

    funmunke likes this.
  20. Linanc7
    Lollipop Oct 14, 2015

    Tobikage and funmunke like this.