Motorola Moto X: OK Google Now!

At first using the Motorola Moto X didn’t seem much different than any other Android device but when I drilled deeper into the functionality I was pleasantly surprised. On the device I set up my default services including Gmail (Google Account) and Twitter.

As with other Android devices I really like the notifications functionality compared to other smartphone vendors. The notifications are easy to find, read, and dismiss with a swipe of the finger. But one difference I noticed right away was the phone would “glow” with a Twitter icon occasionally. I found that if you pressed the icon more information would become available about the notification and you could even swipe into it to open the app directly.

According to the Motorola press release, this functionality is called Active Display, “Moto X is always ready to tell you what you need to know. Instead of an unhelpful blinking light, Moto X gives you useful info at a glance with Active Display, which appear right on screen.”

But the feature that really got me sold on the device was the voice command. After a quick voice training lesson all it took was saying “okay Google now… ” and the “open Twitter” for example. and it just did what I wanted. I actually found that the Google now voice command was more accurate and responsive than Apple’s Siri. Plus it was less prone to misinterpretation. I think Google has really hit the nail on the head with Google now.

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Motorola Moto XAs for the smartphone design I found the Moto X nice to hold and I like the back which is a flat matte design and stuck to my hand nicely. Compared to other smartphones that have a smooth  surface on the back the matte surface makes sense and I felt the device was firmly in hand and not about to slip away.

Another thing I noticed right away about the Moto X was the absence of physical buttons on the face of the smartphone. There is a power button on the right hand side along with volume controls below that but for the most part buttons on the device face are of a virtual nature.

I also appreciated the fast camera access which came when I twisted my wrist a couple of times to activate. The Motorola press release sums it up nicely, “Moto X knows you need a camera, and it’s always ready to go. Just twist your wrist twice and it’s ready. Touch anywhere on the screen, and you’ll get the shot. All in just a few seconds. Continuous shooting capabilities, as well as a ten megapixel camera…” Being a photographer this is a feature I can truly appreciate as I know that if you’re not on top of the action its easy to miss a shot.

The Motorola Moto X ships with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and overall is a hit with me. I wouldn’t  hesitate to recommend this smartphone if you’re in the market for an Android device.

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