Moto X: 7 Features to Get Excited About

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With its newly announced $199 Moto X smartphone, Motorola isn't focused on providing the fastest processor or sharpest screen. Instead, the Moto X concentrates on a few key user benefits, including touchless voice control, a quick launch camera. and a slew of customization options. Couple that with its sensor-based intuition that can tell when you’re in a business meeting or fast asleep, and the Moto X may give today’s flagships some stiff competition. The handset comes with a 4.7-inch 720p display and is powered by the same Motorola X8 chip in the new Droids. But read on to see what really makes the Moto X stand out against its rivals.  

Moto Maker Studio

Remember that leak from months ago that said the Moto X would come in 20 different color options? Well that was no exaggeration. Touted as the phone’s standout feature, you’ll be able to literally build your ideal colored smartphone with numerous shades to choose from via the Moto Maker website. Thanks to its two-part construction, you can choose everything from the front plate to the accent colors.

According to Motorola, buyers get two color options for the front, 18 color choices for the back plate, seven color choices for the phone’s accents and the option to print a message on the back. The Moto Maker online studio will be exclusive to AT&T initially, but is expected to roll out to other carriers by the end of the year. 

More: Moto X Full Review

Touchless Control

Like its new Droid lineup, the Moto X phone can spring into action whenever you say, “OK Google Now.” Most of today’s smartphones support voice dictation, but typically Google Now and Siri require the user to tap a button before saying a command. Touchless Control is off by default, but you can turn this feature on by going into the Settings menu and activating Touchless Control. From there, you can train the device to respond specifically to your voice and do anything from navigate to an address to call a contact.

More: Your Laptop in 2018: The Future of Computing

Quick Capture Camera

Instead of launching the camera by pressing a button, simply twist your wrist twice to prepare the Moto X for a photo. Touching anywhere on the screen will tell the device’s 10-MP camera to snap a shot, rather than having to tap a designated shutter button. The Quick Access Camera feature works even when the display is turned off, and holding your finger down on any area of the screen will fire off rapid shots.

Like the recently announced Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini, the Moto X’s camera app is based entirely on gestures. This means you can swipe to the right to reveal the camera’s settings menu or gallery by swiping rather than hunting for a designated button.  

More: Smartphone Camera Shootout 2013

Active Display

Motorola is clearly hyping a truly buttonless experience with its new Moto X. In addition to Touchless Control and Quick Capture Camera, Active Display lets you check the time, read notifications and unlock your phone without pressing any physical buttons. The feature, which is turned on by default, displays the time whenever you pick up your device. You can also drag notification icons around the lock screen to dismiss them or unlock the device directly to the app with the alert. 

Free 50GB Google Drive Cloud Storage

Moto X users will get an additional 50GB of free cloud storage space via Google Drive for two years. Add that to the 15GB of storage Google already gives you, and that makes 65GB of free file storage in the cloud. You’ll be able to store much more than just documents with that kind of storage, although it doesn’t come close to the 1TB of free space you get on Flickr. Still, it’s a nice bonus for Moto X buyers that frequently use Google Drive to back up their files. 

More: What's the Fastest Cloud Storage Service?

Motorola Assist

Motorola Assist prevents interruptions from disturbing you by using data to determine whether you’re on the road, at an event or fast asleep. For instance, the Assist app accesses your Google Calendar to see when your meetings and appointments are, which means you can check the Silence option to ensure your ringtone isn’t audible during that time.

You can also check the “Talk to Me” box to tell the Moto X to automatically read text messages out loud whenever you’re in your car. The phone uses GPS to detect when you’re driving so you don’t have to remember to check any settings as you sit behind the wheel.

More: Apple Doesn't Need an iCar to Rule the Road

Water Repellent Coating

The Moto X phone can't be tossed in a fish tank like the Galaxy S4 Active. However, Motorola claims that the electrical boards inside the device have  been sprayed with water-repellent coating for added durability. This ensures that even if water does make it inside the device, your phone should be safe and fully functional. 

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (AT&T): Full Review

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Author Bio
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco, LAPTOP Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
Lisa Eadicicco, LAPTOP Staff Writer on
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