I am back today with my Moto X review, which is the phone I chose when I made the switch to Republic Wireless. I came from having an iPhone 4S, so this review is going to consist of a decent amount of comparisons between the two phones and operating systems. I hope it’s helpful for those of you wondering about the quality of the phone, as I had some hesitation switching back to Android after experiencing iOS.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability.
Body of the phone
As there are more varieties of phones coming out quarter after quarter, there are a lot of options out there to choose from. Before I had my iPhone, I had a Droid X. It was bigger than the iPhone, slightly narrow, and had a bump at the top. I wasn’t feeling it, plus the phone felt outdated with the Android operating system.
Upon viewing the iPhone in the store, I fell in love. iPhones are sleek; all Apple products have a certain appeal to them (in my opinion). So when I started researching Android phones, I was surprised to find quite a few that were stylish in their own way. The Moto X doesn’t fail on this front.
First, it has a gorgeous screen and display. Honestly, the small size of the iPhone had appealed to me after having a kind of clunky phone, but after seeing the Moto X, I knew it was time for a change. My iPhone, with a cover on it, actually fit inside my coworker’s Moto X – right on top of it! However, it’s very thin, and fits comfortably in the pockets of my purse. It actually gets lost inside my bag on a daily basis…
If you order from Republic Wireless, the only color choices that are available are black and white, similar to the iPhone. I like black, so that’s what I went with. While reading reviews, some people noticed that the back of the phones felt different depending on the color – the black was said to feel more solid. There’s a rubber backing, as well as a little indent for your finger to rest on while holding. It’s pretty comfortable, and I have small hands. It’s also very light.
Overall, I don’t think there’s a clear winner here. The only other thing I can think to note is that the Moto X has three on-screen buttons, instead of a physical button on the front, but they are easy to use.
A valid concern many users have is the performance of the phone. The iPhone is pretty fast, and coming from my older Android phone, it was a very welcome change! However, the Moto X has very decent specs, and I haven’t noticed it going any slower than my iPhone. It’s snappy and responsive, and I don’t find myself getting impatient with it very often.
As far as downloading things, I covered that in my previous post about the Republic Wireless service, as compared to Verizon.
I don’t run any intense applications on my phone, so I can’t really speak to that, but it runs simple games like Solitaire and Sudoku just fine. I utilize Feedly for my blog reading, and there are times where it freezes on me (where I never experienced issues on my iPhone), but it’s not a deal breaker.
Battery life is great – no complaints here. Depending on the day, I use my phone often at work, and by keeping the screen brightness low, it lasts the entire 8 hours. By the time I get home it’s around half.
Photos aren’t as great as they were with my iPhone. I was kind of disappointed in the camera quality, but I know some people don’t use their cell phones as their camera. Others want the convenience, though, and I like having the option. I haven’t really taken many pictures outside our apartment (which has bad lighting), but the ones I have taken inside have been a bit discolored.
The last thing I want to mention is that you cannot silence your phone, or change the volume, with the screen being locked. You must unlock it first. I got really used to having the little switch on the side of my iPhone, and the Moto X does not have that feature. In any case, there is a shortcut to silencing the phone, rather than holding the volume rocker down. Just hold the power off button, and along with the option to turn the phone off, you’ll have the option to silence it or put it back on sound.
Android comes with more customization options available, as opposed to iOS. This was my biggest disappointment when switching over to the iPhone, but I got over it. I actually came to like the bubble home screen of the iPhone (and I think Android looks a bit messy now), but there are ways around that. You can install launcher applications to change the look of your phone. I downloaded “Nova Launcher” myself, simply because I wanted to change a few things up.
With the iPhone, you can only change your background, and I think there’s two choices as far as themes. If you’re comfortable with less, I’m happy to tell you the default stock options that the Moto X comes with are more than enough for the average user. If you’re one to experiment, it comes with plenty of options, too. Best of both worlds.
I’d like to mention one thing I’ve gotten rather used to – active notifications. There is no flashing light on this phone to tell you that you’ve received notifications. If you have an iPhone, you’re used to this. Without thinking, I would just press the button on my phone to see if anything new was going on. With the Moto X, this active notification will display on the screen around every minute or so.
When you press on the circled icon, you have the choice to swipe up or down. For example, in my picture, if I swiped up, it would take me to email, and if I swiped down, it would take me to text messages. It’s pretty handy. You can turn it off during certain time periods, and it doesn’t have any impact on the battery life.
The only downside I have to report about the Moto X is that the Google Play store is lacking. I was really happy with Apple’s App Store when I first got my iPhone and iPad; there’s tons of decent quality games for free and it’s easier to navigate. The Google Play store just doesn’t seem to have as many attractive options. Even the basic Solitaire and Suduko games I mentioned seem lackluster compared to their iPhone counterparts. In this sense, I’m glad I still have my iPad to play games on.
If games aren’t your thing, then the apps available to you probably aren’t a huge concern. The basic apps, like Mint, Pandora and Evernote, are available on Android. Of course, all your popular social media apps are also on there.
The Moto X comes pre-loaded with a bunch of prominent Google apps, such as Gmail, Chrome and Google Maps. I think that Gmail and Google Maps run nicer on the Android system, which isn’t a surprise. I haven’t really played around with anything else, such as Google’s newer music player, but it has decent reviews.
The last note on apps that I have is that you should stick to the stock messaging app. This is because Republic Wireless runs in a unique way, and if you use a third party app, it messes with the software in your phone. The Republic Wireless Moto X is not the same as a Verizon/AT&T Moto X, since Republic Wireless has the WiFi/cell hybrid model integrated into the phone.
Not at all. I don’t know about you, but I never had to call on Siri very often. It was a fun bonus feature in the beginning that I was a bit fascinated with, but the novelty wore off quickly. In any case, with the Moto X, all you have to say is “Okay, Google” and you activate Google Now. The screen says, “Yes?” and you just voice your command. The screen does not need to be on for this feature to work.
I’m really glad to say I didn’t mind the switch at all. I did have to re-learn the Android system a bit, and get used to the “Swype“-like feature built into Android keyboards. It really does help to make typing easier most of the time, though. You basically just glide your finger across the letters instead of individually pressing on each. I never type “normally” on my phone anymore. The predictive text isn’t too shabby either.
I hope this review was helpful; I apologize for the length, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible!
Have you recently made the switch from an iPhone to an Android phone? Which do you prefer and why?