Moto X Review (Republic Wireless)

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

moto x reviewAs 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.

Performance

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.

Operating system

moto x reviewAndroid 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.

App store

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.

moto x reviewThe 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.

Miss Siri?

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.

Overall evaluation

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?

Erin M.

Erin is a personal finance writer and virtual assistant who loves talking about money and how to use it as a tool to get what you want out of life. When she's not obsessing over numbers or working (which is rare), she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cat, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, or any random combination of the above.

24 thoughts on “Moto X Review (Republic Wireless)

  1. Awesome review! I agree- the camera on the moto x is NOT good. I hate that you can’t “focus” the picture- which is what I used to do with the iphone to make certain areas brighter. but other than that, love the phone. I keep meaning to try out the “ok google” thing to see what kind of features I can activate with my voice!
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    1. Since I never bothered with Siri, I haven’t played around with Google Now much, but from reading other people’s reviews it does seem to have a lot of neat options. I think I was most disappointed in the camera :/. I thought for a phone so prominent in the Android world, it would have been better!

  2. I have the iPhone 4s…it’s the first smart phone that I’ve ever had so I can’t compare. I don’t plan on upgrading for a while but I’ve considered Republic Wireless but I have a bunch of people on my family plan so I’m only paying $55 for myself. It sucks that the camera isn’t as great…I take a lot of pictures of the baby (well my wife takes my phone because hers ran out of space). And I do use Siri to read/send texts, to call when I’m driving. Does the Moto have those functions?
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    1. $55 really isn’t too bad, at least compared to the $92 I was paying. I pay around $31 with tax with Republic Wireless. The 4S is great, though. Even with the iPhone 5 and 5S coming out, I never felt the need to upgrade.

      The Moto X does include that feature! You have the option to use Google Now or regular voice commands. (I can say “Call Home” and it will make the call.) I believe it comes standard on smartphones now, so that you can voice-text. My uncle just got a Samsung Galaxy Mini and he loves that feature.

    1. Thanks! Before I even decided to switch to RW, I had been looking around at the top Android phones, and so many people were torn between the Moto X and Nexus 5, so I figured it was a good choice!

    1. It is really nice! The price is a little steep, compared to paying $200 for a similar phone, but you’re paying so much less a month and don’t have a contract, so I think it evens out.

    1. I was really happy with my iPhone. The only reason I switched was because I really didn’t want to be with Verizon anymore, and I don’t believe Verizon phones are eligible to be taken to another carrier. They’re locked, and it can be a pain to get them unlocked. Things I wish I would have known…

    1. There’s usually clear cut lines between Apple lovers and Windows lovers! My dad pretty much wanted to disown me when I started buying Apple products, haha. I’m really not too partial to either. They both have their pros and cons.

    1. That’s mostly what I use my phone for, and it does a great job. The thirty day money back offer from Republic Wireless would allow you to try it out just to see if you feel a little better about the Android platform. It is a slight adjustment but worth saving the money over.

    1. Thanks! I think the Samsung Galaxy phones look pretty neat. My aunt and uncle actually just upgraded to them, and the screen size is crazy.

    1. I can understand that, I was a bit hesitant as well. It’s worth it though! There might be other awesome phones debuting in the coming months, too.

    1. I think it’s natural to become somewhat “attached” to our phones. I’ve found that my iPhone was pretty reliable in that I never had any issues with it breaking down. Apple is also a very well established brand, and some people are a little timid to try Android out. The reality is, they’re just as great! If you have any questions, definitely let me know.

  3. Thank you so much for your review of Republic Wireless and the Moto X. I have been looking for a real world review of these two, especially from the perspective of an iPhone user. My husband and I are current Verizon and iPhone5 users so we’ve gotten use to a pretty cushy phone and web surfing experience–at a premium price! Not good. So the prospect of switching to the Sprint network (which doesn’t offer 4G LTE in our area) and giving up our iPhones is a bit daunting. I’ve decided I am willing to give it try since I’ll be working primarily off of WiFi anyway but my husband is holding out. Waiting to see if I crash and burn. :) I’m in charge of our family’s finances and our phone bill is the last line item that I feel needs a major overhaul. I’ve been looking at a slew of MVNO’s and Ting and Page Plus were my front runners, but they each had issues that made me wary. But what made me decide to bite the bullet and try Republic Wireless was your review of the MotoX being it sounds fairly comparable to the iPhone5 (at least how I use it) and that they offer both voice and data roaming to the Verizon Network when Sprint isn’t available. Score! Ting also offers voice roaming to Verizon but not data roaming (my big drawback for them along with higher pricing based on our usage.) And Page Plus even though they are Verizon based doesn’t officially support the iPhone5 and their plans still offer less for more money based on our usage than RW. So, I will be making the leap later this month to RW and making use of that 30 day trial period to see how well I like the service and the phone. Even if there are little annoyances I think it will be worth it just for the amount of money we will save each month even after paying an early termination fee which will be offset by selling my iPhone. If all goes well maybe I will get my husband to switch too!

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad the review helped you. As much as I liked my iPhone, I don’t miss it. The Moto X is very capable of handling everything the iPhone does. Now that we have wifi set up here in our apartment, speeds have been better than ever, and the call quality has increased. The only thing I have to say is that for people who love their apps and games, the Apple store is a bit better.

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